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I want to be Orthodox for the valid sacraments, and I have a question.

mcarmichael

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Alright so St. Paul said if a heathen keeps the law, although he is not circumcised he could be considered circumcised. How far do the Orthodox go with that?

If it extends even to the un-churched, which here by extension St. Paul seems to be suggesting, why church? Why not just find a cave somewhere, live like St. Mary of Egypt?
 

hecma925

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Alright so St. Paul said if a heathen keeps the law, although he is not circumcised he could be considered circumcised. How far do the Orthodox go with that?

If it extends even to the un-churched, which here by extension St. Paul seems to be suggesting, why church? Why not just find a cave somewhere, live like St. Mary of Egypt?
St. Mary of Egypt was an Orthodox Christian. After her first act of repentance, she sought out the Eucharist which sustained her for years. Most people can't live a life of repentance like she did, since it is too inconvenient for modern people.
 

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If people learn of the Orthodox Faith, and reject it, then no amount of righteousness they happen to have will help them.
 

Pravoslavbob

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Alright so St. Paul said if a heathen keeps the law, although he is not circumcised he could be considered circumcised. How far do the Orthodox go with that?

If it extends even to the un-churched, which here by extension St. Paul seems to be suggesting, why church? Why not just find a cave somewhere, live like St. Mary of Egypt?
As hecma925 relates, Mary of Egypt was an Orthodox Catholic who did not commune regularly after her conversion. Very, very few indeed are called to the strict kind of asceticism that Holy Mary lived out during her repentance. The vast majority of people need to receive the Mysteries on a regular basis to keep them in communion with the Church and God and on a "straight and narrow" path. They also need to be part of a community of other people, be it in the world or in a monastic community.
 
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mcarmichael

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Well what I'm saying is how far does that go though? If I'm inquiring earnestly am I covered? I think Catechumens are covered, yeah?

Like they certainly wouldn't encourage me to rush into anything, but at the same time I feel a little anxious in my particular situation. What should I do?
 

mcarmichael

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St. Mary of Egypt was an Orthodox Christian. After her first act of repentance, she sought out the Eucharist which sustained her for years. Most people can't live a life of repentance like she did, since it is too inconvenient for modern people.
Alright, what about St. Anthony the Great then? I don't think it was his parish priest who told him to go live out in the wilderness, and presumably he didn't get to church regularly either, although I'm not 100%. What's preventing me from doing the same thing?
 

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"I want to be Orthodox for the valid sacraments, and I have a question ....why church?"
Because Christ bids us:
"Do this in remembrance of Me."
 
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The Church is the only organization through which you will get to Paradise ~ but our Lord will bring all that are worthy ```
 

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If you want to be Orthodox for the valid Sacrament, that you will get in Church ~ Can't do that through the mail ```
 

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Alright, what about St. Anthony the Great then? I don't think it was his parish priest who told him to go live out in the wilderness, and presumably he didn't get to church regularly either, although I'm not 100%. What's preventing me from doing the same thing?
Very, very few indeed are called to the strict kind of asceticism that Holy Mary (or Anthony, etc. etc.) lived out during her repentance. The vast majority of people need to receive the Mysteries on a regular basis to keep them in communion with the Church and God and on a "straight and narrow" path. They also need to be part of a community of other people, be it in the world or in a monastic community.
 

hecma925

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Alright, what about St. Anthony the Great then? I don't think it was his parish priest who told him to go live out in the wilderness, and presumably he didn't get to church regularly either, although I'm not 100%. What's preventing me from doing the same thing?
Nothing prevents you, except yourself. Try it. You might like it. Read his life.

No OCnet, though.
 

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Or flushing toilet and cheeseburgers....
 

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hecma925

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You have two hands.
 

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I want fish and wine just like my Mary of Egypt did.
 

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Mary of Egypt had to wrestle with her fleshly longings for fish and wine and to be held in the loving arms of a lover. These longings didnt go away the first year in the dessert.
 

Tzimis

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Interesting how sinners can become saints. One usually admires righteousness. Or righteousness can sometimes be an illusion.
 

mcarmichael

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Nothing prevents you, except yourself. Try it. You might like it. Read his life.

No OCnet, though.
Right, but St. Anthony wasn't the first monk historically, was he? I'm sort of curious how the church came to embrace these sort of hermetic people, historically. Like which one was canonized first, they must have idk maintained some connection to the church somehow, right?
 

mcarmichael

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No one can be saved without the Church.
I don't know if I would agree with that. Using the vaguely "Orthodox" lens I found, Fr. Abraham WAS justified by his faith. Okay and then the thief on the cross, he didn't receive baptism or chrismation. Unless being crucified next to Jesus and Jesus saying to you "Today you will be with me in Paradise" counts.
 

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Of course. One does not need to jump in a fountain in order to get wet when it rains in the desert every century or so. But is the Church the fountain or the water?
 

rakovsky

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Alright so St. Paul said if a heathen keeps the law, although he is not circumcised he could be considered circumcised. How far do the Orthodox go with that?

If it extends even to the un-churched, which here by extension St. Paul seems to be suggesting, why church?
Context matters. Paul was writing in the context of the Church's debates about the place of Christian gentiles in relation to Christian Jews. Based on Paul's writings elsewhere, Paul's point is that even if gentiles don't get circumcised, they can be considered "circumcised" in terms of the kind of spiritual salvation given to the ancient Israelites if those gentiles otherwise follow the morality of Moses' Law.

Paul is not saying other things like A) uncircumcised gentiles being the same as Jews in terms of how Moses looked at them for the Old Testament ritual rules, or that B) it doesn't matter if people participate in Christian rituals like communion or not.

On the contrary, based on Paul's writings to the Corinthians that demanded that they discern the body in the Lord's Supper, Paul thought that it was essential for Christian's to have sacraments.
 

mcarmichael

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Context matters. Paul was writing in the context of the Church's debates about the place of Christian gentiles in relation to Christian Jews. Based on Paul's writings elsewhere, Paul's point is that even if gentiles don't get circumcised, they can be considered "circumcised" in terms of the kind of spiritual salvation given to the ancient Israelites if those gentiles otherwise follow the morality of Moses' Law.
Ok, when you say "the kind of spiritual salvation given to the ancient Israelites", you aren't talking about people like Noah, right? I'm a little confused here. Noah definitely isn't an Israelite in this context, correct?
I suppose I didn't explain it put it very well but if you compare baptism to circumcision of course it says somewhere else that Abraham was justified by faith before he received circumcision, if you put two and two together (of course context matters and I don't like mixed metaphors, but I don't think it's inapproriate to put the two together here) and you get that someone may be let's say reconciled to God without baptism?
 

mcarmichael

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Of course. One does not need to jump in a fountain in order to get wet when it rains in the desert every century or so. But is the Church the fountain or the water?
Sir I do not understand your meaning here. Mixed metaphors are especially difficult for me.
 

xariskai

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If I'm inquiring earnestly am I covered? I think Catechumens are covered, yeah?
Abraham was justified by faith before he received circumcision,
I don't think it's inapproriate to put the two together here) and you get that someone may be let's say reconciled to God without baptism?
I found, Fr. Abraham WAS justified by his faith....
I"mcarmichael said:
the thief on the cross, he didn't receive baptism or chrismation. Unless being crucified next to Jesus and Jesus saying to you "Today you will be with me in Paradise" counts.
Your posts have raised a variety of examples, the uncircumcised pagan doing the works of the law, the faith of Abraham, the thief on the cross, and others specifically in regards to whether and/or why they were "sufficient" or "enough" in the divine economy. All of these questions are worthy of deeper exploration.

But can you explain more about yourself and why you are asking? The reason I ask is if someone was, say, looking to offer to God some sort of "one and done" minimalist offering to God or presumed passport to heaven then our answer might be completely different from say is there any hope for my pagan friend who I loved and who is now dead or etc.

To a "one and done" standpoint I would not only say Orthodoxy is not for such a person, but would further caution the path they are seeking is most likely to lead them not toward God but ever more away, both in this life and the hereafter. I can explain if desired why this is so in the context of each the examples raised.

Of course that is not the only possible standpoint from which such questions can be legitimately posed. Can you share with us what yours is as it is thus far difficult to discern?
 
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rakovsky

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Ok, when you say "the kind of spiritual salvation given to the ancient Israelites", you aren't talking about people like Noah, right? I'm a little confused here. Noah definitely isn't an Israelite in this context, correct?
I suppose I didn't explain it put it very well but if you compare baptism to circumcision of course it says somewhere else that Abraham was justified by faith before he received circumcision, if you put two and two together (of course context matters and I don't like mixed metaphors, but I don't think it's inapproriate to put the two together here) and you get that someone may be let's say reconciled to God without baptism?
The context meant that when Paul said that they didn't need circumcision, he was not trying to make an implicit argument that people don't need baptism, because he was arguing in the context of a real argument in the Church over whether gentiles needed circumcision. Paul's point was that gentiles don't need circumcision to get saved like the Jewish Christians got circumcised. He wasn't getting into the issue that Noah probably wasn't circumcised. He was saying that uncircumcised Gentile Christians got saved like Jewish Christians got saved.

Acts 15 begins by saying:
"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved."

That was the issue under debate, not whether people should belong to the Christian community.

The next verse says:
"When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question."

They decided to go to the elders to address the problem, instead of just having everyone decide it on their own.

Then in verses 8 and 9, after they consider the issue, Peter says that they have the same salvation:
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."
I suggest reading the chapter:
www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3fsearch=Acts%2b15&version=KJV
 

hecma925

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Do Christian Jews receive Baptism?
 

Tzimis

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I think a lot of people contemplate the usefulness of a church institution. I also think its safe to say that we don't box god in by declaring him only inside our walls. Yet the institution is designed in such a way that once you witness it. There is no denying that Christ is there.
 

mcarmichael

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The context meant that when Paul said that they didn't need circumcision, he was not trying to make an implicit argument that people don't need baptism, because he was arguing in the context of a real argument in the Church over whether gentiles needed circumcision. Paul's point was that gentiles don't need circumcision to get saved like the Jewish Christians got circumcised. He wasn't getting into the issue that Noah probably wasn't circumcised. He was saying that uncircumcised Gentile Christians got saved like Jewish Christians got saved.

Acts 15 begins by saying:
"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved."

That was the issue under debate, not whether people should belong to the Christian community.

The next verse says:
"When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question."

They decided to go to the elders to address the problem, instead of just having everyone decide it on their own.

Then in verses 8 and 9, after they consider the issue, Peter says that they have the same salvation:
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."
I suggest reading the chapter:
www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3fsearch=Acts%2b15&version=KJV
Your posts have raised a variety of examples, the uncircumcised pagan doing the works of the law, the faith of Abraham, the thief on the cross, and others specifically in regards to whether and/or why they were "sufficient" or "enough" in the divine economy. All of these questions are worthy of deeper exploration.

But can you explain more about yourself and why you are asking? The reason I ask is if someone was, say, looking to offer to God some sort of "one and done" minimalist offering to God or presumed passport to heaven then our answer might be completely different from say is there any hope for my pagan friend who I loved and who is now dead or etc.

To a "one and done" standpoint I would not only say Orthodoxy is not for such a person, but would further caution the path they are seeking is most likely to lead them not toward God but ever more away, both in this life and the hereafter. I can explain if desired why this is so in the context of each the examples raised.

Of course that is not the only possible standpoint from which such questions can be legitimately posed. Can you share with us what yours is as it is thus far difficult to discern?
No, that's fine. I'm just trying to make conversation here. How far are the Orthodox willing to take it? St. Paul the Apostle called baptism "The circumcision of Christ", I've seen it used to argue baby baptism, which I think is really stretching the envelope, coming from an Anabaptist assembly kinda.
 

mcarmichael

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I mentioned to someone else earlier that in retrospect, I was maybe a little p'd that I wasn't already baptised, and needed to be baptised. Because why was I being good (hypothetically)? And why did I need to read the Bible to get that? Why wasn't it preached?

Add to that, they never served, wine, only grape juice. I was maybe 12 y/o when I figured it out, but of course I was also conflicted and didn't really commit until I was almost 20. I think I remember crossing my fingers as I was sworn in, but maybe not. Good thing there are bishops and the sacrament of reconcilliation because I strayed in between, and even after.
 
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