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If you are not OC, are you really Christian?

Victoria

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One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
 

stashko

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They confess a different Confession than we the Orthodox do...So there Trinity Isn't the Same As Our Most Holy Trinity..The worship a different god....Holy Orthodoxy doesn't recognize R C sacraments or it's church....There's only One Holy Orthodox Catholic Church not two....Some of the Orthodox Ecumenists  Recognize and accept R C , but True Holy Orthodoxy doesn't.....How we pray is what we believe... This is what i learned reading this forum ......So we are not the same as R C.....and there not Christians........Or let's say the don't follow the scriptural jesus ,there's is the Jesus and Mary of recent talking apparitions unkown to the Holy Fathers Faith once delivered unto salvation....


Another apparition Incorporated into the catholic church...


Story here .....Church: Wis. site 1st US Virgin Mary apparition
AP – Wed Dec 8, 8:48 pm ET   AMPION, Wis. - The Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday designated a Wisconsin spot where an apparition of the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared three times to a Belgian-born nun in 1859 as the only of its kind in the United States. Full Story »Link......http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_re_us/us_virgin_mary_apparition

 

ChristusDominus

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stashko said:
They confess a different Confession than we the Orthodox do...So there Trinity Isn't the Same As Our Most Holy Trinity..The worship a different god....Holy Orthodoxy doesn't recognize R C sacraments or it's church....There's only One Holy Orthodox Catholic Church not two....Some of the Orthodox Ecumenists  Recognize and accept R C , but True Holy Orthodoxy doesn't.....How we pray is what we believe... This is what i learned reading this forum ......So we are not the same as R C.....and there not Christians........
That makes sense: Rely on an internet forum to formulate your beliefs.
 

biro

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theistgal said:
stashko, the OP didn't mention RC's at all.
That never stopped him before.  ::)
 

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Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
Fwiw, Alexei Khomiakov suggested (and perhaps Met. Kallistos agrees?) that non-Orthodox who are Christians might be "invisibly" part of the body of Christ the Church.
 

theistgal

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I seem to remeber Jesus saying that anyone "who called Him by name would in no wise be cast out" and "He who is not against us is with us" and "whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto Me."

But of course, He wasn't Orthodox ... ;)
 

ialmisry

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No.

But then if you are a sinning Orthodox Christian, you aren't really a  Christian either. But if you are a Donastist, you aren't really a Christian.

On a practical note, only those whose attempts at baptism we can receive by economy can be called, by economy, Christian.
 

Asteriktos

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theistgal said:
I seem to remeber Jesus saying that anyone "who called Him by name would in no wise be cast out" and "He who is not against us is with us" and "whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto Me."

But of course, He wasn't Orthodox ... ;)
Sure he was. Didn't you know that the Orthodox faith established the universe? The 7th Ecumenical Council said so.  :police:
 

ialmisry

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Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
If a finger is cut off, if it is caught in time and treated, it can be reattached.
 

88Devin12

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Does someone not being Christian condemn them to hell? I think it's unnecessary when we say "Only God judges" when it comes to distinguishing between Christians and non-Christians. By saying a group isn't Christian, that doesn't mean we are condemning them to hell.
I would personally say that non-Trinitarian groups are not Christian. (this would include groups like JW & Mormons)
 

lubeltri

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Asteriktos said:
Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
Fwiw, Alexei Khomiakov suggested (and perhaps Met. Kallistos agrees?) that non-Orthodox who are Christians might be "invisibly" part of the body of Christ the Church.
Very interesting! This might jive with the Vatican II understanding of baptized non-Catholics being in some sort of imperfect communion with the Catholic Church.

 

lubeltri

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ialmisry said:
On a practical note, only those whose attempts at baptism we can receive by economy can be called, by economy, Christian.
So I'm a Christian in some Orthodox jurisdictions and a heathen in others?
 

Rastaman

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"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever." - St Theophan the Recluse
 

PoorFoolNicholas

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John of the North said:
"You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them? They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being. He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such a concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however: should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever." - St Theophan the Recluse
Amen!
 

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Asteriktos said:
Fwiw, Alexei Khomiakov suggested (and perhaps Met. Kallistos agrees?) that non-Orthodox who are Christians might be "invisibly" part of the body of Christ the Church.
Those who are non-Orthodox may possess "charismatic" grace but not "sacramental" grace.

What is a Christian? What is a theologian?  Above all, a theologian and Christian do the same thing--pray fervently.  As Orthodox, we have the Church.  Those outside may struggle more and even those inside.  Ultimately, God will judge and save whom He wishes.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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I believe the question as it's asked in the subject title is could be much better worded.  A much better question, IMO, is, "What are the criterion to becoming a Christian?"  This not only forces us to study the early Christians and their doctrines, along with Holy Tradition and Scripture, but more importantly it forces us to look at ourselves to see if we meet said criterion.

It may sound judgmental, mean-spirited and against the Gospel message to do so, but to not do so would mean that the Mormon, the Baptist, the Holiness Pentecostal, the Roman Catholic, the Jehova's Witness, the Episcopalian/Anglican and the Eastern Orthodox Christian are merely diverse members of the same body.  My friends, only a fool would adopt such an outlook.  

There IS an established, well-trodden set of criterion to answer such a question.  The quote given from our holy father, St. Theophan the Recluse, holds the key to the answer.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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GabrieltheCelt said:
This not only forces us to study the early Christians and their doctrines, along with Holy Tradition and Scripture, but more importantly it forces us to look at ourselves to see if we meet said criterion.
But at the same time, I think we need to be very careful in assuming that most people really are research-oriented enough to actually go into an in-depth study of Christian history. And even then, there are many competing histories available to the casual reader. There's the liberal textual critical view which sees competing sects from the beginning, even with apostolic churches disagreeing and breaking into different groups. Then there are "corruption" and "great apostasy" advocates. Then there are the surviving and competing apostolic communions, etc.

Requiring research in a rigorous way makes salvation even more difficult for people to reach out for. There is something to be said for a simple faith in Christ based on what is available to the person who's heart is open. The Orthodox Church isn't exactly a large group in the USA, and missions here at home are almost nonexistent, so we can't expect everyone to just pick up a history book and then head to the local Orthodox Church for catechesis. God is merciful and understands the situations that people find themselves in, and I have a hard time seeing the Lover of Mankind turning away someone who cries out to Him for salvation in simple and humble faith.

It took me getting a Master's degree in Religious Studies with some solid grounding in early Christian history, then stumbling onto an Orthodox church through a family member, then being an inquirer for a year, then being a catechumen for almost another two years, all before becoming Orthodox. This was just my path, but I know that all of this cannot be required for someone to simply believe in Jesus and trust in Him for saving grace and strength to repent. While Christian history is complicated and takes at least a decade of casual study to begin to get a grasp of the basic issues at play, the gospel is simple and straightforward, ready for any that hear it. I do not say this to downplay the necessity of the Orthodox Church as the full manifestation of this gospel, but we must be ready to admit that this is about more than simple research or whatever. May God save us all!
 

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Asteriktos said:
Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
Fwiw, Alexei Khomiakov suggested (and perhaps Met. Kallistos agrees?) that non-Orthodox who are Christians might be "invisibly" part of the body of Christ the Church.
Khomiakov saying something like that? Does not sound like the Khomiakov I know, tho...
 

sprtslvr1973

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Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
Regarding Heterdox some are some are not Christans. Ditto us
 

ICXCNIKA

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I have been recently reading the writings of St Cyprian in the Ante-Nicene Fathers and I do not think that what is qouted by Khomiakov would be acceptable. Here is the response from Bishop Firmilian to St. Cyprian you can read it and come to your own conclusions. I found both their arguements to be overwhelming.

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf05.iv.iv.lxxiv.html
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
This not only forces us to study the early Christians and their doctrines, along with Holy Tradition and Scripture, but more importantly it forces us to look at ourselves to see if we meet said criterion.

There is something to be said for a simple faith in Christ based on what is available to the person who's heart is open. The Orthodox Church isn't exactly a large group in the USA, and missions here at home are almost nonexistent, so we can't expect everyone to just pick up a history book and then head to the local Orthodox Church for catechesis. God is merciful and understands the situations that people find themselves in, and I have a hard time seeing the Lover of Mankind turning away someone who cries out to Him for salvation in simple and humble faith.
I agree. There hasn't been a native Orthodox church in England for over a thousand years... The Methodist chapel was the only church in our tiny English country village, and a great many villagers worshipped God there. They were shepherds, farmers and labourers, simple folks who loved God. They had probably never heard of the orthodox church, and new little of other countries and traditions. No great theologian from Greece ever visited and knocked on their door to correct the minister. The people simply prayed to God in faith and love, cared for their families, and read their well-worn Bibles.

I am sure that Christ is willing and able to stretch out his hand and touch people who are not born in Orthodox lands, to make his presence known.

In many cases it is not the faith of the heterodox that is is question, but through a lack of contact with orthodoxy, it is the praxis and not the faith that is at fault.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
This not only forces us to study the early Christians and their doctrines, along with Holy Tradition and Scripture, but more importantly it forces us to look at ourselves to see if we meet said criterion.
But at the same time, I think we need to be very careful in assuming that most people really are research-oriented enough to actually go into an in-depth study of Christian history.
You are, of course, correct.  I suppose I made a few assumptions.  I was wrong to assume that all people have the resources and inclination to research these things.  I will say, and stand by it, that if one is not an Orthodox Christian, you are not a true Christian no matter how sincere you may be (one can be sincere and be sincerely wrong).  And may I be so bold as to say that ignorance of the truth does not erase the truth.  If one calls himself/herself a Christian, but denies that the saints can and do pray for us, you have placed yourself outside true Christianity, whether out of ignorance or obstinance.  But at the same time, in no way can an Orthodox Christian say of these people that they are doomed to hell for this is not the realm of man to say these things.  In point of fact, an Eastern Orthodox Christian cannot even say that he himself will go to heaven. 

Alveus Lacuna said:
May God save us all!
Amen, Amen, Amen!
 

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Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Victoria said:
One of the posters asked me this-If the Orthodox are the Body of Christ and the others are not part of His Body then how can they be Christians in the same sense?
What does everyone thinks?
I believe that anyone of any background or belief or creed who professes the Name of Jesus Christ in any capacity but of absolute sincerity is indeed a Christian, but that if they do not acknowledge the Real Presence of the Divine Mysteries and Sacramentality as do the Apostolic Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, then that Christianity is intentionally depriving (notice I said deprived, not depraved there is a difference) itself of the the fullness of Jesus Christ.

Only the Real Presence is what makes us Christian.  Jesus is not a symbol, or an imaginary friend, or some pie-in-the-sky God is only coming back in the future but today we must continually await is Dawning, no, Jesus Christ comes to us directly, really, tangibly in the form of the Eucharist. Whenever we receive it, or indeed even stand and pray in its midst during the Liturgy, we Orthodox/Catholic come to the truest form of Christianity, to participate directly and actively in the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

I do not disrespect the faith or intentions of others, but rather I pity those Christians who reject the Real Presence, as they are unintentionally rejecting the very healing and saving Presence of God in our midst.  What separates Orthodox from the rest, is that we believe, confess and believe to our last breath that truly it is He.
stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
I will say, and stand by it, that if one is not an Orthodox Christian, you are not a true Christian no matter how sincere you may be (one can be sincere and be sincerely wrong).  And may I be so bold as to say that ignorance of the truth does not erase the truth.  If one calls himself/herself a Christian, but denies that the saints can and do pray for us, you have placed yourself outside true Christianity, whether out of ignorance or obstinance.  But at the same time, in no way can an Orthodox Christian say of these people that they are doomed to hell for this is not the realm of man to say these things.  In point of fact, an Eastern Orthodox Christian cannot even say that he himself will go to heaven. 
I agree with this 100%. Even if I do become baptized (and let's just say if I remained the same person I am right now and at baptism) I don't know if I would still consider myself to be a Christian until I continuously each day be more like Christ (That's my own set of expectations, everyone is different obviously).

But once my eyes have been opened to the Truth, I can't close them again and it's hard too not to share the experience because it could come across as prideful. I think Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick said we are not in the nice business but in the Truth business. Why would anyone want some sort of 'falsehood' in what they believe? I know I don't and one of the biggest hurdles I see people who want to join an Orthodox Church is because they would have to 'sacrifice' their community, which if they are an active part of it would be well established, for the Truth.
 

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Mathew 12:50

"For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother."



John 10:27-28

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

 

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One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism:

You can be a believer in Christ, a Christian in that sense, but one may not have the same faith, and thus, we're not part of the same Church.  One can believe in democracy, a democrat in heart, but cannot truly fulfill his beliefs if he's not in a democratic nation.

If one Lord and one Faith, then there should be a shared sacramental life, starting with baptism.  This is the definition of one Church, that which believes in One Lord, One Faith, and One baptism.
 

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The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches recognize that each Church has valid apostolic succession, the seven sacraments, and is sufficient to the salvation of its members. This is why those Churches have sworn off proselytization of one another. If each wing did not believe that the other had full membership in the Church, to swear off proselytizing members of it would be a grave sin. I tend to think you have a 'full church' so long as you have Apostolic Succession and the Seven Sacraments. To that end, I would consider the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East to all represent the full Church, despite the fact that my loyalties lie with the first.
 

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Thomist said:
The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches recognize that each Church has valid apostolic succession,
No.
the seven sacraments,
No.

and is sufficient to the salvation of its members.
No.

This is why those Churches have sworn off proselytization of one another
No.

If each wing did not believe that the other had full membership in the Church, to swear off proselytizing members of it would be a grave sin.
Yes.
 

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Thomist said:
The Orthodox and the Catholic Churches recognize that each Church has valid apostolic succession, the seven sacraments, and is sufficient to the salvation of its members. This is why those Churches have sworn off proselytization of one another. If each wing did not believe that the other had full membership in the Church, to swear off proselytizing members of it would be a grave sin. I tend to think you have a 'full church' so long as you have Apostolic Succession and the Seven Sacraments. To that end, I would consider the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East to all represent the full Church, despite the fact that my loyalties lie with the first.
This is not accurate, at least in terms of Orthodoxy.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard Catholics and Protestants say things like the above, undoubtedly in all sincerity.  And to some extent, this is our own fault for not being more clear.

The Orthodox Church does not recognize sacramental grace outside of Orthodoxy, and I've never heard of any suggestion to "swear off proselytizing".  Which isn't to say that some Orthodox representative at some ecumenical gathering or another didn't say something like that.  I actually think that "Orthodox ecumenists" are now the biggest impediment to genuine discussions with the non-Orthodox.

 
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