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Lutheran looking at Eastern Orthodoxy.

Eamonomae

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Ainnir said:
isxodnik said:
As far as I understand, the answer "because freedom" does not suit you ))
It may not be a matter of suiting him or not suiting him; we all have our journey and false belief is at least as bad as unbelief.
And more proof that Orthodoxy makes no sense. Seriously? For the Orthodox, a false belief about Christ is worse than no belief whatsoever?
But hopefully I've picked the right tent, and Eastern Orthodoxy isn't a cursed religion, and Oriental Orthodoxy isn't right or Roman Catholicism isn't right.
 

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Eamonomae said:
isxodnik said:
Ainnir said:
It may not be a matter of suiting him or not suiting him; we all have our journey and false belief is at least as bad as unbelief.
As for the true and false journey. Here is this

When I first tried the Jesus Prayer, I really struggled with it. Because of my background (Mormonism) it was difficult for me to (1) pray to Jesus, (2) ask for mercy, and (3) declare myself a sinner over and over again. This made it difficult for me to say the prayer, much less accept it as "the prayer of prayers."

I have persevered though, and yesterday as I paced around my office building during a work break, quietly saying the prayer, I had a sort of "breakthrough" of understanding that I wanted to share, and receive feedback on. Essentially, the prayer sank into my heart, and for about 10 minutes I saw the entire prayer in a different light.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God

This part of the prayer contains three Christological declarations about Jesus.

    First, that Jesus is Lord.

    Second, that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Third, by addressing Jesus we declare that He is the proper object of our prayer and meditation.

It is a recognition that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who is the highest revelation of both divinity and humanity. And a recognition that He is our savior and helper. We are praying to Him because we know we need Him and that He desires to commune with and bless us.

have mercy on me, a sinner

I struggled with this at first. Why should I continually ask for mercy? It seemed almost cruel of God to demand I beg for mercy. But then my sense of what mercy is, and why I need it, expanded. I read the parable of the Good Samaritan and the ending struck me:

    [Jesus asked], "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"

    And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

It is clear that we have all "fallen among the thieves." Mercy is not so much begging to be spared from judgment, but recognizing that we are in need: of healing, of love, of understanding, of help, of mercy. To ask for mercy is to give up the fantasy that we do not need any help, and to recognize that we live in a fallen world that desperately needs the Son of God to bind up our wounds and take us to the inn.

When we declare ourselves a sinner, it assists in our humility. We inherit fallen nature but also contribute to it. We fail to love others, we follow our sinful passions. It is not a self-humiliation but a recognition of reality: we are not whole without God. Sin is that which ails our souls.

It seems to me that the shortened form of the prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, emphasizes the same points, though with less explicit words. The longer form adds clarifications that are also beautiful. I have enjoyed praying both versions of the prayer.

Anyway, this has helped me as I have added the Jesus Prayer to my spiritual practice. I don't overdo it, but pray it for a few minutes when I have a chance.
- the true journey, and have Eamonomae, unfortunately, false.
I guess I'll burn in hell like 96% of the world. That's assuming that every Eastern Orthodox gets into heaven. Perhaps it's more like 99.6% of the world. I'll join the false journey of those 96%.
God will not make you take that choice.
 

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He will if I choose the wrong religion, because "false belief" is just as bad as "unbelief."
 

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Eamonomae said:
He will if I choose the wrong religion, because "false belief" is just as bad as "unbelief."
Keep blaming God.  It will eventually be helpful, I'm sure of it.
 

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hecma925 said:
Eamonomae said:
He will if I choose the wrong religion, because "false belief" is just as bad as "unbelief."
Keep blaming God.  It will eventually be helpful, I'm sure of it.
Well, God could have easily stopped this situation, and just had one Church which successfully made itself manifest by its triumph over the heresies. But He hasn't, He created this situation where most people are going to burn in Hell. Maybe God sees something I don't, but condemning billions of people to burn for all eternity because they didn't have membership in an organization which inconsistently changes what beliefs it tolerates (after all, in the 500s, a Saint wrote about Purgatory, and in the 1400s, now Purgatory is an apostasy which suggests Origenism; back in the 400s, a Saint and Doctor of the Church held a belief of the sin of Adam itself actually being inherited, and this Saint's beliefs were codified indirectly via an Ecumenical Council, but now to hold such a belief is Latinization), one which is clouded up in its own nationalism and ethnic identity such that it closes its doors to outsiders, is kind of ridiculous.

Nor does the "oh wow, you are a wicked person" argument work, because it doesn't actually rebut anything I've said thus far.

And then you'll say "nothing I'll say will convince you, because your heart is hardened." I've heard this song and dance in Catholicism and Protestantism, because it's the quintessential Christian non-argument when a person cannot rebut the proposition.

A non-argument that's almost as analogous as the "imputed knowledge of the Scripture by the Holy Spirit" that Evangelicals use to embrace a rigid anti-intellectualism, where they blindly follow a corrupted version of the Old Testament (the Masoretic) and believe that Behemoth refers to a Brachiosaurus or Brontosaurus.
 

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Ainnir

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Eamonomae said:
He will if I choose the wrong religion, because "false belief" is just as bad as "unbelief."
I don't mean false as in some heterodox version of Christianity.  I mean false as in, "I'm lying to myself and God when I say I believe <fill in the blank>."  As in, you're only doing or saying XYZ because it's supposedly acceptable, but your heart isn't in it.  He wants your heart, first.  What does Psalm 50 say?  "A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise."  Start there.  You're not in a place to be choosing confessions, yet, and I honestly believe God sees and accounts for our sincere struggles, even when they don't look "right."  I'll write more later, hopefully.  Life calls.  :)
 

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WPM said:
Hi,

I am a Lutheran that is still investigating and studying the Eastern Orthodox Church.

1) I think the Lutheran service is almost the same as Eastern liturgy.


Yes. I attended a Lutheran Service ~ there were many things that were close ~ the reading of the Creed for one thing ```

 

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Ainnir said:
Eamonomae said:
He will if I choose the wrong religion, because "false belief" is just as bad as "unbelief."
I don't mean false as in some heterodox version of Christianity.  I mean false as in, "I'm lying to myself and God when I say I believe <fill in the blank>."  As in, you're only doing or saying XYZ because it's supposedly acceptable, but your heart isn't in it.  He wants your heart, first.  What does Psalm 50 say?  "A broken and contrite heart, God will not despise."  Start there.  You're not in a place to be choosing confessions, yet, and I honestly believe God sees and accounts for our sincere struggles, even when they don't look "right."  I'll write more later, hopefully.  Life calls.  :)
But for me, it's impossible to figure out what "I'm lying to myself" even entails anymore.

Eastern Orthodoxy, at a surface level, seems to have a far greater claim of consistency to Apostolic Tradition than other religions (With the exception of Oriental Orthodoxy).

Yet as soon as you start digging past the surface level and start studying the objective history, you will encounter things that contradict it and don't add up. You can chalk these things up as "anomalies" and "not part of the Faith once delivered to the Saints," but the fact that these things were so acceptable that they went with little controversy shows that something isn't adding up, or something has changed.

You have Enoch, which makes no logical sense in a Book (Genesis) already struggling to make sense. Seriously, Angels sleeping with humans? Something so weird and nonsensical that even St. John Cassian and St. Augustine both said that Genesis 6 can't be interpreted in an Enochian way. Yet so many Early Church Fathers interpret that in such a way, and both Saint Peter and Saint Jude explicitly reference this book by quoting it verbatim in their epistles.

You have the argument that the use of statues for liturgical use or veneration is a "Paganization," especially with the Renaissance reviving Pagan Roman artforms, yet in the Cleveland Art Museum, we have statuettes of Jesus and Jonah from the first-second century. Further, we hear of statues being places of pilgrimages and sources of healing from Eusebius, and in the Vatican, there are tons of Christian statues from the first couple of centuries. All of them are decidely Pagan Roman in their depiction and stylings.

But that's also not to mention the iconoclastic evidence of the Early Church which you see pop up readily and easily, like in the "Acts of John," where a person makes a home-altar to John, and John rebukes him, saying that any praise should go to God alone, and that God cannot be represented by paintings and colors; or the Council of Elvira, which prohibited any images in Churches.


You have the argument that "Augustinian Original Sin" is a heretical innovation, and "Saint Augustine" shouldn't be called "Saint" because of it. Yet, the Council of Carthage, which Saint Augustine originally presided over, specifically anathematized anybody who said that Baptism will never clean sin, because the Sin of Adam is always inherited, and Baptism cleans this sin; and not only was this confirmed by a couple of Ecumenical Councils (I believe the Quintisext and the 6th Ecumenical Council confirmed its decrees), but even the Philokalia has these canons, with Saint Nicodemus explicitly affirming this.


You have the argument about Purgatory being a heretical innovation, yet Purgatory is explicitly referenced in the Dialogues of Saint Gregory as a corporeal fire that purges away sin - something Saint Mark of Ephesus said was heresy. In fact, Saint Gregory uses the exact same Bible verse to justify Purgatory which Saint Mark says the Latins were abusing and misusing.


You have the argument that "Scholasticism" is of the devil; yet... Saint John of Damascus anybody? Hello? And has nobody read Fr. Bulgakov's works, who, despite a council condemning his over zealotry to the Theotokos, is still massively influential in Orthodox theology?


Papal Supremacy? That pops up from at least the time of Pope Saint Leo, who explicitly affirms jurisdictional authority over territories which he doesn't have authority over. Not only that, but it seems clear that the discrepancy between the Eastern and Western Churches regarding Canon 28 of Chalcedon was not because the East rejected the Pope's authority; in fact, we have letters between the Pope and the Emperor, with the Emperor apologizing. It seems that the reason why Canon 28 was added shortly thereafter was because the Acacian schism happened shortly thereafter, and Canon 28 was added to spite Rome when the Eastern Churches pretty much all fell into heresy. When communion was re-established, Canon 28 was never lost.



Rome's claims aren't terribly consistent, either. The fact that Popes were excommunicated by Ecumenical Councils (see 5th Ecumenical Council), and the Pope apologized for his behavior, blaming the devil for letting him fall into heresy, shows this. That's not to mention the indisputable historical fact, that no Catholic can ever repudiate except for lame apologetics and ad-hominem "You are just ignorant, man," that Honorius was anathematized for heresy (as not only does the 6th Ecumenical Council explicitly call Honorius a heretic twice, but Honorius was referred to as a heretic in the Roman Brevarium up to the 16th century [where it mysteriously was scrubbed away...huh, neet]). Same with the previous Pope during the Cadaver Synod, who condemned his previous predecessor for heresy.

Also, that's not to mention that Rome is just an apostate organization that might as well be run by Satan - in fact, I don't think Satan could on a day to day basis ridicule the faithful that pay money to its organization all the while using those funds to fund apartments for gay orgies and using those funds to cover up pedophilia - if he exists; there are only a few truly faithful people, like Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Cordelione, Cardinal Sarah, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Mueller, Bishop Athanasius Schneider (who is a little bit nuts at points), with only patches of devout people here and there.
Seriously; Pope Paul VI canonized as a Saint? If there is a Hell, I firmly believe that Pope Paul VI is in the lowest pit of it. Worse than Hitler. I am not joking. Hitler may have killed millions of people, Pope Paul VI spiritually killed a billion people by his elitism and arrogance, he killed devotions, killed monasticism, killed prayer, killed art, killed any sense of historical Christian spirituality, and did so with a smirk and condemnation, knowing what he was doing; This is so evident by the fact that he chose to wear the Jewish "Priesthood" symbol, something that is inconsistent given that the Roman Catholic Church has always held that the rituals of the Old Testament are dead. He went so far as to suggest that Gregorian Chant led to spiritual death in comparison to "active participation of the laity in the Mass." That's not to mention the abundance of evidence of his homosexual affairs with an Italian actor.

Pope John Paul II might have been a syncretist heretic, but I could still see some good intentions behind all the horrible things he did, like cover up child-abuse and organize the Assisi event. Pope Paul VI I see no good intentions.

Also, it's absolutely ridiculous that the Pope is venerating an Incan Fertility Goddess. Are you kidding me?
The proof that most Catholic Churches don't have the Holy Spirit, if it's what I have identified it to be, is the fact that Catholics have no moral qualms defending the Pope for this. That isn't what Christ would do, ever. Christ would not defend Paganism in the name of the Jews being the chosen people. And if someone has to defend Pagan worship in the name of Church Authority, they aren't Christian. It's so anti-thetical to the entire point of the Old Testament and the New Testament, that it's ridiculous; my ignorant, Evangelical Christian grandparents, who haven't read any books outside the Bible, would recognize that, as are tons of Evangelical Christians who believe their religion is confirmed by what Pope Francis did.


Orthodoxy definitely has the Holy Spirit present to a large degree - but how do I know I have identified the Holy Spirit? All I know, I could just be being a Pharisee for not offering up the cattle of my seed up to Holy Moloch. I could be a Pharisee for thinking homosexuality is an abomination, as abortion. There's no way I can objectively know what the Holy Spirit is or is not; how do I know? Every single spiritual moment I've ever had could just be a phenomenon of my own passions, and that one Evangelical Protestant who spoke in tongues really got it right. All I have is reason to go on, because reason is free from passion. And reason can't help.
 

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Pope Francis thinks he has the Holy Spirit. The ELCA lesbian bishop thinks she has the Holy Spirit. The Muslims think they have God's Spirit.  How do I know that my own beliefs are of the Holy Spirit and not of Satan?

You can't.
 

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Eamonmae ~ read most of what you'v posted ~ a bundle of conflict there ~ can't deal with all that ~ but you own beliefs ~ depending on what you believe ~ do you feel you know Christ ~ that can't be of the devil ~ I don't know that all you've said is true or not ~ but talking to the Lord should help ~ keep talking until you get an answer ~ I'll do that myself ~ let's see what we come up with ```



Christ first ```
 

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Eamonomae said:
Pope Francis thinks he has the Holy Spirit. The ELCA lesbian bishop thinks she has the Holy Spirit. The Muslims think they have God's Spirit.  How do I know that my own beliefs are of the Holy Spirit and not of Satan?

You can't.
You can't prove, but you can know. We can't even prove that our senses are reliable, or that the world around us exists. Even Ayn Rand couldn't do that. My little brother could be a figment of my imagination. And I can't prove otherwise, but I know him.

Eamonomae said:
Maybe God sees something I don't, but condemning billions of people to burn for all eternity because they didn't have membership in an organization...
Thankfully, that's not what God will do, and he had it written down so we'd remember:

Mark 9:38-41 EOB
Now John answered him, "Teacher, we have seen someone who does not follow us casting out demons in your Name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow us!
But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who does a mighty work in my Name will be able to quickly speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is on our side! Amen, I tell you that whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my Name, because you belong to Christ, will not lose his reward."
 

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Membership is not needed to enter Heaven ~ it is meant that through no other organization ~ you can belong to any church and enter heaven and you may be so pleasing to God that you are taken to be with him ~ but ~ the church will not have aided in your entry ~ being in Christs Church will be a big point in you favor is our belief ~ yes we're a bit of a mess ~ arguing with ourselves ~ but striving to be in our Lords will ~ we've ~ and you~ a better chance  at being pleasing to Christ ~ living in and following Orthodox teaching within His Church ```

Coo Yekpirut Kristoseen metch  ~ you brother in Christ ```
 

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platypus said:
Eamonomae said:
Pope Francis thinks he has the Holy Spirit. The ELCA lesbian bishop thinks she has the Holy Spirit. The Muslims think they have God's Spirit.  How do I know that my own beliefs are of the Holy Spirit and not of Satan?

You can't.
You can't prove, but you can know. We can't even prove that our senses are reliable, or that the world around us exists. Even Ayn Rand couldn't do that. My little brother could be a figment of my imagination. And I can't prove otherwise, but I know him.
How does one "know" you have the Holy Spirit? The Saints, who in different denominations, by and large as an aggregate whole in each denomination, have distinct spiritualities? And who contradict one another within the same denomination (After all, it's clear that St. Bernard had a much different view of Christianity than St. Francis; Pope Saint Pius X is a much different character than Pope "Saint" John Paul II). But even if you use the Saints as a proxy, how do you know that circumstances have substantively changed such that their lives are applicable to your own? After all, Saint Benedict broke into a Temple of Apollo and converted it to a Church to Saint John the Theologian, yet many of us will be scolded by our fellow Church members today if we stole Hindu temples by brute force. St. Robert Bellarmine oversaw the burning of Bruno for his apostasy - should we therefore try to get person-burning back into legislative force?

For all you know, all your "knowledge" regarding Spiritual practice could all be just that dreaded devil of Descartes, who is deceiving every single one of your phenomenon such that you will burn for all eternity. After all, for the Orthodox, the Charismatics are in that same exact situation, (which I agree with - but I don't know whether I can trust myself in agreeing with it).
 

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If you have the Holy Sprit ~ you know it ~ you can have it and lose it ~ you Will know it ```
 

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Eamonomae said:
How does one "know" you have the Holy Spirit?
I wish I could explain this well. On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit by St. Seraphim does a better job than I could. He shows that we can come to know the Holy Spirit through the same means that the saints throughout history have come to know him. We pray, we fast, we receive the Eucharist, we cooperate with God in following his commands. As for those who claim to know the Holy Spirit, but connected to him through other means and came away with ideas contrary to divine revelation... the simplest explanation is that they've encountered a different spirit.

Eamonomae said:
The Saints, who in different denominations, all have distinct but similar spiritualities, and who contradict one another within the same denomination (After all, it's clear that St. Bernard had a much different view of Christianity than St. Francis; Pope Saint Pius X is a much different character than Pope "Saint" John Paul II)?
I haven't read much from St. Francis, and none at all from St. Bernard. But I'm willing to bet they agreed that God the Son became man, was crucified for our sins, that we encounter him in the Eucharist, and that we're supposed to follow his teachings. It seems quite likely they disagreed about things that haven't been revealed by God. We see "through a glass, darkly" after all. This doesn't worry me. They also might have been quite wrong about some things.

The Roman Church in recent years has made some troubling decisions, as you've noticed. But Rome's insistence on changing the the Christian faith doesn't invalidate the Christian faith.

Eamonomae said:
But even if you use the Saints as a proxy, how do you know that circumstances have substantively changed such that their lives are applicable to your own?
I don't understand the question.

Eamonomae said:
After all, Saint Benedict broke into a Temple of Apollo and converted it to a Church to Saint John the Theologian, yet many of us will be scolded by our fellow Church members today if we stole Hindu temples by brute force.
Some people hate fun. C'est la vie.
 

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"The deep waters of faith seem turbulent when we peer into them to curiously; but when contemplated in a spirit of simplicity, they are calm.  The depths of faith are like the waters of Lethe, making us forget evil; they will not reveal themselves to the scrutiny of meddlesome reasoning.  Let us therefore sail these waters with simplicity of mind, and so reach the harbor of God's will."

- St. Diadochos of Photiki
 

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Eamonomae said:
platypus said:
Eamonomae said:
Pope Francis thinks he has the Holy Spirit. The ELCA lesbian bishop thinks she has the Holy Spirit. The Muslims think they have God's Spirit.  How do I know that my own beliefs are of the Holy Spirit and not of Satan?

You can't.
You can't prove, but you can know. We can't even prove that our senses are reliable, or that the world around us exists. Even Ayn Rand couldn't do that. My little brother could be a figment of my imagination. And I can't prove otherwise, but I know him.
How does one "know" you have the Holy Spirit? The Saints, who in different denominations, by and large as an aggregate whole in each denomination, have distinct spiritualities? And who contradict one another within the same denomination (After all, it's clear that St. Bernard had a much different view of Christianity than St. Francis; Pope Saint Pius X is a much different character than Pope "Saint" John Paul II). But even if you use the Saints as a proxy, how do you know that circumstances have substantively changed such that their lives are applicable to your own? After all, Saint Benedict broke into a Temple of Apollo and converted it to a Church to Saint John the Theologian, yet many of us will be scolded by our fellow Church members today if we stole Hindu temples by brute force. St. Robert Bellarmine oversaw the burning of Bruno for his apostasy - should we therefore try to get person-burning back into legislative force?

For all you know, all your "knowledge" regarding Spiritual practice could all be just that dreaded devil of Descartes, who is deceiving every single one of your phenomenon such that you will burn for all eternity. After all, for the Orthodox, the Charismatics are in that same exact situation, (which I agree with - but I don't know whether I can trust myself in agreeing with it).
So . . your view is that you "know" something.
 

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Ainnir said:
I'll write more later, hopefully.  Life calls.  :)
Well I've forgotten what else I was wanting to say a few days ago.  Yay me.  :laugh:  :angel:
I'll address a few of your points instead...

Eamonomae said:
But for me, it's impossible to figure out what "I'm lying to myself" even entails anymore.
It entails trying to fake something your heart isn't at all in.  It is like me saying I don't believe in God.  I can say it, but I'm lying.  Some people honestly can't drum up any belief in God, maybe it's blindness, but the fact is, that's honestly where they are in their lives.  Pretending they're somewhere "better" doesn't do them any favors.  To figure out where you're at, you're just going to have to look inward, without all the swirling stuff going on in your head.  Which leads us to this:

Eamonomae said:
Orthodoxy definitely has the Holy Spirit present to a large degree - but how do I know I have identified the Holy Spirit? All I know, I could just be being a Pharisee for not offering up the cattle of my seed up to Holy Moloch. I could be a Pharisee for thinking homosexuality is an abomination, as abortion. There's no way I can objectively know what the Holy Spirit is or is not; how do I know? Every single spiritual moment I've ever had could just be a phenomenon of my own passions, and that one Evangelical Protestant who spoke in tongues really got it right. All I have is reason to go on, because reason is free from passion. And reason can't help.
No, it's not.  Reason is not bad, but it's not free from passion, and it is not what guides us.  How do you know?  Psalm 45:11 (OSB): "Be still and know that I am God."  I'm sure you're familiar with the verse.  What do we have to do before we can know?  Be still.  Get good at that first.

And Proverbs 3:5-8:
5 Trust in God with all your heart, and do not exalt your own wisdom.  6 In all your ways know wisdom, that she may cut a straight path for you: and your foot will not stumble.  7 Do not rely on your own discernment, but fear God, and turn away from every evil.  8 Then there shall be healing for your body and care for your bones.
Or the NASB if you prefer:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  8 It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
All of these questions distract from this central thing; it's not that there isn't a true Faith, but the whole point of all of it is communion with God.  If you get hung up on trying to parse every single detail of every single Trinitarian expression, you are being pulled away from this central truth.  Keep that central truth central while you pick one or two things to wrestle with.  Try to prioritize them.  And pray.  Don't ever stop praying.
For what it's worth, I've done my own share of wheel spinning; absolutely none of this is said in condemnation.
 

WPM

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All of my questions have been answered. :) (I don't have any more questions.)
 

WPM

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What exactly is the difference between Lutheran liturgy and the Orthodox one?
 

platypus

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WPM said:
What exactly is the difference between Lutheran liturgy and the Orthodox one?
Lutherans churches in the US don't have an iconostasis, or much decoration at the ones I've been to. They don't use prayers to the saints in the liturgy, and it seems to be the norm for the minister to celebrate versus populum. They also use instruments in their worship, even organs at particularly lucky parishes.

There are Byzantine-rite Lutherans in Ukraine, who I think use the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
 

Tzimis

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Eamonomae said:
platypus said:
Eamonomae said:
Pope Francis thinks he has the Holy Spirit. The ELCA lesbian bishop thinks she has the Holy Spirit. The Muslims think they have God's Spirit.  How do I know that my own beliefs are of the Holy Spirit and not of Satan?

You can't.
You can't prove, but you can know. We can't even prove that our senses are reliable, or that the world around us exists. Even Ayn Rand couldn't do that. My little brother could be a figment of my imagination. And I can't prove otherwise, but I know him.
How does one "know" you have the Holy Spirit? The Saints, who in different denominations, by and large as an aggregate whole in each denomination, have distinct spiritualities? And who contradict one another within the same denomination (After all, it's clear that St. Bernard had a much different view of Christianity than St. Francis; Pope Saint Pius X is a much different character than Pope "Saint" John Paul II). But even if you use the Saints as a proxy, how do you know that circumstances have substantively changed such that their lives are applicable to your own? After all, Saint Benedict broke into a Temple of Apollo and converted it to a Church to Saint John the Theologian, yet many of us will be scolded by our fellow Church members today if we stole Hindu temples by brute force. St. Robert Bellarmine oversaw the burning of Bruno for his apostasy - should we therefore try to get person-burning back into legislative force?

For all you know, all your "knowledge" regarding Spiritual practice could all be just that dreaded devil of Descartes, who is deceiving every single one of your phenomenon such that you will burn for all eternity. After all, for the Orthodox, the Charismatics are in that same exact situation, (which I agree with - but I don't know whether I can trust myself in agreeing with it).
Read st Palamas. What you are describing is at the core of the argument with Barlaam.
 
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