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Originally posted on this thread:  Orthodox Denominationalism?  -PtA


<the rule of one bishop per city is the canonical norm, which makes the situation of parallel jurisdictions in North America a violation of Holy Tradition.> 
Now this I agree with but if the local bishop, say of Denver disdains Holy Tradition, then what?  Move to another town?  Come on - spiritual unity yes - but not at the cost of Holy Tradition.
 

Ebor

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observer said:
Now this I agree with but if the local bishop, say of Denver disdains Holy Tradition, then what?  Move to another town?  Come on - spiritual unity yes - but not at the cost of Holy Tradition.
Is it necessarily the case that the theoretical "local bishop, say of Denver" is disdaining Holy Tradition if another person doesn't like something he's said or done?  Why would ones personal judgement/opinion always be accurate for discerning this and thus justify going to another jurisdiction that the person likes/thinks has things "right"?

Ebor
 

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<Why would ones personal judgement/opinion always be accurate for discerning this and thus justify going to another jurisdiction that the person likes/thinks has things "right"?>

Could this not apply to the Anglican Church?  Why does one's personal opinion count contra homosexuality/feminism or was St Maximos the Confessor (admittedly a saint) voicing his personal opinion too?  The reality is that our Orthodoxy, through modernism is losing Holy Tradition. You may not agree but that's your opinion too.
 

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observer said:
<Why would ones personal judgement/opinion always be accurate for discerning this and thus justify going to another jurisdiction that the person likes/thinks has things "right"?>

Could this not apply to the Anglican Church?  Why does one's personal opinion count contra homosexuality/feminism or was St Maximos the Confessor (admittedly a saint) voicing his personal opinion too?  The reality is that our Orthodoxy, through modernism is losing Holy Tradition. You may not agree but that's your opinion too.
I'm not clear as to whether "your opinion" refers to me personally (in which you don't know what I think, I would suggest, except by what I have written here) or that you intend it to apply to the Anglican Church in general.  Would you please clarify what you mean?  Perhaps I am being a bit thick.

Perhaps I was being a bit too ummm circumspect.  In the years I have been reading/participating in on-line religious fora I have seen a number of cases where a person has declared that a hierarch/priest/jurisdiction/Church is wrong about something and gone to another. This has not been only EO I assure you, but persons in other Churches as well  In some cases the person has not stopped there, but repeated the process, sometimes more then once.  They have continued to decide that they know the Right way of things and therefore it is proper for them to judge where they have been and decide on another to join.

It can be a common problem with human beings that personal likes are sometimes raised to the level of universal truth when, in fact, the individual might be the one in error.  So my question is about such a person and whether he/she is right about something or could their pride and self be getting in the way of seeing that they might be mistaken. 

There have been some things written, with some humour involved, on this by EO that I would have to find the links for again.  But I recall one about a young male convert who *knows* the Only Right and Correct Way(tm) for things to be and tries to dictate to the priest and people who have been EO for many years/were born and raised EO and then goes off to find another group that *he* says is the real Church while the one he was originally with is not.

I hope that clarifies what I was trying to get across.  :)

Ebor
 

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Ebor said:
It can be a common problem with human beings that personal likes are sometimes raised to the level of universal truth when, in fact, the individual might be the one in error. 
Or raised to the level of Divine intention; which is a kind of idolatry. Suddenly, one's decisions to become Orthodox, Catholic or whatever becomes God's divine wish; as if any other path would lead to certain damnation. And so God has orchestrated an exclusive revelation to ensure one's salvation; whilst leaving millions of others on a journey that will take them straight to the depths of hell. Of course, I'm generalising fantastically, but I must say that I have personally lost count of the people I have met who believe themselves, and themselves alone, to be guided by the Holy Spirit; sometimes in ways I personally consider most bizarre.

So my question is about such a person and whether he/she is right about something or could their pride and self be getting in the way of seeing that they might be mistaken. 
I believe the chances that all of us are mistaken in some way are considerably high; we are human, after all. But, I believe that the genuine seeker is less concerned with "being right", and more concerned with being at peace; with God, with themselves and with others. 

There have been some things written, with some humour involved, on this by EO that I would have to find the links for again.  But I recall one about a young male convert who *knows* the Only Right and Correct Way(tm) for things to be and tries to dictate to the priest and people who have been EO for many years/were born and raised EO and then goes off to find another group that *he* says is the real Church while the one he was originally with is not.
I have met a few people like this. It's not easy being a convert, and when one is "on fire" with enthusism for their new faith, it's easy to fall into such a trap. It's probably something that those being catechised should be warned of, but all the talk of "true Church" and the like doesn't seem to be sufficiently balanced with the necessary cautions. Usually, though, it's a "glitch" in someone's personality and a tendancy to legalism that leads them so far into the realms of fanatism. IMHO, there is something very sad about this kind of situation that demands our sympathy and our prayer, because such a person really has a difficult time of it. Most of us are more fortunate, thanks be to God, in that we are too lazy (or pre-occupied, or whatever) to be fanatics and we settle into a routine that we are comfortable with, working on refining out the dross in a manner that best suits our personal makeup.  God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. :)

Lord, have mercy on us all.
 

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Riddikulus said:
I believe the chances that all of us are mistaken in some way are considerably high;
I'd say that its a dead certainty. We are, all of us, in prelest or delusion to some degree.
Once I realised this, the whole world suddenly made sense.
 

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ozgeorge said:
I'd say that its a dead certainty. We are, all of us, in prelest or delusion to some degree.
Once I realised this, the whole world suddenly made sense.
Well, you are braver than I to state so categorically that we are all deluded; though I totally agree with you!  :laugh:  And doesn't acknowledging that fact, make life a lot easier!!!  ;D
 

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Riddikulus said:
Well, you are braver than I to state so categorically that we are all deluded; though I totally agree with you!  :laugh:  And doesn't acknowledging that fact, make life a lot easier!!!  ;D
Actually, this is a Spiritual Teaching of the Orthodox Church. Prelest (Gk: Plani) or "spiritual delusion" is part of our fallen nature. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov writes:

"Spiritual deception is the wounding of human nature by falsehood. Spiritual deception is the state of all men without exception, and it has been made possible by the fall of our original parents. All of us are subject to spiritual deception. Awareness of this fact is the greatest protection against it. Likewise, the greatest spiritual deception of all is to consider oneself free from it. "
 

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ozgeorge said:
Just as a side note, I often think think there are remarkable similarities between our concept of prelest/plani and the the Hindu concept of "maya".
 

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ozgeorge said:
Thanks for that quote, ozgeorge, I was sure that I had read something on this topic somewhere, but the old memory isn't what it used to be. Forgive this "falling apart" sinner. ;D
 

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Riddikulus said:
Or raised to the level of Divine intention; which is a kind of idolatry. Suddenly, one's decisions to become Orthodox, Catholic or whatever becomes God's divine wish; as if any other path would lead to certain damnation. And so God has orchestrated an exclusive revelation to ensure one's salvation; whilst leaving millions of others on a journey that will take them straight to the depths of hell. Of course, I'm generalising fantastically, but I must say that I have personally lost count of the people I have met who believe themselves, and themselves alone, to be guided by the Holy Spirit; sometimes in ways I personally consider most bizarre.
Indeed, I have seen this kind of thing also. It can be a strong temptation to consider oneself "Special", to know things that other people do not.  This can lead to other problems of various kinds in dealing with others, or puffing oneself up or other things.  C. S. Lewis wrote about it, too.

I believe the chances that all of us are mistaken in some way are considerably high; we are human, after all.
I agree with you on this and I think that OzGeorge has set it out plainly and clearly. It is something that can be hard to remember about oneself; I try to keep it in my mind that my own likes, dislikes and preferences are not the Rule of the Universe (TM)(C)(pat.pend.)  ;) but it can be easy to forget.

But, I believe that the genuine seeker is less concerned with "being right", and more concerned with being at peace; with God, with themselves and with others. 
What then of the ones who seem to find no peace where they are but keep moving from one group to another while denoucing where they were?  What peace is there, one wonders.  :(

I have met a few people like this. It's not easy being a convert, and when one is "on fire" with enthusism for their new faith, it's easy to fall into such a trap. It's probably something that those being catechised should be warned of, but all the talk of "true Church" and the like doesn't seem to be sufficiently balanced with the necessary cautions. Usually, though, it's a "glitch" in someone's personality and a tendancy to legalism that leads them so far into the realms of fanatism. IMHO, there is something very sad about this kind of situation that demands our sympathy and our prayer, because such a person really has a difficult time of it.
It is sad and I've seen it happen enough times that it's like a horrible re-run with the same things going wrong just like the last X number of times with other people and one wants to shout "Stop!  Don't do it! Turn again and don't take that path."  It's very depressing to watch *another* possible spiritual train-wreck heading for the rocks because it's a person's life and heart and soul that's in danger.

Most of us are more fortunate, thanks be to God, in that we are too lazy (or pre-occupied, or whatever) to be fanatics and we settle into a routine that we are comfortable with, working on refining out the dross in a manner that best suits our personal makeup.  God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. :)
Well, I don't know about lazy or pre-occupied, but God created us all as unique individuals and declared His creation Good and I believe that He's working in all our lives, also.  :)

Lord, have mercy on us all.
Amen


Ebor
 

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ozgeorge said:
Just as a side note, I often think think there are remarkable similarities between our concept of prelest/plani and the the Hindu concept of "maya".
I don't know much about hinduism, except that I have seen ancient Celtic beliefs compared to that religious system; in quite a favourable light, in that it was a part of their paganism that made it possible for them to accept Christianity. Would you mind explaining what the concept of "maya" is?
 

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ozgeorge said:
Just as a side note, I often think think there are remarkable similarities between our concept of prelest/plani and the the Hindu concept of "maya".
Indeed, you may be on to something there.  "Maya" means "illusion", Riddikulus
 

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Ebor said:
What then of the ones who seem to find no peace where they are but keep moving from one group to another while denoucing where they were?  What peace is there, one wonders.  :(
I believe that this is where our prayer for them is helpful in some way, because we believe that God is merciful to their particular sickness no less than He is to ours. Perhaps, in the end, they reach a stage where they are finally exhausted from the need to be right and they can then rest in peace, relying on God's mercy. The alternative often seems to be despair, which is very sad to witness.  

It is sad and I've seen it happen enough times that it's like a horrible re-run with the same things going wrong just like the last X number of times with other people and one wants to shout "Stop!  Don't do it! Turn again and don't take that path."  It's very depressing to watch *another* possible spiritual train-wreck heading for the rocks because it's a person's life and heart and soul that's in danger.
Yes, it's difficult to watch.

Well, I don't know about lazy or pre-occupied, but God created us all as unique individuals and declared His creation Good and I believe that He's working in all our lives, also.  :)
Sorry, I was being a little tongue in cheek when I typed that. I should have made that clearer. I don't believe in a literal sense that it's laziness or pre-occupation (though the fanatic would probably disagree). I believe that somehow, in ways that I don't comprehend, that if we allow it, God uses what we are to work in our lives. Sometimes, it seems to me, we simply refuse to allow Him.
 

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Riddikulus said:
Would you mind explaining what the concept of "maya" is?
As you note, the hindu concept of "maya" means "illusion" and refers to our existence in this world. While it is probably close to the idea of Ecclesiatses: "Vanity of vanities and all is vanity", i.e., that this "passing world" is an illusion, the hindu philosophy of "maya" includes the idea that it places a "veil" over our eyes, preventing us from perceiving Transcendant Truth. One major difference is that hinduism accepts "maya" as neither true nor untrue, and as eminating from the Divine. Orthodoxy teaches that prelest/plani is untrue/false and is diabolical rather than Divine.
 
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