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Protestant Churches are Members of Body of Christ: Pope Tawadros

qawe

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I was going to resurrect this thread but I realised it was in the private forum: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,58210

"All the churches of the world that pray with the Creed are members of the Body of Christ"
- HH Pope Tawadros
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DPBvpikI-ok#t=332
 

qawe

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He still seems keen on fixing the date of the Resurrection to the 2nd/3rd Sunday in April.  :'( :'( :'(

Apparently HH also studies at a theological college in Vienna.  I assume that's an RC institution.
 

qawe

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It gets worse:
"All the churches of the world are churches - members of the Body of Christ.  All the churches of the world - that believe in Christ.  I can't come to a church and say, "No, you're not members".  Even if it has mistakes.  Even if there are mistakes present, the mistakes that are present in any place, they try to fix it, they look at us at what we are doing, we speak with them.  But every church ? [couldn't translate this bit].  And Christ taught us to love the sinner, but do not love the sin.  And on this basis, we love all the churches of the world...".  To be fair to HH, he immediately adds that we can still say that "we reject this teaching".  But that this does not affect the love that we share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DPBvpikI-ok#t=2640
 

mikeforjesus

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Anyone who says they know absolutely protestants will not be saved is not christian and will probably not be saved
On what authority?
Jesus said judge not that you be not judged
You can't even judge a non christian because they may have accepted christ to the ability they are able to comprehend.
 

TheTrisagion

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mikeforjesus said:
Anyone who says they know absolutely protestants will not be saved is not christian and will probably not be saved
On what authority?
Jesus said judge not that you be not judged
You can't even judge a non christian because they may have accepted christ to the ability they are able to comprehend
There is a difference between discussing salvation and discussing the Church. They are two different things. We can not say who will and will not be saved, but we can say: this is the Church. Protestant churches may be Christian, but that does not make them part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
mikeforjesus said:
Anyone who says they know absolutely protestants will not be saved is not christian and will probably not be saved
On what authority?
Jesus said judge not that you be not judged
You can't even judge a non christian because they may have accepted christ to the ability they are able to comprehend
There is a difference between discussing salvation and discussing the Church. They are two different things. We can not say who will and will not be saved, but we can say: this is the Church. Protestant churches may be Christian, but that does not make them part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Thanks TheTrisagion but I don't think qawe is as charitable as you because he is not interested in what is right
 

TheTrisagion

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mikeforjesus said:
TheTrisagion said:
mikeforjesus said:
Anyone who says they know absolutely protestants will not be saved is not christian and will probably not be saved
On what authority?
Jesus said judge not that you be not judged
You can't even judge a non christian because they may have accepted christ to the ability they are able to comprehend
There is a difference between discussing salvation and discussing the Church. They are two different things. We can not say who will and will not be saved, but we can say: this is the Church. Protestant churches may be Christian, but that does not make them part of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Thanks TheTrisagion but I don't think qawe is as charitable as you because he is not interested in what is right
I think qawe is interested in making the Church the best that it can be for Christ. In that, I find something very admirable. Perhaps the language that he uses is stronger than what we may be used to, but I am sure that he is motivated out of a desire to keep the Church pure and clean for our Lord.
 

minasoliman

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This isn't the first time.  In one of his earlier interviews, he did mention that all the churches are like beads on a string.  They're all different beads that are connected in one string.

One can ask the follow-up to His Holiness, if we're all members of Christ, can I go worship at a Baptist Church?  Once again, His Holiness is being clumsy in his answers.  The more interviews he does, the more it's clear he should not be doing interviews.
 

mikeforjesus

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I guess I could be wrong. I don't think it is according to the ability one can comprehend if they seeked truly they will find him if they do not have a disability but I guess we can not know if they have a disability or not.
Anyone who is seeking but obeys christs commandments is accepted by God for Jesus said the condemnation is that people chose the darkness rather than the light. Someone who knows he is wrong and does not convert is not a true seeker but protestants may or may not know God wants them to be orthodox but they may be true seekers. We know God leads people to christ through His word and gives them the peace in their decision for christ and strength but are we sure we can limit His leading to only orthodoxy? does He also give that peace and strength to be orthodox that they know they are pleasing God and feel the Spirit in their lives? The bible says the Spirit bears witness with ours that we are children of God
Unless their conscience tells them it is right that they should need to be baptised is it right to judge? it is the job of orthodox preachers to make it plain why it is right to need to be baptised. They think baptism is a proof of God's Lordship over your life not a requirement. David said let me understand the way of your commandments and I shall observe it with my whole heart.And the Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. Do they see it as perfect?


 

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minasoliman said:
This isn't the first time.  In one of his earlier interviews, he did mention that all the churches are like beads on a string.  They're all different beads that are connected in one string.

One can ask the follow-up to His Holiness, if we're all members of Christ, can I go worship at a Baptist Church?  Once again, His Holiness is being clumsy in his answers.  The more interviews he does, the more it's clear he should not be doing interviews.
So we have the Two Lungs Theory, the Bead Theory and Branch Theory. Any more theories we should be aware of?  :p
 

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TheTrisagion said:
minasoliman said:
This isn't the first time.  In one of his earlier interviews, he did mention that all the churches are like beads on a string.  They're all different beads that are connected in one string.

One can ask the follow-up to His Holiness, if we're all members of Christ, can I go worship at a Baptist Church?  Once again, His Holiness is being clumsy in his answers.  The more interviews he does, the more it's clear he should not be doing interviews.
So we have the Two Lungs Theory, the Bead Theory and Branch Theory. Any more theories we should be aware of?  :p
We also have the Many Mothers theory, courtesy of HH.  You don't go to non-Orthodox churches because they're not your mother.  But it's OK to visit other mothers occasionally for ecumenical activities.  No mention of the importance of having the correct faith.
 

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I change my mind. I do not have enough faith to fully accept protestants if that is what I was doing. How can you be useful to the world or the body of Christ if you are not a member of the body of Christ?  Unless protestants fully unite with orthodox they lack in their witness to the world. So though they may be saved I can not say for sure.
One Lord one faith one baptism.

 

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qawe said:
It gets worse:
"All the churches of the world are churches - members of the Body of Christ.  All the churches of the world - that believe in Christ.  I can't come to a church and say, "No, you're not members".  Even if it has mistakes.  Even if there are mistakes present, the mistakes that are present in any place, they try to fix it, they look at us at what we are doing, we speak with them.  But every church ? [couldn't translate this bit].  And Christ taught us to love the sinner, but do not love the sin.  And on this basis, we love all the churches of the world...".  To be fair to HH, he immediately adds that we can still say that "we reject this teaching".  But that this does not affect the love that we share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DPBvpikI-ok#t=2640
The above answer by HH was given in response to this question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=DPBvpikI-ok#t=1845

I think the female interviewer is more Orthodox than the Pope LOL.  Can we make her the Pope instead?

I'm serious btw (not about the Pope bit ;)).  All Arabic speakers should watch her.  Her theology is impeccable.
 

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Mike, no one is discussing whether protestants are Christians, or whether they are in some way members of the Body of Christ. That is a different topic.

This issue here is whether we can say Protestant institutions, their churches are parts of the church. A totally different topic.

I can see a good Baptist who knows nothing but Protestantism and feel they are more pleasing to Christ than me, and trust that He accepts them as in some way united to Himself by their desire, though they have been deceived and do not know they need Baptism to be properly united.

But I cannot look at "harmony Baptist church" or the convention of southern Baptists, and say that this is a part of the Church. It just isn't, it's a human institution formed by people who don't know what the church is.

Bad enough to think you can have a parish that is part of the church without baptism or Eucharist or priesthood. But the biggest issue here ks that HH doesnt seem to understand that the Church is not an institution with branches, departments, parts. The Coptic church and the Ethiopian church are not too parts of the bigger global church. Rather, each local church centered around a bishop is the whole Catholic Church, complete. The Catholic church is all believers I'm all times and places united on Communion with Christ. This reality is manifest in local times and places. It is not an institution with parts. And certainly groups calling themselves churches but not having Eucharist cannot be manifestations of this Communion.

It seems that western ecclesiology is taken for granted, with no knowledge of orthodox ecclesiology. And even then the western ecclesiology is used sloppily, without any careful consideration. 
 

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Thanks Jonathan. I appreciate your reply :)

My dad always says who am I to accept or not accept protestants and he says it very angrily. Whether you accept or not accept them cannot influence them to be saved or not. He also said once judging them can stumble them in their faith and give up christianity altogether which seems contradictory. But I told him it is a contradiction and I cant teach people are saved when I do not know and then he apologised and admitted he was wrong. He said again whether you accept or not accept them cannot influence them to be saved or not.

Is it possible to be sincere in your belief of heresy if you are a seeker and be saved by that? if not why did the church which Jesus promised the gates of hades will not prevail over it for a time believe in heresy before the councils addressed them. What if one was to die before the councils exposed it and he was sincere? is he blamed for not finding the truth himself? does this not mean then that the gates of hades does not prevail over the believer rather than the church?
 

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Also as long as one does not personally believe in heresy though he is still part of another church for reasons God alone will judge he may be saved but he won't be a good witness I think that is the love of Jesus and as displayed by paul to the corinthians and the other churches he preached to. Not all are required to witness to the whole truth but only required to witness to others their own acceptance of the gospel
 

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I personally liked the Latin view in the document Dominus Iesus.  They basically argued that only those churches united to Rome are Churches in the true sense.  But all who profess the same creed and basic trinitarian beliefs (even if there is some disagreement on the specifics) are still churches.  Now obviously I reject the "united to Rome" part but I think the argument still holds.  We would say only those who are in full communion with each other are part of the Body of Christ or are true Churches.  But I have no problem saying any other christian community is a church in some sense.  Dominus Iesus also expressed that some Truth can be found in other Christian churches albeit so long as it agrees with the Church.  This, of course, is merely logical as if Bob and Sally disagree on everything else except that 2+2=4 then this does not mean that it is only true for one of them.  Truth is truth no matter where it is expressed.

It does seem like HH is taking this way too far and while I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt his past remarks do seem to point to a belief in denominationalism.
 

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mikeforjesus said:
Also as long as one does not personally believe in heresy though he is still part of another church for reasons God alone will judge he may be saved but he won't be a good witness I think that is the love of Jesus and as displayed by paul to the corinthians and the other churches he preached to. Not all are required to witness to the whole truth but only required to witness to others their own acceptance of the gospel
You are speaking of the difference between heresy and heterodoxy, something far too many people forget.  I also know that there is a command in scripture to not judge those outside the community, that is God's job. In other words we are not to put our rules and punishments on those who are not Orthodox.  While we may disagree with them and, when asked, tell them that we think that what they are doing is wrong we are not to condemn them or demand penance from them.  It is truly between them and God.
 

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homedad76 said:
I personally liked the Latin view in the document Dominus Iesus.  They basically argued that only those churches united to Rome are Churches in the true sense.  But all who profess the same creed and basic trinitarian beliefs (even if there is some disagreement on the specifics) are still churches. 
Actually, the argument is more nuanced, given that the document considers the Orthodox Churches "true, particular Churches" even without communion with Rome, while the Protestant denominations are not called Churches at all, but rather "ecclesial communities" (in other words, a nice way of saying "not a Church"), yet all of these "profess the same creed and basic trinitarian beliefs". 
 

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Ooooooyyyyyy, if this is the case, then what would stop any of your youth from leaving the church? I love his holiness but strongly disagree with him, we need to fix our ecclesiology!
Also, in a q&a session with the youth last week, a question was asked about what we believe regarding theosis. H.H said that we don't become gods and remain man, so it seems we still have the wrong definition of theosis floating around in our churches. This too needs to be fixed.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Tonedawg said:
H.H said that we don't become gods
Tell that to Christ.
Apparently a lot of our beloved bishops think that theosis teaches that man becomes "God" in nature, or that he partakes of the essence of God.
 

minasoliman

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Fr. Peter's response to this:

http://www.stgeorgeministry.com/?p=197
 
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Just a question so forgive me all the Coptic brothers and sisters here but wasn't the last Pope Shouneda big on Interfaith prayer & dialouge, and Ecumenism so why is it a big deal now with this Pope Twados saying this?

forgive any spelling i'm on my phone
 

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minasoliman said:
Fr. Peter's response to this:

http://www.stgeorgeministry.com/?p=197
I asked fr peter if he wrote this in response to H.H., and he said that he had not heard H.H.'s answer. This is not a response to that. He wrote it primarily to counter some hardline EO (who are not representative of EO) claiming that theosis means their saints become uncircumscript and onoriginiate. I.e. he wrote it assuming theosis is a fundamental teaching of the church on both sides of the split, and countering EO who say we don't believe it. It was not engaging in any internal debate about whether we believe in theosis.
 

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I hope this is a bad translation or just a poorly articulated attempt at...I don't know what.  I hope and pray my Pope is not a heretic who believes that Protestants are part of the Church.
 

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My translation is word for word.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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qawe said:
My translation is word for word.
Lord, have mercy.  The Protestant "churches" are absolutely not a part of the Universal Church.  Anyone who teaches otherwise is a heretic.  Hopefully, His Holiness will clarify his statement.  I am hoping that he meant something along the lines of what Jonathan articulated about individual Protestants vs. Protestant institutions.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
minasoliman said:
This isn't the first time.  In one of his earlier interviews, he did mention that all the churches are like beads on a string.  They're all different beads that are connected in one string.

One can ask the follow-up to His Holiness, if we're all members of Christ, can I go worship at a Baptist Church?  Once again, His Holiness is being clumsy in his answers.  The more interviews he does, the more it's clear he should not be doing interviews.
So we have the Two Lungs Theory, the Bead Theory and Branch Theory. Any more theories we should be aware of?  :p
The notes of the musical scale theory?

Let's say your church is middle C; other churches that are more similar to yours in terms of doctrine are represented by notes that form consonant intervals with middle C. Churches very dissimilar from yours form dissonant intervals. If the EO are middle C (C4), then the Old Calendarists are C3 and the OO are C5. Whereas ACOTE is G4 (a perfect fifth being still consonant but less so than an octave), Rome is F4 (less consonant still), traditional Anglicans E4, and low-church Protestant groups are F#4 (i.e, a tritone, which is dissonant) and ultra-liberal Episcopalians are C#4 (a semitone, which is also dissonant). Note, this is all tongue-in-cheek, I'm not seriously advocating this idea.

At least it's more realistic than the two lungs theory since it acknowledges that there are irreconcilable differences (i. e., dissonances) between some churches and that this is a bad thing, rather than just claiming that it's a good thing to disagree because it makes us complement each other, or whatever the advocates of the two-lungs and bead theories like to say.
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
My translation is word for word.
Lord, have mercy.  The Protestant "churches" are absolutely not a part of the Universal Church.  Anyone who teaches otherwise is a heretic.  Hopefully, His Holiness will clarify his statement.  I am hoping that he meant something along the lines of what Jonathan articulated about individual Protestants vs. Protestant institutions.
I think H.H is trying to be a bit PC here! He has said multiple times in older interviews that they do teach things contrary to what we believe. I also don't think we should be throwing out the word heretic with such ease.
 

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Tonedawg said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
My translation is word for word.
Lord, have mercy.  The Protestant "churches" are absolutely not a part of the Universal Church.  Anyone who teaches otherwise is a heretic.  Hopefully, His Holiness will clarify his statement.  I am hoping that he meant something along the lines of what Jonathan articulated about individual Protestants vs. Protestant institutions.
I think H.H is trying to be a bit PC here! He has said multiple times in older interviews that they do teach things contrary to what we believe. I also don't think we should be throwing out the word heretic with such ease.
I don't use the word heretic easily or lightly.  If someone within the Orthodox Church is teaching that the Protestant "churches" are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, they are literally a heretic in the most literal sense of the term.  They are choosing a different teaching.  I truly hope that this is not what His Holiness is teaching and that he is just articulating himself poorly here.  Saying that the Protestants "teach things contrary to what we believe" but "they are still a part of the Church" is heresy.  Period.  There is no debate.
 

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Some polemics were split off and put in the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,66756.msg1347632.html#msg1347632


If you want access to the private forum, please pm Fr. George.
 

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Tonedawg said:
Also, in a q&a session with the youth last week, a question was asked about what we believe regarding theosis. H.H said that we don't become gods and remain man, so it seems we still have the wrong definition of theosis floating around in our churches. This too needs to be fixed.
Now this I am willing to give a more generous interpretation to. Literally speaking, HH is correct in that our ousia does not transmutate into the ousia of the Godhead. When talking about Theosis it is important to draw the distinction between the essence and energies of God as exposited by the Cappadocians.

EDIT: @wgw, yes I am supporting the Cappadocian position.
 

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Severian said:
Tonedawg said:
Also, in a q&a session with the youth last week, a question was asked about what we believe regarding theosis. H.H said that we don't become gods and remain man, so it seems we still have the wrong definition of theosis floating around in our churches. This too needs to be fixed.
Now this I am willing to give a more generous interpretation to. Literally speaking, HH is correct in that our ousia does not transmutate into the ousia of the Godhead. When talking about Theosis it is important to draw the distinction between the essence and energies of God as exposited by the Cappadocians.
By this I assume you are supporting the Cappadocian position?  If so, I agree entirely.
 

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If it's of any consolation, our far more learned and educated Byzantine counterparts also have prominent Hierarchs and theologians with a fuzzy ecclesiology. This includes the EP and Met. Kallistos:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27313.msg429933.html#msg429933

There, I said it. The EO are much more theologically versed than we are. In fact, we are decades behind them in this regard.
 
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