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"Protestantism is heresy"?

qawe

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Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
 

qawe

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Just to clarify, my question is specifically about the word 'heresy' and whether it is applicable to Protestantism?

I believe it is, but I wonder whether there are any (Orthodox) liberals who might have a clever argument around this.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
 

sakura95

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qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I can't say for sure with regards to it as a whole but I can quite confidently say that Reformed Protestantism is heretical given its uncanny resemblance to Gnosticism, embrace of Iconoclasm and Monothelitism  + Monergism given their monergism. At least the Lutherans are able to maintain some sense of synergism in their overall soteriology.
 

qawe

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Antonious Nikolas said:
I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.
That's why I said that "Protestantism is heresy", not "Protestants are heretics".

Antonious Nikolas said:
Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
Thank you.  This is the sort of thing I was looking for.  I think that's ridiculous though as I've read several respected Orthodox writers who use the word heretical in respect to things never considered by Ecumenical Councils (e.g. Fr Alexander Schmemann, Christos Yannaras).
 

genesisone

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Antonious Nikolas said:
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
You have stated this very well. I am thankful that it is not my responsibility to condemn individual Protestants as heretics - they are people who hold ideas that I (and the Church) consider heretical. For this reason, I'm glad that many of our prayer books include in the intercessions a phrase along the lines of "...speedily undo and root out the growths of heresies, and bring them to naught by the power of yhour Holy Spirit."
 

Kmon23

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sakura95 said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I can't say for sure with regards to it as a whole but I can quite confidently say that Reformed Protestantism is heretical given its uncanny resemblance to Gnosticism, embrace of Iconoclasm and Monothelitism  + Monergism given their monergism. At least the Lutherans are able to maintain some sense of synergism in their overall soteriology.
In what ways does it resemble Gnosticism?
 

sakura95

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Kmon23 said:
sakura95 said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I can't say for sure with regards to it as a whole but I can quite confidently say that Reformed Protestantism is heretical given its uncanny resemblance to Gnosticism, embrace of Iconoclasm and Monothelitism  + Monergism given their monergism. At least the Lutherans are able to maintain some sense of synergism in their overall soteriology.
In what ways does it resemble Gnosticism?
Gnosticism and Calvinism both affirm predestination(God selecting who would be saved and who would be damned) and denial of libertarian free will.
 

wgw

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sakura95 said:
Kmon23 said:
sakura95 said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I can't say for sure with regards to it as a whole but I can quite confidently say that Reformed Protestantism is heretical given its uncanny resemblance to Gnosticism, embrace of Iconoclasm and Monothelitism  + Monergism given their monergism. At least the Lutherans are able to maintain some sense of synergism in their overall soteriology.
In what ways does it resemble Gnosticism?
Gnosticism and Calvinism both affirm predestination(God selecting who would be saved and who would be damned) and denial of libertarian free will.
Those are attributes only of some Gnostics.  The essential Gnostic beliefs are spirits trapped in evil matter, a system of divine emanations, and the possibility of escaping the material world usually through esoteric rites or secret knowledge.  However, I dont know of any that believed in anything like Calvinist double predestination; the Spiritual beings for example in Valentinian Gnosticism who had the opportunity to escape the flesh still had to act on that desire through a positive choice...it seems a bit closer to some Evangelists to me frankly.
 

sakura95

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wgw said:
sakura95 said:
Kmon23 said:
sakura95 said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I can't say for sure with regards to it as a whole but I can quite confidently say that Reformed Protestantism is heretical given its uncanny resemblance to Gnosticism, embrace of Iconoclasm and Monothelitism  + Monergism given their monergism. At least the Lutherans are able to maintain some sense of synergism in their overall soteriology.
In what ways does it resemble Gnosticism?
Gnosticism and Calvinism both affirm predestination(God selecting who would be saved and who would be damned) and denial of libertarian free will.
Those are attributes only of some Gnostics.  The essential Gnostic beliefs are spirits trapped in evil matter, a system of divine emanations, and the possibility of escaping the material world usually through esoteric rites or secret knowledge.  However, I dont know of any that believed in anything like Calvinist double predestination; the Spiritual beings for example in Valentinian Gnosticism who had the opportunity to escape the flesh still had to act on that desire through a positive choice...it seems a bit closer to some Evangelists to me frankly.
Yeah I suppose so though the point still stands, that is Calvinism does have similarities with Gnosticism, the schools that deny free will of course. There are also Docetists amongst the Gnostics and thus, it can be argued that Iconoclasm would give some implication of docetism, alongside removing the actual presence of Christ in the Eucharistic elements(Bread and Wine becomes the Body and Blood of Christ). But I guess more importantly is that we need to be clear that Calvinism is not like Gnosticism in general but does have agreements with certain teachings of it, particularly with aspects which the Church Fathers would go against.
 

podkarpatska

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Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
I have to counter that this is a misuse of the term 'liberal'. I've heard that argument many times from converts from various Protestant sects who are here because of the inherent theological conservatism of Orthodoxy and who would probably get into an altercation with anyone applying the term 'liberal' to their analysis.

I agree with the comment about Protestantism being a collection of various heresies - some old and condemned, others in 'new wrapping' but old none the less and some truly inventive new ones which really don't need to officially anathematized to be recognized as contrary to Patristic teaching and basic Orthodox catechism.

Anyway, i don't think that the common meaning of either 'liberal' or 'conservative' these days really applies to Orthodox writers, teachers and thinkers in the first place. All within the Church maintain rather consistent views, generally speaking, of Orthodoxy - some take a more expansive view of some matters (ecumenical matters comes to mind) while others are very rigid.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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podkarpatska said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
I have to counter that this is a misuse of the term 'liberal'. I've heard that argument many times from converts from various Protestant sects who are here because of the inherent theological conservatism of Orthodoxy and who would probably get into an altercation with anyone applying the term 'liberal' to their analysis.

I agree with the comment about Protestantism being a collection of various heresies - some old and condemned, others in 'new wrapping' but old none the less and some truly inventive new ones which really don't need to officially anathematized to be recognized as contrary to Patristic teaching and basic Orthodox catechism.

Anyway, i don't think that the common meaning of either 'liberal' or 'conservative' these days really applies to Orthodox writers, teachers and thinkers in the first place. All within the Church maintain rather consistent views, generally speaking, of Orthodoxy - some take a more expansive view of some matters (ecumenical matters comes to mind) while others are very rigid.
I'm trying to understand what specifically about my use of the term you're objecting to, podkar.  It seems we apparently agree on what Protestantism is (a collection of heresies) and we also apparently agree that those individual communicants of the Orthodox Church who try to undermine that fact by advancing the bolded argument above (i.e. Charismania, for example, is not a heresy because it wasn't condemned in an Ecumenical Council) are off-base.  So far so good.  If you wouldn't characterize those who do so as being theologically liberal, how would you characterize them?  I would reject as false the characterization of them merely having an "expansive view" of things that is still acceptable within an Orthodox framework.
 

podkarpatska

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Antonious Nikolas said:
podkarpatska said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
I have to counter that this is a misuse of the term 'liberal'. I've heard that argument many times from converts from various Protestant sects who are here because of the inherent theological conservatism of Orthodoxy and who would probably get into an altercation with anyone applying the term 'liberal' to their analysis.

I agree with the comment about Protestantism being a collection of various heresies - some old and condemned, others in 'new wrapping' but old none the less and some truly inventive new ones which really don't need to officially anathematized to be recognized as contrary to Patristic teaching and basic Orthodox catechism.

Anyway, i don't think that the common meaning of either 'liberal' or 'conservative' these days really applies to Orthodox writers, teachers and thinkers in the first place. All within the Church maintain rather consistent views, generally speaking, of Orthodoxy - some take a more expansive view of some matters (ecumenical matters comes to mind) while others are very rigid.
I'm trying to understand what specifically about my use of the term you're objecting to, podkar.  It seems we apparently agree on what Protestantism is (a collection of heresies) and we also apparently agree that those individual communicants of the Orthodox Church who try to undermine that fact by advancing the bolded argument above (i.e. Charismania, for example, is not a heresy because it wasn't condemned in an Ecumenical Council) are off-base.  So far so good.  If you wouldn't characterize those who do so as being theologically liberal, how would you characterize them?  I would reject as false the characterization of them merely having an "expansive view" of things that is still acceptable within an Orthodox framework.
In a pre-modern era I would agree with you, but the terms liberal and conservative have been redefined by American politics that they are hot button buzz words to many today. And in reality, there are not many credible Orthodox writers taking a 'liberal' approach in that modern context which is so politicized that the words are relatively meaningless outside of the hurly burly context of the twenty four hour news cycle. That's my point.
 

AntoniousNikolas

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podkarpatska said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
podkarpatska said:
Antonious Nikolas said:
qawe said:
Hi all,

I believe that "Protestantism is heresy".

I know that's extremely politically incorrect, but is it theologically incorrect?

Are there any educated Orthodox who would contest this statement?
I agree with you in principle, but I think it might be more accurate to define Protestantism as a "collection of heresies" per Belloc: http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/HERESY6.TXT

I think the way "clever" Orthodox liberals might try to circumvent this reality is to lean on the idea that strictly speaking a heretic is one who diverges from the true Church, and that since Protestantism was an offshoot of Catholicism and not Orthodoxy (the Church) it doesn't technically qualify.  Nevertheless, there is no disputing the fact that a variety of teachings which fall under the broad heading of Protestantism (from Calvin's conception of God to the Rapture to the satanic farce of Charismatism) are manifestly heretical.  Some Orthodox liberals I've encountered like to point out that since the Church never condemned some of these teachings in an Ecumenical Council, however, that we have to play agnostic on them.
I have to counter that this is a misuse of the term 'liberal'. I've heard that argument many times from converts from various Protestant sects who are here because of the inherent theological conservatism of Orthodoxy and who would probably get into an altercation with anyone applying the term 'liberal' to their analysis.

I agree with the comment about Protestantism being a collection of various heresies - some old and condemned, others in 'new wrapping' but old none the less and some truly inventive new ones which really don't need to officially anathematized to be recognized as contrary to Patristic teaching and basic Orthodox catechism.

Anyway, i don't think that the common meaning of either 'liberal' or 'conservative' these days really applies to Orthodox writers, teachers and thinkers in the first place. All within the Church maintain rather consistent views, generally speaking, of Orthodoxy - some take a more expansive view of some matters (ecumenical matters comes to mind) while others are very rigid.
I'm trying to understand what specifically about my use of the term you're objecting to, podkar.  It seems we apparently agree on what Protestantism is (a collection of heresies) and we also apparently agree that those individual communicants of the Orthodox Church who try to undermine that fact by advancing the bolded argument above (i.e. Charismania, for example, is not a heresy because it wasn't condemned in an Ecumenical Council) are off-base.  So far so good.  If you wouldn't characterize those who do so as being theologically liberal, how would you characterize them?  I would reject as false the characterization of them merely having an "expansive view" of things that is still acceptable within an Orthodox framework.
In a pre-modern era I would agree with you, but the terms liberal and conservative have been redefined by American politics that they are hot button buzz words to many today. And in reality, there are not many credible Orthodox writers taking a 'liberal' approach in that modern context which is so politicized that the words are relatively meaningless outside of the hurly burly context of the twenty four hour news cycle. That's my point.
On that score, I also think we agree.
 
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