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Theological hot takes that can get you in trouble with your fellow brethren

Michael Seraphim

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I believe in The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

Orthodoxy is not a denomination, denominations are by definition not Catholic.

The Orthodox Catholic Church is the only Church.

I don't recognize the legitimacy of other "churches". Rather, I think they are all heretical and/or schismatic congregations.

I believe to give legitimacy to these churches undermines Christianity.


My viewpoint on this would be incredibly offensive to just about anyone I know who considers themself Christian but isn't orthodox.

I still pray that those who are sincere and pious lovers of Christ who have found themselves in these churches may perhaps in the afterlife be united to the church. I'd even say the same about the pure hearted who never knew Christ. God only knows how all that works.
This is inaccurate brother. Heresy is specifically deviation from the Orthodox Faith and schism is separation due to non-Doctrinal causes. Other than heresy and schism there is heterodoxy. Most non-Orthodox cannot be included in the category of schism, because they were never part of the Church in the first place
 

Faith Romancer

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6) Wandile has a fixation/obsession with Orthodoxy. It troubles his conscience and makes him doubt. This is why he must go trolling at times, which he does on Orthodox Twitter as well. He's trying to reassure himself that all is well with the papal system, but his confidence is shaken.

7) Wandile will become Orthodox. ☦ :cool:

8) I actually happen to like Wandile and pray often for his conversion.
Friend, I would be careful about teasing someone about their doubts and eventual conversion. I too have had a troubled conscience regarding the validity of other faiths and philosophies, some of which could be potentially harmful if true. People for example want to belittle others for having made them feel low and stirring suicidal tendencies in them, all the while fighting to resist the desire to take their own lives. Having a troubled conscience does not always mean the other religion making you doubt is true, as some of this could be oppression from the enemy or psychological problems with scrupulosity, low self-esteem, and other health disorders. I've struggled with all of them at some point, so it is hard for me to say what 'following your conscience' really means or has to offer most of the time.
 

PorphyriosK

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Friend, I would be careful about teasing someone about their doubts and eventual conversion. I too have had a troubled conscience regarding the validity of other faiths and philosophies, some of which could be potentially harmful if true. People for example want to belittle others for having made them feel low and stirring suicidal tendencies in them, all the while fighting to resist the desire to take their own lives. Having a troubled conscience does not always mean the other religion making you doubt is true, as some of this could be oppression from the enemy or psychological problems with scrupulosity, low self-esteem, and other health disorders. I've struggled with all of them at some point, so it is hard for me to say what 'following your conscience' really means or has to offer most of the time.
Trust me "friend", Wandile can take care of himself and deserves to be teased.
To some fragile soul I would not speak thusly.
 

Thetruthisgod

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This is inaccurate brother. Heresy is specifically deviation from the Orthodox Faith and schism is separation due to non-Doctrinal causes. Other than heresy and schism there is heterodoxy. Most non-Orthodox cannot be included in the category of schism, because they were never part of the Church in the first place

Not really sure how this would change what I said.
 

Asteriktos

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Christianity has never truly been an evangelistic religion, at least in the way that it is generally thought to be.

In brief... There have always been missionaries, but traditionally* they tended to be the exception rather than the rule, and often the missionary work was wrapped up together with non-religious motivations (nationalism, money, personal, etc.) In the first centuries (starting from Acts) it was often persecution that drove evangelism, causing Christians to spread out, such that Christianity got shared not because people had a burning desire to take it to new places but simply because people ended up in new places to save their lives. Martyrdom was more of a 'seed of faith' in strengthening it among Christians, less so actually promoting the religion. By the time Christianity had become somewhat solidified in the Roman world (c. 400) Christians considered their religion to have reached the ends of the earth, with Christians having already fulfilled Christ's command to go and preach to all nations/peoples. I think part of it was because 'the world' was associated with 'the Roman world' so often, and the peoples on the fringe of their understanding (most of Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, etc.) were 'out of sight, out of mind.'


*for the first millennium at least; as time went on, among Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants there ended up being a diversity of approaches and motivations depending on which Local Church, denomination, religious order, or particular leader was making the decisions
 

Ariend

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1. Ethnocentrism is killing the Church, and it is the biggest problem the Church is facing today (moreso than the current Schism). All parishes and monasteries need to immediately start having services using the language of the country they reside in (for example, all Greek Orthodox monasteries in America need to start using English in their services instead of Greek).
2. The New Calendar is uncanonical. All autocephalous Orthodox Churches should switch back to the Old Calendar, for the sake of liturgical unity (which is now more important than ever since people travel now more than ever in the Church's history).
3. American laypeople should immediately get rid of any mindset that they belong to one jurisdiction, or that they have a specific "Mother Church" (other than the Orthodox Church of course). They should pray for all bishops that have jurisdiction over where they live, not just the bishop of the jurisdiction of the parish they attend.
4. It is likely that the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Church will enter into communion with one another within the next decade. If this is so, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will probably lose a lot of its parishes (and definitely lose the vast majority of the monasteries in America) to canonical Orthodox Churches.
5. I don't believe the book of Genesis (up until the story of Abraham) is to be taken literally.
6. The question of whether or not toll houses exist doesn't matter. What matters is our repentance before we die.
7. The question of whether or not women should veil is of extreme unimportance.
8. We should follow the example set by Saint Nicholas Papas of Athens. We should not hesitate to criticize the actions of our bishops if they are doing something wrong. However, we should never become schismatic from the entire Orthodox Church because of the actions of a few bishops.
9. The Holy Fire is most likely a fake miracle.
10. We desperately need an 8th Ecumenical Council. But this won't happen.
11. On a lighter note, I think Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas should be canonized :D

Dang this was a lot longer than I thought it would be...
 

Serge

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Good thread.

What gets me in hot water with my brethren, who online outside of this board are conservative Catholics on Facebook:

  • The Orthodox are the standard for the Byzantine Rite. I'm serious about liturgical and devotional delatinization.
  • Eastern Catholic churches are not perfect and we don't have to pretend they are. I am not trying to use them to replace the Orthodox.
  • What needs doing is explaining all of Catholic doctrine only in Orthodox terms. I don't claim to know how. I know the Orthodox believe it's impossible. Of course the seven councils, all of Orthodox defined doctrine, are Catholic doctrine.
  • I am not trying to individually convert or split the Orthodox.
  • No Vespers at our parishes? Great! I get to worship with the Orthodox!
  • My goals regarding all this: reconciliation all around and leave the rite alone.
  • Some Eastern Catholic churches as such would go out of business, folded into their mother churches. For example, eventually there would be only one Byzantine patriarch of Antioch. The Ukrainian Catholics would remain; they're their own thing. Independent of Constantinople and definitely not under Moscow.
  • The de facto legitimate church authority in the Ukraine outside of the Ukrainian Catholics' Galician homeland is... the UOC-MP. Metropolitan Onuphry.
  • If you try to pressure Eastern Catholics to use the rosary or another Latin devotion "because Our Lady ordered it" (ignorance about doctrine: private revelation is not required belief, and all devotions are optional) and "it's for ALL Christians," I'll unfollow you.
  • The rosary is not bad but it's really a substitute for the psalter for the illiterate.
  • The psalms and canticles I use in English are Anglican, from the old Book of Common Prayer. My roots.

Believe it or not, some Catholics think I'm risking hellfire with my beliefs and practices.
 

Thetruthisgod

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1. All parishes and monasteries need to immediately start having services using the language of the country they reside in (for example, all Greek Orthodox monasteries in America need to start using English in their services instead of Greek).
In the case of the Greek monasteries, I don't see that as happening any time soon. There is idea among those in charge of these things that they have to preserve the language which is under attack.

That said, there are a lot of monks with English as their first language who don't really understand the things they read out loud in churchor during trapeza! I think that is a travesty.
 

Serge

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Aren't a good number of Greeks in America, for example, just passing through, hoping to go home with a fortune earned in the New World? Nothing wrong with that. In that case, keeping Greek in church makes sense. Even though liturgical Greek is medieval Greek, not modern. It's like French executives in America with their French-speaking schools for their kids, meeting French government standards. Or American military bases around the world having their own American-style schools.

[Fr. Seraphim Rose] did perhaps more than anyone ever to bring Orthodoxy to the faithful of North America, and is probably the reason why Orthodoxy isn't just seen as that funny-looking church with all those immigrants on the other side of town.
Big in that but not as much as the Antiochians reaching beyond their ethnic border. All of the Orthodox churches in America benefited from more converts but the Antiochians got the ball rolling. Rose converted long before Westerners converting was a big thing.
 

hecma925

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Aren't a good number of Greeks in America, for example, just passing through, hoping to go home with a fortune earned in the New World?
Third or fourth generation [insert ethnicity here] rarely have a place they actually call home in the Old CountryTM.
 

Serge

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I meant that at least some people in America, Australia, etc. from Greece don't intend to have a second, etc. generation in the new country - they want to earn a fortune for anywhere from a few years to a couple of decades, retire, and go home.
 

hecma925

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"Bohemian Rhapsody" sucks. I have gotten into coffee hour brawls over that sentiment.
 

Ainnir

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"Bohemian Rhapsody" sucks. I have gotten into coffee hour brawls over that sentiment.
My daughter doesn't like it either. The first time she heard it, she was like, "Why does everyone think that's so great?" ☺
 

Serge

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1. Ethnocentrism is killing the Church, and it is the biggest problem the Church is facing today (moreso than the current Schism). All parishes and monasteries need to immediately start having services using the language of the country they reside in (for example, all Greek Orthodox monasteries in America need to start using English in their services instead of Greek).
Reducing the parish to an ethnic club will drive it into the grave. You can argue that the assimilation in Western countries that's killing Eastern parishes is a reaction to that club mentality. But, for example, the Metropolia/OCA made everybody use English starting in the '70s. Did it turn around their decline? Then again, I don't have numbers but this is working very well for the Antiochians, who really dared to reach beyond their ethnic border like no other Orthodox have.

5. I don't believe the book of Genesis (up until the story of Abraham) is to be taken literally.
Neither do I.

6. The question of whether or not toll houses exist doesn't matter. What matters is our repentance before we die.
Now I understand the problem with the toll houses: the notion that you can repent and change course after you die. But yes.
 

Thetruthisgod

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this is working very well for the Antiochians, who really dared to reach beyond their ethnic border like no other Orthodox have.
Has any other Patriarchate changed languages so often? When Arabic became the dominate language in the middle east, the church switched from Syriac to Arabic. In the US where English is the dominant language, we switched to English. Some Antiochan churches still do Arabic. Those services are twice as long because they are done in both languages!

Church in the common vernacular is best. I think it is the greatest travesty that modern Greek speakers have trouble understanding their own liturgy. I have heard that church music in modern Greek is ugly! I qouldn't know. I think it is the greatest travesty that the nations who use church Slavonic have similar issues. I am thankful that I can know what is being said at church. Would I have ever become orthodox otherwise? I don't know. It seems important to me, but others have a different opinion.

In Chicago I recall in particular we have some churches that do their services in English and Arabic at the same time. There is also a pretty big Muslim population there, and they know Arabic. I know former Muslims who have become Orthodox. It happens. I know one in particular who came to Christianity by reading St John of Damascus! I've heard it said that Muslims don't convert, but I know this ain't so.
 

Serge

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Ware writes that before the Russian Revolution, the church there talked about translating the services into Russian. They say no now but it's possible, though unlikely. Probably the same for medieval vs. modern Greek. I like liturgical languages, especially if they're at least related to modern ones so you have a start on understanding them, but I appreciate your point.
 

Thetruthisgod

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Now I understand the problem with the toll houses: the notion that you can repent and change course after you die. But yes.
I don't think that is the case that toll houses have anything to do with repenting after you die..

But there shouldn't be controversy about the toll houses to begin with. Ephraim of Arizona, his teacher Joseph the hesychast taught the toll houses. Seraphim Rose taught the toll houses as well.

As far as practicing the faith is concerned, it doesn't necessarily add or remove from what one is supposed to do. Toll houses do, however, remind us that it is no joke to say that There is no sin however small that goes by without being remembered. It is very much consistent with demon behavior to accuse those who have been forgiven by God for those same offenses. To sow doubt and pain.

The toll house teaching might be someone's antidote to antinomianism, who knows.
 

Saxon

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In the case of the Greek monasteries, I don't see that as happening any time soon. There is idea among those in charge of these things that they have to preserve the language which is under attack.

That said, there are a lot of monks with English as their first language who don't really understand the things they read out loud in churchor during trapeza! I think that is a travesty.
I agree with both you and Ariend. I occasionally go to St. Kosmas Aitolos Monastery here in Canada - part of Elder Ephraim's network. The sisters are lovely and friendly, some of them are immigrants, all speak perfect English before and after the services, but the services themselves are 100% Greek, and it's off-putting to the non-Greek Canadian community. One of the nuns even told me that to survive they can't rely on new members being shipped over from Greece, and she isn't sure what the future holds. North America needs those monasteries. If they're self-sabotaging for reasons of ethnic nationalism, then that's a massive shame.

9. Maybe a contradiction to my support of Fr. Seraphim's canonization, but I think he's also a double-edged sword; most North American converts (more or less) view Orthodoxy wholly or mostly through the lens of his life and writings. Same story for Met. Kallistos' works. That's dangerous.
 

Ainnir

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Haven’t read Fr. Seraphim, and have only read one of Met. Kallistos’ books.
 

PorphyriosK

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I agree with both you and Ariend. I occasionally go to St. Kosmas Aitolos Monastery here in Canada - part of Elder Ephraim's network. The sisters are lovely and friendly, some of them are immigrants, all speak perfect English before and after the services, but the services themselves are 100% Greek, and it's off-putting to the non-Greek Canadian community. One of the nuns even told me that to survive they can't rely on new members being shipped over from Greece, and she isn't sure what the future holds. North America needs those monasteries. If they're self-sabotaging for reasons of ethnic nationalism, then that's a massive shame.
I don't understand why Orthodox parishes and monasteries cant just compromise and try incorporating BOTH the vernacular and ecclesial languages into their Liturgies and services? I know for a fact that this can be quite beautifully and easily done and it makes everyone happy.
 

Thetruthisgod

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Maybe a contradiction to my support of Fr. Seraphim's canonization, but I think he's also a double-edged sword; most North American converts (more or less) view Orthodoxy wholly or mostly through the lens of his life and writings. Same story for Met. Kallistos' works. That's dangerous.
I love fr Seraphim, but find it unfortunate that so much of his stuff is polemical. It's good that he wrote these things, but I think it influences people to be preoccupied with polemics. That isn't really what orthodoxy is about. I know fr Seraphim himself understood this.

The Orthodox Survival Course(soon to have an official St Herman's press release) is REALLY good. Definitely a polemical work, but still.
 

Thetruthisgod

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I don't understand why Orthodox parishes and monasteries cant just compromise and try incorporating BOTH the vernacular and ecclesial languages into their Liturgies and services? I know for a fact that this can be quite beautifully and easily done and it makes everyone happy.
I've seen it done. St George's Antiochan church in Cicero, Il does everything twice
First in English, and then in Arabic. Liturgies are twice as long!

I got to bring some pentecostals to church and show them what real speaking in tongues sounds like in church. :ROFLMAO:
 

PorphyriosK

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I love fr Seraphim, but find it unfortunate that so much of his stuff is polemical. It's good that he wrote these things, but I think it influences people to be preoccupied with polemics. That isn't really what orthodoxy is about. I know fr Seraphim himself understood this.

The Orthodox Survival Course(soon to have an official St Herman's press release) is REALLY good. Definitely a polemical work, but still.
Fr Seraphim actually realized his early mistakes and later on softened his tone quite a bit. In fact he tried hard to steer people away from what he called "super-correct" disease. :LOL:
 

Ainnir

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Fr Seraphim actually realized his early mistakes and later on softened his tone quite a bit. In fact he tried hard to steer people away from what he called "super-correct" disease. :LOL:
Which we now fondly refer to as hyperdoxy. 😊
 

Ainnir

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Will I get all hyperdox if I read these titles? :unsure:
 
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