Author Topic: discussion about orthodox religion #1  (Read 72264 times)

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Offline Georgiy

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #75 on: January 25, 2005, 02:47:45 PM »
Maybe i should have said "Does this express what all Christians have believed always."

Another thought - and it is just a perception, but it seems to me that the RC has its focus on the Passion and Crucifiction of Christ, whereas the Orthodox Church's focus is on the Resurrection of Christ. (That's not to say the Resurrection isn't important to RCs and vice versa, it just seems to me that there is a difference in emphasis.)

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #76 on: January 25, 2005, 02:49:43 PM »
So is it really - at its simplest - perhaps that Orthodoxy is based solely on the earliest Fathers of the Church, & Catholicism is also built on tradition (which changes over time e.g. the Immaculate Conception, Papal Infallibility (which I have hard time believing!) etc.) ?

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #77 on: January 25, 2005, 02:52:47 PM »
Thank you for your explanation. It makes me sad that we cannot be united; it also makes me sad - and yet happy in a way - that I realize how deeply my own beliefs are engrained - far more so than I had realized; so perhaps I could never be Orthodox.
Thank you. I think all Churches should pray for one another (and I hope you don't mind my 'borrowing' your saints :) :)!)

Offline Georgiy

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #78 on: January 25, 2005, 03:02:55 PM »
Never say never! It would take a lot of work though as the differences are quite big (if not irreparible). In the end one must examine ones own conscience, and based on one's own knowledge (and research if so inclined :)) decide - is this the True Church or not?


Of course I don't mind your 'borrowing' our Saints. They are not 'our' Saints per se, but true Saints are universal, and all people can ask their prayers! I am sure that the Holy Royal Martyrs are the ones who led me to the Orthodox Church! :D And I am sure that you are also remembered in their prayers as are all who love and cherish their memory...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Georgiy »

Offline Reed

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2005, 03:50:13 PM »
 Below is a quote from The Story of Chrisitanity, Vol. 1, by Justo Gonzalez.  It may help to understand why the difference between the Roman church and the Orthodox as far as images are concerned.  The Eastern church finally settle on flat images "icons" rather than statutes partly due to the controversy and partly due to the Old Testament scripture about graven images.  

"In the early church, there seems to have been no objection to the use of images, for the catacombs and other early places of worship were decorated with paintings depicting communion, baptism, and various biblical episodes.  Later...several leading bishops expressed concern that the masses now flocking to the church would be led to idolatry, and therefore they preached, not against the images themselves, but against their misuse as objects of worship.  In the eighth century, several Byzantine emperors took steps against images, and in 754 constatine V called a council that forbade their use altogether and condemned those who defended them.  The reasons for this decision are not altogether clear.  ........ In any case, the entire Empire was soon divided between "iconoclasts" - destroyers of images and "iconodules" - worshipers of images.  ....... The controversy raged for years.  The West simply refused to accept the imperial edicts, while the East was rent asunder.  Finally, the Seventh Ecumenical Council gathered at Nicea in 787.  This assembly distinguished between worshiping in the strict sense, Latria, which is due only to God, and a lesser worshipful veneration, dulia, which is to be given to images.  Although the iconoclasts regained power for a time, in 842 images were definitively restored - an event that many Eastern churches still celebrate as the "Feast of Orthodoxy."  In the West, the decisions of the council of 787 were not well received, for the distinction between latria and dulia was difficult to make in Latin.  But eventually the difficulties were overcome, and most Christians agreed on the use of images in church, and on the restricted veneration due them. "

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2005, 04:54:59 PM »
Thank you for that explanation, Reed. So really, once you get away from the idolatry we're pretty much agreed? (kind of...hopefully :-/)

Alright, Georgiy...not 'never'...but not now. :)

Offline Reed

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #81 on: January 25, 2005, 05:34:04 PM »
Well....I don't know about being in agreement.  The explanation is simply that.....an explanation of some of the hows and whys the controversy came about.  I believe that the Eastern church has remained the most faithful to the earliest teaching of the ecumenical councils called together through the years.  The Roman church has departed in a sense from those teaching, by accepting Papal edicts on the same level as canon law.  The Eastern church was spared some of the upheaval of the Western church because it was fighting for it's life during the advance of Islam through the middle ages and the renaissance.  The excesses and abuses of the Roman church brought about the Reformation, which interestingly the Eastern church was spared.  There are many deeper disagreements than just images that will have to be reconciled before there will be unity.  I believe in a re-unified church....but it will happen with the second coming of Christ.  In my humble opinion no group, East, West, or Protestant has a corner on the truth.  The earlier post about growing toward unity through understanding is the best course.  

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #82 on: January 25, 2005, 05:43:33 PM »
Oh!! It makes my head explode!! I am automatically drawn to defend Catholicism when it SEEMS that the Orthodox postings (I say this with the stongest good will) are blaming the Pope & the West all the time for all the divisions. But at the same time, I - though a Catholic - despise the corruption of the Vatican (from which I exclude our present Pope whom I admire greatly as a good & holy man) so I cannot defend the abuses which have gone on throughout history.
And yet...and yet...there are so many very precious things within our faith which come through the corruption unscathed ('The sun, though it passes through dirty places remains as pure as before')  and which mean so very much beyond words.
And also...I cannot get away from thinking that many of the divisions are merely a cultural thing...The Church in Africa is very different from the Church in England. Perhaps much of it lies not in the belief but in the EXPRESSION of faith.
BANG!! That was my head exploding :-/

Offline Reed

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #83 on: January 25, 2005, 06:04:20 PM »
Bluetoria - relax!!   ;)  I apologize if my posting came across as a criticism of the RC.  It was not meant in that way.  Many abuses have been done through the centuries in the name of the "Church."  Whether the Western, Protestant, or the Eastern really doesn't matter, because those abuses have damaged all fellowships.  Unfortunately, the world views these and labels us all as hypocrites.  I believe what you are saying is that the beauty of the teaching of Christ is the jewel that is contained in a scarred and battered "church".  The solemnity and reverence of the Eastern church, the beauty and grace of the Roman church, and the simplicity and straightforwardness of the Protestant church all convey and contain the fathomless characteristics of God.  My family has RC roots, I'm a Protestant, and I have a great respect for the Eastern church after having visited Russia.  Again only by viewing and understanding of all facets can one really appreciate the jewel that is the Church.  I have studied church history for thiry years and I'm still amazed at all that is contained through the years. Peace, Bluetoria

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2005, 06:08:47 PM »
Quote
 I believe what you are saying is that the beauty of the teaching of Christ is the jewel that is contained in a scarred and battered "church".  


YES :) :) :) :) That is EXACTLY what I wanted to say...oh that I could have put it so simply! Thank you :)

Dashkova

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #85 on: January 25, 2005, 06:08:48 PM »
Quote
Maybe i should have said "Does this express what all Christians have believed always."

Another thought - and it is just a perception, but it seems to me that the RC has its focus on the Passion and Crucifiction of Christ, whereas the Orthodox Church's focus is on the Resurrection of Christ. (That's not to say the Resurrection isn't important to RCs and vice versa, it just seems to me that there is a difference in emphasis.)


That is exactly right, Georgiy.  All one needs to do is visit some early Orthodox churches (or even study photos of the mosaics), such as St. Apollo Pollinare, San Vitalae (both in Ravenna) or even the great Hagia Sophia or St. Catherine's Monastery and it is plain and obvious that the earliest church (i.e., Orthodox) was and largely remains focused on the ressurection and not on the suffering Christ.

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #86 on: January 25, 2005, 06:14:20 PM »
Do you think, perhaps (& I DO MEAN PERHAPS) that through time we (the Western Churches) have come to focus more on the suffering because at first the early Christians expected the imminent return of Christ (& the end of the world) but when it didn't happen they realized that there was a great deal of suffering o deal with in between? And through the Passion of Christ we could make sense of it?

Dashkova

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #87 on: January 25, 2005, 06:15:58 PM »
Quote
Oh!! It makes my head explode!! I am automatically drawn to defend Catholicism when it SEEMS that the Orthodox postings (I say this with the stongest good will) are blaming the Pope & the West all the time for all the divisions. But at the same time, I - though a Catholic - despise the corruption of the Vatican (from which I exclude our present Pope whom I admire greatly as a good & holy man) so I cannot defend the abuses which have gone on throughout history.
And yet...and yet...there are so many very precious things within our faith which come through the corruption unscathed ('The sun, though it passes through dirty places remains as pure as before')  and which mean so very much beyond words.
And also...I cannot get away from thinking that many of the divisions are merely a cultural thing...The Church in Africa is very different from the Church in England. Perhaps much of it lies not in the belief but in the EXPRESSION of faith.
BANG!! That was my head exploding :-/


Maybe I haven't been following closely enough, but it seems to me that nobody has said that the division was all the fault of the west, and that the western church is guilty of more atrocities.  I don't think that is the case at all and many crimes were commited by the orthodox christians as well.  I think what IS very important to ponder is that it was the corruption that came from the west in the form of the crusades that forever (or until now, at any rate) estranged the two churches.  

After all, in both Constantinople and Jerusalem, the Orthodox and Byzantines were living side by side in harmony with various types of Christians, Muslims, and Jews.  It was that one particular Byzantine emperor (Alexei) who wrote for some (small) assistance (what was he thinking?? But his situation was very difficult) and a corrupt pope and whomever advised him coming up with a plan to cash in....result, the first crusade.

East and West (religiously, culturally, politically) never felt the same towards each other again. And I think this is very sad, and truly no longer necessary.

bluetoria

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #88 on: January 25, 2005, 06:19:06 PM »
Quote

And I think this is very sad, and truly no longer necessary.


I agree!

Dashkova

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Re: discussion about orthodox religion
« Reply #89 on: January 25, 2005, 06:23:58 PM »
Quote
Do you think, perhaps (& I DO MEAN PERHAPS) that through time we (the Western Churches) have come to focus more on the suffering because at first the early Christians expected the imminent return of Christ (& the end of the world) but when it didn't happen they realized that there was a great deal of suffering o deal with in between? And through the Passion of Christ we could make sense of it?


I personally don't think so, because many generations and centuries passed before the mosaics were created at Mt. Sinai, Ravenna and elsewhere, and I think that there were always some, just as today, who believe in an "imminent return" but certainly not the church establishment.
By this time, the "church" had become a powerful tool for kings and emperors, and the church itself (and its leaders) equally interested in power.  It was about power and business, frankly.
The early crucifix in art portrays an alert, strong, ready to leap right off the cross Christ.  Indeed, the crucifix was not at all commonly seen for centuries.  The focus remained, until about the 9th century, on the resurection, and *empty* crosses were often portrayed.  Then, in the *west* in the ninth century, the first known suffering Christ on the cross was created, and that whole notion of suffering is part of a medieval mindset that had WIDE appeal among the faithful, at least in the west.  Artists and churches RAN with the theme because, again, frankly but TRUE, it was a powerful guilt trip to use on the populace AND it was also a comfort in a sense, because during that era, so fraught with death and plague, the ill and dying could be comforted with the notion that Christ understood *suffering*.  And so the focus became, not really on the *passion* of Christ, but his physical suffering.

You don't see this in Icons, because while two dimensional and stylized (as someone pointed out), they are considered to literally be windows to heaven, and that the faithful, through contemplation, may communicate with the saints, the theotokos, and Christ.