orthodox or catholic?

And it is understandable why they have made no such claims since Jesus established Peter, and no other, as the rock upon which His Church would be built. :thumbsup:

This really puts your posts on “unity” in perspective. :wink:

Absolutely.

Jesus prayed that the Apostles might have the depth of unity that He shares with the Father. Was He praying for unity among his Apostles only? No! He prayed for all who would hear and believe these Apostles:

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23)

Jesus is saying that the unity of a single, visible church would be proof that He really was sent into the world by the Father. The unity of the church is supposed to be a witness to this fact. In order for the world to know the truth, it must be able to see a visible, unified church.

Can the world look at the state of Christianity today and see one unified church? Do they say, “Yep, those Christians are certainly unified, that is plain to see. By looking at them, we can believe that Jesus was sent by God”? Not at all! The world cannot see an “invisible” unity of all true believers because what it sees instead is 25,000+ denominations bickering and fighting amongst themselves over doctrinal differences.

Just as Jesus and the Father are perfectly united, so God desires for the Apostles and those who come to believe in Jesus through them to be united. The reason for this unity is clear: to let the world know that you sent me”. Without this unity, the witness of the Christian Church to the world is weakened and as a result, the souls who fail to recognize the truth may be lost. Thus, the world must be able to see the unity of a visible, authoritative Church and hear the truth it proclaims. What are signs of this unity that the world should see?

One of the signs must be doctrinal unity on matters of faith and morals. In the pages of Scripture, we read:

“All the believers were one in heart and mind.” (Acts 4:32)

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph 4:4-6)

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

No. Divisions. Perfect. Unity.

The Father desires that the Church should be of one mind regarding the faith and doctrinal matters such as the “one baptism” just as He and the Son are one. The Father and the Son do not disagree on any issue. Does the Father prefer infant baptism while the Son does not? In the same way, we should have no divisions, no denominations, that separate us from one another. Paul’s appeal is not about some idealistic, invisible unity but a real, visible, tangible unity.

Schism maintained by disagreements over the primacy of Peter and the *filioque *is not of God.

Roman Communion, you mean. I hope I won’t sound like I’m nitpicking (or knowitallist), but the truth is that there is no Roman Church. :o

That article basically backs up what I wrote, though I suppose that someone blinded by bigotry would be oblivious to that fact. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (so-called not because membership in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is exclusive to Greeks, but because the hierarchy operates under the aegis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) faces several challenges because of its ethnic composition (being primarily, but not exclusively, made up of Greeks), mainly that as Greeks become more American they tend to become more irreligious or more indifferent (similarly with Latinos). This is, just as I said, a problem unique to the diaspora.

The Churches in traditional Orthodox lands do not face the same problems as the diaspora, as there is no absence of a native Orthodox culture in places like the Levant, Greece, Russia, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, etc., whereas in America, an American expression of Orthodoxy does not exist. It in fact seems somewhat impossible that it should because America is so saturated by Protestant ideals (Enlightenment era philosophy and whatnot) that the culture seems rather opposed to the basic tenets of Orthodoxy. Similarly, because many aesthetic elements of Protestant worship (such as the use of pianos and guitars, the use of hymns selected from a hymnal rather than hymns based on a liturgical calendar, the lack of images, or the use of hymns composed in the style of popular music) are unacceptable for Orthodoxy, we cannot appropriate them. At any rate, an American Orthodox identity eventually will come to be, but only after a long and organic process of interaction with the dominant culture here, taking from it those elements which are not opposed to Orthodoxy. It cannot be rushed, and until then, retaining aspects of traditional Orthodox cultures will be indispensable in preventing American culture from influencing Orthodoxy (rather than the other way around).

Implicit in the article is the idea that as Greek Orthodox intermarry with non-Greeks, they tend to become not only less Greek but less Orthodox. Now, this would be true of Catholics intermarrying with Protestants and Jews intermarrying with Catholics, also, but that is not the point.

The reason I brought this article to your attention is that what is implicitly stated by the author of that article has been explicitly stated by me repeatedly in this forum; namely, that Orthodoxy tends to follow geographic and ethnic lines, and these boundaries, while providing a strength in some quarters, has limited Orthodoxy’s appeal to a broader, more universal audience.

Thus, the article unintentionally supports my argument that Orthodoxy cannot be the one, true Church.

Cute, but that is what you read into the article which actually in several places qualifies that it is referring to interfaith marriages and families. A marriage between say a Greek and a Syrian who are both Orthodox would not be considered intermarriage. In fact, this article was posted by the Office of Interfaith Marriage. Your reading of the article is simply incorrect, probably as a result of being twisted by your own ideological biases.

QUOTE=Randy Carson;12240012]Implicit in the article is the idea that as Greek Orthodox intermarry with non-Greeks, they tend to become not only less Greek but less Orthodox. Now, this would be true of Catholics intermarrying with Protestants and Jews intermarrying with Catholics, also, but that is not the point.

May I ask why that is not the point?

Of course it is. :rolleyes:

So, why do you think that the Office of Interfaith Marriage felt compelled to sound the alarm? They wrote:

In a startling find, statistics disclose over 60% of Greek Orthodox families of the last generation and 90% of Americans with Greek roots are no longer in communion with the Church. It is a concern shared by learned religious leaders who understand the need for a compassionate outreach towards intermarried families with sensitivity to differences among intermarried couples and the problems they face as a family. In the transition, as each population passes into successive generations, growing numbers of families move further from their origins, with the probability that our beloved Greek Orthodox Church in America will become moribund in the very near future.

Moribund? MORIBUND???

The one, true Church founded by Jesus and preserved in all its purity in the patriarchs of the East is at risk of becoming moribund in America?

So, like I’ve said many times, the EO cannot qualify as the Church which would make disciples of all nations and with which Jesus would remain until the end of time if that Church itself is moribund in at least one nation “in the very near future.”

Because my REAL point was contained in the next paragraph of my post.

Never, never, never let anyone to tell you in order to be Orthodox you must also be Eastern." - St. John Maximovitch

That’s a favorite quote, I believe, among Western-Rite Orthodox.

There is more to the EO presence in the USA than the Greek Orthodox. Also, what of those places where Catholicism once thrived but could now be considered moribund?

Nice change of topic. Now that it has become clear that your previous reading of the article was untenable, you now have grasped for some new straws, since you previously came up empty-handed.

There is such a thing as being sensationalistic. The author is in fact extrapolating, so we have no reason to believe that such a doomsday scenario will play out, especially with the growth of the Antiochian Archdiocese, which saw over a three-fold increase in parishes over the lifetime of its previous metropolitan, Philip of blessed memory.

Like how Latin Christianity went moribund and then extinct in the Levant after the fall of the crusader kingdoms? And what about Scandinavia during the reformation? Well, I guess there goes your true church claim too, but hey, it was worth a shot, since your previous appeal to numbers went up in flames after people pointed out that the Church of the East was in fact once the largest.

http://m.ibtimes.com/church-decline-frances-vanishing-catholics-1125241

"But now in the second decade of the 21st century, with the College of Cardinals having elected a new Pontiff in the Vatican – Pope Francis of Argentina – France’s Catholic Churches are increasingly bereft of parishioners.

The numbers are grim. Last year, according to reports, more than one-third (35 percent) of France’s population and almost two-thirds (63 percent) of youth said they belonged to “no religion.”

Very few people, an estimated 1-in-20 of the French, regularly attend Mass anymore."

GRIM!!?? IN FRANCE???

No true church for you!

The obviously, horrendously bias ‘journalist’, who wrote that article was both a hater of Catholics and France. I did catch these references in the same article:

“France is an overwhelmingly Catholic country – up to 88 percent of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic church…”

“Young people have different aspirations,” Feugna stated. “Their interests lie elsewhere. The Church perhaps doesn’t have the right message for young people here.” (My opinion, I see this jargon used against nominal Christians in the US, like why only elderly attend Lutheran churches.)

“The Catholics are dispersed throughout the country, more heavily in the rural areas than in the urban centers, but nevertheless geographically omnipresent,” said Yates."

“One of the most visible showings of French Catholics were the public protests against gay marriage that filled the streets of Paris this winter. If those crowds are any indication, French Catholics have a voice equal to other social forces.”

At least he was stating some facts but definitely came to the wrong conclusions with this las snippet:

“One could say that while the French are no longer a practicing country, they remain nominally Catholic, and retain something of this in their national identity,” he noted.

Which allowed you to conveniently overlook the rather awkward problems your first paragraph was creating. Your second is merely a variation on your rather tiresome, ‘we is biggest, we is best, we is true’ form of triumphalism.

Well done Randy you have now established that neither the Orthodox or Catholic Churches are the one founded by Christ if we use the standard of proof you have established in this post as a litmus test.

There are areas where Catholicism (indeed Christianity in general) has faded dramatically; however, saying that Catholicism is no longer a thriving force in those regions does not diminish the fact that at one time, Catholicism had made disciples of those nations…a fulfillment of the Great Commission which Orthodoxy has never achieved.

I suspect you will find this is rather far from the case if you look into the matter further.

There are areas where Catholicism (indeed Christianity in general) has faded dramatically; however, saying that Catholicism is no longer a thriving force in those regions does not diminish the fact that at one time, Catholicism had made disciples of those nations…a fulfillment of the Great Commission which Orthodoxy has never achieved.

:wink:

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