Orthodoxy and Reformation

It seems some Orthodox say that the Roman catholics were first protestants and from them, the reformation - Luther and co. - eminated.

I was just wondering, has the Orthodox faith as it is practiced down through the centuries given rise to anything equivolent to the Reformation as experienced by the catholic church?

I found this: orthodoxphotos.com/readings/Orthodox_Church/continuity_vs_reformation.shtml

About the closest you can get will be the various Russian sects that sprang from the Schism of the Old Believers.

But this schism was originally over liturgical reform in the official church that the Old Believers felt had gone too far.

You can probably best compare them with sede vacantists. Some priests went with them, but no bishops.

Great Question :thumbsup:

No.

Thanks Eucharisted. Interesting.

Given that there seems to have always been differences within the ‘‘catholic (small c) church’’ from the very beginning, was it inevitable that a serious schism was always going to happen?

And given that there seems to have always been differences, some very profound in terms of theology and doctrine, is it a credible arguement to say that the Catholic (capital C) Church has not changed since the times of the Apostles, when in fact even immediately after the Apostles, there seems to have been some serious differences between the Bishops of the centres of Christendom all of whom were part of the ONE Holy Catohlic Apostolic church?

And finally, how can an observer decide who’s closer to the Truth? The Roman Catholic church, who has a theory of ‘‘developing’’ and ‘‘expaning’’ what it claims to have always been understood since Apostolic times, or the Orthodox, who claim they’ve changed absolutely nothing since Apostolic times, given that even in Apostolic times, they dont seem to have spoken with One Voice?

Excuse me for interjecting but - I think that Jesus anticipated such issues when he spoke of “Falling away” and also when He prayed for the unity of His followers.

And given that there seems to have always been differences, some very profound in terms of theology and doctrine, is it a credible arguement to say that the Catholic (capital C) Church has not changed since the times of the Apostles, when in fact even immediately after the Apostles, there seems to have been some serious differences between the Bishops of the centres of Christendom all of whom were part of the ONE Holy Catohlic Apostolic church?

To me the deciding factor in this is not whether there have been differences of opinion within the Church but rather how The Church, and those in Her have dealt with these differences. The Catholic Church has almost always dealt with doctrinal issues in a councilior way. Communication, debate, and prayerful and humble discernment both in council and out have been the hallmarks of determining what is correct doctrine.
So - For 1000 years (before the East-West Split) the singularly united Church met in council and hammered out doctrinal differences as needed. The Catholic Church Still uses the council approach, though maybe not as often because of changes in communication technology. This willingness to meet, argue, decide and then submit (if “your side” loses) is the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism.

And finally, how can an observer decide who’s closer to the Truth? The Roman Catholic church, who has a theory of ‘‘developing’’ and ‘‘expaning’’ what it claims to have always been understood since Apostolic times, or the Orthodox, who claim they’ve changed absolutely nothing since Apostolic times, given that even in Apostolic times, they dont seem to have spoken with One Voice?

To this I can only answer, by Prayerful discernment and study.
(Also asking questions here is good)

Peace
James

Heresy is inevitable, as is schism. Man is weak, as evidenced by his fall. But God uses such evil to bring out a greater good: the Creeds, for example, were developed to combat heresies.

There is no difference “catholic Church” and “Catholic Church”. You cannot take a word - “catholic” - and give it a different meaning. The fact is, there is only one Church of Christ. It is either the Orthodox or the Catholic. History, the Church Fathers, and Scriptures say it’s the Catholic Church, and I give links about this here.

As for developement or expansion of doctrine, didn’t Jesus promise the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into all truths? The Bible is evident to this developement too, as we find that the Apostle regarded Jesus as the High Priest (Hebrews), something which was from the very beginning but not entirely understood. Now some might say this is different because is it biblical, but the fact is, history isn’t bible-centered; the Church that was is the Church that is. Meaning, just as God guided the Apostles into all truths, so He dose the same now.

Thanks again Eucharisrted. Vry interesting reading in the links you provided. Am I right in thinking that when the early church fathers are quoted they are quoted as part of the ‘‘one’’ church, in that Orthodoxy was not an element back then?

The rebaptising is an issue I cant understand in Orthodoxy. Why do Orthodox insist on rebaptising?

One might argue that Islam is the Orthodox version of the Reformation.

Both the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church claim to be fully Catholic, and Fully Orthodox, neither claims to have started in 1054, both claim to have been founded by the apostles. However both were one throughout the early days.

You could argue for ages on which left which, but that doesn’t really matter for this point. Orthodoxy was an element back then, as was Catholicism, within the One Church.

The rebaptising is an issue I cant understand in Orthodoxy. Why do Orthodox insist on rebaptising?

What counts as a valid baptism is decided by the Bishop. At the very least people must be baptized according to the trinitarian formula found in Matthew 28. This is how most of the diocese in North America, as far as I am aware, do it.

However I have heard of some areas where they don’t count it as a true baptism if it wasn’t full immersion (since the word “baptize” means to fully-immerse).

For the first condition, I’m pretty sure Roman Catholics are the exact same, obviously not on the second.

None of us can know for sure, of course, but I don’t know if it is wise to assume that schism was somehow destined to happen by virtue of the differences within the Church. Maybe for other reasons, sure, but if we consider how, for instance, Latin replaced Greek as the language of the Western Church by the end of the fourth century yet we remained in communion with the Byzantine East for another ~500 years (with increasing difficulties), it doesn’t seem so simple. EO Bishop Kallistos (nee Timothy) Ware explains it much better than I can, and I think his ultimate point is a good one.

And given that there seems to have always been differences, some very profound in terms of theology and doctrine, is it a credible arguement to say that the Catholic (capital C) Church has not changed since the times of the Apostles, when in fact even immediately after the Apostles, there seems to have been some serious differences between the Bishops of the centres of Christendom all of whom were part of the ONE Holy Catohlic Apostolic church?

Good question. In the above-linked article, the distinction between those differences which constitute complimentary understandings and those which constitute contradictory understandings of that same faith is explored. I agree that this is the essential difference, in vastly simplified terms, and that on which side of that divide you find yourself will determine your answer to the question you’ve posed. Do you believe that Papal Infallibility, the Filioque, or one of the other problematic doctrines that stand in the way of unity represent a shift away from and contradiction to the faith that we at one time shared, or do you believe that they are an illumination of the truth of that faith?

And finally, how can an observer decide who’s closer to the Truth? The Roman Catholic church, who has a theory of ‘‘developing’’ and ‘‘expaning’’ what it claims to have always been understood since Apostolic times, or the Orthodox, who claim they’ve changed absolutely nothing since Apostolic times, given that even in Apostolic times, they dont seem to have spoken with One Voice?

Er…yeah. That. (I should really learn to read the ENTIRE post before I decide to reply. I’m sorry. :blush:)

At what threshold can you say that those outside of your own communion have not spoken with one voice? How do you define what unity is? Is it visible unity around a central figure, as in RCC, or is it doctrinal unity around local bishops, as in the EO and OO? Again, a vast simplification, but still an important question.

Nothing equivalent to the Reformation. As has been pointed out the closest thing may the Old Believers schism. The issue was the Nikonian liturgical reforms in which the Russian Church tried to bring the typicon closer to the Greek version being used at the time. That tells you how serious the Orthodox take changes in praxis when a schism occurred over how to hold your fingers when crossing yourself and whether to sing the alleluia two or three times!

Yours in Christ
Joe

I don’t see how.

John

As a catholic up until recently knew little about the 1054 schism. What was usualy spoken of was papal authority and the filoque. But I would agree with dzheremi that folks should read any of the books about orthodoxy by Bishop Kallistod (Timothy Ware). Sad to say Rome plaed a bigger role in the breakup than most people think.

Based on the fact that they are clearly influenced by Eastern Christianity in general in how they do things, and the heavy influence of Eastern heresies such as Arianism and Nestorianism on their faith. I’ve heard St. John Damascene wrote a fair amount on similarities between the two faiths.

I personally haven’t put the research into it to even begin to make the claim myself, however I have heard it argued, which was all I was really pointing out.

Many of their practices are taken almost verbatim from Eastern Christianity but their faith is a blend of Judaism and heretical versions of the Christian faith. I really don’t see any resemblance to the reformation.

John

You’re not going to get anything that looks much like the reformation. Different time, different cultures involved, different issues.

I was simply offering up something which could be considered somewhat similar.

We talk about Old Believers, but you should probably toss in Old Calendarist schismatics (there’s at least two subgroups) as well as churches in (one would hope) temporary schism such as the Bulgarians or the canonical situation in Ukraine today. These schisms are more typically of ethnic/national variety as opposed to doctrinal. One might look up Phyletism to get a background of some of the issues.

Although not technically a schism, the political earthquake of the October Revolution, the introduction of the New Calendar, and the situation in the mother country (New Martyrs, “renovationism”, “Sergian” collaboration) led to divisions within the Russian orthodox community abroad. Orthodoxy has had a tough haul under both militant atheist communism and under the Islamic Ottoman yoke.

That’s one thing that I thought of the other day while I was driving down the road.

When Western Christianity splits off into sects, it’s usually because the members feel oppressed and want to be more liberal. When Eastern Christianity splits off into sects, it’s usually because the members feel like the Church has gotten too easy or has embraced heresy and is trying to return to a ‘truer’ path.

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