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Old 05-14-2019, 01:13 PM
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So the first reset button did not work (The Christian Unification Thread). We (me more than others) were too passionate about it and maybe we took it too literal the task. Forget about Unification. We cannot unite, that is evident by now. So what can we do to improve the dialogue?

First of all we can speak plainly of our goals on this forum. My goal was/is to know more about the other Christian denominations and to see if there is a way to build understanding. However, I was too shocked to see that the differences were not just large in the chosen theological points but also very deep. So that is that.

However, I see some members like PeterEnergy that appear from time to time to have some questions. Or even other established members, Protestants or Catholic, Orthodox (me included), even Mormons seem to have some questions from time to time that are interesting and somehow build momentum for a better understanding on a subject.

I remember this anecdote regarding Obama's Reset button that Hillary and Sergey Lavrov pressed in Russia symbolically resetting the relations between Russia and USA. But on the Russian translation of the button instead of Reset it was mistakenly wrote Overdrive. That was a laugh.

Let's see if we can do a proper Reset instead of an Overdrive like last time.

First question is how do you feel about your Christianity, your denomination or in case you are non-denominational, your personal religious system? Are you happy with it, can it be improved? Is it fulfilling? Do you have doubts that is the correct one?

Me personally I feel great about Orthodoxy in general. I think I have much to learn but I am happy that I have numerous resources provided by the Tradition. However, modernity inserts interesting situations that requires us to creatively put together resources and conclusions that apply better for these complex times.

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Old 05-14-2019, 05:24 PM
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Yes, you need to sort your own problems first:
http://catholicphilly.com/2019/05/ne...official-says/
Administrative issues. No theology involved.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:34 PM
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So what can we do to improve the dialogue?
Cat_1978, I appreciate your tone in starting this thread. Thank you.

What we can do to improve the dialogue is stop proselytizing, be humble with posts where one does not agree with the content and realize the purpose of these exchanges is to provoke thoughts, get to know each other better and a form of entertainment, pastime.

I have sincerely appreciated the thoughtful contributions of Sloth, Velvet Elvis, OhioMan, esheldon and others. Perhaps their approach can be used as a beneficial model.

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However, I see some members like PeterEnergy that appear from time to time to have some questions. Or even other established members, Protestants or Catholic, Orthodox (me included), even Mormons seem to have some questions from time to time that are interesting and somehow build momentum for a better understanding on a subject.
Thank you for that observation. The 'somehow' is explained above, no proselytizing, etc. Good threads start with sincere questions where the OP really does want to understand people's thoughts on the topic.

Some of my questions are just to get to know others better, e.g., once saved always saved. Some of my questions are seeking different opinions on apparent contradictions. For instance, it is said God never changes but Moses talked God out of wiping out the Hebrews.

I doubt anyone is looking for THE answers on an online forum.

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First question is how do you feel about your Christianity, your denomination or in case you are non-denominational, your personal religious system? Are you happy with it, can it be improved? Is it fulfilling? Do you have doubts that is the correct one?
This might have been a great poll question. I believe you and Batko and pointed out more than once that there are 38,000 denominations. Obviously, no one has the time to learn about all of these before living ones faith in a practical way.

I'm not sure I told you this before but the church my wife and I go to used to be Methodist. Because of what is happening at the national level, the church broke away and is now non-denominational. I'm very happy with the collection of ~1,000 saints and how they serve the people's needs very well.

Could it be improved? Almost assuredly, the church could be better IF I devoted myself more to it. I do not say this to be arrogant but to point out the degree of my service is not maximum. I still have a job, family and house to take care of on top of my personal, survivalist interests. I've been invited to take more of a leadership role several times but I just cannot spare the time and energy. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. Hope that helps.

Oh, regarding having doubts about the denomination being the correct one; that is a theological question. See point above about 38,000 denominations. (I'm OK with having doctrinal differences, such as trinitarianism. What drives me more is following and living out the Golden Rule). My wife likes the singing the most; I prefer the sermons, which are usually practical and current events driven. For instance, there was a 5-sermon series regarding a rash of teen suicides here a couple of years back. Esoteric dissertations on the finer points of transubstantiation, soul sleep, or the rising from the dead of Samual may appeal to me but not most of the congregation.

Our lead Pastor is a woman. Her husband and son are also pastor's at the church. Her husband passed away suddenly in January. She and her son have mentioned in several sermons the challenges of overcoming this. It does not dominate the sermon but is very inspiring and one thing more; builds a real relationship. That's what we are looking for and what we get out of it.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:08 PM
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VEGAS ODDS ON HOW LONG IT TAKES FOR THIS THREAD TO BREAK DOWN INTO ARGUING AND CHAOS:

PAGE 1: EVEN MONEY

PAGE 2: 2 to 1

PAGE 3: 5 to 1

PAGE 4: 10 to 1

MIRACLE BELIEVERS' BET (i.e, NO ARGUMENTS/CHAOS): 100 to 1
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:02 PM
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OK, after my joke post I'll try something more serious.

Regarding Cat's opening question, I am absolutely fine with the Eastern Orthodox Church overall. As long as the Church stands strong on its traditions and doctrines, and continues to reject ecumenism and modernism I have no problems.

I have a question that is more neutral and shouldn't cause any arguments (although, on this forum one never knows!). How many are making practical preparations for the time when they will be looking at the sky from the other side of the grass?

There's a really nice Orthodox Church in America parish in Wisconsin that is located so far in the backwoods that there isn't even cell phone reception.

They have 40 acres on which there are the church building, meeting hall, and a church cemetery that was started by Carpatho-Russians when the church building was built in the early 1900s. My son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters are members there. While any Orthodox Christian is allowed to be buried in their cemetery, they have a real big discount on plots for parish members and their relatives.

In the near future I'll be purchasing a plot and getting a granite marker made up. This way whenever my time is up I won't be any trouble for anyone. And, when the family goes to church on Sunday they will be able to visit me without having to go a long way to the ROCOR Church cemetery in Minneapolis.

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Old 05-14-2019, 07:54 PM
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Although I am in Canada... My tomb is in Romania, Moldova. My father bought it for me. It is in a cemetery that is considered national museum and park and it was closed to the general public. But somebody that already had a tomb there sold it to my father. So I guess I will be paying a plane ticket retroactively when the time comes.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:54 PM
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I identify as Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. There are a few things I don't agree with, but they are not essential to salvation, and they are not sufficient to make me leave... as we know, no denomination is perfect...

The first issue is the modern music and services that some churches have. Now that I am not moving around and traveling, I'll be able to pick a congregation with an old, traditional, respectful service to my liking . Hopefully, they'll have daily Matins and Vespers, too preferably with Holy Communion... Daily would be awesome, but at least weekly... I'd really like it if we could go back to the Service Book and Hymnal (SBH) of 1958, but that's not likely due to Augsburg publishing it (it was a cooperative venture between a few different Lutheran denominations)

The second issue is that of close(d) communion. Sometimes, it is too close(d), as in non-members, who are confirmed in other LCMS churches, are denied. And sometimes case-by-case isn't considered, either. At the very least, I think other confirmed Lutherans...

The third issue I have is the congregations that use NIV... fortunately, not many LCMS do... Usually ESV, and a few use KJV.

The fourth issue I have is the question of chiliasm/premillennialism. Despite assertions by many, the Ecumenical Council at Ephesus did not condemn it (yes, I've looked at the documents posted online). Rather, it looks as if it simply died as people got discouraged since Christ still hadn't returned. I'd like the LCMS to actually relook this, using the Bible, writings of the early church fathers, the Romans, Jewish historians, and the documents of the various ecumenical and local councils.

Obviously, none of the above are necessary for salvation

I would like to say thanks to the people here, like Batko, Peter, Cat, and others, for the posts that have gotten me digging some more as an adult, and for answering my questions... as a kid we were taught about church history (including the church fathers and saints), origins of the faith, and different denominations, but that was a very, very, very long time ago. It is nice to look at history, theology, and issues with an adult perspective
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:16 PM
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I have a question that is more neutral and shouldn't cause any arguments (although, on this forum one never knows!). How many are making practical preparations for the time when they will be looking at the sky from the other side of the grass?

There's a really nice Orthodox Church in America parish in Wisconsin that is located so far in the backwoods that there isn't even cell phone reception.

They have 40 acres on which there are the church building, meeting hall, and a church cemetery that was started by Carpatho-Russians when the church building was built in the early 1900s. My son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters are members there. While any Orthodox Christian is allowed to be buried in their cemetery, they have a real big discount on plots for parish members and their relatives.

In the near future I'll be purchasing a plot and getting a granite marker made up. This way whenever my time is up I won't be any trouble for anyone. And, when the family goes to church on Sunday they will be able to visit me without having to go a long way to the ROCOR Church cemetery in Minneapolis.

I'll be buried in the family plot that an ancestor purchased a "million" years ago in Minneapolis. I have written instructions for the service and graveside, military stuff, plus info on VA contacts/benefits, and insurance, etc. This was done as part of deployment preparation, so I just keep it updated. Some of the info will be good for my Dad, too, as he is also a vet.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:46 PM
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...It is nice to look at history, theology, and issues with an adult perspective
LOL!

Are you sure you're talking about this forum???
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:36 AM
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Are you suggesting that authority within the Church has no theological basis?
In this case it is just administrative issues not related to the theology about authority in the Church. It is simply who is recognizing who. And Russia has its own argument and Constantinople and Ukraine have their own. In my view this is not something that will be troubling for the Orthodox Church for long. This is due to political issues on the ground not religion. There is no break in Faith or Theology, no matter how upset are some people.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:31 AM
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Although I am in Canada... My tomb is in Romania, Moldova. My father bought it for me. It is in a cemetery that is considered national museum and park and it was closed to the general public. But somebody that already had a tomb there sold it to my father. So I guess I will be paying a plane ticket retroactively when the time comes.
When I lived in Moscow from 1990 to 1996 I made frequent trips to visit my relatives in Belarus (Byelorussia). On one trip I collected some earth from my uncle's property on the farm. (The home is rebuilt on the same spot where my grandfather on my father's side was born back in the 1800s.)

Hopefully, they will not forget to sprinkle the earth from our ancestral homeland into my grave. It's not anything that's required by the Church, but it's the closest I'll get to being buried in our family's Родина (Motherland).
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:55 AM
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When I lived in Moscow from 1990 to 1996 I made frequent trips to visit my relatives in Belarus (Byelorussia). On one trip I collected some earth from my uncle's property on the farm. (The home is rebuilt on the same spot where my grandfather on my father's side was born back in the 1800s.)

Hopefully, they will not forget to sprinkle the earth from our ancestral homeland into my grave. It's not anything that's required by the Church, but it's the closest I'll get to being buried in our family's Родина (Motherland).
Good thought. You are making me emotional over things long past...
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:36 AM
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The third issue I have is the congregations that use NIV... fortunately, not many LCMS do... Usually ESV, and a few use KJV.
Why is it fortunate that many do not use NIV? The Nazarene minister is offended that it uses lower case pronouns, he and him, rather than He and Him. I'd like to know your reasons for not favoring the most commonly used translation in the English language.

I found ESV to be a choppy translation, EVEN IF it prides itself on being the most literal interpretation. By choppy I mean the sentence structures undermine the flow. A hypothetical example is to say Jesus went down stairs. Then he came up stairs. Once upstairs, he put his rain gear on. Once his rain gear was on he went outside. It was raining very hard. I'm sure it could be translated to flow much smoother. See my thread on the CEV translation.

I really cannot get into any translation with "James" in the title as I do not speak middle English, which ends up being a total distraction. See Joshua 1:9 below.


Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
KJV


Iíve commanded you to be strong and brave. Donít ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
CEV
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:56 AM
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If this is not a theological issue, why is the Russian Church playing politics?
Trog,

I'm a little confused as to why you are going down this path in this thread. I though Cat's intention was for us here at SB to communicate better with one another. The question of any church 'playing politics' seems to be for another thread.

Having said that, humans are political animals. So, 'playing politics' are in our DNA. Truly, 'playing politics' is independent of any ones medical needs, theology or other facets of the human condition.

The specific 'playing politics' matter you touch on is tied to the former Soviet Union block, with Russia believing in its pre-eminace over Ukraine. Given this culture, it is understandable the Ukrainian (church) would seek independence while the Russian (church) would claim it is part of them.

Generally, I am in favor of secession and certainly in the right of secession. The flip side is federalism and empire building. People banning together in common cause. This brings us back to Cat's motivation to start this thread. I wish there were many measurable differences among God's chosen people, Christians if you will, and the rest of human kind, such as low divorce, being happier, being financially secure, not prone to adultery.

If this were the case, we could all be a beacon of light to non-believers. It troubles me that the metrics of EXTERNAL benefit are not there. Perhaps it is to prevent the called from becoming prideful?

PE
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:27 AM
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So, an excommunication is just an administrative issue without a theological basis? From the article:
The Patriarch of Moscow, in protest, excommunicated Patriarch Bartholomew and severed communion with him and his followers.
It certainly seems to me that it is an issue of authority within the Orthodox Church. From the article:
In January 2019, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople signed a decree recognizing an independent church in Ukraine despite strong criticism from the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees Ukraine as part of its church territory.
What makes you say that? Is there historical precedent within the Orthodox Church for this situation?

It appears that the Orthodox Church in Russia is now not in communion with the Greek Orthodox. If this is not a theological issue, why is the Russian Church playing politics?
Yeah... every time there is a new growth there is the pain of the birth. It makes me yawn. Of course it happened before. Look below at the example of Romanian Patriarchy when we became independent in the 19th century from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Clear example right there. And how close are we now with that Patriarchate? ULTRACLOSE, that is how we are. Same with Russia, we are close and can become even closer. Do you know how is that even possible? Because there is NOTHING theologically here to see, that is how.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani...dom_of_Romania

"In the Principalities and the Kingdom of Romania
The Orthodox hierarchy in the territory of modern Romania had existed within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople until 1865 when the Churches in the Romanian principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia embarked on the path of ecclesiastical independence by nominating Nifon Rusailă, Metropolitan of Ungro-Wallachia, as the first Romanian primate. Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, who had in 1863 carried out a mass confiscation of monastic estates in the face of stiff opposition from the Greek hierarchy in Constantinople, in 1865 pushed through a legislation that proclaimed complete independence of the Church in the Principalities from the Patriarchate.

In 1872, the Orthodox churches in the principalities, the Metropolis of Ungro-Wallachia and the Metropolis of Moldavia, merged to form the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Following the international recognition of the independence of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (later Kingdom of Romania) in 1878, after a long period of negotiations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Patriarch Joachim IV granted recognition to the autocephalous Metropolis of Romania in 1885, which was raised to the rank of Patriarchate in 1925.[6]"


So it took 20 years for initial recognition of independence and 40 years more for a New Patriarchate to be recognized. So I will say that Ukraine moves pretty fast and if they will resolve the conflict with Crimea and Donbass things can be negotiated perfectly.

I see that Catholic Church is making ouvertures to Orthodox Churches... soon they might get closer than you think if Catholic Church makes the right moves. Now that is interesting. However, if Catholic Churches go to the homosexual agenda and further division from the Orthodox Church than we might just have to wait more. We will soon know where Catholic Church will go after October 2019 (Amazonia Synod of Bishops).
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:53 PM
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Why is it fortunate that many do not use NIV? The Nazarene minister is offended that it uses lower case pronouns, he and him, rather than He and Him. I'd like to know your reasons for not favoring the most commonly used translation in the English language.

I found ESV to be a choppy translation, EVEN IF it prides itself on being the most literal interpretation. By choppy I mean the sentence structures undermine the flow. A hypothetical example is to say Jesus went down stairs. Then he came up stairs. Once upstairs, he put his rain gear on. Once his rain gear was on he went outside. It was raining very hard. I'm sure it could be translated to flow much smoother. See my thread on the CEV translation.

I really cannot get into any translation with "James" in the title as I do not speak middle English, which ends up being a total distraction. See Joshua 1:9 below.


Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
KJV


Iíve commanded you to be strong and brave. Donít ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
CEV

Part of it is simply KJV is what I grew up with and what I used to study and memorize Scripture.

Since you don't like ye olde English, what about NKJV?
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:31 PM
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Were there excommunications as in this recent case?
The difference today vs. then is media. Today you excommunicate somebody for the show rather than for the theology. Since there is no theological debate then there is no real excommunication. At least not one that cannot be immediately revoked (as per the negotiations)

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Originally Posted by Trogshak View Post
I hope you are right.
Don't worry about the orthodox Churches.. we survived 2000 years and will be here when Jesus comes on clouds.

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Originally Posted by Trogshak View Post
The Orthodox attitude appears similar to that of the SSPX.
If you say so.

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Your statement is nonsense.
Why? It seems very clear. Homosexual agenda is mounting an attack in the Catholic Church due to external pressure. Let's hope it will not win the day.

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Originally Posted by Trogshak View Post
What are you saying here? Specifically, what are you suggesting might happen that further divides the two churches?
All kind of modern accommodation/modernization crap on the part of the Catholic Church...
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:04 PM
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NO MORE PHONE CALLS! WE HAVE A WINNAH!!

ANYONE WHO BET ON THE THREAD FALLING INTO ARGUMENTS ON PAGE 1 WILL RECEIVE EVEN MONEY ON THEIR BET!

TROGSHAK GETS THE NOD FOR POINTING THE THREAD IN THE DIRECTION OF UNNECESSARY OFF-TOPIC ARGUMENTS AND RESULTANT DEGRADATION.

Folks, I tried to steer this in the right direction with my post on what people are doing regarding making preparations for their final demise. Unfortunately, keeping a thread civil on this forum is like fighting the BORG from Star Trek -

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

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Old 05-15-2019, 10:26 PM
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Folks, I tried to steer this in the right direction with my post on what people are doing regarding making preparations for their final demise. Unfortunately, keeping a thread civil on this forum is like fighting the BORG from Star Trek -

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

[IMG][/IMG]

Resistance is not futile

..........Jon Luc Picard
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:47 PM
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Eh, it can get back on track! Y'all can handle this!!!
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