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Examining EO

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  • Examining EO

    I was initially taken aback by Eastern Orthodox disinclination to pray with gospel-believing brothers and sisters in Christ, regarding us as heterodox Protestants. My interest in Eastern Orthodoxy was further piqued in light of recent discussions here at Tweb. Thus began my closer examination of EO.

    I came across material written by Christian author, Ivica Stamenkovic. Please join me in working through the material. Corrections and refutations are welcomed from EO believers.

    1) Intro

    2) Eastern Orthodoxy Illuminated by the Gospel.

    PS: This thread is intended for charitable discussion; reproof and correction, for the body of Christ.

  • #2
    Started reading the introduction. I'll check out the second part later.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
      I was initially taken aback by Eastern Orthodox disinclination to pray with gospel-believing brothers and sisters in Christ, regarding us as heterodox Protestants. My interest in Eastern Orthodoxy was further piqued in light of recent discussions here at Tweb. Thus began my closer examination of EO.

      I came across material written by Christian author, Ivica Stamenkovic. Please join me in working through the material. Corrections and refutations are welcomed from EO believers.

      1) Intro

      2) Eastern Orthodoxy Illuminated by the Gospel.

      PS: This thread is intended for charitable discussion; reproof and correction, for the body of Christ.
      Given the rather polemic tone with which your source starts (which can be explained, at least in part, by a millenium of hostility between Greeks and Serbs)....

      I'll take a look, as I have time.
      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
      sigpic
      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

      Comment


      • #4
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Okay, I've looked (read through all of #2). The author has no shame. First, he digs up the weakest argument for Orthodoxy he can find, which is essentially an Orthodox (probably schismatic, given the source) priest whose argument boils down to, "Do you do these things Orthodoxy does? You DON'T!?! For shame!!!!!!!!" His reply mostly boils down to, "If it's not explicitly in the New Testament, as I interpret it, it's wrong!" Along the way, he argues from silence, rips quotes out of context so he can misrepresent their authors, relies on outdated and/or otherwise questionable sources (pagan copycats, anywone?), avoids the best Orthodox arguments....

          Surely you can find something better, Scrawly. Not only is this unlikely to move those not already convinced, it may cause those already convinced to rethink their convictions.
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

          Comment


          • #6
            Which books would you recommend a person read if you could only recommend three books, One Bad Pig?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Leonhard View Post
              Which books would you recommend a person read if you could only recommend three books, One Bad Pig?
              Right now? Probably Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective [Daniel B. Clendenin], Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology [Andrew Louth], and Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life Paperback [Anthony Coniaris]. None of these are really apologetics books, though the last was my catechism book, and provides some apologia for Orthodox praxis and beliefs. I have books on my (ever-increasing) to-read list which may bump one or more of those. I think it's better to visit an Orthodox church than to just read about Orthodoxy.
              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

              Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
              sigpic
              I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                Okay, I've looked (read through all of #2). The author has no shame. First, he digs up the weakest argument for Orthodoxy he can find, which is essentially an Orthodox (probably schismatic, given the source) priest whose argument boils down to, "Do you do these things Orthodoxy does? You DON'T!?! For shame!!!!!!!!"
                Is Russian Orthodox priest Kyril Zaits a schismatic according to Orthodoxy? The questions he posed to the evangelical in the intro seem to stem from standard Orthodox doctrine from what I understand.

                His reply mostly boils down to, "If it's not explicitly in the New Testament, as I interpret it, it's wrong!"
                I believe Pastor Ivica Stamenkovic displayed sound doctrine in accordance with the word of truth. His interpretation of the scriptures is akin to a worker seeking approval from God by rightly dividing the word of truth. The plurality of interpretations shouldn't prevent one from seeking the correct one. I have no reason to believe that Ivica Stamenkovic failed in this regard, do you?

                Along the way, he argues from silence, rips quotes out of context so he can misrepresent their authors, relies on outdated and/or otherwise questionable sources (pagan copycats, anywone?), avoids the best Orthodox arguments....
                Please provide some specifics here.

                Surely you can find something better, Scrawly.
                I'm sure I could too, but quite frankly I'm not sure I need to.

                Not only is this unlikely to move those not already convinced, it may cause those already convinced to rethink their convictions.
                I believe Ivica Stamenkovic is solely concerned with the Orthodox understanding of the gospel. He is perhaps rightly concerned that many Orthodox believers are nominally and culturally religious and lack true faith rooted in the one and only gospel, and that they will never find it if they remain in the Orthodox tradition. He further sees devout Orthodox believers or "converts" as having gone astray from a pure and simple faith in Christ, latching on to unbiblical traditions of men; and I tend to agree for the most part.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                  Is Russian Orthodox priest Kyril Zaits a schismatic according to Orthodoxy?
                  As it turns out, no.
                  The questions he posed to the evangelical in the intro seem to stem from standard Orthodox doctrine from what I understand.
                  Yes. That does not make them reasoned expositions.
                  I believe Pastor Ivica Stamenkovic displayed sound doctrine in accordance with the word of truth. His interpretation of the scriptures is akin to a worker seeking approval from God by rightly dividing the word of truth. The plurality of interpretations shouldn't prevent one from seeking the correct one. I have no reason to believe that Ivica Stamenkovic failed in this regard, do you?
                  This isn't about "plurality of interpretations"; this is about "private interpretation". And, yes, Mr. Stamenkovic failed repeatedly by reading into the scriptures his private interpretation.
                  Please provide some specifics here.
                  Sure.
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  These facts surrounding Holy Scripture explain why the Apostles recorded everything needed for proper spiritual life and growth in the books of the New Testament.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  This follows a 3-sentence synopsis of how the NT was written. It is wholly an argument from what he believes to be true and is unsupported by what precedes it. All he did here was baldly assert what he believes.

                  Immediately following:
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  On the other hand, the allegation that the Apostles would omit (accidentlally or deliberately) the most important spiritual truths on which the eternal destiny of billions of people would hang is utterly inconceivable.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  This manages to combine two fallacies, burning a strawman and argument from incredulity.
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  Any careful reader of Holy Scripture will notice at least two "sacraments" never mentioned in the New Testament. These include chrismation (performed after baptism) and anointing of the sick (e.g. sanctification through oil on behalf of a sick person). The apostolic practices of the New Testament provide no evidence for either of these practices. The first century Christians neither performed chrismation (rubbed oil) on a believer after baptism nor did they rub patients with oil to sanctify them "in the name of the Lord". Although the New Testament mentions baptism many times and refers to praying for the healing of sick people, the Orthodox sacraments of chrismation and unction are completely absent.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  Any careful reader of Scripture will notice that he is wrong in at least one of those cases - to wit, anointing the sick.
                  Source: Mark 6:13 NKJV

                  And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  Source: Luke 10:34 NKJV

                  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  Most pertinently:
                  Source: James 5:14 NKJV

                  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  Anointing with oil was a standard cure in NT times. It is the height of ignorance to argue that it didn't occur.

                  He has something of a point with chrismation, which is merely a different way of doing the same thing - to give the Holy Spirit, which was done via the laying on of hands in NT times. Harping on the outward form is a little petty, especially as it is a practice which most Protestants have dropped entirely. It's okay to quit doing something, but not to do it in a different manner?
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  From studying the Bible verses earlier, we learned that the New Testament in fact does not support the Orthodox dogma of Mary's perpatual virginity.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  No, that's his interpretation of those verses. Does he imagine that the Orthodox never noticed these texts before?

                  Immediately following:
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  Obviously then, this dogma derives only from apocryphal books. Furthermore, names such as "Virgin" or "Mother of God" are not found in the Bible. Such names were introduced into the church centuries after Mary's death.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  This is an argument from silence. It assumes that it cannot have come from tradition passed down orally, it equivocates somewhat in that Mary is indeed referred to as a virgin in Mat. 1:23 and Luke 1:27, and then makes another statement from silence. Yes, the oldest remaining evidence of "Theotokos" is from Origen in the third century. However, in the written instances before evidence is widely available, it is never defended - just used. The only condemnation of the term prior to modern times is by Nestorius, who was cast out as a heretic for doing so. Note that the term "trinity" is never used in scripture, yet Protestants have no issue with that. Double standard much?
                  Source: Stamenkovic

                  In accordance with biblical revelation we must show respect to the Apostles and other men and women of God throughout history. Such people are respected for the lessons in piety based on their various experiences in life with the Lord. Yet, we must not engage in what the Scriptures forbid: to pray for the intercession before God and prayerful mediation of saints already deceased.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  There's a whole host of things wrong with this. First, I have yet to see Protestants show respect to anyone between the apostles and Martin Luther, a span of 1400 years! Second, in his arguments he deliberately conflates worship/adoration of God and the veneration of saints, which is an argument Orthodoxy has vehemently disclaimed for something like 1300 years. This is dishonest, and shows Stamenkovic to be more interested in advancing his beliefs than being truthful. Thirdly, he passes over key passages in defense of prayers to the saints like Heb. 12:1 (which shows the saints are aware of what passes here), Rev. 6:9-11 (which shows the martyred saints crying out to God, and God responding), and Rev. 5:8/8:4 (showing the prayers of the saints rising like the smoke of incense before God).

                  Stamenkovic relies on Ralph Woodrow's Babylonian Mystery Religion: Ancient and Modern. Let's see what Woodrow himself later had to say about this work:
                  Source: Woodrow

                  In my earlier Christian experience, certain literature fell into my hands which claimed paganism had been mixed into Christianity. While the Roman Catholic Church was usually the target, it seemed other churches had also been contaminated by customs and beliefs for which pagan parallels could be found.

                  "The Two Babylons" by Alexander Hislop (1807-1862), with its alarming subtitle, "the papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife," was THE textbook on which much of this teaching was based. Over the years, this book has impacted the thinking of many people-ranging all the way from those in radical cults to very dedicated Christians who hunger for a move of God and are concerned about anything that might hinder that flow. Its basic premise is that the pagan religion of ancient Babylon has continued to our day, in disguise, as the Roman Catholic Church and is described in the book of Revelation as "Mystery Babylon the Great"-thus, the idea of TWO Babylons, one ancient, and on modern. Because Hislop's book is very detailed, having a multitude of notes and references, I assumed, as did many others, it was factual. We quoted "Hislop" as an authority on paganism, jut like "Webster" might be quoted on word definitions.

                  As a young evangelist I began to share a sermon on the mixture of paganism into Christianity, and eventually wrote a book based on Hislop-"Babylon Mystery Religion." In time, my book became quite popular, went through many printings, and was translated into Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and several other languages. I came to be regarded by some as an authority on the subject of pagan mixture. Even a noted Roman Catholic writer, Karl Keating, said: "Its best-known proponent is Ralph Woodrow, author of 'Babylon Mystery Religion'."

                  Many preferred my book over "The Two Babylons" because it was easier to read and follow. Sometimes the two books were confused with each other. Letters in a steady flow were received praising my book. Only occasionally would there be a dissenting voice. ONE WHO DISAGREED was Scott Klemm, a high school history teacher in southern California. Being a Christian, and appreciating other things I had written, he began to show me EVIDENCE THAT HISLOP WAS NOT A RELIABLE HISTORIAN. As a result, I realized that I needed to go back through Hislop's work, my basic source, and prayerfully check it out!

                  As I did this, it became clear-Hislop's "history" was often only mythology.

                  © Copyright Original Source


                  I'm sure I could too, but quite frankly I'm not sure I need to.
                  Are you more interested in reading something which supports your POV, however sloppily, or finding out the truth?
                  I believe Ivica Stamenkovic is solely concerned with the Orthodox understanding of the gospel. He is perhaps rightly concerned that many Orthodox believers are nominally and culturally religious and lack true faith rooted in the one and only gospel, and that they will never find it if they remain in the Orthodox tradition. He further sees devout Orthodox believers or "converts" as having gone astray from a pure and simple faith in Christ, latching on to unbiblical traditions of men; and I tend to agree for the most part.
                  This is hardly a problem isolated to Orthodoxy; many Protestant believers are equally "nominally and culturally religious and lack true faith rooted in the one and only gospel." If he's worried about people finding the truth, he needs to stop using deceitful arguments to "help" them.
                  Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                  sigpic
                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a question about EO.

                    Is it considered a sin to eat food that tastes good?

                    I came across this this when going through a Wiki-rabbit hole and saw that "eating tasty rather than plain food" was a cause for condemnation. I'm aware that Clement of Alexandria's "The Christian Use of Food" says similar things so I'm curious if this is a universal.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      I have a question about EO.

                      Is it considered a sin to eat food that tastes good?

                      I came across this this when going through a Wiki-rabbit hole and saw that "eating tasty rather than plain food" was a cause for condemnation. I'm aware that Clement of Alexandria's "The Christian Use of Food" says similar things so I'm curious if this is a universal.
                      I don't recall that work by Clement of Alexandria. Where might I find it?

                      In any case, the reference says, "choosing," not "eating." There's a difference between going for dainties over healthful food and accepting food proffered by others. Further, it probably should not be taken strictly literally; more on that anon. In a sense, though, choosing rich foods can be considered gratification of the passion of gluttony; it is markedly easier to over-eat when one enjoys the food, after all. Also, rich foods can stir the loins, which is why ascetics in particular try to avoid them. However, marital sex certainly gratifies the flesh, and is not the slightest bit condemned in scripture. Thus, some discernment is IMO required. You don't let your kids choose dessert over the main course, do you? You may let them have dessert after cleaning their plate, but not lieu of that.
                      Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                      Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                      sigpic
                      I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                        I don't recall that work by Clement of Alexandria. Where might I find it?

                        In any case, the reference says, "choosing," not "eating." There's a difference between going for dainties over healthful food and accepting food proffered by others. Further, it probably should not be taken strictly literally; more on that anon. In a sense, though, choosing rich foods can be considered gratification of the passion of gluttony; it is markedly easier to over-eat when one enjoys the food, after all. Also, rich foods can stir the loins, which is why ascetics in particular try to avoid them. However, marital sex certainly gratifies the flesh, and is not the slightest bit condemned in scripture. Thus, some discernment is IMO required. You don't let your kids choose dessert over the main course, do you? You may let them have dessert after cleaning their plate, but not lieu of that.
                        This is the passage I had in mind.

                        http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02092.htm

                        That makes some sense though I do struggle at times with discerning if a given exhortation is meant to be taken literally. Clement in particular seems fairly straightforward in literalness with his condemnation of spices and other ingredients.

                        This isn't meant to be a stupid question, but how do you define "passion" in a religious sense? I've seen the term used here a number of times but haven't been able to nail down an exact definition. I've seen it defined as strong emotion or excitement but I suspect it may not be so straightforward. I know as a football fan, you allow yourself to get emotionally invested/excited in games, for instance, so does it relate to a moderation of said emotions?
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                          This is the passage I had in mind.

                          http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02092.htm
                          Oh, The Instructor (Paedogogus). That I've read.
                          That makes some sense though I do struggle at times with discerning if a given exhortation is meant to be taken literally. Clement in particular seems fairly straightforward in literalness with his condemnation of spices and other ingredients.
                          Clement of Alexandria is complicated. As far as I can tell, he is generally not venerated as a saint in Orthodoxy. I do not often see his writings quoted as authoritative.
                          This isn't meant to be a stupid question, but how do you define "passion" in a religious sense? I've seen the term used here a number of times but haven't been able to nail down an exact definition. I've seen it defined as strong emotion or excitement but I suspect it may not be so straightforward. I know as a football fan, you allow yourself to get emotionally invested/excited in games, for instance, so does it relate to a moderation of said emotions?
                          Well, strictly speaking, I probably shouldn't. The ideal of passionlessness is to be equally unaffected by praise or condemnation. Needless to say, it's rarely met. I do get emotionlly invested in games, but not to the point of breaking something or losing self-control. Monks don't watch football.
                          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                          sigpic
                          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                            This isn't about "plurality of interpretations"; this is about "private interpretation".
                            You seem to be under the illusion that you are somehow above this interpretative process. The fact of the matter is that you engaged in exegeting biblical passages and weighing theological arguments and so forth when you converted to Orthodoxy -- which constitutes your personalized (or private) interpretative process. Make no mistake that it was you who made the decision through personal investigation and analysis.

                            And, yes, Mr. Stamenkovic failed repeatedly by reading into the scriptures his private interpretation.
                            Mr. Stamenkovic is being true to his ultimate authority -- the scriptures. If you can prove to him that his interpretation is erroneous through exegetical argumentation, then he should stand corrected, like a good Protestant.

                            Sure.
                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            These facts surrounding Holy Scripture explain why the Apostles recorded everything needed for proper spiritual life and growth in the books of the New Testament.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            This follows a 3-sentence synopsis of how the NT was written. It is wholly an argument from what he believes to be true and is unsupported by what precedes it. All he did here was baldly assert what he believes.
                            OK.


                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            On the other hand, the allegation that the Apostles would omit (accidentlally or deliberately) the most important spiritual truths on which the eternal destiny of billions of people would hang is utterly inconceivable.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            This manages to combine two fallacies, burning a strawman and argument from incredulity.
                            But do you think that the Apostolic teaching contained within the scriptures is sufficient for life and godliness so that the man of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work?

                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            Any careful reader of Holy Scripture will notice at least two "sacraments" never mentioned in the New Testament. These include chrismation (performed after baptism) and anointing of the sick (e.g. sanctification through oil on behalf of a sick person). The apostolic practices of the New Testament provide no evidence for either of these practices. The first century Christians neither performed chrismation (rubbed oil) on a believer after baptism nor did they rub patients with oil to sanctify them "in the name of the Lord". Although the New Testament mentions baptism many times and refers to praying for the healing of sick people, the Orthodox sacraments of chrismation and unction are completely absent.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            Any careful reader of Scripture will notice that he is wrong in at least one of those cases - to wit, anointing the sick.
                            Source: Mark 6:13 NKJV

                            And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            Source: Luke 10:34 NKJV

                            So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            Most pertinently:
                            Source: James 5:14 NKJV

                            Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            Anointing with oil was a standard cure in NT times. It is the height of ignorance to argue that it didn't occur.
                            I think he would acknowledge those passages. The question he is asking: Do the Orthodox sacraments literally line up with the practices performed and decreed in the bible?

                            He has something of a point with chrismation, which is merely a different way of doing the same thing - to give the Holy Spirit, which was done via the laying on of hands in NT times. Harping on the outward form is a little petty, especially as it is a practice which most Protestants have dropped entirely. It's okay to quit doing something, but not to do it in a different manner?
                            If you can prove to a Protestant from the scriptures that laying on of hands ought to be practiced in order to receive the Holy Spirit, then that Protestant would be bound to adopt said practice. Eph. 1:13-14 and Gal. 3:2-3 would need to factor in here however.

                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            From studying the Bible verses earlier, we learned that the New Testament in fact does not support the Orthodox dogma of Mary's perpatual virginity.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            No, that's his interpretation of those verses. Does he imagine that the Orthodox never noticed these texts before?
                            Yes of course he is submitting his interpretation, in light of his personal commitment to rightly divide the word of truth.

                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            Obviously then, this dogma derives only from apocryphal books. Furthermore, names such as "Virgin" or "Mother of God" are not found in the Bible. Such names were introduced into the church centuries after Mary's death.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            This is an argument from silence. It assumes that it cannot have come from tradition passed down orally, it equivocates somewhat in that Mary is indeed referred to as a virgin in Mat. 1:23 and Luke 1:27, and then makes another statement from silence. Yes, the oldest remaining evidence of "Theotokos" is from Origen in the third century. However, in the written instances before evidence is widely available, it is never defended - just used. The only condemnation of the term prior to modern times is by Nestorius, who was cast out as a heretic for doing so. Note that the term "trinity" is never used in scripture, yet Protestants have no issue with that. Double standard much?
                            Stamenkovic is highlighting the biblical portrait of Mary and contrasting it to the exalted status she is given in Orthodox and Roman circles. He finds no good reason to believe that such tradition has it's roots in Apostolic witness.

                            Source: Stamenkovic

                            In accordance with biblical revelation we must show respect to the Apostles and other men and women of God throughout history. Such people are respected for the lessons in piety based on their various experiences in life with the Lord. Yet, we must not engage in what the Scriptures forbid: to pray for the intercession before God and prayerful mediation of saints already deceased.

                            © Copyright Original Source


                            There's a whole host of things wrong with this. First, I have yet to see Protestants show respect to anyone between the apostles and Martin Luther, a span of 1400 years!
                            Of course that is demonstrably false.

                            Second, in his arguments he deliberately conflates worship/adoration of God and the veneration of saints, which is an argument Orthodoxy has vehemently disclaimed for something like 1300 years.
                            Where does he make this conflation?

                            Thirdly, he passes over key passages in defense of prayers to the saints like Heb. 12:1 (which shows the saints are aware of what passes here), Rev. 6:9-11 (which shows the martyred saints crying out to God, and God responding), and Rev. 5:8/8:4 (showing the prayers of the saints rising like the smoke of incense before God).
                            Now of course Protestants have seen these verses before, and of course we disagree with The Orthodox and Roman interpreters, and believe you are reading into the text a doctrine that simply isn't there.

                            Stamenkovic relies on Ralph Woodrow's Babylonian Mystery Religion: Ancient and Modern....
                            OK, but does Stamenkovic agree with everything in the book? Perhaps there is some truth to pagan influence on Marian doctrine over the centuries, and the book gets that part right(?)

                            Are you more interested in reading something which supports your POV, however sloppily, or finding out the truth?
                            In the OP I stated that refutations from Orthodox believers are welcomed.

                            This is hardly a problem isolated to Orthodoxy; many Protestant believers are equally "nominally and culturally religious and lack true faith rooted in the one and only gospel."
                            Perhaps the reality of nominalism and mere cultural-belief present in all churches and denominations can help us better discern the global body of Christ...

                            If he's worried about people finding the truth, he needs to stop using deceitful arguments to "help" them.
                            Just as Paul opposed Peter at Antioch, it seems Stamenkovic is willing to confront fellow believers when they are not acting "consistently with the truth of the gospel".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                              I don't recall that work by Clement of Alexandria. Where might I find it?

                              In any case, the reference says, "choosing," not "eating." There's a difference between going for dainties over healthful food and accepting food proffered by others. Further, it probably should not be taken strictly literally; more on that anon. In a sense, though, choosing rich foods can be considered gratification of the passion of gluttony; it is markedly easier to over-eat when one enjoys the food, after all. Also, rich foods can stir the loins, which is why ascetics in particular try to avoid them. However, marital sex certainly gratifies the flesh, and is not the slightest bit condemned in scripture. Thus, some discernment is IMO required. You don't let your kids choose dessert over the main course, do you? You may let them have dessert after cleaning their plate, but not lieu of that.
                              Well though quite frankly, its silly to think that food is not meant to be enjoyed though. it should be enjoyed. My understanding of gluttony is that its a type pf greed and selfishness. It also uses food in place of other needs.
                              A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                              George Bernard Shaw

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