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Discussion on matters of general mainstream Christian churches. What are the differences between Catholics and protestants? How has the charismatic movement affected the church? Are Southern baptists different from fundamentalist baptists? It is also for discussions about the nature of the church.

This forum is primarily for Christians to discuss matters of Christian doctrine, and is not the area for debate between atheists (or those opposing orthodox Christianity) and theists. Inquiring atheists (or sincere seekers/doubters/unorthodox) seeking only Christian participation and having demonstrated a manner that does not seek to undermine the orthodox Christian faith of others are also welcome, but must seek Moderator permission first. When defining “Christian” for purposes of this section, we mean persons holding to the core essentials of the historic Christian faith such as the Trinity, the Creatorship of God, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the atonement, the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgment. Persons not holding to these core doctrines are welcome to participate in the Comparative Religions section without restriction, in Theology 201 as regards to the nature of God and salvation with limited restrictions, and in Christology for issues surrounding the person of Christ and the Trinity. Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 forum without such restrictions. Additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream orthodox doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101.

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Orthodox Quote of the Day

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  • Orthodox Quote of the Day

    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
    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

  • #2
    “I ask you to try something. If someone grieves you, or dishonors you, or takes something of yours, then pray like this: “Lord, we are all your creatures. Pity your servants, and turn them to repentance,” and then you will perceptibly bear grace in your soul. Induce your heart to love your enemies, and the Lord, seeing your good will, shall help you in all things, and will Himself show you experience. But whoever thinks evil of his enemies does not have love for God and has not known God.”

    – St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, IX.21
    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


    • #3
      When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better. Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave. Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you. And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now. For I am living and I shall be forever. - St. Seraphim of Sarov
      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
        “Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. Reflect well on what you are now doing, and keep before you the things you have done. Lift up your eyes to the overflowing compassion of heaven, and while He waits for you, draw near in tears to our merciful Judge. Having before your mind that He is a Just Judge, do not take your sins lightly; and having also in mind that He is compassionate, do not despair. The God-Man gives man confidence before God.”

        ~ St. Gregory the Great
        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


        • #5
          These are all great. I especially like the last one. Like Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia, God/Aslan wasn't soft on sin, but always extended mercy afterwards.

          Comment


          • #6
            If anyone accuses the sun of want of light, he has not dimmed the brightness of the sunbeams with his scoffs; the sun will still remain the sun, and the fault finder will only prove the feebleness of his own visual organs; and, if he should endeavor to persuade all whom he meets and will listen to him not to give in to the common opinions about the sun, nor to attach more weight to the experiences of all than to the surmises of one individual by "assigning victory to mere quantity," his nonsense will be wasted on those who can use their eyes. - Gregory of Nyssa, Contra Eunomius
            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


            • #7
              “Children, imitate your parents and acquire our faith, patience, and humility. Live to please God, and He will grant you a long life. Give alms to the poor, defend widows and orphans, visit the sick and imprisoned, assist the wronged and unjustly condemned, and be at peace with all. Be faithful to your friends, do good to your enemies, and render not evil for evil. Be kind, gentle, and loving to everyone, and always remain humble. Preserve chastity of soul and body, and if God grants you to marry, keep your bed undefiled. Be generous to churches and monasteries, and honor priests and monks, on whose account the Lord has mercy on the world. Remember especially those wandering for God’s sake in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth, and provide for their needs. If you feed the poor, you shall never lack. I have provided generously for the needy, but my house has suffered no want. Pray frequently and heed the teachings of holy men. Respect your mother and obey her in the fear of the Lord. Never defy her wishes. Be kind to the slaves: treat them lovingly, as though they were your own children, and free them when they reach old age, but continue to furnish them everything else they require until the day they die. I repeat: do as I have done, that you may be deemed worthy of the blessedness of the saints. Never forget that this life is fleeting and its glory counts for nothing.”
              – St. Xenophon of Constantinople
              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
                "[The plans of the Arians] could not succeed with men who cared only for the empire of Christ, and for the Powers that never die; with all their wish to maltreat him, they could discover nothing, whether word or act, that could pain the Christian; confiscation could not touch him whose only possession was his faith; exile had no terrors for one who walked in every land with the same feelings, and looked on every city as strange because of the shortness of his sojourn in it, yet as home, because all human creatures are in equal bondage with himself; the endurance of blows, or tortures, or death, if it might be for the Truth, was an object of fear not even to women, but to every Christian it was the supremest bliss to suffer the worst for this their hope, and they were only grieved that nature allowed them but one death, and that they could devise no means of dying many times in this battle before the Truth." - St. Basil the Great, responding to attempts by the Emperor Valens to forcibly convert his city to Arianism [the emperor backed down]
                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


                • #9
                  “When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil’s provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour’s mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord’s fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour’s own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out’; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden’ – with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil – and I will give you rest.’”

                  – St. John of Kronstadt
                  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
                    “What hinders you from fulfilling Christ’s commandments?

                    The flesh and the world: that is, pleasant food and drink which men like, in which they delight both in thought and in fact, which make the heart gross and hard—a partiality for elegant dress and adornment, or for distinctions and rewards; if the dress or adornments are made of very beautiful colored and delicate materials, then care and anxiety arise how to avoid staining or soiling them, or getting them dusty or wet, whilst care and anxiety how to please God in thought, word, and deed vanish and the heart lives for dress and adornment, and becomes entirely engrossed in these things, ceasing to care about God and being united to Him; if such is the case with a priest, then he neglects praying for his people, and becomes not soul-loving, but money-loving and ambitious, seeking not the men themselves, but that which appertains to them, that is, money, food, drink, their favour, their good opinion and good word, and flattering them.

                    Therefore fight against every worldly enticement, against every material enticement that hinders you from fulfilling Christ’s commandments, love God with all your heart, and care with all your strength for the salvation of your own soul, and the souls of others, be soul-loving.”

                    – St. John of Kronstadt
                    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


                    • #11
                      "Someone who bears a grudge while he prays is like a person who sows in the sea and expects to reap a harvest."

                      —St. Isaac The Syrian
                      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
                        “Sharpen your sword and sickle which has been blunted by gluttony—sharpen it by fasting. Lay hold of the pathway which leads towards heaven, rugged and narrow as it is. Lay hold of it, and journey on it. Fasting is a medicine. But like all medicines, though it be very profitable to the person who knows how to use it, it frequently becomes useless (and even harmful) in the hands of him who is unskilled in its use. Do you fast? Give proof of it by your works. By what kind of works? If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see an enemy, be reconciled with him. If you see a friend gaining honor, do not be jealous of him. If you see a beautiful countenance, pass it by. And let not only the mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all members of your bodies. Let the hands fast by being pure from plundering and greed. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves with strange beauties…Do you eat meat? Feed not upon lasciviousness by means of your eyes! Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speakings and calumnies. Let the mouth fast also from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brothers and bites the body of his neighbor. Because of this Paul utters the fearful saying, ‘If you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another’ (Galatians 5:15). You have not fixed your teeth in the flesh but you have fixed your slander in his soul and inflicted the wound of evil suspicion, and you have harmed in a thousand ways yourself and him and many others, for in slandering your neighbor you have made him who listens to the slander worse, for should he be a wicked person, he becomes more careless when he finds a partner in his wickedness. And should he be a just person, he is tempted to arrogance and gets puffed up, being led on by the sin of others to imagining great things concerning himself. Besides this, you have struck at the common welfare of the Church herself, for all those who hear you will not only accuse the supposed sinner, but the entire Christian community…And so I desire to fix three precepts in your mind so that you may accompany them during the fast: to speak ill of no one, to hold no one an enemy, and to expel from your mouth altogether the evil habit of swearing.” - St. John Chrysostom
                        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


                        • #13
                          “When you see your body wasted away through sickness, do not murmur against God, but say, The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord (Job 1:21). You are accustomed to look upon your body as upon your own inalienable property, but that is quite wrong, because your body is God’s edifice.”

                          – St. John of Kronstadt
                          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
                            ‘We waited, and at last our expectations were fulfilled’, writes the Serbian Bishop Nikolai of Ochrid, describing the Easter service at Jerusalem. ‘When the Patriarch sang “Christ is risen”, a heavy burden fell from our souls. We felt as if we also had been raised from the dead. All at once, from all around, the same cry resounded like the noise of many waters. “Christ is risen” sang the Greeks, the Russians, the Arabs, the Serbs, the Copts, the Armenians, the Ethiopians – one after another, each in his own tongue, in his own melody. . . . Coming out from the service at dawn, we began to regard everything in the light of the glory of Christ’s Resurrection, and all appeared different from what it had yesterday; everything seemed better, more expressive, more glorious. Only in the light of the Resurrection does life receive meaning.’

                            This sense of resurrection joy, so vividly described by Bishop Nikolai, forms the foundation of all the worship of the Orthodox Church; it is the one and only basis for our Christian life and hope. Yet, in order for us to experience the full power of the Paschal rejoicing, each of us needs to pass through a time of preparation. ‘We waited,’ says Bishop Nikolai, ‘and at last our expectations were fulfilled.’ Without this waiting, without this expectant preparation, the deeper meaning of the Easter celebration will be lost.

                            So it is that before the festival of Easter there has developed a long preparatory season of repentance and fasting, extending in present Orthodox usage over ten weeks. First come twenty-two days (four successive Sundays) of preliminary observance; then the six weeks or forty days of the Great Fast of Lent; and finally Holy Week. Balancing the seven weeks of Lent and Holy Week, there follows after Easter a corresponding season of fifty days of thanksgiving, concluding with Pentecost.

                            --from the introduction to The Lenten Triodion published by St. Tikhon's Seminary Press
                            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


                            • #15
                              During Lent there is frequently a limitation on the number of meals eaten each day, but when a meal is permitted there is no restriction on the amount of
                              food allowed. The Fathers simply state, as a guiding principle, that we should never eat to satiety (when we are full) but always rise from the table feeling that we could have taken more and that we are now ready for prayer. If it is important not to overlook the physical requirements of fasting, it is even more important not to overlook its inward significance. Fasting is not a mere matter of diet. It is moral as well as physical. True fasting is to be converted in heart and will; it is to return to God, to come home like the Prodigal to our Father’s house. In the words of St. John Chrysostom, it means ‘abstinence not only from
                              food but from sins.’ ‘The fast,’ he insists, ‘should be kept not by the mouth alone but also by the eye, the ear, the feet, the hands and all the members of the body’: the eye must abstain from impure sights, the ear from malicious gossip, the hands from acts of injustice. It is useless to fast from food, protests St. Basil, and yet to indulge in cruel criticism and slander: ‘You do not eat meat, but you devour your brother.’ The same point is made in the Triodion, especially during the first week of Lent:

                              As we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. . . . Let us observe a fast acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. / True fasting is to put
                              away all evil, / To control the tongue, to forbear from anger, / To abstain from lust, slander, falsehood and perjury. / If we renounce these things, then is our
                              fasting true and acceptable to God. . . . Let us keep the Fast not only by refraining from food, / But by becoming strangers to all the bodily passions.
                              (From Vespers for Forgiveness Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of Clean Week)

                              The inner significance of fasting is best summed up in the triad: prayer, fasting, almsgiving. Divorced from prayer and from the reception of the holy
                              sacraments, unaccompanied by acts of compassion, our fasting becomes pharisaical or even demonic. It leads, not to contrition and joyfulness, but to pride,
                              inward tension and irritability. The link between prayer and fasting is rightly indicated by Father Alexander Elchaninov. A critic of fasting says to him, ‘Our
                              work suffers and we become irritable. . . . I have never seen servants [in prerevolutionary Russia] so bad-tempered as during the last days of Holy Week.
                              Clearly, fasting has a very bad effect on the nerves.’ To this Father Alexander replies, ‘You are quite right. . . . if it is not accompanied by prayer and an
                              increased spiritual life, it merely leads to a heightened state of irritability. It is natural that servants who took their fasting seriously and who were forced to work hard during Lent, while not being allowed to go to church, were angry and irritable.’ (from The Diary of a Russian Priest) Fasting, then, is valueless or even harmful when not combined with prayer.

                              -- from the introduction to The Lenten Triodion published by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press
                              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

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