What do, brothers? I've been stressing with this for a long time. Orthodoxy seems reasonable, but I'm sometimes leaning towards sola scriptura and I find saint's intercession and icons a sort of bad practice.
I don't yet fully understand what happens after death. Some say heaven or hell, others say purgatory, others claim deep sleep until the resurrection day, others that the soul gets destroyed…. and every single one of them refers to the same Bible as proof for their very different opinions. And this is just a single part of uncertainty I have. I wish I could have a vision from the times of the apostles or something and just witness exactly how they did Church…
Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against it, but which doctrine am I to believe in? I don't want to believe in my own interpretation… I'm not infallible, I want to believe the absolute truth…
Please help however you can. I'm losing hope really hard…
I ruled Catholicism out completely, although it seems like the easiest Church to attend
What about you read the Bible and study it, instead of looking at prooftexts for this or that claim?
Various Christian sects do not only point to the Bible, they also justify why this or that reading makes the most sense and why it is what the apostles and the early Church preached (except for those who believe in a great apostasy). There is also Biblical scholarship to learn from.
Well, how we "do Church" is already expressed every Sunday. Don't just read things, go to Sunday services and figure out who expresses the divine revelation and life in the Holy Spirit the most.
Return to roman Catholicism. Once you're trusted priests will open up to you and you can have great theological discourse. You'll see the reason for everything the catholic church does with time as well, as you go deeper into the faith. Belief comes after practicing.
Again, I'm not infallible. I've read the New Testament, some parts more than once and I've also read the Pentateuch and some other parts of the OT, and through the aid of the Holy Spirit I managed to understand a lot of it, but I definitely cannot make up my mind on every doctrine. I simply don't know how the apostles did their Liturgy, or if they even had one, in the same way we do today, with the sacraments and all.
I went to several Churches on Sundays and Saturdays (SDA Church) and honestly I still don't know. I want not to listen to my heart, and not my will to be done, but God's.
Nearly converted to Catholicism, I'm born and raised Orthodox and I did enjoy Catholic church a lot. There is no way I will ever agree with Papism I'm afraid… I have many, many issues with Catholicism and none of them are political.
Well, Orthodoxy says that its a state of soul depending on ones attitude towards God and His Love. Saints Love Him and enjoy Him. Damned Revile and are tormented due to His presence. Catholicism says that hell separation of God. It's somewhat similar to Orthodoxy, but with different interpretation (damned trying to isolate themselves from God). (Purgatory is debated of course) But both (and most Protestants) agree that Soul continues to exist after death and everyone awaits resurrection. Soul sleep was invented by Luther with much mental gymnastics to reject intercession of saints and ann*hilationism in XIX-XX cc. due to some protestards.
You should remember that Bible verses taken out of General context, one can justify everything. For example psalm 82:6 is about God saying to Humans "I have said ye are gods and all of you are the children of the Most High". While it signifies several factors, such as Humans being supreme creation, us being made in image and likeness of God, being children of God and talking about Divinization/Theosis, one can pervert its meaning, taking out of Full context and justify mormonism. This is why sacred tradition and apostolic succession is necessary part for proper interpretation of the scripture.
I completely agree with most of what you said, and I'm trying my best to read up on history of the Church and the council of Nicaea to see how things became the way they did. I'm just really lost… And yeah, tradition can be a guideline for how worship should be, to prevent stuff like mormonism and other complete heresies, but I still can't commit myself wholeheartedly to all the practices in the Orthodox Church today.
I can not tell you the correct path for you but know this only a Church that understands that the Body and Blood are really and truly present during Communion will lead you on the correct path. The others are on winding dangerous roads and some will make it but many will become lost.
The Holy Mother and Saints interceding is simply us asking our family in Christ to pray for us. Jesus is and will always be the way Cathodox believe this but it gets twisted by uninformed and those who hate the Church. After all if you believe in Christ then you believe he conquered death and those Saints are in heaven at this moment confirmed by miracles or their love that for God that was so strong they became martyrs for him. We do not pray to the icons the icons are there to remind us of those who came before us and to strengthen our resolve that any man may become a Saint as Christ commanded us to be. We have not, do not, and will not ever worship the statues because they are merely that put Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven with God his father.
If you don't agree with papism then you don't have consideration for God the Father.
I live in a very Orthodox country and we have a sort of cult of the dead here, regarding relics and bones of the saints, miracle-performing icons and stuff and I just can't reconcile all of this with scripture. It just ~feels~ like idolatry to me And although I do not fully agree with any sort of images… statues and other naturalistic art just ~feel~ more 'pagan' than icons. I know feelings account for nothing, but I do feel conviction in my heart when I kiss icons and pray in front of them and when asking saints for intercession. I WANT to believe in the Cathodox tradition, because Protestantism really feels like it brought forth a lot more confusion than good
That's a statement and not an argument. God alone is infallible, and nobody can purchase forgiveness with money. Your pope claims to be precisely in place of Christ on earth. It is a major heresy trying to usurp authority from the Living God. This is my reasoning for rejecting papism completely. There are several other issues I have with Catholic doctrine, including the whole rationalization of the graveness of a sin which ties in with the idea of Purgatory.
Not him, and not even Catholic, but you are incorrect, this is not heretical. See Exodus 4:16
Thank you. This was recommended to me a lot of times. I'm finally giving it a read right now. I hope it helps ease my mind a little.
That's Moses not Peter.
Papacy was fine until popes started changing doctrine and becoming infallible and everything else, especially ``papal indulgences`` It's against both scripture and tradition to do those changes in faith.
All are shit. Just take what's good from them and ignore the bad. Bible doesn't mention which church.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. - Matthew 23:9
One of the Catholic rites. Use discernment to be drawn to a parish.
The intercession of saints is real, but I can see how poor education would lead even the faithful to confuse reverence with worship. Perhaps your hesitance is a good sign. You can approach the subject cautiously, gather a full understanding, and share it with the other laymen of your community.
And, Icon painting is a holy practice gifted to the evangelist John by The Virgin Mother herself. If they make you feel queasy, learn more about how they're constructed (visually) and how they're inspired.
t. The Lord let my grandfather name me, and he wasn't even a saint. Shit was pretty cash.
I feel the same. I'm starting to think denominations are just a man-made structure and don't really matter, and it's all between Jesus and you, you know? God reveals Himself to each and every believer, personally. Kierkegaard said that I think.
"The theologians and Christian sectarians keep on continually disputing about the letter and form, while they care nothing for the spirit, without which the form is empty and the letter dead. Each one imagines that he has the truth in his keeping, and wants to be admired by the world as a keeper of the truth. Therefore they denounce and slander and backbite each other, and thus they act against the first principle taught by Christ, and which is brotherly love. Thus the Church of Christ has become a bazaar where vanities are exhibited, and as the Israelites dance around the golden calf, so the modern Christians dance around their selfconstructed fetishes, whom they call God, and on account of this fetishworship they will not be able to enter the promised land. "The whole Christian religion is based upon a knowledge of our origin, our present condition, our destiny. It shows first how from unity we fell into variety, and how we may return to the former state. Secondly, it shows what we were before we became disunited. Thirdly, it explains the cause of the continuance of our present disunion. Fourthly, it instructs us as to the final destiny of the mortal and immortal elements within our constitution. "All the teachings of Christ have no other object than to show us the way how we may reascend from a state of variety and differentiation to our original unity ; and he who teaches otherwise teaches an error
I was once where you are now, I’ll pray for you, brother.
"Their separation from the Western world had left them in ignorance of the improvements, or corruptions, of a thousand years; and their conformity with the faith and practice of the fifth century would equally disappoint the prejudices of a Papist or a Protestant."
Really to me these and the customs of the Syrian Orthodox feel like they might be most genuine to the earliest Christian movements. Easterners looking more foreign but true to Christian essence while the westerners appear culturally closest to the earliest Christian milieu but having become more materialistic over time but both could be accused of the same. The history of Nestorians themselves isn't so great either with nepotism and hereditary succession and the like but as I said that is also something that may be truer to the behavior of past historical communities.
Honestly come to an Assyrian church, they're very welcoming, many people there are also converts and you can receive Holy Qurbana (Eucharist) if you are baptized and believe in the sacraments. Hereditary succession was abolished under Mar Shemun Eshai
There are none in my area but there are just about every other church including Syrian Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox, and the Mar Thoma Church. The Assyrian churches in America appear to be mainly in the areas of New York, Detroit, Chicago, and California.
Stop using your head do much. Find a church that moves the Holy Spirit within you and stay right there.
Where in the US are you from?
I am in the Maryland DC Virginia and WV greater metro area.
A lot of them are just hard to find, I asked an Assyrian friend of mine in a nearby area and I'll get back to you if I hear of a church there