God Bless you all brothers in Christ! I'm a South African Lutheran who's been thinking about converting to Orthodoxy or Catholicism.Is there someone who might Christpill me on one of those two denominations?
You will not get a good, objective summary here. Best you read about it.
Read up on some of the major ones:
God bless you on your spiritual journey South African pilgrimanon. May the good God in heaven above protect you and your family in those strange times down there in SA.
As for which apostolic tradition you should follow, I am biased but you should begome a catholic. The East is nice and have beautiful traditions, but they reject Christ's decision to make St. Peter the cheif steward of His church.
If I were you, I would pray both a prayer rope and a rosary and decern which tradition of prayerful meditation helps you the most.
But as said, you will get alot of bias from both sides on this board. Your best bet would be to talk to the local priests in your area and decern from what they tell you and recommend you to read.
I'm a not a Christian but I'm currently leaning towards Catholicism after comparing it to Orthodoxy for months.
Recently though I have been looking into the current state of the catholic church, something I hadn't done before, and it is absolutely demoralizing what the state of the Catholic Church is.
Pope Francis is a left leaning liberal globalist - I'm a traditionalist. How can I reconcile my political beliefs (which is linked to my spiritual beliefs) with the current Pope? I can't see myself calling Francis MY Pope. What do I do?
I don't know much about the papacy but: Does the Pope have absolute power over the Church? In that case could there theoretically be a new Pope in the future that turns the Vatican II on its head and reverses all the damage done in the last couple of decades in one go?
Another thing: Has there been been a time in history were the newly elected pope goes against everything the last pope did without any complications stopping him from doing so? I figure there has been so many popes in history, there ought to be least one example of such case. In that case it would help me be more hopefully about the future concerning the Catholic Church.
You are not alone, alredy several theologians and bishops condemn him as a heretic but until the Vatican forces him to resign we are alone, and the Vatican I have the suspicion it has been compromised by Masons and (((Edomites)))
We have had bad popes before in the past and we still prevail. If anything, pray for someone like Cardinal Robert Sarah gets elected once Pope Francis resigns or passes away. Pray the rosary everyday and do acts of penance for the liberation of God's church.
Remember, even when the Pharisees were not good in their duties, Jesus told us that we still ought to listen to them. Do as they say, not as they do for they don't practice what they preach. (Matthew 23:3). Same goes for the hierarchy. Are alot of them disgusting leftists? Unfortunately yes, but it is our duty to pray for them and correct them when we can. Just as Aaron and Hur had to hold up the arms of Moses and prayed with him, it's our duty to pray for our Pope and hope God leads him down a righteous path.
Besides, the devil's permitted 100 years are up. There will be a great cleaning out in Holy Mother Church. All the filth will be cast out and it will be spotless once more.
praying for someone's death
Stop pretending to be Catholic.
Learn to read. Where did I type
pray for the death of Pope Francis
I said pray that Cardinal Robert Sarah gets the pontificate once Pope Francis resigns or passes away. Which is not the same as pray that God kills Pope Francis. I'll pray for you. Maybe God will bless you with reading comprehension.
Francis if the 266th Pope, they come and go and the Church stays as Holy as it's always been.
I can't see myself calling Francis MY Pope. What do I do?
You don't have to call him anything, he's THE Pope, not YOUR Pope, in the sense that you don't have to personally agree with his personal opinions (duh). You do however have to accept his teachings spoken ex cathedra, i.e. encyclicals, constitutions, exhortations and apostolic letters. Those will never be heretical.
Does the Pope have absolute power over the Church?
Yes, he heads the Church and also personally holds every kind of, let's call it, distributed powers. Like, say, the country's president has more power than a town's mayor, but the former's power doesn't overlap with the latter's. The Pope's does. Any little thing a parish priest can decide on, the Pope can do too.
In that case could there theoretically be a new Pope in the future that turns the Vatican II on its head and reverses all the damage done in the last couple of decades in one go?
Exactly what damage are we talking about? In any case: yes.
And he's not all that bad, he's been pretty bad ass in a very Jesuit fashion when dealing with scandals, bishops hiding sexual abuse and the like. Or disobedience, he doesn't take kindly to disobedience. There was this case a couple years ago where diocesan priests, all of them in a diocese, somewhere in Africa, refused to accept their newly appointed bishop because he was from another tribe. Franny send them a letter to the effect of: "you've thirty days to singly and personally apologize to me and swear obedience, anyone who doesn't falls under the censure of suspension, signed: your boss".
Sure he's a bit too much to the left, but he's nowhere close to being the worst of the 266 of them.
Besides, the devil's permitted 100 years are up
At this point it's pretty obvious that prophecy was prelest at best and a fabrication at worst… I mean it's been OVER 100 years, and there isn't the slightly hint of any kind of cleansing or renewal of the Church.
encyclicals, constitutions, exhortations and apostolic letters.
These aren't all ex cathedra teachings.
he's been pretty bad ass in a very Jesuit fashion when dealing with scandals
So bad-ass that he promoted Maradiaga and didn't do anything about McCarrick until the secular news media exposed the story… Give me a break. You are a bootlicker and either a moron or a liar.
Exactly what damage are we talking about?
Unbelievable. You must be some kind of shill. The entire Church is infested with heresy, 99% of Catholics are using birth control and/or getting abortions, religious vocations, confessions, and church attendance all went off a cliff, etc. etc.
These aren't all ex cathedra teachings.
Those are doctrinal documents, official teaching of the Church, so the point still stands. I might have got the term wrong, is it "ex cathedra" only then the Pope's claiming infallibility?
You are a bootlicker and either a moron or a liar.
I love you too, my dear brother in Christ. My point is John Paul or Benedict never went as far as Francis does routinely.
The entire Church is infested with heresy
Name one heretical document.
99% of Catholics
Firstly: who are you to judge 99% of Catholics? Have you check your eyes for logs lately?
Secondly: even if they're sinning, the Pope is hardly responsible for each and every person's sins. Satan, perhaps, but not the Pope.
What's he supposed to do anyway? Send the Swiss Guard to burn abortion clinics?
I'd also like to point out that the number of Catholics raises at a faster rate than the number of people in the world, in other words: we're making progress, it just happens mostly in Asia so you don't see it.
Except there is. McCarrick was kicked out, RICO investigations are starting agianst corrupt bishops, bad clergy are being arrested, the EU is collapsing on it's self, and tradition is returning to the minds of the laity.
When we get a new Pope it will only accelerate. I know you have no faith, but I do. With God, all things take time. It won't be like a Thanos *snap* and all the degenerates turn to dust. Have patience, user.
South African convert to Orthodoxy here. I'm not well versed in contemporary Lutheranism so I don't know what you know beyond basics. A good place to start might be the Nicene Creed and the catechism of St. Cyril of Jerusalem.
Be careful. Do not trust your own thoughts and feelings but evaluate them carefully. Most of all, pray to God that He may lead you on the right path. This is more important than any amount of studying or asking advice. 1 Peter 5:8 applies.
Warning: Wall of text almost entirely from memory. Mistakes hopefully avoided (my apologies). Many topics omitted for brevity.
Orthodox theology differs markedly from Western theology. We're talking about a separation twice as long ago as the reformation. At the risk of oversimplifying too much, Roman Catholic ("scholastic") theology would assert that man can understand God through philosophy whereas the Orthodox would assert that man–in his fallen state–is prone to false knowledge and that the only way to grow close to Him is in prayer (look into "noetic prayer") and fasting combined with the sacraments. To understand the former you would mainly have to read the work of Thomas Aquinas (and also St. Augustine). Several of the more recent Orthodox saints' works are unavailable in English. St. John Chrisostom features very prominently in the East with references to him cropping up similarly often to St. Augustine in the West. Note that saints prior to the 11th century schism are considered authoratative (to various degrees) by both sides, including these two. Accusations of falsifying the saints' writings abound where there are theological differences and some of these accusations are even made in good faith.
There are numerous factors involved in the split but the main impetus for the schism was the addition of the filioque and the resulting question of papal authority.
The idea of papal infallibility is anathema to the Orthodox Church. Each local church (originally 5 and now up to 14 of them–15 according to those who support the recent actions of Constantinople in the Ukraine) has its own patriarch (also called a pope, especially in Africa) who is basically a regional chairman rather than having authority over the other bishops. The patriarchs of some local churches have higher status (to serve as chairmen of councils) than others but not higher doctrinal authority. Doctrine is considered to be that which has been believed always, everywhere and by all and local or ecumenical (universal) councils (of bishops) serve to codify it where necessary. The last ecumenical council is often considered to be the 7th (pre-schism and shared with the Roman Catholics, who have had a great many councils since) although the council of 879 arguably counts as well. The latter was officially* endorsed by pope John VIII. (*Disputed by many Roman Catholics as if so their position is arguably heretical. Others claim a partial endorsement.)
Both RC and Orthodox have a tradition of repeating prayers. You will quickly encounter the rosary among the former. ("Hail Mary" with complications. It is based on an earlier practice which was started in the pre-schism East but did not catch on there. The image another posted earlier has some detail.) The Jesus prayer is common among the Orthodox ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" with the Lord's Prayer at the end of the rope.) A prayer rope is used to help you concentrate on praying consistently. The goal (at least in Orthodoxy) is to achieve the union with God which comes from constant, sincere, thoughtful prayer (1 Thes. 5:17). Prayer should be mastered through practice.
The Old Testament scriptures used are usually copied from different manuscripts. The Orthodox world mainly uses the Septuagint (or "LXX") which is a translation of the Old Testament into Greek which was done before extant copies of the Hebrew, making it difficult to distinguish when differences between the two are due to the translation or due to transmission errors in the Masoretic text. (The Masoretic text which is usually used for Protestant translations dates to the Jews of the Middle Ages.) Roman Catholics use the Vulgate, an early translation of the scriptures into Latin. Because of all of this, there are a few textual variances here and there and there are also quite a few differences in how the verses are numbered. Books also sometimes have different names etc. Luther removed some books he didn't like from the Bible which naturally are included outside of Protestantism.
Saints are commonly prayed to unlike in Protestantism. The reason this might shock you is that in Protestantism, prayer is itself considered to be the act of worship whereas this is not the case in traditional Christianity where the primary act of worship is in the Eucharist. Eucharist is held every Sunday and sometimes more often. Prayer is basically the act of asking (the literal meaning of the word) and we believe that we should ask the righteous saints to pray with and for us (James 5:16). We ask not because God doesn't know what we need but in order to commune with Him. We also wish to be in communion with the saints both living and departed. (Personally I find asking the saints' prayers to be helpful in warding off spiritual pride. If God grants what I asked, it is much easier to avoid feelings of importance when other more holy men also asked.)
The Virgin Mary is considered by far the highest among the saints, being the mother of God Incarnate. The title "Mother of God" sometimes elicits hostility. I can only speculate that in our partly paganized world, we have come to conflate motherhood with the creation of life. Mary is the Mother of God because she gave Him her flesh and birthed Him. None would claim that she created Him who is eternal.
Angels are also saints. They are bodiless spirits not made of matter as we know it whereas animals are made of matter and not spirit, and humans a bit of both. Fallen angels who chose by their own free will to rebel against God are the demons.
The relics of the saints are kept in churches and are venerated as are icons depicting them, Christ, or notable events. That is, they are paid respect, which is not considered an act of worship any more than placing flowers at your granny's grave or kissing her photo would be to a Protestant. Worshipping icons is in fact explicitly forbidden as per the 7th Ecumenical Council. Iconoclasm is something which first entered Christianity from Islam, an event which prompted the 7th Council where the meaning and use of icons was clarified.
Both Orthodox and Roman Catholics believe in the resurrection of the flesh (as found in scripture and in the Nicene Creed). That is, the body is not simply a piece of clothing for the soul to use and discard as it is to Gnostics, etc. but a part of the person himself. After death the soul is separated from the body–a tragic state in which it continues to exist and maintain awareness after a fashion–but at the final judgement the soul and body are to be reunited and you must face eternity as a real, physical person. This is why the remains of a saint are sacred; they remain part of a holy person who can continue to perform miracles through the grace of God (2 Kings 13:21). Cremation is not practiced in Orthodoxy or (non-liberalized) Catholicism.
Salvation in Orthodoxy is different from Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Firstly there is no penal substitution. The Father is not under any obligation to "justice" that He must punish someone for offending against Him and then has to punish the Son so you don't burn eternally. In Orthodoxy, Christ came to save us from ourselves, from our own sins, and from the demons which we gave power over ourselves.
Secondly, Orthodoxy has a particular view on faith/works/grace (which I think has also gained traction in some areas of Protestantism in recent years). God offers salvation for free but does not force it on anyone. He willingly withdraws from those who refuse Him. Salvation is essentially by grace, through faith, for works. Works are not only the fruit of faith, but also the path to it and the reason that for example St. Paul writes that sinners will not be saved is that the sin itself is a choice against God. Claiming that I was saved and therefore my sins do not matter is like claiming I went to Canada and therefore my getting on a ship to China doesn't make me stop being in Canada.
As in Protestantism there is neither limbo (where righteous non-Christians are neither punished nor really saved) nor is there any purgatory (where the righteous are punished for their sins so they can be purified before being admitted to paradise). There is however a concept of theosis/deification, the idea that the righteous become godlike after a fashion. Not in the sense of being gods by nature but rather in the sense of being filled with and growing closer to God and therefore being godlike through His grace. This process is expected to take place in both the current life and the next.
The next life is not Heaven. Heaven is the Throne of God and the New Earth will come to be after the destruction of the old. Orthodoxy also does not consider hell and paradise to be different places so much as they are different states. God destroys the wicked and sanctifies the holy in much the same way that fire burns straw but purifies gold–we just have to choose which we will end up as.
The living pray for the dead. We don't believe that this gets them out of purgatory since we don't believe in purgatory–simply that prayer is helpful.
There is no salvation outside the Church. (A doctrine taught by both Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy although post-modern ecumenists have tried their best to ignore it.) It should be understood that most of the orthodox theologians and saints I have read or listened to do not interpret this as meaning an automatic sentence to hell for those on the outside; more that other religions (including heterodox Christian confessions) do not lead to salvation. Those not in the church are at severe risk and need our prayers but God's judgement is still fair and should not be seen as spiteful. Roman Catholics have traditionally interpreted this as the righteous non-members going to limbo (including unbaptized children) but after Vatican II it tends to be ignored. Do not condemn those outside. Rather pray for them. Help them if you can and focus on saving yourself.
Note: The non-Chalcedonians (often called "Oriental Orthodox") are something yet again completely different. They split off from the Church half a millenium before the Great Schism in a dispute over the nature of Christ. They affirm basically the same belief on this point but dispute the wording because they claim it looks like Nestorianism. (A viewpoint which is caused partly by language differences between Greeks and Semites.) Their other doctrines have of course developed independently in the meantime.
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Changing religious affiliations is like a gay guy getting a new boyfriend. You're still a faggot.