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Spartacus
August 18th, 2004, 08:19 PM
Sunday August 15 was the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian Churches.

What is the Assumption you ask....according to Apostolic Tradition (namely the 2nd Century teachings of St. John the Theologian) before Christ's mother -- The Virgin Mary --passed away, all the Apostles, save one, miraculously found themselves in Jerusalem drawn from all their missionary work from all over the world.

After she passed away, her body was sealed in a tomb and the Apostles stood a vigil. After three days the missing Apostle -- Thomas --- arrrived and asked the tomb be unsealed so he might se her one last time. Upon the unsealing of the tomb, it was discovered the body of the Virgin Mary was no longer there.

ChristianityToday.com has an article that does not refernce St. John the Theologian as a source...in fact it is a bit shallow in its reproting......

http://www.Christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/132/54.0.html

Now no one will find any mention of this in the Bible. Sola Scripturas, Evangelical and non-denominational Christians have real problems accepting anything not found in the Bible. I have always found this quirky as the Holy Bible itself is derived from Apsotolic Tradition. The same people who wrote, compiled and edited the Bible are the same ones who taught, preached and believed in some things one does not necessarily find in the Bible.

This belief in the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is derived from Apostoilic Tradition -- Traditions passed down from the Apostles and not mentioned in the Bible. Among these traditions is the belief that Holy Communion is the actual Body and Blood of Christ -- not human flesh and blood -- but the spiritual body and blood of Christ and the New Testament. The Roman Catholic Church has this whole way of trying to explain it....We Orthodox just prefer to take it on faith and don't try to explain it. It is something that one must experience to have even a hope of understanding. It is one of the mysyteries of our faith.

My question to the Christians and theologically-inclined on this forum is this:

1.) Do Protestants ever think they are missing anything by ignoring Apostolic Tradition -- and why? As a Protestant, why do you take the Bible "as Gospel" but ignore other teachings and beliefs that come from the same Churches responsible for the Bible?

2.) If you are a Catholic....were you familiar with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary before reading this? What do you think about this?

3.) If you are a non-Christian....what do you think of these kinds of differences within Christianity?

Spartacus
August 18th, 2004, 08:38 PM
One of the things I have never understood is why Protestants totally ignor the importance of the Virgin Mary. In the Gospel according to Luke, it says "All generations will call me blessed"...yet except for a brief mention around Christmas the Virgin Mary is all but forgotten in most protestant denominations.

In the Orthodox and Catholic Traditions though, the Virgin Mary is always mentioned and in Orthodoxy is viewed as the "second Eve" wh said "yes" to God instead of "no" like the First Eve. Catholics and Orthodox honor the Virgin Mary as first among Saints.

I also find it interesting that unlike most Protestant denominations, there is no large movement to ordain women in the Orthodox or Catholic Churches. I think there is a connection. Where Protestants for centuries ignored the role of Christ's mother -- a woman -- they are now being compelled to make up for that by ordaining women today. In Orthodoxy women have always been highly regarded. Their roles in the Church are viewed as very important -- but distinctly different from the roles of men.

Galendir
August 18th, 2004, 09:00 PM
The same people who wrote, compiled and edited the Bible are the same ones who taught, preached and believed in some things one does not necessarily find in the Bible.Just to be clear, do you acknowledge that many of the 'books' that you accept as canonical were not in fact written by Christians?

Fyshhed
August 18th, 2004, 09:11 PM
As a 3.) non-christian, this is yet another denominational detail that is recognized by some, and not by others. It's one of many, special to some, not to others. Objectively speaking, I see it as about as significant as the decision whether or not to worship images of saints/jesus/etc. as idols.

Meng Bomin
August 18th, 2004, 09:19 PM
3.) If you are a non-Christian....what do you think of these kinds of differences within Christianity? As a former Protestant, I find the differences to be quite interesting. I do not as of yet know much about your particular denomination, the Eastern Orthodox Church, beyond the broad outline. I know about the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church and that the Orthodox Church is concentrated in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and that it seems to have national ties (The Russian Othodox vs the Greek Orthodox vs the Ukrainian Orthodox, ect.).

HappyLady
August 19th, 2004, 03:42 AM
Among these traditions is the belief that Holy Communion is the actual Body and Blood of Christ -- not human flesh and blood -- but the spiritual body and blood of Christ and the New Testament. The Roman Catholic Church has this whole way of trying to explain it...

I know you have a problem with the RCC you belonged to, but just as you explained Holy Communion is how it was explained to me in the RCC. No fancy explanation. I think what needs to be recognized is that the same way other Christian churches of one denomination vary from church to church, so do churches within the RCC.


We Orthodox just prefer to take it on faith and don't try to explain it. It is something that one must experience to have even a hope of understanding. It is one of the mysyteries of our faith.

As it is in the RCC I belong to.


If you are a Catholic....were you familiar with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary before reading this?

Yes, we also celebrated it on Sunday.


What do you think about this?

The same thing you do.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 04:48 AM
Just to be clear, do you acknowledge that many of the 'books' that you accept as canonical were not in fact written by Christians?



Well Of Course -- The Apostles were all Jewish. Until the destruction of the Great Temple In Jerusalem in 79AD, The followers of Christ were part of what is called by many theologians today as "The Jesus Movement". It is not until after the desturction of the Temple and the scattering of the Isarelites that we see a very clear distinction being draw between Christ's followers and Judaism.

Additionally -- the entire OT is also Jewish. In fact most of the Bible is written by Jewish Authors.

However -- in 325 it was the theolgians and Bishops of the Early Christian Churches (Roman Catholic and Orthodox -- mostly Orthodox), who collected, compiled and decided what scripture the Bible itself would contain.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 05:01 AM
As a 3.) non-christian, this is yet another denominational detail that is recognized by some, and not by others. It's one of many, special to some, not to others. Objectively speaking, I see it as about as significant as the decision whether or not to worship images of saints/jesus/etc. as idols.


Do not confuse reverance and honor with worship.

Many Protestants view kissing an icon as "worship" but this is not the case. If you kiss the ground are you worshipping it? If you kiss your a treasured lost object when you find it are you worshipping it? -- no.

It is the same thing with Saints and events depicted in icons. Icons were painted and used from the very first days of Christendom. Books were rare and literacy just as rare. In order to help with the oral telling of things -- Icons were used as graphic reminders. There is a whole process involved with creating an icon that involves prayer, starting with dark colors and moving to light colors, using layer upon many layers of paint.

When an Orthodox kisses an icon, it is to honor and revere the Saint or event depicted in the image. They are just bread boards with paint. We also kiss the New Testament and the Crucifix. The act of kissing these objects -- often accompanied by lighting candles and crossingourselves -- helps put our mind, body and soul into harmony inprepartaion for prayer and worship. These acts are the "warm-up" and "cool-down" parts of our spiritual exercises.

We worship only the Holy Trinity and when we pray we often ask The Viurgin Mary to pray for us or honor the lives of a partciular Saint. We view Saints as models for how we are all sinners but can attain holiness. The Virgin Mary is the Holiets of all Saints -- She is most special among all Saints.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 05:08 AM
I know you have a problem with the RCC you belonged to, but just as you explained Holy Communion is how it was explained to me in the RCC. No fancy explanation. I think what needs to be recognized is that the same way other Christian churches of one denomination vary from church to church, so do churches within the RCC.



Yes things can be very different from parish to parish -- even in the Roman Catholic Church. However when one delves into the theology of the Roman Catholic Church one finds the theory of "transsubsatntiation" that tries to explain the whole process. The RCC -- especially here in the US -- has been heavily influenced by Protestantism. The RCC teaches apologetics which is entirely a Protestant creation that was developed to try and sway people from one congregation to another. Apologetics came about because these Churches have no Apostolic Tradition and had to come up with some way justify their righteousness.

In Orthodoxy we do not have formal Apologetics and indeed find the whole idea rather superfluous. We do though have many discussions.

HL I am guessing there are not a lot of wealthy Irish Catholics who attend your Parish basedon what you have shared with me.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 05:09 AM
As a former Protestant, I find the differences to be quite interesting. I do not as of yet know much about your particular denomination, the Eastern Orthodox Church, beyond the broad outline. I know about the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church and that the Orthodox Church is concentrated in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and that it seems to have national ties (The Russian Othodox vs the Greek Orthodox vs the Ukrainian Orthodox, ect.).



www.oca.org

HappyLady
August 19th, 2004, 06:51 AM
HL I am guessing there are not a lot of wealthy Irish Catholics who attend your Parish basedon what you have shared with me.

Actually...no. It's a large parish, mostly made up of lower to lower-middle and middle class families. I'm not certain of ethnicity, though the area I live in is predominantly German and Polish. I'm not saying there are no wealthy Irish Catholics there, just that I don't know any. It's not something that is really discussed that I know of.

With that said, where I grew up, the Irish Catholics were very outspoken and proud. I don't know if that is a stereotype or not. But it was prevalent where I grew up. If we have wealthy Irish Catholics, they don't fit that stereotype.

Slipnish
August 19th, 2004, 08:02 AM
As an ex-Baptist/traditional Christian, for me it was never an issue. You are never taught about "other works" by the church. For me, it was not until I attended college and took some religion classes that I found out there even any other books considered for the bible. (Remember I grew up pre-internet/Discovery channel.) :)

So, my guess is, based on my own experience that the "older folks" who follow that path were simply unaware of the texts, or had the ideal pummeled into them that, "The bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it." It becomes a mantra, and in my experience people are loathe to even try something new.

[quote]2.) If you are a Catholic....were you familiar with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary before reading this? What do you think about this?

Not Catholic, so I guess this doesn't apply to me.


3.) If you are a non-Christian....what do you think of these kinds of differences within Christianity?

Honestly Spartacus, I view it like the difference in the historical texts of Mexico and the US involving the Alamo. You know "they" say that history is written by the "winner," but we have recently found copies of the Gnostic texts, so I guess sometimes the losers can get their ideals preserved if they are careful enough. Finding alternate texts isn't surprising, but the majority of people are only going to hear about the "main stream" sorts of stuff unless, like some of us here, they are interested in the....."underside" of the issue.

Its simply a matter of what you choose to believe, when you get down to it.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 01:27 PM
So, my guess is, based on my own experience that the "older folks" who follow that path were simply unaware of the texts, or had the ideal pummeled into them that, "The bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it." It becomes a mantra, and in my experience people are loathe to even try something new.


Interesting....Protestants are the largest source of converts to both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism these days. In fact, entire congregations have converted to the both the RC and Orthodox Churches.

Many who first discover Roman Catholicism later discover Orthodoxy. This is a relatively new phenomanon. It hardly ever happened 50 years ago. Perhaps the History Channel has made an impact. But I suspect our society's increased transient nature and lessening of bigotry might also play a role. Of the Protestant converts I have spoken with...most expressed a feeling of spiritual emptiness and a lack of historical continuity in their old church after experiencing worship in a Church with Apostlic Tradition like the RCC or Orthodox Church.

FruitandNut
August 19th, 2004, 03:35 PM
One of the things I have never understood is why Protestants totally ignor the importance of the Virgin Mary. In the Gospel according to Luke, it says "All generations will call me blessed"...yet except for a brief mention around Christmas the Virgin Mary is all but forgotten in most protestant denominations.

In the Orthodox and Catholic Traditions though, the Virgin Mary is always mentioned and in Orthodoxy is viewed as the "second Eve" wh said "yes" to God instead of "no" like the First Eve. Catholics and Orthodox honor the Virgin Mary as first among Saints.

I also find it interesting that unlike most Protestant denominations, there is no large movement to ordain women in the Orthodox or Catholic Churches. I think there is a connection. Where Protestants for centuries ignored the role of Christ's mother -- a woman -- they are now being compelled to make up for that by ordaining women today. In Orthodoxy women have always been highly regarded. Their roles in the Church are viewed as very important -- but distinctly different from the roles of men.
The 'High Church' end of Protestantism, does tend to revere 'Our Lady', they have the major sites in Walsingham in England, which is the equivalent of Knock in Ireland. Only without the international airport.
www.walsingham.org.uk/ (http://www.walsingham.org.uk/) SORRY FOR THE DUPLICATION, 'MEA CULPA', but I found this site, among others on Google.

Spartacus
August 19th, 2004, 07:04 PM
The 'High Church' end of Protestantism, does tend to revere 'Our Lady', they have the major sites in Walsingham in England, which is the equivalent of Knock in Ireland. Only without the international airport.


Do you mean the Church of Henry VIII?

FruitandNut
August 26th, 2004, 12:23 AM
Yes, Protestantism is a surprisingly broad church. Remember the Anglican priests that took 'sanctuary' within Roman Catholisicm, over the issue of the ordination of women? See the various web sites in regard to Anglican veneration of Our Lady.

Spartacus
August 26th, 2004, 07:10 AM
Yes, Protestantism is a surprisingly broad church. Remember the Anglican priests that took 'sanctuary' within Roman Catholisicm, over the issue of the ordination of women? See the various web sites in regard to Anglican veneration of Our Lady.

This brings about a question KB and I have been chewing over....

Is the Anglican Church protestant or "catholic" not in communion with Rome. In addition to the numerous break off faction in Catholicism that have occurrred post Vatican II....it would be -- but inaccurate -- to describe Orthodox as "catholics not ion communion with Rome."

What does it mean to be Catholic -- not Roman Catholic just Catholic?

Here it all boils down to Apostolic tradition. Orthodoxy and Rome share a common heritage of Apostolic tradition. And so does Anglicanism.

Where the vatican excommuicated the Orthodox when they would not submit to absolute papl authority in the 11th century...The Anglicans broke off from Rome when Henry VII thought Roma was too strict with the whole marriage thing.

Reasons for the separations are not important. Prior to the separations all the Churches shared a common lineage of Apostolic tradition.

In Orthodoxy Anglicanism (that's the same as Epicopalian unless I am mistaken) -- was viewed as "English Orthodox" until the Anglicans started ordaining women and doing other such "non-Orthodox" things.

So ...are the Episcopalians "Catholics not in communion with Rome" by virtue of shared lineage of Apostolic Tradition?

Were they once Catholic but no longer are since they made so many changes in recent years?

Slipnish
August 26th, 2004, 08:01 AM
Interesting....Protestants are the largest source of converts to both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism these days. In fact, entire congregations have converted to the both the RC and Orthodox Churches.

Many who first discover Roman Catholicism later discover Orthodoxy. This is a relatively new phenomanon. It hardly ever happened 50 years ago. Perhaps the History Channel has made an impact. But I suspect our society's increased transient nature and lessening of bigotry might also play a role. Of the Protestant converts I have spoken with...most expressed a feeling of spiritual emptiness and a lack of historical continuity in their old church after experiencing worship in a Church with Apostlic Tradition like the RCC or Orthodox Church.

Well, outside of where I live, I don't doubt it. I am literally in the buckle of the Bible belt here. Baptist central. Downtown Fundyville. So... I would hazard a guess that your statements are probably largely correct, based on just your say-so.

Spartacus
August 26th, 2004, 01:16 PM
Well, outside of where I live, I don't doubt it. I am literally in the buckle of the Bible belt here. Baptist central. Downtown Fundyville. So... I would hazard a guess that your statements are probably largely correct, based on just your say-so.

This is not something that anyone really studies or keeps records on. One can though read through the parish directory of the Orthodox Church in America www.oca.org and read histories where proetstant congregations converted to Orthodoxy. The parish in Indianpolis, IN is one of those and there are others....there's another one outside Atlanta, GA.

60 minutes did a story on this phenomonon many years ago.

The converts in general were looking for something with more tradition -- something unchangeable. In the case of the parish in Indianapolis, they were studying early Cchristians and wanting to emulate them when they realized -- why are we trying to re-invent something when the Orthodox Church is still around?