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Why should I be anything? And why Orthodox?

Discussion in 'St. Justin Martyr's Corner: Debate an Orthodox Chr' started by SeraphimSarov, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    Serious question. Why should I bother believing anything at all? Why shouldn't I just do whatever seems right at any given time and deal with the consequences later and learn what I can as I go? What makes you think there is a God? What makes you think Jesus is God? Why is it not completely obvious that everything Orthodoxy preaches is true? Why are Orthodox so divided among themselves when they claim to have the "ONE true faith?" Why do you make the claim that you're right about everything to the exclusion of anyone who believes anything different?

    I'm not trolling. Plenty of you here remember me. Look at my username. Please indulge me.
     
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  2. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    I know there is a God and I know Christ is God because I know Him.

    it's not obvious to everyone because we are fallen.

    we make the claim that we are right because history shows that we are, and we make unique claims about God that no other confession makes.
     
  3. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    Are you gonna unpack those extraordinary claims...? I've chased after God all my life and I don't have the first clue who he/she/it is, or if God even exists.

    What unique claims does Orthodoxy make? They don't seem unique to me. Just not Western.
     
  4. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    Some mod just close this thread. This isn't worth it.
     
  5. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    it's actually not that extraordinary. that's been Orthodoxy's claim for her 2000 years. plus it was the claim of the Old Covenant.

    that said, we keep seeking until God makes Himself known.

    and as far as unique claims, theosis is definitely unique to Orthodoxy.
     
  6. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Why do you make the claim that you're right about everything to the exclusion of anyone who believes anything different?"

    We don't make the claim that we're personally right about everything, or even the claim that the Church and the saints are "right" about, or even address, everything. There are many topics that are simply not addressed in the Orthodox faith. How to administer CPR, for instance, does not come up, as far as I know.

    But even if the question just means "regarding salvation, regarding the purpose of human existence" -- how should we be expected to think the Church isn't right? I mean, why would we be in it if we thought it was wrong? Don't generally people think they are right, or try to become right? This isn't unique to the OC.
     
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  7. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    For me it's an exercise in logic. It goes something like "does God exist"? If no, then don't worry about it. If yes, is God the God of the Jews" If no, look elsewhere. If yes, how did I hear about him? And on and on.

    I lived that exercise for years. If "this" then "that", and followed it to a conclusion. The conclusion I reached is that the original apostolic Churches, though they may have some unresolved issues between themselves, are original Christianity. For me, the Orthodox Church answered all of my questions.
     
  8. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    Why should I keep doing that when I keep asking and nothing ever happens?
     
  9. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    That wasn't the point of my question. Orthodox Christians have to have a reason to think the Church has the answers. What is the reason? Making claims about "the Truth" don't make them true.
     
  10. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    I've been doing that for twenty years, and for all the logical proofs I've attempted to construct, the result has always been nothing more than, "Everything ends in fallacy, and nothing anybody claims can withstand the test of logic."
     
  11. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    Is it? We can't even perceive reality with our flawed senses and finite brains. It might not even exist.

    Christ is a name in a book written thousands of years ago. How do you love someone you have never met? I mean, I like His teachings and all, but love Him? And love the same God who committed genocide to make space for "His chosen people?" Why in the world would God adopt one specific culture, anyway? Why didn't He show Himself to everyone? Why deny knowledge of Himself to all those ancient people and then kill them for their ignorance? That's Jesus, too. I don't love that at all.
     
  12. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    I'm sorry, but I'm going to be blunt.

    They didn't choose to be pagans. God only revealed Himself to the Hebrews, so of course nobody else behaved the way God liked. And He saw it fit to kill them anyway. I don't understand how you're saying these things and yet claim to believe in love. We're not even speaking the same language here.
     
  13. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    Mostly for the same reason we discourage toddlers from playing in streets I think. They get hit by things they couldn't possibly comprehend. And then they don't toddle so well. You have an innate love of Truth I suspect. Humans don't like being misled or being lied to (I certainly don't). And yet, in my own natures I have found that I am a liar and misleader. God is a God of Truth and Light; believe that as a starting point if nothing else "in Him there is no darkness at all"

    In desperation I screamed something. "What the F is wrong with me?!?" At the time I was very sick, mentally and spiritually. I had put away all my concepts of God; I was very angry. Except for one. And I thought, if God was anything like this (the Conductor), why would I fight Him? Because I was ready to take my instrument and smash it.



    But anyway, I got an answer to my question. Felt it settle into my soul and mind not like my own thoughts. And not condemning, but honest too. More honest and more sane than I was. And I knew, there was something there.

    One time, years back, I was scuba diving, and we were going to scuba dive a boat wreck, and I was still inexperienced, and we went down slowly, the visibility was about 20 feet. I followed the guide leading us. Off in the distance I saw a dark shape ahead, and as we swam closer it became clearer and clearer, and finally it materialized into a boat and then to a boat with coral and then to a boat with fishes. God's a bit like that, a dark unknown, but something that gets clearer and clearer the closer you get.

    Mind you, if I hadn't followed the guide and swam in the opposite direction, I wouldn't have found the boat. But once I got closer, the guide was needed less and less. The boat itself did the guiding. And I was free to explore. It was a big boat; and I saw parts of it that some of the others didn't see, I'm sure, and they saw parts that I didn't see.

    That took a while. It was probably another 3 years before I visited any other Church. I read Tolstoy's "What I Believe", the first 6 chapters I loved, and the end of the 6th arrives at that conclusion. Mind you, I don't agree with everything of Tolstoy and he and Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated each other for all intents and purposes... but he was not entirely wrong either. He was definitely wrong on this point though -

    "Why should Christ have given to us such clear and good precepts, applicable to us all, if He knew beforehand that the keeping of them was impossible by man in his own unaided strength?"

    I facepalm every time I read it. lol. Tolstoy, Tolstoy - you were never meant to do it of your own unaided strength! He had some true things to say, and he struggled with faith like I did. He had some harsh things to say about the Orthodoxy of his day, and I knew nothing of it. So it was particularly ironic (and beautiful) for me when I was later led to searching for it (Eastern Orthodoxy) through a series of interesting circumstances. I think God wanted me to have the full perspective from both sides, to see both what Tolstoy had to say, and also what Tolstoy missed.

    I never read beyond chapter 6 though, that ended me where I needed to be for where God was to take me next.

    The most intense experience for me knowing Christ as God was about a year ago, before the Cross after a separation. I prayed, and Christ answered. I was in turmoil over a relationship, I had separated, she had descended into a bi-polar chaos during Covid, and I was full of anger, and praying before that Cross (a Palm Sunday cross, tacked on the wall of a place I was staying at after having to leave the house I had bought), Christ revealed to me about me (and not her). Christ is faithful in that. Because He revealed to me about me, I was able to love her as He wanted me to. I can only say what was a matter of faith, has become a matter of experience. And (perhaps) if you are like me - demanding God to present Himself or prove Himself or account for Himself or behave a certain way will never work. But instead of asking God to reveal Himself to you, maybe ask this instead:

    Ask God to reveal Yourself to You. That's what I did, and that's what He does. And He shows me the difference between the two, between Him and me and in doing so, He is revealed. At least a little, at least enough for that day. But, of course, you have to want to know the answers to that question. And most people think they already have it. But, we don't really. Until He gives it to us.

    I love the book, the Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware. Take a red highlighter and a green highlighter and yellow highlighter. Pray a bit before reading it and ask God to reveal to you. After prayer, every thing that seems false in that book, highlight in red. Everything that feels true to your spirit as you read it after prayer, highlight in green. Everything that seems still uncertain, highlight in yellow.

    Let me know what you find.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    how do you know nothing is happening as opposed to you not noticing what is happening?
     
  15. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    I love that the whole time He was trying to get us to play "Ode to Joy"
     
  16. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    You sound like you're quoting Ecclesiastes. My favorite book of the bible. :amen:

    What is it specifically that does not withstand logic?
     
  17. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    Maybe just relax and live your life as a Christian where you are at. Remember to pray & be charitable to your neighbor via the Lord’s commandments as best you can.
     
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  18. SeraphimSarov

    SeraphimSarov Пресвятая Богородица, спаси нас...

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    I can't do this anymore. I want to scream every possible obscenity at God and dare Him to damn me, while at the same time I want with all my heart to believe that Jesus is Who He says He is. Is that enough?
     
  19. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I tried that, or didn't really "try" it just poured out of me - I was in a near blackout drunk at the time hurling obscenities in the night up to the sky of a park. Don't remember how I got home. When I woke up in the morning on my couch, the memory of it and what I had said sloooowly came back to me. And I started to realize I had just called God everything that I was.

    "Father forgive me, make me everything you are"

    It's not like that for me today.

    Thank Christ.

    If you are coming to that point, then you are coming to know what He died to rescue us from.

    upload_2021-6-17_21-19-31.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  20. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    it's a false dilemma. we damn ourselves and God let's us if that's what we want.

    but if you believe Christ is Who He says He is with all your heart, why dare Him to damn you?
     
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