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Re: Coming to Orthodoxy from Calvinism

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August 31, 2005 04:13AM
Chritos Anethsi,

i write as someone who was a catechuman in the Orthodox chruch but could not in good biblical conscience give up calvin's 5 points. the holiness and mystery of God that i learned from geneva (calvin) led me to the door of constantinople. i thought that i had found what would make me whole as a Christain- and in large part i did. however, what i also found was another part of the divided Church that wanted me to trade my western convivctions in for eastern ones (since 1054 the Curch is divided, no matter what part of the Church one is in or what triumphalist claims any part makes).

i love the Orthodox church. i believe in liturgy. i believe in a negative approach to theology (as well as positive one). i believe in the grace (energies) imparted to believers through the 7 sacraments. i believe in historic epicopate. i believe in the decisions of the 7 ecumincal councils and the authority of Tradition. i believe in theosis. i belive in the Creed without the filioque. i believe in the intersession of the saints and the the blessed Virgin Mary is Theotokos and "more honorable than the cherubim & more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim". and i am a 5 point calvinist.

the fathers are not a monolith on a myriad of issues and predestination is one of them (though there is considerably more agreement ). i know that this sounds absurd to most who hear but it is where i stand, because bible interp is not just in the fathers but in the Scriputres that can be understood on there own. st. john crysostom's treatment of Romans 8 & 9 is weak to me considering what paul's thrust is. and although the eastern church did not like st. augustine's theology it is the west's belief that it was of God and tributed an entire monastic order after him. i think it's too bad that i was required to renounce the calvinist "heresies" before i could join this communion. it should not be this way. but i had to stay commited to what is saw as true doctrine over what i saw as the truest expression of the Church. i have since found that there are other "schismatics" such as myself who seek the unity of east and west again and practice it who all find room to hold to the above mentioned.

may the Triune God be with you all as you seek holiness in this this expression of the one holy catholic and aposolic Church.

Christ is in our midst,
rock
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