Basics of Orthodox Christianity - Part 5

 "Comparative Theology and Outreach"


What we're going to talk about? Tonight is comparative theology big-name, right? It means comparing your religion or your denomination to others so comparative Theology and it's brought meaning. Can be comparing our faith in the Coptic Orthodox church with any other Faith be at another religion or another denomination of Christianity. But we're going to focus on tonight is a comparison of theology between the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Orthodox Church Russian general and other than nominations of Christianity. This course is usually a three-month course when it is summarized we give it to him about three months. So I don't know what it's called when you give it in an hour or so. Don't expect too much. It's what I'm trying to tell you just some basic differences. That's why he noticed that I called my presentation between brackets with the name. I gave it to it comparative theology the basics. It's very basic, but it will give you an idea and hopefully it will invite you to research it a little more. remember this Those who have been here last time you have a trade. And I have a a better copy of it here. If you want to make photocopies, you can make photocopies out of this Leonard will have it for you. Yeah, that's good. Okay, what what you see and hear I didn't give my pointer with me. So you'll bear with me. What do you see in here is on the right hand side today's groups of denominations. Can you see it well? Am I blocking The View? the first one is our group of Orthodox Churches turn on calcedonian Orthodox churches. And I wrote Under that heavy line Coptic and between brackets plus Ethiopian and Eritrean which are our daughter churches, but their autonomous church is also then the Syrian Church to church of Antioch. no up there up there and you can give it to me. Which one this one? Oh. Okay, the Syrian church church of Antioch and his daughter Church the Indian Church the old Indian Orthodox Church of Malabar there about two million Indian Orthodox in the southeast of India in the region of Malabar. They were a daughter Church of of the Syrian Church of Antioch. And then the Armenian Church will have to Armenian autonomous churches there Armenian Church of a chimpanzee in and that eventually has If you want a copy or copies here after I mean you can make copies of this later on. But you didn't get it last time. You wasn't a one or two last night. OK the other family of of Orthodoxy. I'm calling it to hear the calcedonian also churches and I told you that the they insisted in the in the unity discussions to be called the Orthodox Church. We are seven autonomous churches. They have 15 + 4. There some of them are autonomous some of them are out to cephalus in Swan and some of them are subjugate. Don't ask me now what all this means it's administrative stuff. But they're basically 15 Patriots and four other churches headed by archbishop's. Including for instance of Monastery 1-3 in Sinai, which is Saint Catherine's Montessori. It's considered an autocephalous Church The Metropolitan of that Monastery is a head of a church. Just like any other picture I can. and then putting here only the official churches There are churches that have divided out of these churches and considering the sitter themselves the real church for instance when I'm putting here Russia. The official church is the patriarchate of Moscow. But there are three other. Big Russian Orthodox churches that are not one with the picture Kate of Moscow. Do they have the same face serum face exactly about their they have their paycheck. They have their everything and they don't recognize the picture of Moscow. The Greek Orthodox Church, you know here you have grease somewhere. Yeah here is Greece. The Greek Church in Athens alone. There are five different sentence that don't speak to each other. They're great the byzantines out of town this and they want to call themselves the Orthodox Church there some of them celebrate her according to the old calendar. Some of them are the new calendar and Dave anatomize each other. But we're not talking about this tonight. We're talking about the differences between the dominant denomination. So I'm going to zero down on the Catholic churches. Basically, the Roman Catholic Church of corsets Eastern rites follow the same Doctrine most of them not necessarily one of their Eastern rights doesn't believe in the Divinity of Christ. And I touched on that last time. Which is the Assyrian church, and I put the Assyrian church here now. It's part of the Church of Rome. They're descendants of the historians directly. Then I'm going to talk a little bit about the Anglican churches which are called Episcopal in the United States and some other countries like in Egypt also. And very briefly about the Protestant churches because this is the whole world. course by itself Okay turning off. So let's do a trust. I want to start by telling you what are Christianity basic beliefs beliefs. I mean to be called a Christian denomination. What do you have to believe in? Not everybody that calls themselves Christians are accepted as Christians. And we'll come to some of these. The World Council of churches has put some criteria. For instance. Jehovah's Witnesses are not accepted as members in the world Council of churches because they're not considered crazy. So what are the basic reliefs beliefs? I keep saying relief. What are the basic beliefs? I want to be relieved from from this course Trinity Incarnation understand if you don't understand one of these beliefs stop me. We've talked about Trinity last time didn't we? we had to incarnation of the word of God their Redemption which is a very important part of Christianity how we are saved. The resurrection of the buddies on the last day on the day of judgement. That all our bodies all the bodies of all humans will rise again. and eternal life These are beliefs in addition to that you have to Consider your book to be the Holy Bible Old and New Testament. So then this is the minimum requirement to be a quick a Christian. So those who don't believe in these we're not going to talk about them today who consider them non-christians, right? Those who believe in these are the groups that I saw I showed you on the previous light which are the Orthodox the Catholics the Protestants and the anglicans. As groups of denominations are not denominations Francisco under Protestant. There is as I told you more than 3,000 denominations. Okay. No cancel decision to start with what are the difference is? I talked last time about two of them. Filioque who remembers what's y'all quiz? I love the sun right they added that to the Creed. And we learned why we can't accept that Holy Spirit proceeds from the father. theologically also If you consider. The Trinity you have to believe that. They have common attributes the three persons of the Trinity have common attributes that are common to all three. And their particular attributes to each one of the persons if you consider their there is an attribute that is coming between two of them and not the other you've destroyed the Trinity. That's a theological understanding and in all beliefs about the Trinity. So if you say that both the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed and the father does not proceed then you would have destroyed the concept of the trinity. I can explain that in about 5 hours if you have the time tonight. so so for instance We can say that the three persons of the trinity. Are Everlasting Eternal and everlasting? Because said that the father is the source can fire a say that the Sun. Is born of the father we can say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father by you would not find one at a good that is coming between 2 and not the Third. You understand what I'm getting yet, but the reason the easiest reason that we gave us to not accepting for y'all quick is what our Lord Jesus Christ the son himself said the Holy Spirit proceeds from the father. So, who are we to tell him know correct your theology, please Garden photo hours. The second one that we discussed last time difference between the Catholics and these are the two differences or the two doctrines that when did the Catholic Church pronounced in the 11th century in 1054 the Schism happen between Rome and Constantinople if you remember the chart. The premise in the supremacy we talked about that they believed that since Peter. Is the head of the Apostles? His successor who is the bishop of Rome is the head of the church Supreme head of the church and we are refuted that last time by saying Peter was never head of the Apostles. There was no head for the apostles. They disputed among themselves more than once in Christ came and did not tell them why or why are you fighting? This is the head of of your group. He didn't say that. He said whoever among you wants to be first. I can be a servant of all. and when James and John their mother came to ask him to sit one to seat one on his right hand and the other on the left. He did not say but there is someone on my right already. And one of the things they say is because Christ told him your picture and on this rock, I build my church and we explain that from all the sayings of the fathers. The rock is not Peter. The rock is Christ himself or the Declaration that Peter did at that time. If you take it in the context that Christ is the Messiah there the Christ the son of God and that's on that rock rebuild the church the church is not built on a mortal man. And I told you also that right after. He told him away from me Satan is Peter Satan, of course not so we can not take either of the two names as literal here. He was talking about the Declaration that you made in either case. Okay. So this gave birth later on to the infallibility of the pope of Rome, they declared that he does not commit errors and I told you about the evolution of that Doctrine afterwards now it is at the point where they say. He's infallible in matters of Doctrine if you pronounce is a text cathedra after consultation with a big show. It was a body of Bishops. But he still infallible. You can consult the Bishops and say whatever he wants afterwards. He says it from the throne ex cathedra meaning from the throne it becomes doctor. Yes. pictures of Rome did you talk to retail to leave them negated that? Is not infallible what happened? We hope so. But what would happen if that would be great that would help us a lot in the unity discussions. I give you the example of the Purgatory discussions last time and we told them that go ahead and solve this issue of infallibility, which is wrong after all before we can discuss anything else. Yeah, but somebody has to declare it that he can declare it as a as a pop but not as infallible Pope. Or the Senate over the body of the Cardinals can declare it. Yeah. Yeah, of course it like they have to correct it as a Doctrine cuz they corrected as a doctor in the church. That means nobody else is infallible after that. You see what I mean? And that's what we're hoping for. after that a century later or so came another invention. Which is the Purgatory? The doctrine of the Purgatory says surely God is merciful. If somebody has committed small sins and Swan if they die all of a sudden will they go to Hades? We hope that they will have some way of going to paradise and that way must be an intermediary for a place that we're going to call Purgatory or that they called purgatory. Where you go there sell for a little bit in the fire of purgatory. Everybody according to a different length of time depending on their sins and if you suffer long enough in that Purgatory expiate your sins, you can go to paradise after that and Purgatory is available only by the way until the day of judgment after that. It closes doors. It's no longer available. so you're allowed to go to purgatory. Play spiritual sends after you die and go to paradise. Of course, we cannot accept that first. It was never mentioned. Are there any biblical or fathers text? Nobody talked about purgatory for 12 centuries since Christ and then all of a sudden it becomes available. second it is an insult to Christ. because if you go back to the basics of the beliefs of green Christianity and you go to Redemption You will find that the only way you can be saved. It's through the blood of Christ at a shed on the cross. No human sacrifice. No amount of suffering on your part. Can you erase your sin? Because according to the Theology of redemption our sin is so great because it's against God that only an infinite sacrifice being God himself can expiate your sin. If you can suffer. And an eraser since then you don't need Christ. Only the blood of Christ. Can you erase your sins? So we cannot accept the Purgatory by the way Pope Shenouda wrote the whole book? music about why we don't accept Purgatory. If you want to read it ask about it. I'm sure that when I can get it for you. I have a question regarding I have a translation in French. I don't have it today in English. Make every tablet is for everyone or bleeding cries. Like is it like it's supposed to be for everyone. Listen. Listen, these things are not very accurate. Of course when the doctrine came out it was for Catholics only you will see now and when we talked about the other differences that everything that is available for Catholics is available for everybody now. We'll come to that later. But like originally when the doctor and came out in purgatory was available. Only for actually haven't is available only for Catholics. So Purgatory is also available only for Catholics. But now everything is available for everybody even for non-christians will see that later on according to new doctrines in the 20th century. It was getting me based on what's with the setting was this was they come to to the interpretation of some I'm avoiding to discuss every doctor in because as I said, this is a three-month course, I'm trying to do it in one hour, but they base it on on some verses tweak the interpretation a little bit and change it to your liking and they did that too many other doctrines and changing doctrines afterwards and I'll show you how they do it. But this one for him since they even say the parable about when Christ was saying you would not have the parable of the two servants that told their master and Swan. He says he will throw him in jail, and he will not go out of there until he pays out the last penny. So he says so he can go out of jail. Okay, things like that. To refute the Purgatory the pope wrote that book so it's not going to cover it, of course in in 2 minutes, but I'm just giving you an idea and this hour as to the major differences between us and the different denominations. Okay, we cannot accept purgatory. So that's why didn't the Gap a little bit. And as I told you in the and last and last and the last meeting that even then most of them Cardinals from the Catholic church has I have agreed that there is no Purgatory, but they cannot go against and infallible Pope. Okay. Now Kim the Immaculate Conception by the way, the Immaculate Conception is a very recent. Theology that Doctrine was kind of nice don't lie in the 19th century. So until the 19th century the Catholics did not have a belief in the Immaculate Conception of Saint Mary. What does immaculate conception mean? It means according to that doctrine that sent Mary was born without the original sin. Was conceived in the womb of her mother without the original sin. We Believe of course that every human Was conceived with the original sin except for Christ Alone being God and without sin. And again, it's another insult against Christ and again sent Mary herself. because trying to elevator they diminished her how When they try to say we believe in that sent Mary is above all the saints and above the Angels, even we cannot give her on her more than that. They tried to give her more honor than a minister by saying that she was conceived of without the original sin. Then she does not need Christ. to savor Then why didn't God make it so we are all conceived without original sin, and we don't need Christ. And if you don't need Christ, we don't need her to give birth to him. So trying to elevator that the minister. And also she herself and her song when she met Elizabeth her cousin said what who remembers the song? my soul magnifies and my spirit in God, who why what? Say it all she said he recognizes that God Saves them save her from what? from the original sin like all humans from sand in general to We Believe That Sent Mary like all humans with was it was conceived David born with the original sin and will save by the blood of Christ on the cross. She was broke. Fied by the Holy Spirit descent on hand by the sun coming and taking flesh in her, but same to with all humans because of the blood of Christ that is shed on the cross. Okay. then came Some differences in the sacraments. Remember we call them what Mysteries? It's not the name that is different. We can use either name. But we emphasize the mysterious the mystical part of of the of these acts which is the the mystery in them, which is the Unseen Grace that we receive. behind the scene of the visible Act they enforce eyes the fact that this is so sad that it is something sacred which it is. That's not the difference. What are the differences in the sacraments? Let me give you some examples in baptism for instance we Don Q totally in water Like a donut and coffee. You like that? They use some water on your head for a few drops of water on your head and you were baptized. You know, what the word baptism came from. Why was the word baptism chosen an English or old European language? It comes from a Greek word baptisma, which means dying not that you know, the dye you want to die this and yellow and green song. Why was it called this way? Because they saw people being immersed. When you want to dye a piece of cloth change its color. You don't sprinkle a couple of drops on it. You want to put it all so they saw this at so they called it baptisma. When you read the accounts of baptism in the Bible weather of Christ or of any baptism in the book of Acts, like the the Ethiopian eunuch and song you will hear that you read things like he went down in the water and went up from the water and so on and so forth. That's European eunuch when he was baptized by Saint Philip. He was with him in the Caravan traveling. Do you think in the Caravan they didn't have water? Of course they had water. If you wanted to advise him and it baptism was allowed by a few drops. He would have taken some water, but they waited until he saw a body of water in a pond or lake or whatever. He told me there is water now anything prevents me from being baptized. You told him know if you believe I can reply as you so they went down to the water and he replies him. in addition to that theologically what is baptism? Send Paul explains it as being buried dying and being buried with Christ and rising up to the newness of life. Can you be buried in a couple of grains of sand? Buried being totally insight and it's a new birth. The baby is totally inside the womb and he comes out or she comes out. So our warm is the baptismal font. We have to go inside and come out of it. Sociologically and biblically and Swan. Immersion is very important. I think what happened in Europe is before electricity and heating properly heating was invented. It was almost impossible to emerge people in cold water and the winter so they decided let's invents to something else to make it easier or more practical probably historically that's what happened, but it became the rule. What happened here? Did we jump like a hundred. slides all of a sudden I'm here it is. Is it Chris Mason or confirmation? What's the difference the second sacrament do you receive? reconsider the holy chrism to be a necessity for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in us so we can receive all the other sacraments and Liv the sacramental or the Mystic the Mysteries and the sacramental life of the church. They have changed it with the time to a concept of confirmation confirming the person when he or she starts understanding the belief then we confirm them in their baptism and their faith. It creates a dilemma. Why do you baptize children then if you want them to believe First why do you baptize them and not confirm them? They don't understand baptism. Let me explain what I'm trying to say. They are totally against the Protestants or some of the Protestants who say we cannot baptize children. The person has to believe First in order to be baptized because Mark 16:16 says this way is baptized this way who believes and is baptized will be saved. So you have to believe in order to be baptized. We tell them this is true for a person who is capable of belief. a child cannot believe so we baptize him or her according to the faith of of their parents because because Christ also said if you are not born again of water and spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom. So if you don't baptize the child. You're preventing them from entering the kingdom of God. and Catholics accept. They're against the some of the Protestants who say that. So by the same token. Christ also said things like if she's not to eat the Flesh of the son of man and drink his blood. You have no life in you. So why don't you give communion to children because you have not confirmed you have not Chris made them. Why don't you give them communion? And you say you have they have to understand at first? They don't understand baptism. Why do they have to understand communion in in order to take it? It's exactly like on the physical domain in the physical domain like a baby is born. And you say I'm not going to feed that baby when they grow up they will decide what they want to eat whether they want to be vegetarian or fishetarian or whatever. You feed the baby until fishetarian photos. And I I don't need meat. So once we were invited in Johannesburg on it was some people in it and all the food was meet. So I tried to pick some salad or whatever and then the lady of the house said that one are you a vegetarian? So I'm about to miss Morrow Stoller know his fishetarian heat switch to it. so anyway You don't you feed the baby and then when they grow up they decide what they want to eat or whether they want to eat. Same the same way in the in the spiritual domain. Do you have to give that spiritual food which is the body and blood of Christ to the baby? After he baptized them and Chris made them. And then when they grow up they can reject the face altogether if they want to yes. Choose not to believe often about toys versus people who choose not to believe without being the first let me tell you one thing ask a question like this to a Catholic priest or Bishop for that matter. You will receive a poem Yeah, that's how I called their answers. I remember I had a Protestant Pastor in the Ivory Coast, but I was serving that I ended up baptizing him and his family his now in a Coptic deacon. this man came to me on an issue concerning Saint Mary. We were in the first day of first of Saint Mary and we were talking about. About to intersection and about the ever virginity of her. Any listen to that to that lesson and came to me afterwards and say and said you have done me a great favor. I'm a Protestant pastor and I've always had questions about Saint Mary. I was sure there is some value to her even though in the Protestant Church. They tell us she's nothing so I of course I went to the Catholics to ask they never gave me an answer. But you gave me an answer with Biblical references. The problem with the Catholic Church as you will see later on in our discussion when we discussed protestantism if you arrive to that tonight, is that Dave? Neglected the Bible totally selecting the Bible. They can give you an answer of some poetic answer that if an infallible Pope said a few centuries ago. But it would mean nothing to a Protestant person or somebody who wants an answer from the Bible or from the father's or whatever. So, I don't know that's what I'm trying to to tell you in and breathe. I don't know it will depend on who is answering you and and he or she read what court simple to me if somebody went. Start from scratch the church house, same question and then put the results as in one places. They will do you believe in a unified Church would be pleased that you can be opinionated.