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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Collecting my stories accross the net, so that they can all be in one place

I'm collecting all my conversion stories on the internet.....and putting them all on my blog. This one came from the Holy Culture Radio forum.




I was always a history buff, but never really got into church history until I started arguing with Seventhday Adventists & Oneness Pentecostals (back in 1997). So it all started over doctrinal issues. Over the Sabbath, and the Trinity.That's how I started really getting into church history, for our arguments over scripture were at a stand still. They had scriptures they used to support what they were saying, and I had scriptures I used to support what I was saying (which mostly came from Hank Hanegraff for I followed him heavily back then.....back in those days).

So one day they both came to me and told me that either the Pope or the Emperor Constantine was the reason for me believing in the doctrine of the Trinity or for going to church on sunday (back then I believed sunday was the christian sabbath).

I told them I couldn't just take their word for it, and for the SDA, I told them I couldn't just accept what their scholars said without double checking for my self. The SDA's were more scholarly,.......they have their own schools and their own scholars.And this is how it happened.

I started reading the works of the christians around the time of the Emperor Constantine as well as before his time (Pre-Nicen/Ante-Nicene & Nicen Christians) Now what I found out, really didn't change them that much..well wait. It did one person, he left PAW and became a Baptist...only to go to a liberal seminary, but that's another story. (although it did put an end to our arguments about the doctrine of the Trinity and the Sabbath.....well almost, we still argued a little about the sabbath because when one scholar didn't work, they found another SDA scholar with a slighty different twist, but eventually the arguments about that topic stopped).

What I found out eventually changed me. I was a Baptist on paper, but I was no longer a Baptist at heart. I tried to Join EO back then 1997/1998 but the Parish didn't return my phone call. I was eventually sidetracked to some form of "continual Anglicanism" when I ran into the website of David Bercot. He is no longer Anglican, he reverted back to a form of Mennonite Anabaptist. I stopped following him in 2003 when his fellowship in Tyler Texas fell apart and when he started to change some of his core beliefs (that drew me in back in 1997/1998).

But there was one good thing I kept from that movement, and it was the focus on reading the primary sources for yourself. The Idea that you can't really trust tertianary (3rd) sources, and that sometimes even secondary (2nd) sources can get some stuff wrong.So you always have to go back and read the primaries if you want to be as accurate as possible. In 2002 I joined an Anglo-Catholic parish in the Pittsburgh diocese of the ECUSA (back then the Pittsburgh Diocese were still in the ECUSA, they recently split from the denomination).

I had a choice of joining a charismatic parish or the Anglo Catholic parish. I joine the Anglo-Catholic, but I still visited and helped out (alot) with the charismatic parish. I decided to leave the ECUSA in sempembter of 2006 when I saw the Charismatic Episcopal Church split in many pieces in America. I only joined the ECUSA in pittsburgh because there were no ICCEC or CEEC parishes near by (at least back then). Bercot(back in the 1990's when I was drawn to his movement), Bishop Thomas, the CEEC, the ICCEC, and the EOC all came out of a movement called The Convergence Movement or The Convergence of the Streams movement.It's basically where you try to blend the Evangelical with the Catholic/Sacramental with the Charismatic. and depending on the group, one aspect will always be more dominant than the other, or one aspect will almost be ignored, but the ideal was to have a healthy balance of all three........in practice it was never really like that......but that's the gist of it.......it was basically a conservative form of what would later be known as the "Emergent movement".
In the Emergent movement, you can look outside of christianity to find things to suppliment your worship style and lifestyle. In the Convergence movement, you only look at those 3 streams.....the evangelical, the Catholic, and the Charismatic.......and choose from that, what you want in your worship preference and christian lifestyle.I don't know when the emergent movement began, but the convergence movement began back in the 1970's.Well, there is more to the story of why I became EO, I wrote about it some two years ago.

But when I saw the ICCEC fall apart back in 2006, that's when I called an EO priest I found on a Roman Catholic website where some former ICCEC became Roman Catholic. I called him and he put me in touch with an EO priest in Pittsburgh and I started visiting in December of 2006 and was chrismated on April of 2007.So it took about 9 or 10 years for me to become EO. I first tried in 1997/1998, got side tracked, and ended up being EO anyway some years later. And it all was because of an argument I had with SDA's and PAW's back in 1997. Now if I argued with Roman Catholics back then, then maybe I still would be Protestant, if I argued with a different group that wanted me to look at a different historical timeline, then maybe I still would be Baptist or Charismatic(of some stripe). But it didn't happen that way.
I was told that the Emperor Constantine did this and did that, or that the pope of that time did this or did that, and their was pressure put on me to reject what I was raised to believe in as a Baptist, and since the Doctrine of the Trinity is a salvation issue (that's what I said back then, when I was arguing with PAW),
I told them that I couldn't just take their word for it. I had to see for my self. And this is the only reason why I am a church history buff. When I started in 1997 I just couldn't stop. Doctrine and history to me are like a matrix.....like RNA & DNA. They go together because they are always connected in some way.
Now Alexander Cambell started his own church......his own movement. I have no desire to start my own church nor my own movement. Alexander Cambell rejected creeds.

I don't. I accept creeds. So yes, you can be into church history and be wrong on doctrinal issues, but you can also be into church history and be right on doctrinal issues as well.I'm not saying I'm right or wrong......eventhough I personally believe I'm right.....but I also understand that other people feel that I'm wrong......and I don't see a problem with that.But the truth is, I made personal decisions in my life that lead to what I believe right now.....whether right or wrong.

And I own up to my decisions in life. Now maybe if I was in a different environment with different groups arguing with me then maybe I would of turned out differently, but I turned out this way.......with the cards I was dealt. (I believe in the limited freedom of the will, so this is why I am saying what I am saying. There are some things I can control and there are some things I just can't....I have no control over alot of things in life.) I had to throw in a little bit of Arminianism in there..........please forgive me if you were offended.






JNORM888

Dwayne Tryumf - 777 Intro

The last time I posted a video of Dwayne Tryumf, I got blasted by him for saying that Lecrea and the others at ReachRecords were trying to turn him into a Calvinist. This time I won't make such a comment. Instead, I will just post the video.







His album should be coming out soon.






Related links:

Dwayne Tryumf







JNORM888

Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives




Amazon.com




I don't have the book, but it was suggested by someone, who said it looks like a good read.

As seen from the Amazon website:
"Product Description
What are we missing when we look at the creation narratives of Genesis only or primarily through the lens of modern discourse about science and religion? Theologian Peter Bouteneff explores how first-millennium Christian understandings of creation can inform current thought in the church and in the public square. He reaches back into the earliest centuries of our era to recover the meanings that early Jewish and Christian writers found in the stories of the six days of creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Readers will find that their forbears in the faith saw in the Genesis narrative not simply an account of origins but also a rich teaching about the righteousness of God, the saving mission of Christ, and the destiny of the human creature.

From the Back Cover
"This wonderfully researched and elegantly written book provides the reader with a compelling and trustworthy portrait of how the fathers of the church read the story of Adam and Eve. As Bouteneff tells that story we see that the tale of the fall is always contextualized within a narrative that celebrates the restoration and redemption of the human race."--Gary Anderson, professor of Old Testament, University of Notre Dame"











JNORM888

A Pascha of Incorruption

This was taken from the Orrologion blog.


"Listen to the triumphant hymns of the Church! Not on the day of Holy Pascha alone, but on all the great fests you will frequently hear the word “incorruption.” The entire matter of the salvation of the human race is expressed in the Church’s living theology as the gift of incorruption. This means that we lack incorruption. We are in a condition of corruption. The Synaxarion for the Holy and Great Sunday of Pascha is read only in monasteries, of course, and not even in all of them. Here is how the theological significance of the event we celebrate is defined: “It was on this day that He came down from heaven and dwelt in the womb of the Virgin. And now He has snatched the whole of humanity from the vaults of Hell and made it pass upwards to heaven and brought it to its ancient dignity of incorruption.” Two details are significant here: Pascha is placed next to the event of the Nativity of Christ, and incorruption is called the ancient dignity.

Listening to the Church’s hymns, one grows increasingly convinced of what rich treasures of ideas they are, of how important they are for an authentic Orthodox understanding of life. Our school courses on dogmatics, taught from the cathedras of seminaries and academies, stand much lower in relation to that theology that our readers and singers teach the faithful from the church kliros.

A Pascha of incorruption… The return to the ancient dignity… Our school theology speaks of some sort of juridical accounts between God and man. Sin is called primarily a crime against God, an affront to God, for which the righteousness of God must avenge the paltry offender. But the Church calls sin first of all corruption, the loss of the ancient dignity of incorruption. Here there are no juridical accounts with the Lord God. Man fell away from God, and his spiritual and corporal corruption began. Self-rule in the spiritual life led to slavery to sin and the passions. Man began to decay in seductive lusts. The soul rots, the soul decays. This sounds awful, but it is indeed the case. The process of spiritual corruption can be compared to any other kind of rotting. When any organism rots everything in it breaks down, and in time it produces poisonous and malodorous gases. The spiritual nature, damaged and contaminated by sin, will also rot in the same way. The soul loses its chastity [whole-mindedness], its integrity, and decomposes; the will within it weakens, which connects everything, and to which everything is subordinate. Constant passionate thoughts and evil deeds escape from the sinful soul. Anyone who pays close attention to his spiritual life can not but be surprised by how difficult it is to instill any good and beautiful thing in the soul, and how easily and quickly any dark and evil thing is strengthened. Do we not therefore say that something bad is living in our soul; that it is unhealthy, ill? Corruption reigns in our soul, and it is especially evident that our body is subject to corruption. Many can live without being aware of spiritual illness, they can muffle the soul’s inner moaning and cries with the noise of life. But the corruption of the body in death is irrefutable. All the colors of life pale before this corruption. The works of the ascetics about spiritual death can be rejected and perhaps even ridiculed. But try to find a nihilist who would not understand the service of burial and the graveside mourning of St John of Damascus!"



To read the rest please visit "http://orrologion.blogspot.com/"









JNORM888

Recapitulation & Abortion

This is from the Energetic Procession blog by Perry Robinson.

"As with St. Ireneaus, there is an ecclesiological and sacramental dimension to the doctrine of Recapitulation. Baptism is an essential component of the mystery and for the spiritual life
since the believer must recapitulate that which Christ Himself fulfilled and repeated in His own Recapitulation. As was the case with Sts. Ireneaus and Athanasius, one cannot separate the divine and invisible nature and therefore one cannot separate water and the Spirit into two separate baptisms or events, as this would be a kind of sacramental Nestorianism"


To read the rest please visit Energetic Procession.







JNORM888

Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy

This is a podcast by the Christ in the Mountains blog.

The link:
http://christinthemountains.blogspot.com/2009/01/orthodoxy-heterodoxy-what-are.html


The introduction:
Play Audio


Roman Catholicism:
Play Audio


Classical Protestantism:
Play Audio


Churches of the Radical Reformation:
Play Audio



To play the other 3, please visit the blog.





JNORM888

A Catechumen's Tale: Inaccuracies by Dave Hunt Part I

A Catechumen's Tale: Inaccuracies by Dave Hunt Part I

Tony Allen is doing a series of posts dealing with Dave Hunt's podcast about Orthodoxy.


"I came across another interesting broadcast by Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon - this one regarding Orthodoxy. It was strangely titled Is Being Orthodox a Paradox? (the audio can be found here), and responded to a question from a listener whose friend had joined the Orthodox Church. The question basically asked Hunt and McMahon to explain Orthodoxy. After listening, I came to the conclusion that, if people were truly seeking answers from Hunt and McMahon regarding what Orthodoxy "really" is, then this is making connecting with Evangelical Christians even harder."


To read the rest please visit the website.







JNORM888
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Journey From Canterbury to Antioch

As seen from the podcast The Illumined Heart by Kevin Allen



As seen from the website:
"Listen to the journey of former Anglican priest and early pioneer of the Charismatic Renewal in the United Kingdom to Orthodox Christianity. Fr Michael Harper is the Dean of the Antiochian Deanery of United Kingdom and Ireland, the pastor of St Botolph Antiochian Orthodox Church in London, and author of 18 books, including "A Faith Fulfilled.""



Play Audio









JNORM888

Christians and Jews in the First 4 Centuries

This is from the podcast Sweeter than Honey by Dr. Peter Bouteneff


As seen from the website:
"St. Vladimir’s Seminary professor Dr. Peter Bouteneff reflects on his fascinating opportunity over 4 weeks in February to address a Jewish congregation on the subject of “Christians and Jews in the First 4 Centuries of our Era.”



Play Audio





JNORM888
Friday, April 24, 2009

More on "Usury"

Orrologion posted something interesting about "usury" and early Christianity.

The Link:
http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2009/04/usury-meant-exploitation-of-poor.html





Related Links:
orrologion: Entries on 'Interest' & 'Usury' in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia

Calvinism & Usury



JNORM888

The Path of Reason in Search of Truth

This is from the Holy Trinity Mission website

The Link:
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/apologetics_osipov_e.htm









JNORM888
Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Angel Cried

This is from the podcast Frederica Here and Now by Frederica Mathews Green

As seen from the website:
"In addition to treating us to a recording of the Holy Cross choir singing a beautiful rendition of this favorite hymn of Pascha, Frederica digs into the words of the hymn and its significance."


Play Audio


You can also hear her most recent podcast by calling: 1-(857)-488-4644








JNORM888

Christ Is Risen - Truly He Is Risen



This is from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Thomas Hopko

As seen from the website:
"On this, the greatest of all Feast Days, Fr. Thomas explains what we, as Orthodox Christians, know for certain about Jesus Christ."

Play Audio








JNORM888
Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chrysostom’s Lenten Lessons from Genesis

This is taken from Journeys Through Great Lent and this segment is by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou



On Repentance:
Play Audio



On Confession:
Play Audio






JNORM888

Great & Holy Week

This is from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Thomas Hopko



Great And Holy Week - Part 1:
Play Audio



Great and Holy Friday:
Play Audio



Great and Holy Week - Part 2:
Play Audio









JNORM888

All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church podcasts

The link:
http://www.allsaintsofalaska.ca/recordings






JNORM888

Holy Pascha

Eventhough today is Great and Holy Saturday, tonight is when we will Celebrate Holy Pascha. Below are a few podcasts that talk about Pascha.


Wait…I’m Not Ready for Pascha!:
As seen from this webpage:
"In this episode, Jason looks at how you can celebrate Pascha (even if you haven't prepared yourself during Great Lent)."

Play Audio




Almost Pascha!
As seen from this website:
"Martha compares the scars on her hands that she acquired during culinary school to the spiritual scars that she has acquired during Lent."

Play Audio



King and Glory of Days!
As seen from this website:
"Attending your first Pascha? Then you must listen to this introduction to the Feast of Feasts by Fr. John Hainsworth of All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church."


Play Audio






JNORM888

Feast of Feast



The link:
http://feastoffeasts.org/


As seen from the AOA website:
"Co-sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America and the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the site includes current materials from the two Churches' respective web sites and print media, and new material and resources from both jurisdictions.
Visitors to the site will find articles, photo galleries, and audio files that teach about the significance of the feast of Christ's Resurrection and about how this holy day is celebrated by Orthodox Christians."






JNORM888
Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Byzantine Girls

The website:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=8739999



The Byzantine Girls










JNORM888

The Authority of Scripture

By Reader Christopher Orr:

As seen from the website:
"Born and raised Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran and received into Orthodoxy in 2001. He is an associate at Heidrick and Struggles, an executive search and leadership consulting firm"



Play Audio


The text version:
http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2007/09/sola-corpore-christi.html







JNORM888

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