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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Answering a question about an anti-Orthodox Reformation

As seen from Theologica

"If Germany and Luther been Orthodox rather than Catholic, would we still have had the Reformation? Why or why not? Why didn't Luther just leave the RCC for the "original" OC?"

I would say no for 11 reasons:

1.) The western tradition had a history of Reformers that is pretty much absent in the East. At least in the way it was done in the west. Most of these pre-Reformation Reform groups were monastic orders. They were accepted or embraced by Rome, some of the pre-Reformation Reform groups that were rejected are people that you all already know of.....The Waldensians, Huss, Wycliff......etc. And so I would say no because the protestant Reformers of the 16th century were following a western tradition unique to itself. The Monasticism of the East was more stable and uniform by the time of the early western pre-Reform groups and so the situation was totally different.

2.) Most of the Reform groups were Augustinian in one way or another. The Christian East is not Augustinian

3.) In order for the protestant Reformation of the 16th century to stick, it needed Kings, princes.....etc to support it. And this situation is unique to the west for the simple reason of the western holy Frankish and German Roman Empire. The rise of the Nation states.....which used the Reformation as an excuse to gain more independence from the western Emperor...... is what helped the protestant Reformation survive. The situation in the East was different. The west spread the idea of Nation states all throughout the world and that only made Orthodoxy stick even more in the areas it was mostly in.

4.) The Rise of Islam helped Martin Luther survive. If it wasn't for Islam, it would be hard for the protestant Reformation to stick. The Christian East was fighting Islam for centuries and so our paradigm would of been different. Because of the Crusades and the fall of Constantinople....due to the alliance and trading between France and the Turks. It was French Canons that took down the walls of the city. And so their was tension between the Christian East and the West.

5.) We care about issues you probably don' the Filioque, the Essence vs Energies distinction, the Monarchy of the Father, the 7 councils, strong continuity with the past......etc.

6.) The Banks, I forgot the name of the family...I wanna say the Fuggers , but Saint Peters in Rome wouldn't of been possible apart from it.

7.) The issue of indulgences. You see, the Fuggers wanted their money, and so Tetsil was used by the Vatican to collect funds in order to help pay the Fuggers for the building of Saint Peters. There would be no protestant Reformation if this didn't exist.

8.) The Renaissance movement. The southern Renaissance was based on art and Architecture(thus the building of Saint Peter's in Saint Peter's no 16th century Reformation). The Northern Renaissance was based on literature(thus the slogan of "going back to the sources" textual criticism no 16th century Reformation). The 16th century protestant Reformation was an academic revolt. little different from the academic revolt of the late 19th century to early 20th centuries. Yes, the one that sparked the split between protestant liberals and protestant Fundamentalists. The protestants of the 16th century were seen as liberals. Or the liberals of their day. And so in a way, the liberals of the 19th/20th centuries could be called Reformers. But in going back to the 16th century, one could assume that in a way the Reformation was a fight between the two Renaissance movements.....the north and the south.

9.) The inter-action between the western Scholastics and Islam which would help bring about the rise of 16th century protestantism and their view of Sola Scriptura. The original view was Prima Scriptura.

10.) The bad Reforms that happened in the East:

a.) Ebionitism (bad reform)

b.) Modalism (bad reform)

c.) Montanism (bad reform)

d.) Tertullianism (bad reform)

e.) Origenism (bad reform)

f..) Arianism (bad reform)

g.) Nestorianism (bad reform)

h.) Monothelitism and Monoenergism (bad reforms)

i.) Iconoclasm was due to the outside influence of Islam (bad reform)

j.) The 17th century influence of Calvinism that didn't last (bad influence and Reform)

11.) We were influenced by both protestantism and Roman Catholicism. You can see this from the 17th to the mid 20th centuries. And so our Reform movements from these centuries have been truly Reform the sense that in fighting against the western Captivity we have consistently gone back to the Fathers.....especially the ones in where the theology of the ecumenical Church Councils were based on. You can see this out cry by a number of Orthodox from the 19th century onward.....probably before too, but I only know about what happened from the 19th century onward in this regard. A true Reform movement is suppose to go back to something that existed before, most western reform movements seem like Restorationist movements for they go back to something that never existed. Each Restorationist group looks different from the other and so there is something wrong about that. If one can't empirically pin point what they are going back to then it's not a's a self made restoration. We can pin point the Church Councils and Fathers. We all know what that looked like.

Now in saying this, the Orthodox are sympathetic to what happened with the Old Russian Believers, in modern times some have come back in communion with Russia by way of ROCOR. But the Old Believers would have more in common with the Mennonite and Amish Anabaptists than with the Lutherans and Reformed.


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