User:Wgw

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I was born into the United Methodist Church, but began to consider myself Orthodox when I was 15, and formally joined a few years later. I am a proponent of the reconciliation of the different branches of Eastern Christianity, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, and the Assyrian Church of the East, as all have a similar theology, and the Christological differences between them strike me as being petty and irrelevant, especially in light of the gross and horrific heresies that now propagate across the "Mainline" Protestant Churches, such as the ordination of female and homosexual clergy, and the open and active intervention of such churches in political issues, through taking stands that are contrary to the best interests of the Christian community as a whole.

It is my belief that, were Nestorius and Cyril, and those who met at Ephesus and Chalcedon, given the opportunity to see the world of today and its vices, they would recoil in horror, and do everything in their power to preserve the unity of the Apostolic Church. That said, the breaking apart of the Apostolic Church I consider to be part of God's plan, in that the Church of the East, for example, was able to function and operate in the Persian Empire without fear of persecution due to any perceived connection to the Orthodox Church of the Byzantine Empire.

It is my belief that Western Christianity is fundamentally flawed, especially the Reformed Protestant churches, in that they deny their members so many of the beautiful experiences that Orthodoxy offers. In these minimalistic churches, there are no icons, and thus no pictographic explanation of the history of the church; there is no recognition of the saints and martyrs of the early Church, and the horrible tortures and sacrifices they had to endure, and their contribution to the Christian faith; there is no opportunity for individual believers to experience the divine friendship that is possible through association with a particular heavenly saint, in intervention in prayer in the worship of God. Indeed, in the Reformed churches, there is nothing analogous to the Orthodox concept of Theosis, or even any real meaningful attempt at purification; such efforts are seen as pointless given the unreedemable and sinful nature of man, and the doctrine of Election, which holds that salvation occurs only to the elect and that nothing can stop it or interfere with it. Thus, there is no real incentive for self improvement. In this manner, it is easy to see how, through these heresies, possible in Western Christianity primarily due to their adherence to the doctrines of Penal Substitution and Propitiatory Atonement, as opposed to the superior Eastern doctrine of Christus Victor, or Recapitulation, that Modernism, Syncretism and other heresies can thrive. It is astonishing to consider the number of cults and heretical groups that have emerged in the West compared to the East, and this, in my mind, bears witness to the incorrect nature of Western doctrine. Eastern Christianity is more loving, and more complete, providing its believers with a superior spiritual experience, a more correct understanding of the nature of Christ and his mission on this world, and a better quality of life, through purification and the active avoidance of vices and sinful behavior.

Thus, in addition to being a proponent of reconciliation of the Eastern churches, I am a huge proponent of the formation of new Orthodox churches specifically to minister to the West. The Antiochian Orthodox Church has been the most active in evangelical activities, and I applaud the work of Metropolitan Philip Saliba in this respect; I also applaud the work of the Orthodox Church of America, and in the UK, the Coptic Orthodox Church, in its acquisition and cannonization of the British Orthodox Church. We need more Orthodox churches like this.

I also believe that the Orthodox Churches are best positioned to minister to certain non-Christian groups. To the Jews, the Antiochian and Syriac Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East, are particularly well suited to minister to them, given the cultural similiarities between them, the liturgical use of Syriac, a variant of Aramaic, and the fact that these churches have actually endured genocides that destroyed a larger portion of their communicants relative to their population than the Jews lost in the dreadful Holocaust, with which the Syriacs, Antiochenes and Assyrians had absolutely nothing to do.

Likewise, the Orthodox Church is well positioned to minister to Mormons. The Orthodox doctrines of prayers for the dead, and the efficacy thereof, and of Theosis, directly address two of the more alluring falsehoods practiced in the Mormon church, that being the vicarious baptism of the dead, and the blasphemy of Exaltation, or Deification. Western Christianity has no doctrines which could address these two alluring lies of Mormonism, hence its spread, like a weed amongst the crops, but Eastern Orthodoxy represents the ideal herbicide, with which to eradicate this and restore the beautiful truth of Christianity to the Mormons (who suffer greatly in this life by the restrictive, controlling and oppressive nature of the LDS church, which takes 10% of their annual income, and prescribes such ridiculous minutiae in their life such as the choice of undergarments).

Finally, one might ask, do I believe that the souls of Western Christians are saved? Absolutely. My opinion is merely that Eastern Orthodoxy provides a superior experience of Christianity, has more correct doctrines, and gives its adherents a better quality of life during our existence in this world, and a better understanding of what is to happen to us in the world to come. The much lower rate of schism and heresy in Eastern Christianity is a testament to this. I would liken Western Christianity to a pool of stagnant water, and Eastern Christianity to a running river; both are capable of quenching the thirst of those in dire need of water, but the former is a breeding ground for the mosquitoes of schism and heresy, and its water stale and unpleasant to drink, whereas the latter is pure, fresh and sweet.

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