Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

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someguy
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Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby someguy » Sun 2 September 2018 9:39 am

Hello,

I was having a discussion with a Protestant (Bapist) friend of mine and when the topic of the priesthood came up I could easily justify it via Acts etc and how the saviour breathed the spirit in the disciples after his resurrection showing that the holy spirit does indeed exist.
On the topic of the Theotokos and iconography in regards to the ancient doctrine therefore the ecumenical one where would one need to look to justify the veneration of the Theotokos? I know that the iconoclasts were not endorsed in an ecumenical synod though when and where does the ancient doctrine develop the veneration of the Theotokos for intercession to God?

Thanks

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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby d9popov » Sun 2 September 2018 9:03 pm

Hello Someguy: This is just a short response. First, there is the Old Testament and Christian teaching that reposed saints pray for those on earth (2 Maccabees; Revelation). Second, there is the teaching that we are to ask believers to pray for us (this is not limited to those on earth). Third, there is clear evidence that the early Christians prayed to saints and asked for their intercession. Fourth, there is the early Christian doctrine that the Virgin is special; she is "Theotokos," which can be translated as "Mother of God" or "she who gave birth the One Who is God." This was an ancient title that was made mandatory by the Third Ecumenical Synod (AD 431). The Virgin is called "mother of my Lord" in the New Testament. Fourth, there is the Old Testament teaching that icons (for instance, icons of the Cherubim) are mandatory in Temple worship. Fifth, there is early Christian iconography and veneration of icons, many centuries before iconoclasm arose in the eighth century. Sixth, there is the clear decree of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod (AD 787) that the ancient customs of venerating Saints, the Cross, and icons is mandatory. Seventh, the Council of Constantinople 1341 and the Confession of the Orthodox Faith by Saint Gregory Palamas explains the ancient theology behind veneration of the saints, their relics, and all sacred liturgical items (especially the Cross and Gospel) because the grace of God dwells in all of them. This goes back to the Old Testament where the the grace and power of God that is preset in the relics of the Prophet Elisha (Elisseus) brings a dead man back to life. Even Martin Luther, as horrible as he was, believed that the Virgin is Ever-Virgin and Theotokos. Modern Protestantism is anti-Biblical and anti-Christian on all of these biblical and patristic teachings. It is possible to show Protestants from their own Bibles that Protestantism is wrong. For example, relics (cloths) of the Apostles heal people in the Acts of the Apostles. On all these issues, modern Protestantism has an unbiblical prejudice against the supernatural grace of God.

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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby Maria » Mon 3 September 2018 2:46 am

Excellent response, d9popov

Thank you.
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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby someguy » Mon 3 September 2018 3:35 am

thanks for the prompt response d9popov

You make alot of good points that I agree with though as many Protestants disregard any grace existing in the ministry as the apostles are not in this world at the moment so they accept the faith alone concept and that rituals/traditions are from man and unnecessary/invalid etc.

Most of the evidence of doctrine you referred is from the ecumenical synods though these are refuted by Protestantism.

As I have met many Protestants over the years that are learned in the scripture though can never show them the true church as there are many things that seem too hard IE; fasting/set liturgy/traditions/hierarchy ... there are many websites online which attempt an orthodox catechism though whenever I've showed them to anyone they give feedback to me that they're arrogant and not accepting/loving etc

The reason why I asked about the Theotokos and iconography was that I think many orthodox following christians cannot dogmatically justify them including myself unless referencing ancient synods.

Question I was asked for example; why pray to any other person other than God as he knows all, so if you justify icon venerating as not idol worship then why pray to anyone for intercession if you worship one God etc and I could formulate a response I was satisfied with

Is there anyone here that used to follow a modern post reformation doctrine which came to know the true church of christ?

Thanks for everyone's input

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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby d9popov » Mon 3 September 2018 8:39 pm

I think there can be a two step process on this. First, we can learn more about how there is CONTINUITY between the New Testament texts and the later councils and saints. Once that is accomplished, we can show our Protestant friends that their own Bibles teach about fasting, clergy, relics, saints, the intercession of saints, icons, baptismal regeneration, the real presence in the Eucharist, the grace of ordination to the presbyterate, the Theotokos, liturgical worship, incense, confession, binding and loosing, excommunication, the authority of the institutional church, apostolic succession, etc., etc. Moreover, the earliest Christian readers of the New Testament understood the New Testament in this way, all the way up to present-day traditional Orthodox Christians. The distinctive Protestant doctrines (grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, anti-saints, anti-sacramental, anti-iconography, anti-relics, etc.) do not appear historically until 14 or 15 centuries after Christ.

The problem is that many American evangelicals have a lot of practice in quoting the Scriptures---and EXPLAINING AWAY what the Scriptures say about commandments and doctrines that Protestants find un-modern and inconvenient. If we read the New Testament texts more carefully than our Protestant friends, then we can point out obvious points that they are not able to see because of modern Protestant indoctrination.

Our Protestant friends have no right to complain about harsh rhetoric. They should be seeking the best arguments against their own prejudices. Those best arguments will be emotionally uncomfortable to read and hear. But if a person is truly interested in what the New Testament actually says, they will welcome hard-hitting arguments that burst bubbles and refute prejudices.

There is also the argument of plain common sense. It was the early Orthodox church saints who were the direct historical successors of Christ's apostles: Clement, Bishop of Rome; Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch; Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna; Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons; etc. The point is that no one seriously denies that these saints taught un-Protestant things. What Protestants then need to admit is that these saints taught what the apostles and the New Testament teach. There is CONTINUITY from Christ to the Apostles to the Orthodox bishops. It is simply common sense that the historical successors of the apostles (the Orthodox bishops) understood their teachers better than Luther and Calvin, fourteen centuries later in a completely different culture. Orthodox Christianity is biblical. In fact, it was the Orthodox Church bishops who put the Bible together in the fourth century (AD 367, 397). Protestantism is a modern movement that is in many ways anti-biblical. It has many anti-supernatural and anti-sacred prejudices. If a person follows the teachings of the Bible, he will believe in fasting, saints, relics, sacraments, icons, incense, church hierarchy, the importance of good works, etc.

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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby Maria » Mon 3 September 2018 10:41 pm

If you haven't yet, please read this book. It really helped me in my journey and it was especially helpful to my Protestant friends.

Becoming Orthodox: A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith
by Peter E. Gillquist

This is the story of a handful of courageous men and their congregations who risked stable occupations, security and the approval of life-long friends to be obedient to God's call.It is also the story of every believer who is searching for the Church. Where Christ is Lord. Where holiness, human responsibility, and the sovereignty of God are preached. Where fellowship is more than a covered-dish supper in the church basement. And where fads and fashions take a backseat to apostolic worship and doctrine.This is a book, for Orthodox Christians, looking for ways to bring new life to their own Churches. It's also a book for those completely dissatisfied--those on their own search. And it's a book for Orthodox Christians, looking for renewal.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/112 ... g_Orthodox
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

someguy
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Re: Theotokos/Panagia/God Giver/Mother of God Orthodox justification?

Postby someguy » Tue 4 September 2018 9:15 am

@d9popov - Once again your response is 100% preaching to the converted IE; me fore example :) though is there not an Orthodox page similar to this that tries to trump other doctrines like the following link does?

https://truthfortheworld.org/only-one-i ... -of-christ

Like in the "HOW CAN WE KNOW THE CHURCH THE LORD BUILT?" section which quotes many bible verses to justify refuting the ancient church.

@Maria - This seems like a great book, I will definitely have a look.


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