Obviously, the reason for the split is the recognition of the Ukrainian church. This shows us that these Orthodox churches are really very nationalistic more than religious. You might find their places of worship located in large and small US cities, but you won't find anyone but Russian people in the Russian Orthodox places, Greeks in the Greek Orthodox places, etc. Sure, they all share the name "Orthodox" and there is even an "Orthodox Bible" out there, but they have no evangelistic outreach. The only reason Franky Schaeffer and Hank Handegraph converted were there own mental issues. No, they did not attend a big stadium event hosted by an 'Alexander Grahamofsky' where they turned their lives over to the Orthodox. No couple of guys in white shirts on bicycles came to their door to ask them about a strange warming in their hearts. And no group of 3 or 4 gathered on a street corner with a rack of Orthodox pamphlets were there, either.
Istanbul is the modern name of this city, given to it in the late 15th century by the triumphant Ottoman Turks who captured it, and put to an end the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire, and set up their Islamic Caliphate.
However, after an initial massacre and execution of Christians , and turning Hagia Sophia and many other churches into mosques, they did allow the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Archbishop of Constantinople to continue, with a small minority of second-class citizen âdhimmiâ Christians, and under very strict conditions.
The Patriarchate still retains the old âConstantinopleâ name, which was just about tolerated by the Turkish authorities. They were, however, always ready to execute a troublesome Patriarch, or any Eastern Orthodox who went out of the bounds.
The nominally Muslim secularist and revolutionary Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who installed the Turkish Republic in the 1920âs, moved the capital from Istanbul (Constantinople), to the relatively new city of Ankara which lessened the importance of Istanbul.
With regard to people like Hank Hanegraaf and Frankie Schaeffer who converted from evangelical Reformed Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy, I think they went that way, because it avoided the stigma and difficulty of going over to Rome, and the Pope, but yet still giving the same type of liturgy, etc. that they were looking for.
The problem, is however, that whether it is Western Latin Roman Catholicism, Eastern Catholicism (churches usually with Eastern Orthodox style liturgy, but who acknowledge the Pope), the now very ecumenical mainstream Eastern Orthodox Churches under Constantinople, or the now very separate and anti-Western and anti-Roman Catholic Russian Orthodox Church, they are all based on salvation by works and sacraments, scripture plus tradition, a central authority, either Pope and bishops, or patriarch and bishops, veneration of Mary and the saints, and ascetic works, rites, rituals and so on for salvation.
Despite our many sad divisions, truly evangelical Protestants believe firmly in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone, according to the Scriptures alone. We must be born again of the Holy Spirit, and trust in the completed work and merits of Christ alone for our salvation.
Sadly, it is true that Eastern Orthodoxy, though completely separate to and even at times hostile to the Pope, and with some notable differences from Western or Latin Roman Catholicism, des unfortunately have some similarities to Catholicism.
The disputes between the Russian Orthodox Church and the mainstream Eastern Orthodox Church based in Constantinople, is primarily a political matter, though also has some religious aspects.
The Russian Orthodox Church obviously supports Putinâs Russia, over its ambitions for Ukraine.
However, the Russian Orthodox are also opposed to the very Western European EU leaning Ukrainians, and the very Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople, who is pro-Roman Catholic, and lives up to his title. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was always a semi-autonomous department of the Russian Orthodox Church, but has now split into the newly independent one in most of EU leaning Ukraine, and the Russian Orthodox Ukrainian branch in the Russian influenced Eastern Ukraine breakaway provinces.
Buckeyes & Don, I think it is important to note, when noting the Schaeffer family, that they had a very interesting history. Francis was a Bible Presbyterian but swung away from that brand of fundamentalism in the 1950s. Franky, watching his parents go from very straight laced to rather radical outward appearances and suddenly espousing strange, new ideas, obviously suffered from this to the point he is now a self avoiwed atheist. Franky is yet another notable child of the Bible Presbyterians who fell away. I'm sure the same could be said about other ministries.
Francis, Frank's father, rebelled against his past although he seemed to come back toward a center point at the end of his life. See my comments yesterday regarding the so-called liberal revival and Frank's participation therein.
But I do not doubt that he and Edith did the best they could as imperfect people to raise their children well.
(TMC) @Don Tian âIt just shows you that Schaeffer, 'great evangelical theologian' that he was, had 0 control over his own family. He didn't even follow the Scripture that says a church leader should raise his children in the faith. If he fails that, then what can he be entrusted with? Other people? No way! Somehow, in the US, we think, well, at home everyone has problems, so let's not judge a man by his children. That's not what the New Testament clearly teaches.â
Firstly, the apostasy of a child does not mean that the parents were neglegent- the Lord regenerates and saves souls- all the efforts of the best Christian parents cannot.
Secondly, Franky Schaeffer left the faith when he was in his late 30âs, 6 years AFTER his father died.
Thirdly, I just finished reading âFor the Childrenâs Sakeâ by Frankyâs sister who describes the great care their parents went to to raise them âin the faithâ.
The Eastern Orthodox churches are basically just as heretical and idolatrous as the Roman churches. They split hairs over the pope and use of language translations (Nicene Creed) back in 1054. But both practice the Saint and Mary idolatry's and all the other unbiblical baloney you find in the papist fallacy.
As with the Romish followers the eastern nations have been caught up in this false witness and man made religion.
What they need is Reformation and the faith ability to read the Bible in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Jer 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD."
Don Tian Wrote: "I don't see what one guy and his wife's conversion has to do with this story. You might as well throw in that Francis Schaeffer's son 'Franky' crossed over to the Orthodox church years ago. So what?"
Hi Don, someone brought up Hanegraaff's name, so it became a side topic. I think pretty much every single person I've ever seen pop into a thread to ask, what does this have to do with that, has always been guilty of introducing side-topics themselves which had nothing, whatsoever, to do with a threads main topic. I do it a lot, so I would never call anyone else out for doing the same, and the most recent example I can think of with you in mind, was the South African recession/agricilture thread when you brought up DeBeers and the diamond mines, etc., and there have been others, but so what. I never quite get why anyone seems to get irritated over side discussions from time to time.
Youth in Asia wrote: I agree about Hank, he left the faith, more than that a lot of info came out about him taking over as the Bible Answer Man very unbiblicaly, and how he was unqualified for that spot, and used internal politics to get what he wanted. Larry Wessels on this site has more info.
Yes, and I believe he is still on a very conservative radio station in Pittsburgh, PA. WORD FM radio if I recall. The same station James Dodson occupies.
Nevertheless, this is good news because it causes dialogue among the saints while turning our hearts to the truth of God's word. God will approve our studies if we are seeking truth. Some divisions are profitable in ways we know from scripture.
Perhaps his followers will depart from the path he is on.
I don't see what one guy and his wife's conversion has to do with this story. You might as well throw in that Francis Schaeffer's son 'Franky' crossed over to the Orthodox church years ago. So what! It just shows you that Schaeffer, 'great evangelical theologian' that he was, had 0 control over his own family. He didn't even follow the Scripture that says a church leader should raise his children in the faith. If he fails that, then what can he be entrusted with? Other people? No way! Somehow, in the US, we think, well, at home everyone has problems, so let's not judge a man by his children. That's not what the New Testament clearly teaches. As to the Russian Orthodox Church being the main subject here, I would proceed with much caution, since they have been linked to the govt for many years, and who knows what is going on there? Throw in the Ukrainians and you open a whole new can of worms! Also, the source of the story, the BBC, is not some immaculate preacher of truth, but just another collection of leftists, no better than CNN or MSNBC. No doubt many are also communists from way back.
They seek a word from God. When that word, or feeling, comes, Charismatics sometimes then go running off without first stopping to determine who spoke to them,
Separately, a friendly priest is the best lure for the unsure, leading them right out of the path. Wasn't Hanegraaf in part led out by his relationship with an Orthodox priest? I have known others. When liberals in Protestant pulpits act like buffoons or less than grounded, a more put together priest can look more attractive.
Hi James...thanks. I think you'd agree with me in that I think it's just amazing how so many, having a solid knowledge of scripture, and as long-term, and even life-long, Christians, can be duped, coaxed, or even disillusioned in some aspect, to the point that even with the full knowledge of what's right and wrong, good and evil, and being fully aware of the craftiness of Satan's subtle and deceptive tricks, they still take a left turn along the way, and comprimise on things that they once knew, believed, taught, and/or preached, as being wrong.
Seems like it's often those who are with the most knowledge who seem to get hit with these new revelations, and open themselves to comprimise for some reason. The way I visualize it is that each morning, they kept forgetting to put a piece of their spiritual armor on, or kept forgetting to buckle things up tight for a good seal because they became comfortable in relying upon their own strength. A little piece here, and a little piece there, until one day, the comprimise in their armor was noticed by those lurking in the darkness, so they began to hit those weak spots with their fiery darts, and slowly but surely, the armor began to weaken and fall apart, leaving them naked and vulnerable to attack.
"I'm pretty sure he once labelled his newfound religion as a cult, or false religion."
I just checked, and he did have it labelled as a cult, but now says he was wrong, and CRI was wrong, according to Christianity Today:
"CT reported in 2009 how CRI critiques of Watchman Nee in the 1970s (prior to Hanegraaffâs tenure) led other theology watchdogs to label the Chinese Christianâs âlocal churchesâ movement a cult, but Hanegraaff acknowledged âwe were wrongâ and endorsed the movementâs orthodoxy in 2008. (The Local Church sued over the cult label in 2003.)"
I listened to Walter Martin as the bible answer man for years while living in Vegas. I was also there when Hank Hanegraaff assumed the role, which was bittersweet. I never cared for Martin's impatience and abruptness with the callers, but his on the fly knowledge was impressive. Hanegraaff, on the other hand, displayed incredible patience, but his answers didn't flow like his predecessor, so the feel was much different.
Anyway, Hanegraaff and his wife converted just last year. Christian Orthodox...isn't that synonymous with Eastern and Greek Orthodox? I took a quick look, and it seems they have some similarities with the church of Rome. They place little emphasis on scripture, believe they can communicate with those in Heaven through prayer, venerate Mary, and believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven, believe the bread and wine are transsubstantiated, and believe the salvation is imparted through faith, and a life of holy living. I'm sure there's more, but it seems that the Hanegraaffs have been duped by the outward "beauty and holiness" of the liturgical service, coupled with their study of Watchman Nee's writings, and theosis, the Greek Orthodox way of seeking union with God. I'm pretty sure he once labelled his newfound religion as a cult, or false religion.
I agree about Hank, he left the faith, more than that a lot of info came out about him taking over as the Bible Answer Man very unbiblicaly, and how he was unqualified for that spot, and used internal politics to get what he wanted. Larry Wessels on this site has more info.