Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople
This morning I opened up an email that included the following information:
I saw you writing about Orthodox Church.
I don’t know if you are aware but the yearly miracles of Early Church like Holy Light, Jordan River going back, Cloud on Mount Tabor and such happen yearly in Orthodox Church until today…You may not know, but like prophets of Old Time Orthodoxs today have a way of speaking with God., namely Jesus prayer.
Anyway, there was a recommended website in the email which I visited.
The website has a photo that someone claims includes an angel. And this is supposed to be part of the proof of the validity of Eastern Orthodoxy. After discussing the “miracles” and selected abbreviated histories, the website also states:
The general idea is that Protestants and Catholics should clearly look into coming home at Orthodox Church.
Well, there are three problems with the above statement.
The first is that Catholics and Protestants claims to have a variety of signs and wonders themselves. But some “Catholics” who had visions, stigmatas, and other visible signs also made pronouncements. supposedly on God’s authority, that were clearly later shown to be false.
Notice one such example concerning Therese Neumann:
Therese Neumann (1898-1962) mystic and stigmatist of Germany. She did not eat, drink, sleep, or have body functions for 40 years–a well documented fact in light of being so contemporary. She lived solely on the Eucharist. When asked in 1945 after World War II if America would ever be destroyed or invaded by war, she responded,
“No, at the end of this century America will be destroyed economically by natural disasters.” (Flynn Ted and Mary. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. A259)
The Protestants have their own problems with signs and wonders which I will not go into right now.
The second problem is that the Orthodox themselves teach that they should not be swayed by signs and wonders, even if they supposedly involve apparitions of Mary (who the Orthodox clearly venerate). Here is what once Orthodox priest wrote:
Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many?…
Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apprently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.
(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22. http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/theotokos.htm viewed 05/11/09)
The reality is that it is likely that false apparitions, claiming to be “Mary” may be among the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns are coming (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
So, if the Orthodox teach that they themselves should NOT listen to seemingly clear signs from Catholic sources, then they should realize that Catholics will not be inclined to accept any signs (clear or otherwise) from the Orthodox.
But the third problem is that the Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants all should realize that none of them hold to the teachings of the original apostles or their immediate successors. Hence the Eastern Orthodox is NOT the place to come home to.
Those who wish to look into will realize that many of the early Christian leaders that the Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants consider to have been saints held positions that agree with the Living Church of God, but contradict the current teachings of those other groups.
This, as well as information related to Marian apparitions, can be determined by prayerful honest study of the following documented articles:
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?