The Godcast Episode 65: A Bag of Questions

Joyous Pascha to our Orthodox listeners. Χριστός ἀνέστη!

On this week’s episode, the Nicene Council receives a lengthy email about the differences between Orthodoxy and Protestantism. MylesPoland, SuperLutheran, and Paisios weigh in on all of the questions raised.

Question List
#1 Is it true that with orthodoxy all members of the Church must agree on one interpretation of the Bible based on Church tradition as decreed by councils of Bishops (or the current Pope)?
#2 Is it true that with Protestantism each individual interprets the Bible based on their personal opinions (or their Pastors’ personal opinions)?
#3 Is it true that Protestantism supports the idea of a universal priesthood of all individual believers?
#4 Is it true that orthodoxy only supports an ordained priesthood of qualified male believers?
#5 Do you believe that the orthodox tradition of royal and collective baptism along with infant baptism encourages orthodox countries to preserve their communities’ cultures, traditions and institutions in a Christian form? (Examples: Armenians, Romans, Franks, Scandinavians, Slavs, Ethiopians etc.)
#6 Do you believe that Protestantism’s tendencies for individual conversions and adult baptism encourages protestant countries to abandon their communities’ cultures, traditions and institutions? (Examples: Puritans, Quakers, Separatists etc.)
#7 Do you believe that if orthodoxy is by nature corporate it would promote social trust in orthodox countries?
#8 Do you believe that if Protestantism is by nature individualistic it would promote atomization in protestant countries?
#9 Do you believe that Protestant Countries must promote “Separation of Church and State”, “Freedom of Thought”, “Freedom of Religion” and the “Freedom of Speech” to allow for individual interpretation of scriptures, or to allow for individual opinions of what is true and moral?
#10 Do you believe that Orthodox Countries must have a Unity of Church and State, Canon Law, or a State Church to enforce an orthodox interpretation of scriptures, or to preserve a universal truth and morality?
#11 Do you believe that the orthodox use of penance, excommunication, inquisition and an emphasis on justice has encouraged the use of corporal punishment and the death penalty in orthodox countries?
#12 Do you believe that the protestant ideas of grace, mercy, individual redemption and forgiveness has encouraged the replacement of corporal punishment with penitentiaries/ correctional facilities in protestant countries?
#13 Do you believe that the Protestant individual interpretation of the Bible will by nature lead to the fragmentation of Church unity and authority, lead to atheism, lead to the recognition of foreign gods and faiths, lead to a loss of community, and lead to moral relativism in Protestant countries?
#14 Do you believe that an orthodox interpretation of the Bible will by nature resist the fragmentation of Church unity and authority, resist atheism, resist the introduction of foreign gods, promote community, and will promote a universal morality in orthodox countries?
#15 Do you believe that the orthodox reverence for tradition, cathedrals, icons, robes, sacred music etc. would encourage the production of traditional artwork, architecture and music in orthodox countries?
#16 Do you believe that Protestantism’s rejection of tradition, icons, and more Puritanical views would encourage the development of modern artwork, architecture and music in protestant countries? (Exception: Masonic Temples and Washington DC)
#17 Do you believe that orthodox countries will naturally treat Jews, and other non-believers, as foreign elements within the body and try to deal with them via Ghettos, Pogroms and Expulsion? (Example: “Henceforth no Jew, no matter under what name, will be allowed to remain here without my written permission. I know of no other troublesome pest within the state than this race, which impoverished the people by their fraud, usury and money-lending and commits all deeds which an honorable man despises. Subsequently they have to be removed and excluded from here as much as possible.” – Queen Maria Theresa Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Archduchess of Austria/Wife of the Holy Roman Emperor)
#18 Do you believe that Protestant countries will naturally extend to Jews, and other non-believers, religious freedoms and civic emancipation? (Example: “True freedom embraces the Mahomitan and the Gentoo as well as the Christian religion.” – Richard Henry Lee/Motion in Congress on June 7, 1776 that the American colonies declare independence)
#19 Do you believe that orthodox countries are by nature Mono-Cultural, promoting in-group preference?
#20 Do you believe that Protestant countries are by nature Multi-Cultural, promoting altruism?
#21 Do you believe that orthodox churches, being led by Patriarchal Bishops, will by nature support more Patriarchal states? (Example: King Philip the Second of the Netherlands, King Charles the First of England, King Louis the Sixteenth of France, Francisco Franco etc.)
#22 Do you believe that protestant churches, being led by elected Presbyters/Congregational governments, will by nature support more Democratic states? (Example: the Dutch Republic, the English Parliament, the French Republic, the Spanish Republic etc.)
#23 Do you believe that protestant churches, given their reliance on individual interpretation of scripture, will naturally give Women a greater role in Church and that protestant countries will also give Women a greater role in State?
#24 Do you believe that orthodox churches, given their reliance on traditional interpretation of scripture, will naturally limit Women’s role in Church and that orthodox countries will also limit Women’s role in State?
#25 Do you believe that the orthodox traditions of state subsidies, royal land grants, and monastic economies would encourage orthodox counties to support more controlled economies? (Example: Tariffs, Guilds, Village Communes, Syndicalism, Corporatism, Integralism etc.)
#26 Do you believe that Protestantism’s tendency towards competition to fill pews for individuals’ voluntary tithes in the “free market of ideas” by preaching a more appealing sermon would encourage protestant countries to support laze faire economies? (Example: Free Trade, Free Markets, Free Enterprise etc.)
#27 Do you believe that Freemasonry as a primarily Protestant organization was the primary force in “Revolutionizing” Medieval Christendom via “the Rights of Man” and Libertarian style Philosophies?
#28 Do you believe that Absolute Monarchism and later Fascism, being primarily orthodox (and Reactionary Neo-Pagan) were the primary forces in “Counter-Revolutionizing” the Western World via “the Devine Right of Kings” and Authoritarian style Philosophies?
#29 Would it be fair to say that the Spiritual and Secular struggles of the modern world can be summed up as a struggle between Traditional Orthodox values (or Universal Order) vs. Judeo-Protestant values (or Universal Freedom)?
#30 Finally, would you say that all the Spiritual, Social, Cultural, Religious, Governmental and Economic problems of today could be solved by simply reviving the orthodoxy of A.D. 1000?

Referenced this episode:
On War Against The Turk by Martin Luther
The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” by C. S. Lewis
God Is Good by Om

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