Thursday, November 22, 2007

...The first characteristic of the Protestant Worldview is that it is Humanistic.

Now for conservative Protestants this statement will come as quite a shock, and no doubt they would hotly dispute it -- but the statement is an historic truth as well as an observable fact. Protestantism was birthed out of and became the religious expression of the humanism of the Renaissance, and as Frank Schaeffer has put it: it has been the engine of the Secularization of Western Culture. Humanism is characterized by its idealization of individual autonomy and it promulgation of secularization. Church authority was rejected in favor of the subjective judgment of the individual. The idea of a Christian nation was replaced with the concept of separation of Church and state -- and for those who would argue that this was a later development, while it is true that Luther and Calvin saw no need for the separation of Church and State (because they were in power) the earliest Anabaptists championed this from the beginning.

What is amazing is how conservative Protestants have viewed humanism and secularization as a foreign invader that is completely at odds with their faith -- when in fact it is the fruit of their own intellectual wombs.

For example, every Western Christmas, you can hear Protestants loudly bemoaning the fact that Christ has been taken out of Christmas and replaced with Santa Claus -- but where did that come from? It was the English Puritans who opposed the idea of a religious calendar, and who opposed Christmas and all other holidays as "pagan" and so sought to replace those holidays with secular observances. It was these Puritans who invented Father Frost, and replaced the idea of going to Church on Christmas to celebrate Christ's birth with the family fun, games, gifts, and food observance that characterizes the common Protestant observance of Christmas. So in their quest to get rid of the "pagan" Christian calendar of feasts, it was in fact the Protestants who developed the truly pagan secular calendar that our culture has come to know and love.
Click on title to read more.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

St. Peter The Aleut Of Alaska

A native of Kodiak Island, Cungagnaq had been baptized by the monks of St. Herman's missionary party, receiving the Christian name Peter.
In 1815, a party of 14 Aleut seal and otter hunter, including Peter approached the California shore by ship. The Russian-American Trading Company had in 1812 established Fort Ross (derived from the word "Russia") about 50 miles north of San Francisco as a warm climate trading post and as a place to raise crops and cattle to support the communities in Alaska. At that time, Spain still owned California, and some Spaniards perhaps thought that Russia was planning to attack and take possession of San Francisco.
When, therefore, Peter and his party of young fur trappers approached near Fort Ross, Spanish sailors captured them and took them to San Francisco for a mock trial. Roman Catholic priests in California tried to force the Aleut hunters to embrace Roman Catholicism. The prisoners answered, "We are Christians; we have been baptized," and they showed their baptismal crosses. "No, you are heretics and schismatics," replied one of the priests. "If you do not agree to take the Catholic Faith we will torture you," and they were told to think it over.
Returning a while later, the priests found that the Aleuts again refused to renounce Orthodoxy. They took Peter and cut off a toe from each foot, but Peter simply repeated, "I am a Christian; I will not betray my Faith." The Spanish priest-inquisitor ordered a group of California Indians to cut off each finger of Peter's hands, one joint at a time, eventually cutting off his hands altogether. Finally, he ordered that Peter be disemboweled. Peter quickly died as a result of the tortures, witnessing to his Faith in God to his last breath. Just as they were ready to start on the next Aleut, the Spaniards received an order to stop the proceedings. This eyewitness account of Peter's martyrdom is told by some of his comrades who were eventually released.
When the incident was reported to St. Herman, back on Kodiak Island, the monk turned to his icon, crossed himself and exclaimed, "Holy, new-martyr Peter, pray to God for us!" Peter the Aleut was formally glorified as a saint, as the "Martyr of San Francisco;" in 1980. His feast day is commemorated on September 24.

Today Alaska rejoices and America celebrates, 
For the new world has been sanctified by martyrdom. 
Kodiak echoes with songs of thanksgiving, 
Iliamna and Kenai observe the festival of faith. 
The Apostle and martyr Juvenaly is glorified, 
And Peter the Aleut is exalted by his voluntary sacrifice, 
In their devotion and love for the Lord, 
They willingly endured persecution and death for the Truth, 
Now in the Kingdom of Heaven they intercede for our souls! 

Today Valaam joins Alaska 
In celebrating this joyous feast, 
As her spiritual son Juvenaly 
Embraces the new martyr Peter with love. 
Together they suffered for the Lord in America 
And united the old world with the new by their voluntary sacrifice. 
Now forever they stand before the King of glory and intercede for our souls. 

O Peter, upon the rock of thy faith hath Christ built His Church, 
and in the streams of thy blood hath He hallowed our land. 
In thee thy people hath been sanctified, O Aleut; 
from the farthest islands of the west hath He raised thee, a light unto all. 
Glory to Him that hath glorified thee. 
Glory to Him that hath crowned thee. 
Glory to Him that worketh healings for all through thee.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

America The Beautiful

America is a rich and powerful nation that assumes this power and wealth was afforded to us by the God of the Bible. Could it be perhaps that this wealth and power came from another benefactor? Is it possible that our forefathers succumbed to temptation as offered by the Great Tempter and that we are now enjoying the short lived pleasures of our choice to follow after him, who has portrayed himself to us as an Angel of Light? Could it be that instead of embracing truth, righteousness and justice, the American people have embraced lies, deceptions and half truths? Could it be that this so-called, "life in Christ" that American Evangelicals and all of American Christendom are living in, is just imagery, distractions, distortions and illusions? What will come of us, if in our secure state of being, we begin to catch glimpses of a wolf's tail, a wolf's snout and wolf tracks beneath the sheep skin? Will it be too late to escape from the wolf's clutches? Who will rescue us, for we sheep are no defense against a wolf, especially one so mighty who takes the name of Satan. Yet,in the midst of such danger, the Great Shepard also is near, ready to rescue with all swiftness, those who call out to Him for salvation.

Heresy can be defined as, "wrong teaching", "that which portrays God incorrectly", or "that which does not hold to the Apostolic Traditions". Through a simple study of church history, one can ascertain particular facts about the roots of our Christian faith. If we follow the genealogy of our Church Fathers back to the times of Christ, we will find landmarks along the way that can enlighten us as to why we are where we are today. Rather than work our way backwards, let's start with Christ who just prior to His ascension into the clouds, commissioned the Apostles to go into all the world preaching the gospel and baptizing all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These twelve disciples along with the early followers of Christ accomplished an astounding feat in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a significant portion of the world within just the first generation after Christ's ascension into glory and within the first thousand years of church history, most of the world had received news of this Gospel. 

During the first millennium, the church was united and when heresy confronted the church, it was addressed in the Ecumenical Councils of which there were seven, the first being at Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15, where the Apostles, upon addressing the acceptance of Gentiles into the church and acting with divine authority, stated, "As seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us". These councils established church rules, canons and decrees which provided a stable foundation and framework in which the church could thrive, blossom and grow. This practice of convening Church councils when the enemy encroached into God's Kingdom on earth continued with great success for many centuries but as prophecy would reveal, the faith of many would eventually begin to grow cold and consequently many would be deceived and deluded. Thus was the demise of the Roman Orthodox Church until in 1054, the final falling away was accomplished with Satan having his victory and for the first time in the history of the church, a major and catastrophic schism occurred and the great Orthodox Church of Rome was excommunicated from rest of Christendom.

As the Apostles and the Church Fathers teach, the seeds of heresy are sowed, watered and fertilized by the Evil One. His diabolical strategy is to sow seeds, be they ever so small that can eventually take root and grow into large trees that spread their branches far and wide for birds of many varieties and species to nestle in. These trees drop their poisonous fruit which is then carried by the birds of the air far and wide, eventually wrecking havoc upon the entire earth. Consistent with this strategy, Satan confuses, deludes and deceives the masses and even the elect by growing trees that bear resemblance in every respect to those of God's Kingdom and only men filled with the Spirit of God having had hands laid on them by the faithful Fathers before them are be able to discern the difference in the origin of the trees. These priests in turn having been ordained by God, teach His elect how to discern and parse truth from falsehood, lies from truth, imagery from reality and this order is consistent with the anointed St. Paul's teaching regarding the preservation of truth by entrusting faithful men through the "laying on of hands" as recorded in the letters to St. Timothy.

The Orthodox Roman Church having fallen from her glorious position in the heavenlies, lost her true beauty and having exchanged divine truth and godliness for power, avarice and pride took on a deceptively beastly character and began to devour the elect and the masses within her realm of dominion. As a wolf devours sheep, Rome devoured the flock of God and having betrayed the innocent and the weak, her appetite was whet with increasing abandon to carnal abuses. Eventually, of her mighty multiple realms, one rebelled and this realm was spewed from her mouth and thus was born the Reformation. Having been far removed from the garden from which all life was brought forth, that is the Church of the East; this small band of seekers of truth and beauty set out on their own to find the Kingdom of God and reclaim it for their own. Sadly, these children turned not to their Mother of the East but were yet again, deceived by the mighty dragon of old, who using his ancient mastery of deception and imagery, portrayed himself as an angel of light, beauty and truth and thus began again to lead this new Adam and Eve astray. 

Satan, in promising great riches, power and pleasure is not lame. He is more than able to provide mankind with all manner of temporal blessings but they are "temporal" and although they satisfy, enrich and bring pleasure, it is short lived. The lake of fire was not created for mankind, it was created for Satan and his demons. Mankind was made to enjoy God forever but to enjoy God, one must freely want to seek Him and God has allowed us the privilege of loving Him and love is not love unless it is freely given of one's own volition. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, it was revealed to us through this experience that Satan has great power and dominion over the earth, yet, it is short lived. Jesus willingly rejected the short lived pleasures of sin for the long term blessings of obeying God, His Father. We must do the same.

Thus this new Adam and Eve of the Reformation grew up and proliferated profusely enjoying a feast of both bitter herbs and sweet delights, of truths and deceptions, of good fruits and poisoned fruits; thus was the way of this new world. And just as weeds when left to grow on their own, grow profusely, so these sincere Protestants grew and spread throughout the West and even began to encroach into the strange and foreign lands of the East. The cunning king of this new world didn't need to intervene with his subjects. He simply sowed bad seed and let nature takes it's course with the birds of the air and the winds of the earth taking this seed far and wide. But the time would come when this King would send his officers out to gather the debts owed to him and those debts would carry a heavy penalty of interest and in lieu of not being able to pay their debt, the consequences would be life imprisonment. But the times were good, the money flowed, the pleasures were many and the food was abundant and no one wanted to think about unpleasantries like debt or penalties or imprisonment.

America, the beautiful, the proud, the blessed, the powerful, the rich. Our poorest are among the richest on the earth. We have spread our wings both far and wide and we have nested in strange lands in every corner of the earth. But where are our roots? From where did we come? Where are our beginnings? Are we really a nation blessed by the Trinitarian God of the Scriptures or is our God of another origin?

Jesus teaches us about the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven and compares it to a field where wheat grows and tells how Satan by stealth of night sowed tares among the wheat. What happens to the tares? What happens to the wheat? They are both allowed to grow up together until the end of the age when the angels will reap and the tares will be thrown into the fire and the wheat will gathered for the harvest. As we approach the end of the age the harvest is ripening and weeds continue to grow and spread and just as the scriptures teach, the harvest near the end of age will be thin, the love of many will grow cold and the masses will be deceived.

With the reformation well under way, the task of separation was made even more secure and Satan with his demons could continue their work of ushering in the last great rebellion against their Creator. As we enter into yet another chapter in this diabolical scheme of usurpation of God's Holy Kingdom, we see more completely the danger of heresies and their full effect on mankind. Heresy emanates from Satan himself; he is author of every teaching that sets itself against God's Holy throne. The scriptures are replete with admonitions and warnings that we are to have nothing to do with heretics after warning them two, perhaps three times. Why, the admonition to shun them, to separate ourselves from them? Because their bacterium is contagious and deadly and regardless of the strength of your knowledge or your holiness, unless you are armed with the vaccine of truth and are coming into the presence of such an infected environment for the purpose of saving a soul from death, you has no business in such a dangerous place without the anointing and equipping of God's Holy Spirit and His divine protection. 

It is indeed a dangerous place, confirmed by Paul the Apostle of God who warns of our need to be ever so careful lest we be sucked into the dark abyss in our efforts to save that man drowning in heresy. No man can stand against such a deadly disease as heresy without himself becoming infected. This bacterium attacks the immune system, breaking down our defenses, weakening us and opening the way for this leprosy to take up residence. This continuing work of the Evil One persists with wave upon wave of heresies. Lies upon lies upon lies until we are so deep in deceptions, half truths, distractions and distortions that we don't know up from down, or truth from falsehood until we find ourselves in a whirlpool of dark, turgid waters being sucked into the depths of a realm so thick with darkness, so vast with emptiness, that we will never escape, no matter how desirous we are to repent for then it will be too late.

Just as Adam and Eve were tempted and fell; we, their offspring reaping the consequences of their acts, yet not being responsible for their original actions but having inherited the consequences of their deeds, we now finding ourselves having to repent of what we were born into, otherwise we find ourselves continuing to live in this spirit of their deception. In the same way, our ancestors, the Romanists and the Protestants sinned against God by embracing heresies that until this very day keep them separated from the living God and the fullness of His blessings as He has preserved them in His Holy, Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church; the Church of the East. We again find ourselves in similar circumstances as with Adam and Eve, in that we are surrounded by the fallout of the actions of the Romanists and the Protestants and we, though not committing the original act must repent of where we are because of our ancestors and return to our Father God and our Mother church. If we choose not to return after having come into a knowledge of the truth of their actions and deeds, then we stand in danger of eternal separation from our Father God and our Mother church and by doing so, we will find ourselves in the eternal company of the great robber and rebeller, Satan himself along with all his demon companions. Yet, all the while our Father who bore us desires our company, our fellowship, our repentance and that we may enjoy Him forever and that He also may in turn enjoy us forever in the realm of His glorious, eternal and magnificent kingdom.

"And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." Matthew 24:10-12

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Mat 24:24

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." 2 Cor.11:13-15

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
2 Tim 6:20-21

St. Irenaeus says that heretics do not follow the Apostolic Tradition,

Cyprian compares heretics to "the sons of Aaron, who placed strange fire (heresy) upon the Altar of God," that is, "despising God's Tradition, seek after strange doctrines and bring in teachings of human appointment"

Heretics usually form "sects" which become historically competitive to the Church.

Paul advises us that "a man that is an heretic" we should "reject, after the first and second admonition." Titus 3:8-10

The Church Fathers teach that heresy has its roots, not in incorrect belief and teaching alone, but in a mean spirit and in persistence in one's error, even after repeated entreaties that he repent.

A true Christian seeks to correct those in error, to lead them with love, and to avoid strife and discord.

The Church never issues its condemnations with the intention of destroying souls, but of awakening those in the dark sleep of error and bringing them to repentance.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Tradition Bad Tradition

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” Mark 7:5

Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions (plural) just as I delivered them to you. 1 Cor. 11:2

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” Mark 7:8

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions (plural) which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:15

He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. Mark 7:9

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 2 Thessalonians 3:6

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Col 2:8

A Divine Embryo—organically, naturally, and fully developed by the guiding of the Holy Spirit.

Tested by centuries, having evolved into an amazingly consistent form of worship, without Western modernized innovations or influence.

What Apostles lived, saw, witnessed and recorded evolved into the "Apostolic Tradition" and eventually became the New Testament.

"Patristic Tradition", consists of the Apostle's teachings as they are kept, treasured, interpreted, and explained to the Church by the Holy Fathers.

Tradition is a gift of the Holy Spirit, a living experience, which is relived and renewed through time. It is the true faith, which is revealed by the Holy Spirit to the true people of God.

Tradition, cannot be reduced to a mere enumeration of quotations from the Scriptures or from the Fathers. It is the fruit of the incarnation of the Word of God, His crucifixion and resurrection as well as His ascension, all of which took place in space and time. Tradition is an extension of the life of Christ into the life of the Church.

Tradition and traditions are the integral parts of the life of the Church and they express the totality of the Christian way of life which leads to salvation. The doctrine of incarnation, the historical truth of the crucifixion and resurrection, the Eucharist, the sign of the cross, the threefold immersion in the baptismal font, the honor and respect due to the Virgin Mary and to the saints of the Church, are all important for the Christian, who wants to find himself in the "perimeter" of salvation in Christ. This is what the Church has taught through the centuries. "Therefore we must consider the Tradition of the Church trustworthy," St. John Chrysostom writes, "it is Tradition, seek no more".

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Church Is Visible And One

"The question of the Church was certainly the catalyst in my own journey, especially
after reading the Ignatius Press edition of Thomas Howard’s delightful book Evangelical Is Not Enough. In the Postscript he reflects upon the steps that took him from Canterbury to Rome by saying that it was “the same old story which one finds in Newman, Knox, Chesterton, and all others who have made this move. The question, What is the Church? becomes, finally, intractable; and one finds oneself unable to offer any compelling reasons why the phrase one,holy, catholic, and apostolic,’which we all say in the Creed, is to be understood in any way other than the way in which it was understood for 1500 years.” If Howard
introduced the question to me, the hammer that drove home the nails came, ironically, from yet another encounter with a Roman Catholic book. To this day Yves Congar’s monumental Tradition and Traditions remains one of the most important books I have ever read besides the Bible; for it thoroughly convinced me that the Bible, Tradition, and the Church are one majestic tapestry woven and preserved by the Holy Spirit. When I finally became aware of the reality of this undivided, historical and visible Church I knew I could no longer remain separate from Her. I was not in the Church, and I needed to be.
Exerpt from "The Church Is Visible And One" by Patrick Barnes
photo: Monastery in Meteora, Greece

Friday, November 9, 2007

"God Became Man So That Man Might Become A God." St. Athanasius

... when the intellect has been perfected, it unites wholly with God and is illumined by divine light, and the most hidden mysteries are revealed to it. Then it truly learns where wisdom and power lie... While it is still fighting against the passions it cannot as yet enjoy these things... But once the battle is over and it is found worthy of spiritual gifts, then it becomes wholly luminous, powerfully energized by grace and rooted in the contemplation of spiritual realities. A person in whom this happens is not attached to the things of this world but has passed from death to life." St. Thalassios, "On Love, Self-control and Life in accordance with the Intellect" Philokalia (Vol. 2)", p. 355)

'Can a man take fire into his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?' (Prov. 6:27) says the wise Solomon. And I say: can he, who has in his heart the Divine fire of the Holy Spirit burning naked, not be set on fire, not shine and glitter and not take on the radiance of the Deity in the degree of his purification and penetration by fire? For penetration by fire follows upon purification of the heart, and again purification of the heart follows upon penetration by fire, that is, inasmuch as the heart is purified, so it receives Divine grace, and again inasmuch as it receives grace, so it is purified. When this is completed (that is, purification of heart and acquisition of grace have attained their fullness and perfection), through grace a man becomes wholly a god." St. Simeon the New Theologian (Practical and Theological Precepts no. 94, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pgs. 118-199)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Brief History Of Beards

"The simple reason why Orthodox priests wear beards is because, as a Nazarene, Our Lord had a beard, as can be seen from any icon. Since the priest is a dispenser of sacramental grace and an icon of Christ, he should physically resemble Our Lord... 

In the Roman Empire it was the custom for men to shave. Not to shave was to be a 'barbarian', i.e. not be a Roman and therefore be culturally inferior. This custom of shaving was particularly strong in the Western part of the Roman Empire, where Rome was. Even in the Eastern part of the Empire beardless priests were still common up until the fifth century. Here, however, the sense of the physical appearance of Christ and the need for clergy to resemble Him dominated and in the East beardless clergy had disappeared by the eighth century at latest.

In the West hermits and monastics also had long hair and beards, like St Martin of Tours. However, the parish clergy came to a kind of compromise. Although in order to avoid seeming effeminate, Western Orthodox clergy did not shave, they nevertheless trimmed their beards quite closely. This is clear from icons of St Leo the Great or St Gregory the Great. Unfortunately, this tradition of trimmed beards was lost with the tyranny of Charlemagne at the end of the eighth century. With his massive 'barbarian' inferiority complex, it was his desire in all things to imitate pagan classical Rome. It was therefore under him that Western clergy were ordered to shave regularly. For example at the Council of Aachen (816), it was stipulated that priests and monks were to shave every two weeks.

Despite this, until the beginning of the eleventh century most hermits and bishops too were still bearded. Nevertheless, by the end of the eleventh century most priests and monks shaved regularly, at least ten times a year, if not much more frequently. In particular, in 1080 Hildebrand, Pope Gregory VII, tried to enforce shaving. All this was in pure imitation of the practices of pagan Rome. In the sixteenth century beardlessness for Roman Catholic clergy was enforced by further canons, which appear to have been dropped since the Second Vatican Council." From:

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Letter of Agatho, Pope of Old Rome - Addressesd To The 6th Ecumenical Council at Constantinople

Exerpt: "For, among men placed amid the Gentiles, and earning their daily bread by bodily labour with considerable distraction, how could a knowledge of the Scriptures, in its fulness, be found unless what has been canonically defined by our holy and apostolic predecessors, and by the venerable five councils, we preserve in simplicity of heart, and without any distorting keep the faith come to us from the Fathers, always desirous and endeavouring to possess that one and chiefest good, viz.: that nothing be diminished from the things canonically defined, and that nothing be changed nor added thereto, but that those same things, both in words and sense, be guarded untouched."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Status Of The Non-Orthodox

Exerpt from, "The Non-Orthodox" by Patrick Barnes
The Spirit of God blows where it chooses and, as Irenaeus said, where the Spirit is, there is the Church. We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not. This means, as Khomiakov insists, that we must refrain from passing judgment on non-
Orthodox Christians: 
"Inasmuch as the earthly and visible [Eastern Orthodox] Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord appointed to appear at the final judgment of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits. . . . She does not judge the rest of humankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of humankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgment of the great day." Russian lay-theologian and dialectician Alexei Khomiakov

An Ancient View On Heresy and Unity and Those Outside Of the Eastern Orthodox Church

"We hold this forth as a model for all those who seek Christian unity: I write these things not wishing to cause distress to the heretics or to rejoice in their ill–
treatment—God forbid; but, rather, rejoicing and being gladdened at their return. For
what is more pleasing to the Faithful than to see the scattered children of God gathered again as one? Neither do I exhort you to place harshness above the love of men. May I not be so mad! I beseech you to do and to carry out good to all men with care and assiduity, becoming all things to all men, as the need of each is shown to you; I want and pray you to be wholly harsh and implacable with the heretics only in regard to cooperating with them or in any way whatever supporting their deranged belief. For I reckon it misanthropy and a departure from Divine love to lend support to error, that those previously seized by it might be even more greatly corrupted." 
Saint Maximus the Confessor +580

Friday, November 2, 2007

Orthodox Teachngs On Christians Outside The Church

"The status of the heterodox; which is defined as, 'at variance with Orthodoxy',is properly seen in two ways. When speaking of their ecclesial status—i.e., their relation to the Orthodox Church—we would say that the heterodox cannot be seen as Her members, because they have not been grafted into the one true Body of Christ through Holy Baptism. On the other hand, when speaking of their eternal status—i.e., the implications of this ecclesial separation—, we leave them to the mercy of God and do not judge them. Affirmation of their separation does not require belief in their damnation." 
Exerpt from the book, "The Non-Orthodox" by Patrick Barnes

"I have come to view my Protestant past in a way similar to the way the Fathers of the Church viewed the history of Israel—as a preparation for the Christian Gospel. Historically, of course, Protestantism represents a movement away from the historical Church rather than a movement toward it. Nonetheless, Christ did not abandon the Christians of the West, in spite of the increase of heresies. If in no other way, He
was and is present in the Holy Scriptures. While Protestantism, in all of its variety, is a heresy, God works in the lives of individuals to bring them to the fulness of the truth." 
Exerpt from the book, "The Way" by Clark Carlton

"Even before he was of our fold, he was ours. His character made him one of us. For, as many of our own are not with us, whose life alienates them from the common body, so, many of those without are on our side, whose character anticipates their faith, and need only the name of that which indeed they possess."
Funeral Oration on his Father, Saint Gregory the Elder (+374)