Steve Christoforou .

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Steve Christoforou - is a video maker on Youtube, and an Orthodox teacher. Apparently he is not a priest, but is still allowed to be a teacher of the Orthodox faith. Apparently he is a "layman" who completed seminary and works for the GOA, at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese's Department of Youth & Young Adult Ministries!

His YouTube channel is called Y2AM

link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcL3n9oekDl4J2q5lAxr9AQ

Steve Christoforou:

Question: if we are saved by Jesus because it is him who "possesses" and performs all rites and acts of priestcraft through Orthodox priests and bishops, and it is him performing all your good works not you, why is it that they cast satan out of a person when they are baptized?

under construction......

I wish to examine on this page mostly the attempt by Steve Christoforou to create a "get around" clause to try to excuse and explain away Orthodoxy from the criticism of reducing Christ into a Semi Saviour, and promote Orthodox believers and their priests into co-saviours, by adding works and acts of priestcraft to the quote "gospel by which we are saved". He does this by insisting that it is in fact Jesus who performs these acts of priestcraft, not the priests themselves, and if an Orthodox man feeds a poor person, it is Jesus who does this, not the believer himself. 

refutations:

So does Steve Christoforou believe:, believers works - and  Epiklesis, triple baptism, Chrismation and all the other hundreds of rites and rituals performed by Orthodox priests are

1) Performed by Christ alone (possession)

2) Performed by the priest and Christ

3) Performed by the priest, but Christ to varying degrees or 100% works through the priest

4) Performed only by the priest.

1) Possession:

"If you sin YOU did it (even though you dont exist any more), if you feed a poor person JESUS did it (who is you), and specifically YOU never did it, and if you do not do a good deed YOU did not do it, YOU are to blame, but if YOU had done it, YOU never did it, JESUS did it." 

as usual the theology of Orthodox is provably one long oxymoron. 

Though this teaching seems absurd to Evangelicals, it would be the literal interpretation of

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20.

Epiklesis.

Epiklesis is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. It is the so called "invoking" of the Holy Spirit of God to partake in the pseudo miraculous concept of Metousiosis. Steve believes not only are we saved by being "topped up on grace" on a week to week process via this, but he goes even further, staggeringly further, jaw droppingly further - in order to disguise its blasphemy and salvation by priestcraft, Steven Christoforou accuses Christ our Lord of being the one who commits that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by being the person who is "in reality" doing it.

You may say that if Epiklesis is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, Steve and every priest and bishop who declares it is Christ in them performing the rite, does that mean it is impossible for them to ever be saved? There are two sins, one called "Grieving the Holy Spirit" and another "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit".  I think this is probably a question of the mindset and attitude of the person involved. I am sure Steve knows that the "miracle" of Holy Fire is a complete fake. If he professes it it is because he was indoctrinated from his early childhood to do so. I honestly believe that some Orthodox believers have passed over a line where they will not respond to the "still small voice of the Spirit" convincing them to repent. All such men will be lost. This is the meaning of Romans chapter 1, where it says God hands certain men over to their sin. The issue of epiklesis and involving Jesus in the blasphemy is about as serious an issue as you can get.   

You can do nothing.

One of the scriptures the Orthodox and Catholics use to justify their every deed is John 15:5 "Without me you can do nothing." They interpret this scripture as meaning "Whatever you are doing I must be behind it in some way." They need to read the long list of logical fallacies and realise any false church cult or sect can say that.

So does Steve Christoforou believe: Epiklesis, triple baptism, Chrismation and all the other hundreds of rites and rituals performed by Orthodox priests are

1) Performed by Christ alone (possession)

2) Performed by the priest and Christ

3) Performed by the priest, but Christ to varying degrees or 100% works through the priest

4) Performed only by the priest.

Luther's struggle.

Let me say from the start I doubt Luther ever eventually repented and was saved, and he was a heretic himself, including the consubstantiation heresy and his belief in war for believers, including his tract "Against the Thieving and Murdering Peasant Rabble" where he said "smite, slay and stab. He that kills a rebel it is like one who kills a mad dog - if you do not kill him first he will kill you, and the whole land with you."

However..... Luther kept going to confession before he opposed Romanism, saying things to priests like "I fed a poor man today, but, I noticed my good deed was infected by my human pride that I did this, to the extent I think I destroyed the act as a good deed." His confessors became annoyed with such comments, and insisted he only confess if he had something to confess.

This however does add a dimension of questioning as to the belief that a believers good deeds can only be deeds if Jesus does them, in a person possessed by Christ. From an Orthodox perspective, as Luther was not Orthodox, his good deed of feeding a poor man was not performed by Christ, and the entire concept of it being "a good deed performed by a human being ruined by the motivation or infection of pride" cannot exist.

Steven Christoforou1 year ago

"Is John 3:16 our "own devising"? Thats says also you are saved by BELIEVING IN JESUS."

Obviously the verse is not of your own devising. The interpretation is of your own devising.

The question is: what does it mean? Why are you reducing salvation to intellectual assent (a "work" if there ever was one) rather than union with Christ (which has been the Christian position from the very beginning).

here Steve Christoforou is preaching the Calvinist heretical lie, and applying it to Arminian Evangelicals just as they do, that is "if you accept Christ's free gift (assent) it is a work, and, therefore Evangelicals believe in salvation plus your own works just as we Orthodox do."

This is a clever sophism, viz

"There is no such thing as a free gift, as accepting it renders it no longer free."

another one is: 

"No one can think the word believe means "to trust in and rely upon Christ"  (the Greek meaning) it is impossible, because by accepting Jesus as Saviour you did a work."

Sophisms is all such talk is. Taking a free gift does not stop it being free. It happens in a split second in your heart, you do not even reach out your hand and take something as with accepting a present. Our theology is clear, in Christ alone our salvation is found, by grace through Faith (Eph 2:8-9 & Rom 11:6). Repentance is a quality indicator of your belief, even that does not save your soul. If you dont believe me try repenting and then tell God he has to save you now because you repented. You would be damned. You are not made worthy of salvation by repentance, and thinking you are is pride. Only Jesus saves is our theology. Steve here shows he does not "believe in Jesus". In fact he mocks the doctrine of what "believe in" means.

Steve means God is not almighty any more, as he "cannot" give the gift of salvation, as to accept it is a work. The Greek sophists would laugh, but Steve's deadly attack on salvation by grace through Faith alone (belief in Jesus) is no laughing matter.

Finally he adds the heresy of deification.

Steven Christoforou1 year ago

Gospel (evangelion) means "Good News." This is a technical term as, in ancient times, kings would issue evangelia after victories to proclaim the safety and security of their realms.

The Gospel is the Good News that the Son of God took on flesh, was born of a Virgin, crucified, and resurrected. He trampled down death by His death, establishing His everlasting Kingdom which rules over all. And He will come again to fully inaugurate His Kingdom, which we can know only taste presently. Christ, the Son of God, welcomes us to become children of God the Father in Him: and we do this through our literal and mystical union with Christ in baptism, chrysmation, and receiving the eucharist. It is thus that Christ's Father becomes our Father. It is thus that we put on Christ, as Paul taught. It is thus that the old man, Adam, dies in us, so it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us.

And this is true, authentic, eternal life in His everlasting Kingdom.

The problem, as best I can tell from our conversation so far, is that you've lost connection with Christ's Body and the means by which we are incorporated into Christ. Unfortunately, you greatly misunderstand salvation and the Church, and end up dismissing the baptism and chrysmation and eucharist by which the Church has been making new Christians from the very beginning.

Steven Christoforou
1 year ago
Ok, let's go through each sacrament one at a time:

1. Baptism

Your quote from 1 Corinthians 1:17 is irrelevant. Just because Paul wasn't sent to baptist doesn't mean baptism is unimportant.

It's even more absurd when you reflect on all the times baptism comes up in the Scripture. Peter's sermon on Pentecost culminates in a call for baptism (Acts 2:38). In Acts 19 Paul preaches to people and, when he's done, "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5). Paul also discusses how we are "buried with [Christ] through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Paul confesses "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). To be baptized into Christ is to put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).

This is clear and sacramental language. Your reading of 1 Corinthians is deeply flawed.

2. Chrysmation

Chrysmation is the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, an important anointing. In Acts 10, the Holy Spirit came upon a group of Gentiles while Peter was preaching to them. He asked how the Church could deny them baptism when the Spirit had already descended upon them (Acts 10:47). Though they entered the Church in a slightly out of order fashion, these Gentiles ultimately did so through (a) baptism and (b) chrysmation (receiving the Holy Spirit).

3. Eucharist

Christ's command to take and eat His Body is clear and unambiguous, yet you reject it anyway (Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19). On the Road to Emmaeus, Christ was known to His disciples in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:35). The early Church prayed daily in the temple and broke bread, as Christ commanded them (Acts 2:46).

As for good deeds, you misunderstand the ascetic tradition of the Church with works salvation. Good deeds do not earn salvation. Rather, we practice good deeds to shape our hearts and grow in humility and reference, deepening our prayer and our connection with the Lord.

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Steven Christoforou1 year ago

Who is "ours?" There were no Evangelical Christians until very recently. And, despite your supposed reliance on Scripture, you reject baptism, chrysmation, eucharist: the basic aspects of our life in Christ which are clearly recorded in the pages of Scripture. You can declare whatever you wish. You speak with no authority, and you flatly contradict the Scripture. You preach a Gospel of your own devising, one unknown the the Apostles and first Christians, once unknown until very recently.

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Steven Christoforou1 year ago

I've presented the Scripture to you multiple times, and you've offered no substantive response. With respect, there isn't anywhere else to go in this conversation. May God bless and keep you. May He open your heart and mind,, and grant you wisdom, peace, and courage.

Steven Christoforou
1 year ago
The head of the Church is Christ, and the Church is His Body.

Bartholomew is Patriarch of Constantinople. That means that he's the bishop of Constantinople (the word "patriarch" means that he's a particular kind of bishop) and certain surrounding areas. Bishops, are you probably know, are the "overseers" that St Paul describes in 1 Timothy 3.

No one person is bishop of the entire Church. There are many Churches in the Orthodox Church, each led by their own bishop. We are united by a common faith in Christ, who is our head.

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” Luke 11: 52,