Talk:Greek Orthodox Church

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Seven reliable sources[edit]

Gaby Merger has started the personal attacks and edit-warring which she started from September 2013 calling the information supported by seven reliable sources an "Orthodox blog piece". The question is: Are these references blog-pieces? Also Gaby Merger mangled the quotations within these sources and changed them, so now they do not correspond to the text in the books. This is a clear competence issue.

^ Janet Saltzman Chafetz; Helen Rose Ebaugh (18 October 2000). Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations. AltaMira Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7591-1712-9. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "The distinctive characteristics of the Greek Orthodox Church are its sense of continuity with the ancient Church of Christ and the Apostles and its changelessness. The Orthodox church traces its existence, through the ordination of Bishops. directly back to the Apostles and through them to Jesus."

^ Sally Bruyneel; Alan G. Padgett (2003). Introducing Christianity. Orbis Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-60833-134-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "The Eastern Orthodox and thye Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups."

^ Benjamin Jerome Hubbard; John T. Hatfield; James A. Santucci (2007). An Educator's Classroom Guide to America's Religious Beliefs and Practices. Libraries Unlimited. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-59158-409-4. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "The Orthodox Church traces its origins to the churches founded by the apostles in the Middle East and the Balkans in the first century."

^ Robert L. Plummer (6 March 2012). Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Anglicanism. Zondervan. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-310-41671-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "Catholicism holds that if a Church claims to be Christian, then it must be able to show that its leaders-its bishops and its presbyters (or priests)- are successors of the apostles. That is why the Catholic Church accepts Eastern Orthodox ordinations and sacraments as valid, even though Eastern Orthodoxy is not in full communion with Rome."

^ William A. Dyrness; Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (25 September 2009). Global Dictionary of Theology: A Resource for the Worldwide Church. InterVarsity Press. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-8308-7811-6. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "This connection is apparent through the historical succession of bishops of churches in a particular geographic locale and by fidelity to the teachings of the apostles (cf. Acts 2:42) and life as it developed in the patristic tradition and was articulated by the seven ecumenical councils."

^ Heidi Campbell (22 March 2010). When Religion Meets New Media. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-203-69537-1. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "There are three branches within Christianity: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. ... The Christian church draws its lineage and roots from the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles in CE 25–30 and the birth of the Church at Pentecost in ..."

^Wendy Doniger (January 1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "EASTERN ORTHODOXY, one of the major branches of CHRISTIANITY, characterized by its continuity with the apostolic church, its liturgy, and its territorial churches." Jump up ^ "Ecumenical

Blog pieces? I don't think so. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 05:19, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
First off, you are both edit warring and would likely both be blocked if reported. Please, calm down a little and discuss this.

As far as the references go, they all seem clearly WP:RELIABLE as far as the theology of the topic goes.

However the statement that the Church claims/is believed to be traced back to Apostles is also acceptable and shouldn’t be removed just yet.

Despite being clearly referenced by the theological material listed above, the statement of whether the church can be traced back to the Apostles is an historical one as well as theological. It seems indisputable that the church has faith that it can trace the clerical succession back to the apostles. That is not the same as it being an historical fact that the church can be traced back that far.

To provide a counter example, (most of) the Jewish faith believes that it can trace its history and laws in an unbroken line back to Moses. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they can trace their beliefs in an unbroken line through a ‘’slave class’ that extends back to Abraham. These are both indisputable tenets of faith, and there are endless theological texts that state these to be true. Nonetheless, most historians and archaeologists think those claims are nonsense.

The claim that the Orthodox Church can be traced back to the Apostles is in the same category. It is indisputably theologically true, but still historically questionable.

My suggestion at this stage is that we leave the “is believed” qualifier in place for, say, a week. That will give you both time to clear your heads. In that time Gabby Merger can search for references from historians that challenge the claim, and add them with a statement to the effect that the claim is disputed by historians. That should be easy enough to do. And of course, if such references can’t be found then then the counter-claim isn’t notable and we have to accept what the references provided so far have to say. It seems clear to me that the claim is, at best, historically doubtful, but Wikipedia is about verifiability, not what we now to be true. Mark Marathon (talk) 07:01, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


Only one correction: As I stated at 3RRN I will not revert further and will seek a third opinion. So your edit-warring comment does not apply to me at this stage because there is no further threat of disruption on my part now that I accepted your 3O. However the article now is damaged because the quotes of the reliable sources have been altered by Gaby Merger and they do not correspond to the actual text of the sources. Someone has to repair that. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 07:16, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
If we can get Gabby Merger to agree to stop making changes, I will revert that back myself
Gabby Merger,for what it's worth, I agree with you completely. That the Greek Orthodox Church can be traced back to the Apostles is both historically and theologically disputed. It should be challenged in this article to maintain balance and for the sake of completeness. However, the way that Wikipedia works is Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. Dr.K. has brought impeccable references that state quite clearly that the church can trace its lineage back to the Apostles. That claim has been verified. It can not, and should not, be removed. What you need to do is verify your claims that the lineage of the church is disputed. Then you can add those counter claims to the article. In that way we get a balanced article, and the readers get to decide for themselves which argument has the best support. In short, while you can add referenced material calling the lineage of the church into question, what you can not do is remove the existing statement of what the church claims it lineage to be. Even more importantly, you can not remove the references that support that verified claim. If you persist in doing so you will be blocked from editing.
So, Gabby, I propose that we leave the article stating "The origins of the Orthodox Church are believed to be traced back to the churches which the Apostles", and return Dr.K.'s references to their original form? It will remain in this form for a week, which will give you time to find references to challenge the statement that it can be traced back to that point. If you can't references in that time, we revert the wording to "The origins of the Orthodox Church can be traced back". I think this is the best compromise, and Dr.K seems agreeable. Do you agree?Mark Marathon (talk) 07:28, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


Ok, finally get, grasp, and understand this point of fact. Read this carefully...

It does NOT matter what "refs" you come up with that dogmatically state that Greek Orthodoxy is right from the first century. So?

They're just offering their own opinion. Because what do we do with the scholars who don't think that's the case? It's still a POV view no matter what book you find it in. And there are also refs that claim otherwise. That's what "Dr. K." dishonestly keeps not getting, because of his agendas to push the idea that Greek Orthodoxy is the only true Christian church, or something. It's so obvious, it's not funny.

This is what Dr. K. never gets. It simply does not matter how many number of refs he finds to support his position. ANYONE can do that. lol. It's called the logical fallacy of selective observation. It also ignores the fact that those refs are still giving their own biased opinions. So what?

Those refs are NOT neutral encyclopedias, as far as wording.

You don't get that point either. I already know that there are characters out there who dogmatically say the same thing Dr. K. loves to believe. MATTER NOT ONE IOTA. Because the whole point was that the WP article is to supposed to word the matter neutrally. Get it?

And also, it forgets the fact that there are refs out there that disavow this position.

@Mark Marathon: I fully accept your reasoned and fair arguments. It appears that Gabby Merger is in no mood to accept your reasoned arguments and rejects the reliable sources I put forward. Meanwhile the article is damaged due to her edits mangling the in-source quotes. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 07:35, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
@Mark Marathon: She also blanked one reference, removing it completely: <ref name="Doniger1999">{{cite book|author=Wendy Doniger|title=Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=ZP_f9icf2roC&pg=PA309|accessdate=2 September 2013|date=January 1999|publisher=Merriam-Webster|isbn=978-0-87779-044-0|page=309|quote= EASTERN ORTHODOXY, one of the major branches of CHRISTIANITY, characterized by its continuity with the apostolic church, its liturgy, and its territorial churches.}}</ref> Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 07:51, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Mark, for your consideration to this matter. What you need to understand about your point of "verifiability, not truth" is the simple fact that NOT ALL sources and refs in the world agree with this dogmatic statement and wording and position that Greek Orthodoxy traces directly from the first-century apostles. It's NOT "verified" in that real sense. Also, as I said, those refs that "K" drummed up do not all say clearly what he thinks they said, and even if they do, those refs ARE NOT NEUTRAL ENCYCLOPEDIAS, as far as wording. WP is supposed to convey neutrality in tone, with things like this. This nonsense view that Greek Orthodoxy is right from the Apostles, and that "making the sign of the cross" was a practice of the Apostles is NOT EVEN CLOSE to "sky blue". It's ridiculous to even think that. No matter what refs say this (of course there are people who think the same way "K" does...that's a straw-man...), because we're to ignore accomplished writer and theologian Dr Robert Morey, who TOTALLY disagrees and disavows and rejects Greek Orthodoxy as ever being from the Apostles, or as even being Biblically Christian at all? Read Morey's book (there's a ref right there) "Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian?" As one of a number of examples. You think James White believes that Greek Orthodoxy is traced directly from the Apostles?

Again, this is NOT "verifiable" in the real total sense. Plenty of refs find the notion false, if not absurd. Is Wikepedia to ignore them, for "I don't like" reasons by a certain editor? And cherry-pick refs that suit K's own agenda and bias, for "I like reasons"? That's clearly against WP policy, against POV pushing, and against how WP is supposed to be very NPOV in matters like this. You don't see me putting in the article stuff like "Greek Orthodox believe they trace right from the apostles, but of course that's false"...do you?

I'm leaving and making the wording NEUTRAL AND UNBIASED. Dr K is not...and then desperately appeals to sources that back up his POV...as if that ultimately means anything on WP, especially if he ignores and disparages any source that rejects that notion, by calling it uhm "fringe". Fail. Let me ask you...Mark....is there something so terrible and wrong with saying "some historians believe Greek Orthodox trace directly from the apostles" or that "it is claimed by some that making the sign of the cross is from the first-century apostles"?? Is that a bad thing to word it neutrally? When so many people in the world (lay-people as well as professional scholars and writers) simply don't believe or buy that idea? I'm only interested in NPOV...in any article on WP...not trying to diss anyone or anything. And that's important. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 07:52, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

One last chance. Good faith and all that. Then I'm afraid this will have to go to the admins.
Gabby, I get where you are coming from. Really I do. And I agree entirely with what you say. But you need to read and understand Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. Regardless of what we may believe, that the official Wikipedia policy, and you are blatantly violating it. Whether you agree with that policy or not is irrelevant. You will be blocked from editing if you continue to violate the policy and edit in this contentious manner. That won't help you purpose at all.
I am trying hard to find a compromise here that will be acceptable to everyone while being consistent with policy. The fact is that every edit Dr. K. has made has been perfectly in keeping with Wikipedia policy. He, or any other editor that comes along, has every right to revert straight back to his original edits. You have not provided any verifiable material that supports your reversions. We both know it is out there, but it is your job to find those references and add them to the article. Until you do that you can not alter the existing material in the article. Doesn't matter how "true" you know this to be. All that matter si whether you can verify it.
So, my final suggestion. I suggest that we do as proposed above, and add the POV tag to the disputed section for a week:
That will alert other readers to your concerns in the interim while you find references for your edits. This is really bending over backwards to help you and more than Dr. K. is obliged to agree to. I urge you to agree to this so we can resolve this and allow everyone to cool off for a while. If you won't agree to this, I'm out of here and this will be off to the admins for resolution,nd they are unlikely to view your behaviour so favourablyMark Marathon (talk) 08:13, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much Mark. I fully accept your proposal. But as a last request before I sign off, could you please reverse the damage Gabby Merger did to the citation quotes and also restore the Meriam Webster Encyclopedia that she blanked? Thank you again for your time and effort. Best regards. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 08:28, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you please put back the reference of Meriam Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions which you removed? and fix the quotes of the sources which you destroyed? Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 08:04, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

POV PUSHING by Dr. K. Logos Praxis[edit]

sorry, this was discussed and settled months ago. POV pushing by this editor is so obvious and ridiculous. Look above at all the comments and words. I already went over this. The hard fact is that NOT ALL believe that the Greek Orthodox Church stemmed directly from "the apostles" or "the first century" in that actual sense.

Many scholars and theologians simply don't buy that, this idea that Greek Orthodoxy traces directly back to the first century and Apostles, and flatly disavow that position. Many Protestant scholars (such as Robert Morey) actually believe that Greek Orthodoxy is pagan and false. I'm not claiming that here, but the point is that many solid sources (this isn't even debatable) and refs do not hold to the idea that A) the Greek Orthodox Church comes directly from first-century Apostolic Christianity, in that actual sense, or B) that Greek Orthodoxy is even Biblically Christian at all. We can't ignore that, like he keeps doing, because of agendas or obvious bias. This article is NOT a Greek Orthodox propaganda blog piece. It does NOT matter what "refs" you come up with that dogmatically state that Greek Orthodoxy is right from the first century. So? They're just offering their own opinion. Because what do we do with the scholars who don't think that's the case? It's still a POV view no matter what book you find it in. And there are also refs that claim otherwise. That's what "Dr. K." dishonestly keeps not getting, because of his agendas to push the idea that Greek Orthodoxy is the only true Christian church, or something. It's so obvious, it's not funny.

This is what Dr. K. never gets. It simply does not matter how many number of refs he finds to support his position. ANYONE can do that. lol. It's called the logical fallacy of selective observation. It also ignores the fact that those refs are still giving their own biased opinions. So what? Those refs are NOT neutral encyclopedias, as far as wording. He doesn't get that point either. I already know that there are characters out there who dogmatically say the same thing Dr. K. loves to believe. MATTER NOT ONE IOTA. Because the whole point was that the WP article is to supposed to word the matter neutrally. Get it? And also, it forgets the fact that there are refs out there that disavow this position.

Dr K will whine and claim "personal attacks", when I'm only bluntly calling him out on his obvious bias and POV pushing. Months ago it was the same thing. I'm not saying I'm perfect in every word or syllable, but I'm only human, and I'm tired of him disrespecting my valid good-faith and WP-kosher NPOV edits and modifications. I'm really sick of it now.

And WP policy is that there is NEUTRALITY IN WORDING AND TONE. That was lacking in this article in certain statements, sorry to say. There's nothing wrong with "some historians claim" or "it is believed" if refs for that belief are put in...so what? But the way it was worded before, and how "Dr. K." keeps arrogantly pushing and putting is NOT neutral at all. It's dogmatic and definitive. This really isn't even a debatable issue. The only ones on here that would claim that the wording before was ok ARE GREEK ORTHODOX PEOPLE THEMSELVES. And unfortunately, it seems that's most of the editors on here. Means nothing. WP POV neutrality is one of the biggest cornerstones and principles of Wikipedia, that overrules anything else. And it's been violated here.


The point that Dr. K. misses is that it does not matter what refs he drums up supporting his POV view, or what sources he finds, if there are other refs and scholars clearly claiming differently...it's still a POV opinion and view.

And WP is not to endorse one dogmatic view like this over another...


And I am sorry, but I won't put up with it this time around. You did the same nonsense in september, and YOU kept edit-warring...this time your POV propaganda POV nonsense will not stand. I warn you. I will report you if you keep it up.

Claiming "weaselish" all the time is a big cop-out, to try to be able to POV push. There's nothing wrong with "it is believed" or "claimed" etc when refs are given for that. It's NEUTRALITY IN TONING. None of what I said was "refuted". That's how you wish it to be. Seriously. You think that your desperate argument against "weasel" even applies, when it doesn't. POV wording and tone and dogmatic statements, especially in contexts like this, are NOT supposed to exist on WP articles. Period.

NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES THAT THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH STEMS DIRECTLY FROM THE APOSTLES. Many don't. Quite a number of theologians and scholars simply do not.

Roman Catholics certainly don't (if they hold to the official position of Roman Catholicism and its own view of church history, that is.) Many Protestants don't. Not all non-religious historians do either. Saying that it was formed only in the 10th century A.D., etc. As far as actual genuine "tracings".

Not all believe that doing the "sign of the cross" is a custom that came directly from the Apostles. Many scholars and church historians firmly reject that notion, in fact. Yet that notion was dogmatically stated in the article as unquestionable fact! So to say it dogmatically and definitely on a WP page is AGAINST WP POLICY OF NEUTRAL TONE AND OBJECTIVE UNBIASED WORDING.



Also, by the way, some of those refs do not actually say what Dr. K. dogmatically thinks they do. He seems to be seeing things only how he wants to see him. (Like the one Heidi Campbell (22 March 2010). When Religion Meets New Media. Routledge. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-203-69537-1. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "There are three branches within Christianity: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. ... The Christian church draws its lineage and roots from the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles in CE 25–30 and the birth of the Church at Pentecost in ..."....where exactly do you see the clear explicit words that it is the Greek Orthodox Church that "draws its lineage" from the apostles...when it says the words "Christan Church", and before that talks about all "three branches", Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. Which is it? That's not clearly making Greek Orthodoxy "it"...in that sense. And also this one.... ^ Sally Bruyneel; Alan G. Padgett (2003). Introducing Christianity. Orbis Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-60833-134-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. "The Eastern Orthodox and thye Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups." Where exactly do you see the words "apostles" or "first century" necessarily? That can be interpreted that way, but it's a little vague. But again....IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU FIND 20 refs that dogmatically idiotically say "Greek Orthodox traces right from the apostles". So? They're not neutral encyclopedias, as far as wording, and also what do you do with the people and refs that disable and reject Eastern Orthodoxy, as NOT coming from the Apostles, but coming centuries later? Where do you see "making the sign of the cross" dogmatically coming from the Apostles, as universally accepted fact? It just isn't.


As I said to you months ago, this article is NOT a Greek Orthodox propaganda blog piece. You're obviously Greek Orthodox, and you think you can do this nonsense forever, and get away with it. You need to think again.

What you keep doing is against Wikipedia policy, in two ways. You are pushing a view that not everyone agrees with (and is specious in many ways), and where other refs and scholars don't agree, and also, you keep EDIT-WARRING about it. There's nothing wrong with the wording "believes" and "claims", if refs are provided for that. That's neutral wording, regardless of biased "refs". Not all "refs" agree with the dogmatic tone of it. You keep doing this. I will report you this time. This whole thing is not even necessary. Because there's nothing wrong with "claimed" and "believed" with refs provided. Gabby Merger (talk) 05:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Gabby Merger, can we please keep this discussion to the section already open above? It becomes confusing when we have to discuss an issue in multiple sections. I will respond to your comments in the section above.Mark Marathon (talk) 07:09, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


to Mark Marathon...(as well as to Dr. K.)[edit]

I never said that those refs can't be used to make the general point or statement. That's fine. What you're not grasping or maybe just not understanding where I'm coming from (or the WP policy regarding this) now is that it doesn't matter how those refs word things, as those refs in question are NOT neutral encyclopedias, and those refs are valid to bring in (no problem) only as far as giving the point that "it's believed"...when dealing with cases like this. I know about "verifiability, not truth". I told you that I appreciated your time and attention to this matter, but now you seem to missing the point yourself, about simple NPOV wording...that's all. It's not about which ref can or can't be used, per se, to make the general point. But for WP to state dogmatically is another thing.

You notice that I never removed the statements in the article completely, as I would never do that. But simply modified them, to give them a more neutral wording and tone. That was it. Those refs are perfectly alright to use as general statements. So I don't want any misunderstanding of either my point and position, or the WP policy of "verifiability, not truth".

Nobody proposed getting rid of the statements entirely. But just to give it more of a NPOV tone. No reason to fight that or get upset over that, as Dr. K. was always doing. Again, to re-iterate, I have no problem at all with Merriam, and the other sources that Dr. K. put in. They're good, in that sense. But that doesn't mean that the WP article has to say the matter dogmatically as if WP believes it too. The Baptist Church, for example, DOES NOT hold that view at all. That's not exactly 'fringe'. So we need to be careful, with all of WP policies and principles.

I have no problem at all with the references there, and the statements in general. Just the dogmatic tone of it was the problem. But when it comes to matters like this...there is definite disagreement, with OTHER refs...that are not necessarily "fringe". Other refs (do you even agree with that?), don't even come close to agreeing with the words or notion that "Greek Orthodoxy came directly from the first century apostles" or "making the sign of the cross was from the apostles" etc. I don't disagree that those refs can be used, but the point is neutral tone...and that WP is not to endorse one position like that, especial in cases like this. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 08:46, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

But when it comes to matters like this...there is definite disagreement, with OTHER refs...that are not necessarily "fringe". Perfect. Can you possibly supply some of those references? I would really appreciate it. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:42, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Still waiting for your reliable sources which refute my sources. I hope when you bring them we can have a fruitful discussion as to the merits of including the qualifier "believed". If, by any chance, you cannot find any sources, then the qualifier "believe" has to be removed, as Mark from 3O originally suggested. In Wikipedia, naturally, we go by what the reliable sources say and the reliable sources, currently in the article, do not have the qualifier "are believed to". So if you don't have sources to contradict my sources, the qualifier has to go. I hope you realise that in Wikipedia, sources are everything and if no other sources can be found to oppose the quoted reliable sources, we have to abide by the present sources, not by any personal beliefs, which are by definition original research, or by trying to remove any reliable sources and/or their quotes from the article and demean our opponents. And despite your attacks on my ethnic origin and presumed religion my sources support the Roman Catholic Church also as originating from the Apostolic Church: Here is one of my edits:

"The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups."

A quotation which you tried to remove by the way. So, it is not about the Greek-Orthodox Church, or my ethnoreligious background, Gabby Merger. It is about the reliable sources. Regards. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 22:43, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Wow that's a heated debate... What should not be debated is that Orthodox, as well as Catholics, come in straight line from the early Church through apostolic succession and continuity of tradition; and if one more voice is needed to establish this as the consensus on this talk page, let it be mine. BTW, the Oriental Orthodox, especially Copts, also qualify.
However, it should recomfort Gabby Merger that they did not come unchanged in this process. While it is obvious for the Catholic Church with such notorious additions as papal infallibility, priest celibacy or Immaculate Conception, it is also the case for the Orthodox Church. A simple example of that is that, in the 17th century, Churches in Russia and in Greece, while both having followed a perceived continued unchanged tradition, found themselves different from one another, leading to the Patriarch Nikon reforms and the Old Believers schism. Still, the various Orthodox Churches have differences, although somewhat minor, in their unchanged traditions, such as the calendar, the use of the term metropolitan, the white klobuk, the style of music, precedence order etc. None of this concerns the dogma established in the 7 Ecumenical Councils however. Still, this continuous line of transmission cannot be denied, even if there exist some mostly American restorationist movements such as mormonism and the Witness of Jehovah, who feel they have "restored" traditions closer to the primitive Church.
So wording such as "The origins of the Orthodox Church can be traced back to the churches which the Apostles founded" or "The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups" are perfectly fine and should remain in the article, without any form of conditional. I'm a bit more dubious about the changelessness, but if this term is in only used in a quote and not in the body of the article I see no problem to it. Can we say we have consensus on this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Place Clichy (talkcontribs)
I'm in full agreement with you Place Clichy. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 10:29, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello Clichy. Thanks for your input, and your time and attention to this matter. We all need to be careful, no matter what we personally may hold to, or what refs we can cherry-pick or may favor, it's all about (especially in matters like this) NPOV wording and tone, on Wikipedia. And Dr. K....I would have to say that of course you tend to agree with Clichy, if he thinks also (which is his choice) that Greek Orthodoxy and/or Roman Catholicism, or both, come directly directly from the Apostles, in that actual sense. Because he seems to be of a similar camp. But even he said "in quotes". So as to give the point that WP does NOT necessarily endorse the view totally. Never mind that it's still not WP kosher or correct, to state it dogmatically, as if WP itself believes it. Baptists and Methodists DO NOT. And many scholars don't agree at all with much of anything that Clichy or you believe about this matter, or just said. And to call all those other refs, books, sites, statements, writings, positions, "fringe" is itself a circular argument. "They're 'fringe' because they don't hold to my view or to the view of some refs that I like" is basically the argument or position. But we gotta be careful what we marginalize just because personally (or our church etc) does not like or agree with it. The average Baptist theologian and scholar does not believe that Greek Orthodoxy actually clearly stemmed DIRECTLY from the Apostles, as if the Greek Orthodox Church was the actual "true unbroken Church" in that sense. Too many disavow and reject that notion. Can't be ignored.
So no, again, it goes back to the point that the statements in general are fine, but not the dogmatic POV tone and wording of it. It's all about NPOV unbiased wording. And only those in the tank, or Greek Orthodox who insist on pushing forward a view, would not understand or agree with that. Period.
The point is that NPOV wording on a neutral Encyclopedia still has to be maintained, when it comes to things like this, regardless of how the refs that are cited word it, because sorry to say, too many in the world, lay-people and theologian scholar alike, simply do not believe that Greek Orthodoxy is Apostolic unbroken Christianity in that sense. Nor can be traced directly directly directly to the first-century Apostles. And here's another point. It doesn't matter what refs I bring in (I already put a couple of links), that refute the notion, as Dr. K. would no doubt, in circular argument, call those refs "unreliable" and "fringe". I know the game already, and the tactics. That's why I don't even waste my time much on that. Though I did put a link or two already.
Also, let me make it clear to Dr. K., on a certain matter that he keeps bringing up. I did not mean to necessarily remove your refs the other day. I only did that as a part of a general revert. Not because I had a big problem with the refs. Let me clearly state. I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE REFS YOU BRING IN. That's not really the issue, per se. They can be used and put in, just fine. But when the Wikipedia article itself is stating something, BASED on the refs, WP still has to (especially in matters like this) be careful to have it as still a claim or belief or position...with NPOV tone and wording...and NOT give the impression that WP itself necessarily holds or believes it dogmatically too. It doesn't matter what Clichy said or thinks is right. Though Clichy does see my point a little bit I think. What matters is that A) it's NOT universally accepted as unquestioned fact that Greek Orthodoxy comes directly from the Apostles in that sense, nor is it agreed at all that "making the sign of the cross comes directly from the Apostles", and there are a number sources disagreeing with Greek Orthodoxy's claims, whether or not you wanna believe they're "fringe" or "unreliable", in circular fashion...and B) NPOV wording and tone is paramount. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 20:26, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
The average Baptist theologian and scholar does not believe that Greek Orthodoxy actually clearly stemmed DIRECTLY from the Apostles, as if the Greek Orthodox Church was the actual "true unbroken Church" in that sense. Too many disavow and reject that notion. Can't be ignored. Again, this article is not written from the average Baptist or Methodist point of view which is biased because baptists and methodists are dogmatically opposed to the Orthodox Church and this article cannot be used to placate their views. Doing so would indeed be POV. Per neutral sources like encyclopedias, one of which you tried to remove by the way, the wording does not have these weasel qualifiers which come from your own POV and original research. You have repeatedly been asked to come up with reliable sources which contradict the wording of the seven sources currently in the article. Until you comply with this request your proposed wording is pure original research and against consensus. You are in the minority and you cannot impose your POV on the article per WP:RS and WP:CONSENSUS. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 21:01, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
another point. It doesn't matter what refs I bring in (I already put a couple of links), that refute the notion, as Dr. K. would no doubt, in circular argument, call those refs "unreliable" and "fringe". I know the game already, and the tactics. That's why I don't even waste my time much on that. Though I did put a link or two already. But his comments (like the one right above from him) show how he is with this matter. When he says that the article was not written from a Baptist or Methodist point of view, it shows he always misses the point.
Because it was not written from a Greek Orthodox point of view EITHER. It's not supposed to be, in any case. And simply putting a neutral tone is NOT "placating Baptist views". Baptist view would be to say something like "Greek Orthodoxy is pagan." Do you see me putting that in the article??? You still don't get it, and never will apparently. You think it's ok to have this article from a Greek Orthodox view, but in circular argument, think it's just neutral. As I said, before, this is not a Greek Orthodox propaganda blog piece. You can't see how making a dogmatic statement that Greek Orthodoxy came right from the Apostles is just an opinion, NOT an unquestioned fact. But Dr. K. never sees that point, and then disparages ANYONE who disagrees with Greek Orthodox claims, as "fringe". Fail. Too many reject that notion. Yet he (in circular assumption) believes Greek Orthodoxy to be unbroken Apostolic Christianity, so he thinks it's "neutral" to state it as dogmatic fact. It's nonsense though, and I don't have patience for it. He can't be reasoned with. He showed that months ago, and this past week.
When he says dishonest nonsense like I'm imposing my POV on the article (pot-kettle-black BIG TIME), when all I was doing was making the article NPOV...it shows what type of person he is. Sorry if that's a "personal attack", it's the truth. And sorry, "Dr", but you have it BACKWARDS. I'm doing the OPPOSITE of what you say I'm doing (projection much??).
And he can't see that HE is imposing POV wording by dogmatically thinking and saying with no qualifiers at all, that Greek Orthodoxy definitely comes directly from first-century Apostles...or that "making the sign of the cross is right from the Apostles". The dude has it twisted, big time. He thinks that's "NPOV". And saying "it is claimed" is POV. (???!!) NO, that's what is neutral sounding. He can't always use the cop-out of "weasel" either, because that only applies if there are no refs, or it's not understood that it's not universally accepted or believed. It's a no-brainer that not everyone buys the Greek Orthodox claims. And he can't grasp that it doesn't matter what refs he drums up, that he thinks dogmatically says what he agrees with.
Because A) those refs, though can be used, are not neutral encyclopedias necessarily, and have their own POV, and B) there are respected and accomplished theologians and writers (Robert Morey, James White, Robert Zins, etc) who disavow strongly the Greek Orthodox claims to unbroken lineage or tracing. It's not universally believed or accepted at all. And refs do bear that out. Dr. K. will automatically call them "fringe" though, so what's the point of even giving them to him? He already showed where he's coming from and what type of person he is. So it wouldn't matter anyway. He's not honest. He's not reasonable. Sorry, just a proven fact. He calls what I do "POV" (??LOL)...and what he's been pushing "NPOV". Dogmatic tones and words are NOT "NPOV"...in matters like this. Fail. That's why I really don't want to waste time dealing with him, because he showed that he's totally unreasonable and can't be bothered with. The point still stands though. What matters is that A) it's NOT universally accepted as unquestioned fact that Greek Orthodoxy comes directly from the Apostles in that sense, nor is it agreed at all that "making the sign of the cross comes directly from the Apostles", and there are a number sources disagreeing with Greek Orthodoxy's claims, whether or not you wanna believe they're "fringe" or "unreliable", in circular fashion...and B) NPOV wording and tone is paramount. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 21:04, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
You cannot coat your POV with personal attacks against me. You concentrate your attacks on me even though noone is agreeing with you. Not Place Clichy, not Mark Marathon from 3O, noone. You try to pretend that I am your only opponent while ignoring the elephant in the room which is consensus, WP:CONSENSUS, which you do not have. You do not have any reliable sources either. One more time: Your personal attacks are not convincing anyone and they cannot hide the utter bankruptcy of your arguments and are downright pretentious and dishonest claptrap. Your methods are clear now: You removed quotes from reliable sources and damaged the article. You removed an encyclopedia from the article. This is incompetence at best and you can guess the worst. Your personal attacks cannot hide these irrefutable facts. But I am not here to trade insults with you. I will escalate this to an RFC because you cannot be reasoned with and you seem only capable of vicious insults and silly walls of text but incapable of supplying any sources. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 21:28, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
You disrespect and attack my honest efforts all the time, by calling my genuine work for NPOV as my pushing "POV, and "fringe", so spare me. You have things backwards. I was making the article less like a POV-pushing Greek Orthodoxy blog or essay, and more into a neutral sounding encyclopedia. I did not say that the assertion was false...at all. Just that it's believed and claimed. WHICH IT IS. That's a fact. But "unbroken tracing right from the first century apostles" is NOT a "fact", but an opinion. And other refs clearly demonstrate that. That you'll automatically (given what type of person you're from) call "fringe" or "unreliable". Circular argument. Your methods are clear. You're a POV-pusher, with circular arguments, call anything that disagrees with you or your church "fringe", and have things backwards, project much, and you're dishonest and don't listen. I said clearly that I did not remove those refs because of the refs, the other day, but as a general revert. The refs were fine, but the POV wording and tone on the article itself was NOT fine. I don't have time or patience for you. You're not to be reasoned with. I knew that back in September. You confirmed it about 100 fold this time around. Just the facts. it was not written from a Greek Orthodox point of view EITHER. It's not supposed to be, in any case. And simply putting a neutral tone is NOT "placating Baptist views". Baptist view would be to say something like "Greek Orthodoxy is pagan." Do you see me putting that in the article??? You still don't get it, and never will apparently. You think it's ok to have this article from a Greek Orthodox view, but in circular argument, think it's just neutral. As I said, before, this is not a Greek Orthodox propaganda blog piece. You can't see how making a dogmatic statement that Greek Orthodoxy came right from the Apostles is just an opinion, NOT an unquestioned fact. But Dr. K. never sees that point, and then disparages ANYONE who disagrees with Greek Orthodox claims, as "fringe". Fail. Too many reject that notion. Yet he (in circular assumption) believes Greek Orthodoxy to be unbroken Apostolic Christianity, so he thinks it's "neutral" to state it as dogmatic fact.
can't always use the cop-out of "weasel" either, because that only applies if there are no refs, or it's not understood that it's not universally accepted or believed. It's a no-brainer that not everyone buys the Greek Orthodox claims. And he can't grasp that it doesn't matter what refs he drums up, that he thinks dogmatically says what he agrees with.
It's not universally believed or accepted at all. And refs do bear that out. Dr. K. will automatically call them "fringe" though, so what's the point of even giving them to him? He already showed where he's coming from and what type of person he is. So it wouldn't matter anyway. He's not honest. He's not reasonable. Sorry, just a proven fact. He calls what I do "POV" (??LOL)...and what he's been pushing "NPOV". Dogmatic tones and words are NOT "NPOV"...in matters like this. Fail. That's why I really don't want to waste time dealing with him, because he showed that he's totally unreasonable and can't be bothered with. The point still stands though.
What matters is that A) it's NOT universally accepted as unquestioned fact that Greek Orthodoxy comes directly from the Apostles in that sense, nor is it agreed at all that "making the sign of the cross comes directly from the Apostles", and there are a number sources disagreeing with Greek Orthodoxy's claims, whether or not you wanna believe they're "fringe" or "unreliable", in circular fashion...and B) NPOV wording and tone is paramount.
And simply putting a neutral tone is NOT "placating Baptist views". Baptist view would be to say something like "Greek Orthodoxy is pagan." Do you see me putting that in the article??? You still don't get it, and never will apparently. You think it's ok to have this article from a Greek Orthodox view, but in circular argument, think it's just neutral. As I said, before, this is not a Greek Orthodox propaganda blog piece. You can't see how making a dogmatic statement that Greek Orthodoxy came right from the Apostles is just an opinion, NOT an unquestioned fact. But Dr. K. never sees that point, and then disparages ANYONE who disagrees with Greek Orthodox claims, as "fringe". Fail. Too many reject that notion. Yet he (in circular assumption) believes Greek Orthodoxy to be unbroken Apostolic Christianity, so he thinks it's "neutral" to state it as dogmatic fact. regards... Gabby Merger (talk) 21:54, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Your incoherent personal attacks describe you in a way no rebuttal from me ever could. One more time: You will not succeed to muddle the issues by vicious personal attacks and walls of text. You are incapable of civilised discourse. I will call an RFC because only by exposure to the wider community your bullying tactics and simple bigotry can be dealt with. I don't have time to reply to your incoherent bullying claptrap any longer. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 22:14, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
No, sir. Again, you have things backwards. (Par for your course...we know.) I'm done engaging with you. I'm not gonna be on the merry-go-round with you forever. I've genuinely tried to make the article neutral in presentation, and NOT slanting it one or another. But you disparage me and my motives and my work all the time, on this. And when I call you out on it, you just diss me further. You're hyper-sensitive, and hypocritical. You've impugned my motives, and attacked me. But you never see your nonsense, but only project onto others. You only have circular arguments, and POV, and disparaging of refs that you don't like. I already told you more than once that your refs are FINE...to use and base the statements on, but that the WP article should still present the wording neutrally. You can't see or appreciate or get that. I can't talk to you anymore. It's pointless. Gabby Merger (talk) 22:24, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the conflict is about; I do not spend much time on Christianity articles and I do not have the time to read all of the comments above. However, I will say that Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are indeed the oldest Churches (denominations, or however it is called) in Europe. Again, I do not spend much time on Christianity-related articles, but I will gladly give my opinion if it is needed or wanted. P.S. Gabby, it is not wise to insult another editor/contributor, regardless if you agree with them or not. Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in. Afro-Eurasian (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Afro-Eurasian for your comments. This conflict is about adding the qualification "are believed to be" to the sentence "The origins of the church can be traced back to the Church of the Apostles" where "can be" is supported by seven reliable sources while the "are believed to be" phrase is not. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 22:02, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, thank you for explaining. It should definitely be "The origins of the church can be traced back to the Church of the Apostles". Afro-Eurasian (talk) 22:13, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
They may be the "oldest churches" in a sense, but that does NOT necessarily mean they trace directly from the apostles, per se. Some argue that Roman Catholicism actually began in the 4th century A.D., with Constantine etc. Some believe that Greek Orthodoxy began around the 4th century, or even the 10th century A.D....NOT directly from the Apostles in the first. It doesn't matter what I believe or what Dr. K. believes. The point is that this notion or idea that Greek Orthodoxy comes DIRECTLY from the first century, and can be "traced" to that, is NOT universally believed or accepted, by many writers and scholars. Also, as far as insulting him, spare me...tell him too, as he has been disrespecting and disparaging and imputing bad motives on me from day one. Everything I said about him is demonstrably true. He can't be reasoned with or talked to. He thinks that NEUTRAL sounding words and tones is "placating Baptists", and that dogmatic POV wording is actually "neutral"...and is not placating Greek Orthodox. He says I'm POV-pushing, when I've been trying to do the EXACT OPPOSITE. It's ridiculous at this point. And he disparages any author or source who disagrees with him or his church as "fringe". And that it's just simply a fact that Greek Orthodoxy traces from the first century apostles, no question. He can't grasp that that's just a belief, not really historical fact, and is refuted or disavowed by many...and also that the refs he drums up don't all say exactly what he thinks they say, and even if they do, there are other refs that disagree...and also regardless, WP is not supposed to come off as endorsing one view over another. This is not even close to a "sky blue" situation, like Dr. K. wants to believe it is. And he disrespects my good-faith NPOV efforts, as ME (??) putting "POV". He is so pot-kettle-black on this matter, it's like not funny. All he's about is circular arguments, and cherry-picking refs, and disparaging any ref that disagrees with him, as "fringe". And that it doesn't matter what Baptist or Methodist writers think or say. All that matters is what he believes, and the refs who agree with him, believe. That says it all. Again, though, to repeat. "Oldest" in a relative sense does not mean right from the first century necessarily, as there are those who believe that there was a "Great Apostasy" in the late 2nd century. Etc. Meaning it's still argued that Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy in actuality came a bit later. WP is NOT to endorse one of those views over the other though. But just present the beliefs neutrally. Dr. K. doesn't get that. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 22:35, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Neither of you should be insulting each other. I just pointed you out because I saw the post above my first response. I understand what you are saying, however, just because some people oppose fact, that doesn't mean it should be included. "believed to be" would be appropriate in an instance where there is little evidence or sources to confirm, but as mentioned above, there are multiple sources to confirm the text. Therefore, it should read as "can be". Afro-Eurasian (talk) 22:24, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
You need to re-read my point about the "multiple refs". I never said they couldn't be used, or that the statements in general should not be in the article. What you're seeming to fail to grasp is that the WP article should still be NPOV in wording regardless. And also it seems you're not understanding that there are other refs and writers who disavow that belief. It dose not matter how many refs "Dr. K." comes up with. All that does is bolster up the point that the statements can be in the article GENERALLY...but it does NOT mean that therefore WP has to give the impression that it endorses or necessarily agrees. It's STILL a "claim". You can't deny that it's a claim, right? It may or may not be factual or true. The point though, again, is that there are other writers and theologians and refs (I put one link in comments above) that simply don't agree with Greek Orthodox claims on this.
And what you need to understand is that it's just a circular argument on "Dr. K's" part to call those other refs that he doesn't like as "fringe" or "unreliable". Which is what he always would do. Again, he's POV-pushing onto the article. He claims "bigotry", again hypocritically, because is he to say that he has no bigotry against those refs that he doesn't like...that he'll ipso facto automatically call "fringe"? Or no bigotry against Baptists or Methodists? (He'll deny that of course, but his words above kinda prove the point. It's ok to placate the Greek Orthodox readers, though he doesn't look at it that way, he thinks it's just neutral "sky blue" fact, instead of just opinion or belief...but it's not ok to (in his mind) "placate Baptists"...which is NOT even what was done. Baptists believe Greek Orthodoxy is pagan...but you don't see me putting that into the article, do you? It's only a matter of neutral unbiased tone and wording, on matters like this. So? But he gets a heart attack over this, and claims "weasel", and just wants it to be presented as a dogmatic unquestioned fact. That's not what WP is supposed to be about though, in topics such as these.) He can't be reasoned with, which is why a few moments ago, I stopped completely addressing or engaging him. I won't bother with him any longer. But the point still stands. All WP articles need to be NPOV in tone and wording, with matters like this. period. Regards....Gabby Merger (talk) 22:32, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not responsible for what Dr. K. types, and to be honest, I wouldn't even be involved with this article if I was not of Greek descent and if my great-grandparents weren't Greek Orthodox. If you could explain what "Baptist" and "Methodist" has to do with this article, that would be appreciated, because like I said, I didn't read every comment made prior to my involvement (I won't state my opinion regarding those "religions", though). I've read the article. It's a relatively short article for a religious one, and I don't see any texts that would be considered "non-NPOV" other than what you are pointing out, which is the "can be" vs. "is believed to be". Also, I do see some anti-Greek Orthodox stance in your tone (just an observation, I could be wrong). Like I've said, the text should read "The origins of the church can be traced back to the Church of the Apostles". If there are any other concerns regarding the text of the article aside from "can be" and "is believed to be", please do tell me, and I will respond accordingly. Afro-Eurasian (talk) 22:54, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
hi, yes, Eurasian... I just want to clarify. Even if I PERSONALLY don't agree with Greek Orthodox claims, that's only me mentioning it here on Talk. On the article itself, I WOULD NEVER put in anti-Greek Orthodox wording or tones at all. I would be careful to only make it NEUTRAL sounding in presentation of the words. Meaning, not leaning towards one position or another. But that it's believed by Greek Orthodox (and maybe some others) that Greek Orthodoxy stems directly from the first-century apostles. Stating it that way is NOT "anti-Greek Orthodox". It's just not necessarily PRO Greek Orthodox, either. But neutral and objective and unbiased one way or another. Cheers. Gabby Merger (talk) 23:16, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
And what you need to understand is that it's just a circular argument on "Dr. K's" part to call those other refs that he doesn't like as "fringe" or "unreliable". This is a simply untrue. I asked you to supply references and you have not supplied any. How could I call any reference "fringe" or "unreliable" if you have not supplied it yet? In any case these untruths won't help your case. Out of five editors who commented on this page you are the only one still arguing your POV original research. It is time you dropped the stick. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 23:01, 31 January 2014 (UTC)


Gabby, I can assure you that you will not be wasting your time bringing in references that meet wp:rs. I am now watching this article, and if you add reliable sources I will do everything in my power to ensure they remain. Of course you don't need me for that, you only need to take the dispute to the RS noticeboard. But I am giving you my personal assurances that I will take up that fight on your behalf. And unlike Dr. K. and Clichy, I have made it abundantly clear that I do not believe that Greek Orthodoxy comes directly from the Apostles. I would love to see a reference to that effect in this article because I think the claim is a load of ahistorical nonsense. But what I believe doesn't signify. We need verifiablility. You claim that "many scholars don't agree" with the claim. That's great. Reference those scholars and add we can leave the "is believed wording in place.
The problem we have at this stage is that our position violates due weight guidelines. You can follow the link for yourself, but the short form is that articles need to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources. At t his stage, our position has no representation in reliable sources, and deserves no space in this article. Until you can provide reliable references, we are obliged to remove any references to your position. Once it has been presented and discussed in reliable sources, it may be appropriately included. Until then, it can't be included. Maintaining NPOV is irrelevant while the claims remain unreferences in reliable sources, so there's no point continually bringing it up in these discussions. It's a moot point.
I really don't think that you understand this. When a Wikipedia article is stating something based on reliable references, it does NOT have to be careful to present the claim with NPOV tone and wording. NPOV ONLY becomes and issue when an alternative point of view has been published by reliable sources. I really can not stress enough that you need to understand this. While every single cited source states that something is unambiguously true, the article should also state that it is unambiguously true. Not only is no care needed to maintain NPOV, it is actually a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:RNPOV. We can not give any weight to a belief that is unsupported by references, and we can not avoid using terminology that has been established by all the reliable sources out of sympathy for a particular point of view.
That last point is so important for you to understand, that I will repeat if for emphasis: Until we have RS for alternative viewpoints, not only is no care needed to maintain NPOV, it is actually a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:RNPOV to attempt to maintain NPOV.Mark Marathon (talk) 05:40, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
What you don't understand, Mark, is that "alternative views" ARE published by reliable sources. What part of that is so hard for you or Dr. K. to believe or grasp? Seriously. I put in a link already, of Doctor Morey source, as just one example. That will be called "undue weight" or "fringe"? Seriously. Just about all Protestant writers in the world disavow the notion that "making the sign of the cross came right from the apostles". That notion right there, for example, should be stated in a neutral WP article as unquestioned fact? Where is that? And no, you're wrong, NPOV is paramount when it comes matters like this. This is NOT a "sky blue" situation (regardless of what Dr. Kr. OR you seem to think). There are plenty of writers and sources that refute or just disagree with Greek Orthodox claims on this. That should not be ignored or denied. And it can't be said in circular argument that it's "undue weight". How so, when there are SO MANY people on earth who either doubt or outright disavow the Greek Orthodox claims? For instance, again, you honestly think, for example, that this notion that "making the sign of the cross" was something taken directly from the Apostles, when there's no real evidence for that...or when so many Protestant scholars (TONS of them) flatly reject that notion? That's NOT "undue weight". So, no, YOU'RE wrong on that. NPOV is important with this. Period. As I said though, already, I won't be on the merry-go-round forever on this. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 07:37, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Gabby, if "alternative views" have been published by reliable sources then include them in the article. I have no idea who Doctor Morey is and I have no intention of trawling through a months worth of edit warring to find out. If it's a reliable source that challenges the claim that Greek Orthodoxy descends from the Apostles, then add it. With so many neutral editors now watching this article it will be the work of days, at most, to get consensus. If you don't like the consensus reached on this talk page, I will personally take it to the RS noticeboard. Can't say fairer than that. I can guarantee that it will never be called "undue weight", since it's only being used to verify two words. That's not undue weight for any notable position. It may be called "fringe", but that won't stop it being included. Even fringe theories deserve two words. And yes, if every reliable source cited in an article says that "making the sign of the cross came right from the apostles" that notion should indeed be stated in a neutral WP article as unquestioned fact. That is what due weight guidelines and [NPOV]] unambiguously say.
And no, you're wrong, NPOV is not even relevant when it comes matters where all the cited sources are in agreement. You don't have to take my word for it, you can red the relevant policies for yourself. I took the trouble to link to them and quote from them. The least you could do is take the time to read and understand them. They are quite unambiguous. We can not give any weight at all to a belief that is not supported by any references. Such a belief can't even be referred to in the article. And we can not avoid using terminology that has been used by all the reliable sources cited in an article. It doesn't matter how much sympathy we have for opposing views. Those are not my opinions. Those are conditions stated unambiguously in the relevant policies, which you would know if you took the time to read them. At this point, the belief that the Greek Orthodoxy did not descend from the Apostles is unsupported by references. As such it can't even be referred to in this article. And we can not avoid using the terminology that Greek Orthodoxy descends from the Apostles, because that is the terminology that has been used by all the reliable sources cited in an article. This isn't an issue that is open to interpretation. This is stated in black-and-white in the relevant Wikipedia policies. Please read them.
If there are plenty of writers and sources that refute or just disagree with Greek Orthodox claims on this then all you need to do is reference one of them. It's that simple. Repeating for weeks on the talk page that these writers exist won't change the fact that they are not cited in the article. And while they are not cited in the article not only is no care needed to maintain NPOV, it is actually a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:RNPOV to attempt to maintain NPOV. I am ignoring nothing, because there is nothing to ignore. There can be a million of these sources for all that Wikipedia policy is concerned. Until they are cited in the article the article, we can not use them as a basis for anything in the article. There is nothing to ignore until these authors are cited in this article. Or to put it more accurately, WP:RS requires us to ignore them until they are cited because we can not give any weight at all to a belief that is not supported by any references. Once again, this isn't my belief. this is stated unambiguously in the due weight guidelines. Your point of view has zero references, it is due zero space in this article. Clear cut and simple. There's nothing circular in this. IF A then B. A, therefore B. If no references, then no space. No references, therefore no space. Modus ponens. Not even remotely circular.
Whether I believe, that "making the sign of the cross" was something taken directly from the Apostles is of no relevance. And whether I believe that tons of Protestant scholars reject that notion is of equal relevance. The only thing that matters is whether I can verify those beliefs. When I can verify them, I can make statements to that effect in the article. The truth value of those beliefs is utterly irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is whether they can be verified. Until I can verify that that "making the sign of the cross" wasn't something taken directly from the Apostles, then I can't make that claim in the article because it is undue weight. A belief with no references is due no weight. And until I can verify that tons of Protestant scholars reject that notion, I can't make that claim in the article either, because it is also undue weight. A belief with no references is due no weight. See how it works?
So, no, YOU'RE wrong. NPOV is utterly irrelevant with this. NPOV ONLY becomes and issue when an alternative point of view has been published by reliable sources. I really can not stress enough that you need to understand this. While 100% of cited source states that something is true, the article should also state that it is true. Not only is no care needed to maintain NPOV, it is actually a violation of WP:UNDUE and WP:RNPOV. We can not give any weight to a belief that is unsupported by references, and we can't avoid using terminology that has been established by all the reliable sources out of sympathy for a particular point of view. Period. Mark Marathon (talk) 09:37, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Mark for your excellent analysis concerning reliable sources, undue weight, NPOV, circular arguments, etc. Just to clarify: The issue at hand is the use of the weasel qualifiers "are believed to be", not how the sign of the cross came to be. I have not searched for, or seen any reliable references for the sign of the cross and I have no position on that. In order not to confuse the issues this discussion should be confined to the "are believed to be" modifiers. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:48, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Mark for your excellent points. I fully agree with everything you said except: And unlike Dr. K. and Clichy, I have made it abundantly clear that I do not believe that Greek Orthodoxy comes directly from the Apostles. I just wish to clarify that I never referred to my beliefs on the issue of the Greek Orthodox Church originating directly from the Apostles because I think that my views on the matter are irrelevant. I only said that the RS make this point without using qualifiers. I hope you realise that my personal beliefs play no role in the matter, that I never expressed my beliefs on the matter and that the only thing that matters are the reliable sources. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 06:09, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
You're quite right, you never stated your beliefs, though I believe I can make a good guess at your beliefs by you contributions to the talk page. I can't support that with references though. ;) And while our beliefs should be irrelevant, it seems pretty clear that you and Gabby have gone beyond assuming good faith. At this stage, knowing that somebody who agrees with her position is still opposing its inclusion in the article should be a flag to Gabby that she's incorrect in policy grounds. Just my 2c. No offence intended. Mark Marathon (talk) 09:37, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
Mark, let's just agree to disagree on the question of my beliefs and if they are reflected by my contributions on this page. I have no desire to further bloat a discussion with irrelevant arguments trying to defend the point. As far as assuming good faith with Gabby, it is hard to project that trying to defend myself after having being subjected to torrents of crass personal attacks based on my ethnicity and presumed religious background since last September. Just look at the history of this talkpage for evidence of her relentless walls of text attacks (cf. (given what type of person you're from)) just above. Not to mention her abuse of the edit-summaries: [1]. See also this edit of hers on my talk from September 2013 where she states: Some view Greek Orthodoxy as a PAGAN corrupt church, having nothing to do with first-century Christianity. That's simply a fact..., among others, attempting to accommodate clearly WP:FRINGE views about the Orthodox Church. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 16:48, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Waiting for Gabby's reliable sources[edit]

Per Mark's 3O advice, which I wholeheartedly support and thank him for, I am waiting for Gabby Merger to gather reliable sources to refute the seven sources which do not use the qualifier "believe" to refer to the Apostolic continuity of the Greek Orthodox Church. So far Gabby has attempted to eliminate Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religion from the article while at the same time changing the quotations of the reliable sources. I asked her to repair the damage she caused but she did not respond. Thankfully, Mark repaired the damage Gabby Merger caused just before the article got protected. Putting aside Gabby Merger's competence as an editor, her walls of text, and the torrent of her personal attacks, I expect that she will not in any way modify or remove any reliable sources going forward, otherwise I will treat such modifications in the future as unconstructive and report them where appropriate. Meanwhile I am waiting for her to find reliable sources which contradict my reliable sources just above. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 14:08, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

I gave my response. And my response is basically in the section right above. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 10:20, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

response to Mark[edit]

Hello. What you don't understand, Mark, is that "alternative views" ARE at least some published by reliable sources. What part of that is so hard for you or Dr. K. to believe or grasp? Seriously. I put in a link already, of Doctor Morey source, as just one example. That will be called "undue weight" or "fringe"? Seriously.

Just about all Protestant writers in the world disavow the notion that "making the sign of the cross came right from the apostles". That notion right there, for example, should be stated in a neutral WP article as unquestioned fact? Where is that? And no, you're wrong, NPOV is paramount when it comes matters like this. This is NOT a "sky blue" situation (regardless of what Dr. Kr. OR you seem to think). it's NOT all reliable sources in the world that state this view as "unambiguous fact". A number do of course. I never denied that. But most or all of Protestant scholarship does not really hold to that in quite that sense. Many disavow it completely. We can't call Robert Morey, Rob Zins, or James White "fringe" or "undue weight" simply because we feel their view on this is irrelevant, or not to our liking. I would not be going on like this IF this was a genuine "sky blue" situation. But "making the sign of the cross was a practice of or came directly from the Apostles" notion is not even close to that.

There are plenty of writers and sources that refute or just disagree with Greek Orthodox claims on this. That shouldn't be ignored or denied. And it can't be said in circular argument that it's "undue weight". How so, when there are SO MANY people on earth who either doubt or outright disavow the Greek Orthodox claims?

For instance, again, you honestly think, for example, that this notion that "making the sign of the cross" was something taken directly from the Apostles, when there's no real evidence for that...or when so many Protestant scholars (TONS of them) flatly reject that notion? That's NOT "undue weight". So, no, YOU'RE wrong on that. NPOV is important with this. Period. As I said though, already, I won't be on the merry-go-round forever on this. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 08:54, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Of course these so-called "Christian" denominations (such as Protestantism, which you mentioned) created after the 10th century (c. 1500 in this example) will deny ancient church claims. That's just how it goes, unfortunately. Afro-Eurasian (talk) 18:43, 1 February 2014 (UTC)
As I said to you in a comment above, "oldest" does not mean necessarily directly from the Apostles, as the contention is that there was a big "Apostasy" some time late in the second century, etc...and that all these "ancient churches" are later heretical things, that sprung basically from the fourth century A.D. onward. That's what your average Baptist theologian says and teaches or writes. From research, etc. In other words, they're not just denying Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic claims willy nilly. The point is that those sources do exist. And especially this notion that "making the sign of the cross came directly from the Apostles" is arguably totally without evidence or foundation, but is just a belief or claim. Not hard "sky blue" fact. Cheers. Gabby Merger (talk) 20:02, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Request to Mark Marathon[edit]

@Mark Marathon:

Hi Mark, I have noticed that Gabby Merger has failed so far to provide even a single source to support her weasel "believe" modifiers, despite multiple requests. So here is my proposal: I think we should give her some reasonable amount of time, say a few days, to present sources to support her modifiers. If she provides any sources, I will leave it up to you Mark and any other interested editors to examine them and come up with a suitable wording. In the interest of advancing this discussion, I will not participate in any examination of her sources or in any proposed wording to avoid any further conflict and/or give any justification to her not to present them, since she has already said that I will call them fringe. She has said just above:

And here's another point. It doesn't matter what refs I bring in (I already put a couple of links), that refute the notion, as Dr. K. would no doubt, in circular argument, call those refs "unreliable" and "fringe". I know the game already, and the tactics. That's why I don't even waste my time much on that.

Despite the fact that her justification for not providing sources is wholly without merit in a community project such as this, where we go by consensus and I can easily be overruled by the agreement of other editors, I am willing to bend over backwards to alleviate any concerns she may have, however unjustified, AGF-defying, logic defying or community defying. Therefore, I plan to withdraw voluntarily from examining any sources she may provide so that she can rest assured that I will not call her, as yet unseen sources, "fringe". Only you and the rest of the editors may examine them and come up with a suitable wording for the Apostolic origins of the Church. Mark, I have full confidence in your integrity, impartiality, knowledge of WP policies and judgement.

Just to be clear, although I will not interfere with your discussion regarding the quality of her sources, should she submit them, and I will not interfere with any wording you may propose regarding the weasel modifiers after you examine her as yet unrevealed sources, I reserve the right to express my opinion on the sources at an appropriate time, while deferring to any decision you and the rest of the editors make.

I also think that if she does not provide sources in a reasonable amount of time we have to remove the weasel modifiers per WP:RS, WP:NOR, WP:UNDUE and WP:V. Thank you. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 00:58, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

That seems more than reasonable. Thanks for your cooperation. Since Gabby has so far failed to provide any references and we seem to have consensus, I'll remove the weasel words and dispute template.Mark Marathon (talk) 05:28, 5 February 2014 (UTC)


First of all, I actually did a give ref...the Dr Morey book link, which for some reason you never accepted or really dealt with.
But regardless of that, though...I did not do anything with any of the statements in the article, except to put a “citation needed” tag on just the thing of “making the sign of the cross came directly from the Apostles”.
sorry, Mark, you never addressed (you're not always around on that Talk page), the specific matter of dogmatically stating that "making the sign of the cross" can be traced to the Apostles. You somehow seemed to believe that that was also sourced, even though it actually wasn't.
The simple fact that NONE of the sources put in (and there quite a few) actually stated that specific thing. I did not remove that statement, but I placed a citation needed tag only for the "making of the sign of the cross" statement...as not one of the refs given support that specific sentence, as even admitted by Dr.K....
NONE of the sources actually say that...for that specifically. Not sure why you thought that. You were going on and on to me about "if it's sourced it does not need to be stated neutrally" and "it should be stated as fact if it's sourced", but it seems you never bothered to actually see (unless I missed something somewhere in any of the refs) that the "making the sign of the cross coming directly from the Apostles" is not really supported or specifically stated in refs. Hence my placement (at least) of the citation needed tag for that one statement. Regards. Gabby Merger (talk) 06:16, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I removed all the details from the lead, including the sign of the cross. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 06:31, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello to Mark and Dr. K. I know that the discussion is pretty much over, and some decisions were already reached. Though it's arguable that it should have been decided just by two editors, who may be over-reaching a bit with the notion that all reliable sources in the world state the Greek Orthodox position of "tracing directly to the Apostles", regardless of the clear fact that that notion has been denied or challenged by respected theologians and writers. But because Mark and Dr. K. insisted I provide refs that give the analysis that Greek Orthodoxy (or Eastern Orthodoxy) does NOT trace itself directly from the Apostles, etc, I pointed (and even linked) to Robert Morey's book "Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian?" As one example. I already knew that that would pretty much be shooed away as "not reliable" or maybe even "fringe". Which is why I never really bothered elaborating Morey's words, or his book...in any of my comments. I figured, why waste time, when the quotes would be dismissed anyway? But I figure why not just finally give you a direct quote from his book, instead of simply citing the book generally. Here's one of a number of quotes that challenge or deny Greek Orthodox claims to Apostolic origins.
Quote:
"The historical reality is that Eastern Orthodoxy does not represent the Early Church that came into existence from the preaching of the Apostles."
(Robert Morey, Is Eastern Orthodoxy Christian?, pages 20-21, 2007)


Also, a ref and quote that you MIGHT consider “less fringe”...
“...the claim to unbroken continuity is appealing....We would contest this claim on a number of fronts. It appears to at least some of us that this claim does not adequately account for the substantial differences between ancient practice and Byzantine innovations and embraces an unrealistic ecclesiology.”
(Michael Horton, Three Views On Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism, 2004) Gabby Merger (talk) 05:29, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
The Morey work is self-published, so it can't be used as a RS for anything except Morey's opinion. Since Morey does have legitimate qualifications and is notable in his own right, his opinion is notable enough for inclusion, though others may disagree. The Horton reference is good, but the authors are far from definite in their claim. "Some of us believe the claim doesn't adequately address some points" is a far cry from "We reject the claim". So we still don't have a reliable source that claims that the church can NOT be traced back to the churches which the Apostles founded. So that statement of fact still can' be prefaced with "It is claimed...".
I suggest an edit along the lines of "The origins of the Orthodox Church can be traced back to the churches which the Apostles founded in the Balkans and the Middle East during the first century A.D. However, some scholars (Horton 2004) have noted that current Orthodox practice is substantially different to that of the earliest Apostolic churches. Robert Morey (pastor) has stated that Eastern Orthodoxy does not represent the Early Church of the Apostles (Morey 2007).Mark Marathon (talk) 08:15, 11 February 2014 (UTC)