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Author Topic: Toll houses?  (Read 43864 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #540 on: May 30, 2011, 06:52:52 AM »

Earlier I mentioned an OCA parish website that promoted the toll houses.  Here is a ROCOR parish site that does as well:

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/life-after-death-john-maximovitch.html

This is surprising considering the Synod's ruling on the matter.

It is not surprising at all, because Irish Hermit gives a false interpretation of the ROCOR Resolution in order to justify his unsuportable position.  I addressed this several times, including here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36319.msg577983.html#msg577983

He wants us to believe that prayers contained in the Octoechos and elsewhere, which are prayed in every church and monastery, contain "conjecture", that the Church does not pray in “spirit and in truth” but rather in “spirit and conjecture”, that priests say prayers for the Departure of the Soul which are filled with “conjecture” about what happens after the separation of soul and body, and that ROCOR supposedly teaches Sola Scriptura since the Lord has revealed nothing at all to the Church through the saints and Fathers but has spelled out everything explicitly in the Gospels themselves.  The Synod in ROCOR continues to publish, and bless the publication of, works describing the toll houses.  I have pointed all of these things out numerous times throughout this thread, and have not received a single reply to counter these assertions.  
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« Reply #541 on: May 30, 2011, 08:08:31 AM »

Earlier I mentioned an OCA parish website that promoted the toll houses.  Here is a ROCOR parish site that does as well:

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/life-after-death-john-maximovitch.html

This is surprising considering the Synod's ruling on the matter.

It is not surprising at all, because Irish Hermit gives a false interpretation of the ROCOR Resolution

I am weary of the repeated personal accusations of dishonesty which you have brought against me again and again in this thread.   I shake the dust of this thread off my feet and will not allow myself to be spoken of so despitefully.  Au revoir!  At least until the next Great Tollhouse Debate!   laugh
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« Reply #542 on: May 31, 2011, 03:46:40 AM »

Just a note to let it be known that I do NOT appreciate how my REAL name has been lifted from sources outside this forum and referenced here, and I ask respectfully that this not be done again. As you have seen with those posters who have revealed personal information on this and on other threads, we on the moderation team take breaches of personal identity seriously and will continue to hand out warnings in the future for such offenses. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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« Reply #543 on: May 31, 2011, 09:46:14 AM »

One wonders about this doctrine when for ex. it is mentioned once in vol. 2 of the Philokalia from the century of spiritual texts of St. Theodoros the greatr ascetic but the translators note that the writings were initially attirbuted to the 7th c but apprently alterations reflecting several centuries of variations of the century texts are evident. (took this from Philokalia vol. 2, Faber & Faber isbn # 0-571-15466-2).
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« Reply #544 on: June 16, 2011, 05:21:54 AM »

Bishop Porfirije, abbot of the monastery of Kovilj in Serbia and spiritual father to several major monasteries, speaks about the toll houses.

In Serbian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3bxQGHfOk&feature=player_embedded#at=130

« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 05:25:24 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #545 on: June 16, 2011, 08:02:10 AM »

As to George and the Dragon, I find nothing nebulous about the story at all (nor have any of the priests that I have discussed the matter with).  The demons can take any shape they wish, including that of “dragons” or “greys” or “vampires” or “werewolves” or anything else that that is buried in the inner most fears of man.  In the case of George, they took the form of a dragon.  Or, do you believe the story is just a fairy tale?

I believe the tradition and understanding which I received in Serbia - that the dragon is an image of the evil Roman Emperor Diocletian who was probably the worst persecutor of Christians out of all the Roman Emperors..  

Thanks, Father, I will add this to my mental collection of icon interpretations. I actually heard an ascetical interpretation of the St. George icon from a reputable Australian iconographer, a sudent of Bishop Constantine Essensky. He told me that the white horse represents his virtuous characteristics, and the dragon represents his vices. St. George, wearing the green cloak of the Holy Spirit, masters the horse while subjugating the dragon. It was also pointed out to me that the dragon is never shown dead, because the passions never completely go away.
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« Reply #546 on: June 16, 2011, 08:50:21 AM »


Archbishop Lazar of the Orthodox Church in America on YouTube, speaking of "ROCOR, MONKS, MARRIAGE AND TOLL HOUSES"

In English

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHSo5HvEtWA&feature=youtu.be
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« Reply #547 on: June 16, 2011, 09:23:20 AM »


Archbishop Lazar of the Orthodox Church in America on YouTube, speaking of "ROCOR, MONKS, MARRIAGE AND TOLL HOUSES"

In English

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHSo5HvEtWA&feature=youtu.be

I had this video in mind when I was reading this thread. He addresses the various accusations that certain people have been making against him, i.e. he teaches soul sleep, he got kicked out of ROCOR, etc.
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« Reply #548 on: June 18, 2011, 04:11:45 AM »

Since they don't exist, I wouldn't worry too much about them.  Smiley

i am glad the first 2 posts explained it... couldnt agree more... toll houses are not a dogma-not to mention the egyptian book of the dead  Roll Eyes

the main assumptoim for sth to be conciliar teaching is that that something is worthy to be discussed
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« Reply #549 on: June 18, 2011, 08:50:12 AM »

The Spirit is descended!
can anyone provide a reference or quote of a Saint or holy elder that denies the toll houses? so far its just been a lot of denial by some random folks on a board- perhaps actually substantiate your opinion?

I am content that my monastic father (Saint Nikolaj Velimirovic's cell attendant and disciple) and also my bishop in Serbia disowned them.  I am content that the Russian bishops in 1980 labelled them as "conjectures" above and beyond "the very little which the Lord has revealed about the afterlife" and "not beneficial to our salvation."

Please forgive me for any way I have shown you disrespect in this thread, Father, but it does amaze me how none of your arguments against the toll houses seems to stand up to scrutiny.  Your monastic father, and you as well, would have done very well to listen to those great Serbian saints, St. Nikolai of Zica (the New Chrysostom) and St. Justin (Popovic).  We have already discussed St. Justin sufficiently, and I have shown you what proof I have that he completed the third volume of his Dogmatic Theology before his repose with the lengthy section on the toll houses. 

Regarding the great St. Nikolai of Zica, that New Chrysostom, here are just a few references to the toll houses from his monumental and edifying Prologue of Ohrid.  Some references to the toll houses are found in various lives of saints, and some in the “Reflection” and “Homily” sections which reveal his thought on the subject with much clarity. 

Some of the below quotes refer to the toll houses by name, others to the reality which the image of the “toll houses” is intended to represent.

St. Nikolai of Zica on the toll houses

September 22

REFLECTION

When a man clearly senses God's mercy toward him, he is startled, as from a dull and senseless dream, and becomes ashamed of his long blindness to God's unceasing compassion. In the time of Emperor Justinian, the chief imperial tax collector in Africa was a certain Peter, a very wealthy but very hard and merciless man. The beggars grumbled among themselves, that not one of them had ever received alms from Peter. Then, one of them bet that he would succeed in getting alms from Peter. He persistently begged alms of the miser until Peter, in a rage, hit him with a loaf of bread, since he had nothing else close at hand. Joyfully the beggar took the bread and fled. Immediately after this Peter became seriously ill and had this vision: He was being interrogated by demons in the other world. There was a scale, and on one side of it, the demons heaped Peter's sins, making that side extremely heavy. On the other side-which was empty-angels stood, sorrowing that they had not even one good deed in Peter's life to help balance the scale. One of them said: ``We have nothing to place on the scale except one loaf of bread, with which he struck a beggar the day before yesterday.'' The angels placed this one loaf of bread on the empty side of the scale, and that loaf of bread outweighed the other side of the scale, laden with all of Peter's sins. When the vision was over Peter said to himself: ``Indeed, this was not an apparition but the living truth, for I saw all my sins from my youth. And when I can be helped so much by one loaf of bread that I threw at a beggar, how much help would I receive from many deeds of almsgiving, performed from the heart and with humility?'' And from that time, Peter became the most compassionate man in his town. He distributed all of his possessions to the poor, and when he had finished distributing his possessions, he sold himself into slavery for thirty gold pieces and distributed even his own price as a slave to the poor as alms in the name of Christ. He was, thereafter, called Peter the Merciful.
Sounds like a scale. Or do the houses use scales to exact tolls?

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« Reply #550 on: June 18, 2011, 09:17:37 PM »


Archbishop Lazar of the Orthodox Church in America on YouTube, speaking of "ROCOR, MONKS, MARRIAGE AND TOLL HOUSES"

In English

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHSo5HvEtWA&feature=youtu.be

I had this video in mind when I was reading this thread. He addresses the various accusations that certain people have been making against him, i.e. he teaches soul sleep, he got kicked out of ROCOR, etc.

I can't help it, but I am almost always persuaded by the things Archbishop Lazar says.
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« Reply #551 on: August 21, 2011, 12:41:15 AM »

    Cry Excuse me please as I am only a lowly sinner. My journey to Orthodoxy was a long and winding road. I was born to Southern Baptist Parents, converted to Roman Catholicism at age 16, seeing the issues with Rome such as Papal infallibility and Purgatory, I moved into the Anglo-Catholic Church (basically high church Episcopalians). from there finally to Orthodoxy. I was brought into the Orthodox Church by an OCA priest, I am no longer at that church I'm now ROCOR but I do not see these things (OCA, Russian, ROCOR, and Greek) as helpful but that's not what I want to write about. I see the extreme point of view on the toll houses as an attempt to disguise the Roman heresy of Purgatory as an Orthodox view point. I do not believe the toll houses exist in a literal way. just like I said my journey to Orthodoxy was a long and winding road, I do not mean I actually walked from a Baptist church to a Roman church to an Anglo church and finally to an Orthodox church. I believe the same is true for the toll houses. I think if a demon is waiting for me at points X, Y, and Z on my path to heaven and I can't pass through there shack without payment for my sin then Christ's death on the cross was for nothing. Even the Idea that sin must be "paid for" seems extremely western, Death is not the punishment for sin, it's the natural or really unnatural result of sin. There for there is no way of paying for it. Christ died so that we do not have to. now granted this is not a grantee that we will escape death but, if it's based on weighing our un-confessed sin against our good deeds then quite frankly I'm fraked (sorry for the BSG reference but that's a better word to use). I didn't convert to Orthodoxy until I was 25 years old. I know I forgot a lot of sin that I had committed before the beginning of my life to the Saturday that I gave my life confession. so if I'm not going to even get to the dread judgment seat of Christ because the forgotten or un-confessed sin I still carry with me will pull me down to hell before I get there, then what's the point, why should I not live it up while I have the chance. The most frightening thing about the toll houses is, that you don't really have a chance, at least the Romans give you a chance to work your sins off, the extreme toll house view does not give you the chance, it leaves me with no hope what so ever, I'm sorry but I cannot believe that my God would go through so much pain, suffering, and humiliation for me to screw everything up that easily. Also, what constitutes an un-confessed sin? Is it that I didn't tell the priest that I stole the pin from the bank? even if I had prayed to God for forgiveness alone? I'm not advocating a protestant Idea that you don't need to go to confession just stating that my confessor does not absolve me but God alone, If I tell him that I stole that pin but never return it that confession is useless and the sin is still on my head, so is it not possible that if I honestly repent of a sin, yet fail to tell my confessor that sin may be forgiven through the divine mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I have to say I believe that may be the case. while it is better to confess it to your priest. God knows we are weak.  again please forgive any ignorance on my part, and pray for me a terrible sinner.
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« Reply #552 on: August 21, 2011, 08:59:58 AM »

    Cry Excuse me please as I am only a lowly sinner. My journey to Orthodoxy was a long and winding road. I was born to Southern Baptist Parents, converted to Roman Catholicism at age 16, seeing the issues with Rome such as Papal infallibility and Purgatory, I moved into the Anglo-Catholic Church (basically high church Episcopalians). from there finally to Orthodoxy. I was brought into the Orthodox Church by an OCA priest, I am no longer at that church I'm now ROCOR but I do not see these things (OCA, Russian, ROCOR, and Greek) as helpful but that's not what I want to write about. I see the extreme point of view on the toll houses as an attempt to disguise the Roman heresy of Purgatory as an Orthodox view point. I do not believe the toll houses exist in a literal way. just like I said my journey to Orthodoxy was a long and winding road, I do not mean I actually walked from a Baptist church to a Roman church to an Anglo church and finally to an Orthodox church. I believe the same is true for the toll houses. I think if a demon is waiting for me at points X, Y, and Z on my path to heaven and I can't pass through there shack without payment for my sin then Christ's death on the cross was for nothing. Even the Idea that sin must be "paid for" seems extremely western, Death is not the punishment for sin, it's the natural or really unnatural result of sin. There for there is no way of paying for it. Christ died so that we do not have to. now granted this is not a grantee that we will escape death but, if it's based on weighing our un-confessed sin against our good deeds then quite frankly I'm fraked (sorry for the BSG reference but that's a better word to use). I didn't convert to Orthodoxy until I was 25 years old. I know I forgot a lot of sin that I had committed before the beginning of my life to the Saturday that I gave my life confession. so if I'm not going to even get to the dread judgment seat of Christ because the forgotten or un-confessed sin I still carry with me will pull me down to hell before I get there, then what's the point, why should I not live it up while I have the chance. The most frightening thing about the toll houses is, that you don't really have a chance, at least the Romans give you a chance to work your sins off, the extreme toll house view does not give you the chance, it leaves me with no hope what so ever, I'm sorry but I cannot believe that my God would go through so much pain, suffering, and humiliation for me to screw everything up that easily. Also, what constitutes an un-confessed sin? Is it that I didn't tell the priest that I stole the pin from the bank? even if I had prayed to God for forgiveness alone? I'm not advocating a protestant Idea that you don't need to go to confession just stating that my confessor does not absolve me but God alone, If I tell him that I stole that pin but never return it that confession is useless and the sin is still on my head, so is it not possible that if I honestly repent of a sin, yet fail to tell my confessor that sin may be forgiven through the divine mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? I have to say I believe that may be the case. while it is better to confess it to your priest. God knows we are weak.  again please forgive any ignorance on my part, and pray for me a terrible sinner.
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Anthony                 


Anthony, no one is saying they are literal.
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« Reply #553 on: August 21, 2011, 10:01:58 AM »

The toll house theory is not part of Christ's teaching.  It is basically an aberration
in orthodox soteriology.

When people try to compel you to believe in them, remember the words of
Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad:

"The toll houses - something the village peole might believe in."

If people wish to believe in them as a spiritually useful fable or metaphor, to remind then
that there is a reckoning after death or to frighten the peasants out of their sins, then let them.
But there is not one doctrine of our holy faith which is a fable or a metaphor.

Here is something eminently sensible from Archbp Antony Bartoshevich (ROCA)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-tradition/message/71771

This is part of an article that came from
the monthly bulletin of St. John the Baptist ROCA cathedral in Washington,
D.C. It contains things written by the late Archbishop Anthony of Geneva,
very good and interesting.



WHAT CAN WE KNOW ABOUT
THE LIFE OF THE HUMAN SOUL BEYOND THE GRAVE, 4

We present below for our readers' attention part 4 of an article by
Archbishop Antony (Bartoshevitch, 1910 - 1993) of Geneva and Western Europe.

The teaching about toll-houses is not a dogma of the Church: Pious
dissertations on so-called "toll-houses" are not Church dogma, are not
official teachings of the Church. Obviously, the soul, separated from the
body, will be tormented to a greater or lesser extent by the same unclean
spirit that tempted it in life. At that terrifying hour, the soul will seek
to find, in the person of the Guardian Angel, a protector and helper. That
is all one can say on the subject.


St. Cyril of Alexandria speaks of the tollhouses as something akin
to "customs offices" through which the souls of the deceased on their way up
to God's Throne pass, and at which evil spirits stop them, accusing them of
various sins. This seemingly is confirmed in the vision Blessed Theodora
related to Gregory, a disciple of St. Basil the New.

However, the Apostle Paul testifies that he "was caught up into
paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to
utter." (II Corinthians 12: 4). Related in human words, Blessed Theodora's
vision regarding the world beyond the grave cannot really accurately convey
what the Blessed One had felt and experienced.

The Church's prayers for the dead: Thus, the soul of the deceased in the
other world cannot by itself change, cannot acquire what it did not have in
its earthly life. It requires external help, help it receives through the
Savior of the human race, Who had descended into Hades and Who now lives in
the Church. He is the Head of the Church, and the Church is His Body. In
the Body of the Church, the unity, the oneness of the human race, that had
been damaged by sin, is restored, in oneness with God, through the
incarnation of the Son of God. Our Savior prayed for that as follows: "That
they all [i.e. those who believe on Me, the children of My Church] may be
one; as Thou Father art in Me and I in thee, That they also may be one in
Us." (John 17:21).

In that Church oneness, analogous to the oneness of the Members of
the Holy Trinity, takes place the Mystery of Theosis and renewal of the soul
of the deceased, through Christ the Savior, the spiritual riches of the
Church, and its Saints.

(To be continued)

« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 10:05:11 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #554 on: August 21, 2011, 11:02:41 AM »

The toll house theory is not part of Christ's teaching.  

For once we agree on this subject.  However, I would go as far as to say that much of "tradition" is not part of Christ's teaching, at least not in the red words of any Bible that I have read.
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« Reply #555 on: August 21, 2011, 06:05:22 PM »

The toll house theory is not part of Christ's teaching.  

For once we agree on this subject.  However, I would go as far as to say that much of "tradition" is not part of Christ's teaching, at least not in the red words of any Bible that I have read.

But what tradition?  There is no church-wide universal tradition about the toll house metaphor.

Please see message 157
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,1792.msg491122.html#msg491122
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« Reply #556 on: August 21, 2011, 06:55:04 PM »

The toll house theory is not part of Christ's teaching.  

For once we agree on this subject.  However, I would go as far as to say that much of "tradition" is not part of Christ's teaching, at least not in the red words of any Bible that I have read.

But what tradition?  There is no church-wide universal tradition about the toll house metaphor.

Please see message 157
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,1792.msg491122.html#msg491122

Father, what part of me agreeing with you are you not understanding, other than the rarity of it?  Smiley  As to "traditions", I would say that a good part of what we do is man-made (even if it is universally agreed to) and not part of Christ's teaching.  Examples would be our laxity on divorce (discussed on another thread) which directly contradicts Christ's teaching all the way to smaller things such as vestments.  I am sure that Christ was not dressed in cloths that would make Liberace proud during the last supper.  However, we do all these things.  I was not commenting on the "Church wideness" of the toll house theory since I agree that it is not so (the fact that we are both Orthodox from Russo-Serbian traditions and disagree on the theory itself is an example).  What I was commenting on was that if all we based our religion on was Christ's teachings, we would be Lutheran.  However, as you have pointed out in other threads, Christ did give the Church some leeway in making up stuff on its own - with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course.  Now, do not get the impression that I think that it is wrong for the Church to make up stuff that is not in the Bible.  If I thought so, I would not have converted.
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« Reply #557 on: August 22, 2011, 07:23:36 PM »

Bishop Porfirije, abbot of the monastery of Kovilj in Serbia and spiritual father to several major monasteries, speaks about the toll houses.

In Serbian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3bxQGHfOk&feature=player_embedded#at=130




double like  Grin
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« Reply #558 on: August 22, 2011, 07:58:37 PM »

Bishop Porfirije, abbot of the monastery of Kovilj in Serbia and spiritual father to several major monasteries, speaks about the toll houses.

In Serbian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp3bxQGHfOk&feature=player_embedded#at=130



Those very unspiritual interviewers can barely bother hiding their yawns.  laugh


double like  Grin
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« Reply #559 on: August 24, 2011, 06:15:47 AM »

what do u mean
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« Reply #560 on: August 24, 2011, 08:47:55 AM »

what do u mean

Dear Mozart,

In January and February 2003 we had an Archpriest from Irkutsk, Fr Rodion
Sivtsev, in our Wellington, New Zealand parish. He is now back in Irkutsk
where he is first priest at the Theophany (Bogoyavlenski) cathedral. We
keep in touch via e-mail and I decided to ask him his opinion of the
toll-houses. He is a serious man given to conciseness and he sent back this
answer...

How is your Russian?

"О мытарствах мнение у народа очень положительное и они любят об них
говорить. Но у богословов и духовенства мнения бывают различные, иногда
считают, что это униатско-католическое влияние от чистилища."


Translation:

"The opinion about the toll-houses among the people is quite positive and
they love to talk about them. But among the theologians and clergy there
are diverse opinions, and they sometimes consider them to be a
uniate-catholic influence stemming from purgatory."


So there is no consensus in Orthodox Russia. It is impossible to say that this is a
"universal" and "non-debatable" tradition.

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« Reply #561 on: August 24, 2011, 09:32:47 AM »

^ I agree with the above. As I have stated in other threads on this subject, this topic never, or rarely comes up among the general populace of the faithful, particularly in parishes without a strong convert component. I think it is fair to regard this as a pious belief but not a necessary one.
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« Reply #562 on: August 26, 2011, 12:21:56 AM »

Is there any biblical reference to the toll-house teaching?
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« Reply #563 on: August 26, 2011, 10:12:03 AM »

!!Bad joke warning!!: Will your 'EasyPass' work? Wink
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« Reply #564 on: August 26, 2011, 07:44:43 PM »

what do u mean

Dear Mozart,

In January and February 2003 we had an Archpriest from Irkutsk, Fr Rodion
Sivtsev, in our Wellington, New Zealand parish. He is now back in Irkutsk
where he is first priest at the Theophany (Bogoyavlenski) cathedral. .....................................


thank u very much... couldnt agree more since in Serbia we have the same situation... however,I do think that people who are real theologians do not tend to talk about toll-houses or mitarstva,as we call them

a big hug from Serbia  Grin   
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« Reply #565 on: August 26, 2011, 08:30:21 PM »

When I was reading two Latin versions of The Passing of Mary the other day in preparation for Old Calendar Dormition, I noticed that the Virgin asks Christ to allow her to ascend into the heavens without being bothered by the aerial demons. I'll look it up later.
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« Reply #566 on: September 03, 2011, 05:18:41 PM »

what are the chanches that Jesus left this to be revealed through the Latin versions of The Passing of Mary   Grin


in the words of ALF- the odds are slim to none - and slim is out of town  Grin

p.s. not to mention the concept of theosis i.e. divinization
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« Reply #567 on: September 04, 2011, 08:04:28 PM »

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« Reply #568 on: September 04, 2011, 08:46:26 PM »

Your picture makes a very good pont -about why the toll house teaching is wrong.
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« Reply #569 on: September 04, 2011, 10:46:48 PM »

what are the chanches that Jesus left this to be revealed through the Latin versions of The Passing of Mary   Grin

I wasn't citing it as an irrefutable source, just adding it to the pile of references from tradition. Every time I come across the Toll Booths somewhere in a church reading, I try to make mention of it here, but all the references seem to rarely get addressed.
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« Reply #570 on: September 04, 2011, 11:28:55 PM »

but all the references seem to rarely get addressed.

This is very true, as anyone will notice in looking through the multiple pages on this thread.  So many quotes which reference the tollhouses have been provided from the lives and writings of the saints and Fathers, and from the services of the Church.  What is very telling is that not one quote is provided in this thread from a saint or Father that spoke against the tollhouses or criticized this teaching in any way, though it has been referred to in writing for at least 1700 yrs.  The problem is that people often object without attempting to understand this teaching, and having objected prematurely, they then proceed to support their objections with misunderstandings, exaggerations, or an intentional twisting of the sources.  Nobody is delighted by the reality of what the soul experiences after its separation from the body.  Nobody is delighted by the thought of hell and an eternal condemnation either, but this fact does not equate to a negation of these realities. 
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« Reply #571 on: September 04, 2011, 11:36:49 PM »

The matters of Toll Houses and aerial spirits are not necessarily the same, since there are descriptions of such spirits without such organization.

For reference, I recommend this historical paper on the matter: http://www.doaks.org/publications/doaks_online_publications/DOP55/DP55ch06.pdf


but all the references seem to rarely get addressed.

This is very true, as anyone will notice in looking through the multiple pages on this thread.  So many quotes which reference the tollhouses have been provided from the lives and writings of the saints and Fathers, and from the services of the Church.  What is very telling is that not one quote is provided in this thread from a saint or Father that spoke against the tollhouses or criticized this teaching in any way, though it has been referred to in writing for at least 1700 yrs.  The problem is that people often object without attempting to understand this teaching, and having objected prematurely, they then proceed to support their objections with misunderstandings, exaggerations, or an intentional twisting of the sources.  Nobody is delighted by the reality of what the soul experiences after its separation from the body.  Nobody is delighted by the thought of hell and an eternal condemnation either, but this fact does not equate to a negation of these realities. 
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« Reply #572 on: September 04, 2011, 11:40:04 PM »

but all the references seem to rarely get addressed.

This is very true, as anyone will notice in looking through the multiple pages on this thread.  So many quotes which reference the tollhouses have been provided from the lives and writings of the saints and Fathers, and from the services of the Church.  What is very telling is that not one quote is provided in this thread from a saint or Father that spoke against the tollhouses or criticized this teaching in any way, though it has been referred to in writing for at least 1700 yrs.  The problem is that people often object without attempting to understand this teaching, and having objected prematurely, they then proceed to support their objections with misunderstandings, exaggerations, or an intentional twisting of the sources.  Nobody is delighted by the reality of what the soul experiences after its separation from the body.  Nobody is delighted by the thought of hell and an eternal condemnation either, but this fact does not equate to a negation of these realities.  


I cannot provide you with one Saint who spoke against what Saint Dmitri of Rostov tells us is a tradition from Apostolic times... that if you faithfully recite the Five Prayers each day the Lord Jesus Christ will come to you when you die and personally escort your soul to eternal life.

If one assiduously scours the patristic writings one will not find a single Holy Father who spoke against this teaching.  

One assumes that all toll house believers recite these prayers without fail since it will enable them to avoid the toll houses.
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« Reply #573 on: September 04, 2011, 11:47:00 PM »

but all the references seem to rarely get addressed.

This is very true, as anyone will notice in looking through the multiple pages on this thread.  So many quotes which reference the tollhouses have been provided from the lives and writings of the saints and Fathers, and from the services of the Church.  What is very telling is that not one quote is provided in this thread from a saint or Father that spoke against the tollhouses or criticized this teaching in any way, though it has been referred to in writing for at least 1700 yrs.  The problem is that people often object without attempting to understand this teaching, and having objected prematurely, they then proceed to support their objections with misunderstandings, exaggerations, or an intentional twisting of the sources.  Nobody is delighted by the reality of what the soul experiences after its separation from the body.  Nobody is delighted by the thought of hell and an eternal condemnation either, but this fact does not equate to a negation of these realities.  


I cannot provide you with one Saint who spoke against what Saint Dmitri of Rostov tells us is a tradition from Apostolic times... that if you faithfully recite the Five Prayers each day the Lord Jesus Christ will come to you when you die and personally escort your soul to eternal life.

If one assiduously scours the patristic writings one will not find a single Holy Father who spoke against this teaching.  

One assumes that all toll house believers recite these prayers without fail since it will enable them to avoid the toll houses.

I have never heard of this before, outside of St. Dimitri Rostov.  As you are very well aware, references to the toll-houses from St. Macarius and St. Cyril of Alexadria to St. Theophan the Recluse and St. John the Wonderworker are much more common and more numerous.  Though, if you think your comparison to be valid, perhaps you could provide references to the "Five Prayers" in the services of the Church and in the writings of the saints through the centuries, as I and others have done for the tollhouses in the present thread.
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« Reply #574 on: September 05, 2011, 12:04:13 AM »

One thing about toll housed adherents -- they make an awful amount of empty noise on the Internet, gongs and cymbals clanging.   But in real life they are quite muted.  No priest who believes in the toll houses ever preaches a sermon on them nor will he ever tell the people at a funeral what their departed are supposedly experiencing in the toll houses.  No catechists dare to teach them as a legitimate teaching of Orthodoxy.

Their caution and secrecy is wise.   If they should preach that the toll houses are a genuine part of the Orthodox faith they would seriously err against the universally held faith of the Church.  They would place themselves on the very edge of heresy.
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« Reply #575 on: September 05, 2011, 01:18:28 AM »

I think part of the problem, Father Ambrose, is an incomplete understanding of Byzantine demonology.  What many adherents to Toll Houses tend to do is speak of 'aerial spirits' outside of their overall context.  Aerial spirits are, by Byzantine standards, not simply devoted to the dead.  They are a constant torement of man throughout his life, whereas other demons, while sharing in the hatred of man, have different modes.

Michael Psellus counts six classes of demons: Leliurium (the root of the Irish leprechaun), Aerial, Earthly, Aqueous, Subterranean and Lucifugus.  This classicification is based on areas of operation of the demon within a material context.


One thing about toll housed adherents -- they make an awful amount of empty noise on the Internet, gongs and cymbals clanging.   But in real life they are quite muted.  No priest who believes in the toll houses ever preaches a sermon on them nor will he ever tell the people at a funeral what their departed are supposedly experiencing in the toll houses.  No catechists dare to teach them as a legitimate teaching of Orthodoxy.

Their caution and secrecy is wise.   If they should preach that the toll houses are a genuine part of the Orthodox faith they would seriously err against the universally held faith of the Church.  They would place themselves on the very edge of heresy.
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« Reply #576 on: September 06, 2011, 07:42:14 AM »

Mighty bold statement, and untrue.  My ROCOR Priest discussed them openly including refering to them in sermons.  My Serbian Priest discussed them in his sermon on the dormition.  Even the local Antiochian Preist admits that they are an allegory for something real. 


One thing about toll housed adherents -- they make an awful amount of empty noise on the Internet, gongs and cymbals clanging.   But in real life they are quite muted.  No priest who believes in the toll houses ever preaches a sermon on them nor will he ever tell the people at a funeral what their departed are supposedly experiencing in the toll houses.  No catechists dare to teach them as a legitimate teaching of Orthodoxy.

Their caution and secrecy is wise.   If they should preach that the toll houses are a genuine part of the Orthodox faith they would seriously err against the universally held faith of the Church.  They would place themselves on the very edge of heresy.
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« Reply #577 on: September 06, 2011, 08:03:20 AM »

Mighty bold statement, and untrue.  My ROCOR Priest discussed them openly including refering to them in sermons.  My Serbian Priest discussed them in his sermon on the dormition.


We know that when Christ forgives sin He forgives entirely.  There is not any punishment left for those sins.  It is totally impossible for them to drag us down to hell after death.  So what exactly are the Demon Judges judging us on and what penalties can they exact for our sins? There is absolutely no point in the demons rehearsing the sins of our life.  It's a waste of time. 

Although the toll houses are focused towards punishment and everlasting pain and fire and Purgatory is focused completely on entry into heaven, the mentality which believes in either is the same.

Quote
Even the local Antiochian Preist admits that they are an allegory for something real. 

Inform him that allegories form no part of our faith.  Allegories belong in the Protestant world which is happy to speak of the allegory of a virgin birth and the allegory of a resurrection.
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« Reply #578 on: September 06, 2011, 08:18:43 AM »

One thing about toll housed adherents -- they make an awful amount of empty noise on the Internet, gongs and cymbals clanging.   But in real life they are quite muted.  No priest who believes in the toll houses ever preaches a sermon on them nor will he ever tell the people at a funeral what their departed are supposedly experiencing in the toll houses.  No catechists dare to teach them as a legitimate teaching of Orthodoxy.

Their caution and secrecy is wise.   If they should preach that the toll houses are a genuine part of the Orthodox faith they would seriously err against the universally held faith of the Church.  They would place themselves on the very edge of heresy.

As Punch said, this post is both bold and baseless.  The tollhouses were referred to in practically every text of Dogmatic Theology published in pre-Revolutionary Russia, and in many other texts published and distributed with the blessing of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for use in catechesis and inclusion in libraries of seminaries and schools (for instance, Monk Mitrophan’s book “How Our Departed Ones’ Live”).  More recently, books referring to the tollhouse teaching have been published with the blessing of Patriarch Alexey II (for instance, Posthumous Life by Prof. Alexei Osipov).  Regarding sermons, St. Cyril of Alexandria’s “Homily on the Departure of the Soul” comes to mind from the Sequential Psalter, and the well known homily by St. John the Wonderworker on the subject more recently.  Neither St. John, nor St. Justin (Popovic), nor St. Nikolai of Zica, nor the Holy Synod of the Russian Church, nor St. Theophan the Recluse, nor Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, nor any saint or Father referred to the “tollhouses” as a mere opinion, theologoumena, or anything less than the universal teaching of the Church.  One can agonize over specific details provided in one or more particularly vivid accounts, but the central and essential meaning of this teaching is patristic and universal.  I would be much more cautious before insinuating that entire local churches and numerous saints and Fathers are placing themselves “on the very edge of heresy” by expressing this teaching as the teaching of the Church.     
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« Reply #579 on: September 06, 2011, 08:32:29 AM »

Quote from: jah777
One can agonize over specific details provided in one or more particularly vivid accounts, but the central and essential meaning of this teaching is patristic and universal. 


I call you out on that.

I have often sought for a definition of the toll houses and as you probably know, nobody has had the intestinal fortitude to attempt it (except, I think Fr John Whiteford, but he was shot down by other toll house adherents.)

It is utter nonsense to say that the Church teaches a doctrine (or a dogma as some in ROCA dare to claim) which it cannot present to the faithful coherently.

Quote from: jah777
I would be much more cautious before insinuating that entire local churches and numerous saints and Fathers are placing themselves “on the very edge of heresy” by expressing this teaching as the teaching of the Church.

Any idea what the church patristic doctrine is?  What is presented is a morass of confusion, a veritable smorgasbord of contradictory beliefs and ideas mixed in with heretical elements (whoever composed the tale of St Theodora's post mortem adventures has a lot to answer for)  from which people mix and match their preferred parts.   And who is the Father of confusion...?
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« Reply #580 on: September 06, 2011, 08:40:46 AM »


I would be much more cautious before insinuating that entire local churches and numerous saints and Fathers are placing themselves “on the very edge of heresy” by expressing this teaching as the teaching of the Church.     


Correct me if my memory is inaccurate but I seem to recall that in the days when you were strongly against the toll houses you placed no restraint on your criticisms.

As a matter if interest, would you substantiate the claim that "entire local churches" "express this teaching as the teaching of the Church."   I know of no statements from any of the Local Churches.  You are making it up.
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« Reply #581 on: September 06, 2011, 08:56:16 AM »

Dear jah777,

With reference to message 577, please tell us what the demon judges are judging us on?   Is it the sins of our lifetime?   But we know that when Christ has forgiven them all punishment is fully remitted?

Can the demon judges "re-activate" those sins and their punishment and use that re-activated punishment to drag us to hell?  That would give to demons power over even the judgements and grace of Christ.  Would it be heresy to believe demons are greater than Christ?
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« Reply #582 on: September 06, 2011, 09:03:29 AM »


ummm how do you expect to get through the toll houses without the love of God?
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« Reply #583 on: September 06, 2011, 09:05:21 AM »

Dear jah777,

With reference to message 577, please tell us what the demon judges are judging us on?   Is it the sins of our lifetime?   But we know that when Christ has forgiven them all punishment is fully remitted?

Can the demon judges "re-activate" those sins and their punishment and use that re-activated punishment to drag us to hell?  That would give to demons power over even the judgements and grace of Christ.  Would it be heresy to believe demons are greater than Christ?

we also know that Christ will give to each according to his works ... does Christ "re-activate" those sins?!
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« Reply #584 on: September 06, 2011, 09:12:09 AM »

The Tollhouse teaching will always look bad if you deliberately misunderstand it.
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