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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: casisthename on June 10, 2011, 11:15:39 PM

Title: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: casisthename on June 10, 2011, 11:15:39 PM
If Mary is sinless why do we need a savior? Can't we choose to not sin? I mean ok yeah I can't think of anyone but Jesus and Mary but it's possible so why is salvation not through works of the law? Also, were does the premise of Mary being sinless come from?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on June 10, 2011, 11:29:47 PM
Some time ago, Stephen Colbert had an interview on his show, The Colbert Report, with some author (whose name I can't recall) who wrote a book exploring the eight major religions of the world.

A focus of his book was to identify each religion's perception of the primary problem with humanity and the world. In his opinion, for Islam the primary problem is pride; for Confucianism the primary problem is social disorder; for Judaism the primary problem is exile; for Daoism the primary problem is the suppression of human liberty. These are all problems of the human condition according to the Orthodox Christian worldview, but they are all part and parcel of a more fundamental problem.

Unfortunately, this guest author missed the mark (pun intended  :)) and identified "sin" as the primary problem which Christianity seeks to deal with. He probably came to that conclusion because such is the prevalent view amongst Protestant Christians in particular.

According to Orthodoxy, sin is as secondary as the rest of the problems accounted for above. The primary problem is: death.

It was death that the Holy Virgin was in need of being saved from.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on June 11, 2011, 04:04:38 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If Mary is sinless why do we need a savior? Can't we choose to not sin? I mean ok yeah I can't think of anyone but Jesus and Mary but it's possible so why is salvation not through works of the law? Also, were does the premise of Mary being sinless come from?

While Our Lady lived a life free from the taint of personal sin, she like all of us fellow human beings was born under the curse of Original Sin, which only the Cross could save us from.  Further, Mary was not necessarily able to maintain a life free from personal sin on her own, rather it is in the Grace of God, that she is the very Mother of God and then Full of Grace in the first place.  Of course, even if she was sinless from her own individual effort, regardless she still had Original Sin like us all which Christ alone could redeem.  Even through a perfected life, Mary could not redeem herself, just as even if we live our own lives free from personal sin, still we must embrace the Divine Mysteries to be redeemed from Original Sin which inherently drives us towards personal sins.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: 88Devin12 on June 11, 2011, 06:44:48 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on June 11, 2011, 07:28:14 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Cognomen on June 11, 2011, 07:32:48 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

It was only a matter of time. 
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on June 11, 2011, 07:48:36 PM
nice one EkhristosAnesti  indeed, death is the main problem-not a sin...  ;D

maybe it would be good to know that death does not have the same treatment by all of the church fathers because there are many different deaths-to put it like that.... many christians today do not make difference between cognitive,biological and ontological death

ontological death means that someone has slipped out from the memory of God i.e. vječnaja pamjat in old slavonic or the eternal memory... this kind of identity is not defined with the relationship towards God rather it is defined through the relationship with nature.In the light of this we see Christ as the savior of the entire created world even the angels. because angels live eternally,someone would think that they dont need Christ in the ontological sense but what is important here is not their immortality defined by nature but their PERSONAL immoratality.If they dont show the desire to be a part of the relationship which Christ himself creates between God (uncreated) and the created beings,their nature-defined immortality will be of no use to them- they will fall into the anonymous land of the dead.Christ saves the entire created universe-even the angels-because THE ETERNAL LIFE AND EXISTENCE OF A PERSON DEPENDS ON HIS OR HER RELATIONSHIP TOWARDS GOD and not on the immortal soul etc. This relationship is realized through freedom and love and it is represented in Christ through the system of relationships in Church. Angels are part of this relationship too-we will know this when we come to realize that relationship and love (God) create personalities ex nihil (from nothing-ness)

unfortunately,the contemporary orthodox theology has suffered a certain  kind  of corrosion by the spirituality that proclaims  freedom and love too tough to deal with and the same spirituality seeks the existential taste of our faith in the ideas which calm our soul.it is like nature gives us peace and personality as freedom is very dangerous.in this kind of atmosphere,we comfort ourselves with stories of the immortal soul(forgetting the fact that fathers did not treat soul and man as something which is the same because our soul is only a part of  us) but we do not LONG FOR THE RESURRECTION OF OUR BODIES and ourselves as complete beings.

therefore, it is not important wheter mother of God is sinless or not but-can she save us from death... I think we all agree on that 1  :angel:

by the way,casisthename-you cannot choose not to sin if your perception of good and evil needs tuning ...

New Living Translation (©2007)
I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

He wasnt joking...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on June 11, 2011, 07:57:20 PM
There is a clip about all this ... too bad many people here do not understand Serbian-however,u may enjoy the music



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dslwTNWBtx4
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on June 11, 2011, 08:02:06 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues and changed the Creed! FIE UPON THE BLAH!!!!
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: 88Devin12 on June 11, 2011, 10:38:54 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

Don't start what here?
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

Don't start what here? it's a simple fact. When most people hear the term "Original Sin", they immediately think of the Roman Catholic view. Sometimes they might think of Protestant views, such as those from the early reformists.

You are immediately assuming that there is some underlying hostile-ness or some bad intention to my post. I have no clue where you can possibly get that from.

I'm simply stating a fact. As I said, it is well known that most people think of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Original Sin when someone mentions "Original Sin". casisthename is a new member, so we aren't aware of what he knows so far about Orthodoxy. He might know about the distinctions between the RCC and the EO views, or he might not. We need to be respectful of that.
Also for the sake of other people viewing the discussion, it is helpful to make it clear what our viewpoint actually is.

We cannot simply assume that someone already knows everything about Orthodox doctrine. If they did, then why are they here asking questions? Do you suggest Vladimir Lossky's "Mystical Theology" to a new catechumen or inquirer? Or do you ask them to begin with "The Orthodox Church" by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, or the "Rainbow Series" by Fr. Thomas Hopko?

__________________________

The Orthodox doctrine of "ancestral sin", or "original sin", is simply the belief that upon the fall, mankind became broken and our image became disfigured. from the fall onward, we are all subject to death. Each human being inherits this "curse", however we don't inherit the "guilt" of our ancestor's sins. This "curse" or "ancestral sin" is wiped away at our baptism.

As for Mary, she was sinless, however, she was still subject to death and was still a broken human being. Therefore, she still needed a savior. Even when she lived a life without any personal sin, she still died, as we all will die.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on June 11, 2011, 10:51:13 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: 88Devin12 on June 11, 2011, 10:53:19 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on June 11, 2011, 10:57:59 PM
I don’t mean to disagree with Ekhristos, who  is much more learned about Orthodoxy than I am. But I do think that sin is the main problem. Or, perhaps more accurately, we should not separate sin and death since sin is the cause of death.

As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.

That is my humble understanding, and I may need to be corrected. I welcome other opinions.

Selam
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on June 11, 2011, 11:42:43 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Sleeper on June 11, 2011, 11:48:02 PM
It should also be noted that salvation is more about union to something (God) rather than pardon from something (sin) or deliverance from something (death), etc.

Only God Himself, entering into the material world, could make the union of material beings with Him possible. That is something that Mary, herself not being God, could never accomplish.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Sleeper on June 11, 2011, 11:48:37 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

And beardless faces.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on June 11, 2011, 11:57:20 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

and beardless faces.

and scapulars.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Tikhon.of.Colorado on June 11, 2011, 11:58:31 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

And beardless faces.
and "priest suits"
(http://img.costumecraze.com/images/vendors/forum/60636-main.jpg)

(sorry, I couldn't help it)  ;D
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on June 12, 2011, 01:46:14 AM
Hi GMK,

Quote
But I do think that sin is the main problem. Or, perhaps more accurately, we should not separate sin and death since sin is the cause of death.

I think it's more accurate to speak of death as the cause of sin (cf. I Cor. 15:56 where St Paul says, 'the sting of death is sin'); and that is precisely why death, and not sin, is the fundamental problem.

To be clear, by 'death' I don't refer exclusively to the idea of physical mortality, but also, and more importantly and more relevantly, to the spiritual sense of a life outside of the life of God; a departure from the life of Grace. Such is the state of death into which we all enter the world. It is this state of death which provokes and facilitates our predilections and propensities towards sin (cf. Romans 5:21 where St Paul speaks of sin reigning in death).
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on June 12, 2011, 01:57:55 AM
Was it not sin that caused the first death, though?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on June 12, 2011, 05:18:04 AM
Was it not sin that caused the first death, though?

strictly speaking-yes... but the tragedy of adam and eve is that they tried to organize their lives without God... to find their identity outside God (and when God asked them about what they did-they denied the responsibility(in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson-SIN IS TOO STUPID TO SEE BEYOND ITSELF)... that is why Christ came and that is why st.Maxim the confessor says-even if Adam and Eve did not sin Christ would become man
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: casisthename on June 12, 2011, 07:19:18 AM
Wait...so did Mary sin? I mean if we can't choose not to sin...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: 88Devin12 on June 12, 2011, 03:32:29 PM
Wait...so did Mary sin? I mean if we can't choose not to sin...

No one ever said we can't choose not to sin. We can definitely choose not to sin. We choose when to sin and when not to. When we choose not to, then we are making the right choice, and we are seeking communion with God. When we choose to sin, we are separating ourselves from God.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on June 12, 2011, 06:45:43 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior!
Wait...so did Mary sin? I mean if we can't choose not to sin...

No, while Our Lady was merely a human woman, she is Full of Grace of God which keeps her from her own sinful nature.  Our Lady is only subject to the Original Sin (that is the Orthodox concept of the fractured, dying humans) which is why she died in the earthly sense, indeed we commemorate her "reposing" as a major holiday precisely to celebrate her humanity and subsequent kinship with ourselves.  However, though Our Lady was subject to Original Sin in her flesh, God protected her with His Grace, which is why we title her "Full of Grace" as it was the Grace of God which kept her from committing personal sin like we all do.  Again, none of as can chose or chose not to sin, sin is the reflexive action of the human condition, but in God's Grace we can be kept spotless as was Our Lady. This is why Our Lord said, "With men this is impossible, but nothing is impossible for God."

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: yeshuaisiam on June 12, 2011, 08:24:10 PM
Now here is something that is a very interesting question and I think Judaism re-enforces the Eastern Orthodox perspective on this issue, and disagrees with the Catholic view of immaculate conception...  (I'm going to be VERY basic on this answer it goes MUCH deeper)  Orthodox original sin is something that has been under debate, and there are some variations between (mostly in name) between Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox.

1) The Eastern Orthodox church believes that Mary (the Theotokos) had every capability of sin and that she was born with Original sin and capable of death (some call it ancestor sin http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Sin) (http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Sin)).  However, she resisted the "stain of sin".  (This will agree with the Jewish teaching in #3) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Christian_theology#Original_sin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Christian_theology#Original_sin))

2) The Roman Catholic church teaches a heresy that she was born immaculately. They did this to address the issue that Mary would transfer original sin to Our Lord unless she was immaculately conceived.   (This heresy came through the lack of understanding of the Jewish teaching of #3)

3) Heavy Orthodox Jews who hold total tradition ("you were born in utter sin!!!!" John 9:34 to the man born blind), believe that ALL men were born in sin.  HOWEVER, they believe that the sin is transferred through the male seed.  VERY INTERESTING!  

SO basically if we root back to Orthodox Judaism -  Mary was born in "utter sin" since she has a full lineage to David and was born from real human conception through intercourse.

But Jesus Christ our Lord and savior was NOT born in "utter sin", however, still of a human.  
He was NOT born through a Male seed of typical conception (sorry no intercourse for you Mormon readers)!  Thus, through an Orthodox Jew logic, the original sin never transferred since Jesus was not subject to a male seed from the fallen Adam!

This way the humanity of Mary was passed down to God who became flesh, but did NOT transfer the Original sin (so Jesus was indeed sinless but 100% man, and 100% God).

This is something that I feel the Roman Catholic church never understood when they came up with the heretical teaching of immaculate conception of Mary.  They tried to make something convenient to their church teaching which somebody in ignorance to Judaism would, when all they had to do is root back to Jewish teaching of original sin.

Though I have not heard an Eastern Orthodox Christian explain it this way (I learned the original sin transferring from a male seed from an Orthodox Jew) I find this COMPLETELY amazing.   I

Kind of neat!  It kind of gave me chills when I heard that Orthodox Jewish Rabbi explain the male seed thing.  Made me sort of point to the RC church and say "Ah Ha!  That heresy is not needed to complete the result that you were trying to accomplish!".

Anyway, so to conclude, we absolutely need a savior that was neither born in sin nor had the stain of sin.  
The Theotokos was capable of sins, but completely resisted sins, though she was born with complete "utter" original sin.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was neither born in "utter sin (original sin)", nor had the stain of sin, but had the capabilities of sin (as a human), but completely resisted them.





(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/Pascha2010/images/warnwarn.gif) Please, do not preach your jueo-Christain-whatever theories in the Faith Issues forum. You know well that it's not a place fr that.

20 days of warning - Michał Kalina.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on June 12, 2011, 08:58:35 PM
Was it not sin that caused the first death, though?

strictly speaking-yes... but the tragedy of adam and eve is that they tried to organize their lives without God... to find their identity outside God (and when God asked them about what they did-they denied the responsibility(in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson-SIN IS TOO STUPID TO SEE BEYOND ITSELF)... that is why Christ came and that is why st.Maxim the confessor says-even if Adam and Eve did not sin Christ would become man

This is interesting. Would you mind elaborating on it a little bit more?


Selam
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on June 12, 2011, 09:00:29 PM

As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.


Selam



*BUMP*

Can anyone tell me if I am correct here?


Selam
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: EkhristosAnesti on June 12, 2011, 09:43:14 PM
It is arguable that death was in some way at the root even of the sin of Adam and Eve. In his On the Incarnation, St Athanasius speaks of man's participation in the life of Grace (i.e. 'true life') in Paradise being contingent upon perfect contemplation of God. As soon as man entertained the suggestion of the serpent to pursue another life apart from that defined by the will and commandment of God; as soon as the mind of man turned to simply consider and deliberate such a matter; his perfect contemplation of the Divine was compromised, and thus his participation in true life disrupted.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: DavidH on June 12, 2011, 09:50:24 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

And beardless faces.

Not so, in ROCOR even our Slavic women keep the tradition!
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on June 12, 2011, 11:40:59 PM

It is arguable that death was in some way at the root even of the sin of Adam and Eve. In his On the Incarnation, St Athanasius speaks of man's participation in the life of Grace (i.e. 'true life') in Paradise being contingent upon perfect contemplation of God. As soon as man entertained the suggestion of the serpent to pursue another life apart from that defined by the will and commandment of God; as soon as the mind of man turned to simply consider and deliberate such a matter; his perfect contemplation of the Divine was compromised, and thus his participation in true life disrupted.


This is very interesting. Thank you. I remember in my Calvinist days when I used to agonize over the question of how Adam fell. If he was perfect and sinless, how could he choose sin? But now I understand how fundamental the doctrine of free will is to Orthodox theology.

I still maintain - and please don't hesitate to correct me - that sin and death are inextricably intertwined. But I do agree that we should remember that death is not just physical, but more importantly and more profoundly, death is a spiritual separation from God. And that is why free will is such a glorious gift from God and why we should nurture this gift as best we can.

Of course, the former Calvinist in me would ask, "Then why the need for the Cross?" And I would answer that as powerful as the gift of free will is, our will is still impotent to lead us to salvation apart from the efficacy of the Cross.

Just thinking out loud.


Selam
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on June 13, 2011, 12:17:19 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.


Selam



*BUMP*

Can anyone tell me if I am correct here?


Selam

Yes, all the acts of Salvation are eternal, all of the Divine Mysteries exist forever, unifying past, present, and future as a solitary arc of moment from God's infinite perspective.  However, just the view in the horizon exists on its own, but is not visible until you reach it, the Salvation of the Cross always existed from the Beginning of Creation, however our human perspective is limited until each of us individually approaches that Cross to redeem that eternally offered opportunity.  From God, the Salvation of the Cross always existed, but from our limited, human perspective, we were subject unto Sin until that human, earthly, moment when the Incarnated Christ bore the wounds of Death at the Cross.  While the Salvation obtained there of always existed in God, it was not manifested in our format until the Cross that shadowed afternoon in Jerusalem.  So the Angels always rejoiced at the potential, ever knowing the inevitable outcome, however we ourselves from our limited, pin-point perspective must wait for that arc of God's Time to reach us hear in this  continuum.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on June 13, 2011, 01:05:36 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.


Selam



*BUMP*

Can anyone tell me if I am correct here?


Selam

Yes, all the acts of Salvation are eternal, all of the Divine Mysteries exist forever, unifying past, present, and future as a solitary arc of moment from God's infinite perspective.  However, just the view in the horizon exists on its own, but is not visible until you reach it, the Salvation of the Cross always existed from the Beginning of Creation, however our human perspective is limited until each of us individually approaches that Cross to redeem that eternally offered opportunity.  From God, the Salvation of the Cross always existed, but from our limited, human perspective, we were subject unto Sin until that human, earthly, moment when the Incarnated Christ bore the wounds of Death at the Cross.  While the Salvation obtained there of always existed in God, it was not manifested in our format until the Cross that shadowed afternoon in Jerusalem.  So the Angels always rejoiced at the potential, ever knowing the inevitable outcome, however we ourselves from our limited, pin-point perspective must wait for that arc of God's Time to reach us hear in this  continuum.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie

Give thanks brother.


Selam
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on June 13, 2011, 12:26:52 PM
Was it not sin that caused the first death, though?

strictly speaking-yes... but the tragedy of adam and eve is that they tried to organize their lives without God... to find their identity outside God (and when God asked them about what they did-they denied the responsibility(in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson-SIN IS TOO STUPID TO SEE BEYOND ITSELF)... that is why Christ came and that is why st.Maxim the confessor says-even if Adam and Eve did not sin Christ would become man

This is interesting. Would you mind elaborating on it a little bit more?


Selam

I'll try to... ok... Adam and Eve denied their true identity.Person is an identity based on the relationship.Fathers have always talked about sin as about αμαρτία -which is Greek for missing the aim or the target.Sin is not a mare breaking of rules-it goes far beyond this ethical and moral approach.It is intertwined with our being and therefore with our existence.The missing of the aim is actually missing of the LOGOS which we are created to live with and within and the aim is Christ.Fighting against this αμαρτία is the essence of every christian.

Adam and Eve did not eat from the real tree-the tree of life is a communion with God, living in his life.We (mankind) refused this communion and we were thrown out from the garden of Eden-it wasnt a paradise island or anything-it was the change of our way of existence.We became mortal and everything that goes with it.God has only noted that it was like this. In a nutshell,we made our own shortcut (and it wasnt the 1 on the desktop  ;D ) and we chose to become gods without God.

The great apostole Paul says that -through sin came death- but does this mean that God created death-No.Adam did not steal or kill so he made no moral violation.Adam made a mistake because he tried to become God (which was his legitimate right) in the wrong and impossible way and because Adam manifested himself through his own nature,death entered the stage.Adam's free will and his decision to turn to his,created nature and not to his Creator are a direct reason for the existence of death. I have always thought about this context when reffering to the words of st.Paul -through sin came death-

I hope this helps  (http://www.pouke.org/forum/Smileys/perfect/4chsmu1.gif)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: ialmisry on July 18, 2011, 11:24:44 AM
I don’t mean to disagree with Ekhristos, who  is much more learned about Orthodoxy than I am. But I do think that sin is the main problem. Or, perhaps more accurately, we should not separate sin and death since sin is the cause of death.

As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.

That is my humble understanding, and I may need to be corrected. I welcome other opinions.

Selam

What is death, except sin embodied?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Poppy on July 18, 2011, 12:05:10 PM
But I do agree that we should remember that death is not just physical, but more importantly and more profoundly, death is a spiritual separation from God.

Was Jesus seperate from God on the cross spiritually then when he died and shouted out to God...is that what happened?? And if that didn't happen to Jesus as a human then that means he didn't die. And if that DID happen to Jesus on the cross then that means that God and Jesus were seperate which how can that even happen if both are God??
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: orthonorm on July 18, 2011, 12:12:18 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

And beardless faces.
and "priest suits"
(http://img.costumecraze.com/images/vendors/forum/60636-main.jpg)

(sorry, I couldn't help it)  ;D

and effective large charitable organizations.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Iconodule on July 18, 2011, 01:49:13 PM
(http://www.jonahhouse.org/Disarm_Now_Plowshares/disarmnow_plowshares.jpg)

And old hippy priests and nuns
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on July 18, 2011, 03:38:08 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


and effective large charitable organizations.

Agreed, with all the rightful attention to the "sex abuse" scandals rocking the contemporary Roman Catholic Church, it is shameful that the greater good which the Church has been maintaining has not also been highlighted.  The RC is the single largest source of charity in the world, whether we're talking about cash donations, services, medical care, or food.  The Church gets a lot of slack for its stance regarding condoms in Africa, and yet doesn't get rightful acknowledgment of the reality that it is the single largest source of both regular and also AIDS specific medical care in Africa. Whether we are in the third world or the "modern world" (the RC is also the largest NGO source of food assistance and medical care in the US, second only to the USDA and the US govt) the RC is the largest giver.  We especially in the Orthodox communities would benefit greatly from adopting some of the the RC charitable models in regards to endowments, food assistance, hospitals/medical care, and other crucial ministries that frankly are appallingly lacking with the Orthodox today.  We can't blame any kind of ontological or historical differences either, while politics may have influences the politicization of the Popes, Orthodox used to be equally a source of charity however more recent histories in the Orthodox world in regards to civil wars and such have really complicated matters and forced many of us in Orthodox into a rebuilding and survival mode.  Its time to break out and get back to work :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: That person on July 18, 2011, 04:29:57 PM
Something relavent from Fr. Ted in Dayton:
"The Theotokos -  she is in need of salvation in Christ as she is mortal.   But it is believed that her soul was pure which is why God selected her to be Mother to His Son.  That Mary willfully chose to say "yes" to the Annunciation is considered astonishing in Orthodoxy - the salvation of the world hung upon her freely agreeing to do God's will.  Meditating on what her inner spiritual life must have been for God to have chosen her to be Mother to His Son led to the conclusion that her purity must have been beyond anything any other human being ever attained.  Thus they could not come up with enough superlatives to describe her in meditation, poetry and song.   But since she was mortal, she was in need of salvation, and so yes her sinlessness is qualitatively different from Christ's."
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: ChristusDominus on July 18, 2011, 08:12:17 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.
No pews in your churches? WRO have statues.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on July 18, 2011, 09:11:04 PM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.
No pews in your churches? WRO have statues.

That was my point. Out of all the things listed as being "added", the change in the creed is the only thing that should really be a dividing issue, which is why I left that out of my quote. Everything else is customary. So in keeping with highlighting the "differences"...



doing the sign of the cross backwards   :P
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: ChristusDominus on July 19, 2011, 12:16:07 AM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.
No pews in your churches? WRO have statues.

That was my point. Out of all the things listed as being "added", the change in the creed is the only thing that should really be a dividing issue, which is why I left that out of my quote. Everything else is customary. So in keeping with highlighting the "differences"...



doing the sign of the cross backwards   :P
Oh yeah, why do you guys do it backwards? :P
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Stephen St. Pierre on July 19, 2011, 01:08:21 AM

Was Jesus separate from God on the cross spiritually then when he died and shouted out to God...is that what happened?? And if that didn't happen to Jesus as a human then that means he didn't die. And if that DID happen to Jesus on the cross then that means that God and Jesus were separate which how can that even happen if both are God??

I assume you're talking about this:

"And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
- Mark 15:34

This is actually a prayer from the Psalmist:

"To the Chief Musician. Set to 'The Deer of the Dawn.' A Psalm of David. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?"
- Psalm 22:1

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: deusveritasest on July 19, 2011, 01:49:05 AM
If Mary is sinless why do we need a savior? Can't we choose to not sin? I mean ok yeah I can't think of anyone but Jesus and Mary but it's possible so why is salvation not through works of the law? Also, were does the premise of Mary being sinless come from?

Mary was not without ancestral sin. Mary needed Christ to heal her of ancestral sin.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Seraphim Rose on July 19, 2011, 06:46:33 AM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.

and organs.

and fonts of holy water at the entrance to their churches for the faithful to cross them selves with.

And beardless faces.
and "priest suits"
(http://img.costumecraze.com/images/vendors/forum/60636-main.jpg)

(sorry, I couldn't help it)  ;D

and effective large charitable organizations.

and popes with super powers.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on July 19, 2011, 08:44:19 AM
Also, at this point it must be made clear that the Orthodox view of Original Sin is not the same as the Roman Catholic or Protestant views.

Don't start that here.

They added statues

And pews.
No pews in your churches? WRO have statues.

That was my point. Out of all the things listed as being "added", the change in the creed is the only thing that should really be a dividing issue, which is why I left that out of my quote. Everything else is customary. So in keeping with highlighting the "differences"...



doing the sign of the cross backwards   :P
Oh yeah, why do you guys do it backwards? :P

Let's not forget stained glass windows.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Punch on July 19, 2011, 12:52:45 PM
You and I have the same understanding.  All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.  There was no death before sin.


I don’t mean to disagree with Ekhristos, who  is much more learned about Orthodoxy than I am. But I do think that sin is the main problem. Or, perhaps more accurately, we should not separate sin and death since sin is the cause of death.

As for the question of why we need the Cross if Mary was sinless…
 
I may be wrong (and others can correct me here), but it is my understanding that the Cross has saved all the Saints and all the righteous from the beginning of Creation. We cannot help but to view history in linear fashion, but from the divine and eternal perspective, it was the efficacy of the Cross that redeemed Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Our Lady the Virgin Mary, and the all Saints thereafter. It was the power of the Cross that enabled the faithful to endure the spiritual struggle and victoriously enter heaven. So, Mary was holy and righteous, but only because of Christ and His Cross.

That is my humble understanding, and I may need to be corrected. I welcome other opinions.

Selam

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on July 19, 2011, 07:14:58 PM
yes... but there was not the body of Christ either
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on July 19, 2011, 07:46:07 PM
But I do agree that we should remember that death is not just physical, but more importantly and more profoundly, death is a spiritual separation from God.

Was Jesus seperate from God on the cross spiritually then when he died and shouted out to God...is that what happened?? And if that didn't happen to Jesus as a human then that means he didn't die. And if that DID happen to Jesus on the cross then that means that God and Jesus were seperate which how can that even happen if both are God??

After God took on human flesh in the Incarnation, there was never any separation His Divinity and His humanity, they were joined eterally in His Person, Jesus Christ the Son and Word of God, without separation, without confusion, without alteration. One cannot speak of the Word and Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity and Jesus Christ as being separate, for there was never any separation of His Godhead from His humanity. On the cross, He experienced suffering in His humanity, and in the grave He raised the dead through the power of His Divinity.


Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on July 23, 2011, 04:44:39 AM
yes
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Punch on July 23, 2011, 09:41:40 AM
yes... but there was not the body of Christ either

This has really nothing to do with the matter.  First came sin, then death.  Both existed before Christ took on human flesh, and both exist to this day.  Death, as in the eternal separation from God, has been destroyed.  Yet all who are human will die in the flesh as we leave our imperfect bodies.  Only two men have escaped death according to the Scriptures, and the Scriptures tell us that even they will come back to die during the last days.  Sin is the cause of death, and there would be no death without sin.  Christ was the only human to be sinless.  That is why He was able to overcome death.  That is also why His death was voluntary.  As the sinless one, He was immortal and had to agree to die.  We do not have that option.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on August 17, 2011, 08:41:32 PM
well,what has the resurrection changed for u and me then... how do we become 1 with Christ if we do not overcome death...

I was talking about a bigger picture when I mentioned the body of Christ


freedom in this world means that we have 2 ways - towards God and from God.we know that God's plan for the entire creation is to become a part of God and to have life from God's life...to exist in eternity.However,being and life are not the same 2 things when we talk about the created world
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 02:32:53 AM
a question regarding this topic.

Can we be sinless without God? Can we choose not to sin without the grace of God?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 07, 2011, 04:48:23 AM
Can one be a saint if God does not exist? That is the only concrete problem I know of today. –Albert Camus
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: jewish voice on October 07, 2011, 04:58:39 AM
Now here is something that is a very interesting question and I think Judaism re-enforces the Eastern Orthodox perspective on this issue, and disagrees with the Catholic view of immaculate conception...  (I'm going to be VERY basic on this answer it goes MUCH deeper)  Orthodox original sin is something that has been under debate, and there are some variations between (mostly in name) between Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox.

1) The Eastern Orthodox church believes that Mary (the Theotokos) had every capability of sin and that she was born with Original sin and capable of death (some call it ancestor sin http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Sin) (http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Sin)).  However, she resisted the "stain of sin".  (This will agree with the Jewish teaching in #3) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Christian_theology#Original_sin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Christian_theology#Original_sin))

2) The Roman Catholic church teaches a heresy that she was born immaculately. They did this to address the issue that Mary would transfer original sin to Our Lord unless she was immaculately conceived.   (This heresy came through the lack of understanding of the Jewish teaching of #3)

3) Heavy Orthodox Jews who hold total tradition ("you were born in utter sin!!!!" John 9:34 to the man born blind), believe that ALL men were born in sin.  HOWEVER, they believe that the sin is transferred through the male seed.  VERY INTERESTING!  

SO basically if we root back to Orthodox Judaism -  Mary was born in "utter sin" since she has a full lineage to David and was born from real human conception through intercourse.

But Jesus Christ our Lord and savior was NOT born in "utter sin", however, still of a human.  
He was NOT born through a Male seed of typical conception (sorry no intercourse for you Mormon readers)!  Thus, through an Orthodox Jew logic, the original sin never transferred since Jesus was not subject to a male seed from the fallen Adam!

This way the humanity of Mary was passed down to God who became flesh, but did NOT transfer the Original sin (so Jesus was indeed sinless but 100% man, and 100% God).

This is something that I feel the Roman Catholic church never understood when they came up with the heretical teaching of immaculate conception of Mary.  They tried to make something convenient to their church teaching which somebody in ignorance to Judaism would, when all they had to do is root back to Jewish teaching of original sin.

Though I have not heard an Eastern Orthodox Christian explain it this way (I learned the original sin transferring from a male seed from an Orthodox Jew) I find this COMPLETELY amazing.   I

Kind of neat!  It kind of gave me chills when I heard that Orthodox Jewish Rabbi explain the male seed thing.  Made me sort of point to the RC church and say "Ah Ha!  That heresy is not needed to complete the result that you were trying to accomplish!".

Anyway, so to conclude, we absolutely need a savior that was neither born in sin nor had the stain of sin.  
The Theotokos was capable of sins, but completely resisted sins, though she was born with complete "utter" original sin.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was neither born in "utter sin (original sin)", nor had the stain of sin, but had the capabilities of sin (as a human), but completely resisted them.





(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/Pascha2010/images/warnwarn.gif) Please, do not preach your jueo-Christain-whatever theories in the Faith Issues forum. You know well that it's not a place fr that.

20 days of warning - Michał Kalina.
Thank you for shutting this person up who has no #$@% clue on Judaism and posting junk like that.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 07, 2011, 11:39:27 AM
Not to hijack this thread, but are there any writings from the early church Fathers (first couple centuries) that mention Mary being sinless?  If so, can someone send me some links?  Do it here or send me a PM.  Thanks!

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: AWR on October 07, 2011, 01:01:23 PM

The Orthodox Church refers not to Mary's sinlessness in a juridical way, but to her perfect obedience in accepting and keeping the Word of God, for which she is glorified and able to intercede for us.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Hiwot on October 07, 2011, 01:35:35 PM
a question regarding this topic.

Can we be sinless without God? Can we choose not to sin without the grace of God?

selam dear
After the Fall, God did not abandon mankind totally, grace worked from outside on many, who chose to walk in the path of righteousness, the Theotokos of course surpasses many by how well she has walked with God and kept herself from assenting to sin, either in thought or in deed. yet she too needed the salvific grace that only Christ can offer Mankind, thus she calls Him ' My Savior' , this is ofc a very short reply to a great mystery ;D
selam  :)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 07, 2011, 01:41:32 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

a question regarding this topic.

Can we be sinless without God? Can we choose not to sin without the grace of God?

Simple answer? No.  We can't do anything without God.  In fact, we don't even exist without the Grace of God.  God creates and sustains the Universe at ever nano-second of time, and at every micro to macroscopic scale to examine.  The Universe is not self-existing as the Jeffersonian Deists proposed, rather it is always existing in the Dynamism of God.  So we can literally do NOTHING without His Grace.  If we sin, we still sin in His Grace because He is the very life-force which animates our being presenting us any said opportunity to sin. 

In the concept of choosing not to sin, well of course we human beings can choose not to sin, the real question is can we ever succeed? The faculties of human will allow for the mind and soul to desire multiple, even contradictory things.  We can will one thing while doing another, perfectly willing both.  So we can in the depth of our being will and choose not to sin, however it is impossible for us to pull it off in the real world, where sin is inherent.  However, in the Grace of God, we can act in synergy with God, and combine our willing with the inability to properly act with God's willing and overwhelming power to cause action and in this process find ourselves less and less in sin.  Still, the answer is always no, because everything happens and exists in God's Grace, and nothing can exist or occur aside from God's Will.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Hiwot on October 07, 2011, 01:42:49 PM
oh and yeah with out God we can do Nothing! He is the source of all that is good. we will not be what and who we are as humanbeings if it were not for Him who made us in His Image and Likeness.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 02:00:34 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

a question regarding this topic.

Can we be sinless without God? Can we choose not to sin without the grace of God?

Simple answer? No.  We can't do anything without God.  In fact, we don't even exist without the Grace of God.  God creates and sustains the Universe at ever nano-second of time, and at every micro to macroscopic scale to examine.  The Universe is not self-existing as the Jeffersonian Deists proposed, rather it is always existing in the Dynamism of God.  So we can literally do NOTHING without His Grace.  If we sin, we still sin in His Grace because He is the very life-force which animates our being presenting us any said opportunity to sin. 

In the concept of choosing not to sin, well of course we human beings can choose not to sin, the real question is can we ever succeed? The faculties of human will allow for the mind and soul to desire multiple, even contradictory things.  We can will one thing while doing another, perfectly willing both.  So we can in the depth of our being will and choose not to sin, however it is impossible for us to pull it off in the real world, where sin is inherent.  However, in the Grace of God, we can act in synergy with God, and combine our willing with the inability to properly act with God's willing and overwhelming power to cause action and in this process find ourselves less and less in sin.  Still, the answer is always no, because everything happens and exists in God's Grace, and nothing can exist or occur aside from God's Will.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Very well, thanks :)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: jewish voice on October 07, 2011, 02:30:36 PM
Mary was not the only one who was sinless at that time as we read in Luke 1 5-6  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea a certain priest named Zacharias of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron,and her name was Elizabeth. And they both were righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

I guess we can reach it just takes lots of hard work like God says in Genesis 4:6-7 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Also in Deuteronomy 30:10-14 . if you will hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law; if you turn unto the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your soul; for this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you neither is it too far off.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and make us hear it, that we may do it?"  Neither is it beyond the sea that you should say: "Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it that we may do it?"  The word is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 02:56:04 PM
So what are we to make of the part in the Divine Liturgy when it refers to Christ as "the only sinless one"?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: NicholasMyra on October 07, 2011, 03:40:10 PM
So what are we to make of the part in the Divine Liturgy when it refers to Christ as "the only sinless one"?
Ontological sinlessness vs. moral sinlessness?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 07, 2011, 03:41:54 PM
So what are we to make of the part in the Divine Liturgy when it refers to Christ as "the only sinless one"?

I have struggled with the issue of Mary's sinlessness as a convert.  Besides this part of the Divine Liturgy, there is also the verse in Romans where it is stated that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

It doesn't say all have inherited the consequences of sin, but that all have sinned. (missed the mark)

I have found comfort in the belief that the Theotokos was purified at the Annunciation (filled with the Grace of the Holy Spirit), and remained pure after that point.

As the service of Matins for the Feast of the Annunciation has the Theotokos say:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my soul and sanctified my body, it has made of me a temple that contains God; a Tabernacle divinely adorned, a living sanctuary, and the pure mother of Life."

Prior to her purification, Mary was undoubtedly as righteous as humanly possible.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 04:10:35 PM
I tend to gravitate towards the belief that she did not willingly/knowingly commit a sin, but because of her human nature and limitation she was not always able to act perfectly according to God's will and plan (e.g. asking Jesus to do something about the wine when he was not ready, or wondering where Jesus was when he was in His Father's house, or coming to speak with him while he was still teaching). In this sense, I consider sin to be not conformed perfectly to the will and plan of God. We can sin by knowledge or of ignorance. Human nature inevitably "misses the mark" of God's standard because we do not have the divine and perfect foreknowledge of God.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 07, 2011, 04:22:31 PM
I tend to gravitate towards the belief that she did not willingly/knowingly commit a sin, but because of her human nature and limitation she was not always able to act perfectly according to God's will and plan (e.g. asking Jesus to do something about the wine when he was not ready, or wondering where Jesus was when he was in His Father's house, or coming to speak with him while he was still teaching). In this sense, I consider sin to be not conformed perfectly to the will and plan of God. We can sin by knowledge or of ignorance. Human nature inevitably "misses the mark" of God's standard because we do not have the divine and perfect foreknowledge of God.

I agree with your assessment.  Very well put!

As in confession, the priest mentions sins that we have done involuntarily or through ignorance.  So it is not always a matter of us choosing to sin.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 07, 2011, 05:56:54 PM
I find it interesting to see many Orthodox solve the 'sinlessness problem' by advocating Mary wasn't actually sinless.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 05:59:29 PM
So what are we to make of the part in the Divine Liturgy when it refers to Christ as "the only sinless one"?
Ontological sinlessness vs. moral sinlessness?

can you elaborate?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 06:02:54 PM
I find it interesting to see many Orthodox solve the 'sinlessness problem' by advocating Mary wasn't actually sinless.

I don't know how else to explain it without contradicting our liturgy or scripture.

 
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 07, 2011, 06:13:17 PM
I find it interesting to see many Orthodox solve the 'sinlessness problem' by advocating Mary wasn't actually sinless.

I don't know how else to explain it without contradicting our liturgy or scripture.

 

It already sounds like a contradiction.

Met. Ware didn't think other thoughts were contradictions. After all, there isn't much in the way of doctrine in Orthodoxy, or at least, that's what I hear... a lot.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 07, 2011, 06:19:09 PM
why is it so important if she is sinless or not... the orthodox church has always spoken about Theotikos as of the 1 who said YES to God and in that way she made the incarnation of Christ possible-unlike Adam and Eve who deliberately disobeyed God...  ;)

onthology vs. ethics here and it seems like ethics has won once more
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 06:21:00 PM
why is it so important if she is sinless or not... the orthodox church has always spoken about Theotikos as of the 1 who said YES to God and in that way she made the incarnation of Christ possible-unlike Adam and Eve who deliberately disobeyed God...  ;)

onthology vs. ethics here and it seems like ethics has won once more

I don't know, but it does seem to be asserted with doctrinal significance at times, almost as if the teaching were part of the gospel itself.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 06:21:46 PM
I find it interesting to see many Orthodox solve the 'sinlessness problem' by advocating Mary wasn't actually sinless.

I don't know how else to explain it without contradicting our liturgy or scripture.

 

It already sounds like a contradiction.

Met. Ware didn't think other thoughts were contradictions. After all, there isn't much in the way of doctrine in Orthodoxy, or at least, that's what I hear... a lot.

How do you reconcile what appear to be contradictions found in the scripture and liturgy?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 07, 2011, 06:55:56 PM
According to St. John Maximovitch in his "The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God":

"The teaching of the complete sinlessness of the Mother of God:
(1) does not correspond to sacred scripture, where there is repeatedly mentioned the sinlessness of the One Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (St John's italics, and then he list the relevant verses)
(2) This teaching also contradicts Sacred Tradition which is mentioned in numerous patristic writings, where there is mentioned the exalted sanctity of the Virgin Mary from her very birth, as well as her cleansing by the Holy Spirit at her conception of Christ..."

St. John further states:

"The righteousness and sanctity of the Virgin Mary were manifested in the fact that she, "being human, with passions like us," so loved God and gave herself over to Him, that by her purity she was exalted high above the rest of the human race.  For this, having been foreknow and forechosen, she was vouchsafed to be purified by the Holy Spirit Who came upon her, and to conceive of Him the very Saviour of the world."
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 07, 2011, 07:46:15 PM
cant help noticing that the same people who talk about toll houses talk about being sinless and stuff... purity vs love  ;D
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 07, 2011, 07:50:20 PM
It seems to be an attraction to legalism and reparations theology.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 07, 2011, 08:18:07 PM
exactly... upravo tako
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 07, 2011, 09:47:29 PM
Quote
I have struggled with the issue of Mary's sinlessness as a convert.  Besides this part of the Divine Liturgy, there is also the verse in Romans where it is stated that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

When I mentioned this "sinlessness of Mary" issue to protestant friends and family, this verse always comes up.  I respond with "does that verse include infants and mentally disabled people?" If they say "no" then say "but... but... it says ALL have sinned!!!" :)

This is certainly a hot topic, but I thought that many people agreed that the verse in Romans is referring to sin nature.  I could be wrong though.

Even still.. does it really matter?  Its not clearly documented in scripture.  Traditions says she didnt sin, but suppose Christ comes back tomorrow and we are all judged.  Is he going to send anyone to hell because they believed Mary did or didnt sin?  I doubt it...

But again, does anyone have any early church sources that show they believed she was sinless??
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 09:54:22 PM
Quote
I have struggled with the issue of Mary's sinlessness as a convert.  Besides this part of the Divine Liturgy, there is also the verse in Romans where it is stated that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

When I mentioned this "sinlessness of Mary" issue to protestant friends and family, this verse always comes up.  I respond with "does that verse include infants and mentally disabled people?" If they say "no" then say "but... but... it says ALL have sinned!!!" :)

This is certainly a hot topic, but I thought that many people agreed that the verse in Romans is referring to sin nature.  I could be wrong though.

Even still.. does it really matter?  Its not clearly documented in scripture.  Traditions says she didnt sin, but suppose Christ comes back tomorrow and we are all judged.  Is he going to send anyone to hell because they believed Mary did or didnt sin?  I doubt it...

But again, does anyone have any early church sources that show they believed she was sinless??

These kinds of topics are best discussed inside the church, not outside. Like I said before, this isn't part of the gospel message that is proclaimed from the rooftops. The teachings about Mary are part of the inner life of the church, to be contemplated by the faithful.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 07, 2011, 09:55:46 PM
is there any reference in our services about Mary being sinless?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 07, 2011, 09:58:01 PM
Quote
I have struggled with the issue of Mary's sinlessness as a convert.  Besides this part of the Divine Liturgy, there is also the verse in Romans where it is stated that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

When I mentioned this "sinlessness of Mary" issue to protestant friends and family, this verse always comes up.  I respond with "does that verse include infants and mentally disabled people?" If they say "no" then say "but... but... it says ALL have sinned!!!" :)

This is certainly a hot topic, but I thought that many people agreed that the verse in Romans is referring to sin nature.  I could be wrong though.

Even still.. does it really matter?  Its not clearly documented in scripture.  Traditions says she didnt sin, but suppose Christ comes back tomorrow and we are all judged.  Is he going to send anyone to hell because they believed Mary did or didnt sin?  I doubt it...

But again, does anyone have any early church sources that show they believed she was sinless??

These kinds of topics are best discussed inside the church, not outside. Like I said before, this isn't part of the gospel message that is proclaimed from the rooftops. The teachings about Mary are part of the inner life of the church, to be contemplated by the faithful.

Agreed.  Thats why I typically dont bring it up anymore.  If it comes up now, I just say that its part of the tradition, but people typically have different opinions on it.  The reason I like Orthodoxy over the RC is because you arent required to believe a certain thing.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 07, 2011, 10:00:29 PM
An article that quotes from St. John Maximovitch:

http://aggreen.net/theotokos/orig_sin.html
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 02:07:55 AM
My (more often than not flawed)  understanding is that St Mary did not sin, that is different from  saying that St Mary was sinless. she did not actually lie, steal, lust, hate, etc. but she was not sinless in the notion that she is perfect, that is reserved for our Lord. St Mary being sinless means that she is not guilty of the original sin, which she was. if St Mary was immaculately conceived, wouldn't that mean that God could have used her for the salvation plan? but we all know that such a claim is ridiculous as only Christ is perfect and sinless and as such, only Christ can die for us.
please correct me if i am mistaken, a small mind tries to understand the heavenly.
God bless.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 02:31:22 AM
My (more often than not flawed)  understanding is that St Mary did not sin, that is different from  saying that St Mary was sinless. she did not actually lie, steal, lust, hate, etc. but she was not sinless in the notion that she is perfect, that is reserved for our Lord. St Mary being sinless means that she is not guilty of the original sin, which she was. if St Mary was immaculately conceived, wouldn't that mean that God could have used her for the salvation plan? but we all know that such a claim is ridiculous as only Christ is perfect and sinless and as such, only Christ can die for us.
please correct me if i am mistaken, a small mind tries to understand the heavenly.
God bless.

As far as I know, Eastern Orthodox do not believe we inherit the guilt of original sin (from Adam)?  ???
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 02:37:37 AM
i didn't mean it in that way. i am only using it to mean that she was still bounded by the original sin. thus she was not sinless, but at the same time she did not sin. all i am trying to do is show that distinction.
God bless
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 02:45:45 AM
i didn't mean it in that way. i am only using it to mean that she was still bounded by the original sin. thus she was not sinless, but at the same time she did not sin. all i am trying to do is show that distinction.
God bless

I think I understand what you are saying, namely, that Mary was in bondage to sin as was all mankind, until the Lord defeated death at His Resurrection.  Is this correct?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 02:50:14 AM

I think I understand what you are saying, namely, that Mary was in bondage to sin as was all mankind, until the Lord defeated death at His Resurrection.  Is this correct?

yup, better than i could ever phrase it. but my point is that she didn't sin, but she wasn't sinless
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 09:25:03 AM
is there any reference in our services about Mary being sinless?

Isn't she often called "immaculate"?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 11:28:29 AM
is there any reference in our services about Mary being sinless?

Isn't she often called "immaculate"?

Yes, but that would still fit in with the belief that she was purified at the time of the Annunciation.

"she was vouchsafed to be purified by the Holy Spirit Who came upon her, and to conceive of Him the very Saviour of the world"
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 11:36:13 AM
is there any reference in our services about Mary being sinless?

Isn't she often called "immaculate"?

Yes, but that would still fit in with the belief that she was purified at the time of the Annunciation.

"she was vouchsafed to be purified by the Holy Spirit Who came upon her, and to conceive of Him the very Saviour of the world"

If that's true, did she then not sin for the remainder of her life?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 11:42:42 AM
I can accept that.  Sin, in the simplest understanding, means missing the mark.  I don't believe that the Theotokos ever committed what we would consider a serious sin, even before her purification.

When the disciples dozed-off while the Lord was praying in the garden, was that a "sin".  I am not sure that every human shortcoming is necessarily a sin, but the result of sin, our deficient nature.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 11:44:41 AM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ionnis on October 08, 2011, 12:09:53 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 12:17:32 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.

With all respect, aren't you going overboard?  Why the rush to defend any perceived "lessening" of her status?  What status would that be, Co-Redeemer?  You know more than St. John Chrysostom, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs?  "Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable"?  That sounds awfully like Mariolatry to my ears.  Supremacy over what or whom?  The Theotokos is certainly judged by Christ, as is every human being, unless you don't consider her to be a woman.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 08, 2011, 12:20:44 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.

I personally would like to hear you elaborate whenever you get the chance, as this has always been a tough issue for me.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 12:33:24 PM
Ionnis has quoted on another thread the story that St. Silouan supposedly heard a voice from heaven once telling him that the Theotokos never had a sinful thought her entire life.  But St. Silouan also supposedly stated that:

"Thanks to monks, prayer continues unceasing on earth, and the whole world profits, for through prayer the world continues to exist; but when prayer fails, the world will perish."

Where in our Orthodox theology of 2000 years is it taught that the world will cease to exist if people stop praying?  I thought God decided the time and date when the Lord will return and the end of the world will occur.

I write "supposedly," since my understanding is that these stories about St. Silouan were the remembrances of others, and even if he did write them himself, the writings of a monk on Athos from the 19th or 20th century don't trump the entire deposit of writings from the past 2000 years.  We don't have a developing theology like the RCC.

What makes the teachings of St. Silouan more correct than the writings of St. John Chrysostom?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 08, 2011, 12:45:11 PM
Where in our Orthodox theology of 2000 years is it taught that the world will cease to exist if people stop praying?  I thought God decided the time and date when the Lord will return and the end of the world will occur.

I don't think this is a prophecy about the end of the world, but a statement of the world's dependence on the presence of the Church as the Body of Christ making Him present in this world and prayer as a means of our communing with Him.

I must admit I'm not familiar with his writings and I don't know the greater context of that quote. This just seems to me to be the most probable explanation. Forgive me if I am missing the context.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 12:47:27 PM
I can accept that.  Sin, in the simplest understanding, means missing the mark.  I don't believe that the Theotokos ever committed what we would consider a serious sin, even before her purification.

When the disciples dozed-off while the Lord was praying in the garden, was that a "sin".  I am not sure that every human shortcoming is necessarily a sin, but the result of sin, our deficient nature.

This, to me, also makes her unremarkable. In this light, she is just a random girl who God happened to pick.

To claim her to be sinless, in either RC or EO, requires her personal choice to resist sin in some way. I've heard it told that the whole reason the Jews were the 'chosen people' was because they were the people amongst the world who would eventually create a girl who would fully accept God. She was the top of the pyramid of humanity rising out of pagan hedonism and from which her FULL acceptance of God paved way for the Incarnation. If she was just an ordinary girl, perhaps a good girl, but still ordinary, then she is unremarkable except by happenstance.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 12:51:47 PM
I can accept that.  Sin, in the simplest understanding, means missing the mark.  I don't believe that the Theotokos ever committed what we would consider a serious sin, even before her purification.

When the disciples dozed-off while the Lord was praying in the garden, was that a "sin".  I am not sure that every human shortcoming is necessarily a sin, but the result of sin, our deficient nature.

This, to me, also makes her unremarkable. In this light, she is just a random girl who God happened to pick.

To claim her to be sinless, in either RC or EO, requires her personal choice to resist sin in some way. I've heard it told that the whole reason the Jews were the 'chosen people' was because they were the people amongst the world who would eventually create a girl who would fully accept God. She was the top of the pyramid of humanity rising out of pagan hedonism and from which her FULL acceptance of God paved way for the Incarnation. If she was just an ordinary girl, perhaps a good girl, but still ordinary, then she is unremarkable except by happenstance.

Of course the Theotokos was remarkable.  She had to be for God to choose her to be the mother of the Lord.

I am curious, where did you hear that the reason Abraham was chosen by God to be the originator of the Jewish people was because his descendants would produce the one woman capable of being the Mother of God?  I have never heard that before.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 12:56:18 PM
I can accept that.  Sin, in the simplest understanding, means missing the mark.  I don't believe that the Theotokos ever committed what we would consider a serious sin, even before her purification.

When the disciples dozed-off while the Lord was praying in the garden, was that a "sin".  I am not sure that every human shortcoming is necessarily a sin, but the result of sin, our deficient nature.

This, to me, also makes her unremarkable. In this light, she is just a random girl who God happened to pick.

To claim her to be sinless, in either RC or EO, requires her personal choice to resist sin in some way. I've heard it told that the whole reason the Jews were the 'chosen people' was because they were the people amongst the world who would eventually create a girl who would fully accept God. She was the top of the pyramid of humanity rising out of pagan hedonism and from which her FULL acceptance of God paved way for the Incarnation. If she was just an ordinary girl, perhaps a good girl, but still ordinary, then she is unremarkable except by happenstance.

Of course the Theotokos was remarkable.  She had to be for God to choose her to be the mother of the Lord.

I just don't find this remarkable, at all. To me this is happenstance, and in our own way we are all called to accept God.

I am curious, where did you hear that the reason Abraham was chosen by God to be the originator of the Jewish people was because his descendants would produce the one woman capable of being the Mother of God?  I have never heard that before.

Off the top of my head, I think the first time was from Fr. Hans Jacobse.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 01:02:53 PM
I can accept that.  Sin, in the simplest understanding, means missing the mark.  I don't believe that the Theotokos ever committed what we would consider a serious sin, even before her purification.

When the disciples dozed-off while the Lord was praying in the garden, was that a "sin".  I am not sure that every human shortcoming is necessarily a sin, but the result of sin, our deficient nature.

This, to me, also makes her unremarkable. In this light, she is just a random girl who God happened to pick.

To claim her to be sinless, in either RC or EO, requires her personal choice to resist sin in some way. I've heard it told that the whole reason the Jews were the 'chosen people' was because they were the people amongst the world who would eventually create a girl who would fully accept God. She was the top of the pyramid of humanity rising out of pagan hedonism and from which her FULL acceptance of God paved way for the Incarnation. If she was just an ordinary girl, perhaps a good girl, but still ordinary, then she is unremarkable except by happenstance.

Of course the Theotokos was remarkable.  She had to be for God to choose her to be the mother of the Lord.

I just don't find this remarkable, at all. To me this is happenstance, and in our own way we are all called to accept God.

I am curious, where did you hear that the reason Abraham was chosen by God to be the originator of the Jewish people was because his descendants would produce the one woman capable of being the Mother of God?  I have never heard that before.

Off the top of my head, I think the first time was from Fr. Hans Jacobse.



To me it is very remarkable that someone like Mary could be so righteous and godly that she would be chosen by God to be the bearer of His Son.  It's amazing actually, and shows how much holier she is than any other woman of the Old Testament.  On the other hand, if she was "created" for that purpose, than that would not be to her credit at all.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 01:52:14 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.

With all respect, aren't you going overboard?  Why the rush to defend any perceived "lessening" of her status?  What status would that be, Co-Redeemer?  You know more than St. John Chrysostom, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs?  "Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable"?  That sounds awfully like Mariolatry to my ears.  Supremacy over what or whom?  The Theotokos is certainly judged by Christ, as is every human being, unless you don't consider her to be a woman.

But we can say with the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper" (Panarion, Against the Collyridians)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 01:55:17 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.

With all respect, aren't you going overboard?  Why the rush to defend any perceived "lessening" of her status?  What status would that be, Co-Redeemer?  You know more than St. John Chrysostom, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs?  "Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable"?  That sounds awfully like Mariolatry to my ears.  Supremacy over what or whom?  The Theotokos is certainly judged by Christ, as is every human being, unless you don't consider her to be a woman.

But we can say with the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper" (Panarion, Against the Collyridians)

This is a wonderful quote.  I do ask forgiveness if I am guilty of the former.  I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when I think that I perceive the latter in others.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 02:30:22 PM
To me it would make no difference if God had chosen even the worst of sinners to bear his Son. Actually, it would be most remarkable I think. We know that God used "the worst of Sinners" (Paul) to carry out his mission to the Gentiles in order to bring more glory to Him. We see from the bloodline of Christ that many of those people were not known in the OT for their obedience for God, rather quite the contrary; yet God used them to pave the way for the Savior of our race.

So then, it makes no difference to me whatsoever of the "sin status" of Mary. It does not affect the gospel message in the slightest. God can work through the most righteous or the worst of sinners for His glory. I do know that She said "yes" to God at the annunciation and it was confirmed by Christ that she was blessed because she "heard the word of God and kept it". To me this is enough. I don't need to speculate as to why God chose her in the first place or whether or not she ever "sinned" in her life. She was human, she made mistakes, she was not perfect, therefore she did not have perfect knowledge. To me, speculation on such matters takes the emphasis away from the saving message of the gospel itself and places it elsewhere where it need not be. We know Christ is  entirely unique in his perfection and sinlessness.

We know from scripture that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that Christ is "the only sinless one". Shouldn't this be enough? Why should we feel the need to make allowances or exceptions to this? Does it bring God less glory if she sinned? I doubt this could be argued with any effectiveness, but I think it glorifies God just the same when he uses "the worst of sinners" to carry out his work.


Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 02:56:24 PM
To me it would make no difference if God had chosen even the worst of sinners to bear his Son. Actually, it would be most remarkable I think. We know that God used "the worst of Sinners" (Paul) to carry out his mission to the Gentiles in order to bring more glory to Him. We see from the bloodline of Christ that many of those people were not known in the OT for their obedience for God, rather quite the contrary; yet God used them to pave the way for the Savior of our race.

So then, it makes no difference to me whatsoever of the "sin status" of Mary. It does not affect the gospel message in the slightest. God can work through the most righteous or the worst of sinners for His glory. I do know that She said "yes" to God at the annunciation and it was confirmed by Christ that she was blessed because she "heard the word of God and kept it". To me this is enough. I don't need to speculate as to why God chose her in the first place or whether or not she ever "sinned" in her life. She was human, she made mistakes, she was not perfect, therefore she did not have perfect knowledge. To me, speculation on such matters takes the emphasis away from the saving message of the gospel itself and places it elsewhere where it need not be. We know Christ is  entirely unique in his perfection and sinlessness.

We know from scripture that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that Christ is "the only sinless one". Shouldn't this be enough? Why should we feel the need to make allowances or exceptions to this? Does it bring God less glory if she sinned? I doubt this could be argued with any effectiveness, but I think it glorifies God just the same when he uses "the worst of sinners" to carry out his work.




Ortho_cat,

I agree with you 100%. 

As an aside, I remember reading somewhere, I think it was a RC priest, who said, "we can never praise Mary enough".  Does the Theotokos even want such praise?  I can't imagine her relishing some of the titles and hymns that have been given and written about her.  I think the best way to please the Mother of God would be to obey her son and keep His commandments.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ionnis on October 08, 2011, 03:18:41 PM
Thank God this sort of Protestantizing influence doesn't exist in my parish. Simply shocking.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 03:19:25 PM
Repeating the quote from St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper".


I just had an interesting thought.  Perhaps we can think of the Protestant attitude towards Mary as not giving the Virgin her due recognition, while the RC's are the other extreme, attributing too much praise and elevating Mary to the status of a demigod.  The Orthodox position, as elaborated in St. John Maximovitch's book is the correct middle ground.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 03:22:37 PM
Unfortunately, there are those in the Church who do not feel it is possible to glorify the Mother of God beyond what is proper.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 04:18:39 PM
Thank God this sort of Protestantizing influence doesn't exist in my parish. Simply shocking.

What is shocking? That we have quoted scripture, the divine liturgy, and the writings of the saints to support our statements?  ??? I didn't know that Paul, St. John Chrysostom, and St. John Maximovitch were Protestants.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 08, 2011, 05:01:11 PM
To me it would make no difference if God had chosen even the worst of sinners to bear his Son. Actually, it would be most remarkable I think. We know that God used "the worst of Sinners" (Paul) to carry out his mission to the Gentiles in order to bring more glory to Him. We see from the bloodline of Christ that many of those people were not known in the OT for their obedience for God, rather quite the contrary; yet God used them to pave the way for the Savior of our race.

So then, it makes no difference to me whatsoever of the "sin status" of Mary. It does not affect the gospel message in the slightest. God can work through the most righteous or the worst of sinners for His glory. I do know that She said "yes" to God at the annunciation and it was confirmed by Christ that she was blessed because she "heard the word of God and kept it". To me this is enough. I don't need to speculate as to why God chose her in the first place or whether or not she ever "sinned" in her life. She was human, she made mistakes, she was not perfect, therefore she did not have perfect knowledge. To me, speculation on such matters takes the emphasis away from the saving message of the gospel itself and places it elsewhere where it need not be. We know Christ is  entirely unique in his perfection and sinlessness.

We know from scripture that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" and from the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that Christ is "the only sinless one". Shouldn't this be enough? Why should we feel the need to make allowances or exceptions to this? Does it bring God less glory if she sinned? I doubt this could be argued with any effectiveness, but I think it glorifies God just the same when he uses "the worst of sinners" to carry out his work.




well said.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 08, 2011, 06:17:08 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us... not to mention that we should clarify the ontological and moral view of the sin
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:18:51 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 06:21:33 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:23:46 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 06:26:06 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:28:01 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?

Were Adam and Eve in a state of full theosis?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 06:29:18 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?

Were Adam and Eve in a state of full theosis?

From what I have read from the Father's commentary, no.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:31:19 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?

Were Adam and Eve in a state of full theosis?

From what I have read from the Father's commentary, no.

I haven't ever heard contrary, either.

Yet, until their fall, they were in communion with God ("walked with Him") without concupiscence, and yet still had the free will to choose otherwise.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 06:41:56 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?

Were Adam and Eve in a state of full theosis?

From what I have read from the Father's commentary, no.

I haven't ever heard contrary, either.

Yet, until their fall, they were in communion with God ("walked with Him") without concupiscence, and yet still had the free will to choose otherwise.

Difficult to compare the two situations.  Adam and Eve were created fully grown as far as we know, while Mary was born an infant.  In what sense can a baby choose anything or commune with a person?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 06:45:21 PM
Further complications arise when we assert this teaching of sinlessness. What are we to make of this verse?

Quote
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures

Did this verse not apply to the Theotokos as well? Was he not including her when he says "our sins"? Did Christ not die for her sins also?

And what of the practice of the early church, confessing sins to each other:

Quote
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Did the Theotokos not partake in these communal prayers for forgiveness? Did she not need the prayers of others because she was already fully "healed"?

What of the sacrament of penance/confession? While all the other apostles were practicing this sacrament, are we to say that she did not?
[/quote]

What about this verse?

Quote
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Of course, I'm not asserting that she herself claimed herself to be without sin (such a prideful act I think would be the exact opposite behavior exhibited by the humble Theotokos). But what does that say about us, when we dare to claim that another human without sin? Doesn't this apply to us then?

I just see too many exceptions here, indeed as we accuse the RC's of treating Mary to be the great exception, I am seeing similar treatment directed towards her from our side as well.

I remember asking my priest about this teaching before I joined the catechumenate. He shrugged of my question and told me that if this is indeed so, then what are we to make of scripture which says that all have sinned? I had no reply.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:48:16 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!



does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

The Theotokos had Full Communion with God as an infant?  She experienced Theosis as a child?

Were Adam and Eve in a state of full theosis?

From what I have read from the Father's commentary, no.

I haven't ever heard contrary, either.

Yet, until their fall, they were in communion with God ("walked with Him") without concupiscence, and yet still had the free will to choose otherwise.

Difficult to compare the two situations.  Adam and Eve were created fully grown as far as we know, while Mary was born an infant.  In what sense can a baby choose anything or commune with a person?

Because since the fall we have all been born with 'separation from God' (original sin) and inherited it's concupiscence (darkening of the mind and desire to sin).
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 06:50:26 PM
Further complications arise when we assert this teaching of sinlessness. What are we to make of this verse?

Quote
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures

Did this verse not apply to the Theotokos as well? Was he not including her when he says "our sins"? Did Christ not die for her sins also?

And what of the practice of the early church, confessing sins to each other:

Quote
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Did the Theotokos not partake in these communal prayers for forgiveness? Did she not need the prayers of others because she was already fully "healed"?

What of the sacrament of penance/confession? While all the other apostles were practicing this sacrament, are we to say that she did not?


What about this verse?

Quote
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Of course, I'm not asserting that she herself claimed herself to be without sin (such a prideful act I think would be the exact opposite behavior exhibited by the humble Theotokos). But what does that say about us, when we dare to claim that another human without sin? Doesn't this apply to us then?

I just see too many exceptions here, indeed as we accuse the RC's of treating Mary to be the great exception, I am seeing similar treatment directed towards her from our side as well.

I remember asking my priest about this teaching before I joined the catechumenate. He shrugged of my question and told me that if this is indeed so, then what are we to make of scripture which says that all have sinned? I had no reply.

If she was born as an exception, would you prefer to have that written down?

"All of you confess your sins... unless you're the Theotokos. Are you here? Mary? Ah.. there you are. Don't worry about it. You're cool."
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 07:37:32 PM
Further complications arise when we assert this teaching of sinlessness. What are we to make of this verse?

Quote
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures

Did this verse not apply to the Theotokos as well? Was he not including her when he says "our sins"? Did Christ not die for her sins also?

And what of the practice of the early church, confessing sins to each other:

Quote
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Did the Theotokos not partake in these communal prayers for forgiveness? Did she not need the prayers of others because she was already fully "healed"?

What of the sacrament of penance/confession? While all the other apostles were practicing this sacrament, are we to say that she did not?


What about this verse?

Quote
If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Of course, I'm not asserting that she herself claimed herself to be without sin (such a prideful act I think would be the exact opposite behavior exhibited by the humble Theotokos). But what does that say about us, when we dare to claim that another human without sin? Doesn't this apply to us then?

I just see too many exceptions here, indeed as we accuse the RC's of treating Mary to be the great exception, I am seeing similar treatment directed towards her from our side as well.

I remember asking my priest about this teaching before I joined the catechumenate. He shrugged of my question and told me that if this is indeed so, then what are we to make of scripture which says that all have sinned? I had no reply.

If she was born as an exception, would you prefer to have that written down?

"All of you confess your sins... unless you're the Theotokos. Are you here? Mary? Ah.. there you are. Don't worry about it. You're cool."

It does sound silly, I agree. And i'm sure she engaged in this practice with all the rest of the apostles.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 07:40:30 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

I was under the impression that full and total union with God was not possible in this life, only in the eschaton to come, after the raising and the final judgment?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 07:44:49 PM
BTW, I have no problem believing that the Theotokos is in full and total union with God at this very moment, due to the raising and glorification of her earthly body.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 07:46:38 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless!

does this change anything about us

Is that relevant?

I suppose I wonder what the relevance to the teaching is for us. If mary was sinless, what does that mean in the grand scheme of our salvation? I guess to me it seems somewhat like a stand-alone teaching (similar to the immaculate conception), where as all the other doctrines of the church ultimately point back to Christ and his saving work.

A woman who is capable of maintaining full communion with God for her whole life adds nothing to Christianity? I find that hard to believe, especially with the great love for many saints who struggled their whole lives to do the same.

I was under the impression that full and total union with God was not possible in this life, only in the eschaton to come, after the raising and the final judgment?

My understanding as well.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 08:28:15 PM
from the annunciation onwards, she was full of grace because she carried God the Word incarnate in her womb for 9 months... and to be chosen from amongst all the women that existed and those that will ever exist, shows that before she bore Christ she was exemplary, outstanding and extraordinary in her obedience and faith. then she accepted the Lord Christ, knowing that she will be ridiculed, etc. now i don't understand, how can anyone dispute that after she carried Christ, she remained pure, innocent and without sin. anyways, if she was just as blemished as all humans, why didn't God allow her to be buried just like everyone else? its because her body was sanctified and purified and received grace from carrying god within her. however she still needed to be saved as she was still under the curse of the original sin
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 08:38:16 PM
from the annunciation onwards, she was full of grace because she carried God the Word incarnate in her womb for 9 months... and to be chosen from amongst all the women that existed and those that will ever exist, shows that before she bore Christ she was exemplary, outstanding and extraordinary in her obedience and faith. then she accepted the Lord Christ, knowing that she will be ridiculed, etc. now i don't understand, how can anyone dispute that after she carried Christ, she remained pure, innocent and without sin. anyways, if she was just as blemished as all humans, why didn't God allow her to be buried just like everyone else? its because her body was sanctified and purified and received grace from carrying god within her. however she still needed to be saved as she was still under the curse of the original sin


That is what I have been saying in all my postings, that Mary was purified at the Annunciation.  I agree with you and Ortho_cat.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 08:59:25 PM
I agree that she was "purified" in a certain sense at the annunciation, but I don't think she achieved full theosis until after glorification.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 09:11:30 PM
I agree that she was "purified" in a certain sense at the annunciation, but I don't think she achieved full theosis until after glorification.

Ditto.  The body needs to be glorified as well, which can only occur after death and the resurrection, except in the case of the Theotokos whose body was taken up to Heaven after her Dormition.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 09:13:55 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 08, 2011, 09:24:03 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 09:29:57 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.

even after the resurrection and glorification? How about "full communion"?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 09:30:14 PM
I think (correct me if I am wrong) that he is referring to death (at least in part).  Even the holiest of our saints are still under bondage to sin in the sense that they suffer its effect, i.e. illness and death.  I have read that man is not just soul or body, but needs both to be complete.  Full glorification occurs after the resurrection and glorification of the body and its reunion with the soul.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 09:31:59 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 09:33:51 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

That is what I thought you meant, namely, that Christ's death and resurrection broke the power of death over mankind.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 08, 2011, 09:35:14 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 09:38:50 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.

Really? God's hands are tied?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 09:41:32 PM
God's hands are not tied, but christ had to die and rise from the dead, because if God let us not die (spiritual or otherwise) he would contradict his infinite justice, for the result of sin is death. if god let us die, he would contradict his infinite love. "so he was incarnated and became man and.... died for us in the flesh" as the creed says.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 08, 2011, 09:44:19 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?

This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 09:45:23 PM
God's hands are not tied, but christ had to die and rise from the dead, because if God let us not die (spiritual or otherwise) he would contradict his infinite justice, for the result of sin is death. if god let us die, he would contradict his infinite love. "so he was incarnated and became man and.... died for us in the flesh" as the creed says.

So Mary HAD to sin.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 09:46:10 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?

This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.

Am I disputing the cross?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 09:48:31 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.

Really? God's hands are tied?

That only way for us to be reconciled to Him is to die and resurrect with Him.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 09:51:53 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.

Really? God's hands are tied?

That only way for us to be reconciled to Him is to die and resurrect with Him.

I won't say that it isn't how He saved humanity. BUT, I'm not necessarily saying that it is the ONLY way.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 09:57:26 PM
I found an interesting article by Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos here:

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/fasts_feasts/hierotheos_vlachos_annunciation.htm

"When we apply these things to the case of the Virgin Mary we can understand her relationship with the original sin and her being freed from it. The Virgin Mary was born with the original sin; she had all the consequences of corruption and death in her body. With her entrance into the holy of holies, she reached theosis. This theosis though was not enough to deliver her from its consequences, which are corruption and death, precisely because the divine nature had not yet united with the human nature in the hypostasis of the Word. Thus, at the moment when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the divine nature was united with human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Virgin Mary first tasted her freedom from the so-called original sin and its consequences."

It is interesting that I am citing St. John Maximovitch and Met. Hierotheos on this thread since both of them are frequently cited by the toll-house advocates and I am not a toller.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 09:59:42 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:05:52 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

It is a long and complex article, but I think the Met. is referring to the Annunciation, when "...the moment when, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the divine nature was united with human nature in the womb".  He does say that was when she was freed from the original sin, though I am not sure that I understand how she was freed from death.  It is a very involved article and parts are difficult for me to understand.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 08, 2011, 10:06:31 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.

There isn't. A person eternally undergoes theosis and eternally grows in communion with God. It can be said the Theotokos is the most deified person, but it would be wrong to say she is completely deified. Then she would be God. (It's like a logarithm, eternally approaching the axis but never crossing it.)

God is infinite, man is finite. Thus "full theosis" is impossible for any creature.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 08, 2011, 10:08:25 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.

There isn't. A person eternally undergoes theosis and eternally grows in communion with God. It can be said the Theotokos is the most deified person, but it would be wrong to say she is completely deified. Then she would be God. (It's like a logarithm, eternally approaching the axis but never crossing it.)

God is infinite, man is finite. Thus "full theosis" is impossible for any creature.

i'm fine with this i suppose.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 10:09:34 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

Dom dom dommmmm
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:10:03 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 10:10:53 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.

Really? What happened to the only way this could happen is after the resurrection?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:14:02 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.

You have a point.  Some on other threads have written about time not being linear to God.  Perhaps the Theotokos' purification in some sense anticipated the resurrection?  I do not know.

Really? What happened to the only way this could happen is after the resurrection?

You have a point.  Some on other threads have written about time not being linear to God.  Perhaps the Theotokos' purification in some sense anticipated the resurrection?  I do not know.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 10:15:48 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.
but the thing about the salvation through the death on the cross is that everyone needs it.
his Eminence's comments are surprising when St Mary herself said "my son and my saviour", thus through his death she was also able to be rid of the original sin. i disagree that from the annunciation onwards she was free from the original sin
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:17:04 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.
but the thing about the salvation through the death on the cross is that everyone needs it.
his Eminence's comments are surprising when St Mary herself said "my son and my saviour", thus through his death she was also able to be rid of the original sin. i disagree that from the annunciation onwards she was free from the original sin

It is confusing, since she still was subject to death.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 10:19:17 PM
i am afraid i might be misunderstanding, but the Metropolitan is saying that St Mary was freed from the original sin when she bore christ, not when he died and saved us is that a correct understanding?
iam not sure this complies with the salvation plan.....

The Met. does state that in being overcome by the Holy Spirit and bearing Christ, she did not need Baptism or Chrismation, since she already had received the Spirit.  That makes sense to me.
but the thing about the salvation through the death on the cross is that everyone needs it.
his Eminence's comments are surprising when St Mary herself said "my son and my saviour", thus through his death she was also able to be rid of the original sin. i disagree that from the annunciation onwards she was free from the original sin

It is confusing, since she still was subject to death.

So are we, even after baptism.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:24:26 PM
The Met. seems to imply that Mary was free from death, but I doubt he meant us to take it like that.  As St. John Maximovitch says, "The Apostles gave her most pure body over to burial with sacred hymns..." so the Theotokos did die.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:27:44 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....

This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.

Really? God's hands are tied?

That only way for us to be reconciled to Him is to die and resurrect with Him.

The Theotokos did die and was resurrected to Christ.  Well put Ortho_cat.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 10:30:49 PM
she wasn't ressurected, her body was lifted up to heaven
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Hiwot on October 08, 2011, 10:31:38 PM
Even when St. John Chrysostom criticized her for asking the Lord to make the wine at the wedding feast, that action is not necessarily a sin.  No one is perfect except for God.

Our Lady was certainly sinless! And St John has never been in a position nor ever will be in a position to criticize the Mother of God. She is judged by no one. Her supremacy and perfection is inconceivable. I would elaborate but I'm out with a friend. Just can't stand when people attempt to lessen her status.

allow me to be utterly emotional here my brother and I will say I just could hug you right now!!! God bless you!

let me add something from a previous thread on this matter,

As to her request in Canna, her request is not one of an attempt to be known and be honored but in fulfillment to the commandment of Love. It was her love and compassion that made her come to him and left the manner of how He does the miracle up to His infinite wisdom. She tells the servants to do what He commands them to do. Again the Lord who filled her with grace and favors her Highly, her beloved Son who gave the commandment on Sinai to honor one’s father and mother did not speak out of reprimand to her. As the fathers teach she is the only one from all creatures that was able to be free from defiling thoughts for even the angels have not been able to be pure from that sin, for from among them many have fallen wounded by it. But she is ever pure in thoughts, in words and in deeds. Her virginity is of body and soul. Therefore he calls her woman the second Eve, who is truly the mother of the Living. Yet the world suffers from lack of the true wine and the time will come for that but her compassion on the pain of her neighbors gets the compassion of her loving Son so not only in agreement but in obedience to her He goes about doing His miracle in the open. Notice he chose to reveal Himself to the apostles and those servants, there is a reason for this. His Mother on the other hand know who He was at all times. She did not doubt before, she did not doubt after he was born, nor does she need any miracles from Him when she already knows of His miraculous Incarnation which surpasses any other wondrous miracles at that time. In fact St. Luke tells us clearly that unlike Eve who shared the secret of God’s word to mankind with the deceiver, the Virgin kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Furthermore her Son also testifies to the greatness of her faith and the beauty of her obedience, he said ‘blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’ Luke 11:28. Now he did not say those who forget it, those who doubt it, those who need affirmation through miracles, those who think they can use it for personal gain, none of that applies to His Mother. His Mother is blessed because she heard the word of God and kept it! She is the obedient one who truly gave to God the Glory in all things, who obeyed even while seeing her only Child crucified! Demons tremble and flee from her face for she is the Throne of Eternal Power and Glory who shames their empty pride with her amazing humility. And as our Mother she concerns herself with all that troubles us, be it trivial or serious. Look how humble she is!

the Theotokos of all people can not be accused of atempting to 'cash in' by using her son as a source of human fame and pride, as a display of power.let us think what we are saying here,  she has spent most of her life trying to hide him from those that hunted him, untill it was time for his official ministery which she knew will end in his death, yeah in the death of the pascal Lamb. Pride?! God forbid!
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 08, 2011, 10:32:01 PM
she wasn't ressurected, her body was lifted up to heaven

She was resurrected, she didn't ascend though, she was assumed.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 08, 2011, 10:34:47 PM
i stand corrected :)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 08, 2011, 10:53:53 PM
Some of us see Mary as the most righteous woman that ever lived, who surrendered to God's will, and was cleansed by God to become the Christ-bearer. (at least that is my view)

Others believe that from the moment of her conception/birth, she was perfect in every way, untainted by sin in any sense.

Aside from the argument as to whether she ever sinned in any way, shape or form, St. John Maximovitch argues that she struggled with sin and overcame it (with God's grace), otherwise, as he says:

"the teaching that she was preserved by God's grace from personal sins,  makes God unmerciful and unjust," and that "...if Mary, even in the womb of her mother, when she could not even desire anything either good or evil, was preserved by God's grace from every impurity, and then by that grace was preserved from sin even after her birth, then in what does her merit consist?...if she, without any effort, and without having any kind of impulses to sin, remained pure, then why is she crowned more than anyone else? There is no victory without an adversary"

That is why I can praise the Theotokos as all pure, without believing that she was always that way from birth.  Her Holiness was a process, not something she was born with.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 09, 2011, 03:15:02 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 09, 2011, 03:25:37 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.

I do not limit God.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 09, 2011, 03:50:37 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.

I do not limit God.

Besides, I only advocate something akin to baptism. Something that was possible before the resurrection, as well.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 09, 2011, 04:21:56 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.

I do not limit God.

Besides, I only advocate something akin to baptism. Something that was possible before the resurrection, as well.

We believe that the righteous of old went to Abraham's Bosom (in sheol) after death, awaiting the Messiah to come rescue them and bring them to Paradise.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 09, 2011, 07:03:10 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.

I do not limit God.

Besides, I only advocate something akin to baptism. Something that was possible before the resurrection, as well.

We believe that the righteous of old went to Abraham's Bosom (in sheol) after death, awaiting the Messiah to come rescue them and bring them to Paradise.

Huh?

If I'm talking about God's influence or Mary's saving from Original Sin, this is only as much as what is given at Baptism. In fact, I advocate the identical involvement.

None of this is about her salvation, so I don't even know how it's being debated. It's about her ability to resist sin.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 09, 2011, 08:42:25 PM
sorry i blindly copied theosis, to show that she was still under the original sin until christ died....
This along with His resurrection is the only thing that can free us from original sin.
Really? God's hands are tied?
This is how He accomplished it. Not a theory of "can", historical fact of "did".

If there was a more perfect way than bleeding to death on a cross after being brutally tortured, that's how it would have happened.
Am I disputing the cross?

Not that it happened, just the necessity of it.

I do not limit God.

Besides, I only advocate something akin to baptism. Something that was possible before the resurrection, as well.

We believe that the righteous of old went to Abraham's Bosom (in sheol) after death, awaiting the Messiah to come rescue them and bring them to Paradise.

Huh?

If I'm talking about God's influence or Mary's saving from Original Sin, this is only as much as what is given at Baptism. In fact, I advocate the identical involvement.

None of this is about her salvation, so I don't even know how it's being debated. It's about her ability to resist sin.

you lost me back there i guess...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: biro on October 09, 2011, 09:18:59 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.

There isn't. A person eternally undergoes theosis and eternally grows in communion with God. It can be said the Theotokos is the most deified person, but it would be wrong to say she is completely deified. Then she would be God. (It's like a logarithm, eternally approaching the axis but never crossing it.)

God is infinite, man is finite. Thus "full theosis" is impossible for any creature.

Then why do we try it?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 09, 2011, 10:03:53 PM
+1
full theosis could not have occurred following the annunciation as she was still not saved from the original sin

I didn't know there was such a thing.

There isn't. A person eternally undergoes theosis and eternally grows in communion with God. It can be said the Theotokos is the most deified person, but it would be wrong to say she is completely deified. Then she would be God. (It's like a logarithm, eternally approaching the axis but never crossing it.)

God is infinite, man is finite. Thus "full theosis" is impossible for any creature.

Then why do we try it?

to get as close as we can?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 10, 2011, 04:33:07 AM
There isn't. A person eternally undergoes theosis and eternally grows in communion with God. It can be said the Theotokos is the most deified person, but it would be wrong to say she is completely deified. Then she would be God. (It's like a logarithm, eternally approaching the axis but never crossing it.)

God is infinite, man is finite. Thus "full theosis" is impossible for any creature.
Then why do we try it?

Because we love God. God being infinite isn't a "limit" for us, but means that there is no limit for how close we can draw near to Him.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 10, 2011, 04:44:20 AM
theosis means deification. we will  never be deities. thats why i disagree with the word itself. we try to be as close to the way god created us as possible. this means that we become of his image. we don't become gods, we become images of god.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Asteriktos on October 10, 2011, 04:58:50 AM
theosis means deification. we will  never be deities.

This would only be correct if you said that we would never be co-equal with God. However, traditional Christianity certainly teaches that people become deities (though the preferred terms are gods, divine, etc.)

Quote
we try to be as close to the way god created us as possible.

Traditional Christianity teaches that, as we were originally created in Adam and Eve, we were but immature children, who still needed to spiritually grow. The object of the Christian life is not to return to the state we had in the Garden of Eden, but to go so far past that state that we can't even see it in our rearview mirror.

Quote
this means that we become of his image. we don't become gods, we become images of god.

Sts. Ireneaus, Athanasius, Gregory, etc. disagree, and say that we do become Gods. Also, the early Fathers say we are already in the image of God, and that while that image needs to be cleaned, the thing we actually lost and have to recover is likeness to God (And this likeness can increase for eternity ... hence theosis, deification).
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 10, 2011, 05:08:44 AM
partaking of the divine nature =/= becoming divine
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 10, 2011, 05:13:02 AM
Quote
"Naturally, the crucial Christian assertion, that God is One, sets an absolute limit on the meaning of theosis: it is not possible for any created being to become (ontologically) God, or even part of God (the henosis of Greek Neoplatonic philosophy)."

In other words, we don't partake in the nature of the Holy Spirit, we partake of the energies of the Holy Spirit. That's another expression of it.
that is exactly what i believe in. we can never become deities. we can never become part of God (in essence) as we are created. being created is the opposite of the infiniteness that is attributed to the holy trinity. However we can partake of the blessing and cleansing that is the divine nature.hope i don't come off as a heretic :)
God bless
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 10, 2011, 01:50:22 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!






To me it is very remarkable that someone like Mary could be so righteous and godly that she would be chosen by God to be the bearer of His Son.  It's amazing actually, and shows how much holier she is than any other woman of the Old Testament.  On the other hand, if she was "created" for that purpose, than that would not be to her credit at all.

Well its not that simple, it is both.  God chose Mary's family from the beginning of time, indeed from Adam, to be predestined to become the body of Our Savior as the egg within that blessed woman's womb.  That was sacred DNA, a perfect lineage.  All the imperfections we read of in the Old Testament are precisely there to explain the sheer miracle of God that a young woman named Mary, living in a Hebrew society in a colonial Roman civilization, could have been the product of so much history and dram to culminate with Her.  Could God have skipped Mary as He did in David's generation with his brothers, yes.  This is where both God's chose and Mary's merits combine in synergy.  It is not Mary's earthly life as a blessed child and young woman of virtue that God chose Her, God knows the hearts and souls, it is because of Her inner spiritual nature and character that God chose Her to become the Ark.  So it is both.  Mary was predistened by geneology, by the mechanisms of the Holy Spirit merging with a historical family and lineage and yet it is because of some inherent beauty to Her true character that God found Her indeed worthy of this Honor to become Full of Grace.  She is not the inherent source of Grace, but by the Her virtue and combined sacred lineage God makes to become such in the literal sense of a font, which is a channel to dispense, not the origin or creator.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 10, 2011, 03:31:13 PM
I think this topic would have been much clearer to me if u hadnt explained this much  ;D
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 10, 2011, 03:56:54 PM
My new opinion on this topic is that i don't have an opinion. I don't speculate; God knows our sins.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 10, 2011, 07:51:24 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I was meditating further about the concept of God questioning over the weekend.

Again, surely God knows all things, and therefore only asks questions in the Socratic way, to get us to ask ourselves the question.  So when God asks Adam, "Where are you" that is not a question for God, it is one for Adam to ask himself.  God surely knew where Adam was physically, but did Adam know where he had fallen to spiritually?

When Jesus stops and asks, "Who touched me?" surely He knew exactly who had touched Him.  However, we see that in asking the question, the woman came out directly to Him to repent and confess, if He hadn't asked, would she still have come to this same sincere repentance?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 10, 2011, 07:52:36 PM
I dont see the relevance to the topic, sorry...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 10, 2011, 08:04:51 PM
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
I dont see the relevance to the topic, sorry...

We were talking about God asking questions a few pages back on this thread..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 10, 2011, 08:27:14 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!






To me it is very remarkable that someone like Mary could be so righteous and godly that she would be chosen by God to be the bearer of His Son.  It's amazing actually, and shows how much holier she is than any other woman of the Old Testament.  On the other hand, if she was "created" for that purpose, than that would not be to her credit at all.

Well its not that simple, it is both.  God chose Mary's family from the beginning of time, indeed from Adam, to be predestined to become the body of Our Savior as the egg within that blessed woman's womb.  That was sacred DNA, a perfect lineage.  All the imperfections we read of in the Old Testament are precisely there to explain the sheer miracle of God that a young woman named Mary, living in a Hebrew society in a colonial Roman civilization, could have been the product of so much history and dram to culminate with Her.  Could God have skipped Mary as He did in David's generation with his brothers, yes.  This is where both God's chose and Mary's merits combine in synergy.  It is not Mary's earthly life as a blessed child and young woman of virtue that God chose Her, God knows the hearts and souls, it is because of Her inner spiritual nature and character that God chose Her to become the Ark.  So it is both.  Mary was predistened by geneology, by the mechanisms of the Holy Spirit merging with a historical family and lineage and yet it is because of some inherent beauty to Her true character that God found Her indeed worthy of this Honor to become Full of Grace.  She is not the inherent source of Grace, but by the Her virtue and combined sacred lineage God makes to become such in the literal sense of a font, which is a channel to dispense, not the origin or creator.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from now in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 10, 2011, 08:42:24 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from know in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.

You propose a very correct argument which I can only respond to say that it is an article of Ethiopian Orthodox faith to believe that Mary was chosen as part of a sacred genealogy.  Again as I explained before, it was both.  God chose Mary from Adam who is Her direct ancestor, however true, Mary also had to accept God's choice, which we see that She did.  This is synergy.  God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her.  She accepted God's choice, it became mutual.  God could have respected Her rejection and moved on down the line, but God had chosen Her in Her being part of that particular line in the first place, and each generation before Her made their synergetic contribution towards this purpose.  Further, we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation.  After all, this is the very premise of sexual reproduction in the first place, that it must in some way or another be mutual, as it takes two to tango as they say. Mary accepted the Will of God, but it was indeed the Will of God, and not simply Her own that brought about God in the Flesh.

Of course, this is also part of the Ethiopian epic/epochal national narrative, the Kebra Negast ("Glory/Honor/Reverence of the Kings/Monarchy")

Quote
"And again, there shall be unto thee a sign that the Saviour shall come from thy seed, and that He shall deliver thee with thy fathers and thy seed after thee by His coming. Your salvation was created in the belly of ADAM in the form of a Pearl before EVE. And when He created EVE out of the rib He brought her to ADAM, and said unto them, 'Multiply you from the belly of ADAM.' The Pearl did not go out into CAIN or ABEL, but into the third that went forth from the belly of ADAM, and it entered into the belly of SETH. And then passing from him that Pearl went into those who p. 111 were the firstborn, and came to ABRAHAM. And it did not go from ABRAHAM into his firstborn ISHMAEL, but it tarried and came into ISAAC the pure. And it did not go into his firstborn, the arrogant ESAU, but it went into JACOB the lowly one. And it did not enter from him into his firstborn, the erring REUBEN, but into JUDAH, the innocent one. And it did not go forth from JUDAH until four sinners had been born, but it came to FÂRÊS (PEREZ), the patient one, And from him this Pearl went to the firstborn until it came into the belly of JESSE, the father of thy father. And then it waited until six men of wrath had been born, and after that it came to the seventh, DAVID,1 thy innocent and humble father; for God hateth the arrogant and proud, and loveth the innocent and humble. And then it waited in the loins of thy father until five erring fools had been born, when it came into thy loins because of thy wisdom and understanding. And then the Pearl waited, and it did not go forth into thy firstborn. For those good men of his country neither denied Him nor crucified Him, like ISRAEL thy people; when they saw Him Who wrought miracles, Who was to be born from the Pearl, they believed on Him when they heard the report of Him. And the Pearl did not go forth into thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. For those good men neither crucified Him nor denied Him when they saw the working of miracles, and wonders by Him that was to be born from the Pearl, and afterwards they believed in Him through His disciples.

   "Now the Pearl, which is to be your salvation, went forth from thy belly and entered into the belly of ‛ÎYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, because of the wickedness of ISRAEL thy people, who in their denial and in their wickedness crucified Him. But if He had not been crucified He could not have been your salvation. For p. 112 He was crucified without sin, and He rose [again] without corruption. And for the sake of this He went down to you into SHEÔL, and tore down its walls, that He might deliver you and bring you out, and show mercy upon all of you. Ye in whose bellies the Pearl shall be carried shall be saved with your wives, and none of you shall be destroyed, from your father ADAM unto him that shall come, thy kinsman ‘ÊYÂḲÊM (JOACHIM), and from EVE thy mother, the wife of ADAM, to NOAH and his wife TARMÎZÂ, to TÂRÂ (TERAH) and his wife ’AMÎNYÂ, and to ABRAHAM and his wife SÂRÂ (SARAH), and to ISAAC and his wife RĔBḲÂ (REBECCA), and to JACOB and his wife LĔYÂ (LEAH), and to YAHÛDÂ and his bride TĔ‛EMÂR (TAMAR), and to thy father and his wife BÊRSÂBÊḤ (BATHSHEBA), and to thyself and TARBÂNÂ thy wife, and to REHOBOAM thy son and his wife ’AMÎSÂ, and to ÎYÔ‛AḲÊM (JOACHIM) thy kinsman, who is to come, and his wife ḤANNÂ.

   "None of you who shall have carried the Pearl shall be destroyed, and whether it be your men or your women, those who shall have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed. For the Pearl shall be carried by the men who shall be righteous, and the women who have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed, for they shall become pure through that Pearl, for it is holy and pure, and by it they shall be made holy and pure; and for its sake and for the sake of ZION He hath created the whole world. ZION hath taken up her abode with thy firstborn and she shall be the salvation of the people of ETHIOPIA for ever; and the Pearl shall be carried in the belly of ’AYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, and shall be the saviour of all the world. And when the appointed time hath come this Pearl shall be born of thy seed, for it is exceedingly pure, seven times purer than the sun. And the Redeemer shall come from the seat of His Godhead, and shall dwell upon her, and shall put on her flesh, and straightway thou p. 113 thyself shalt announce to her what my Lord and thy Lord speaketh to me.

  "I am GABRIEL the Angel, the protector of those who shall carry the Pearl from the body of ADAM even to the belly of ḤANNÂ, so that I may keep from servitude and pollution you wherein the Pearl shall dwell. And MICHAEL hath been commanded to direct and keep ZION wheresoever she goeth, and URIEL shall direct and keep the wood of the thicket1 which shall be the Cross of the Saviour. And when thy people in their envy have crucified Him, they shall rush upon His Cross because of the multitude of miracles that shall take place through it, and they shall be put to shame when they see its wonders. And in the last times a descendant of thy son ’ADRÂMÎS shall take the wood of the Cross, the third [means of] salvation that shall be sent upon the earth. The Angel MICHAEL is with ZION, with DAVID thy firstborn, who hath taken the throne of DAVID thy father. And I am with the pure Pearl for him that shall reign for ever, with REHOBOAM thy second son; and the Angel URIEL is with thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. This have I told thee, and thou shalt not make thy heart to be sad because of thine own salvation and that of thy son."


 
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/kn068.htm

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 10, 2011, 08:58:02 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from know in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.

You propose a very correct argument which I can only respond to say that it is an article of Ethiopian Orthodox faith to believe that Mary was chosen as part of a sacred genealogy.  Again as I explained before, it was both.  God chose Mary from Adam who is Her direct ancestor, however true, Mary also had to accept God's choice, which we see that She did.  This is synergy.  God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her.  She accepted God's choice, it became mutual.  God could have respected Her rejection and moved on down the line, but God had chosen Her in Her being part of that particular line in the first place, and each generation before Her made their synergetic contribution towards this purpose.  Further, we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation.  After all, this is the very premise of sexual reproduction in the first place, that it must in some way or another be mutual, as it takes two to tango as they say. Mary accepted the Will of God, but it was indeed the Will of God, and not simply Her own that brought about God in the Flesh.


Of course, this is also part of the Ethiopian epic/epochal national narrative, the Kebra Negast ("Glory/Honor/Reverence of the Kings/Monarchy")

Quote
"And again, there shall be unto thee a sign that the Saviour shall come from thy seed, and that He shall deliver thee with thy fathers and thy seed after thee by His coming. Your salvation was created in the belly of ADAM in the form of a Pearl before EVE. And when He created EVE out of the rib He brought her to ADAM, and said unto them, 'Multiply you from the belly of ADAM.' The Pearl did not go out into CAIN or ABEL, but into the third that went forth from the belly of ADAM, and it entered into the belly of SETH. And then passing from him that Pearl went into those who p. 111 were the firstborn, and came to ABRAHAM. And it did not go from ABRAHAM into his firstborn ISHMAEL, but it tarried and came into ISAAC the pure. And it did not go into his firstborn, the arrogant ESAU, but it went into JACOB the lowly one. And it did not enter from him into his firstborn, the erring REUBEN, but into JUDAH, the innocent one. And it did not go forth from JUDAH until four sinners had been born, but it came to FÂRÊS (PEREZ), the patient one, And from him this Pearl went to the firstborn until it came into the belly of JESSE, the father of thy father. And then it waited until six men of wrath had been born, and after that it came to the seventh, DAVID,1 thy innocent and humble father; for God hateth the arrogant and proud, and loveth the innocent and humble. And then it waited in the loins of thy father until five erring fools had been born, when it came into thy loins because of thy wisdom and understanding. And then the Pearl waited, and it did not go forth into thy firstborn. For those good men of his country neither denied Him nor crucified Him, like ISRAEL thy people; when they saw Him Who wrought miracles, Who was to be born from the Pearl, they believed on Him when they heard the report of Him. And the Pearl did not go forth into thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. For those good men neither crucified Him nor denied Him when they saw the working of miracles, and wonders by Him that was to be born from the Pearl, and afterwards they believed in Him through His disciples.

   "Now the Pearl, which is to be your salvation, went forth from thy belly and entered into the belly of ‛ÎYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, because of the wickedness of ISRAEL thy people, who in their denial and in their wickedness crucified Him. But if He had not been crucified He could not have been your salvation. For p. 112 He was crucified without sin, and He rose [again] without corruption. And for the sake of this He went down to you into SHEÔL, and tore down its walls, that He might deliver you and bring you out, and show mercy upon all of you. Ye in whose bellies the Pearl shall be carried shall be saved with your wives, and none of you shall be destroyed, from your father ADAM unto him that shall come, thy kinsman ‘ÊYÂḲÊM (JOACHIM), and from EVE thy mother, the wife of ADAM, to NOAH and his wife TARMÎZÂ, to TÂRÂ (TERAH) and his wife ’AMÎNYÂ, and to ABRAHAM and his wife SÂRÂ (SARAH), and to ISAAC and his wife RĔBḲÂ (REBECCA), and to JACOB and his wife LĔYÂ (LEAH), and to YAHÛDÂ and his bride TĔ‛EMÂR (TAMAR), and to thy father and his wife BÊRSÂBÊḤ (BATHSHEBA), and to thyself and TARBÂNÂ thy wife, and to REHOBOAM thy son and his wife ’AMÎSÂ, and to ÎYÔ‛AḲÊM (JOACHIM) thy kinsman, who is to come, and his wife ḤANNÂ.

   "None of you who shall have carried the Pearl shall be destroyed, and whether it be your men or your women, those who shall have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed. For the Pearl shall be carried by the men who shall be righteous, and the women who have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed, for they shall become pure through that Pearl, for it is holy and pure, and by it they shall be made holy and pure; and for its sake and for the sake of ZION He hath created the whole world. ZION hath taken up her abode with thy firstborn and she shall be the salvation of the people of ETHIOPIA for ever; and the Pearl shall be carried in the belly of ’AYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, and shall be the saviour of all the world. And when the appointed time hath come this Pearl shall be born of thy seed, for it is exceedingly pure, seven times purer than the sun. And the Redeemer shall come from the seat of His Godhead, and shall dwell upon her, and shall put on her flesh, and straightway thou p. 113 thyself shalt announce to her what my Lord and thy Lord speaketh to me.

  "I am GABRIEL the Angel, the protector of those who shall carry the Pearl from the body of ADAM even to the belly of ḤANNÂ, so that I may keep from servitude and pollution you wherein the Pearl shall dwell. And MICHAEL hath been commanded to direct and keep ZION wheresoever she goeth, and URIEL shall direct and keep the wood of the thicket1 which shall be the Cross of the Saviour. And when thy people in their envy have crucified Him, they shall rush upon His Cross because of the multitude of miracles that shall take place through it, and they shall be put to shame when they see its wonders. And in the last times a descendant of thy son ’ADRÂMÎS shall take the wood of the Cross, the third [means of] salvation that shall be sent upon the earth. The Angel MICHAEL is with ZION, with DAVID thy firstborn, who hath taken the throne of DAVID thy father. And I am with the pure Pearl for him that shall reign for ever, with REHOBOAM thy second son; and the Angel URIEL is with thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. This have I told thee, and thou shalt not make thy heart to be sad because of thine own salvation and that of thy son."


 
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/kn068.htm

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I like where you say:

"God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her,"

but where you say:

"we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation"

I would have the question, does God then make someone accept Christ and become a Christian?  That reminds me of predestination, and takes the individual's choice out of the equation. 

As you stated in the first quote, she could have refused and He would have found someone else.  Of course there is a synergy involved, but God doesn't force us to follow Christ or to bear His Son (in Mary's case).  It does take two to tango, but if she had said no, then the incarnation would not have happened (with her as the mother).

Thank you!

 
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 10, 2011, 11:41:34 PM
this thread is now making my head hurt....

i hate to be so passive, but im starting to take the "it doesnt really matter that much" route.

but please, continue. ill try to keep up. just dont have much to add. ha.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 10, 2011, 11:59:13 PM
this thread is now making my head hurt....

i hate to be so passive, but im starting to take the "it doesnt really matter that much" route.

but please, continue. ill try to keep up. just dont have much to add. ha.

Hello Timon,

We Orthodox love to debate theology.  More than we should I suppose.  But these are important questions for many of us.  We don't have a Magisterium to define every point of doctrine as the Roman Catholics do, so we have a lot of room to argue about things.

You are right to a degree; 90% of what we debate about on Orthodox forums have nothing to do with being a member of the Church in good standing.  Whether or not I believe in Toll-houses, Mary's never sinning, Creationism, whether the OO are fully Orthodox, and a number of other issues won't prevent me from taking Holy Communion and participating in the other sacraments (mysteries) of the Church.

What concerns me is when some on the web state that the position of the Church is such-and-such, which may not be true and mislead some people.

A good example is Freemasonry.  The Russian Church and the Greek State Church (not the EP), have issued condemnations of Freemasonry.  However, the Church of Serbia, the EP, and the Antiochians (among others), have never done so to my knowledge.

I am a Freemason and my priest is well aware of it.  It is a non-issue in my Church.  No Autocephelous Church, no Patriarch, no Bishop, no priest, no theologian, no Saint or Elder speaks for The Orthodox Church.  We have a tremendous amount of freedom in the realm of Theologumena.

As is very apparent on this forum, there are many different views on many different subjects, and each side quotes Fathers and Saints to back up their positions, with no ultimate resolution.  The Church has told us what we need to be "saved" and what we need to believe (and practice) as Orthodox Christians.  
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Timon on October 11, 2011, 12:03:37 AM
I totally understand Pete.  I love to debate theology too.  Sometimes I feel like I cant hang with you guys because I dont know enough about the church.  But I debate with my protestant buds all the time.  I do it with love of course.  I believe its very important to not be even more divisive.  As a priest told me... if they are growing in their faith, leave em alone.  Dont try to convert other Christians. 
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 11, 2011, 12:26:16 AM
I totally understand Pete.  I love to debate theology too.  Sometimes I feel like I cant hang with you guys because I dont know enough about the church.  But I debate with my protestant buds all the time.  I do it with love of course.  I believe its very important to not be even more divisive.  As a priest told me... if they are growing in their faith, leave em alone.  Dont try to convert other Christians.  

Thanks Timon,

Believe me, no matter how many books you read about Orthodoxy, no matter what your priest or anyone else imparts to you, once you have formed an opinion, someone will come along and disagree.  I am convinced that the majority of forum members here love God and are trying their best to live an Orthodox life as they understand it. We are all sinners in the same boat.  I do hope that your search leads you to the Church, but for each of us, though we are members of the body of Christ, in a sense we each have our own personal path (praxis) as well.  I am accountable to God for my choices; He won't ask me what others have said or done.

Peter  
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 11, 2011, 05:35:33 PM
Thinking  about Mary the virgin,Theotokos being sinless is a http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Cacodoxy

this kind of thinking artificially separates the mother of God from her ancestors,Adam and Eve (and after all-her parents) and from the mankind and she is ontologically intertwined with them-that is why she is the GENUINE REPRESENATIVE OF THE MANKIND.

By talking about the immaculate conception and sinless of theotokos,we degrade the real value and the personal freedom of mother of God to be holy.Above all,by talking about her being sinless,people undermine the reality of our salvation-on one hand,by denying the unity of the mankind and one the other by a possibility that Christ did not take his body from a GENUINE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FALLEN MANKIND.

Saint John of Damascus says that Christ saved entire mankind because he became 1 with us so nothing outside this can be saved.This hypostatization which is made possible by Christ is the eternal token for us,giving the eternal unity of God and mankind i.e. every1 of us

And 1 more thing,maybe some1 mentioned but I didnt read.... if Mary is sinless and her conception is immaculate-why did she die...

Romans 5:12  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

of course,1 will never get the answer to this from roman-catholic Mariology because there is no answer  ;D



if some1 can speak Serbian

http://www.verujem.org/pdf/atanasije_damaskin_o_bogorodici.pdf
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ionnis on October 11, 2011, 11:26:51 PM
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 11, 2011, 11:38:14 PM
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."



Hello Ionnis,

The reason that the question of whether or not Mary ever sinned is important theologically is because she is the only human being other than Christ that some in the Church claim never sinned.  No one questions whether or not St. Paul, St. John the Forerunner, St. John Chrysostom, St. Joseph, St. Basil the Great, St. Theophan the Recluse, etc. ever sinned; everyone acknowledges that they did.

She is a real person, as you state; some of us think that the ideas advocated by some in the Church exceed the bounds of what is proper, as one of the earlier postings cites one of the Saints addressing.

We don't bother talking about sin in reference to all the other saints precisely because it is a non-issue.  Those that advocate the sinlessness of Mary cause it to be an issue that is questioned by thoughtful people.  I don't think we need to be in "fear and awe" of the Theotokos' "incomprehensible excellence".  We love the saints and don't fear or tremble before them.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: jewish voice on October 11, 2011, 11:39:40 PM
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."


To me there is a difference between right veneration and Mary worshiping you seam to like to tiptoe that line if I'm wrong then forgive me but that is how your coming off in most of your post
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 11, 2011, 11:40:24 PM
The only reason we are talking about it is because some claim to have knowledge regarding the subject. If no one in the Church ever said that they knew she didn't sin, we wouldn't be having this conversation. .
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 11, 2011, 11:42:17 PM
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."



Hello Ionnis,

The reason that the question of whether or not Mary ever sinned is important theologically is because she is the only human being other than Christ that some in the Church claim never sinned.  No one questions whether or not St. Paul, St. John the Forerunner, St. John Chrysostom, St. Joseph, St. Basil the Great, St. Theophan the Recluse, etc. ever sinned; everyone acknowledges that they did.

She is a real person, as you state; some of us think that the ideas advocated by some in the Church exceed the bounds of what is proper, as one of the earlier postings cites one of the Saints addressing.

We don't bother talking about sin in reference to all the other saints precisely because it is a non-issue.  Those that advocate the sinlessness of Mary cause it to be an issue that is questioned by thoughtful people.  I don't think we need to be in "fear and awe" of the Theotokos' "incomprehensible excellence".  We love the saints and don't fear or tremble before them.



I think some Orthodox claim that JTB never sinned, but i dont think the belief is near as pervasive as the one that the MOG never sinned.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ionnis on October 11, 2011, 11:51:18 PM
BTW, to be completely honest about my intentions, I'm not at all interested in a conversation on this topic anymore.  I thought I could carry on a conversation on this topic, but I was wrong. The topic of our Mother is far too personal for me.  Far, far too personal.  God sent His Mother to me in my early 20s and she saved me from myself.  My debt to her, and of course to the Son who sent her, is far too great.  I cannot tolerate anything that I perceive is an attempt to take away the glory that rightfully belongs to her.  I am grateful to God that I have never struggled with the Mother of God, never, not for an instant in my life.  I wish I could empathize, or at the very least sympathize, with those who struggle with her, but I can't and it isn't due to a lack of trying.  I wish you all well though and pray that Christ reveals His Mother to you.  My love for the Mother of God is what led me to Christ and His Church, so please don't fall prey to the mistaken belief that the honor I show to Our Lady lessens my love for God, it is the opposite.   

And no worries jewish voice.  You're not the first to suggest that.  I get it.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 12:17:33 AM
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: jewish voice on October 12, 2011, 12:30:55 AM
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...
I'm still trying to find that as well. I see Mary as the flesh and blood ark of the covenant and just like the ark of the past that was made by mans hands if you were to touch or wrong it so to say you would die. I honor Mary as the new ark but to me you have to be carful not to worship the ark but the spirit that dwells with in who is Christ
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 01:13:15 AM
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...
I'm still trying to find that as well. I see Mary as the flesh and blood ark of the covenant and just like the ark of the past that was made by mans hands if you were to touch or wrong it so to say you would die. I honor Mary as the new ark but to me you have to be carful not to worship the ark but the spirit that dwells with in who is Christ

and then again i dont really understand what the key difference is between worship and venerate is. Is it an intellectual distinction?  Is it a state of mind?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 12, 2011, 02:20:03 AM
Worship is reserved for God, its when we subject ourselves to him and place our lives under his guidance.
veneration is showing a great respect towards a saint due to the closeness they achieved with God,
asking for intercessions is requesting that a close saint Pray to the lord on our behalf, due to the high mantle they have in regards to the Divine throne. praying is for God, intercessions are for Saints.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 03:21:15 AM
Worship is reserved for God, its when we subject ourselves to him and place our lives under his guidance.
veneration is showing a great respect towards a saint due to the closeness they achieved with God,
asking for intercessions is requesting that a close saint Pray to the lord on our behalf, due to the high mantle they have in regards to the Divine throne. praying is for God, intercessions are for Saints.

Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically? if you look at some of the hymns to the MOG, you will find things which imply subjection to her and asking her for guidance. We also pray to the saints.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 12, 2011, 03:33:22 AM
we don't say : forgive us our sins o mother of god,
we say interceed on our behalf so that god may forgive us our sins...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 12, 2011, 03:42:39 AM
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...

 I dont want to preach but I think that the balance u r talking about can only be achieved through the living experience of Church and through prayer because,like Dostoyevsky once said-Prayer is the education we recieve from God

p.s. this sounds like a cliche but it isnt
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 03:53:31 AM
we don't say : forgive us our sins o mother of god,
we say interceed on our behalf so that god may forgive us our sins...

i've seen hymns to the Theotokos which say "you know my sins absolve them as you see fit" or something along those lines...
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 12, 2011, 04:26:01 AM
if they are not actual church hymns, like the trisagion,  but more popularised modern hymns intended for use outside the church, i wouldn't be surprised, most of the modern hymns are very heretical if taken the wrong way, and just plain wrong in all other instances. for example the most we ask from the Theotokos in the coptic church is to ask from her son to forgive us our sin, because he won't any supplication made in her name. i am incredibly interested in some of those hymn you mention, can you please link me?
God bless,
PA
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 11:23:43 AM
I can't locate the email I had saved in which a priest criticizes some parts of the Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon.  Obviously this is not an ancient hymn, since the Port Arthur battle occurred in 1905 (though elements of the hymn would have been borrowed from older models).  Much of the Akathist is perfectly traditional and Orthodox, but these parts are questionable (as the priest said in the email I received):

Rejoice, unfading luminary, Who doth enlighten us by the light of the true knowledge of God;
Rejoice, defense that opens the gate of paradise to the faithful.
Rejoice, inexhaustible spring of holiness;
Rejoice, flowing river of God's grace.
Rejoice, cleansing of our sins;
Rejoice, reconciliation for repentant people with God.  (isn't this Christ's role?)

Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy.
Rejoice, Thou Who dost save perishing sinners;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost forbid us to love the godless world;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost cleanse our hearts of every partiality for temporary riches;
Rejoice, because Thou dost grant salvation to all the people who seek refuge under Thy protecting veil.
Rejoice, deliverance for those who are held captive;  (again, isn't Christ the deliverer of captives?)

Rejoice, salvation from famine and infirmities
Rejoice, Thou Who art truly arrayed in Sunlight;
Rejoice, Thou, Who art a crown adorned with stars.
Rejoice, Thou Who art arrayed in gold and a robe of many hues;
Rejoice, Thou Who art wondrous in beauty.
Rejoice, Thou Who art the most kind warmth of the sun.
Rejoice, Thou Who art the light of angels and of godly men;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost drive away many a multitude of demons.
Rejoice, Thou Who dost disperse the darkness of unbelief.

Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy.
Rejoice, Thou Who art, after God, our first refuge and consolation
Rejoice, passage to the Heavenly Kingdom for those who love Thee;
Rejoice, deliverance from the power of the prince of this world for those who put their trust in Thee.
Rejoice, deliverance from the suffering of sinful souls after death for those who praise Thee.
Rejoice, opening of the gates of paradise to us.
Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy

These are sections of the Akathist, which can be seen in its entirety here:
http://www.orthodox.cn/liturgical/akathist/akathistportarthuricon_en.htm

Some would argue that there are ways to interpret some of these correctly, or that they are examples of poetic license, but much of this hyperbole would be perfectly at home in Roman Catholicism and, in my personal opinion, borders on Mariolatry.  This sort of thing is why many in the RCC consider St.Mary a Co-Redeemer.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 11:48:20 AM
I finally located that email:


"Without any intent of disparaging the pious motives of those who
recently posted to the Internet the Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon
of the Mother of God, I would like make some comments on Akathists to
various icons of the Mother of God in general.

The Church, historically, uses the ancient Akathist with the refrain:
"Rejoice Thou, O Bride Unwedded," as the "standard" Akathist to the
Mother of God.

In the nineteenth century, many new Akathists to various Icons of the
Mother of God and to various Saints of the Church were written. This
has continued into the twentieth century and up to our times.

Many of these newly-created Akathists are written very poorly, and
contain serious theological errors.

Usually, the author is unspecified or unknown, and the Akathists are
distributed without the sanction or blessing of any ecclesiastical
authority (even though some may be marked "With the Blessing of His
Holiness, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia" that is no guarantee
that this Akathist was reviewed or blessed for Church use by the
Patriarch).

Unfortunately, there are theological errors in the recently posted
Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God, as well as
impracticalities in the text which would make it difficult to use.

An example of the latter is that the Akathist contains multiple
instances of requiring the chanters to replace boilerplate text with the name of
one's country or one's continent.

How are you going to achieve harmony iwhile singing this Akathist if some
of the singers are putting in "The United States" and others are
putting in "America"?

Akathists should not have text that must be substituted on the fly.

Now as far as theological errors found therein -- here are a couple.

In this Akathist we read:

"The Creator of angels hath chosen Thee, Our Lady, for the gracious
salvation of the nations,"

This is an error. It is Our Savior alone who grants salvation. The
Mother of God is an Intercessor and Solicitor for our salvation, but
not the grantor of it.

"Rejoice, Thou Who dost expose every heresy;"

Does the Mother of God actually expose every heresy?

"Rejoice, our Deliverance from everlasting death."

Is the Mother of God our deliverance from everlasting death or is it
Our Saviour?

Same with:

"Rejoice, defense that opens the gate of paradise to the faithful."

The Gate of Paradise was opened by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Rejoice, Thou Who hast given us a pledge of salvation by Thy icon."

Can an icon be a pledge of salvation?

The following Kontakion makes no sense:

O Theotokos, a certain Russian officer desiring to fulfill the will of
God bore the icon of Port Arthur to the fortress besieged by the
enemy. But when he got to the city of Dalian he did not find that the
military leaders had faith in the help of the Theotokos, and he cried
out to the Lord with tears: Alleluia.

"Alleluia" means "Glory to Thee, O God." It is proclaimed at the time
that God shows His mercy on us--not in time of calamity.

For example, the previous Kontakion uses "Alleluia" correctly:

"The holy Church of Thy Son speaks of Thy wonders, O Lady, and the ends
of the earth cannot fathom the depth of God's strength, in the
deliverance, salvation, enlightenment and healing of His people, for
from Thy holy icons have come wonders, reflecting the unending mercy
and generosity of the Lord to the impoverished human race. Therefore
we glorify Thine icon and sing to Your Son and our Lord: Alleluia."

Here is another verse that shows incorrect theology:

"Rejoice, because Thou dost grant salvation to all the people who seek
refuge under Thy protecting veil."

The Mother of God grants salvation to no one. Only Her Son, Our Lord
and Saviours does that.

People must remember that the often repeated appeal to the Mother of
God: "O Most Holy Mother of God, save us!" does NOT mean "save our
souls," but rather "save us from all sorrows and tribulations."

The correct teaching is expressing in the following verse from the
Akathist:

"Rejoice, salvation from famine and infirmities" -- not eternal
salvation of our souls.

The following verses of the Akathist are all troublesome:

"Rejoice, foundation of holy life to the faithful.
Rejoice, passage to the Heavenly Kingdom for those who love Thee;
Rejoice, deliverance from the power of the prince of this world for those who put their trust in Thee.
Rejoice, deliverance from the suffering of sinful souls after death for those who praise Thee.
Rejoice, opening of the gates of paradise to us."

The Mother of God is our Helper, our Intercessor, but not a guarantor
of our entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.


In conclusion, I would like to state that I support the opinion of the
ever-memorable First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia, who was opposed to the proliferation of Akathists written
by theologically and grammatically (in Slavonic) unschooled people,
and who suggested that only the ancient Akathist to the Mother of
God, found in the Church Services (see the Services for the 5th
Saturday of Great Lent in the Lenten Triodion) be used in prayer
before ALL Icons of the Mother of God.

With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff"

I think Father Lebedeff's words are wise. 
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Cognomen on October 12, 2011, 12:54:18 PM
Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically?

It's certainly a bit confusing.  The idea that most are capable of easily distinguishing worship from glorification, or magnification, or veneration, or praise is a bit far fetched. Or, for that matter, between solid theological teachings and rhetorical flowery language contained in prayers/hymns.

People I know, primarily Roman Catholics, readily admit that there is no difference in how they pray to Christ or the Theotokos.  While we may try to distinguish and clarify a bit further, I'm sure this exists in Orthodoxy as well.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 01:10:05 PM
Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically?

It's certainly a bit confusing.  The idea that most are capable of easily distinguishing worship from glorification, or magnification, or veneration, or praise is a bit far fetched. Or, for that matter, between solid theological teachings and rhetorical flowery language contained in prayers/hymns.

People I know, primarily Roman Catholics, readily admit that there is no difference in how they pray to Christ or the Theotokos.  While we may try to distinguish and clarify a bit further, I'm sure this exists in Orthodoxy as well.

Addressing God in prayer involves speaking to the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty, while addressing a Saint involves speaking to another human being, a fellow Christian from whom we are asking for intercessory prayer.  Speaking to a Saint is easier for that reason, whereas speaking to God is more difficult for me, since I cannot conceive of God in His essence.  Of course when we pray to Christ we know that He is completely human as well as completely Divine.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 01:15:07 PM
When I am venerating a saint I remember that he/she can do nothing outside of God's will, and any power the Saint may have, such as when the Apostles healed people, is given him/her by God.  When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.  A Saint does not possess these qualities.

One quality that I see in the life of every Saint is extreme humility and self-effacement.  I don't think they desire that praise be heaped upon them; they certainly would have rejected it in life.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 01:51:06 PM
All due respect to Fr. Lebedeff, but his analysis is mostly wrong. Has he never read the original Akathist written by St Romanos? Here is a sample:

"Hail, thou oblation of all the world"

"Hail, opener of the gates of Paradise"

"Hail, thou firm foundation of the faith"

"Hail, thou through whom Hades was laid bare"

"Hail, thou who castest out the inhuman tyrant of old"

"Hail, thou downfall of demons"

"Hail, thou forgiveness for many who stumble"

"Hail, thou through whom transgression is annulled"

"Hail, thou through whom Paradise was opened"

"Hail, Raft for those who wish to be saved"

"Hail, Gate of salvation"

"Hail, for thou didst regenerate those conceived in sin"

"Hail, thou who joinest the faithful to the Lord"

"Hail, thou through whom enemies are cast down"

"Hail, thou through whom Creation is renewed"


These phrases are all perfectly fine if they are understood properly.

Remember that Orthodoxy teaches Theosis. Every bit of power and authority the Theotokos possesses is by virtue of Her perfect cooperation with God. The Theotokos is all these things by virtue of Christ's work in Her.

If the Theotokos is the most deified creature in all creation, then She partakes of the Trinity's divine life. If She partakes in the Trinity's divine life and has joined Herself to the Trinity's divine will, then we can ascribe all of these things to Her and more.

(That does not mean She is a mere conduit or vessel; rather She has been deified and changed. She has no will except to do God's will, and God grants power and authority to those who do His will. Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 02:14:56 PM
Thank you Bogdan.

The Akathist is certainly one of the great hymns of the Church.  In reading it I noticed:

"On hearing the Angels praising the incarnate presence of Christ, the shepherds hastened as to a Shepherd, and beholding Him as a spotless Lamb, pastured in Mary's womb, her they hymned, and said:

Rejoice, Mother of the Lamb and Shepherd. Rejoice, Fold of the rational sheep.
Rejoice, O Defense against invisible foes. Rejoice, Opener of the gates of Paradise.
Rejoice, for the things of Heaven rejoice with the earth. Rejoice, the things of earth join chorus with the Heavens.
Rejoice, never-silent Voice of the Apostles. Rejoice, never-conquered Courage of the Martyrs.
Rejoice, firm Support of the Faith. Rejoice, shining Token of grace.
Rejoice, you through whom Hades was laid bare. Rejoice, you through whom we are clothed with glory.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin."

Aside from any theological considerations, to what extent is the Akathist Hymn a poetical work?  Did the shepherds actually  say these words?  Unlikely.  The words of the Hymn are put into the mouths of the shepherds, the Angels, even the infant John the Baptist while still in the womb:

"Carrying God in her womb, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth, whose unborn babe forthwith recognizing Mary's salutation rejoiced, and with leaps as it were with songs, he cried out to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, O branch of the unwithering Vine. Rejoice, O Land yielding the untainted Fruit.
Rejoice, O Husbandry of the merciful Husbandman. Rejoice, O birthgiver to the Planter of our life.
Rejoice, O Field bearing abundant compassion. Rejoice, O Table laden with an abundance of mercies.
Rejoice, for you make the meadow produce contentment. Rejoice, for you prepare a haven for souls.
Rejoice, acceptable Incense of intercession. Rejoice, Oblation for all the world.
Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals. Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin."

This is not anything that happened historically, but is a dramatic way of expressing the author's feelings.  No one knows for certain who wrote it, but whether it was St. Roman the Melodist in the 6th century or not, it contains much allegory and symbolism (not that such things are bad).

I am not criticizing the Hymn, it is beautiful, but simply pointing out certain things.  The Church accepts it, therefore so must I.  Father Lebedeff does point out the problems associated with using the original to create new akathists, which can suffer from poor theology.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 02:16:39 PM
So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Cognomen on October 12, 2011, 02:41:20 PM
Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)

Point taken, and I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on the Theotokos within scripture (belongs in another thread), but scripture describes the analogy you write above, but with the Son being granted authority from the Father.  To me, the further step (giving governing authority to Mary) seems like excessive delegation.  In that case, the Son only governs for a few years?  My criticism of this is, admittedly, from a very human perspective; don't let the literal example detract.

On one hand, Ionnis presents his understanding that while glorious and certainly worthy of our devotion, Mary remains, on some level, a human.  On the other hand, you present an understanding where the Theotokos has assumed a different role, one of governance (through the culmination of theosis).  I'm not saying either is right/wrong, that both can't be accomplished, or that I understand correctly.  Still, it seems as if there is a slight divergence of understanding.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Cognomen on October 12, 2011, 02:45:01 PM
Thanks for your response, peteprint.

When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Indeed, but shouldn't God becoming Man alleviate a great deal of that overwhelming incomprehension?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 02:47:16 PM
Thanks for your response, peteprint.

When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Indeed, but shouldn't God becoming Man alleviate a great deal of that overwhelming incomprehension?

Yes, Very much so.   :)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 12, 2011, 02:53:30 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

That is needlessly antagonistic and outright silly :)



The Virgin is in synergy with God, she is the Gates of Salvation because Jesus Christ is Salvation Himself, and He entered the physicality of the world by Her womb as the Sun must necessarily rise in the Eastern Horizon.  She is the Oblation because from Her very own sacrifice to God's Will, God Himself took Her flesh and made it His own and gave Himself on the Cross.  She is the Gates of Paradise because it is from Her womb that God entered our world, and through His Incarnate Physicality we receive entrance to Paradise which had previously been barred shut by Sin.  She is the foundation of faith, being a Daughter of Adam, of Abraham, of Judah, and is therefore the firm foundation of sacred genealogy which God Himself preserved on the Earth across history. Christ came in the Flesh through Her own flesh, and so as He laid bare Hades and Death, it was accomplished in the flesh which He received from Her. In Her being a true human, that God chose Her to bring about the Savior cast out that inhuman tyrant, subjugating his tyranny by the Lawfulness of Salvation.  That the power of God came in the Flesh, cast down the powers of demons against us in our weakened fleshly condition.  Through Him who came from Her, forgiveness is found, particularly in the reception of the Holy Communion which is His Flesh and Blood taken from Her own.  Transgression was annulled when human flesh and blood were renewed by the Incarnation in Her womb.  It is because Her own flesh and blood were renewed by Jesus Christ in His Incarnation, that all of Creation was subsequently renewed by God becoming a physical being, inherently renewing all of physical Creation in taking on its form.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 03:01:15 PM
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 03:02:31 PM
So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

She is not part of the Trinity. I did not say that. She is living the life of the Trinity, and voluntarily has taken on the Trinity's will, which is part of theosis. This is true for all saints, but the Theotokos is the highest and therefore does these things par excellence.

It's Theosis. "Ye are gods," and all that. That's why saints (living and departed) can heal, raise the dead, dissolve storms, bring rain, divert floods, etc. They are partaking in God's power because they have become god by grace.

^ Very well put, HabteSelassie.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 03:05:51 PM
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, so does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)

Yes. She does not possess them of her own right; they are gifts and a natural outgrowth of theosis. God is alive in her to such an extent that she can wield God's power to accomplish His will. (It's still all God, ultimately, of course. Thus she could not act selfishly with God's power because her will is to do God's will.)

I don't know about forgiving sins, since that is a power specially delegated to the priesthood in the context of repentance. Some of our prayers do seem to indicate she can do this, but that is above my pay grade.

But she is omniscient, through partaking of God's omniscience. We can pray to her without speaking, in other words.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 03:13:05 PM
Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)

Point taken, and I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on the Theotokos within scripture (belongs in another thread), but scripture describes the analogy you write above, but with the Son being granted authority from the Father.  To me, the further step (giving governing authority to Mary) seems like excessive delegation.  In that case, the Son only governs for a few years?  My criticism of this is, admittedly, from a very human perspective; don't let the literal example detract.

On one hand, Ionnis presents his understanding that while glorious and certainly worthy of our devotion, Mary remains, on some level, a human.  On the other hand, you present an understanding where the Theotokos has assumed a different role, one of governance (through the culmination of theosis).  I'm not saying either is right/wrong, that both can't be accomplished, or that I understand correctly.  Still, it seems as if there is a slight divergence of understanding.

I didn't mean to say that the Theotokos is literally our governor. I don't know if that would be correct to say or not. That was simply an analogy of how the supreme authority can delegate his power to others.

Of course, Christ is our supreme governor, head of the Church, and everything else, because He is one of the Trinity. But all the saints share in the Trinity's life through theosis, and since the Theotokos is the chief of the saints, she has more of this than anyone else.

I don't know what governing authority the Theotokos as Queen might possess. Queen Bathsheba with King Solomon is probably a good indication. And in the Gospel she was able to seemingly make Christ change his mind about when to begin his ministry at the wedding at Cana. I could not tell you precisely what that means in practical terms though.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 12, 2011, 03:14:08 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

That is needlessly antagonistic and outright silly :)



The Virgin is in synergy with God, she is the Gates of Salvation because Jesus Christ is Salvation Himself, and He entered the physicality of the world by Her womb as the Sun must necessarily rise in the Eastern Horizon.  She is the Oblation because from Her very own sacrifice to God's Will, God Himself took Her flesh and made it His own and gave Himself on the Cross.  She is the Gates of Paradise because it is from Her womb that God entered our world, and through His Incarnate Physicality we receive entrance to Paradise which had previously been barred shut by Sin.  She is the foundation of faith, being a Daughter of Adam, of Abraham, of Judah, and is therefore the firm foundation of sacred genealogy which God Himself preserved on the Earth across history. Christ came in the Flesh through Her own flesh, and so as He laid bare Hades and Death, it was accomplished in the flesh which He received from Her. In Her being a true human, that God chose Her to bring about the Savior cast out that inhuman tyrant, subjugating his tyranny by the Lawfulness of Salvation.  That the power of God came in the Flesh, cast down the powers of demons against us in our weakened fleshly condition.  Through Him who came from Her, forgiveness is found, particularly in the reception of the Holy Communion which is His Flesh and Blood taken from Her own.  Transgression was annulled when human flesh and blood were renewed by the Incarnation in Her womb.  It is because Her own flesh and blood were renewed by Jesus Christ in His Incarnation, that all of Creation was subsequently renewed by God becoming a physical being, inherently renewing all of physical Creation in taking on its form.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Hello Habte,

I appreciate much of what you have said, though I would like to remark on a few things.  Where you stated that, "the power of God came in the Flesh," seems to me to minimize the personhood of the Son.  He (Christ) is not simply one of God's energies.  God the Son came in the flesh.

Also, I can understand St. Mary being the Gates of Paradise, but she opened them?  I guess, in the sense of her saying yes to God.

Christ did lay bare Death and Hades in flesh that He received from the Theotokos, but she did not lay them bare as the hymns say.  So much of what some hymns and prayers say require so much interpretation to make them sensible.  You are (correctly, in my opinion) saying that Christ did such-and-such through his being incarnated via the Theotokos.  The hymns however clearly state that she did these things.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 03:25:59 PM
ya these hymns always seem to have qualifiers that go along with them, "it says this, but it really means..."
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 12, 2011, 03:31:16 PM
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, so does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)

Yes. She does not possess them of her own right; they are gifts and a natural outgrowth of theosis. God is alive in her to such an extent that she can wield God's power to accomplish His will. (It's still all God, ultimately, of course. Thus she could not act selfishly with God's power because her will is to do God's will.)

I don't know about forgiving sins, since that is a power specially delegated to the priesthood in the context of repentance. Some of our prayers do seem to indicate she can do this, but that is above my pay grade.

But she is omniscient, through partaking of God's omniscience. We can pray to her without speaking, in other words.

So then, would it be accurate to say that she brings about our salvation as well? when we save most holy Theotokos save us, perhaps we are referring to our salvation in Christ? I know people say "oh it means she is saving us from peril, danger, etc." but perhaps this is just something that we say to quiet down the minds of those who are uncomfortable with it?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on October 12, 2011, 03:46:28 PM
So then, would it be accurate to say that she brings about our salvation as well? when we save most holy Theotokos save us, perhaps we are referring to our salvation in Christ? I know people say "oh it means she is saving us from peril, danger, etc." but perhaps this is just something that we say to quiet down the minds of those who are uncomfortable with it?

I just understand it in the context of the handful of verses from the NT that speak of "saving" ouselves and each other. We are told to "save" ourselves (1 Timothy 4:16) by following Christ, and that by drawing others closer to Christ, we can "save" them and "hide a multitude of sins" (1 Corinthians 7:16, 9:22, James 5:20, Jude 1:23) by bringing them closer to Christ, Who is the only salvation.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 05:53:36 PM
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, so does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)

Yes. She does not possess them of her own right; they are gifts and a natural outgrowth of theosis. God is alive in her to such an extent that she can wield God's power to accomplish His will. (It's still all God, ultimately, of course. Thus she could not act selfishly with God's power because her will is to do God's will.)

I don't know about forgiving sins, since that is a power specially delegated to the priesthood in the context of repentance. Some of our prayers do seem to indicate she can do this, but that is above my pay grade.

But she is omniscient, through partaking of God's omniscience. We can pray to her without speaking, in other words.

So then, would it be accurate to say that she brings about our salvation as well? when we save most holy Theotokos save us, perhaps we are referring to our salvation in Christ? I know people say "oh it means she is saving us from peril, danger, etc." but perhaps this is just something that we say to quiet down the minds of those who are uncomfortable with it?

Not that I'm aware of. Even the Theotokos was subject to death, and only Christ could defeat that.

But the incarnation could not have occurred if she was not onboard. While the Theotokos does not bring about our salvation as such, salvation was not possible without her cooperation. To say any more than that on the subject could invite error... at least for us who are not theologians (myself included).

As for the meanings of hymns, they mean what the Church says they mean. Any confusion is usually due to one's own misunderstanding, not anything to do with the text itself. The Greek word "soson" has a broader meaning than the English "save". We learn what it means in a specific context by checking it against all the other parts of holy tradition. Holy tradition is wonderful in that it's self-checking and self-correcting.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on October 12, 2011, 06:24:35 PM
 I think we will all agree that hymns are not dogmas  :police:

i.e. their texts do not necessarily express only the dogmatic elements of the Orthodox church
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: bogdan on October 12, 2011, 09:20:42 PM
I think we will all agree that hymns are not dogmas  :police:

i.e. their texts do not necessarily express only the dogmatic elements of the Orthodox church

Whether something is technically a dogma is not an important factor in determining truthfulness. That is usually accomplished through the practice of the Church. And if it's heresy, it will be dealt with.

The Dormition is not an ecumenical-council-defined dogma either, but it is expressed in the hymns and icons of the Church and thus it is true. A priest would not be permitted to dismiss the feast of the Dormition just because it's not a dogma.

An akathist written in the last 100 years, however, has not been scrutinized like the writings of St Romanos, however, so I can agree in that aspect.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 12, 2011, 09:36:51 PM
this thread changes focus sooo much, i can hardly keep up.
so can we agree that the Theotokos did not sin, and was full of grace, and that's why she was chosen to carry God the word? and following her pregnancy she became even more full of grace because she was "like the burning bush, carrying the fire of the divinity" what i disagree with is that the Holy Theotokos' salvation occured before the death on the cross, this point was implied earlier, it needs more elaboration because it is a very dangerous statement to make...
also we praise the Theotokos so much because through her son we became free, so all the hymns about her being the doorway to heaven, is because she brought to the world its salvation.
Hope i am making a bit more sense than i think i am making,
PA
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on October 12, 2011, 09:41:08 PM
While the Orthodox Church has proclaimed far fewer dogmas on the Mother of God (examples include her perpetual virginity, and the Christological necessity of her being referred to as Theotokos, not Christotokos) than has the RCC, nevertheless, we are not free to pick and choose what we choose to believe about her, if hymnography speaks of her. Hymnography, like iconography, are the hallmarks and standards of the consensus patrum.

Bogdan's post is faultless:

Quote
Whether something is technically a dogma is not an important factor in determining truthfulness. That is usually accomplished through the practice of the Church. And if it's heresy, it will be dealt with.

The Dormition is not an ecumenical-council-defined dogma either, but it is expressed in the hymns and icons of the Church and thus it is true. A priest would not be permitted to dismiss the feast of the Dormition just because it's not a dogma.

An akathist written in the last 100 years, however, has not been scrutinized like the writings of St Romanos, however, so I can agree in that aspect.

Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Pikhristos Aftonf on October 12, 2011, 10:06:58 PM
I am not disagreeing, but one should not worship St Mary for example!! our respect, love and venerations are acceptable, but going so far as to say that St Mary was saved before the rest of Humanity because she carried the word incarnate in her womb is in my humble- and often mistaken opinion- heresy. what is the point of the crucifixion if St Mary was saved from the original sin by carrying God the Word?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on October 13, 2011, 01:20:41 PM
I am not disagreeing, but one should not worship St Mary for example!! our respect, love and venerations are acceptable, but going so far as to say that St Mary was saved before the rest of Humanity because she carried the word incarnate in her womb is in my humble- and often mistaken opinion- heresy. what is the point of the crucifixion if St Mary was saved from the original sin by carrying God the Word?

Devil's Advocate (standard, as always);

-Because through the crucifixion the rest of humanity's salvation was made possible. Her relationship with God was untainted, but it remained so by both God's action, and also (of course) her choice to accept it.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 13, 2011, 03:00:34 PM
this thread changes focus sooo much, i can hardly keep up.
so can we agree that the Theotokos did not sin, and was full of grace, and that's why she was chosen to carry God the word? and following her pregnancy she became even more full of grace because she was "like the burning bush, carrying the fire of the divinity" what i disagree with is that the Holy Theotokos' salvation occured before the death on the cross, this point was implied earlier, it needs more elaboration because it is a very dangerous statement to make...
also we praise the Theotokos so much because through her son we became free, so all the hymns about her being the doorway to heaven, is because she brought to the world its salvation.
Hope i am making a bit more sense than i think i am making,
PA

I wouldn't dare to make such a presumption about another. Her sins (or lack thereof) are none of my business and are between her and God.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 13, 2011, 04:04:13 PM
this thread changes focus sooo much, i can hardly keep up.
so can we agree that the Theotokos did not sin, and was full of grace, and that's why she was chosen to carry God the word? and following her pregnancy she became even more full of grace because she was "like the burning bush, carrying the fire of the divinity" what i disagree with is that the Holy Theotokos' salvation occured before the death on the cross, this point was implied earlier, it needs more elaboration because it is a very dangerous statement to make...
also we praise the Theotokos so much because through her son we became free, so all the hymns about her being the doorway to heaven, is because she brought to the world its salvation.
Hope i am making a bit more sense than i think i am making,
PA

I wouldn't dare to make such a presumption about another. Her sins (or lack thereof) are none of my business and are between her and God.

That is what it really boils down to for me as well.  I really don't know if the Theotokos ever had a sinful thought or inclination in her entire life.  When she was three years old did she ever get mad at a playmate? Did she ever feel the least bit lazy, or eat to excess?  I don't know.  It just disturbs me when some in the Church portray her as having never had any human faults or shortcomings and make it into some sort of dogma.  Mary was a real woman and a real person.  And short of Christ, no human has ever been perfect.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 13, 2011, 04:35:23 PM
it just seems so presumptive to me...how could anyone ever claim to know such a thing? I mean if such a thing were asserted in scriptures or attested in multiple places in our hymnography and the writings of the ECF's, that is one thing...but we see no such conclusive witness. It's all later development.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 13, 2011, 05:02:00 PM
it just seems so presumptive to me...how could anyone ever claim to know such a thing? I mean if such a thing were asserted in scriptures or attested in multiple places in our hymnography and the writings of the ECF's, that is one thing...but we see no such conclusive witness. It's all later development.

Since becoming Orthodox I have struggled with a number of things. In many ways I came to Orthodoxy through what some traditionalists might consider "watered-down" Orthodoxy, e.g. the writings of Met. Kallistos, Clark Carlton, Fr. Gillquist, Bishop Hilarion, and several others.  I never heard any mention of "toll-houses" and the like before I was baptized.

Since then, I have acquired a number of additional Orthodox books, and, through forums such as this, I have been exposed to many ideas, some of which I am still processing.  I have decided as much as possible to stick with reading the early Church Fathers; I particularly love the writings of St. John Chrysostom, and I also read St. John of Damascus, St. Basil the Great, etc.  There is more than enough material there to study for a lifetime.

Many of the writings that I have had difficulties with involve individuals that lived 1500 years or more after the Fathers (I realize that we don't have a cut-off date for Fathers), and are often "mystical ascetics," and monastics, who are all to often from the 17th-19th century, a period when I personally feel the Church was frequently under Latin influence.

The Fathers covered all that I need to know theologically; we don't have a developing theology like the Roman Catholics.  When I stick to the Fathers most of the doctrinal problems just fall away.  I don't need to worry about what someone wrote about God, the afterlife, or the Theotokos in 1697, 1886, or the 1980's.  What is important was already covered  thousands of years ago.  Just my humble opinion.  
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on October 13, 2011, 05:26:26 PM
Don't forget Fr. Hopko! :thumbsup: I agree with your points, although I was quite surprised to see a strong representation of the toll-house teaching in the writings of St. Theophan the Recluse, whose writings I deeply admire adn respect.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: peteprint on October 13, 2011, 05:42:12 PM
Father Hopko, yes.   :)

I was surprised by that as well, since I have one of St. Theophan's books.  I believe on that subject he was simply repeating what he had been taught.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Alpo on December 02, 2011, 05:40:45 AM
Fail.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on December 02, 2011, 06:21:18 AM
I think we will all agree that hymns are not dogmas  :police:

i.e. their texts do not necessarily express only the dogmatic elements of the Orthodox church

Whether something is technically a dogma is not an important factor in determining truthfulness. That is usually accomplished through the practice of the Church. And if it's heresy, it will be dealt with.

It is very important because all the dogmatic teachings were and are proclaimed within the Church,together... Church is the place of the Truth but the Truth which is not revealed to individuals but within the divine liturgy

http://avowofconversation.wordpress.com/category/books/being-as-communion/

can you speak Serbian

http://www.verujem.org/teologija/ziziulas_mesto%20istine.htm

if not- i ll try to find the article in English
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: orthonorm on December 02, 2011, 08:32:23 AM
We have our fundies in Orthodoxy too. They just have more material to use. Hymns, icons, etc.

Really more fundies should convert for that reason. A whole lot more words to mine quote to prove whatever point you want.

Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 02, 2011, 02:43:46 PM
Fail.

after 2 months you had this to say?  ???
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Alpo on December 06, 2011, 09:46:17 AM
Fail.

after 2 months you had this to say?  ???

I had something to say before I noticed that this thread was that old. I didn't notice that before replying. Hence the "Fail".
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 06, 2011, 12:30:26 PM
Fail.

after 2 months you had this to say?  ???

I had something to say before I noticed that this thread was that old. I didn't notice that before replying. Hence the "Fail".

lol. well speak now or forever hold your peace!  :angel:
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Balthasar on December 06, 2011, 07:21:41 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: alanscott on December 06, 2011, 08:12:58 PM
According to Orthodoxy, sin is as secondary as the rest of the problems accounted for above. The primary problem is: death.

Pardon me for butting in w/ a personal inquiry but where can I get more information on this?

Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: akimori makoto on December 06, 2011, 08:14:22 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 06, 2011, 08:55:39 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

for some reason i highly doubt this...for two reasons. 1) Mary was blameless, and 2) she nor the apostles knew anything about such things.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: HabteSelassie on December 07, 2011, 12:40:21 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think we will all agree that hymns are not dogmas  :police:

i.e. their texts do not necessarily express only the dogmatic elements of the Orthodox church

I would disagree with this statement, at least in the Ethiopian tradition much of our theology, Christology, and Mariology is explicitly expressed in our Hymnography, chants, liturgies, and prayer books. I can't speak for other jurisdictions, but I don't know of any heterodox teachings from our hymns, if anything quite the opposite, they are treasure trove resource of theology transmitted in richly emotive and deeply transcendental language.

Further, I couldn't understand why heterodoxy would be allowed in hymn in the first place.  So in other jurisdictions hymnography isn't considered doctrinal?   Are there any examples of heterodox teachings expressed in Orthodox hymns that is contrary to the theology of the Church?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: primuspilus on December 07, 2011, 12:46:58 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

for some reason i highly doubt this...for two reasons. 1) Mary was blameless, and 2) she nor the apostles knew anything about such things.

If she was afraid (which I doubt) I think it would be the normal fear that humans have about it. Its unknown, mysterious, etc. Not necessarily because fear of death as in her destination or something like that.

PP
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 07, 2011, 12:49:46 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

for some reason i highly doubt this...for two reasons. 1) Mary was blameless, and 2) she nor the apostles knew anything about such things.

If she was afraid (which I doubt) I think it would be the normal fear that humans have about it. Its unknown, mysterious, etc. Not necessarily because fear of death as in her destination or something like that.

PP

i think she had fear of death but her longing to be with her savior overpowered it.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: primuspilus on December 07, 2011, 01:02:23 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

for some reason i highly doubt this...for two reasons. 1) Mary was blameless, and 2) she nor the apostles knew anything about such things.

If she was afraid (which I doubt) I think it would be the normal fear that humans have about it. Its unknown, mysterious, etc. Not necessarily because fear of death as in her destination or something like that.

PP

i think she had fear of death but her longing to be with her savior overpowered it.
Definitely.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on December 15, 2011, 04:38:50 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?


Christ was afraid of death too

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 27, 2011, 03:30:29 AM
I found this article on another forum, where someone was using it to accuse the Orthodox of inconsistent teaching on this issue:

Quote
The Fathers of the Church speculate on Luke 1:35, concluding that Mary was purified by the Holy Spirit the day of Annunciation, in order for her to become the "worthy Mother of God." However, even after she gave birth to the Son of God, Mary was not exempted of less serious ("venial") sins. St. John Chrysostom attributes to Mary the sin of vanity, in the context of the first miracle of Christ in Cana of Galilee.

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

This was written by His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh.

So what do u all think? Is this teaching being more openly criticized than it has in the past?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 03:36:24 AM
I found this article on another forum, where someone was using it to accuse the Orthodox of inconsistent teaching on this issue:

Quote
The Fathers of the Church speculate on Luke 1:35, concluding that Mary was purified by the Holy Spirit the day of Annunciation, in order for her to become the "worthy Mother of God." However, even after she gave birth to the Son of God, Mary was not exempted of less serious ("venial") sins. St. John Chrysostom attributes to Mary the sin of vanity, in the context of the first miracle of Christ in Cana of Galilee.

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

This was written by His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh.

So what do u all think? Is this teaching being more openly criticized than it has in the past?

No.  I have had four parishes in my life, three Russian and one Serbian.  I would be astounded if any parishioner had ever said that the Mother of God is not sinless.  As I have mentioned, the minority opinion of two 4th century Catholic Church Fathers is completely unknown except to internet cleverclogs such as thee and me.

Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 27, 2011, 03:57:57 AM
and at least His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 04:49:27 AM
and at least His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh.


It's intriguing that many more Holy Fathers (about 27 if a post here somewhere is correct) believed in universal salvation but only two Holy Fathers mentioned that the Mother of God sinned.  Just thought I'd throw that into the mix!   :laugh: :D ;D
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: witega on December 27, 2011, 02:47:24 PM
As I have mentioned, the minority opinion of two 4th century Catholic Church Fathers is completely unknown except to internet cleverclogs such as thee and me.



Sts. Basil and John Chrysostom are not exactly obscure saints, nor (with the exception of the medieval Latin West) have their writings ever been hard to get hold of. If any teaching of theirs is 'completely unknown' that says far more about the failure to read the Fathers than about the validity of the teaching itself. Indeed, what is most telling is that two of the most prominent and prolific 4th century Church Fathers made these statements, and none of their contemporaries seem to have thought they were something to object to or correct. Indeed, it wasn't even brought up as a criticism when St. John was tried and laicised at the Synod of the Oak. I certainly haven't read everything by every Father out there written in the first 4 centuries, but even the Catholic encyclopedia seems to think that there are no Patristic statements disputing what Sts. Basil and John taught until at least the 5th century--indicating which is the older and which the newer teaching.

Also, I also think it's a little awkward to call a position the 'minority' position when the saints involved put it into the Liturgy adopted by the whole Church and proclaimed every time the Liturgy is served: "Christ Thou only sinless one." I've seen plenty of commentators try to interpret around that categorical 'only', but it's clear what St. Basil and St. John meant when they put it there.


One of the problems in having this discussion is the degree to which people's passions get involved. In general, the quickest way to start a fight with someone is to say something about his mother. In some cases, the statement doesn't even have to be false, it could be objectively and rationally true and the mother could agree with it, (e.g., "your mother is a sinner."). But people, especially men, have a natural tendency to think of their mother as a saint--when she's really just a nice, normal lady. How much more so, then, when the mother in question really is not just a saint, but the greatest saint that ever lived?

Orthodox disagree with and criticize the push in RC circles to dogmatically add such titles as 'Co-Mediatrix' and 'Mediator of all graces', as well as to the already done dogmatization of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. But it's not like we don't understand the impulse behind them--people want to add honor upon honor to the Theotokos, and nobody wants to be the grinch who even sounds like he might be denigrating the Mother of God. It is not as if any sin by the Theotokos has any actual impact on our own salvation--any more than knowing the when/where/what/how of any sins committed by St. Nicholas or St. Seraphim (or St. Basil of St. John Chrysostom) has any impact on our salvation.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 04:08:29 PM
this thread changes focus sooo much, i can hardly keep up.
so can we agree that the Theotokos did not sin, and was full of grace, and that's why she was chosen to carry God the word? and following her pregnancy she became even more full of grace because she was "like the burning bush, carrying the fire of the divinity" what i disagree with is that the Holy Theotokos' salvation occured before the death on the cross, this point was implied earlier, it needs more elaboration because it is a very dangerous statement to make...
also we praise the Theotokos so much because through her son we became free, so all the hymns about her being the doorway to heaven, is because she brought to the world its salvation.
Hope i am making a bit more sense than i think i am making,
PA

I wouldn't dare to make such a presumption about another. Her sins (or lack thereof) are none of my business and are between her and God.

That is what it really boils down to for me as well.  I really don't know if the Theotokos ever had a sinful thought or inclination in her entire life.  When she was three years old did she ever get mad at a playmate? Did she ever feel the least bit lazy, or eat to excess?  I don't know.  It just disturbs me when some in the Church portray her as having never had any human faults or shortcomings and make it into some sort of dogma.  Mary was a real woman and a real person.  And short of Christ, no human has ever been perfect.0

I think one has to look at it from the right POV, that is, from our POV as sinners in need of her help and prayers, she is all-pure. However, from the POV of God, she is not, since only God can be completely sinless. It's like how the angels, in comparison to men, are spiritual, but in comparison to God are material.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 04:10:38 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?


It is part of human nature to be afraid of death. Death is unnatural.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 04:11:27 PM
I cannot be sure that I understand you correctly?   - that the Mother of God sinned in her life and this is attested to by our Liturgy?  One can of course take “Christ, the only sinless one” to refer to His freedom from ancestral sin, something from which the Mother of God was not free but shared with the whole human race – ergo, Christ, the only sinless one.

No, I never wrote that Saint John Chrysostom or Saint Basil are obscure Saints.  I said that their opinion that the Mother of God sinned is a minority opinion and so it is.  It is so minor that their mention of the Mother of God as a sinner has been left in obscurity by the Church.  It has not been accepted in our Tradition.


As I have mentioned, the minority opinion of two 4th century Catholic Church Fathers is completely unknown except to internet cleverclogs such as thee and me.



Sts. Basil and John Chrysostom are not exactly obscure saints, nor (with the exception of the medieval Latin West) have their writings ever been hard to get hold of. If any teaching of theirs is 'completely unknown' that says far more about the failure to read the Fathers than about the validity of the teaching itself. Indeed, what is most telling is that two of the most prominent and prolific 4th century Church Fathers made these statements, and none of their contemporaries seem to have thought they were something to object to or correct. Indeed, it wasn't even brought up as a criticism when St. John was tried and laicised at the Synod of the Oak. I certainly haven't read everything by every Father out there written in the first 4 centuries, but even the Catholic encyclopedia seems to think that there are no Patristic statements disputing what Sts. Basil and John taught until at least the 5th century--indicating which is the older and which the newer teaching.

Also, I also think it's a little awkward to call a position the 'minority' position when the saints involved put it into the Liturgy adopted by the whole Church and proclaimed every time the Liturgy is served: "Christ Thou only sinless one." I've seen plenty of commentators try to interpret around that categorical 'only', but it's clear what St. Basil and St. John meant when they put it there.


One of the problems in having this discussion is the degree to which people's passions get involved. In general, the quickest way to start a fight with someone is to say something about his mother. In some cases, the statement doesn't even have to be false, it could be objectively and rationally true and the mother could agree with it, (e.g., "your mother is a sinner."). But people, especially men, have a natural tendency to think of their mother as a saint--when she's really just a nice, normal lady. How much more so, then, when the mother in question really is not just a saint, but the greatest saint that ever lived?

Orthodox disagree with and criticize the push in RC circles to dogmatically add such titles as 'Co-Mediatrix' and 'Mediator of all graces', as well as to the already done dogmatization of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption. But it's not like we don't understand the impulse behind them--people want to add honor upon honor to the Theotokos, and nobody wants to be the grinch who even sounds like he might be denigrating the Mother of God. It is not as if any sin by the Theotokos has any actual impact on our own salvation--any more than knowing the when/where/what/how of any sins committed by St. Nicholas or St. Seraphim (or St. Basil of St. John Chrysostom) has any impact on our salvation.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 04:11:53 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 04:28:57 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I think we will all agree that hymns are not dogmas  :police:

i.e. their texts do not necessarily express only the dogmatic elements of the Orthodox church

I would disagree with this statement, at least in the Ethiopian tradition much of our theology, Christology, and Mariology is explicitly expressed in our Hymnography, chants, liturgies, and prayer books. I can't speak for other jurisdictions, but I don't know of any heterodox teachings from our hymns, if anything quite the opposite, they are treasure trove resource of theology transmitted in richly emotive and deeply transcendental language.

Further, I couldn't understand why heterodoxy would be allowed in hymn in the first place.  So in other jurisdictions hymnography isn't considered doctrinal?   Are there any examples of heterodox teachings expressed in Orthodox hymns that is contrary to the theology of the Church?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

If it contained heresy, it would not be an Orthodox hymn. Factual error, however, does occur.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Hiwot on December 27, 2011, 04:37:25 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.
The demons have every reason to be afraid of her, who among the saints and angels is worthy stand before the throne of our God? it is but by the mercy of God that the holy ones do so, He supports them and gives them the strength to stand before Him. Now we can imagine how the demons will tremble before her who is the Mother of God!!! What sin can they accuse her of?! yet knowing all this she is beyond being under any pride thus she Stands before Her Son and Her God in Humility. even in this story of the toll - houses, I see only the beauty her utter humility!!!
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 04:39:43 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.
The demons have every reason to be afraid of her, who among the saints and angels is worthy stand before the throne of our God? it is but by the mercy of God that the holy ones do so, He supports them and gives them the strength to stand before Him. Now we can imagine how the demons will tremble before her who is the Mother of God!!! What sin can they accuse her of?! yet knowing all this she is beyond being under any pride thus she Stands before Her Son and Her God in Humility. even in this story of the toll - houses, I see only the beauty her utter humility!!!
Amen!
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 05:14:45 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 05:26:34 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 05:40:03 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.

Thank God they do not exist.   :)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Shanghaiski on December 27, 2011, 05:42:09 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.

Thank God they do not exist.   :)

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 27, 2011, 06:23:25 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.

Thank God they do not exist.   :)

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.

u can say that again!
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on December 27, 2011, 06:58:49 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.

Thank God they do not exist.   :)

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.

u can say that again!

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: orthonorm on December 27, 2011, 07:03:14 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

The toll house believers asssure us that the righteous do not pass through the toll houses.  Why then did she?

Not pass through is, I think, the same as not being detained at all. They were "covered," "hidden," etc. And it's not just the righteous, but those who die on great feasts or just after confession, communion, baptism, etc.

Thank God they do not exist.   :)

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.

u can say that again!

Thank God this thread isn't about the aerial tollhouses and their existence.

Been said before . . .

You are one concrete cat.

When are you coming back to Schnuck's?

EDIT: I've been informed by the powers that be that I have mixed up my ˈændruːz. Sorry.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 27, 2011, 07:28:46 PM
I read somewhere that Our Blessed Holy Mother was afraid of dying during her last days here on earth. Is it true? If so, how is that possible if she was sinless?

She was afraid of the aerial toll-houses.

And yet, the demons at the aerial toll-houses were more afraid of her.

Had the toll houses been created at the time of her death?  They would not have been in existence before Christ died and opened the gates of hell and released the zillions of souls.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 27, 2011, 07:33:18 PM
Had the toll houses been created at the time of her death?
Not until much later:

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Bogomilism-Penetration-into-Constantinople/dp/1933275596

Or, alternately, a few centuries before:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3a/Ptolemaicsystem-small.png/225px-Ptolemaicsystem-small.png)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: NicholasMyra on December 28, 2011, 01:33:17 AM
New evidence has surfaced for the existence of a uniquely American expression of the Toll Houses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgdLVWgU4G0
(Mississippi John Hurt - You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 30, 2011, 03:30:25 AM
Luke 1 gives an account of Mary the mother of Jesus, and her role in Gods plan. Isaiah 7:14 also prophecies the virgin and how she would bare a child and His name would be Immanuel(God with us).

Is there any scripture that I've missed, which says or alludes to the idea that she was sinless(in her flesh, or in her physical body) or ever virgin? If you know of any please share them with me.. I can't find them.

And if there is scripture that proves this, how do the verses fit together in light of the verses which say that salvation comes from no other name under heaven than Jesus Christ? That say He lived life on earth sinless and perfect in His flesh, in His body? That say that He was the only one to fulfill the law?

God required a spotless sacrifice to pay for sin didn't He? If Mary was sinless, then God potentially could have used Mary to pay the price for sin as she was sinless - doesn't this sound absurd? The Son of God didn't come from the lineage of Adam. His Father was in heaven. Mary came from Adams line though didn't she? Or was she miraculously conceived?? And if she was, where is the OT prophecy of it? And then the NT fulfilment?  If Mary was from the lineage of Adam, she must have been a sinner. Jesus, is the only one that did not sin, and the only one who ever will not sin. There is none righteous, no, not one. His shed blood is what saves us when we believe in Him. Only then are we made righteous, and then are we without sin - or dead to sin.

Isn't this what the bible says??

If Mary was sinless in the flesh, then all those verses that speak of the sin of Adam must be wrong. Romans 5 is very contradictory to this idea of a sinless Mary.. Particularly v.17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; (Adams sin = death) much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Jesus perfection = life)

Isn't it by Christ and Him only? If Mary was sinless, then this statement can't be true. Why did they omit her from all of these verses? She says 'henceforth, all people will call me blessed'. I think that is literally true. She was definitely blessed as she conceived the Son of God. She was 'full of grace'. I agree with that too. Grace was in her literally. Jesus Christ. He is Grace. This doesn't make her sinless.. The bible doesn't say Mary fulfilled the law like Christ did.. So how could she not be a sinner?

Doesn't make much sense to me....
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: HandmaidenofGod on December 30, 2011, 03:36:05 AM
So let me get this straight: you resurrect a thread that is 7 pages long, and want us to rehash the entire thread for you to explain what the original point of the thread was?

Seems a bit unfair, don't you think?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 30, 2011, 05:26:47 AM
Sorry about that. In my post, I failed to mention that I read through the 7 pages.. I just didn't find any answers to my questions, or my points, in the previous posts. If I'm ignorant, I apologise.. I'll read again to make sure I didn't miss something.

I'd really appreciate it if you would share with me.

Thanks
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Sleeper on December 30, 2011, 02:43:05 PM
God didn't come in the flesh merely to be a spotless sacrifice, he came to unite mankind with himself. We cannot find union with God through a perfect human life, we can only find it through God Himself. So, if Mary could've been the "spotless sacrifice" that's still not enough. The issue isn't about sinlessness, it's about participating in the divine nature of God.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 30, 2011, 11:02:39 PM
God didn't come in the flesh merely to be a spotless sacrifice, he came to unite mankind with himself. We cannot find union with God through a perfect human life, we can only find it through God Himself. So, if Mary could've been the "spotless sacrifice" that's still not enough. The issue isn't about sinlessness, it's about participating in the divine nature of God.

Pardon my ignorance.. I'm just not that familiar with what the church teaches here. I hope my posts are not offending anyone.. I'm just trying to find answers..

I agree that we can only be united with God by and through God - Jesus Christ. But I thought that was because Christ was a spotless sacrifice, and by that, He paid for sin in full.. Now is it not sin which separates us from God? Are we not now then reconciled to God through Christ and Christ alone? And if we are reconciled, are we not united? Could there be a payment made for sin any other way?

Regarding the participation in the divine nature of God.. How do we do that in relation to Mary? - as she is the basis of this topic.. And how does she relate to these verses in 2nd Peter regarding the participation in the divine nature?

2 Peter 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Thank you  for tolerating me despite my lack of understanding.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 30, 2011, 11:07:17 PM
God didn't come in the flesh merely to be a spotless sacrifice, he came to unite mankind with himself. We cannot find union with God through a perfect human life, we can only find it through God Himself. So, if Mary could've been the "spotless sacrifice" that's still not enough. The issue isn't about sinlessness, it's about participating in the divine nature of God.

Pardon my ignorance.. I'm just not that familiar with what the church teaches here. I hope my posts are not offending anyone.. I'm just trying to find answers..

I agree that we can only be united with God by and through God - Jesus Christ. But I thought that was because Christ was a spotless sacrifice, and by that, He paid for sin in full.. Now is it not sin which separates us from God? Are we not now then reconciled to God through Christ and Christ alone? And if we are reconciled, are we not united? Could there be a payment made for sin any other way?

Regarding the participation in the divine nature of God.. How do we do that in relation to Mary? - as she is the basis of this topic.. And how does she relate to these verses in 2nd Peter regarding the participation in the divine nature?

2 Peter 1:3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Thank you  for tolerating me despite my lack of understanding.

If you don't mind me asking, what faith tradition are you?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Aindriú on December 30, 2011, 11:29:12 PM
Now is it not sin which separates us from God?

Or is separation from God the definition of sin?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 30, 2011, 11:48:09 PM
I'd say that sin is an immoral act that transgresses any of Gods divine law.

I'm not sure what you mean by faith tradition. Could I say christian?

The only thing I can say for certain is that I believe there is a Holy and Righteous God who created everything from nothing. The God of the bible. God the Father, Son and Spirit.

I recognise the sinner that I am, or the transgressor that I am - because I have no chance of keeping the law.. I can see that often the things that I think are 'good' are filthy rags in Gods sight.

I recognise that I need a Saviour and obviously nothing I 'do' will save me, considering my righteousness is 'filthy rags'. The Bible tells me that I have a Saviour - Jesus Christ - who died for all. Who is righteousness, who was God in the flesh.

I believe that when a person believes in Christ and His payment for our sins, we are justified and sanctified, His righteousness is 'imputed'.. His Spirit then dwells in us and we are then 'In Christ'. Reconciled to God through Christ. Justified by the Faith of Jesus Christ.

However, I have gotten this understanding from the scriptures alone - particularly, but not only Pauls letters, as they were specifically addressed to us gentiles.. I'm not a member of an orthodox church. I have some Greek orthodox friends, some catholic friends, some protestant friends from one or more of the billions of denominations.

We all talk about different things, we all study the bible. We love learning Gods truth and we love sharing our faith with other believers and even more so, those who haven't heard of Jesus.

Sorry for the extended, and possibly wrong answer.. But thats all I can give you regarding tradition.

Actually, I noticed someone had on their profile 'the Faith that established the universe'. I like that.. Could I say that?



Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 31, 2011, 12:44:09 AM
I'd say that sin is an immoral act that transgresses any of Gods divine law.

I'm not sure what you mean by faith tradition. Could I say christian?

The only thing I can say for certain is that I believe there is a Holy and Righteous God who created everything from nothing. The God of the bible. God the Father, Son and Spirit.

I recognise the sinner that I am, or the transgressor that I am - because I have no chance of keeping the law.. I can see that often the things that I think are 'good' are filthy rags in Gods sight.

I recognise that I need a Saviour and obviously nothing I 'do' will save me, considering my righteousness is 'filthy rags'. The Bible tells me that I have a Saviour - Jesus Christ - who died for all. Who is righteousness, who was God in the flesh.

I believe that when a person believes in Christ and His payment for our sins, we are justified and sanctified, His righteousness is 'imputed'.. His Spirit then dwells in us and we are then 'In Christ'. Reconciled to God through Christ. Justified by the Faith of Jesus Christ.

However, I have gotten this understanding from the scriptures alone - particularly, but not only Pauls letters, as they were specifically addressed to us gentiles.. I'm not a member of an orthodox church. I have some Greek orthodox friends, some catholic friends, some protestant friends from one or more of the billions of denominations.

We all talk about different things, we all study the bible. We love learning Gods truth and we love sharing our faith with other believers and even more so, those who haven't heard of Jesus.

Sorry for the extended, and possibly wrong answer.. But thats all I can give you regarding tradition.

Actually, I noticed someone had on their profile 'the Faith that established the universe'. I like that.. Could I say that?
Thank you for the background information regarding your denominational affiliation or lack thereof. The reason I ask is that your words express some doctrines I've heard only in Protestant circles (e.g., imputed righteousness, salvation by grace through faith alone), doctrines foreign to the traditions of both Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. I think one of my colleagues on the moderator team may have already mentioned to you that participation on the Faith Issues board is limited to those of the Orthodox Christian faith. Those who are not Orthodox are generally not permitted to advocate their non-Orthodox points of view here except to correct our misunderstandings of what you believe or to inquire into what the Orthodox Church teaches.

Seeing that you wish to dialogue with us, I encourage you to take a look at the section I moderate as my prime area of responsibility: Orthodox-Protestant Discussion (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,34.0.html). You will find that my section is much less restrictive and that you will therefore have a lot more freedom to present your point of view there. Come pay my board a visit. I promise it will be worth your while. ;)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on December 31, 2011, 01:01:46 AM
Actually, I noticed someone had on their profile 'the Faith that established the universe'. I like that.. Could I say that?

That is actually a quote from decree of the 7th ecumenical council and refers to the Orthodox faith. It's a statement of faith in what was proclaimed at that council, everything that was believed by those present at the council, and an identification with what I believe to be the historical continuation of faith and communion with those present.

This is the last council that is universally accepted by the Orthodox as being "ecumenical" even though a number of councils have been held since to deal with various controversies that have come up. Being the final council to be termed "ecumenical", it is sometimes used as a point of definition to identify the Eastern Orthodox Church as being the "Church of the 7 ecumenical councils" as opposed to other churches which may hold to a greater or lesser number councils as being ecumenical. The council itself affirmed the use and veneration of images as a means of expressing the incarnation of Christ, that the saints are made holy in Christ, that honor shown toward the image was a means of honoring the the person depicted, and that the honor given to images is not to be the same as worship that is given directly to God.

Quote from: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xvi.xii.html
We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people.  For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence (ἀσπασμὸν καὶ τιμητικὴν προσκύνησιν), not indeed that true worship of faith (λατρείαν) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom.  For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 31, 2011, 02:02:40 AM

Seeing that you wish to dialogue with us, I encourage you to take a look at the section I moderate as my prime area of responsibility: Orthodox-Protestant Discussion (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,34.0.html). You will find that my section is much less restrictive and that you will therefore have a lot more freedom to present your point of view there. Come pay my board a visit. I promise it will be worth your while. ;)

Thanks Peter. I got on and found that one a bit earlier. Thanks for the invitation. I understand what you're saying, so I'll try and stick to the guidelines.

Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 31, 2011, 02:07:38 AM
Actually, I noticed someone had on their profile 'the Faith that established the universe'. I like that.. Could I say that?

That is actually a quote from decree of the 7th ecumenical council and refers to the Orthodox faith. It's a statement of faith in what was proclaimed at that council, everything that was believed by those present at the council, and an identification with what I believe to be the historical continuation of faith and communion with those present.

This is the last council that is universally accepted by the Orthodox as being "ecumenical" even though a number of councils have been held since to deal with various controversies that have come up. Being the final council to be termed "ecumenical", it is sometimes used as a point of definition to identify the Eastern Orthodox Church as being the "Church of the 7 ecumenical councils" as opposed to other churches which may hold to a greater or lesser number councils as being ecumenical. The council itself affirmed the use and veneration of images as a means of expressing the incarnation of Christ, that the saints are made holy in Christ, that honor shown toward the image was a means of honoring the the person depicted, and that the honor given to images is not to be the same as worship that is given directly to God.

Quote from: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xvi.xii.html
We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people.  For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence (ἀσπασμὸν καὶ τιμητικὴν προσκύνησιν), not indeed that true worship of faith (λατρείαν) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom.  For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented.


Thanks for that info. Very interesting. I don't know a great deal about the councils so thats interesting to note historically. The faith of Jesus Christ is the faith that established the universe! It is brilliant.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: ByGracethroughFaith on December 31, 2011, 02:42:12 AM
Hi Peter, I was just reading through your post again regarding my beliefs and their similarities to protestantism.. And in brackets, you've inserted imputed righteousness, salvation by grace through faith alone, and then you mentioned all of which are foreign to orthodox teaching? I didn't realise this was foreign to orthodox christianity. Do not the scriptures speak of such things? Or have I gotten this wrong?

Romans 4:20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Surely, you all must be aware of the verses which are specifically written to us (as gentiles) that blatantly say salvation is by grace through faith alone? Or are they being misused or misunderstood somehow? I know people get confused when they read books written specifically to Israel, eg. the book of James, the letter to the Hebrews, and then try and marry the doctrines up with the letters written to gentiles - which were written by Paul - apostle to the gentiles..  This can cause confusion. But don't all christians recognise that salvation is by grace through faith alone?

Romans 4:5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

How can this be understood any other way?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 31, 2011, 02:56:51 AM
Hi Peter, I was just reading through your post again regarding my beliefs and their similarities to protestantism.. And in brackets, you've inserted imputed righteousness, salvation by grace through faith alone, and then you mentioned all of which are foreign to orthodox teaching? I didn't realise this was foreign to orthodox christianity. Do not the scriptures speak of such things? Or have I gotten this wrong?

Romans 4:20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Surely, you all must be aware of the verses which are specifically written to us (as gentiles) that blatantly say salvation is by grace through faith alone? Or are they being misused or misunderstood somehow? I know people get confused when they read books written specifically to Israel, eg. the book of James, the letter to the Hebrews, and then try and marry the doctrines up with the letters written to gentiles - which were written by Paul - apostle to the gentiles..  This can cause confusion. But don't all christians recognise that salvation is by grace through faith alone?

Romans 4:5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

How can this be understood any other way?
Evidently, you do not understand the Orthodox faith that well if you will defend with such fervor your perception that we believe as you do. We also do not confess sola scriptura as you appear so to do. Before you submit another post on the Faith Issues board or any place on the OC.net forum, I recommend that you take some time to get acquainted with what we really believe, particularly our understanding of the Scriptures, because it isn't what you think.

Now let me be more blunt in assistance to my colleagues who oversee this section. What you have done as one who has clearly identified himself as outside the Orthodox Christian Church is not welcome on the Faith Issues board, and I must insist formally that you cease posting it here and come to my section, Orthodox-Protestant Discussion (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,34.0.html), where you have the freedom to continue posting your point of view. This is no longer just a friendly invitation; this is a moderator's directive and is to be followed without public comment.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Melodist on December 31, 2011, 04:52:51 AM
I don't know a great deal about the councils so thats interesting to note historically. The faith of Jesus Christ is the faith that established the universe! It is brilliant.

I find it interesting to see how the events of the Old Testament forshadowed the coming of Christ and His work of salvation, which are narrated in the gospels and put into both theological and practical terms with Acts giving us a narration of the formation of Christ's Church on the day of Pentecost and the story behind the churches and persons to whom the epitles are addressed. It's definitely interesting to see the continuity of this throughout history.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on January 16, 2012, 03:49:27 PM
God didn't come in the flesh merely to be a spotless sacrifice, he came to unite mankind with himself. We cannot find union with God through a perfect human life, we can only find it through God Himself. So, if Mary could've been the "spotless sacrifice" that's still not enough. The issue isn't about sinlessness, it's about participating in the divine nature of God.

(http://nextlol.com/images/708-flawless-victory.jpg)

probably the best post I have read so far
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 21, 2014, 10:33:55 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

If Mary is sinless why do we need a savior? Can't we choose to not sin? I mean ok yeah I can't think of anyone but Jesus and Mary but it's possible so why is salvation not through works of the law? Also, were does the premise of Mary being sinless come from?

While Our Lady lived a life free from the taint of personal sin, she like all of us fellow human beings was born under the curse of Original Sin, which only the Cross could save us from.  Further, Mary was not necessarily able to maintain a life free from personal sin on her own, rather it is in the Grace of God, that she is the very Mother of God and then Full of Grace in the first place.  Of course, even if she was sinless from her own individual effort, regardless she still had Original Sin like us all which Christ alone could redeem.  Even through a perfected life, Mary could not redeem herself, just as even if we live our own lives free from personal sin, still we must embrace the Divine Mysteries to be redeemed from Original Sin which inherently drives us towards personal sins.

Stay Blessed,
Habte Selassie




as much as admire your concerns, i don't think what u said is true, at all. ya the theotokos is Human like us   and all that but her vocation was to be the Mother of the Divine Logos. and ya since she is human she needed to be saved by Christ and his death on the cross. but never apply his redemption in a 'humanly' manner on the theotokos. for someone to be saved from something bad, it doesn't be the case that he should get one. even protecting him from bad is saving him. let me be more clear here, who saved the three youth in the book of Daniel? you can say Gabriel or God the Son or whatever...but they were never touched by the fire, did they? God's mysteries are beyond our rational and beyond our time. this is clearly shown when Christ gave his actual Body and Actual blood to his Apostles on Thursday night before his crucifixion on Friday. this means they partook from the tree of life even before his death. so why not for Mary, the Panagia one? she is definitely saved by Christ but without being even conquered by the power of death. it is fact that she was assumed to heaven, body and soul, because it is said 'your holy one shall not see corruption'. i know this prophecy was primarily for Christ, who conquered death by his death, as a result of his divine life in his humanity. this also goes for everyone who believes in him and keep his commandments in Love.
    and about the 'Original Sin', its is not expressed in terms of taint, its not -- its not the understanding. Humanity died because of the Sin and his nature was corrupted, nothing more. there is no stain or taint or sin to be inherited.
     ''motis lemewati yidelu motalemaryame ye'atsib lekulu'' (Diggua)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 21, 2014, 07:35:08 PM
Quote
so why not for Mary, the Panagia one? she is definitely saved by Christ but without being even conquered by the power of death.

The Mother of God did die, and was buried at Gethsemane. Her body was miraculously taken to heaven after her death and burial.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 21, 2014, 10:59:40 PM
Quote
so why not for Mary, the Panagia one? she is definitely saved by Christ but without being even conquered by the power of death.

The Mother of God did die, and was buried at Gethsemane. Her body was miraculously taken to heaven after her death and burial.

 :D absolutely she died. but the meaning of death is changed by Christ, isn't? it became a situation to live life eternal in glory with Christ, the Lord (Kyrios). to die is the essential thing expected from the believers of Christ in order to reign with him. the Holy Apostle said "If we died with him, we will live with him, if we suffer with him we will reign with him...." (1 Tim 2). Death became no more scarey for Believers but a situation which Christian able to get the Glorified body. so her death was like of her son's (please becarefull not to think that hers was a redeeming death, but without the cause of sin). and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors. blessings,
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 21, 2014, 11:06:25 PM
''motis lemewati yidelu motalemaryame ye'atsib lekulu'' (Diggua)

Deacon,

Would you please provide a translation of the above text?  Thanks. 
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 21, 2014, 11:26:33 PM
Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.

Even Christ, who was without sin, died. He truly died, and was buried, as our Creed and hymns say.
Title: Re: If mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 21, 2014, 11:37:09 PM
''motis lemewati yidelu motalemaryame ye'atsib lekulu'' (Diggua)

Deacon,

Would you please provide a translation of the above text?  Thanks. 


ya it is a Geez text from a church hyme called "Diggua" (in the Ethiopian orthodox) by St. Yared of Ethiopia( 6th Cetury). it means -- a Mortal deserves death but the death of Mary is 'Admirable' (Motise lemewati yidelu mota lemaryam Ye'atsib lekulu).
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 21, 2014, 11:45:00 PM
Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.

Even Christ, who was without sin, died. He truly died, and was buried, as our Creed and hymns say.
Ya Obviously. but i already said his death was not a result of sin but to Redeem the world. his death was to conquer the power of death. so we sing in church " Christ is risen from the dead, trembling death by death..." so also for those who believed in Him he gave the power to conquer death. This is shown in Baptism (dying with him and being raised with him). bottom-line the meaning of death is changed by Him.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 21, 2014, 11:50:10 PM
Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.

Even Christ, who was without sin, died. He truly died, and was buried, as our Creed and hymns say.
Ya Obviously. but i already said his death was not a result of sin but to Redeem the world. his death was to conquer the power of death. so we sing in church " Christ is risen from the dead, trembling death by death..." so also for those who believed in Him he gave the power to conquer death. This is shown in Baptism (dying with him and being raised with him). bottom-line the meaning of death is changed by Him.

I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 21, 2014, 11:53:56 PM
I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.

It is the same for us.  I suspect Dn Mikias is making a different point. 
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 21, 2014, 11:57:10 PM
I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.

It is the same for us.  I suspect Dn Mikias is making a different point. 

Please oblige.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 22, 2014, 12:03:30 AM
Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.

Even Christ, who was without sin, died. He truly died, and was buried, as our Creed and hymns say.
Ya Obviously. but i already said his death was not a result of sin but to Redeem the world. his death was to conquer the power of death. so we sing in church " Christ is risen from the dead, trembling death by death..." so also for those who believed in Him he gave the power to conquer death. This is shown in Baptism (dying with him and being raised with him). bottom-line the meaning of death is changed by Him.

I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.


The Oriental Orthodox Churches (Ethiopian, Eritrean and Coptic, that i can be sure of) express the death of Mary. even the above text i translated fro Geez expresses he death. and it is also expressed in our Icons. so no doubt on it.... oh i forgot THERE IS EVEN A COMMOMORATION DAY (if this is the right word) in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition, Tir 21 (January 30) and her assumption on Nehase 16 (August 22). so there you go.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 22, 2014, 12:08:12 AM
Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.

Even Christ, who was without sin, died. He truly died, and was buried, as our Creed and hymns say.
Ya Obviously. but i already said his death was not a result of sin but to Redeem the world. his death was to conquer the power of death. so we sing in church " Christ is risen from the dead, trembling death by death..." so also for those who believed in Him he gave the power to conquer death. This is shown in Baptism (dying with him and being raised with him). bottom-line the meaning of death is changed by Him.

I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.


The Oriental Orthodox Churches (Ethiopian, Eritrean and Coptic, that i can be sure of) express the death of Mary. even the above text i translated fro Geez expresses he death. and it is also expressed in our Icons. so no doubt on it.... oh i forgot THERE IS EVEN A COMMOMORATION DAY (if this is the right word) in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition, Tir 21 (January 30) and her assumption on Nehase 16 (August 22). so there you go.


How does what you just posted match this, which you posted earlier?

Quote
and its A DOGMA OF ORTHODOXY THAT IF ONE DOESN'T SIN, THEN NO DEATH AT ALL. so pretty clear she never sin in anyway, so her death is not that conquering ''type'' as her ancestors.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 22, 2014, 12:10:59 AM
I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.

It is the same for us.  I suspect Dn Mikias is making a different point. 

Please oblige.

In #294, he affirms that our Lady died, so that plus my post above should be enough to resolve that doubt.  

If I'm understanding Dn Mikias correctly, I think he's saying that her death was different from death before Christ's resurrection because it was death after the power of death had already been vanquished by Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.  IIRC, in De Incarnatione, St Athanasius makes a similar point: one of his "proofs" for the resurrection of Christ is that the baptised no longer fear death but meet it head-on and courageously (e.g., the martyrs).  Her death was death in Christ, which is life.  It's not the same death as, for example, the patriarch Abraham: physiologically, it was the same, of course, but whereas Christ "preached to the spirits in prison" according to St Peter, he broke down its doors and locks, smashed its gates, etc. by his resurrection--it's no longer "prison", it has no power over us.        
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: deacon Mikias(micah) on February 22, 2014, 12:18:02 AM
I can't speak for the OO, but the death of the Mother of God is clearly expressed in EO hymns and icons.

It is the same for us.  I suspect Dn Mikias is making a different point. 

Please oblige.

In #294, he affirms that our Lady died, so that plus my post above should be enough to resolve that doubt.  

If I'm understanding Dn Mikias correctly, I think he's saying that her death was different from death before Christ's resurrection because it was death after the power of death had already been vanquished by Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.  IIRC, in De Incarnatione, St Athanasius makes a similar point: one of his "proofs" for the resurrection of Christ is that the baptised no longer fear death but meet it head-on and courageously (e.g., the martyrs).  Her death was death in Christ, which is life.  It's not the same death as, for example, the patriarch Abraham: physiologically, it was the same, of course, but whereas Christ "preached to the spirits in prison" according to St Peter, he broke down its doors and locks, smashed its gates, etc. by his resurrection--it's no longer "prison", it has no power over us.        



Absolutely True. i mean this is just it. Thank You Mor Ephrem. blessings   ;)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 22, 2014, 12:26:43 AM
Quote
Her death was death in Christ, which is life.  It's not the same death as, for example, the patriarch Abraham: physiologically, it was the same, of course, but whereas Christ "preached to the spirits in prison" according to St Peter, he broke down its doors and locks, smashed its gates, etc. by his resurrection--it's no longer "prison", it has no power over us.      


A look at the EO hymns of the Dormition of the Mother of God confirms this:

Festal troparion:

In giving birth you retained your virginity; in falling asleep, O Mother of God, you did not abandon the world. You passed over into life, you, the Mother of life; and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

Festal kontakion:

Neither tomb nor death overpowered the Mother of God, unsleeping in her prayers, unfailing hope in intercession; for as Mother of Life she has been taken over to life by him who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Exaposteilarion:

O you Apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane; and you, my Son, receive my spirit.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on February 22, 2014, 04:16:08 PM
I think that church hymns are not a good source for the analysis of the church dogmas  ;D
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 22, 2014, 04:28:23 PM
I think that church hymns are not a good source for the analysis of the church dogmas  ;D

What would you suggest?
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on February 23, 2014, 01:36:51 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_seven_Ecumenical_Councils

and the fathers- fathers who were theologians, not hymnographs. I know these 2 should be intertwined but the often arent
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: Mor Ephrem on February 23, 2014, 01:55:31 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_seven_Ecumenical_Councils

and the fathers- fathers who were theologians, not hymnographs. I know these 2 should be intertwined but the often arent

What's the difference between a theologian and a hymnographer? 
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: LBK on February 23, 2014, 05:07:14 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_seven_Ecumenical_Councils

and the fathers- fathers who were theologians, not hymnographs. I know these 2 should be intertwined but the often arent

St Andrew of Crete? St John of Damascus, whose works cover every aspect of the Faith? Theodore of the Studion, hymnographer and defender of icons? All are Fathers and hymnographers. They are not the only ones.

If The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete is not instructive, I don't know what is.
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on February 25, 2014, 07:03:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPNsy029OeU

Burger king , Have it your way !
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: frjohnmorris on February 26, 2014, 12:21:34 AM
I think that church hymns are not a good source for the analysis of the church dogmas  ;D

Herr Mozart, funny, I thought that you died shortly after the completion of "The Magic Flute," "Die Zauberflöte" in 1791. I love your music, but question your knowledge of Orthodox theology. In the Eastern Orthodox Church we express our theology through our worship. Although the words are Latin, we follow the principle, "Lex orandi, lex credendi," which means the law of prayer is the law of belief. The troparia, sticheria, and other liturgical texts are the very best source for understanding what we believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Fr. John W. Morris
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: frjohnmorris on February 26, 2014, 12:29:00 AM
While the Orthodox Church has proclaimed far fewer dogmas on the Mother of God (examples include her perpetual virginity, and the Christological necessity of her being referred to as Theotokos, not Christotokos) than has the RCC, nevertheless, we are not free to pick and choose what we choose to believe about her, if hymnography speaks of her. Hymnography, like iconography, are the hallmarks and standards of the consensus patrum.

Bogdan's post is faultless:

Quote
Whether something is technically a dogma is not an important factor in determining truthfulness. That is usually accomplished through the practice of the Church. And if it's heresy, it will be dealt with.

The Dormition is not an ecumenical-council-defined dogma either, but it is expressed in the hymns and icons of the Church and thus it is true. A priest would not be permitted to dismiss the feast of the Dormition just because it's not a dogma.

An akathist written in the last 100 years, however, has not been scrutinized like the writings of St Romanos, however, so I can agree in that aspect.



That is because we usually reserve the title dogma to a doctrine about God or Christ proclaimed by an Ecumenical Council. When we talk about salvation, we usually call it "economy." However, if the liturgical texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches something, that is what we believe. Remember Orthodox means "Right Praise." Worship, especially the Divine Liturgy, is what makes us a Church and not simply a gathering of people.

Fr. John W. Morris
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on February 27, 2014, 05:38:19 PM


Herr Mozart, funny, I thought that you died shortly after the completion of "The Magic Flute," "Die Zauberflöte" in 1791. I love your music, but question your knowledge of Orthodox theology. In the Eastern Orthodox Church we express our theology through our worship. Although the words are Latin, we follow the principle, "Lex orandi, lex credendi," which means the law of prayer is the law of belief. The troparia, sticheria, and other liturgical texts are the very best source for understanding what we believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Fr. John W. Morris

Oh I am still alive... I live inside people who like my music

Now, I dont want to talk about the dogmatic character of the hymns, sticheria etc. this is just an example

In the Octoechos attributed to Saint John of Damascus, we find a clear reference to the tollhouses. The eigth canticle from the canon at Matins reads,

"O Virgin, in the hour of death rescue me from the hands of the demons, and the judgment, and the accusations, and the frightful testing, and the bitter tollhouses and the fierce prince, and the eternal condemnation, O Theotokos."


Is this teaching about the tollhouses dogmatic in the orthodox church?  ;D
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: frjohnmorris on February 27, 2014, 07:57:12 PM


Herr Mozart, funny, I thought that you died shortly after the completion of "The Magic Flute," "Die Zauberflöte" in 1791. I love your music, but question your knowledge of Orthodox theology. In the Eastern Orthodox Church we express our theology through our worship. Although the words are Latin, we follow the principle, "Lex orandi, lex credendi," which means the law of prayer is the law of belief. The troparia, sticheria, and other liturgical texts are the very best source for understanding what we believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Fr. John W. Morris

Oh I am still alive... I live inside people who like my music

Now, I dont want to talk about the dogmatic character of the hymns, sticheria etc. this is just an example

In the Octoechos attributed to Saint John of Damascus, we find a clear reference to the tollhouses. The eigth canticle from the canon at Matins reads,

"O Virgin, in the hour of death rescue me from the hands of the demons, and the judgment, and the accusations, and the frightful testing, and the bitter tollhouses and the fierce prince, and the eternal condemnation, O Theotokos."


Is this teaching about the tollhouses dogmatic in the orthodox church?  ;D

It all depends on what is meant by toll houses. As I am sure you know a fierce debate is going on in the Orthodox Church on this issue. If toll houses are  used the illusion of  as a metaphor for the particular judgment, it is acceptable for Orthodox. However there are some whose interpretation of toll houses is too close to the RC doctrine of purgatory.

Fr. John W. Morris
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on February 28, 2014, 02:51:27 PM
nice 1... actually, one can say this for almost everything in the orthodox church - btw I dont think there is a correlation between the toll houses and the doctrine of purgatory. Toll houses are more like the egyptian book of the dead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead#Judgement


(http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/4884/accj.jpg)
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: frjohnmorris on February 28, 2014, 09:00:58 PM
nice 1... actually, one can say this for almost everything in the orthodox church - btw I dont think there is a correlation between the toll houses and the doctrine of purgatory. Toll houses are more like the egyptian book of the dead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead#Judgement


(http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/4884/accj.jpg)

No Council, Ecumenical or otherwise has ever approved the doctrine of Toll Houses. At best it is a theologoumena, that is theological opinion that seems to come from some monastic traditions. One problem is that some people express this belief in terms that sound like the R.C. doctrine of purgatory. Others express it in ways that sound Gnostic. Others simply consider it a metaphor for the particular judgment. I personally think that we must always avoid trying to define too much in order to preserve a proper Eastern Orthodox sense of mystery when we consider things not officially proclaimed by the Church as dogma. I am also leery of some expressions of this belief because they seem to forget that whatever sins, we have committed, if we repent we are completely forgiven and do not have to earn forgiveness by works, because there is nothing that we can add to what Christ has done for us. The way that some people express the Toll House belief makes it sound like we have to earn forgiveness by works, which is completely contrary to Orthodox doctrine.

Fr. John W. Morris
Title: Re: If Mary is sinless...
Post by: W.A.Mozart on March 01, 2014, 09:17:21 AM
thank you father Morris  ;D

I mentioned the aerial toll-houses because of the fact they are menntioned in the Octoechos, in a text attributed to Saint John of Damascus. My personal opinion is that aerial toll-houses have nothing to do with the teaching of Jesus Christ but the point is - does everything that is mentioned in the Octoechos have a dogmatic character? Ultimately, can one see the hymns, sticheria etc. as a source of orthodox dogmatic theology? If the answer is negative - what is the criterion that we should recognize as the proper one if we want to deal with the authentic orthodoxy in the Octoechos?

If everything in Octoechos has a dogmatic character - then aerial toll-houses do exist and we have ADVOCACY - thats what we are left with when you take away Gods love : )