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Quote from: St. James
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God does not predispose us to evil, but we can predispose ourselves by habits that indulge and deceive ourselves. Thus our fall is called "sin," amartia, a grave and guilty strategic error on our part. God is from whom we part by such habits and to whom we can return, always, and the return can be miraculously quick by his loving power. And throughout our experiences he regards us with favor and even delight (harisma, "grace"). He "alone loves mankind" (certainly we do not properly love ourselves and each other). And he will save us -- there is nothing stronger than his intention to do this.
I think it's important to remember that "Catholic" has nothing to do with geography.  The Church was Catholic when it was limited to the Upper Room in Jerusalem, it was Catholic when it was just a few thousand people in Jerusalem who were baptised on the first Pentecost after Christ's death and resurrection, it was Catholic for the fifteen hundred years during which no one knew the Americas existed, etc. 

This is correct, it's not a numbers game.  It's tempting to look at these things, but that is one of the worst way to ultimately look at things.  The "success" of Orthodoxy is icing on the cake and/or a blessing that is a fruit of labor at best.   But so is one man hanging out in the dessert with the world persecuting him for his belief. To judge things solely on the criteria of that kind of "success" is the opposite of anything God is about.  To have one small community in nearly every country is no different than having tens of millions concentrated.  And as has been showed, those tens of millions can disappear rather quickly either through massive persecution, or switching spiritual disposition due to the convenience of the times due to lack of conviction, lack of concern and pastoral from the Church and community, and/or being weak willed. 
Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by Gamliel on Today at 12:48:32 PM »
Why did God create humans to be predisposed to evil?

He didn't.
Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by William T on Today at 12:41:14 PM »
wakka wakka wakka
When I have periods of doubt in my exploration of Orthodoxy, I find myself coming back to the fact that Orthodoxy has historically been very geographically confined (from my perspective as an Englishman) to parts of the Mediterranean and later Eastern Europe and Russia. For the most part this remains the case today, although of course there are notable missions in parts of Africa, Alaska, Japan and South America.

My issue is that from a historical perspective, Catholicism seems to have a much stronger argument for being truly Catholic - its presence throughout Europe after the Schism and then missions to Africa, the Americas, throughout Asia and Australasia mean that today it is a truly universal faith not a church limited by geography.

Of course I recognise there is a certain Northern Eurocentric bias here as Christians in Britain have historically been under the Pope and any pre-Schism "Orthodox Church" in these isles is a faint memory which both Orthodox and Catholics claim as their own. Nevertheless, I do find this historical argument troubling - it seems that the Orthodox Church is still grappling with the issue of ethnicity and even in the 21st century remains mostly geographically confined to Eastern Europe whereas the Roman Catholics have pioneered mission throughout history. For Catholics, they can see how throughout history they have answered Christ's call to "go into all the world and make disciples" (not necessarily defending their actions in this regard) but can the Orthodox say that? It claims to be the "One True Church" and I accept that the Orthodox seem to have held closest to the doctrine and praxis of early Christianity, but in terms of mission the Catholics have far outpaced the Orthodox.

Why would God allow a church that was in Schism from the true Church to bring billions of people to a faith that is at best incomplete? If the Orthodox are the One True Church why are they so small in comparison, still strongly ethnically and geographically limited and why is conversion so difficult for many people (I know not all)?

If we are to judge a religion by its worldly success, then you should make no delay to pronounce the Shahadah.
Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by Asteriktos on Today at 12:21:53 PM »
Other Topics / Re: W.A.G.-word association game
« Last post by William T on Today at 12:00:23 PM »
I dream of
Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Oriental Orthodox Picture of the Day
« Last post by Antonis on Today at 11:35:26 AM »
The host church is the main rite to be prayed.  Throughout the liturgy other churches' hymns are chanted (and this is arranged and planned) in areas believed to be the appropriate time within the host liturgy's structure.
Wow, that's interesting and not at all what I expected!

What did you expect?
I expected for them to just celebrate the rite of the host church unaltered. The actual practice sounds like it might need some MCs! I like it, though.
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