« Last post by minasoliman on Today at 03:16:59 PM »
Moving on to what you say about thoughts, the Fathers have a lot to say about this, and I have barely scratched the surface in my reading. What I do know is that we can't help the thoughts that sometimes drop into our head, as if out of nowhere but actually from the enemy of our souls. What we can do is either listen to them and dwell on them, which leads to them taking root, or reject them and look to Christ. There is absolutely no blame on us when such a thought drops into our mind if we reject it. And if we do start to take note, but then come to our senses and realise what it is and what we are doing, we can acknowledge our sin and ask the Lord for forgiveness. I wish it were not the case, but I often have to do this. The mind is a strange thing, and sometimes almost before I know it, it has gone off on some fantasy. But a simple prayer to the Lord can dispel these, and if they persist, they can be ignored. For me personally, I find makng the sign of the cross on my forehead helps. Whether others would recommend that or not I don't know.
Of course, I am talking here about thoughts that come at random. Liza has already given good advice about not putting ourselves in situations which we know will lead to thought temptation. If we do that, and then get related bad thoughts, we only have ourselves to blame. But even then, the route of repentance and forgiveness is still open to us.
The problem with that advice for beebert is that following it would require him to stop reading the Bible. I have known Orthodox Christians who have done that, literally closed the book in their young adulthood due to these types of questions, never to open it again for the rest of their life. Would think that's hardly ideal
Some of that 'close the book' mentality is due to the time period when the person lived and the state of Orthodoxy in the USA. There weren't a lot of educated Greek priests either in Greece or in the USA in those years due to the Turkish yoke and to being a fledging isolated ethnic church in America. There weren't any people or any books in English to address deeper questions.
To tell people to completely ignore questions like this is like telling someone to submit to brainwashing. Takes discernment of thoughts to know which are better discarded, which will lead you to greater understanding and relationship with God and ultimately strengthening of faith.
As far as I know God hasn't required us to check our rationality at the door.
I think he is asking a good question, one which my friend has debated with me a number of times. Am interested to understand the answer to this question as well.
My impression of history of Jews in the OT is that they have an anthropomorphic God on which they impress their own understanding through their limited worldview. They lived in a relatively barbaric age as well.
I'm not an expert on Judaism, but haven't noticed that current day study teaches that one view of the barbaric God. Some of what Jesus Christ was teaching while He walked the earth was also taught by other Rabbis.
Where did you get the idea that the advise given implies one stop reading the Bible?