OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 17, 2014, 11:54:12 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Discourse  (Read 1504 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,411



« on: July 26, 2004, 10:48:36 AM »

Because some of us have graduated from seeing things only superficially.

Please. The surface of the Sigillon is theology; the depth is revealed in the political invective of which it is composed. Your use of the word "graduated" is also rather ironic in light the actual differences in our ages and education.

Quote
Diversity of praxis existed in the Orthodox Church in early times, and even now there is a certain level of diversity.

Since we've already established that Nicene canons forbid diversity in this particular point of praxis, that's irrelevant.

Quote
But you still fail to see that the main objection to the new calendar is because it was implemented for ecumenism - which denies one of the major points of the creed.

Posh-- or I should say, "superficial." I don't feel like getting into a another ecumenism battle here, but its use in this context is of a lame excuse. You see ecumenism; I see Orthodox arrogation.

Then again, maybe I should press the ecumenism point. It's right there in the history of the Aleppo solution; an effort at a uniform solution was sabotaged-- and I chose that word quite deliberately-- by the Orthodox hardheads who insisted that everyone had to go along with them. Thus, traditionalism continued its tradition of non-cooperation.  They might not have wanted to say that, but they did say that.

Which goes back to that word "atheist". People like to delude themselves into the superficial comfort of believing that they have control over their own words. But they do not. And even to the degree that they do control them, yet it might be them but their sin. The political arrogance of calling the pope's astronomers "atheist" is baldly obvious, and the attempts to explain it away are as obviously questionable. I mean, if my bishops or the pope's bishops made a similar statement, I would remark that they had spoken intemperately. As it is, what they said is indefensible, and you should be rethinking your ardent defense of it.

As to why I'm here-- part of it is to keep you guys honest!

<changed title>[/font]
« Last Edit: July 26, 2004, 02:27:36 PM by Keble » Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2004, 11:49:01 AM »

As an admin I am wary of this post's intent from the beginning.  It may be in the free-for-all but calling Orthodox hardheads and using alternative words for donkeys to describe Orthodox traditionalism is not going to fly here, on any forum of this site.  I routinely censor people for calling Protestants Prots, so I am not going to allow you to offend the Orthodox in this manner.

Anastasios
Admin
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2004, 11:50:33 AM »

Now my personal response:

1) In the 1500's, people used expressions such as "atheist", "hateful to God", etc.  I have even seen such expressions pop up in the Church Fathers.  That was an accusation the pagans made against Christians as well.  We don't use that terminology now, but let's not be anachronistic.

2) I agree, the Orthodox at Alleppo caused you guys some problems.  See, that's why they shouldn't have been there in the first place!

anastasios
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,411



« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2004, 01:50:20 PM »

I'm not calling Orthodox as a whole "hardheads". I can hardly argue with the many Orthodox churches which showed up at Aleppo and signed off on the statement, after all. But let's suppose that I soften that to "hardliners".

In case it has already been forgotten, the trouble started over that word "atheist". I believe that the bishops intended that word as an insult-- perhaps not a conscious intention, but there seems no other reason to include the word except to denegrate the astronomers with what is nothing better than an ad hominem. I do not understand why there is such dogged resistance to admitting this. It is not an admission that denegrates Orthodoxy.

It would be nice if the calendar issue were solved. It's quite obvious it won't be solved any time soon because the major Orthodox churches are stuck between having to work things out with the West and having to accede to the demands of those churches who won't now and may never concede anything to the West. It's obvious that there's more to this than the capital letter talk of Truth and Faith, that there is a political dimension to it that any competent student of European history can point out.

All of us Protestants can look back to some period when our churches were reactively anti-Roman. Much of what was said about the Catholic Church in those days deserves calumny from us, and receives it. I have no problem with fervent discussion of differences, keeping in mind that the responses are likely to be fervent too. But the elongated defense of what is really no better than a schoolyard taunt should be beyond the pale to any Christian.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2004, 04:04:20 PM by Keble » Logged
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,411



« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2004, 01:59:14 PM »

Now my personal response:

1) In the 1500's, people used expressions such as "atheist", "hateful to God", etc.  I have even seen such expressions pop up in the Church Fathers.  That was an accusation the pagans made against Christians as well.  We don't use that terminology now, but let's not be anachronistic.

I wouldn't have ever called it terminology. It was always insulting, it was always meant pejoratively, and the real difference is that, for moral reasons, the standards of public discourse have been raised considerably over the years. I forgive the past; but those who insist on the same discourse in the present simply repeat the old sin anew.

Quote
2) I agree, the Orthodox at Alleppo caused you guys some problems.  See, that's why they shouldn't have been there in the first place!

If the Orthodox hadn't shown up, there wouldn't have been a point to the conference in the first place. The West, after all, fixed its calendar problems some three hundred years ago.  Tongue
« Last Edit: July 26, 2004, 04:05:00 PM by Keble » Logged
Etienne
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 150

OC.net


« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2004, 11:00:12 AM »

The calendar was adoped and worked out over time, with synods and councils, within one church in Eucharistic communion. It provided and provides liturgical unity. The adoption of an innovation, in the manner it was done and in its effect, has marred that. It was not a concilliar process, far from it. The question is not one of either 'hardheadedness' or 'hardliners'.

The adoption by some local churches of the 'revised' Julian calendar, ruptured the liturgical unity within the earthly church. For many this innovation, brought about in a manner alien to the love that should have been shown, is a signature for many other innovations which are alien to Orthodoxy in the years that followed.

Liturgically it sees in any number of cities, in one church the faithfull celebrating Christ's nativity while a little way off in another the faithfull are still fasting in preparation for the feast yet to come.

As for who are or were headliners, those who introduced with brutal force and the use of gendarmes, forced stripping, shaving and haircutting, the violation of churches during divine services, etc., etc.

As Christian Orthodox believers the calendar issue is a matter for us. Others may have a view but we are not required answer them. My understanding is that there was great resistance by good 'protestant' folk when after some resistance Pope Gregory's calendar was finally adopted in England.

You have a different calendar, as do the Hebrews, Moslems, and others. Within each of your 'communities' there are dissensions; women clergy, homosexuality, the blessing of same sex unions, feminism, etc., etc. In a friendly way may I suggest that each of us might be better employed addressing the issues that are ours, rather than those of others?

As to the accusation that the Orthodox arrogate to themselves, this or that, I find that accusation an odd one. The bishop of Rome arrogates many thinks to himself, universal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, the ability to introduce 'dogmas' unknown to Scripture, Sacred Tradition or the Church Fathers. The latter witnessed to not just by the Orthodox but by various Gallican divines. Yet others, who not being Papists, but asserting nevertheless they are an integral part of the world wide church introduce innovations alien to Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching of the Church Fathers; ordination of women, ordination of persons knowing them to be engaged in homosexual relationships, or who support or promote abortion, etc., etc.

Many of these are totally and inflexibly committed to these 'values', and attack those who do not share them, labelling us who wish to remain faithfull to our faith, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, in intemperate and vulgar words.

Maybe each of us needs to first look to our own home, only then may be able to talk to each other with confidence.
Logged

It is afterwards that events are best understood
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,411



« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2004, 12:30:42 AM »

The calendar was adoped and worked out over time, with synods and councils, within one church in Eucharistic communion. It provided and provides liturgical unity. The adoption of an innovation, in the manner it was done and in its effect, has marred that. It was not a concilliar process, far from it. The question is not one of either 'hardheadedness' or 'hardliners'.

OK, well, let's take this apart.

First: the Old paschalion was devised by a single man, to whom we can even give a name: Dionysius Exiguus. If time was involved in its working out, it's because the Roman church had trouble working out a formula.

Second, the issue of conciliarity: the issue here is the paschalion; put in on a new basis, and the fixed calendar should properly fall into the Gregorian pattern. We've been over the problem that the "revised Julian" calendar puts Easter "late".

The point here is that I have to doubt whether a conciliar solution to this is actually possible. The sense I get is that there is a large enough body in Orthodoxy which refuses to discuss calendar reform, and which therefore holds the rest of Orthodoxy hostage. Contrariwise the "non-traditionalists" do not feel bound to use a Julian fixed calendar.

Whether this has anything to do with love, well, if it does, it traces back to rivalry with the West. I do not think that one side can be labelled as loving and the other not.

Quote
As for who are or were headliners, those who introduced with brutal force and the use of gendarmes, forced stripping, shaving and haircutting, the violation of churches during divine services, etc., etc.

But you know, it's 2004 and in the USA we at least don't do any of these things. And if they were done, isn't it time to forgive them? Hmmmmmm??

Quote
My understanding is that there was great resistance by good 'protestant' folk when after some resistance Pope Gregory's calendar was finally adopted in England.

Again, behind the question of resistance is whether it was well-grounded. At this late date, we in the West recognize that resistance for the rivalry (if not outright hatred) it was, and have let it go.

Quote
You have a different calendar, as do the Hebrews, Moslems, and others.

OK, now we've stepped into false analogies.

In the first place, we now have the subtext that Western Christians aren't Christians.

In the second place, this isn't historical. All of these calendars are astronomical; theoretically, one person could go out each night in Jerusalem and set the dates for each calendar by looking at the moon and determining the equinoxes (the latter not being necessary for the Moslem calendar). That is the way it was anciently done.  The problem for both Judaism and Christianity is that distance and communication rendered this method impossible; therefore, mechanical calculations had to be substituted.

All of these mechanical methods are wrong to the degree that they haven't got the lunar motion exactly right. In theory this error is stable and small; the cumulative error is also pretty tiny.

The cumulative error of the solar portion, however, is not small. So here's the irony: the "sanctification" of the old calendar is based largely on it being in error! If we had all stuck with observations, then we would all be, well, we would be on the Aleppo paschalion and the civil calendar would be a little different (different pattern of leap years, basically). The innovation of using calculations is what caused the deviation.

And now, apparently, calendar reform in the East is impossible because there has already been calendar reform in the West.

Quote
As to the accusation that the Orthodox arrogate to themselves, this or that, I find that accusation an odd one. The bishop of Rome arrogates many thinks to himself, universal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, the ability to introduce 'dogmas' unknown to Scripture, Sacred Tradition or the Church Fathers.

If that is so, what does that matter to the East? There is always enough arrogation to go around; the East does not need to borrow some from Rome!

There's a consistent problem in discourse here in that this particular set of issues doesn't resolve out in East-West differences. On these issues, the Protestant West sees Rome and Constantinople as like each other and unlike the Protestants.

Quote
Maybe each of us needs to first look to our own home, only then may be able to talk to each other with confidence.

Wellllllll, maybe that's not possible. It seems to me that one crucial character of Orthodoxy is that it defines itself by excluding the other groups. For instance, people here, in talking from Orthodoxy, use "-ism" words far more than Protestants (and perhaps Catholics) would. Separation can only be justified on unacceptable difference; therefore, the causality (it seems to me) tends to get broken because differences get defined as unacceptable in order to justify the already extant separation.

The homes, in that sense, only exist because of the walls between groups.
Logged
Etienne
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 150

OC.net


« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2004, 03:45:35 PM »

Keble, thank you for your response.

The persecution of those who remained loyal to the church calendar is a matter of historical record, and the issues which brought about the disconnection go further than the calendar. These issues remain unresolved. I, for one would like to see these issues addressed.

Your response concerning the pascalion is interesting, but I do not see why the Orthodox Church should change it so it fits in with, well who? I hear murmurs that there are those who want to fix the date of 'Easter', because all chopping and changing each year is not very convenient.

The persecution of those loyal to the church calendar is a shameful fact. No, it did not happen in the USA, but the USA is a small part of the wider Orthodox Church. Indeed a lot of things did not happen in the USA, or the UK either, but I am confused as to how this relates. The issues remain and the parties unreconciled. For me this is a cause for pain. As to whether the resistance was well founded? In England, I suspect there was more than a little anti-Papism. The history of church and people in England, particularly since the Norman invasion complex. I guess you would have to ask someone else the answer to that.

The disconnection between those adhering to the church calendar and those who adopted the so-called 'new calendar' involves more than a question of calendars. No one on either calendar I have spoken, and that is a lot of people, argues that either is more or less astronomically accurate.

As to your point that you sense that a large portion refuses to discuss calendar 'reform' and hold those that want change hostage, perhaps it is rather the will of the Church to remain on the Church calendar. Finland alone has gone down a different path. She is a very, very small church. Who held her hostage?
I have the sense that your sense is a little wide of the mark.

In other confessional groups things are done and the gap between  them and Orthodox belief and discipline seems to grow wider and wider. The old heresies which our forefathers contended against seem stronger than ever, and been joined by new ones. The gap between us, regrettably already wide, grows yet wider.

As to your observation about Orthodoxy excluding, and you finding Orthodox people using 'isms' here more than protestants or catholics. The latter I cannot answer because I have no awareness on which to make a response. Orthodoxy excludes or is it others exclude themselves? Unacceptable, I have meet many who call themselves Christians, who is other times would have been recognised as Arians, semi-arians, nestorians, etc., etc. I have heard church elders and clerics deny the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, that Christ is both GOD and man, life after death, that the offering of bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ Jesus, etc., etc.

Rivalry, sadly there you may have a point, through it grieves me to say so. But it is not, I suggest, a simple East - West thing. Do the tensions between Moscow and Rome stem from some deep theological considerations, or you are rich and determined to step on my turf and pinch my constituents, using your greater wealth to do so? Some of the tensions undoubtedly stem from deeply and sincerely held differences in belief. Some because because historically the Orthodox have learnt that these same 'folks' have come before in the guise of friends and proved to be something different.

Now, Sir, I tire of this and am withdrawing as my condition means I have little in terms of reserves to draw upon. Let someone else respond if they feel so moved.
Logged

It is afterwards that events are best understood
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,411



« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2004, 06:29:33 PM »

As to your point that you sense that a large portion refuses to discuss calendar 'reform' and hold those that want change hostage, perhaps it is rather the will of the Church to remain on the Church calendar. Finland alone has gone down a different path. She is a very, very small church. Who held her hostage?
I have the sense that your sense is a little wide of the mark.

How can the will of The Church be expressed here? The "will of The Church" would appear to be that the status quo be maintained, because it is being maintained.

Quote
As to your observation about Orthodoxy excluding, and you finding Orthodox people using 'isms' here more than protestants or catholics. The latter I cannot answer because I have no awareness on which to make a response. Orthodoxy excludes or is it others exclude themselves? Unacceptable, I have meet many who call themselves Christians, who is other times would have been recognised as Arians, semi-arians, nestorians, etc., etc. I have heard church elders and clerics deny the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, that Christ is both GOD and man, life after death, that the offering of bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ Jesus, etc., etc.

This is, again, an issue of trying to control words. I've fought this battle for two decades and eventually had to break down and inevitably attach a qualifier to "Christian" in any situation where I needed to talk about a group other than "anyone who in any way identifies themselves as a Christian". Over the years I have tended to refer to "Nicene Christians" and "Chalcedonian Christians" for instance, and if the usage is a bit awkward, at least it is clear what I mean.

The problem with "-ism" is that it projects a systematization which is rather too often not there. For instance, the Episcopal Church is a Nicene church; but it is fair to say that not all its members hold Nicene beliefs. When push comes to shove, probably not all Orthodox church members really agree with the creed either. So: what is the significance of John Spong's unitarian beliefs? Well, it doesn't make the Episcopal Church unitarian-- though anyone who wants to jump on the bandwagon of complaining that the Episcopal Church tolerates unitarian beliefs more than it should is welcome to do so.

But more than that: "unitarian" has two meanings. It is the name of a denomination; but it is also a certain pattern of beliefs which are espoused by unitarian organizations. BUT patterns themselves suffer under the ontology of analysis. In this case, they are not real things.

Orthodoxy has taken the approach of defining its relationship with other Christian groups through anathemas: statements of separation. But separation has two parts here. In the first place, there are the condemned views; and in the second place, there are those who are condemned for holding them. Naturally this leads to the judicial question: whether those accused actually hold the rejected beliefs.

Quote
Rivalry, sadly there you may have a point, through it grieves me to say so. But it is not, I suggest, a simple East - West thing. Do the tensions between Moscow and Rome stem from some deep theological considerations, or you are rich and determined to step on my turf and pinch my constituents, using your greater wealth to do so? Some of the tensions undoubtedly stem from deeply and sincerely held differences in belief.

My agreement with your second sentence undercuts the third. The follies of the various Russian church septs suggest  that the Protestant and Catholic bodies are not necessary for the Orthodox churches to cut each other to ribbons. And furthermore, as you suggest, the division between Rome and Moscow isn't just theological, but, well, almost anything. And many of those "anythings" aren't edifying; you comments about Roman or Western wealth suggest a certain envy, do they not?
Logged
Etienne
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 150

OC.net


« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2004, 07:00:45 PM »

A word of explanation - having had a short rest - I have the blessing or cross of a condition which limits my ability to sit and to concentrate for long periods, sometimes not even that. (It also makes me a little irritable too, but that is mine to deal with.)

To the point, dear Sir, Aleppo! Where would one begin, it raises perhaps more questions than it answers. It entirely ignores the ancient rule regarding Pascha and Passover. The World Council of Churches correctly acknowledges the biggest impact would be on the churches of the east. But it appears also to suppose we all belong to one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Truly, do we?

Love, you referred to several times in your lengthy post. To witness to what we and our forefathers believed before all, adding or subtracting nothing. The Aleppo statement appears to be concerned with establishing a semblance of unity.

For us the Church year, the cycle of typicon is a treasure, an instruction, a discipline, requiring care and attention. Others might have us change, and when we have have run down the road and have changed this they will not be happy, for then there will be something else, and then something more. It will be in the name of love, of harmony, or a return to some 'imagined' purity of the 'primitive church. Sadly, it will be something else. A preparation for that that has been foretold, the Church of the anti-Christ. Or, perhaps, the church of pick and mix.

Tut, tut, Etienne, not that old chestnut, surely. Look at those who call themselves Christian today. If one spans the beliefs and lack of belief covered by these myriad groups and confessions, no man can reconcile them and, yet, the issue is why we do not join you in celebrating Pascha at the same time. Why many do not even believe in the Resurrection!

Christianity does not exclude, we exclude ourselves. This applies first to us who call ourselves Christian Orthodox, each and every time we fail to follow Him. Jesus Christ is ever at the door. And too often the door is shut against Him. Yes, I agree a common witness would strengthen witnessing of the Gospel, but I do not agree a lowest common denominator approach to creating an illusion of witnessing. From the first there have been some who fell into heresy, who seperated. The Church Fathers addressed them, and gave guidance to the faithfull that they too might not follow them into that same error. And today. An invite to the National Council of Churches, or a joint statement on this or that?

I do not write thus to disagree, nor to indulge in some sort of 'religious' knock about. As the significance of a common calendar in terms of enhancing the witness of Christianity to  a wider world, I will offer some feed-back I have got from some of other faiths.

1. From moslem missionaries, you have many translations and
   versions of your bible; these do not all agree and sometimes
   contradict each other, unlike our Koran.

2. What do you christians agree on, everything and nothing?

3. Christians appear to tack their belief onto the rest of their
    lives, its like an optional extra.

4. Oh, you are a christian, in other words you believe in nothing!

No non-Christian has ever raised the question of divergence in the celebration of Pascha or calendar, but they have raised many and searching questions about other things.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2004, 07:44:58 AM by Etienne » Logged

It is afterwards that events are best understood
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.07 seconds with 38 queries.