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Author Topic: "The Day of the Cross"--Fr. Matta el Maskeen  (Read 2591 times) Average Rating: 0
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minasoliman
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« on: December 27, 2006, 05:47:28 PM »

In respecting the rules of the forum, and for me to continue an interesting debate, I would like to continue talking about this article.

In this first post, I will include the text of the article (to make it easier for quoting), then I will include the arguments already made in another post, and finally, I will continue posting.

The Day Of The Cross
A Day of Judgment
and a Day of Innocence

Quote
The Day of the Cross is a great day. Without exception, it is the greatest day of humanity. This is the day when humankind entered the great judgment and came out of it justified and absolved from their sins.

The message today is a living message. I wish the Lord would enable us to feel what the great Apostle Paul felt, to realize and believe with him that “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20). How did Paul receive this great principle? Even though the Cross did not have its affect on Paul the Apostle through the direct words of Christ during His life on earth, Paul received a revelation of the Cross when he opened his heart to the Savior. Thus his eyes were opened as well. Consequently today Paul’s words inspire us, and even more his spirit, to embrace the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We feel we were crucified with Christ, to live not for ourselves but for Him who died, lived, and was resurrected for our sake (2 Cor 5:15).

My talk today will be limited to one small verse, quoting the words the Lord said on the Day of the Cross when darkness filled the earth.

The Lord spoke seven times as he hung on the Cross, three of which were before the earth was covered in darkness, one during the darkness, and the last three after the darkness receded.

The first three He uttered before the darkness were:

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

“Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26, 27)

During the period when great darkness covered the whole earth, i.e. from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, the Lord Jesus spoke the following critical words. I note them 7here for their depth and because of the great importance they hold for our personal lives. There are numerous explanations for the meaning of these verses, but the profundity and importance of each one for our lives is beyond measure. His words are:

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46)

Three hours elapsed following these words, from the sixth to the ninth hour, during which He was silent. When the darkness receded and the sun began to appear once more, he uttered these words:

 Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thirst” (John 19:28).

When they gave Him a sponge full of vinegar and herbs on the hyssop branch, he tasted it but would not drink, saying:

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

These were the second words spoken after the darkness receded.

Following this, he said:

“Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)

 

Christ’s Freedom In Going To The Cross

Christ proceeded to the Cross by His free will. He did not hesitate or retreat for a second. He came to the Cross by the freedom of His will, not for Himself but as a representative of all mankind.

Christ went to the cross as a representative of mankind, in order to enter the Divine judgment on mankind, while knowing exactly the judgment that was to follow.

He advanced towards God’s strict judgment as a lawyer for mankind but with the shackles of a prisoner.

He came in our place, not asking for the acquittal of mankind, but entering peacefully and calmly into the prisoner’s cell, shutting Himself in, and standing to receive heaven’s retribution.

For the first and only time in history we observe the presentation of a lawyer’s defense without the utterance of a single word, and yet yielding the acquittal all mankind. He, the living Word of God, defended his case without words, accepted the punishment of Heaven and came out absolved, bearing with Him the absolution of all mankind.

The Lord, before entering Jerusalem in the last week, said:

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written of the Son of man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon; they will scourge him and kill him” (Luke 18:31-33).

Who is speaking in these verses? It is Christ Himself, but it is as if He were speaking about someone else. With what calmness and serenity does He advance towards death! This proves He was going to the Cross according to His own free will and power.

We then notice His words: “The Son of man will be delivered.” His words “the Son of man” shows that Jesus is the representative of all mankind; He is its delegate, its lawyer, the receiver of all retribution in its stead.

“The Son of Man” is the primary expression Christ used for himself, and it carries with it the powerful meaning that He is the representative of humankind, coming from heaven to undergo judgment, taking our retribution on Himself, the final absolution.

“Will be delivered” is here in the passive voice. Who will deliver the Son of man?

The Jewish nation was represented by a High Priest, priest, and High Courts, which were known as the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin consisted of all the great teachers and sages of Israel, as well as the people’s official council.

He also said: “He will be delivered to the Gentiles.” “The Gentiles” is a clear allusion to Pilate and his judicial authority.

Presented here are two judicial systems: 1) A judicial system in accordance to God’s law and representing God’s judgment and 2) the Roman law, i.e., the world’s system of judgment. This is an ignominy to the Roman law and its judicial system, as it no longer represented a system of lawmaking and judgment, but was merely a system of implementation.

These two judicial systems have a spiritual meaning, which will be explained later.

Judgment and Retribution:

After prophesying His deliverance to the Gentiles, the Lord said: “And will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.” These three retributions represent the first part of the judicial system. “They will scourge him.” This is the second part. “And kill him.” This is the third part.

“And will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon” is the law’s retribution on the echelon of shame and dishonor.

“They will scourge him” is the retribution on the echelon of chastisement.

“And kill him” is the retribution on the echelon of the judgment, the judgment of sin, i.e., “The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ez 18:20).

To continue our assertion of Christ’s complete freedom in going to the Cross, and that He went with joy and hope, not merely with resolution, consider His words in Luke 22:24, where He considers the coming judgment of the Cross. Christ’s words addressed to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane are illuminating: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:24). The language here is clear and simple. Christ proceeded not in all his glory, but in the powerless and weak nature of mankind, as He knew in advance the degree of retribution he was facing, its frightful length, breadth, and depth. He approached the Cross with firm and certain steps, yet “with loud cries and tears” (Heb 5:7). He stood before the Father praying and interceding, asserting in the end, “For this purpose I have come to this hour” (John 12:27).

His words “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me” (John 18:11) are the third proof of His freedom in taking up the Cross. He spoke these words in response to any doubts regarding the necessity of the Cross.

The fourth proof of His freedom in proceeding to the Cross is as follows: “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18). Here He foretells the time of His death.

Each of these references displays the degree of freedom and resolution with which the Lord proceeded to the Cross.

The Meaning Of The Cross

Where do we stand in relation to the Cross?

Though it is the day of mankind’s judgment, the Day of the Cross is marked with joy and wonder, in spite of the sadness with which the Church is enrobed in on that day, and in spite of the gloomy hymns we sing that confound the inner being. The day holds a sense of doom and inevitability, because it is the great Day of judgment. It is the day the prophets referred to as the Day of the Lord. Who can stand on this day? It is truly a fearful day of judgment.

Where is the judge?

The judge in the court of the Cross was the Law; the Law of the Old Testament that Moses received from the hand of God. The Law was the verbal image of God’s will, portraying it in commandments that consisted of warnings and retributions.

What was the position of the people’s leaders? In today’s judicial language they represented the Attorney General.

Their accusations were true. The High Priest stood with the people’s elders to present the case before the only source of authority at the time, the Roman judicial system. He stood and spoke, as was his right as the Attorney General, the defender of the law and the administrator and custodian of Moses’ law. He set the maximum punishment for a person being accused of acting against the Law.

First: He was a blasphemer of God.

Second: He had defiled the Sabbath.

Third: He had violated Moses’ law, thus the label, “an evildoer”: “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over” (John 18:30). This means he had a history full of violations against the law.

With these three accusations, the High Priest was completely speaking within his authority, declaring the sentence such a person deserved. Thus he demanded, “Crucify him, crucify him!” “We have a Law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God” (John 19:6, 7).

Thus the judgment here is a correct application of the law.

What was Christ’s opinion concerning this sentence?

It was without doubt a correct judgment. “For this purpose I have come to this hour” (John 12:27). Christ knew this judgment would be the fulfillment of the Father’s will.

But…

The sentence the High priest declared and placed in the mouths of the people, in spite of its accuracy, was the standard for every man to be judged by, and primarily the man who first uttered the judgment, i.e., the High Priest. Without realizing it, the High Priest had issued a judgment against himself and against the entire assembly of priests and rulers of the law, beginning first with them, and then against the people, first the knowledgeable and educated and then those ignorant of the Law.

Christ alone realized this truth. For this reason He received the judgment of the High Priest, not only willingly and joyfully, but with a clear view that the case would be closed in fulfillment of the Father’s will.

Christ proceeded bearing all of humankind in His flesh.

My dears, this is the concept of incarnation. We must have the correct theological concept of incarnation in our hearts. Christ took on man’s flesh, and was called the Son of Man. He took your body and mine. He took only the body of sinners. Christ could not take the body of the “righteous” because He knew that He had come to this hour for the judgment that was to come upon sinners…all sinners. Everyone who sees himself as innocent or righteous has over-stepped the reaches of the Cross. Christ came only for sinners: “For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt 9:13).

Until now, my dears, this is Christ’s message. This is His mission. That is the Cross and that is its depth. The Cross is the atonement for sinners alone. As for those who see their soul as pure and innocent, they have no part and no place in the great Day of the Cross. He is an outsider to the scene, an onlooker that can only say: “He has saved others; as for my soul He could not save it.”

Christ is still taking on my body, yours, and every sinner’s body on earth from the day Adam was created until the last man appears on the face of the earth.

This is the incarnation, and with this incarnation Christ proceeded to the Cross.

What was He bearing?

He bore every human sin. He bears every sin committed by man in his fallen state since the fall of Adam, including every sin procreated by Adam since the beginning and until the end of time.

The following question might come to our minds:

How did Christ take on sin in His flesh, while we know He was without sin, and was born from a pure body without sin, and lived without sin?

Contemplate this with me a while, my dears. When Christ was slandered and accused of being a sinner and did not defend Himself; He accepted these accusations and on the exterior became a representative of sinners. Internally, He received the sins of mankind as His own when He deferred from defending Himself from their slanderous accusations of Him being an evildoer.

When they accused Him of being a blasphemer, and He accepted the accusation without defense, He became a blasphemer.

When the accusation was made that He had defiled the Sabbath, even though He had often explained to them that He was the Lord of the Sabbath, and did not defend Himself, He immediately accepted the sin of defiling the Sabbath.

You know, my dears, or you should know, that, “A man who has violated the Law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Deut 17:6, Heb 10:28).

The signposts of sin and retribution are beginning to become clear.

Christ accepted being considered a violator of the Law.

Christ accepted being considered a defiler of the Sabbath.

Christ accepted being considered a blasphemer of God.

Christ accepted being considered an evildoer.

Thus, my dears, all kinds of sin and violations of the law were placed upon Him. He accepted them all, and was satisfied that they had put these abuses of the Law on His head. They did not forget one sin, from the greatest to the least.

Minor sins were treated by forty lashes according to the Law (Deut 25:2, 3). Whoever defied the rulers and elders of Israel were banned from the Council as a violator of the Law (Ex 22:28), even if the action was not a violation of the Law (i.e., when the people disobeyed the High Priests, even if the people were more or less right, the punishment was in order because speaking against ‘a ruler of your people’ is a sin). For that reason Paul the Apostle in his conversation with the High Priest amended his words, even though he had been in the right (Act 23:5).

When Miriam spoke against Moses and God struck her with leprosy, Moses implored God to heal her. God replied to Moses: “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again” (Num 12:14). This is a significant parallel because here they spat on Christ’s face, hit Him on the head and pulled the hair of His beard (although the pulling of His hair was mentioned in the prophecies about Christ, Isaiah 50:6, and was not mentioned in the Gospels but in liturgical tradition).

The punishments and retributions Christ bore for the minor sins were scourging, banishing Him from the Council, spitting on Him and pulling the hair of His beard.

Christ then advanced to the Cross to pay for the deadly sins committed against the ancient Law, one of which was the violation of the Sabbath, as he who defiled the Sabbath was to be stoned.

Now that Christ had fulfilled the punishment for minor sins, he embraced the punishment for all the major sins.

How wonderful is that which You have accomplished for our sakes, O Lord, while we were oblivious to that which You did for us, O Son of God.

My dears, I beg of you, see yourself as a recipient of those lashes on your back, as the one being spat upon, and as though the cane falling on the Savior’s head is falling on yours. Today is the Day of your judgment. If you desire or acknowledge it, then it is also the Day of your innocence.

You approach this day in genuine trepidation with Christ, with back bared, shamed before men, spat upon, the beard ripped from your cheeks, your head beaten with a cane. From here you advance by your own free will and spread your arms to carry the cross. In your own strength, you rise with Him, enabled only by your weakness to be presented in such degradation: shamed, naked, with hands and feet nailed to the Cross, in the body that carried every sin, rising with the pure body of the One who took the punishment for you. At that point you receive with Him a share of innocence.

Today is the day of your judgment. Do not fear. Come, bare your back with Him who bared His back and was not ashamed. Come, turn your face, and turn it without looking backward, as Isaiah said about Him, “I turned not backward (never)” (Is 50:5).

Do not be afraid. Walk, step by step. That is the price for your minor sins, the cost of violating God’s minor commandments. Come, come with me, share this punishment that can wash your flesh, blood, and bones, and make you reborn with the flesh of a newborn babe.

Today is the Day of Judgment of mankind for minor sins. Come, come, O you sinners, those with a heavy conscience, those burdened by sin; come, for this Day is yours. Come to sate the passions of your conscience, to live without a conscience burdened by sin, nor with a conscience that has sinned, but with a conscience that has been purified and cleansed to become whiter than snow (Psalm 51).

They clothed Him with a crimson robe on the Day of the Cross, which is in fulfillment of the prophecy: “Who is this that comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah” (Is 63:1), i.e., crimson robes stained with blood. The mention of a crimson robe here has a beautiful reference to the cross: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is 1:18). The wool here refers to the robe of the lamb on the Cross. They stripped Him, dressed Him in a crimson robe, and lifted Him up, revealing the royal robe. Christ donned the robe of glory, the robe of eternal purity.

This is the way we approach God today. We are all wearing the crimson robe stained with terrible sins, some of which are small and others that are big.

Today, my dears, our robes are stained with blood. From a distance it is seen as one blot, as if the robe were stained with a single dye, but if you look closely you will find innumerable crosses, by the millions, that are your sins and mine. Some of these are small and minute; they are the sins paid for with the stripes of His back. Christ received these marks and in their place gave us a cleanliness that exceeds description, a whiteness that is comparable to the pure white wool of a lamb, the lamb of the Divine Offering that removed the sins of the world.

Some of the stains are great. They cannot be removed except by the blood of the transgressor, the blood which Christ shed in our place, which bought our innocence.

So my dears, if leading Christ from the judgment seat of the High Priest they dressed Him in a crimson robe, it is the sinner’s robe stained with blood, and the same robe that the prophet had previously seen and spoken about. They led Him to a place of fictional judgment, the Roman judgment. All the Romans did was validate, in shameful submissiveness, the sentence of the High Priest as Attorney General.

Pontius Pilate tried feebly, a hopeless human attempt, to give the Roman law its honor and save its face from these priests who were adept in setting plots. He told them:

“I will therefore chastise him and release him” (Lk 23:16). (The punishment for minor sins).

They said to him:

“Crucify; crucify him.”

“Why, what evil has he done?”

“If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over.”

How cruel was the tyranny of this Attorney General!

At this point Christ’s heart was shaken, because if Pilate’s attempt was to succeed then the Cross was lost. The matter would end with the chastisement of minor sins alone.

We notice once again the freedom of His will. He did not falter a moment, but prayed in His heart that this ruler would not waver but would issue the maximum sentence for the case, as they desired.

“Have you no answer to make?” (Defend yourself)

Pilate did not realize that Christ’s only defense for humankind would be His shed blood!

The Lord was silent in order not to hinder the coming of the Cross, though human rationale does not recognize the meaning of the Cross.

“You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” (Such humiliation)

“You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above.”

This is the greatest indication that the case’s sentence was a Divine order, and order that had been issued before Pilate had uttered his judgment. This is clear because the case did not have clear material proof. As the Roman judge confessed and said: “I have found no crime in him deserving death.”

The angry insistence of the crazed masses, pitted against the persistence of the Attorney General, made it inevitable that the case be lifted to heaven, to the king, in order for him to ratify the judgment.

According to Roman law, the case was terribly flawed. Thus he said to them:

“Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.”

Christ here in His glory and venerability returned order to the Roman law, and responded to the High Priest’s antagonism with calmness. He countered their cries to crucify Him with an act of justification: by taking this punishment on himself, he fulfilled the terms of the case made against him. God ratified the case the moment Christ declared the following:

“You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above.”

This is the final judicial authority, and the final source of judgment and implementation. It was issued from all the authorities:

·    The authority of the priests that represents the judiciary of the Law

·    The authority of Pilate that represents the executive authority

·    Heaven’s ratification.

All of this, my dears, is to calm your spirits too. Christ did not advance to the Cross feeling He was wronged, or that He did not deserve death according to the Law. No, Christ became, according to His own free will and power, worthy of death according to the violation of the Law in which all humanity fell. Christ bore our punishment willingly and happily, and laid it before heaven’s judgment, in order to reap for us an innocence from heaven, an innocence that there never was nor ever will be.

This is the great judgment by which humankind was made innocent on this day, an innocence that cannot be measured or realized. Only an official registered copy of this judgment can be acquired that makes every man innocent who stands before the Heavenly Supreme Court without gold or silver.

Come; come to a salvation and a heavenly innocence that is indisputable. For it is a case that cannot be retried again, having been previously presented and tried, and the official sentence of innocence issued.

Let every one who has such a case present himself before God, to acquire innocence and to receive “the same sentence” in today’s judicial words, from a heavenly authority sealed by God.

O sinners of the whole world: O you sinner, any sinner, come with whatever sins are in your heart, mind, body and conscience, whether they be great or small, or tearing your heart with grief.

Come today and take the official copy of innocence, by which you can stand, not before earthly priests, but before the heavens, before Jesus Christ, your lawyer, judge, and bearer of innocence in your stead. Take your innocence from heaven itself, an innocence that is indisputable.

Today, my dears, Christ entered the world in the form of a criminal, carrying with him every sin that can enter a man’s mind, uncontested and indisputably sentenced by absolute death. Christ entered the earthly and heavenly court with all their punishments sanctioned in Himself from when they stripped and whipped Him at Golgotha, with the blood pouring from His hands, feet, and from the wounds of the thorns planted on His forehead. Every part of His body was bleeding.

The offering was presented for all the sins of mankind, and the blood on the body became a new cleansed robe for the sins of humankind. With this same body, that is itself your body and mine, Christ rose glorified on the third day and sat at the right hand of God in heaven to continually intercede and bear forgiveness for each sin.

Today, my dears, is the day of your judgment and the day of your innocence.

(1973).

from:

http://www.stmacariusmonastery.org/stmark.htm
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 06:23:27 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 06:04:40 PM »

minasoliman:

Quote
The article is far from agreeing with Anselmian thought.  It shows more of how much God loves us that He accepted the punishment of a sinner for us.  The article is very beautiful, and I tend to agree with it.  The fruits of such an article does not teach about a judicial approach, but an approach that shows the free self-emptying and self-humbling (indeed even selfless sacrifice) of Christ to the extreme of accepting death, and not any ordinary death, but a humiliating death on the Cross, which to the Jews are a sign of a cursed man, and to the Gentiles a sign of a criminal, but to us, hope and salvation.  It teaches us to humble ourselves when we see a fellow sinner:

http://www.stmacariusmonastery.org/earticle0003.htm

Stavro:

Matta: When Christ was slandered and accused of being a sinner and did not defend Himself; He accepted these accusations and on the exterior became a representative of sinners. Internally, He received the sins of mankind as His own when He deferred from defending Himself from their slanderous accusations of Him being an evildoer.

Christ did not accept the accusation or admitted that He deserves the judgement, for the same one who has taken all the sins of the world is the one who by mere appearance to the soldiers made them fall down nor were the sins of the world part of thr nature of Christ to be His responsibility and as such merit Him the terrible penality of death. Responsibility for the sins is understood as an act of will and not of adoption.

Matta: Christ accepted being considered a violator of the Law.

Christ accepted being considered a defiler of the Sabbath.

Christ accepted being considered a blasphemer of God.

Christ accepted being considered an evildoer.



Where did Matta the blasphemer get this from and who did he refer ? Matta has semi-arian views that make him view Christ as somebody elevated to divinity and not being divine Himself as evident from his writings, therefore, and according to Matta's corrupt theology he cannot see the contradiction in having God accept being a blasphemer against God, having the Truth Himself accept a lie to be part of His actions.

Matta should have read the Bible in more depth to see that Christ when asked about who He is never denied his Sonship to the Father not accepting such accusations.

Matta: Christ then advanced to the Cross to pay for the deadly sins committed against the ancient Law, one of which was the violation of the Sabbath, as he who defiled the Sabbath was to be stoned

Matta's poor theological training does not allow him to understand that the Lord is not subject to the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was already broken for God since the sin of Adam. The real meaning of thre Sabbath evaded Matta, and as such he does not know that the Sabbath of the Lord is to save all mankind. Since this was not accomplished before the Cross, Christ by virtue of His divinity and to work with the Father had to work on Sabbath.

WHat kind of blasphemy is this to separate Christ from His divinity in proclaiming that He indeed deserved a punishment ... it empties the salvation on the Cross from its basic foundation that requires a lamb without blemish or spot (without sin) to be offered instead of all humanity. Not with, instead of all humanity.

minasoliman:

I think you totally misread Fr. Matta specifically in this article.  He did not say that Christ deserved punishment.  In fact, he said the total opposite, and made it clear from the very beginning:

Quote
Christ proceeded to the Cross by His free will. He did not hesitate or retreat for a second. He came to the Cross by the freedom of His will, not for Himself but as a representative of all mankind.

The fact that Fr. Matta reiterates the freedom the Son of God had to choose the crucifixion shows that He also had the freedom not to undergo it.  How can one deserve something and be free?

Later on, Fr. Matta goes on to say that Christ out of His own freedom allowed that He "deserve" punishment, not in the same sense as if He is a true sinner, but in the sense that the Law was applied correctly, although to the wrong person, which leads to the condemnation of the high priests and all others, rather than the condemnation of Christ.

In addition, Fr. Matta's Christology is in line with Orthodox Christology.  The body of Christ is a body subject to corruption, not incorruption.  This body is also a body that He took that He may bear the sins of all, hence the "sinful" body, or the Pauline "became sin" not that He was sinful, but that He bore the sins of others to destroy sin.  He took the punishment of the Law upon Himself to destroy the punishment.

Quote
He bore every human sin. He bears every sin committed by man in his fallen state since the fall of Adam, including every sin procreated by Adam since the beginning and until the end of time.

And here, Fr. Matta then asks a question which removed doubt from my mind on Fr. Matta's intentions:

Quote
How did Christ take on sin in His flesh, while we know He was without sin, and was born from a pure body without sin, and lived without sin?

So now, we are faced with another part of Fr. Matta's understanding.  Christ came in His free will unto the Cross, and He came being without sin.  Where is this language that Christ deserved the Cross?

And I do not understand how this article makes Fr. Matta a semi-Arian.  In this article, Fr. Matta not only says that Christ is fully human, consubstantial with all mankind who is sinful while being sinless, but also fully God and perfect and sinless.

God bless.

Mina

minasoliman:

Quote
What about the assertion that we deserve punishment, but that Christ offered up himself in our place?

I think that is exactly what Fr. Matta was contemplating about.  He said nothing more than this.  He did not write down that He deserved it, but accepted unto Himself what we deserve, and did not even show a feeling of grudge, but of happiness that He is fullfilling the will of the Father and the salvation of mankind.

Stavro:

I did not misread anything. The whole idea od Matta the heretic is that Christ indeed deserved the punishment as somebody who broke the law and as such is subject to the punishment according to the law. As such, Matta's Christ is not anymore the Savior of the world but just somebody who really deserved to be crucified. It does not matter that he contradicts himself again in some other parts of the article. Consider this:

Quote
What was the position of the people’s leaders? In today’s judicial language they represented the Attorney General.

Their accusations were true. The High Priest stood with the people’s elders to present the case before the only source of authority at the time, the Roman judicial system. He stood and spoke, as was his right as the Attorney General, the defender of the law and the administrator and custodian of Moses’ law. He set the maximum punishment for a person being accused of acting against the Law.

First: He was a blasphemer of God.

Second: He had defiled the Sabbath.

Third: He had violated Moses’ law, thus the label, “an evildoer”: “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over” (John 18:30). This means he had a history full of violations against the law.



If these accusations are true, and Christ indeed acknowledges his responsibility for them by his own admission, then he is no more sinless. He is indeed a blasphemer.

And this:

Quote
Thus the judgment here is a correct application of the law.


There could not be a worth application of any law than the case of Christ, having failed to prove any single accusation against the "man" and with the defendent refusing to acknowledge his own sin. Where did Christ accept the punishment as being correct ?
And this:

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What was Christ’s opinion concerning this sentence?

It was without doubt a correct judgment.


If Christ acknowledges his guilt, then this is no case of a Savior but of a criminal. Matta's heresy is in contradiction to all biblical references that shows the immense injustice done to Christ. 

And this:

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Christ proceeded bearing all of humankind in His flesh.

The last one sums up Matta's heresies as it is his introduction to Universalism and his weird participation of humankind in their own redemption (called by HE Anba Bishoy the co-redemption heresy).

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When they accused Him of being a blasphemer, and He accepted the accusation without defense, He became a blasphemer.
[/b]

You do not have any problem in calling Christ a blapshemer ? For Christ to acknowledge such sin makes Him a sinner, and as such separates Him from His divinity. He then died for his own sins (as H.H. explains in his refutation of the heresies of Matta) and not for the sins of the world.

Christ then advanced to the Cross to pay for the deadly sins committed against the ancient Law, one of which was the violation of the Sabbath, as he who defiled the Sabbath was to be stoned

He then deserved it as he acknowledged that he is sinful of both. Maybe Matta has no understanding of what the Sabbath represents.

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Now that Christ had fulfilled the punishment for minor sins, he embraced the punishment for all the major sins.

 
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At this point Christ’s heart was shaken, because if Pilate’s attempt was to succeed then the Cross was lost.


And his foreknowledge ?

The writings of the man are a complete mess, contradicting himself from one line to another.

Stavro:


Quote
And I do not understand how this article makes Fr. Matta a semi-Arian.  In this article, Fr. Matta not only says that Christ is fully human, consubstantial with all mankind who is sinful while being sinless, but also fully God and perfect and sinless.

By proclaiming that CHrist indeed deserved the punishment for minor sins and for breaking the law, Christ indeed is a sinner who is subject to the law and has to pay for his own sins with the law of Moses and cannot possibly make an atonement for mankind. Such view empties Christ from any divine essence that is not subject to sin nor does it accept the shame of sin as being its responsibility.

For Christ to acknowledge the charges is equal to Him being a sinner who admits his wrong deeds.

Such line of thought is not alien to those familiar Matta's writings in which he clearly denied the presence of Christ since the beginning or him being divine by nature. He refers to any divine attributes of the incarnate Logos as being "awarded" and never natural to his being in many of his writings.

Matta's main problem even before he took a form of a monk was Universalism. In his own memoirs he acknowledges that he believes that all mankind is saved and makes a mockery of Anba Samuel and Deacon Yassah Hanna (a great man who spent his life in service) who believed otherwise as well as all the orthodox people. With his views regarding Christ, he formulates a flawed christology that makes it easy for everybody to be a christ in essence because to matta Christ is never divine in essence as I have shown in many posts before.

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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 07:22:39 PM »

Dear Stavro,

Quote
I did not misread anything. The whole idea od Matta the heretic is that Christ indeed deserved the punishment as somebody who broke the law and as such is subject to the punishment according to the law. As such, Matta's Christ is not anymore the Savior of the world but just somebody who really deserved to be crucified.

I honestly don't think that's what Fr. Matta was saying.  The article doesn't make it as clear as you make it seem to be.

Quote
It does not matter that he contradicts himself again in some other parts of the article.

I didn't quote them to say that he "contradicts" himself.  On the contrary, I quoted them to understand what he really meant.  Let us indeed consider the first quote you have given:

Quote
What was the position of the people’s leaders? In today’s judicial language they represented the Attorney General.

Their accusations were true. The High Priest stood with the people’s elders to present the case before the only source of authority at the time, the Roman judicial system. He stood and spoke, as was his right as the Attorney General, the defender of the law and the administrator and custodian of Moses’ law. He set the maximum punishment for a person being accused of acting against the Law.

First: He was a blasphemer of God.

Second: He had defiled the Sabbath.

Third: He had violated Moses’ law, thus the label, “an evildoer”: “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over” (John 18:30). This means he had a history full of violations against the law.

The accusations were "true" not in the sense that He was a criminal, but that in the way the sentence was reached was a correct process:

Quote
Thus the judgment here is a correct application of the law.

Christ saw this as an oppurtunity not to accept guilt for being guilty, but to accept guilt, even though innocent, to destroy the curse of the Law.  Fr. Matta continued to say that the sentence the High Priest brought against Christ was actually a sentence brought against himself, but regardless, Christ proceeded with joy to fulfill the Father's will.  Indeed, "How cruel was the tyranny of this Attorney General!"

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If these accusations are true, and Christ indeed acknowledges his responsibility for them by his own admission, then he is no more sinless. He is indeed a blasphemer.

That is not true.  That is simply twisting the words of Fr. Matta.  What Fr. Matta is saying is no different than what St. Paul said, in that Christ "became sin."  St. Paul did not mean that Christ was sinful.  But that Christ bore sin to destroy.  Fr. Matta says no more than what St. Paul said, that Christ bore the sins of humanity to destroy such sins, while being sinless Himself.

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What was Christ’s opinion concerning this sentence?

It was without doubt a correct judgment.

The judgment, being how the Law was applied, was correct, not on the Truth of the judgment.  Under law, for example, one can find DNA and use this as enough for someone's guilt.  But supposedly, that person wasn't guilty.  Therefore, a correct application of the Law is different from the Truth being worthy judgment.  "Correct" is different from "Worthy."  Therefore, the Saviour does not acknowledge guilt, but accepts guilt, and acknowledges the correct "due process" so to speak.

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Christ proceeded bearing all of humankind in His flesh.

This has nothing to do with universalism.  We indeed confessed that He bore all humanind.  He bore full humanity consubstantial with everyone in this world.  If the world's mankind accepts, gets baptized, chrismated, and partakes of the Eucharist, then the world's mankind has accepted the gift Christ gave.

Quote
You do not have any problem in calling Christ a blapshemer ? For Christ to acknowledge such sin makes Him a sinner, and as such separates Him from His divinity. He then died for his own sins (as H.H. explains in his refutation of the heresies of Matta) and not for the sins of the world.

If HH used this article and refuted it, then I can understand how misunderstanding can take root.  Fr. Matta did not call Christ a blasphemer.  Fr. Matta said that Christ accepted being called a blasphemer even though He was innocent.  Remember, Fr. Matta called Christ a "lawyer," whose defense is using Himself instead of the criminal.  As such, He is not merely a lawyer, but a healing and powerful lawyer, who came to offer Himself up for all of us.  A lawyer is no criminal, but the Healing Lawyer "became sin" to destroy sin.  Therefore, I have no problem saying that Christ took the accusations of blasphemy to destroy the blot resulting from blasphemy.

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Christ then advanced to the Cross to pay for the deadly sins committed against the ancient Law, one of which was the violation of the Sabbath, as he who defiled the Sabbath was to be stoned

Here, on this quote alone, He did not say Christ committed those sins, but proceeded to the cursed Cross on account of bearing those sins.

Quote
Now that Christ had fulfilled the punishment for minor sins, he embraced the punishment for all the major sins.

Here, Fr. Matta wishes to include that all sins were dealt with, whether by the lashes, the humiliation, or the Cross.

Quote
At this point Christ’s heart was shaken, because if Pilate’s attempt was to succeed then the Cross was lost.

What about foreknowledge?

Perhaps, the only mistake Fr. Matta did was to write in contemplative language.  Perhaps, if he were to write a more dry epistle, he may be less misunderstood.

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By proclaiming that CHrist indeed deserved the punishment for minor sins and for breaking the law, Christ indeed is a sinner who is subject to the law and has to pay for his own sins with the law of Moses and cannot possibly make an atonement for mankind. Such view empties Christ from any divine essence that is not subject to sin nor does it accept the shame of sin as being its responsibility.

For Christ to acknowledge the charges is equal to Him being a sinner who admits his wrong deeds.

Such line of thought is not alien to those familiar Matta's writings in which he clearly denied the presence of Christ since the beginning or him being divine by nature. He refers to any divine attributes of the incarnate Logos as being "awarded" and never natural to his being in many of his writings.

Again, when reading this article, I did not see that.  Besides his other writings which claim clearly the full divinity of Christ (many people look to Fr. Matta's huge book on St. Athanasius as quite authorative; I wish if it were translated to English), there is nothing in this article that suggests that Christ deserved the punishment.  He was clear in the same article that Christ is sinless, and that this pure sinless body was there to help those in sin (and not the righteous, for there is none who is righteous), so that He can bear sin in the flesh.  He elaborated on this central belief of Orthodoxy, that Christ bore the sins of mankind, the sins of the world, that Christ "became sin," and that Christ died.  And as a result, destroying the sins of mankind and destroying death, He brought hope for all sinners, for He came for the sick, not for the well.

God bless.

Mina
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 07:26:57 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 03:22:12 AM »

I believe the main argument is " I did not see that" in the above posts. Individual interpretations for what is a clear text can never be corrected for they remain personal views that are not related to the original text by Matta the heretic. The text is clear, the quotes are beyond any doubt heretical, and the understanding of these views and trying to justify them leads to more trouble.

To avoid further confusion, the writings of matta the blasphemer have to be studied to understand his christology/theology (if the crap he wrote qualifies for such term) altogether to convey a real understanding of what Matta the heretic believed in. This is not to say that the articles brought forth are not clear enough in their protrayal of Christ as a sinner who is paying for his sins, but it will just make the heresies of Matta more amplified and the defense of some weaker.

The topics I explained the heretical nature of Matta the blasphemer should be enough for that, although they do not include all his heresies.

Quote
The accusations were "true" not in the sense that He was a criminal, but that in the way the sentence was reached was a correct process:

This is your own interpretation, but the text is clear that the verdict concerning Christ according to matta was the correct verdict proclaimed by the high priest. He does not mention the process at all, this is your own individual interpretation of a text that does not exist. In that, Matta is actually referring to his co-redemption theory of humans being incorporated in Christ's body and as such having paid the dues themselves (together with Christ) on the cross. This theory can be found in this article and in other books that does not view the humanity of Christ as consubstatial with our humanity but as having taken literally all the bodies of all the world and crucified with it on the cross.

Matta's idea about Christ is a man who was elevated to sonship of the Father as he explains many times in his book about the Pentecost and in his book "Salvation and atonement". His weird view about the body of Christ is also his introduction to Universalism.

About the process and the trial itself, anybody who has the minimum idea of jewish rites and law must know that there couldn't be any more unfairness done to a defendent like the tiral of Christ. At night, with many of the synagoge not attending, with no matching testimonies, and with no justified verdict.
So Matta cannot get off the hook based on technicalities in the trial and try to twist his quote to convey something like that.

Quote
Fr. Matta continued to say that the sentence the High Priest brought against Christ was actually a sentence brought against himself, but regardless, Christ proceeded with joy to fulfill the Father's will.  Indeed, "How cruel was the tyranny of this Attorney General!"
 

But that does not explain that Christ acknowledged, not accepted, the verdict, and that He is not a blasphemer or a sinner as Matta portrays him to be. According to Matta, Christ was whipped according to a CORRECT verdict to atone for his minor sins and the major sins needed the Cross.

Quote
That is not true.  That is simply twisting the words of Fr. Matta.


It is you who is unable to understand Matta.

I can bring forth many references from Matta's heretical writings that convey the same meaning, and have done so before. You cannot challenge them in your hopeless defense based on "how you see Matta" or try to explain his thoughts when he has put them clearly on paper. If I let go of this one, what say you about the rest? How could you keep denying the same idea in many other instances ?

If a man writes the same idea in all his books, forumlates his theology on the same ground, on what basis do you defend him ?

Quote
Fr. Matta says no more than what St. Paul said, that Christ bore the sins of humanity to destroy such sins, while being sinless Himself.
No. Matta says that Christ acknowledges that it is a correct verdict and as such, he is a blasphemer and a sinner who deserves punishment. Big difference.

Quote
The judgment, being how the Law was applied, was correct, not on the Truth of the judgment.  Under law, for example, one can find DNA and use this as enough for someone's guilt.  But supposedly, that person wasn't guilty.  Therefore, a correct application of the Law is different from the Truth being worthy judgment.  "Correct" is different from "Worthy."  Therefore, the Saviour does not acknowledge guilt, but accepts guilt, and acknowledges the correct "due process" so to speak.

Matta does not talk about the process at all. Where did you get this from ?

I have addressed this above, but this is again another mistake in trying to defend matta. Christ came to atone the actual guilt, and not the process of the law. If his verdict is correct because of the correct process, which it was not, then Christ was crucified for the sake of a process and not an actual death sentence that had to be waived with his atoning blood.

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This has nothing to do with universalism.

It has everything to do with it and it is one of Matta's main ideas.

Quote
We indeed confessed that He bore all humanind.

We confess that he took our humanity but not that he had all sinners being part of his body and being crucified with him as paying the dues for their mistakes. Big difference again.

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If the world's mankind accepts, gets baptized, chrismated, and partakes of the Eucharist, then the world's mankind has accepted the gift Christ gave.

Does not lead to universal salvation. The message is given to everybody, and those who accept it get saved.

Quote
Here, on this quote alone, He did not say Christ committed those sins, but proceeded to the cursed Cross on account of bearing those sins.

I believe the quote is clear enough that Christ was cruficied for breaking the Sabbath and being a blasphemer (and Christ broke it indeed as the Lord who has no Sabbath until salvation is offered) and therefore he deserved the punishment. The text is clear.

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Here, Fr. Matta wishes to include that all sins were dealt with, whether by the lashes, the humiliation, or the Cross.

he wishes ?

Quote
Perhaps, the only mistake Fr. Matta did was to write in contemplative language.  Perhaps, if he were to write a more dry epistle, he may be less misunderstood.

Contemplative language does not excuse him from heresy, for apparently he used it before in denying Christ's divinity, proclaiming Universalism, His heresies regarding the Eucharist, denying the power of sacraments, and many other errors.

Matta is consistent in denying certain divine characteristics from Christ. he sums all this up in one sentence in one of his blasphemies in which he proclaims: " Christ gained divine attributes" ....

Quote
many people look to Fr. Matta's huge book on St. Athanasius as quite authorative;
As a historical book it might have a value, although he does not save St. Alexander from his usual rhetorics against popes, but it is not authoritive as to make us understand Matta views that are very about Christ's divinity that are very clear in his other writings.

 
Quote
He elaborated on this central belief of Orthodoxy, that Christ bore the sins of mankind, the sins of the world, that Christ "became sin," and that Christ died
He did not. MATTA, beyond doubt or confusion of terms, reiterated what he has many times taught and has just said that Christ acknowledged his sins and therefore deserves the verdict. nothing more, nothing less of that.

From the original topic, this quote is extracted in reply to Matthew 777 original question:

Quote
To tell you the truth, this is probably going to grow into a debate in the OO Church as well. 

What is the growing debate ? Such matters are not subject to debate, and it shows the heretical approach to the faith that subjects it to innovation such as the ones of Matta and as if the atonement was ever challenged by anyone except Matta in our Church, and he is a despised heretic. The articles of matta were brought forth to support a heretical view that is summarized in :"Yet, I do think there was an atonement not for God, but for the fulfilling of the Law, for man's sake. " To bring forth a liturgical verse cut out of context and totally unrelated to the topic just shows how ridiculus it can become. 

While Matta's topics surfaced again, there is a load of heresies waiting for Matta's lovers to pick in various topics that are still unaddressed by them.

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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 01:02:01 PM »

Dear Stavro,

I think from here, since you are repeating arguments, then we will agree to disagree.  I don't see how such a person who professes clear Orthodoxy in his book Orthodox Prayer Life can contradict himself in other "writings" that you mention that I have never read.  What I have written is enough.

You clearly made up your mind, and has developed a habit that a subject brought up using Fr. Matta is a matter of life and death for you to address.

As for the "growing debate," I'm talking about the atoning language some of our heirarchs use that I disagree with.  HH Pope Shenouda according to some has used Anselmian language and beliefs and have lead others astray believing such things.  These are not Orthodox teachings.  Sin is not infinite.  Christ did not sacrifice for God, for God needs no sacrifice.  God's glory was not robbed of anything when we sin.  When we sin, we separate our own selves from the glory of God.  Big difference.  These things also I find as heretical, but I do not wish to call our heirarchs blasphemers.  I understand the Russian Church went through a stage of Anselmian thoughts, and went back to Orthodoxy when reading the writings of St. Athanasius, the Cappadocians, St. Cyril, St. Ambrose, and St. Severus.

That's what the "growing debate" is about that I talk about.  In Fr. Matta, I don't see him espousing these beliefs.  Perhaps, his other writings are problematic, but for someone who hasn't read his other writings (except the ones in English) my interpretations are different from yours.

I'm sure you're probably going to call me a blasphemer, or against the Church, but how am I against the Church if I care about Orthodoxy?  But if you espouse Anselmian beliefs Stavro, then I also disagree with you.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 01:54:47 PM »

Dearest Mina,

Any discussion between us will end quickly for the lack of common reference and common approach, in which my orthodox opinion is opposed by your innovations that you try to support using other innovators like matta. The text is clear in its heretical content, becomes more amplified when studied in relation to Matta's other writings that convey the same ideas, and it still surprises me that you have no idea of it according to your own admission and still defend it. His heresies are in his books, defend them if you can. 

Yes, Matta's heresies are a matter of life and death. It might be difficult to understand for you, as you hold no standards for the faith, but to any Orthodox Matta's heresies and schismatic actions are a threat to the peace of the Church. Defend him and show us his orthodoxy.

Nobody really cares if you disagree with the Orthodox opinions of H.H. or H.E. or H.G., for it is a perfectly orthodox opinion and has its roots in the very writings of the Fathers you mentioned below. Unless you believe that you qualify as a formidable opponent to every member of the Holy Synod and most of the clergy, then I cannot see where the growing debate comes from. Assume your opinion is indeed correct, do you think so much of yourself as to portray yourself as the "opposite growing" debater ? Except for you and Matta, whose influence does not extend past a marginal group of people, such as Max Michel his disciple, do you find anybody else who teaches your opinions ? 

Quote
That's what the "growing debate" is about that I talk about.  In Fr. Matta, I don't see him espousing these beliefs.  Perhaps, his other writings are problematic, but for someone who hasn't read his other writings (except the ones in English) my interpretations are different from yours.

Your intrepretion is flawed and void of any truth and has no relation to the text that you defend, nor is your opinion a standard of orthodoxy.

To do justice to any theologian you study, you got to figure out his line of thoughts and what are the foundation of his ideas. Obviously you cannot do that for Matta for many constraints limit your ability to do so, and it results in a ridiculus defense. You could write your own opinion away from trying to twist a text to convey what you think is written and what you think is orthodox.

Quote
I'm sure you're probably going to call me a blasphemer, or against the Church, but how am I against the Church if I care about Orthodoxy?


I am not concerned about you nor do I care much. It is good to know that you care about orthodoxy though.

Stavro

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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 01:59:54 PM »

Oh kindhearted and gentle and infallible Stavro,

Quote
it is a perfectly orthodox opinion and has its roots in the very writings of the Fathers you mentioned below.

I would most be most obliged if you show where these fathers believed that we commit an infinite sin on God, that Christ came to appease God's wrath.

Thank you.

Mina
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 02:18:54 PM »

Oh the most lovable person and excellent friend of mankind Mina,

read St. Athanasius "On the Incarnation" as a start in which he explains the necessity of incarnation and the characteristics of the Savior that Matta neglects altogether in his writings. If mankind can be saved by its own like Matta conveys in his writings, then I believe the conflict with the Fathers is obvious.

 If you deny the wrath of God, then you have an amputated view of God and will have troubles not only with the Fathers but with the biblicial references that are clear in proclaiming this truth.

But again, not to divert the attention from Matta's heresies, who regards the verdict against Christ as worthy and fair, Matta does not believe in either, he believes in the sins have merited him Christ such death. Has nothing to do with either.

With pleasure.
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2006, 03:15:09 PM »

Oh the most lovable person and excellent friend of mankind Mina,

read St. Athanasius "On the Incarnation" as a start in which he explains the necessity of incarnation and the characteristics of the Savior that Matta neglects altogether in his writings. If mankind can be saved by its own like Matta conveys in his writings, then I believe the conflict with the Fathers is obvious.

 If you deny the wrath of God, then you have an amputated view of God and will have troubles not only with the Fathers but with the biblicial references that are clear in proclaiming this truth.

But again, not to divert the attention from Matta's heresies, who regards the verdict against Christ as worthy and fair, Matta does not believe in either, he believes in the sins have merited him Christ such death. Has nothing to do with either.

With pleasure.

I do not deny the wrath of God, but not in the same manner as Anselm puts it.  St. Antonious teaches us how the wrath of God is not so much what God feels, as if it was human wrath, but the reaction of God's energies to human sin, without change of feeling.  Fire reacts differently with metal than with wood.  And yes, I have read On the Incarnation many times.  It is of high authority to me.  Where does it say that there was infinite sin?

I put the debate of Fr. Matta to an end, but you still want to return.  I understand you take pleasure in calling Matta a heretic and blasphemer.  Continue if you like.  It's okay.  It doesn't bother me.  But I ask you specifically to validate your claims that such beliefs that I reject are supported by the fathers.  Perhaps, I missed a quote or two.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006, 04:44:46 PM »

Quote
If you deny the wrath of God, then you have an amputated view of God and will have troubles not only with the Fathers but with the biblicial references that are clear in proclaiming this truth.

Do you also believe that God hates people, some of them even before they are born? How about repenting, do you believe that God repents of former actions? Do you think God is suprised, as some places say? Your Scripture applies all this (and much more) to your God. Isn't it a better explanation to say that the Jews were anthropomorphizing a bit?
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2006, 06:48:23 PM »

Quote
I do not deny the wrath of God, but not in the same manner as Anselm puts it.  St. Antonious teaches us how the wrath of God is not so much what God feels, as if it was human wrath, but the reaction of God's energies to human sin, without change of feeling.  Fire reacts differently with metal than with wood.  And yes, I have read On the Incarnation many times.

I am happy to see you retract and rethink your position. God's wrath according to St.Paul is on all the sins and transgressions of human kind, and it cannot be satisfied except with blood that is the real meaning of the Passover. 

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Where does it say that there was infinite sin?

From Athanasius' main theme thatdeals with  the necessity of the atonement and the "dilemma" between God's mercy and justice, and the consequences of sins that are unbearable for human kind and that necessitates the incarnation of the Logos. This is the theme that St. Athanasius adopts for his works and the Apostolic Faith that he confirms throughout. Again, we have a difference in approach in which I prefer to study a whole work and the spirit that governs it rather than to cut and paste some quotes that do not convey anything except a cheap attempt to win a discussion. But I ask you again: If the sin is finite, why was human kind not able to pay it and why the whole rejection from God's presence until the incarnation ? The Logos, who is infinite, and which is something that Matta denies throughout his writings, through the incarnation becomes the only being able to carry the infinite sin and remit it.

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I put the debate of Fr. Matta to an end, but you still want to return.  I understand you take pleasure in calling Matta a heretic and blasphemer.  Continue if you like.  It's okay.  It doesn't bother me.


I must question your reason here. You open a topic about Matta, and then you want to close it again when you lack any means of defending him and accuse everybody who expose the man as being hateful. I can back up my information about Matta, YOU CANNOT. 

I have you at a disadvantage as you do not know Matta's writings and cannot possibly make an educated decision about his ideas as evident from your inability to defend his heresies. I am afraid your total ignorance on that matter makes you look ridiculus when you twist his writings to milk any orthodox understanding from it. In addition, I do not believe it is up to you to decide when a debate ends or not, for these are open forums that does not need your special permission. 

There are two topics about Matta's heresies that still await your answer. I challenge you to come up with anything remotely reasonable in your defense.

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But I ask you specifically to validate your claims that such beliefs that I reject are supported by the fathers.  Perhaps, I missed a quote or two.


The onus is on you to prove that the faith of the Church is indeed wrong and that there was no need for atonement as the sins could have been remitted by human deeds or penalities like Matta and his followers claim. Where does it say that the sin is finite ? I am not sure you even know the position of H.H. on the matter as you seem to be confused about it.

Asterikos,

I do not believe that God's wrath is neccesary a sign of lack of love or that it takes from his divine attributes such as his foreknowledge or mercy, nor does it deny that the salvation was indeed an act of love as well as an act of justice. I do not believe that the person of God is remotely accessible to us or that we can express it with our own language, and they have to be approached in reverence. I just know what have been revealed to the Church through the Apostles and has been confirmed collectively from the Fathers as long as they did not express their own ideas.   

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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 01:21:11 AM »

Dear Stavro,

If sin was infinite, why is it that it was enough for animal sacrifices?

I don't doubt Christ as an infinite sacrifice, I doubt sin is infinite.  There is none other who is infinite but God.  Sin is a disease that corrupts humanity; corruption and disease of the soul is finite, not equal to God.

Christ's infinite sacrifice is infinite because He's God, and it's for the sake of all mankind.

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There are two topics about Matta's heresies that still await your answer. I challenge you to come up with anything remotely reasonable in your defense.

Oh yes, I remember very well.  The one where I should "put up or shut up."  So I decided to shut up and cut the crap.  Since I can't read Arabic, yes, I'm at a disadvantage.  Instead of putting up with my own heretical crap filled with Matta blasphemy, I decided to shut up.  It was a Christian behavior I'll never forget, and I feel quite humbled by it.

As for St. Athanasius, he describes the what we go through as similar to disease.  Without God, we are corrupt.  Christ came to unite us to God.  "Atonement" is not found in the language of St. Athanasius.  It's unity with God that is the central idea of salvation.

This is not about winning an argument.  This is about learning and understanding.  If you were able to have a more respectful debate with me, then this wouldn't turn into "who's better than the other."  You speak like a child who's always looking for winning.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2007, 05:32:43 PM »

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If sin was infinite, why is it that it was enough for animal sacrifices?

Do you know of any infinite animals ?

It was not enough for animal sacrifices, because the OT saints who offered these animals ended up in hell having reposed on the hope of salvation. The sins were still carried by Christ on the Cross. It was removed, not remitted by the animal sacrifices.

You still did not answer why it had to be an incarnate God, infinite, to be pay the debt of sin.

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yes, I remember very well.  The one where I should "put up or shut up."  So I decided to shut up and cut the crap.  Since I can't read Arabic, yes, I'm at a disadvantage.  Instead of putting up with my own heretical crap filled with Matta blasphemy, I decided to shut up.  It was a Christian behavior I'll never forget, and I feel quite humbled by it.

Then stop referring to him as long as you have no idea about what you are talking about. It is quite a stupid approach to refer to somebody you never actually understand and have no access to his writings. I explained Matta's heresies by references, but because you were completely embarassed by your reference and reverence of a heretic you cannot read or understand you resorted to your usual whining about non existing insults.   

Now that you know his heresies and schimsatic actions, and if you really care about education and knowledge, why do you insist on referring to him and glorifying his name ?

You might view yourself as a saint, but your insults are still up in the private forum in the topic about Matta's death. You should be humilated, not humbled, by your lowly ways. 

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" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2007, 11:27:14 PM »

I disagree.  It was enough for the finite animals to get rid of man's finite sins; otherwise, they are nothing but vain sacrifices that God made to make the people feel better psychologically.  It was still however inconceivable that man can unite with God until the Image of God can unite Himself to us in an incarnate form.  It just so happens to be that the Image of God is the Logos, who is also infinite.  They went to Sheol (not hell) because they were not properly united with God, with the Image of God.  Their image was still damaged from sin, and got worse.

In fact, if one is to describe the effectivity of the Infinity of God, it is not to get rid of one sin, but of ALL SINS, proving that sin is not infinite.  It is the sacrifice of all sacrifices and replaces all sacrifices.

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non existing insults

Non-existing?  Am I making up the insults you've given me?

I don't view myself as a saint, although thank you for the compliment.  If anything, I'll probably be equally the blasphemer as Fr. Matta el Maskeen.

God bless.

Mina
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 11:32:36 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2007, 05:34:29 PM »

I believe that Fr. Matta is the greatest Coptic theologian in the modern age .
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2007, 06:09:45 PM »

Macarius,

I'd appreciate it if we could keep this discussion specifically about the article quoted in the original post.  It would be nice if you could address the article, rather than stating a general opinion about Fr. Matta.  Thanks.  It just makes things easier and keeps us more on topic that way.    Smiley
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