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Author Topic: Thank you, everyone.  (Read 4130 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gabriel
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« on: January 15, 2007, 07:07:16 AM »

Well, it's been a while since I posted the "So, I walked out..." thread.  I didn't really give a response to everyone's suggestions, since this isn't something I can just decide in half a second. 

So, for everyone who offered advice and help to me, I thank you very, very much.

There comes a time in one's life when you need to look around on your journey just to see where you're at, and where you've been.

I tried folks.  I really, really tried.  As before, I've tried.  So, it's time to move on to other things.

(Un)fortunately, God has decided to endow me with an incredible worldly neural power, known as "Yes, but..." 

I wasn't raised religious, and have always considered that a good thing.  After all, I am not biased by family restraints upon a particular religion or faith system.  I always felt like when I found a religion that seemed to speak truth, I could investigate fairly, using my reason.  Reason is what I have, and is what I use. 

The downside of not being raised in a religious/spiritual household, is my... spiritual side has remained very dormant.  In other words, what is quite easy to someone else, is very, VERY difficult to me.  Allow me to explain:

Joe feels overwhelmed about the beauty and majesty of creation and would like to offer a prayer out loud to the Lord:

"O Lord, you have created the heavens and the earth, the far spaces and the near, and everything in between.  The sun and moon pay you homage, for the source of their light is Your Light.  You are grand and merciful, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages, Amen."  *Joe crosses himself*

Sounds good, yeah? 

Want to know a secret?  I've never prayed out loud before.  Isn't that weird?  Know why? 

I'm terrified to hear myself say those words up there. 

Sounds stupid doesn't it?  It's a big deal to me.  All of my prayers are said silently due to the reason above.  When I said I have to start from scratch and do this by myself, I really, really meant by myself. 

So, here I am, once again back at the old drawing board.  A summary of my beliefs is thus:

"I believe in a being, whose intelligence far exceeds mine, who is spirit, and not matter...." 

That's it.  It's a lot shorter than the Nicene Creed.

I thought this would get better upon reading The Council of Chalcedon: Re-examined.  This was my main objection in the last emo-post I decided to write. 

Well, I finished it, and it has actually done more harm than good, I'm afraid.  If all the councils were like that one, then I want no part of this path that you all walk.  Unfortunately, to be Orthodox, one must declare the Ecumenical status of the councils. 

I love Jesus.  Really, I do.  I love him.  I don't love what his church has become.  He seemed to me an advocate of following the spirit of the law, not simply the letter of the law.  The pharisee-like emphasis on the law has simply returned in a new form.  This will offend some of you, but this is where my heart is:  The Church has become a sort of neo-Pharisee institution with its councils, and its excommunications, and its proclamations calling people "haters of God," and its imperial enforcement of beliefs.

Honestly... I just don't think I'm wired correctly to be a Christian.  It's just the way I am. 

Some of you are probably fuming a bit from what I've said.  I would be a liar and a deceiver if I were to sugar coat it any other way.  If you love your church and your faith, then God bless every single one of you.  Really, really.

Again, I thank you all for your help, your prayers, and your PMs.  Especially Mina and EA, for teaching me about the Oriental churches.

Allow me, if you would, one prayer on your behalf, before I log out permanently:

O Lord
You who are the Lord of Abram, and Isaac, and Jacob,
You who are the Lord of Jesse, and David, and Solomon,
You who are the Lord of Mercy and Compassion,
You who are the Pantocrator and the Source of all things,
Have mercy upon your servants, O Father of Adam,
Have mercy upon the visitors to this community,
Have mercy upon Your servants, the owners,
Have mercy upon Your servants, those behind their names,
Have mercy upon Your servants, those unseen, who visit,
To the whole community, merciful God,
Both now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 07:28:02 AM »


Honestly... I just don't think I'm wired correctly to be a Christian.  It's just the way I am.



 :'(

But you are...


Exodus 4:10-12 Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 11:28:46 AM »

While you may not get to read this, and while I hate to quote just one thing from such a long, heartfelt post, I'd like to say fwiw...

Quote
Honestly... I just don't think I'm wired correctly to be a Christian.  It's just the way I am.

I can totally understand where you are coming from. And I think in the next ten years science will demonstrate that what you are saying is undeniably true (they have already started to). Some people just aren't religious. For these people (myself included), trying to go through the motions and trying to force Christianity to work is just a recipe for disaster. I wish you the best in life.
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 12:02:32 PM »

If you are looking for a book that explains the reasons for religious faith, among other important facts for life, I'd recommend Man's Search For Meaning By Viktor Frankl:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man's_search_for_meaning

This book, by a Jewish psychiatrist, has helped me more in my faith than any work of Christian apologetics.

May God's love be with you.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 01:30:11 PM »

There is a reason everyone told you to not get caught up in all the Chalcedon cr*p.  The vast majority of Orthodox who have lived on this planet never bothered with it, and that is for the best.  Polemics are really only for theologians and other people who have nothing more constructive to do.

My priest likes to say that although the Church is perfect, the people who make it up are deeply flawed.  That is why we needed a Savior.  Don't make the mistake of judging God or His Church by the behavior of the people in the Church.  Doing that can make a person an athiest.  Sure, people acted horribly during and after the Council of Chalcedon, but those were the actions of sinful people.  God gives us free will and the result is people often choose to act terribly, even in religious contexts.  Don't let that ruin your faith in the Orthodox Church, or Christianity. 

Regarding praying out loud, I never do that, except when singing during the liturgy.  Otherwise, my prayers are said silently.  I think that is true of most people.  There is nothing wrong or unOrthodox about prefering to pray silently.  God hears our innermost thoughts.

If I could recommend a book for you, it would be Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.  Regardless of whether you read it or not, I encourage you to give Orthodox Christianity another try.  As I said in the other thread, if one church didn't work for you, try the other one.  In any event, you need to realise that at the heart of the Christian religion is our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for you and you don't want to give up on Him.  You need to focus on Him and put aside the other things that have annoyed or frustrated you in your Christian journey.  He is the only one who matters.



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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 02:02:44 PM »

While you may not get to read this, and while I hate to quote just one thing from such a long, heartfelt post, I'd like to say fwiw...

I can totally understand where you are coming from. And I think in the next ten years science will demonstrate that what you are saying is undeniably true (they have already started to). Some people just aren't religious. For these people (myself included), trying to go through the motions and trying to force Christianity to work is just a recipe for disaster. I wish you the best in life.

Some people are also wired to be alcoholics, etc...Christianity teaches us that nature is fallen, and as such, we all have something to overcome in our nature.  If science does indeed prove this (although this is not really anything new) it won't set back Christianity at all--it will just show that some people are more inclined to religion than others.  But being inclined to religion is not the same thing as faith, because a lot of people are religious, and religion can be a pathology, but not many people have a faith that transforms their life; this is to me a totally different animal altogether, and one that is not really measurable by science.

Anastasios
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 03:14:06 PM »

Anastasios,

Quote
Some people are also wired to be alcoholics, etc...Christianity teaches us that nature is fallen, and as such, we all have something to overcome in our nature.

I would agree that just because something is "natural," that doesn't necessarily make it good. I don't think that is the case in this situation (faith and/or religoin), however, except in rare cases when people take things too far (for example, atheists who have no inclination towards religion, and have never understood the attraction, leading to them being more hostile attack because they just can't get why someone would be religious). You are assuming a premise that I don't hold (that we fell because of sin, and are now working our way back up), but I think the main point is that we would disagree anyway since my position is that people don't need religion, which to you must be not far off from someone saying that people don't need water or food. I realise that I'm not going to convince anyone that my position is correct, but I do understand when people come to a similar position, as perhaps the original poster has.

Quote
If science does indeed prove this (although this is not really anything new) it won't set back Christianity at all--it will just show that some people are more inclined to religion than others.

I would agree that it is not necessarily a mark against Christianity, just like not liking math is not an excuse for not learning how to multiply. From my perspective, though, it is one part of a larger picture of  getting along in the world without religion. This one thing doesn't prove the religion is wrong, but it does provide some solace for those who aren't religious. I went through that anxiety-causing mindset for pretty much all of my adult life. I tried very hard to be a Christian, probably too hard at times. When I was tagging some threads a couple days ago I came across a post where I lied. I said that a thread at the Cafe had been deleted because of me. The truth is that it had been deleted because of someone else, but I lied to protect the other person. I lied because I really was trying to do the Christian thing. I followed C.S. Lewis' advice (given in the book recommended above), and just tried to go on even when there were dry times.

But for someone who is not religious, 95% of times are dry times. It's incredibly hard to go through life like that, feeling guilty and having a world of anxiety on your shoulders. I don't know about others, but the day I figured out that maybe I wasn't wired to pray set prayers or enjoy liturgical services, that was the day I learned to live. That wasn't the day I left Christianity (I left for mostly doctrinal reasons), but it was a step in that direction. I can totally sympathise with someone who is experiencing problems with their spiritual journey. It's like going to college for years and years for a masters and then maybe even a doctorate, only to find out at the end that the degree you got was bogus. You've devoted a major chunk of your life to this thing, even when it was very hard, and now it seems to have been for naught. It's an incredibly difficult thing to go through (I don't presume that I am telling you anything that you don't know).

Quote
But being inclined to religion is not the same thing as faith, because a lot of people are religious, and religion can be a pathology, but not many people have a faith that transforms their life; this is to me a totally different animal altogether, and one that is not really measurable by science.

Yeah, I can understand that position, but again I don't think we could come to some type of agreement, because I would not accept the idea of something outside the natural body. So, to me, faith and soul and mind are concepts rather than reality. Anyway, I hope I haven't taken the thread off course, as this was not my intention. I just didn't want the thread to become a "Oh, you poor thing, we'll pray for you" type of thing. I know people mean well when they say that.
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2007, 04:29:49 PM »

I can totally understand where you are coming from. And I think in the next ten years science will demonstrate that what you are saying is undeniably true (they have already started to). Some people just aren't religious. For these people (myself included), trying to go through the motions and trying to force Christianity to work is just a recipe for disaster. I wish you the best in life.

I am inclined to disagree, though I'm not sufficently well read in the subject to make a very strong an argument. Essentially, it would seem that our inclination towards religion is not based on one adaptive trait, rather it is a byproduct of several adaptive traits, and thus while one or two may be lacking or diminished it is highly unlikely that one has no traits that give an inclination towards religion. At most, I believe it can be said that some people are more disposed towards religious belief or dependency (and the two are different) than others. If one is interested in the subject in any detail I have heard great things from the Evolutionary Psychology community about Pascal Boyer's Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought (2002, Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-00696-5).

I really should read it, but I'm a bit bored with the whole religion thing right now, too caught up in military science/history; so I doubt I'll be reading it in the near future. I have discovered the pleasures of the interwar theorists (especially Hart and Fuller), and generals and battlefields are just so much more fun to read about and religious figures and churches. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2007, 01:05:40 AM »

(Un)fortunately, God has decided to endow me with an incredible worldly neural power, known as "Yes, but..." 

I know exactly what you mean. Yes, but... I'm a Christian in spite of that. Smiley

Quote
"O Lord, you have created the heavens and the earth, the far spaces and the near, and everything in between.  The sun and moon pay you homage, for the source of their light is Your Light.  You are grand and merciful, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages, Amen."  *Joe crosses himself*

Sounds good, yeah? 

Want to know a secret?  I've never prayed out loud before. Isn't that weird?

Not at all weird. I would feel a complete ninny talking like that. As much as I love Shakespeare, antiquated waffle is not my mother tongue and I seem to get by with using plain-speak with God. And I'm not totally sure why God would need me to be reminding Him that He created the heavens and the earth; He's not likely to forget, is He?  And I'm not so completely thick that I would forget it just because I don't express it with such eloquence. Grin

Quote
I'm terrified to hear myself say those words up there.

I don't blame you. Just think if someone overheard? Shocked Fair enough that the Liturgy is high English and very elaborate, but if anyone thinks I'm going to chat to God like that, they are whistling Dixie.  

Quote
Sounds stupid doesn't it?  It's a big deal to me.  All of my prayers are said silently due to the reason above. 


Doesn't sound stupid to me. I would just like to inquire as to where you got the idea that you needed to compose a sonnet to speak adequately to God? I speak silently to God all the time and in a really chatty way a lot of the time.

Quote
"I believe in a being, whose intelligence far exceeds mine, who is spirit, and not matter...." 

Not a bad place to be - certainly not the worst. Smiley

Quote
I love Jesus.  Really, I do.  I love him.  I don't love what his church has become.  He seemed to me an advocate of following the spirit of the law, not simply the letter of the law.  The pharisee-like emphasis on the law has simply returned in a new form.  This will offend some of you, but this is where my heart is:  The Church has become a sort of neo-Pharisee institution with its councils, and its excommunications, and its proclamations calling people "haters of God," and its imperial enforcement of beliefs.

I hear you - and I agree with you! But I'm an Orthodox Christian in spite of it. Jesus is my ideal hero and, to be honest with you, I don't expect anyone; certainly not me nor any other Christian, not even His Church to live up to Him. It's wonderful to try, but I expect failure all around me; starting with me. Accepting human failure, failure so horrible -  even amongst those who claim authority and membership in Christ's Church - that it makes one weep, is all part of the journey.

God be with you, Gabriel Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2007, 01:38:44 AM »

God bless, Gabriel.
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2007, 01:44:34 AM »

Ditto.  God bless Gabriel!

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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2007, 11:31:28 PM »

Not an OO Saint but wise words none the less:

"Do not expect to find in your heart any remarkable gift of prayer. Consider yourself unworthy of it. Then you will find peace. Use the empty, cold dryness of your prayer as food for your humility. Repeat constantly: I am not worthy, Lord, I am not worthy! But say it calmly, without agitation. This humble prayer will be acceptable to God." - St. Makarii of Optino

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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2007, 05:50:48 AM »

GIC

I would agree that religion isn't like a light switch, which is either on or off. I would also agree that it wouldn't be like one of those lights you can turn on little by little to get a lot of different levels of lighting. However, regardless of how many biological factors play into it, the fact remains that most people are de facto (if not 100% totally, completely, unquestionably) nonreligious, while others are very religious. I am not saying that life has no effect on it, though I think in this particular area life experience probably has more impact on the flavor of religion or nonreligion you choose, rather than whether you actually are religious or nonreligious. As far as Christianity goes...  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2007, 07:05:54 PM »

Essentially, it would seem that our inclination towards religion is not based on one adaptive trait, rather it is a byproduct of several adaptive traits, and thus while one or two may be lacking or diminished it is highly unlikely that one has no traits that give an inclination towards religion.

Our inclination towards religion is God's revelation to the human heart.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2007, 08:08:40 PM »

GIC

I would agree that religion isn't like a light switch, which is either on or off. I would also agree that it wouldn't be like one of those lights you can turn on little by little to get a lot of different levels of lighting. However, regardless of how many biological factors play into it, the fact remains that most people are de facto (if not 100% totally, completely, unquestionably) nonreligious, while others are very religious. I am not saying that life has no effect on it, though I think in this particular area life experience probably has more impact on the flavor of religion or nonreligion you choose, rather than whether you actually are religious or nonreligious. As far as Christianity goes...  Lips Sealed

I would tend to disagree only in that I believe that most people are at least moderately religious. No, they may not seek comfort in prayers and rituals to their gods or spirits, but most believe that there is something more to life than what we see, and in that way are religious. Much of religion comes from a desire to understand, and as science provides that today, in large part, this religious tendency is a bit muted, though people still look towards it on issues of death and an afterlife (just look at the statistics of how many people believe in a supernatural). I guess for the sake of our discussion we would have to be more specific in our definition of religion, I would define it as a belief in something supernatural...be it God, spirits, karma, or simple luck.

As for the specifics of religion, yeah, they're culturally determined.
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2007, 08:09:44 PM »

Our inclination towards religion is God's revelation to the human heart.

Roll Eyes We're trying to have an objective, reasonable, and somewhat scientific discussion here...save it for sunday school.
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2007, 09:35:45 PM »

I would tend to disagree only in that I believe that most people are at least moderately religious. No, they may not seek comfort in prayers and rituals to their gods or spirits, but most believe that there is something more to life than what we see, and in that way are religious. Much of religion comes from a desire to understand, and as science provides that today, in large part, this religious tendency is a bit muted, though people still look towards it on issues of death and an afterlife (just look at the statistics of how many people believe in a supernatural). I guess for the sake of our discussion we would have to be more specific in our definition of religion, I would define it as a belief in something supernatural...be it God, spirits, karma, or simple luck.

I would agree here. There is much evidence evolving that our brains are somehow "wired" for "religion". Marslow's work in studying and describing "Peak Experiences" has contributed much to this understanding. Before the term was hijacked by the drug subculture, the term "Peak Experience" described a profound, non-religious, mystical, ecstatic experience that almost everyone seems to experience a few times in their lifetime. In a Peak Experience, the individual suddenly has a deep sense of "interconnectedness", well-being, "ultimate truth", is filled with a sense of awe and wonder. Epileptics often report similar ecstatic states just prior to or immediately after a grand mal siezure, and in fact, it was this which led to the development of electroconvulsive theraapy (ECT or "Shock Treatment") for the clinical treatment of depression. By inducing siezures, it was found that clinical depression was reduced. Unfortunately, thanks to hollywood movies with actors holding sticks in their mouths while they fly off the table and the economic power of drug companies, ECT has lost popularity, but there are still a few clinics which practice it here in Australia, and the results are remarkable. I've witnessed several treatments, and you wouldn't even know that the patient is having a seizure. They are first given a muscle relaxant and sedated. All the seizure activity from the electric current takes place in the brain- none of this biting their tongue and jumping off the table.
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2007, 01:29:25 PM »

Roll Eyes We're trying to have an objective, reasonable, and somewhat scientific discussion here...save it for sunday school.

Do you consider yourself a believer in the Orthodox Church? Or are GiC and TomS the same person?
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2007, 04:26:49 PM »

That you believe religious faith to be an evolutionary byproduct, rather than God's revelation to the human heart, is not a specifically Oriental Orthodox topic. Please don't post anything on this thread that could lead Gabriel away from the true faith.
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2007, 06:40:40 PM »

That you believe religious faith to be an evolutionary byproduct, rather than God's revelation to the human heart, is not a specifically Oriental Orthodox topic. Please don't post anything on this thread that could lead Gabriel away from the true faith.

So not agreeing with you is being heterodox...we'll thank you matthew for establishing yourself as the standard of Orthodoxy. How could I have ever even thought about discussing a scientific theory without running it by you first. Let me guess, you're an expert in evolutionary psychology as well??? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2007, 08:38:37 PM »

Let me guess, you're an expert in evolutionary psychology as well??? Roll Eyes

Unless you can demonstrate that your opinion is a specifically Oriental Orthodox topic, please don't post on this forum.
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2007, 09:37:25 PM »

Unless you can demonstrate that your opinion is a specifically Oriental Orthodox topic, please don't post on this forum.

What happened to being a 'freethinker' Cheesy...I guess that honor is restricted to those who have achieved such an esteemed level of education as yourself...I fear I never went to community college...and what did you get? A 3.5 in Philosophy, what does that work out to, a high B? Roll Eyes

Quite frankly, with all the heretical babbling you've been spouting off it's a bit late to be establishing yourself as an authorty on Orthodoxy...oriental or otherwise.

And before you go crying foul, have you ever thought, even for a minute, that the two concepts may not be mutually exclusive?
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« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2007, 09:49:17 PM »

What happened to being a 'freethinker'

You can be a freethinker on any other forum, but since this is the Oriental Orthodox forum, please do not discuss any topic unrelated to Oriental Orthodoxy.

A 3.5 in Philosophy, what does that work out to, a high B? Roll Eyes

3.6, what I earned in Philosophy of Religion, is 91 or 92 percent. A 3.1, which I earned in Logic, is an 86% and 4.0, which I earned in Introduction to Philosophy, is 100%.

Quite frankly, with all the heretical babbling you've been spouting off it's a bit late to be establishing yourself as an authorty on Orthodoxy...oriental or otherwise.

I am no authority on anyone or anything, but I do know this much:

Quote
Oriental Orthodox Discussion
A non-polemical discussion of specifically Oriental Orthodox topics.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php

Not only are your opinions unrelated to Oriental Orthodoxy, they are polemical in nature and, therefore, please share them in a different forum.

Peace.
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2007, 09:53:36 PM »

You can be a freethinker on any other forum, but since this is the Oriental Orthodox forum, please do not discuss any topic unrelated to Oriental Orthodoxy.

So much for the freethinker mindset...big brother is watching you. Have you ever heard of this think called consistancy? Look it up some day, heck, perhaps you'll even get it into your head to try it.

Quote
3.6, what I earned in Philosophy of Religion, is 91 or 92 percent. A 3.1, which I earned in Logic, is an 86% and 4.0, which I earned in Introduction to Philosophy, is 100%.

LOL...thanks for clearing that up.

Quote
Not only are your opinions unrelated to Oriental Orthodoxy, they are polemical in nature and, therefore, please share them in a different forum.

Oh, so the Oriental Orthodox dont believe God is present in and works through nature...heck, I knew we had our disagreements, but was unaware that was one of them.
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2007, 10:46:24 PM »

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Quite frankly, with all the heretical babbling you've been spouting off it's a bit late to be establishing yourself as an authorty on Orthodoxy...oriental or otherwise.

GiS, what has Matthew777 been 'babbling' which you consider 'heretical?' 

As an aside, I would remark that questioning the level of your opponent's education in the manner in which I have seen you do so over even the few days in which I have been posting on this forum, besides being unspeakably rude & therefore directly opposed to St. Paul's admonition to "speak the truth in charity" (Ephesians iv. 15), is polemically counterproductive inasmuch as it is grossly ad hominem.
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2007, 10:53:01 PM »

With regard to the tangent about how biology may affect our faith, I was initially tempted to split it off and put it in the Faith Issues forum.  However, Gabriel in his original post did question whether he was properly "wired" for Christianity.  That is why I have left the tangent here.

That said, I think it would be nice if we can get back to the substance of Gabriel's original post and find some way of encouraging him to not give up on the Church.  I think that would be of much better spiritual help to Gabriel if he ever checks in here again.  If the tangent goes on to the point of where this becomes a discussion solely on biology, I may end up putting that portion of it in the Faith section, where I think it belongs.
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2007, 11:12:51 PM »

GiS, what has Matthew777 been 'babbling' which you consider 'heretical?'

That I would consider heretical...probably not much...but I'm a flaming liberal enlightened modernist ecumenist (I really do get along with peoples of other religions and denominations in general...it's only the reactionary fanatics that I have trouble with...and even then, if they're willing to go drink a few beers, we can usually get along even if we dont agree on a single thing). As for things most in the Orthodox Church would regard as heretical, go read the do I need an Orthodox label thread.

Quote
As an aside, I would remark that questioning the level of your opponent's education in the manner in which I have seen you do so over even the few days in which I have been posting on this forum, besides being unspeakably rude & therefore directly opposed to St. Paul's admonition to "speak the truth in charity" (Ephesians iv. 15), is polemically counterproductive inasmuch as it is grossly ad hominem.

Oh, but I didn't question it...I simply stated that mine probably doesn't compare...it was matthew who then went on to post his transcript. If you go back and read what I wrote, I simply stated my apparent inferiority based on what I was told by matthew about the superiority of his education in past threads. Furthermore, I have not made an ad hominem attack, I simply stated facts and drew no conclusions from the same...one is free to draw their own conclusions...but whatever those conclusions are, they're yours not mine. Furthermore, you seem to have this view that formal education is somehow significant...as does matthew. The fact of the matter that it's not all that significant...what is far more significant is what you have published. I dont care what you have learned, what have you added to the corpus of human knowledge? The fact of the matter is that few here have probably published anything. Furthermore, whether or not what is published is of value is another matter for personal preference. I would have far more respect for a journal entry in theoretical mathematics than for one in the humanities...but that's just my preference.

So in short...the 'ad hominem' exists only in the context of your preconceived notions.
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2007, 11:24:25 PM »

If you go back and read what I wrote, I simply stated my apparent inferiority based on what I was told by matthew about the superiority of his education in past threads.

I did not claim superiority but competence, there is a real difference.

The fact of the matter that it's not all that significant...what is far more significant is what you have published.

I've already made published work, if one considers articles printed in college newspapers. If you could judge them on their own merits, by the evidences and their presentation, it would be better than judging based upon your dislike of the particular author. My writings might be complete garbage, but that would only invite you to refute my arguments rather than making personal attacks. An opinion column, if done well, is the presentation of political philosophy to the average reader, which can be more difficult a task than writing for those with more expertise.

For now on, let's at least try to follow the rules of the Oriental Orthodox forum.

Peace.
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« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2007, 11:40:13 PM »

With regard to education, I know that I am personally not educated enough to go around using fancy words like ad hominem.   Smiley   However, I am going to ask you guys to stop squabbling.  (Now there's a word I know.)  This is hardly the kind of thing that will encourage Gabriel to come back to the Church.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2007, 12:08:51 AM »

I've already made published work, if one considers articles printed in college newspapers.

Sorry, I guess I should have been more clear...by publishing, I meant it in the academic sense, either to peer-reviewed journals, or relevant books targeted at fellow academics (not pop-culture) and accepted as valid academic work (though not necessarily agreed with in full) by the academic community. In short, it must add to the corpus of human knowledge.

With regard to education, I know that I am personally not educated enough to go around using fancy words like ad hominem.   Smiley   However, I am going to ask you guys to stop squabbling.  (Now there's a word I know.)  This is hardly the kind of thing that will encourage Gabriel to come back to the Church.

Squabble is a great word, it's norse in origin; not french, so you don't have the aristocratic connotations like such words as 'contention' or 'controversy.' But neither is it west germanic in origin, so it doesn't have the common usage that, say, 'fight' does. It's strange and different, yet down to earth...good word choice Wink
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2007, 12:17:34 AM »

Gentlemen, I think you should stop being so spiteful and divisive and remember the Christian faith, life and values that you share in common...

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God"
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2007, 12:38:17 AM »

GiS, what has Matthew777 been 'babbling' which you consider 'heretical?' 

As an aside, I would remark that questioning the level of your opponent's education in the manner in which I have seen you do so over even the few days in which I have been posting on this forum, besides being unspeakably rude & therefore directly opposed to St. Paul's admonition to "speak the truth in charity" (Ephesians iv. 15), is polemically counterproductive inasmuch as it is grossly ad hominem.

I most certainly agree. You've certainly gotten your fill of that ad hominem too.

I would also submit my humble opinion that such accusations of "heretical babbling" are the pot calling the kettle black.

(I'm not defending M777 per se, who often seems to fall on his own banana peels---just thought the rhetoric was going a little too far.)
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