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Author Topic: Dogmatic Musings of Demetrios G.  (Read 16228 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 30, 2007, 01:14:59 PM »

I couldn't find my original post on the resurrection of all. It must have bin lost when the site went down. So here goes the assumption that most here had about the ressurection of all.

Quote
When we say that the Church is a mode of existence, what exactly do we mean?  What does this mode of existence consist of?

The first thing I would like to point out is that the Church is a Mother, which means it gives birth to offspring; therefore,  every time someone becomes a member of the Church through Holy Baptism, what happens is that we have before us a new birth, a new identity, a new hypostasis.  There are many things that one can say about Holy Baptism, yet there are certain things that are not usually mentioned, even though they are the most essential.  Baptism entails a death and a birth; the death of the “old persona” and the birth of a new one. One might ask: What do you mean by “the old persona”?  Is it merely a moral issue, in other words, the changing and improving of a person?  And if that person’s behaviour does change, has that person become a “new person”?  Has he been “reborn”?   More often than not, that is where we stop, thus confirming the things that I mentioned at the start regarding the Protestant influence on our perception of “experiencing”.

The issue of the death of the old persona, however, is not a moral one; it is an ontological one, because the problem with our biological birth is not that it causes us to carry sin within our existence (in the words of the Psalmist:  “...and in sin my mother conceived me...” Psalm 51); it is not simply because we carry inside us what is called the original sin; it is only because all of these things translate into the fact that we are bearers of a mortal existence; we are born as mortal beings.  Thus, the life, consequently, that originates from a biological birth – from those very laws of nature and biology - will inevitably lead to death.  Therefore, the new person, the one who will be reborn, must be the one who will live eternally; who will not only possess the mortal existence that our biological birth gave us.  Through Baptism, the Church becomes a Mother that gives birth to immortal offspring, as opposed to the biological mother that gives birth to mortal offspring.
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 10:20:46 PM »

The Troparion of the Saturday of Lazarus (today) says:

"Giving us before Thy Passion an assurance of the general resurrection, Thou hast raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ our God. Therefore, like the children, we also carry tokens of victory, and cry to Thee, the Conqueror of death: Hosanna in the highest, Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord."

The words in bold in the original Greek are: "κοινήν άνάστασιν". The word "κοινήν" means "common to all".
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 10:55:17 PM »

The Troparion of the Saturday of Lazarus (today) says:

"Giving us before Thy Passion an assurance of the general resurrection, Thou hast raised Lazarus from the dead, O Christ our God. Therefore, like the children, we also carry tokens of victory, and cry to Thee, the Conqueror of death: Hosanna in the highest, Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord."

The words in bold in the original Greek are: "κοινήν άνάστασιν". The word "κοινήν" means "common to all".


The key word is like the children.  Besides. This is from the dogma of our church. If you don't believe me than read what the Metropolitan of Pergamus, fr. John Zizioulas has to say on the matter. Let me also mention to you that he is backed in his theology by the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew.
http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/bapt_efx1.htm
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 10:59:11 PM »

what's the issue being debated?
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 11:06:07 PM »

The key word is like the children.
But "the children" it refers to is the Jews who held the Palm branches on Palm Sunday.

Besides. This is from the dogma of our church. If you don't believe me than read what the Metropolitan of Pergamus, fr. John Zizioulas has to say on the matter. Let me also mention to you that he is backed in his theology by the ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew. http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/bapt_efx1.htm
I did read it. Here is a quote from it:
"When the Apostle Paul wrote that with Baptism, we die together with Christ and we are resurrected so that we might be incorporated into Christ’s Body – which is in practice translated as our incorporation into the Community of the Church..." The Resurrection we experience when we emerge from the Baptisimal waters is not the General Resurrection. It is a metaphor for our joining the Community of the Church, and the article you posted a link to makes this clear.
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 11:08:29 PM »

what's the issue being debated?
Whether the General Resurrection is common to all or only to those who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2007, 11:14:26 PM »

Whether the General Resurrection is common to all or only to those who will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

I think our liturgical texts make it clear that it's everyone. I believe the Matins of the Sunday of the Last Judgment states very clearly some will be resurrected to reward and some to evil.
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 11:44:34 PM »

I think our liturgical texts make it clear that it's everyone.
I think the Gospel makes it clear that it's everyone:
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. " (Matthew 5:28-29)
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2007, 10:48:21 AM »

I think the Gospel makes it clear that it's everyone:
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. " (Matthew 5:28-29)

Well yeah, that too Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2007, 12:03:01 PM »

 In the OT we know from scripture, sin leads to death. What exactly changed in the NT that this is not true?
 
 In this verse there are two deaths. The first death I see as baptism. When we are baptised we die to the body and take on a rebirth.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
 

have you ever ask what is the first resurrection.

Romans 6:3
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?


Than we have quotes like this one.

John 5:24
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
 

Our first death is our baptisim.
 
How does death and hades suffer in the lake of fire? There elements of creation. What I see is that they are sent to there end. How could elements suffer? If that's the case what happens to the people that are thrown into the lake. I see the same out come. That outcome is eternal end.

Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.  

It's called the book of life for a reason.
    The second death is actually the first physical death.

At our lituragy we are offered to the father/Trinity with Christ for reconciliation. There is no other way to the father except through Christ. That is why we are the body and Christ is the head. We are offererd up together to the father and he accepts. Also when we pray for our dead we are praying them back to life. That is why we don't offer non Orthodox names to be read.

Everyone and everything is dieing. Ask Al Gore what's happening to our world. It's dieing Look at the signs in revelation about the earth. Water contamination, earthquakes and such.

Read it from the begining. Creation from Nil. http://www.oodegr.com/english/dogmatiki1/perieh.htm


 
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2007, 12:14:09 PM »

Unfortunately, Demetrios, I don't see how any of that points to those bound for hell not being resurrected. It sounds like you are starting with a hypothesis and then trying to find Scripture to support it, instead of reading the texts in context.

Please see the excellent book Life After Death for a full explanation:

English: http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b24.en.life_after_death.00.htm
Greek: http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b24.e.i_zoi_meta_thanato.00.htm
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2007, 01:17:49 PM »

One could simply re-title this thread: "For all orthodox Christians."
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2007, 11:22:50 PM »

You really feel that confident that all will rise. Than explain how exactly Christ defeated death for all. I can bet you or anybody else here can't come up with the answer. Because it doesn't exist. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2007, 11:35:01 PM »

explain how exactly Christ defeated death for all.
"θανάτω θάνατον πατήσας"
"He tramples down death by death."
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2007, 12:54:52 AM »

You really feel that confident that all will rise. Than explain how exactly Christ defeated death for all. I can bet you or anybody else here can't come up with the answer. Because it doesn't exist. 

See Life After Death, linked above. We shouldn't have to do your homework for you.

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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2007, 01:21:59 AM »

"θανάτω θάνατον πατήσας"
"He tramples down death by death."
I don't Think your understanding. I will leave you with something to ponder on. If the consequence for sin is death and all are saved from death than all are saved from sin. Yet we know that no one is saved without the church. So how can this be true?
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2007, 01:27:45 AM »

I don't Think your understanding. I will leave you with something to ponder on. If the consequence for sin is death and all are saved from death than all are saved from sin. Yet we know that no one is saved without the church. So how can this be true?
And I don't think you are understanding. Either Christ's triumph over death was total or it was no triumph at all. If death can still hold people on the Day of Judgement, Christ's victory over it was partial only- and no victory at all.
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2007, 01:45:04 AM »

I don't Think your understanding. I will leave you with something to ponder on. If the consequence for sin is death and all are saved from death than all are saved from sin. Yet we know that no one is saved without the church. So how can this be true?

Because your last assumption is flawed, all can and all shall be saved.
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2007, 01:57:54 PM »

And I don't think you are understanding. Either Christ's triumph over death was total or it was no triumph at all. If death can still hold people on the Day of Judgement, Christ's victory over it was partial only- and no victory at all.

Now your separating sin and death. These are inseparable. If what you say is true than we aren't saved from sin. So sin hasn't bin defeated. Now we nead another Christ to save us from sin and eternal damnation. Since the consequences for sin have now bin elevated to eternal damnation.  It seems this roads ends in Protestantism.
 If we take the Orthodox road than we can say that who ever has power to loosen sins also has the power over death.
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« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2007, 09:59:44 PM »

The words in bold in the original Greek are: "κοινήν άνάστασιν". The word "κοινήν" means "common to all".

BTW:  κοινήν could also be translated into communal.
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2007, 04:57:03 AM »



   After the destruction of the antichrist those that stayed true to God will be ressurected and life in a rejyvenated world, the rest will stay in hell.
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2007, 11:19:57 PM »

In the Great Euchologion (Venice, 1862), a fundamental liturgical book of the Church, we read:

"O God, the great and most high, Thou Who alone hast immortality"
[7th prayer of Vespers, p. 15]
"Thou Who alone art life-giving by nature... O only immortal"
[Ode 5, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 410]
"Thou art the only immortal" [p.  410]
"The only One Who is immortal because of His godly nature"

[Ode 1, Funeral Canon for Laymen, p. 471]

Saint Irenaeus puts it: "The teaching that the human soul is naturally immortal is from the devil" (Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, III, 20. 1). We find the same warning in Saint Justin (Dialogue with Trypho 6. 1-2), in Theophilus of Antioch (To Autolycus 2. 97), in Tatian (To the Greeks 13), etc.
So, what are you trying to prove with these proof texts?  Any Joe or Jane can take such Patristic/Liturgical texts out of context to prove any pet theory, but that doesn't make the theory Orthodox.


For instance, how about these liturgical texts:

The image of God was truly preserved in you, O [Father/Mother],
for you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing doing you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away
but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.
Therefore your spirit, venerable [Name], rejoices with the angels.

Troparion in Tone 8 for a monastic saint from the General Menaion


Or how about this paradox:
God alone is holy, as we pray every morning in the Doxology of Matins
For You alone are holy, and You alone are Lord.

Yet, during the dismissal of most services, the priest exclaims the petition, "Most holy Theotokos, save us," and before preparing the consecrated Holy Gifts for distribution to the faithful, the priest proclaims, "The holy things for the holy people."

Yet we believe that God alone is holy.


Dogmatically, we teach that God alone can save--such was the teaching of St. Athanasius in his argument against Arianism.  Yet we have proclamations such as one above that begs the Theotokos to save us.  How is this possible if God alone can save?


What am I trying to prove?  Not that the soul is immortal...  I'm just trying to show that the dogmatic Tradition of the Church is much bigger and often much more paradoxical than you may think.  Try to see the bigger picture here.
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2007, 09:23:43 AM »

So, what are you trying to prove with these proof texts?  Any Joe or Jane can take such Patristic/Liturgical texts out of context to prove any pet theory, but that doesn't make the theory Orthodox.


For instance, how about these liturgical texts:

The image of God was truly preserved in you, O [Father/Mother],
for you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing doing you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away
but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.
Therefore your spirit, venerable [Name], rejoices with the angels.

Troparion in Tone 8 for a monastic saint from the General Menaion

There is nothing wrong with this text. It clearly states that when we take up our cross we become immortal. The question then arise. What about the ones that don't take up there cross?

Quote
Or how about this paradox:
God alone is holy, as we pray every morning in the Doxology of Matins
For You alone are holy, and You alone are Lord.

Yet, during the dismissal of most services, the priest exclaims the petition, "Most holy Theotokos, save us," and before preparing the consecrated Holy Gifts for distribution to the faithful, the priest proclaims, "The holy things for the holy people."

Yet we believe that God alone is holy.

There isn't anything wrong here either. The consecrated Holy Gifts is what presents us to the father Holy. We become cleanzed through them. We the body and Christ the head are presented to the father together Holy. This happens at every Liturgy. Hence the formulation of the prayer: "Thou art the offerer and the offering, the One Who accepts and the One Who is propagated" simultaneously. 
   

    It is the dialectic relationship between the Father and the Son, thanks to which we are saved, on account of the fact that we too become accepted by the Father, as sons.  The Church, therefore, is that mystery of recapitulation, the embodiment of everyone, who, through Baptism have become sons, and through them through their nature, which they carry with them, we are enabled to enter into the relationship that exists between Father and Son.  This is what theosis means.  The Father accepts the Body, which Christ offers during the Eucharist. The Son now both offers and accepts.  He offers, according to the measure that He is joined to human nature, and He accepts, according to the measure that He is joined to the Father.




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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2007, 10:34:16 AM »

The soul is mortal by nature.  God sustains it for its immortality; in other words, if he stopped willing it to exist it would cease.  Only God is immortal per se. But he promised to keep our souls immortal, so he is limited by his own promise.  From the texts of the Church IN CONTEXT and IN TOTALITY though, we know that hell and heaven are eternal, and that the souls of the damned will not be destroyed.

To sum up Orthodox dogma:

1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
2) God promises us that he will not destroy our souls
3) The bodies of all will be resurrected on the last day and reunited with their souls, forever.

There is no debate on this issue. Anyone who reads the fathers will see this is the clear Orthodox teaching. Taking verses out of context to create a new theology is a dangerous game.  You could take a lot of things in isolation out of context--that's why there are Protestants.
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2007, 10:37:08 AM »

There is no debate on this issue. Anyone who reads the fathers will see this is the clear Orthodox teaching. Taking verses out of context to create a new theology is a dangerous game.  You could take a lot of things in isolation out of context--that's why there are Protestants.

Or, as the old adage goes, the Devil himself can quote Holy Writ to serve his own purposes.
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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2007, 10:39:46 AM »

The soul is mortal by nature.  God sustains it for its immortality; in other words, if he stopped willing it to exist it would cease.  Only God is immortal per se. But he promised to keep our souls immortal, so he is limited by his own promise.  From the texts of the Church IN CONTEXT and IN TOTALITY though, we know that hell and heaven are eternal, and that the souls of the damned will not be destroyed.

To sum up Orthodox dogma:

1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
2) God promises us that he will not destroy our souls
3) The bodies of all will be resurrected on the last day and reunited with their souls, forever.

There is no debate on this issue. Anyone who reads the fathers will see this is the clear Orthodox teaching. Taking verses out of context to create a new theology is a dangerous game.  You could take a lot of things in isolation out of context--that's why there are Protestants.

The Church seems to agree with me.  1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
Who has Grace?
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2007, 10:59:30 AM »

The Church seems to agree with me.  1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
Who has Grace?

Well, obviously you and I do since we still exist. 
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2007, 11:04:08 AM »

Well, obviously you and I do since we still exist. 
Do you even know what the word Grace means?
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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2007, 11:05:18 AM »

The Church seems to agree with me.  1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
Who has Grace?


Everyone, if we mean charismatic grace, which is God's presence in all of creation, which affects non Orthodox people to varying degrees depending on their response.  Those in hell have totally not responded, and as such, they feel God's grace as a burning fire.

Sacramental grace is only in Orthodox sacraments, but this is not what we are talking about.
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2007, 11:17:04 AM »

Everyone, if we mean charismatic grace, which is God's presence in all of creation, which affects non Orthodox people to varying degrees depending on their response.  Those in hell have totally not responded, and as such, they feel God's grace as a burning fire.

Your creating a hell for those that don't have grace? Revert to #1

Quote
Sacramental grace is only in Orthodox sacraments, but this is not what we are talking about.
Agreed.
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« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2007, 11:18:44 AM »

Do you even know what the word Grace means?

{Aside}
What prompts your question, friend?  Methinks you seem a bit upset or sarcastic - no need to be so with me.  I don't need to be spoken to like a 5-year-old in the context of this conversation: I obviously have a definition of Grace from which I'm working with, since I have participated (and not illogically, IMO), and I don't need you asking me in some condescending tone as if you were my teacher or the living dictionary itself if I know the definition of a word which is so important not only to our belief but also to religious discussion (something which I have at least a little bit of experience of, at least on this site, as evidenced by my post count).  If you're asking the question because you want to further discussion, then phrase it this way "And what definition of Grace are you working with?" - thus opening the door to discuss our varying definitions of Grace, rather than condescendingly implying that your definition is the absolute and from that position questioning the validity or presence of mine.

{/Aside}

If your question "who has grace" is speaking to "who has received it" - then my answer stands: we all have grace, since we still exist, and since nothing can exist without God's grace.  If your question "who has grace" is seeking to know "who has it to give out" - then the only answer is God, for He alone is the source of Grace to the world.
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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 11:20:30 AM »

Your creating a hell for those that don't have grace? Revert to #1
Agreed.

No, he didn't say they don't have grace, he said they haven't responded to it.
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2007, 11:21:41 AM »

Your creating a hell for those that don't have grace? Revert to #1

He didn't say that - he said that all have grace, and those who don't respond positively to it (i.e. those who don't respect it, love God for it, etc.) feel it as a burning fire (a.k.a. Hell).  So those in Hell have grace, according to his statements, as is evidenced by the fact that they exist (even if it is in this "hell-ish" state).  It could be argued that the Devil still has grace, as he only exists because God allows him to (through his divine grace and Love).
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« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2007, 11:35:09 AM »

He didn't say that - he said that all have grace, and those who don't respond positively to it (i.e. those who don't respect it, love God for it, etc.) feel it as a burning fire (a.k.a. Hell).  So those in Hell have grace, according to his statements, as is evidenced by the fact that they exist (even if it is in this "hell-ish" state).  It could be argued that the Devil still has grace, as he only exists because God allows him to (through his divine grace and Love).

 Your saying that the HS is with everyone through charismatic grace. If thats what your saying than why do we need a church to baptize us onto the HS? Why do we need a priest with apostolic secession, if it is freely given to all? Why not just take baptism out of our sacraments altogether.
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« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2007, 11:40:29 AM »

Your saying that the HS is with everyone through charismatic grace. If thats what your saying than why do we need a church to baptize us onto the HS? Why do we need a priest with apostolic secession, if it is freely given to all? Why not just take baptism out of our sacraments altogether.

No, he's not saying that at all. 

The main problem here is a lack of understanding of terms.  Your definition of grace (and the distinction between charismatic and sacramental) is apparently different from everyone else's who is particpating in this thread.  Since cleveland and Anastasios are far more eloquent in discussing this subject than I could be, I will defer to their explanation, which I'm sure will be soon forthcoming.

Perhaps you can enlighten us on the definition of grace and the distinction between charsimatic and sacramental grace that you are working from?  We can't have a discussion about something until we're absolutely sure that we're all discussing the same thing.
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« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2007, 12:04:17 PM »

{Aside}
What prompts your question, friend?  Methinks you seem a bit upset or sarcastic - no need to be so with me.  I don't need to be spoken to like a 5-year-old in the context of this conversation: I obviously have a definition of Grace from which I'm working with, since I have participated (and not illogically, IMO), and I don't need you asking me in some condescending tone as if you were my teacher or the living dictionary itself if I know the definition of a word which is so important not only to our belief but also to religious discussion (something which I have at least a little bit of experience of, at least on this site, as evidenced by my post count).  If you're asking the question because you want to further discussion, then phrase it this way "And what definition of Grace are you working with?" - thus opening the door to discuss our varying definitions of Grace, rather than condescendingly implying that your definition is the absolute and from that position questioning the validity or presence of mine.

{/Aside}

If your question "who has grace" is speaking to "who has received it" - then my answer stands: we all have grace, since we still exist, and since nothing can exist without God's grace.  If your question "who has grace" is seeking to know "who has it to give out" - then the only answer is God, for He alone is the source of Grace to the world.

Please don't be offended. This is just the way I wright. I'm a one finger typist and I try to get everything out in a few words. Sorry

 Should we not view this life as temporal existence that leads to death?   I view eternal life as a gift from god. It seems to me that eternal life is taken for granted these days within Christianity. I just don't see how all are saved from death.

Quote
We shall cite here St. Diadochus of Photiki:

Before holy Baptism, grace encourages the soul from the outside, while Satan lurks in its depths, trying to block all the noetic faculty's ways of approaching the Divine. But from the moment that we are reborn through Baptism, the demon is outside, grace is within. Thus whereas before Baptism error ruled the soul, after Baptism truth rules it. Nevertheless, even after Baptism Satan (can) still act upon the soul....

PS: I'll try and tone it down to not offend anyone.
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« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2007, 03:54:06 PM »

Please don't be offended. This is just the way I wright. I'm a one finger typist and I try to get everything out in a few words. Sorry

It's okay.  The language difference can be a problem, especially if you are a non-native English speaker writing to mostly native English speakers.  Thank you for the clarification.

Should we not view this life as temporal existence that leads to death?   I view eternal life as a gift from god. It seems to me that eternal life is taken for granted these days within Christianity. I just don't see how all are saved from death.

It depends on how one defines life, or the experience of death.  We will all experience death, but the righteous shall be resurrected.  Otherwise, the language seems to imply that souls will continue on - those in Hell will continue to exist.  (NO DISCUSSION ON APOKATASTASIS PLEASE - this is mostly directed at GiC)  Of course, we don't know for sure, but the only thing that keeps any of us from non-existence is God's will that we exist, so I think the grace that Anastasios and I are referring to is the simple Grace from God for existence, which should be differentiated from the Grace of the Spirit which brings us into communion with one another and into the Life in Christ.

PS: I'll try and tone it down to not offend anyone.

No apologies necessary.  I hope I wasn't uncharitable in my response - if I was please tell me!
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« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2007, 09:35:24 PM »

It's okay.  The language difference can be a problem, especially if you are a non-native English speaker writing to mostly native English speakers.  Thank you for the clarification.

It depends on how one defines life, or the experience of death.  We will all experience death, but the righteous shall be resurrected.  Otherwise, the language seems to imply that souls will continue on - those in Hell will continue to exist.  (NO DISCUSSION ON APOKATASTASIS PLEASE - this is mostly directed at GiC)  Of course, we don't know for sure, but the only thing that keeps any of us from non-existence is God's will that we exist, so I think the grace that Anastasios and I are referring to is the simple Grace from God for existence, which should be differentiated from the Grace of the Spirit which brings us into communion with one another and into the Life in Christ.

Excellent response. I agree with everything that was said. The language does imply that those in hell will continue to exist. At least you and I don't. Try to make that clear to the rest.

Quote
I hope I wasn't uncharitable in my response - if I was please tell me!

Actually you are very charitable by addressing my post. Thank you.
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« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2007, 04:37:36 PM »

If I may, I'd like to use your sig, Demetrios:

"'Kyrie, eleison', that is to say, 'Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal, a very Western interpretation, but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children"

as a springboard for how I'm about to talk about "death."  You said, in your sig (I love that quote, by the way) that "mercy," which is often thought of as pleading for clemency and release from torture inflicted upon us by God, is rather a pleading for God to simply be who He is towards us, and that we would receive that.  So we're dealing with a different definition of an often-misunderstood term.

I would say that the same holds true for "death" here.  We usually think of death solely as the separation of the soul and body, and the cessation of bodily function.  If we only see death in this manner, the resurrection of the dead would definitely seem like something that goes against that, since the person's "alive" again.  But let's look at it another way...let's say someone's brought (body and soul) into the presence of God--someone who was not able to receive God's mercy--and made to stay there in His presence for eternity.  This someone would be made to be together with Life Himself, though the person would be incompatible with Life, unable to receive or even understand or tolerate that Life.

Now...could such a state of being, even though it involved consciousness and the union of soul and body, possibly be called "life"?  I would say that "death" as it is often used in the New Testament, refers not only to the separation of a body from the living soul, but the separation of the whole being from its Life--THIS, I think, is the second death, and those who've died the first death won't feel the sting of the second death.

Forgive me if I've offended or misspoken.
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« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2007, 05:32:29 PM »

I hope were clear now. Those in hell will not resurrect. Evil will cease to exist, it is temporary.

For your first statement, "Those in hell will not resurrect," it seems that you already judged people to hell.  As of now, no one is in hell or heaven.  They are all either experiencing "Paradise" or "Hades" in an intermediary state before Judgment Day, when all will reunite to their bodies, and be burned or glorified (i.e. judged) WITH their bodies, because man can only be judged as a whole:  body, soul, and spirit.

On the resurrection of all, I don't know how much clearer can it get when you read your own liturgical texts, the ancient Fathers' writings, and even our own OO fathers and writings, as well as RC and Anglican writings.  There's a whole slew of consistency on this issue that really needs no debate, as Anastasios said:

The soul is mortal by nature.  God sustains it for its immortality; in other words, if he stopped willing it to exist it would cease.  Only God is immortal per se. But he promised to keep our souls immortal, so he is limited by his own promise.  From the texts of the Church IN CONTEXT and IN TOTALITY though, we know that hell and heaven are eternal, and that the souls of the damned will not be destroyed.

To sum up Orthodox dogma:

1) The soul is not immortal by nature. It is immortal by grace.
2) God promises us that he will not destroy our souls
3) The bodies of all will be resurrected on the last day and reunited with their souls, forever.

There is no debate on this issue. Anyone who reads the fathers will see this is the clear Orthodox teaching. Taking verses out of context to create a new theology is a dangerous game.  You could take a lot of things in isolation out of context--that's why there are Protestants.

On your second statement "Evil will cease to exist; it is temporary," that makes me wonder if you believe ALL will be in heaven (i.e. apokatastasis)?

God bless.

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« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2007, 06:16:40 PM »

I hope were clear now. Those in hell will not resurrect. Evil will cease to exist, it is temporary.
Clear?  To you and what Pope?  Please don't think I'm irritated with you; you just don't realize how laughably silly your certitude sounds.  You base your defense of your thesis on faulty premises.  You take patristic texts out of context to support your flawed logic.  Others here on this thread have scrutinized your reasoning up one side and down the other, pointing out to you the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church on this matter and how your preconceived conclusion just doesn't match up.  And you think I should be convinced of the correctness of your conclusion by the charisma of your assertiveness alone?  I'm not that gullible.
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« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2007, 07:49:06 PM »

On your second statement "Evil will cease to exist; it is temporary," that makes me wonder if you believe ALL will be in heaven (i.e. apokatastasis)?

God bless.

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Well, that would be the position consonant with philosophy, scripture, and tradition Wink
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« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2007, 09:17:43 PM »

 According to St John Chrysostom hell and hades is the same place and that place is eternal death.

Paschal Homily of St John Chrysostom:

Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it. He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh. Isaiah foretold this when he said, "You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with. It was in an uproar because it is mocked. It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed. It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated. It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive. Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.

O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, O death, are annihilated! Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down! Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is Risen, and life is liberated! Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead; for Christ having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 
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« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2007, 10:56:30 PM »

If I may, I'd like to use your sig, Demetrios:

"'Kyrie, eleison', that is to say, 'Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.' Thus mercy does not refer so much to justice or acquittal, a very Western interpretation, but to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children"

as a springboard for how I'm about to talk about "death."  You said, in your sig (I love that quote, by the way) that "mercy," which is often thought of as pleading for clemency and release from torture inflicted upon us by God, is rather a pleading for God to simply be who He is towards us, and that we would receive that.  So we're dealing with a different definition of an often-misunderstood term.

I would say that the same holds true for "death" here.  We usually think of death solely as the separation of the soul and body, and the cessation of bodily function.  If we only see death in this manner, the resurrection of the dead would definitely seem like something that goes against that, since the person's "alive" again.  But let's look at it another way...let's say someone's brought (body and soul) into the presence of God--someone who was not able to receive God's mercy--and made to stay there in His presence for eternity.  This someone would be made to be together with Life Himself, though the person would be incompatible with Life, unable to receive or even understand or tolerate that Life.

Now...could such a state of being, even though it involved consciousness and the union of soul and body, possibly be called "life"?  I would say that "death" as it is often used in the New Testament, refers not only to the separation of a body from the living soul, but the separation of the whole being from its Life--THIS, I think, is the second death, and those who've died the first death won't feel the sting of the second death.

Forgive me if I've offended or misspoken.

The first death and the first resurrection is baptism and the second death is eternal death without resurrection.


Colossians 2:12
having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

Romans 6:4
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Revelation 21:8
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."


Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

 It's clear in this verse that those involved in the first resurrection are still alive so it is baptism. Even though we die a physical death. It will not keep the baptized from resurrecting at the second coming.

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« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2007, 11:10:17 AM »

Demetrios G.,

It is clear that this topic is very important to you and you have put a lot of thought into it. It is also clear that you are doing most of this reading and reflection on your own. Have you consulted your priest and Bishop on this matter? After all, our goal should never be to "discover" or "figure something out" about the Truth on our own -- no matter how many primary sources we think we have read! -- but to conform our minds and hearts to the basic teachings of the universal Church and live out our callings as Christian faithful.

Sincerely,
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