OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 31, 2014, 06:51:48 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Help! What should I do, if anything?  (Read 1901 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« on: October 16, 2007, 10:15:03 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I have a religion professor who continually makes comments about how the Catholic church 'invented' the concept of the Holy Trinity.  He also makes other antagonistic remarks like, "The Bible says 'No Graven Images' yet many Christians go right ahead do whatever the hell they want.  When we get to Christianity, I'm debating on whether or not I should engage him on his assertions or just let them slide?  I feel as though I should say something... It seems as if he's got some issues and his knowledge on the Eastern Churches are virtually nil. Thanks in advance.  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 10:24:04 PM by Jibrail Almuhajir » Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 10:45:41 PM »

Perhaps you could approach him privately and kindly inform him that there is another whole Church that is generally not widely known in the west

You might mention that the Greek (separate yourself from the Latin Church at this point) Fathers did indeed use some language and philosohical categories of Greek thought to define the trinitarian revelations they encountered in Jesus' life and ministry
but that that they did not coldly "invent" that doctrine so much as hammer it out to define what they experienced in the gospels. Also that it took several ecumenical councils to get it right.
So you could say, in one sense you are agreeing with him on the process, in one sense you are disagreeing with the conclusion he draws.

[sometimes not reacting and approaching someone like this who is caustic in trying to evoke a reaction may get the person to actually re-think their position]


Regarding the no graven images you might mention that it is lengthy to explain but that the 7th ecumenical council dealt with precisely this issue. Briefly explain the iconoclasts. Briefly explain that the incarnation of the Son of God in Christian theology made the use of images acceptable because the human person of Christ, in Christian theology, is the image of the Father. So if a man could be God's image and likeness, so can icons - painted images.

(Don't sound like you are trying to convert him, only that, granted this aspect of Christian dogma, the other aspect follows. The approach would be that if one accepts this aspect of Christian dogma A, dogma B logically follows). You may personally disagree with dogma A (the incarnation). But those who believe it are not being inconsistent or hypocritical when they move on to dogma B (icons).

Don't debate... educate.

See, there are so many reactionary anti-Catholics and anti-Evangelicals out there; being Orthodox gives you a whole different platform for addressing some of these issues from outside their usual hang-ups and issues.

You gotta use that to your advantage. We are just exotic enough to make some of these skeptics accept us as an "eastern' religion and thereby unwittingly give Christianity another hearing.

Don't blow it with western style apologetics.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 10:49:45 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
serb1389
Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom!
Global Moderator
Merarches
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Posts: 8,404


Michał Kalina's biggest fan

FrNPantic
WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 07:32:54 AM »

I agree with BrotherAidan.  It sounds like your professor has taken a position against Catholicism, so distancing yourself away might be the best option. 

I would say that the approach he (BrotherAidan) layed out is very good. 

p.s. you should DEFINITELY say SOMETHING.  I would say that just the fact that you had a THOUGHT to say something, is inspired by God.  Most people wouldn't have cared...

Logged

I got nothing.
I forgot the maps
March 27th and May 30th 2010 were my Ordination dates, please forgive everything before that
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 08:04:01 AM »

Thanks BrotherAiden. Your post is some of the best advice I've seen here. I think its an excellent approach.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
pensateomnia
Bibliophylax
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Posts: 2,359


metron ariston


« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 09:55:25 AM »

Or maybe just remind him that the very same God who commanded "no idols" in Exodus 20 also commanded Moses and the Israelites in Exodus 25 to make images of cherubim to adorn a liturgical vessel called The Ark of the Covenant. Obviously, the original command doesn't mean that ALL liturgical or religious images are banned -- only idols of foreign gods that one worships.

"Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upwards, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking towards the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the covenant, which I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites."
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 09:56:04 AM by pensateomnia » Logged

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
admiralnick
Cardinal, Editor for Photogalleries
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,880


« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 10:10:09 AM »

I confirm that Brother Aidan's theory is a good one, I've found from much PERSONAL EXPERIENCE that raising your hand in class and contradicting the professor in a firey discussion is not the best way to handle things. As one who has fought many professors, I only had one who listened to my opinion during my firey rage. So stay calm, stick to what you know and let the Holy Spirit guide the truth from your lips.

-Nick
Logged

The ORIGINAL: "NULL"
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 10:48:38 AM »

This is not an answer to Gabriel's question, but, rather, a comment... I sometimes find it extremely difficult to deal with people who make it a goal of their life to shock and insult Christianity. Gabriel, if your professor is one of those types, then I am not sure that even kind private talking to him or your attempts to educate him will change anything. Maybe just stay away.
Logged

Love never fails.
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 11:35:12 AM »

It also may not help that at the time your professor thinks the doctrine of the Trinity was "invented," the Greeks and Latins were all in the one Catholic Church. It's like the Da Vinci Code. I don't think the exotic allure of an Eastern flavor is something that will change his mind. Nicaea was a council composed mostly of Eastern bishops, after all. The Catholic Church in communion with Rome is just a bigger, more visible target.

You will just have to confront him with facts, though even that may not be enough. It often isn't---some people have an implacable, visceral, emotional hatred of Christianity, and it is of diabolical inspiration.

Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007, 11:52:08 AM »

some people have an implacable, visceral, emotional hatred of Christianity, and it is of diabolical inspiration.

Exactly...  Embarrassed
Logged

Love never fails.
Simayan
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate - GOA
Posts: 816



« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 01:37:43 PM »

We are just exotic enough to make some of these skeptics accept us as an "eastern' religion and thereby unwittingly give Christianity another hearing.

That always seems to work for me Smiley

In response to your question, though, I would suggest talking to him in private.

Most people have never even heard of it, so when I bring it up to some insane History/English teacher, they sit down and shut about Christianity for the rest of the semester for fear of looking like a moron.

For example, my current English teacher (who is also an Episcopal priestess...) likes to lump all of Judeo-Christianity into one entity, preaching that all we care about is sin and damnation. Then she'll go off on a tangent such as: "What's very cool in Hinduism and Islam is that they teach about forgiveness and repentance."

For one, who the heck says "Very cool" in a semi-formal lecture when they're 45? And second, when has Islam shown to be a religion of forgiveness?

In her eyes, you're either a corrupt Catholic who pays for absolution of sins, or a snake-handling Evangelical wacko in the Bible Belt. I've been slowly introducing Orthodoxy into my writing pieces, yet she hasn't really caught on. I think I might have to have a private discussion with her soon, as well.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 01:39:43 PM by Simayan » Logged

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, nor mourning nor crying nor suffering, for the old order of things has passed away."
John of the North
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Eparchy of Edmonton and the West
Posts: 3,533


Christ is Risen!

tgild
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2007, 03:03:42 PM »

It also may not help that at the time your professor thinks the doctrine of the Trinity was "invented," the Greeks and Latins were all in the one Catholic Church. It's like the Da Vinci Code. I don't think the exotic allure of an Eastern flavor is something that will change his mind. Nicaea was a council composed mostly of Eastern bishops, after all. The Catholic Church in communion with Rome is just a bigger, more visible target.

Maybe the point is not to change the prof's mind, but to take a stand for our beliefs.

Besides that, my definition of the "Catholic Church" is certainly not in communion with Rome! And although Rome may be a bigger, more visible target, that might also be due to the fact that outside of the Diaspora, the Orthodox church has suffered under distinctly hostile powers in many areas for centuries.

Of course all that is irrelevant, as the concept of the Holy Trinity is something that all Christians should defend.
Logged

"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2007, 03:17:12 PM »

Besides that, my definition of the "Catholic Church" is certainly not in communion with Rome!

That was why, out of respect, I made the distinction---otherwise I would have just said "Catholic Church," which is what we (i.e., those who are in communion with Rome) call ourselves.




Modified to clarify the meaning of the pronoun 'we'. Fr Chris
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 03:52:14 PM by FrChris » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2007, 05:59:10 PM »

These are some wonderful, wonderful ideas that I can use.  I knew I could count on y'all. Wink
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2007, 11:46:06 PM »

Well, here's an update.

I did speak with my prof about my concerns with his 'history' and 'knowledge' re: the Roman Catholics and Orthodox, Icons, and the Trinity.  He sort of dismissed me in a polite manner saying, "Yes, yes, I speaking of the Catholic Church as in the 'One Holy Catholic Church'.  I'm aware of the division between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches."  Now we're discussing Christianity in class and he's totally bashing us all, speaking only about the divisions and how Constantine brought this little upstart cult into the spotlight ONLY to unite the failing empire; not because he truly believed.

These things bother me, but what really bothers me is that at the beginning of each religion he said he'd be teaching about it as if he were a follower of said religion.  Now that we're talking about Christianity, he's totally veered from his original stand and only mocking us.  So my question now is- should I call him on this in public, private, or just forget about it altogether?  I have an A+ in the class so that's not holding me back.  I just don't want to miss an opportunity to totally humiliate him.  Just kidding. Cheesy  I don't want to miss an opportunity to speak to him about Christ.

 In Christ,

 Gabriel
« Last Edit: November 28, 2007, 11:52:55 PM by Jibrail Almuhajir » Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Rowan
Lurker, Writer, Science-lover, yada yada yada...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Episcopalian
Posts: 159

-- Defying Gravity --


« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 12:01:30 AM »

Sounds like he gets his history from TV  Tongue

I'd say, if you have a prepared answer, speak up during class: if for nothing else, for the sake of your classmates.

Pray pray pray! Smiley
Logged

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8; St Paul
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Offline Offline

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,963



« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 12:11:07 AM »

Or maybe just remind him that the very same God who commanded "no idols" in Exodus 20 also commanded Moses and the Israelites in Exodus 25 to make images of cherubim to adorn a liturgical vessel called The Ark of the Covenant. Obviously, the original command doesn't mean that ALL liturgical or religious images are banned -- only idols of foreign gods that one worships.

"Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upwards, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking towards the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the covenant, which I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites."

You might also mention that the ancient synagogues we have dug up include images (e.g. Dura Europas in Syria).  So the Jews couldn't have objected too much.

Of course the icons of the catacombs predate Constantine.

Further, on the muslim side of things, Islam had images up until around 60 years after the Hegira.  And according to Muslim tradition, Muhammad preserved an icon of the Theotokos and Our Lord in the Kaabah.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 12:35:48 AM »

Further, on the muslim side of things, Islam had images up until around 60 years after the Hegira.  And according to Muslim tradition, Muhammad preserved an icon of the Theotokos and Our Lord in the Kaabah.
I told him about the icon in the Kaaba and he was surprised.  I also made him stammer a bit in class when, a few classes after he told us Muslims forbid images, he showed us a film on Islam that had hundreds of Turkish depictions of Muhammad and other notables.  I said, "Those were some nice images in the film."  He mumbled something about different sects. Roll Eyes  But I don't want to trip him up, otherwise I will have lost the real battle.  I think I might ask him why he dislikes Christianity so much and when he asks what I mean, I'll bring up what he said about teaching us as if he were a member of each religion.  This will give me an opportunity to maybe talk to him about Christ.  Thoughts? 
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: I'm Greek and proud of it, damn it!
Posts: 6,192



« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2007, 02:13:19 PM »

I think I might ask him why he dislikes Christianity so much and when he asks what I mean, I'll bring up what he said about teaching us as if he were a member of each religion.  This will give me an opportunity to maybe talk to him about Christ.  Thoughts? 

Do you plan to do this during class or one-on-one?  Be careful.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.077 seconds with 45 queries.