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Cleopas
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« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2007, 06:09:04 PM »

Cleopas:

I forgot to add that many of our learned contributors occassionally engage in a theological smack down


Shocked Angry  Now ya tell me!   laugh laugh

Tis alright, so far.
I will attribute it to them seeking to keep the greatest commandment, which includes loving God with the whole mind.  Wink Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: November 30, 2007, 07:33:45 PM »

I see. Tell me, those who are justified retroactively, are they chosen at random or predestined? Wink

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

Are we not taught that our Lord descended into hell and freed the captives? I've heard that He preached the Gospel and brought those who believed out... Doesn't He have the Keys to both Heaven and Hell? Before His salvific death and resurrection the doors of heaven were locked to men... Do we not teach this anymore?  Huh
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« Reply #47 on: November 30, 2007, 08:14:26 PM »

Don't worry; I'm sure George meant this rhetorically. Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: November 30, 2007, 10:12:59 PM »

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

Are we not taught that our Lord descended into hell and freed the captives? I've heard that He preached the Gospel and brought those who believed out... Doesn't He have the Keys to both Heaven and Hell? Before His salvific death and resurrection the doors of heaven were locked to men... Do we not teach this anymore?  Huh
I don't think Noah was in Hades when God called him "righteous" and commanded him to build the  Ark. Wink
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« Reply #49 on: November 30, 2007, 10:18:02 PM »

God bless !

From the Gospel of Luke:

about St. John :
1:15. For he shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.

So St. Joh was filled with the Holy Spirit even in the womb- since the Mother of God is  greater so she also must be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1:26. And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,

1:27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary.

1:28. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women
.
 
In greek, full of grace - better - gracefilled is Ke-charitomeni- please notice that She was Gracefilled when the Angel greeted  Her -she was and not was made....

1:29. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

She also wondered about this Salutation.....!

1:30. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Later we read St. Elizabeth speaking:

1:42. And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb .

The fruit of Her womb.....Christ is the fruit of her womb and only of HER- so do not divide Christ and his Holy Mother.

Christ took His flesh from the Theotokos-Christs flesh is Her flesh, God was united in Her Most Holy Womb with the human Nature when She concepted Christ.

She bore God for nine months in Her womb !! How much more she bore him in Her Soul and mind.

St. John of Damaskos:
So then, after the assent of the holy Virgin, the Holy Spirit descended on her, according to the word of the Lord which the angel spoke, purifying her, and granting her power to receive the divinity of the Word, and likewise power to bring forth. And then was she overshadowed by the enhypostatic Wisdom and Power of the most high God, the Son of God Who is of like essence with the Father as of Divine seed, and from her holy and most pure blood He formed flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, the first-fruits of our compound nature: not by procreation but by creation through the Holy Spirit: not developing the fashion of the body by gradual additions but perfecting it at once, He Himself, the very Word of God, standing to the flesh in the relation of subsistence. For the divine Word was not made one with flesh that had an independent pre-existence, but taking up His abode in the womb of the holy Virgin, He unreservedly in His own subsistence took upon Himself through the pure blood of the eternal Virgin a body of flesh animated with the spirit of reason and thought, thus assuming to Himself the first-fruits of man's compound nature, Himself, the Word, having become a subsistence in the flesh. So that He is at once flesh, and at the same time flesh of God the Word, and likewise flesh animated, possessing both reason and thought. Wherefore we speak not of man as having become God, but of God as having become Man. For being by nature perfect God, He naturally became likewise perfect Man: and did not change His nature nor make the dispensation an empty show, but became, without confusion or change or division, one in subsistence with the flesh, which was conceived of the holy Virgin, and animated with reason and thought, and had found existence in Him, while He did not change the nature of His divinity into the essence of flesh, nor the essence of flesh into the nature of His divinity, and did not make one compound nature out of His divine nature and the human nature He had assumed

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #50 on: November 30, 2007, 11:51:15 PM »

Cleopas,

(It's funny, I just addressed this on the Sola Scriptura thread)

You've noticed by now, I'm sure, that we EO hold very dear the veneration of the Theotokos.  But, for the record, we do NOT believe that Mary was altogether sinless.  ONLY Christ was sinless.  To say she was without sin would be tantamount to elevating her to the level of Christ, which is the EXACT reason that the EO also reject the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (which holds that Mary was born without sin).  Only Christ was sinless, only He was conceived and lived without sin.  Period.

Mary probably got as close as humanly possible to being sinless (which is probably what the other guys are trying to say), but no one can say that she lived without ever once committing a sin. 
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« Reply #51 on: November 30, 2007, 11:57:29 PM »

Actually, GreekChef, you're going to find most of us do hold the Theotokos to be spotless, ever-pure. Hence, without sin. Of course, this does not apply to any 'sinful nature' - of course she could have sinned as all of us fallen can.
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« Reply #52 on: December 01, 2007, 12:18:20 AM »

Actually, GreekChef, you're going to find most of us do hold the Theotokos to be spotless, ever-pure. Hence, without sin. Of course, this does not apply to any 'sinful nature' - of course she could have sinned as all of us fallen can.

Please don't take this to be an attack, or an offense, but...

What some of us hold, and what the Church holds, are two entirely different things.

Spotless and ever-pure, yes, of course.  I am named for her, and God help me if I thought any different.  But spotless and ever-pure refer to her virginity, not her sinlessness.  We believe her to be an ever-virgin, but not to be without sin.  Only Christ was without sin.
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« Reply #53 on: December 01, 2007, 01:52:09 AM »

Hmm, I've always been under the impression that EO hold that Mary never sinned.

We believe that the Mother of God was sinless of her own free will. . . .

http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=6&SID=3

I can say, in short, that the Orthodox Church believes that Mary, as a human being, could indeed have sinned, but chose not to.

http://oca.org/QA.asp?ID=116&SID=3


http://sttikhonsmonastery.org/sinlessness.html
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« Reply #54 on: December 01, 2007, 02:23:54 AM »

Indeed. But the context for Romans 3:23 deals with the universal condition of man (save Christ) and with each individual's personal failure, his sins, and Christ as the sole means for atonement. He clearly relates the condition is universal, the personal guilt (and thus personal committal) is universal, and the answer is only found in the single exception of Christ. My point is that in the context of Romans 3:23 Mary, John the Baptist, and everyone else (save Christ) are included.

Certainly human beings are all born with a nature infected by the ancestral sin.  But does that mean that we automatically commit personal sins?  That's determinism!  And of course babies and the mentally disabled can't commit sins, so Romans 3:23 doesn't literally apply to everyone.  Even if someone managed not to commit a single sin in his life, he would still need to be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ because of his wounded nature.
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« Reply #55 on: December 01, 2007, 02:32:50 AM »

Thank you. Points 1 & 3 I understood (sorta).

Concerning Point 2, How do I know? Because the Apostle Paul under inspiration said so when he said "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" in Romans 3:23.

You say that St. Paul's "all" includes everyone BUT Christ. So it depends on how you interpret "all".  
We say St. Paul's "all" includes everyone BUT Christ and Mary. So it depends on how you interpret "all".

I don't know if you are evangelical, Catholic or whatever, but YOUR exception to St. Paul's "all" must  be proven as does ours, simply because the good apostle is a bit "shotgun" in his language.

THE  PROBLEM is that you likely do NOT accept Holy Tradition and we do. Or, you accept Holy Tradition but also accept Latin additions such as original sin and the immaculate conception. Therefore we arrive at different conclusions. Therefore, THIS thread will be entirely two (possibly three) strains of thought talking past one another.

Our a priori assumptions regarding Holy Tradition and/or develpoment of dogma (Roman Catholicism) are the ONLY real discussions here.

If you do not accept Orthodoxy's embrace of Scripture AND Holy Tradition; or if you accept the Latin view of development of dogma, we will NEVER agree. We can each clarify and articulate our positions (which has value so that we may understand and respect one another), but we will never agree.

Sorry to be a curmudgeon.
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« Reply #56 on: December 01, 2007, 02:50:21 AM »

Very interesting. Would you mind citing the passage where she is thus titled?


Luke 1:28; it is right there in the Greek NT; this is the salutation by the arch-angel Gabriel no less
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« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2007, 02:59:25 AM »

Indeed. But the context for Romans 3:23 deals with the universal condition of man (save Christ) and with each individual's personal failure, his sins, and Christ as the sole means for atonement. He clearly relates the condition is universal, the personal guilt (and thus personal committal) is universal, and the answer is only found in the single exception of Christ. My point is that in the context of Romans 3:23 Mary, John the Baptist, and everyone else (save Christ) are included.

How do you know that? That is your apriori assupmption. Based on sola scriptura, most likely. St. Paul says, "all."
Who are you to clarify him?

At least we have Holy Tradition to clarify him.

Sorry, I am not meaning to be unkind, but it is not as simple as you think it is and you cannot keep quoting Rom. 3:23, ad infinitum to smugly (it seems to me - I apologize if I am wrong) make your point.
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« Reply #58 on: December 01, 2007, 03:05:45 AM »


Okay. Excluding the concept of atonement (wasn't trying to muddy the waters), the context of Romans 3:23 still refers to all humans except Christ. It says ALL have sinned

Sorry if I am mis-interpreting you, but you DO sound very protestant and overly literal in your use of Scripture!

And again, I have to ask, what proof can you offer that YOUR interpretation of "all" really is the correct one.?
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« Reply #59 on: December 01, 2007, 03:26:29 AM »

Sorry if I am mis-interpreting you, but you DO sound very protestant and overly literal in your use of Scripture!

And again, I have to ask, what proof can you offer that YOUR interpretation of "all" really is the correct one.?

That's probably because I am protestant -- non-denom evangelical to be exact. angel

I don't mind disagreeing so long as we can do so civilly and at the same time allow brotherly love to continue.  Wink

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« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2007, 03:43:52 AM »

Quote from: BrotherAidan
How do you know that? That is your apriori assupmption. Based on sola scriptura, most likely. St. Paul says, "all."
Who are you to clarify him?

At least we have Holy Tradition to clarify him.

Sorry, I am not meaning to be unkind, but it is not as simple as you think it is and you cannot keep quoting Rom. 3:23, ad infinitum to smugly (it seems to me - I apologize if I am wrong) make your point.

There is no smugness on my part, brother. I assure you. I apologize for anything I may have done that may have made it seem so.

I believe I have more than adequately shown that the plain reading of the third chapter of Romans (see quoted passage of verses 10 - 26 of same chapter above) bares out my summary thereof -- that by all in verse 23 Paul is referring to all mankind who needs salvation in and through the sacrificial work of the sinless Christ.

My insistence on citing Romans 3:23 is because I have been seeking a detailed explanation of that specific passage (not other passages inferring back on it) in relation to the Orthodox view that Mary was not a sinner, that is that she never committed any act of sin. I would enjoy hearing such an explanation -- whether we agree on the conclusion or not.

Thanks & be blessed!
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« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2007, 03:50:36 AM »

That's probably because I am protestant -- non-denom evangelical to be exact. angel

I don't mind disagreeing so long as we can do so civilly and at the same time allow brotherly love to continue.  Wink



I am very happy to agree with you on that. I hope you haven't taken offense. I am trying to get to the essence of the the differences rather than debate each individual topic.

Let me give an example. When I first encountered Orthodoxy it occurred to me that there were really (for me) only two issues: the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and Apostolic Succession. The understanding I came to on those two issues would determine everything else. For me, those were the two apriori assumptions needing answered one way or another. After that, everything would be accepted or rejected accordingly. That is why (unlike some protestants who converted to Orthodoxy), the Othodoxy teaching regarding Mary never was an issue for me; I had already settled the apriori assumptions that made Orthdoxy's understanding of the Mother of God a given for me.

I hope this maybe helps!
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« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2007, 03:57:04 AM »

I am very happy to agree with you on that. I hope you haven't taken offense. I am trying to get to the essence of the the differences rather than debate each individual topic.

Let me give an example. When I first encountered Orthodoxy it occurred to me that there were really (for me) only two issues: the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and Apostolic Succession. The understanding I came to on those two issues would determine everything else. For me, those were the two apriori assumptions needing answered one way or another. After that, everything would be accepted or rejected accordingly. That is why (unlike some protestants who converted to Orthodoxy), the Othodoxy teaching regarding Mary never was an issue for me; I had already settled the apriori assumptions that made Orthdoxy's understanding of the Mother of God a given for me.

I hope this maybe helps!


I can appreciate that. In truth I do not have a full grasp of the import and influence that oral tradition, etc. plays for you all. Catholics for that matter as well.

However, if you cut all the debate on the individual topics out then there ain't much point in having a forum for interaction with protestants. Is there?
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« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2007, 04:03:09 AM »

Let me note that unlike the Roman Catholics the Orthodox Church believes that the Virgin Mary was conceived and born in exactly the same condition that every human being excepting Christ was conceived, that is, affected by Adam's sin.  Therefore, of course she needed salvation*!

Did Christ die for the little babies who tragically passed away before they committed personal sins?  Of course!  Did he die for the mentally incompetent who do not understand the moral law?  Of course!  Even without personal sins we are in need of a Savior because of our wounded nature.

*Of course, the Catholics believe the same thing too, but that she was "retroactively" saved at her conception.  To be brief, that doctrine doesn't make sense.
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« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2007, 04:12:23 AM »


I can appreciate that. In truth I do not have a full grasp of the import and influence that oral tradition, etc. plays for you all. Catholics for that matter as well.

However, if you cut all the debate on the individual topics out then there ain't much point in having a forum for interaction with protestants. Is there?

in one sense, yes, you have a point, and for both inquiring value and entertainment value (and let's all confess up front,  we visit these boards in part to be entertained) each individual question and topic has merit. And leads to interesting and sometimes profitable discussion.

I was painting with the broad stroke and, based on personal experience (which you are quite familiar with as an evangelical), pointing to the idea that if Orthodoxy ever becomes a possibility for you, then identify the aprioris for yourself so you don't spend endless time on each issue after each issue (you see, as a former evangelical, I am still evangelistic at heart! -- I hope you can appreciate that!)
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« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2007, 08:50:28 AM »

Please don't take this to be an attack, or an offense, but...

What some of us hold, and what the Church holds, are two entirely different things.

Spotless and ever-pure, yes, of course.  I am named for her, and God help me if I thought any different.  But spotless and ever-pure refer to her virginity, not her sinlessness.  We believe her to be an ever-virgin, but not to be without sin.  Only Christ was without sin.

Likewise.

Yes, only Christ was born not possessing our sin-prone state.
I'm sure you will find this non-dogmatic topic a wide rage of opinion. Non-dogmatic because, unlike our counterparts in Rome, we don't declare Marion doctrines in terms of our salvation. It's been dealt with here many times, and in greater depth than a single sentence summation provides.
The Church doesn't not teach the Assumption of the Theotokos as dogma, but many believe that as well., and are free to do so.

{We should do a thread search}
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« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2007, 09:29:22 AM »

In truth I do not have a full grasp of the import and influence that oral tradition, etc. plays for you all.
I think the first thing to understand is that there is no dichotomy between Scripture and Tradition for the Orthodox. In fact, Scripture forms part of Tradition. Tradition came first- there was a Church before the Gospels and Epistles existed. The word "Tradition" simply means "what the Apostles taught us whether in word or epistle"  (see 2 Thessalonians 2:15).
The second thing is Tradition is no longer "oral tradition"- it is now documented in the works of the Fathers, including those of the Oecumenical Councils, the Liturgy, the Hymns of the Church, the Services, the Icons etc... Don't think of Tradition as being some sort of oral history like Native American or Australian Aboriginal oral history.
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« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2007, 10:05:34 AM »

I don't think Noah was in Hades when God called him "righteous" and commanded him to build the  Ark. Wink

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

If we look again to the Apostle Paul we would have to say that 'righteousness' is 'not' a meritorious state of sinlessness but an extended grace 'favor' to those who have 'faith' "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6).

I'm not suggesting that Noah 'is' in Hades but I question if His acts merited him salvation as the notion undermines the necessity for Christ's death on a cross. This is the real concern I have with the modern Eastern Orthodox hyper-emphasis of Greek Philosophy over Revelation. It appears to so twist our faith as to create a 'Gospel of the Cappadocians' at the expense of the 'Gospel of Christ'. I simply don't see this emphasis within the Classic Consensus of the Fathers nor can I make it harmonize with any normative understanding of the Scriptures.
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« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2007, 10:12:50 AM »

I'm not suggesting that Noah 'is' in Hades but I question if His acts merited him salvation as the notion undermines the necessity for Christ's death on a cross.
Noah was saved by Christ's death on the cross; his acts were counted as righteousness because they allowed him to receive salvation. God is outside of time; therefore, those saved before the time of Christ (by our reckoning) are saved the same way those of us who lived after the Resurrection (again by our reckoning). From an eternal perspective, there is only the present. We could think of it as everything happening at once: Noah's actions, Christ's Death and Resurrection, and my posting this right now.

In other words, salvation is not affected by time, only by the repentence of a person.
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« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2007, 10:14:22 AM »

Cleopas,

(It's funny, I just addressed this on the Sola Scriptura thread)

You've noticed by now, I'm sure, that we EO hold very dear the veneration of the Theotokos.  But, for the record, we do NOT believe that Mary was altogether sinless.  ONLY Christ was sinless.  To say she was without sin would be tantamount to elevating her to the level of Christ, which is the EXACT reason that the EO also reject the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (which holds that Mary was born without sin).  Only Christ was sinless, only He was conceived and lived without sin.  Period.

Mary probably got as close as humanly possible to being sinless (which is probably what the other guys are trying to say), but no one can say that she lived without ever once committing a sin. 

God bless u Matjuschka Maria !

It is hard to read that an orthodox Matjushka think that the Mostholy Theotokos is not sinless- how is it possible ?

Do you not know that

Pan-hagia means ALL-HOLY
Hyper.hagia    SUPER_HOLY
Pan amomos-all immaculate
pan achrantos- all spotless
Hyper evlogeimeni Super blessed - blessed over all ??
Hyper endoxe  Super glorious Huh??

St. Gregor Palamas:

God has kept this Virgin for Himself from before all ages. He chose Her from among all generation and bestowed on Her grace higher than that given to all others, making of Her, before Her wondrous childbirth, the Saint of Saints, giving Her the honours of His own house in the Holy of Holies . . . Wishing to create an image of absolute beauty and to manifest clearly to angels and to men the power of His Art, God made Mary truly beautiful . . . He made of Her a blend of all divine, angelic and human perfection, a sublime beauty embellishing the two worlds, rising from earth to heaven and surpassing even this latter."

St. Neophytos:

Thou certainly, O illustrious Lady, have no need for praise from mortal lips, Thou who dwell in the heavenly kingdom, Spouse of the Father, Mother of the Son, Receptacle of the Holy Spirit, because Thou art immaculate."

.......

In CHRIST

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« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2007, 10:18:08 AM »

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

If we look again to the Apostle Paul we would have to say that 'righteousness' is 'not' a meritorious state of sinlessness but an extended grace 'favor' to those who have 'faith' "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:3; Gen. 15:6).

I'm not suggesting that Noah 'is' in Hades but I question if His acts merited him salvation as the notion undermines the necessity for Christ's death on a cross. This is the real concern I have with the modern Eastern Orthodox hyper-emphasis of Greek Philosophy over Revelation. It appears to so twist our faith as to create a 'Gospel of the Cappadocians' at the expense of the 'Gospel of Christ'. I simply don't see this emphasis within the Classic Consensus of the Fathers nor can I make it harmonize with any normative understanding of the Scriptures.

I think you've missed the point of what I was saying. Read over the thread again, and read my response in the context of the thread of arguments in it, rather than read it on it's own.
I'd give you a summary of the thread, but I've found myself doing that too many times lately, and I'm getting pretty tired of it. Suffice to say, you've completely misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not talking about merit or justification, I'm talking about two passages of Scripture which, if both are to be taken literally, clearly contradict one another. And please don't decide to go on at me about how to interpret Scripture.....that's not the point either.
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« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2007, 10:29:44 AM »

Noah was saved by Christ's death on the cross; his acts were counted as righteousness because they allowed him to receive salvation. God is outside of time; therefore, those saved before the time of Christ (by our reckoning) are saved the same way those of us who lived after the Resurrection (again by our reckoning). From an eternal perspective, there is only the present. We could think of it as everything happening at once: Noah's actions, Christ's Death and Resurrection, and my posting this right now.

In other words, salvation is not affected by time, only by the repentance of a person.

Yes, I'm familiar with the 'Eternal Now Theory' and I absolutely can accept that as a reasonable explanation of an Eternal Being.

What concerns me is you have made Noah's 'acts' meritorious when, I believe, it is proper to account righteousness to him by his faith. Perhaps his acts demonstrated his faith through works but I don't believe it is proper to account righteousness to him by his works. God didn't call him 'righteous' because he was necessary without sin but because he was a 'Father of Faith' like Abraham. We was called by God, and he responded with Faith....
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« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2007, 10:35:52 AM »

Noah was counted righteous because his acts showed his faith, which allowed him to receive salvation. Abraham was counted righteous in the same way, according to St. James' epistle:

Quote from: James 2:14-24
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
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« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2007, 10:56:30 AM »

I think you've missed the point of what I was saying. Read over the thread again, and read my response in the context of the thread of arguments in it, rather than read it on it's own.

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

Yep, it's very possible.  Embarrassed

Quote
I'd give you a summary of the thread, but I've found myself doing that too many times lately, and I'm getting pretty tired of it. Suffice to say, you've completely misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not talking about merit or justification, I'm talking about two passages of Scripture which, if both are to be taken literally, clearly contradict one another. And please don't decide to go on at me about how to interpret Scripture.....that's not the point either.

I'm not trying to 'jump you' brother. From my point of view, you appear to be suggesting that Noah was 'sinless' and thus 'righteous' in order to give an example that 'sinlessness' goes beyond our Lord Jesus Christ but we have amble evidence to suggest that righteous is accounted for Faith and not for 'lives that are sinless'. The lives of Abraham, Noah and Moses as well as the teachings of the Apostle Paul all affirm. Earlier in the thread I asked what Cleopas meant by 'sin'... perhaps 'we' should define what 'we' mean by sin...?

My guess would be that there is a consensus somewhere.  Undecided

If we would agree that Adam, as a finite creature, was inherently 'mortal' and essentially 'shared' the immortality of the Godhead 'in communion' (in paradise) then we can affirm a 'certain' state of 'missing the mark' (i.e. sin) inherent in man after the fall (i.e. post paradise) which lacks this necessary state of 'communion'. This was our intended understanding of Original Sin, was it not? If we understand this mortal state as an unnecessary participation in corruption (i.e. lack of immortality or communion in the immortal grace of the Godhead) then we might have a foundation which can recognize a dual state in man "alive in the Spirit" and "dead in the Spirit". In order to understand Mary we have to understand Sin. Everything hinges on a fundamental understand of what Sin is....

Any thoughts.

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« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2007, 10:59:06 AM »

Noah was counted righteous because his acts showed his faith, which allowed him to receive salvation. Abraham was counted righteous in the same way, according to St. James' epistle:

What about the Good Thief... ? What you are saying is that Faith is not salvific... but works are. This could be said to be a Classic Works-Based Salvation when 'salvific works' are the fruit of Faith and not the other way round.

Your thoughts.
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« Reply #75 on: December 01, 2007, 11:06:33 AM »

Quite the contrary. Works are the evidence of faith, and faith allows us to receive salvation. I believe in the Classic Christ-Based Salvation(tm). God desires that everyone receive salvation, but only those with faith will be saved. As St. Paul says:

Quote from: Hebrews 11:1-2
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.

Surely St. Paul does not contradict St. James? How can James say that "a man is justified by works" when Paul says "by [faith] the men of old gained approval"?
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« Reply #76 on: December 01, 2007, 11:45:35 AM »

Quite the contrary. Works are the evidence of faith, and faith allows us to receive salvation. I believe in the Classic Christ-Based Salvation(tm). God desires that everyone receive salvation, but only those with faith will be saved. As St. Paul says:

Surely St. Paul does not contradict St. James? How can James say that "a man is justified by works" when Paul says "by [faith] the men of old gained approval"?

Awesome! Then we are in agreement! Sweet!  Wink
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« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2007, 11:56:43 AM »

Let me note that unlike the Roman Catholics the Orthodox Church believes that the Virgin Mary was conceived and born in exactly the same condition that every human being excepting Christ was conceived, that is, affected by Adam's sin.  Therefore, of course she needed salvation*!

*Of course, the Catholics believe the same thing too, but that she was "retroactively" saved at her conception.  To be brief, that doctrine doesn't make sense.

I know this is an Orthodox-Protestant forum, but some EO posters keep bringing up Catholic teaching (Huh), so I'm going to clarify any misconceptions.

She was not "saved" at her conception. She still had a life to live, and she could have sinned, but she chose not to. However, she was only truly free to make that choice because of the graces of her Immaculate Conception. That's where the EO teaching is foreign to us---the crippling effects of original sin are such that Mary could not have been perfectly sinless without God's intervention at her conception---Christ washed her sin away and allowed her to be free not to sin.
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« Reply #78 on: December 01, 2007, 12:46:44 PM »

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

Yep, it's very possible.  Embarrassed

I'm not trying to 'jump you' brother. From my point of view, you appear to be suggesting that Noah was 'sinless' and thus 'righteous' in order to give an example that 'sinlessness' goes beyond our Lord Jesus Christ but we have amble evidence to suggest that righteous is accounted for Faith and not for 'lives that are sinless'. The lives of Abraham, Noah and Moses as well as the teachings of the Apostle Paul all affirm. Earlier in the thread I asked what Cleopas meant by 'sin'... perhaps 'we' should define what 'we' mean by sin...?

My guess would be that there is a consensus somewhere.  Undecided

If we would agree that Adam, as a finite creature, was inherently 'mortal' and essentially 'shared' the immortality of the Godhead 'in communion' (in paradise) then we can affirm a 'certain' state of 'missing the mark' (i.e. sin) inherent in man after the fall (i.e. post paradise) which lacks this necessary state of 'communion'. This was our intended understanding of Original Sin, was it not? If we understand this mortal state as an unnecessary participation in corruption (i.e. lack of immortality or communion in the immortal grace of the Godhead) then we might have a foundation which can recognize a dual state in man "alive in the Spirit" and "dead in the Spirit". In order to understand Mary we have to understand Sin. Everything hinges on a fundamental understand of what Sin is....

Any thoughts.



Clearly, I have no choice. Since you will not do as I asked and read the thread, I will just have to do the same old boring thing I always have to do and provide a summary of it:

1) Cleopas states that Romans 3:24 implies that all have sinned.

2) I stated that the word "all" ("πας") was used by St. Paul in the same Epistle and elsewhere and clearly did not mean literally "all" and explained why.

3) Cleopas stated that "all" was clearly meant in the context Romans 3:10-26

4) I pointed out that the first verse could not be taken literally since it says that "There is none righteous (δικαιος), no, not one", yet God calls Noah "righteous" (δικαιος) in Genesis 7:1 (LXX) when hHe commands Noah to build the Ark, so therefore, there must have been at least one point in history when there was at least one righteous (δικαιος) man on Earth. Therefore I presented only three options to explain why these two verses of Scripture appear to contradict one another:
     i)  God was wrong and Noah was unrighteous.
     ii) The exclusions to Romans 3 extend beyond Christ.
     iii) Romans 3 is not meant to be taken literally.

5) Lubeltri suggested that Noah had been "justified" by the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ retroactively, and therefore God called him "righteous".

6) I replied with the question that if Noah was justified retroactively so that God could call him righteous, then how was it determined who would be called righteous? Noah was the only man in his generation that God deemed "righteous" (Genesis 7:1), so if Noah was "righteous" because he had been "justified retroactively", then why was he (and not those who were to perish in the flood) chosen for this Grace- was it predestination or random choice?

7) You then said that Christ descended into Hades and freed the dead.

8 ) I replied that Noah was not dead and in Hades when God called him righteous.

9) You replied with something along the lines of that Noah was justified like Abraham by having his faith accounted as righteousness.

10) I replied that you had missed the point of what I was saying.

11) you then made the post above which led to this one.

12) I wrote this summary to show you that the point I was making was that two Scriptures (Romans 3:10 and Genesis 7:1) appear to contradict one another.

13) I have no doubt that you will again attempt to try and explain justification by faith to me.

14) I will again point out that that is immaterial to what I am saying, because it doesn't matter why God might call someone "righteous". The point is that Romans 3:10 says that "none are righteous" yet Genesis 7:1 says that someone was righteous.
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« Reply #79 on: December 01, 2007, 01:15:39 PM »

God bless !

Some quotes from the Fathers and Services of the orthodox Church- how can anyone even have a doubt of her all-immaculate purity and Holiness !

Stichera for Dormition:

With what lips may we, poor and worthless, call the Mother of God blessed? She is greater in honour than creation and holier than the Cherubim and all the Angels; the unshakeable throne of the King; the house in which the Most High made his dwelling; the salvation of the world; the Sanctuary of God; on her memorial she richly grants to all the faithful his great mercy. (Twice)

She who is higher than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim and greater in honour than all creation, who through her surpassing purity became the vessel of the eternal being, today places in the hands of her Son her all-holy soul. With her the universe is filled with joy and to us is given his great mercy.

For through her the salvation of all mortals has come. We have not the strength to gaze on her, and it is not possible to render her worthy honour.

For her excellence outstrips all understanding.

Therefore, immaculate Mother of God, as you live for ever with the life-bearing King, your Offspring, pray without ceasing that he guard and save from every hostile assault your new people; for we have gained your protection.

The all-blameless Bride and Mother of the Father’s Good Pleasure, who was foreordained by God as a dwelling for himself of the union without confusion, today delivers her immaculate soul to her Maker and God. The Bodiless Powers receive her in a manner fitting God, and she, who is indeed Mother of life, passes over to life, the lamp of the unapproachable Light, the salvation of the faithful, the hope of our souls.

St. Ephraim:

"Certainly you alone and your Mother are from every aspect completely beautiful, for there is no blemish in Thee, my Lord, and no stain in Thy Mother

St. Ambrose of Milan:

"Adopt me, however, not from Sarah but from Mary, so that it might be an incorrupt virgin, a virgin by grace free from all stain of sin."

St. John Damascene:

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew and was formed by the increase gradually received from her! O womb in which a living heaven, vaster than the vastness of the heavens was conceived!"

Sermon on the Dormition:

To-day the spotless Virgin, untouched by earthly affections, and all heavenly in her thoughts, was not dissolved in earth, but truly entering heaven, dwells in the heavenly tabernacles.

The birth of her, whose Child was marvellous, was above nature and understanding, and it was salvation to the world; her death was glorious, and truly a sacred feast. The Father predestined her, the prophets foretold her through the Holy Ghost. His sanctifying power overshadowed her, cleansed* and made her holy, and, as it were, predestined her. Then Thou, Word of the Father, not dwelling in place,† didst invite the lowliness of our nature to be united to the immeasurable greatness of Thy inscrutable Godhead.

Idiomelon of the Deposition of the Mostholy Robe of the Theotokos:

Covered by thy precious robe as with a most splendid crown, O all-pure Theotokos, the Church of God doth adorn itself today, rejoicing, and mystically joineth chorus, crying out to thee, O Mistress: Rejoice, precious diadem and crown of divine glory! Rejoice, thou sole perfection of glory and eternal gladness! Rejoice, haven and deliverance of those who have recourse unto thee, and our salvation!

the beloved Hymn:

Meet is it in Truth to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed (ai-makaristonn) and most blameless(pan-amomiton), and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Logos, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify

From Compline:

O undefiled, untainted, uncorrupted, most pure, chaste Virgin, Thou Bride of God and Sovereign Lady, who didst unite the Word of God to mankind through thy most glorious birth giving, and hast linked the apostate nature of our race with the heavenly..........

Awed by the beauty of thy virginity and the exceeding radiance of thy purity, Gabriel called out unto thee, O Theotokos: What worthy hymn of praise can I offer unto thee?  And what shall I name thee?  I am in doubt and stand in awe.  Wherefore as commanded, I cry to thee: Rejoice, O Full of Grace.

IN CHRIST
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« Reply #80 on: December 01, 2007, 07:18:41 PM »

The Orthodox Church doesn't accept the concept of "atonement" either, nor the judicial concept of "merit" used to "pay" for sins. The point is, as I said, we already say that the Theotokos is "saved", like all of us, through Christ. She doesn't have to have sinned in order to require Christ to "save" her. The Orthodox understanding of salvation is the process of theosis, and sinlessness does not in itself guarentee theosis.

Shocked Perhaps not the theories of Alselm or other Westerners, but you do have the Christus Victor teaching of the Atonement...
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« Reply #81 on: December 02, 2007, 01:02:46 AM »


My insistence on citing Romans 3:23 is because I have been seeking a detailed explanation of that specific passage (not other passages inferring back on it) in relation to the Orthodox view that Mary was not a sinner, that is that she never committed any act of sin. I would enjoy hearing such an explanation -- whether we agree on the conclusion or not.

Thanks & be blessed!

There really isn't one single passage of Scripture, which seems to be what you are seeking. It is more inferential: one who is full of grace; one who is pure enough to carry divinity within her and not be consumed; one who was entrusted with the young life of God incarnate to nurture and to mold. These inferences from Scripture are supported by the rest of Holy Tradition (I use the words "rest of" because as ozgeorge pointed out, Scripture is a part of the Tradition and was formed by it) regarding Mary.

If you don't accept Holy Tradition you will not accept these beliefs regarding Mary.
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« Reply #82 on: December 02, 2007, 11:52:51 AM »

13) I have no doubt that you will again attempt to try and explain justification by faith to me.

14) I will again point out that that is immaterial to what I am saying, because it doesn't matter why God might call someone "righteous". The point is that Romans 3:10 says that "none are righteous" yet Genesis 7:1 says that someone was righteous.

Grace and Peace ozgeorge,

Okay, so now I can wow you by saying I finally got it! Impressed?  Grin

I get the impression that maybe the Apostle Paul was saying that 'none are righteous' by the law because all break it and are only 'made righteous' by grace through faith... participation in the Godhead. What is your take on this?

I've been reading I-Ville, You-Ville to my daughter and I'm seeing our 'participation' as a key Orthodox teaching in our 'righteousness'.   Cheesy

PS: I know the summary was painful but thanks for the effort!
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« Reply #83 on: December 03, 2007, 05:54:56 AM »

A couple of things that haven't been said:

Roman 3:11b says "There is no one who seeks after God."
  Well, we know that's not correct.  David was "a man after
God's own heart."  If that is not seeking God, what is?

The Jew were not sticklers in the mathematics department
(unlike the Arabs--I wonder why that is).  So, "all" is not
necessarily 100 percent; and "none" is not necessarily zero.
It is a cultural difference.

As for sinless people, well, I believe the Enoch, Melkizedek,
and maybe Daniel are candidates.  We see no sin in their lives
and the first two didn't die from sin--in fact, they didn't die!
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« Reply #84 on: December 03, 2007, 11:12:32 AM »

God bless u Matjuschka Maria !

It is hard to read that an orthodox Matjushka think that the Mostholy Theotokos is not sinless- how is it possible ?

Do you not know that

Pan-hagia means ALL-HOLY
Hyper.hagia    SUPER_HOLY
Pan amomos-all immaculate
pan achrantos- all spotless
Hyper evlogeimeni Super blessed - blessed over all ??
Hyper endoxe  Super glorious Huh??

St. Gregor Palamas:

God has kept this Virgin for Himself from before all ages. He chose Her from among all generation and bestowed on Her grace higher than that given to all others, making of Her, before Her wondrous childbirth, the Saint of Saints, giving Her the honours of His own house in the Holy of Holies . . . Wishing to create an image of absolute beauty and to manifest clearly to angels and to men the power of His Art, God made Mary truly beautiful . . . He made of Her a blend of all divine, angelic and human perfection, a sublime beauty embellishing the two worlds, rising from earth to heaven and surpassing even this latter."

St. Neophytos:

Thou certainly, O illustrious Lady, have no need for praise from mortal lips, Thou who dwell in the heavenly kingdom, Spouse of the Father, Mother of the Son, Receptacle of the Holy Spirit, because Thou art immaculate."

.......

In CHRIST




I'm sorry if you don't approve of my view of the Holy Theotokos.  Should that bother me?

All of these speak of her virginity, not being without sin altogether.

God bless !

Some quotes from the Fathers and Services of the orthodox Church- how can anyone even have a doubt of her all-immaculate purity and Holiness !

Stichera for Dormition:

With what lips may we, poor and worthless, call the Mother of God blessed? She is greater in honour than creation and holier than the Cherubim and all the Angels; the unshakeable throne of the King; the house in which the Most High made his dwelling; the salvation of the world; the Sanctuary of God; on her memorial she richly grants to all the faithful his great mercy. (Twice)

She who is higher than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim and greater in honour than all creation, who through her surpassing purity became the vessel of the eternal being, today places in the hands of her Son her all-holy soul. With her the universe is filled with joy and to us is given his great mercy.

For through her the salvation of all mortals has come. We have not the strength to gaze on her, and it is not possible to render her worthy honour.

For her excellence outstrips all understanding.

Therefore, immaculate Mother of God, as you live for ever with the life-bearing King, your Offspring, pray without ceasing that he guard and save from every hostile assault your new people; for we have gained your protection.

The all-blameless Bride and Mother of the Father’s Good Pleasure, who was foreordained by God as a dwelling for himself of the union without confusion, today delivers her immaculate soul to her Maker and God. The Bodiless Powers receive her in a manner fitting God, and she, who is indeed Mother of life, passes over to life, the lamp of the unapproachable Light, the salvation of the faithful, the hope of our souls.

St. Ephraim:

"Certainly you alone and your Mother are from every aspect completely beautiful, for there is no blemish in Thee, my Lord, and no stain in Thy Mother

St. Ambrose of Milan:

"Adopt me, however, not from Sarah but from Mary, so that it might be an incorrupt virgin, a virgin by grace free from all stain of sin."

St. John Damascene:

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew and was formed by the increase gradually received from her! O womb in which a living heaven, vaster than the vastness of the heavens was conceived!"

Sermon on the Dormition:

To-day the spotless Virgin, untouched by earthly affections, and all heavenly in her thoughts, was not dissolved in earth, but truly entering heaven, dwells in the heavenly tabernacles.

The birth of her, whose Child was marvellous, was above nature and understanding, and it was salvation to the world; her death was glorious, and truly a sacred feast. The Father predestined her, the prophets foretold her through the Holy Ghost. His sanctifying power overshadowed her, cleansed* and made her holy, and, as it were, predestined her. Then Thou, Word of the Father, not dwelling in place,† didst invite the lowliness of our nature to be united to the immeasurable greatness of Thy inscrutable Godhead.

Idiomelon of the Deposition of the Mostholy Robe of the Theotokos:

Covered by thy precious robe as with a most splendid crown, O all-pure Theotokos, the Church of God doth adorn itself today, rejoicing, and mystically joineth chorus, crying out to thee, O Mistress: Rejoice, precious diadem and crown of divine glory! Rejoice, thou sole perfection of glory and eternal gladness! Rejoice, haven and deliverance of those who have recourse unto thee, and our salvation!

the beloved Hymn:

Meet is it in Truth to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed (ai-makaristonn) and most blameless(pan-amomiton), and Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Logos, the very Theotokos, thee do we magnify

From Compline:

O undefiled, untainted, uncorrupted, most pure, chaste Virgin, Thou Bride of God and Sovereign Lady, who didst unite the Word of God to mankind through thy most glorious birth giving, and hast linked the apostate nature of our race with the heavenly..........

Awed by the beauty of thy virginity and the exceeding radiance of thy purity, Gabriel called out unto thee, O Theotokos: What worthy hymn of praise can I offer unto thee?  And what shall I name thee?  I am in doubt and stand in awe.  Wherefore as commanded, I cry to thee: Rejoice, O Full of Grace.

IN CHRIST

Again, these are speaking of her virginity--- no one denies that she was spotless in her virginity, and that she never commited the sins of the flesh. 

But there is no way for us to know what her very thoughts were-- sins are committed there too. 

I'm sorry if you find my position offensive, but I was taught that we believe only CHRIST was sinless.  To categorize the Theotokos as sinless puts her above the rest of humanity, the way the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does.  This is why we do not subscribe to that doctrine.  Of course the Theotokos was spotless in her virginity, and of course she was as close as a human being can get to being perfect, this is why she is filled with grace, why she is the Theotokos, and why we revere and love her so greatly (and yes, whatever you may think of me, I do revere and love her greatly).  Does this mean that she was completely without sin of any sort?  How could we possibly know?  We are taught that all human beings sin, and that only Christ achieved the impossible state of being human and sinless at the same time- and of course this is because He is also our Lord and Savior, not just a human.  Christ came to save all of us because we ALL, even the Theotokos, need to be saved.  I would love to think that she never committed a sin at all, but it goes against the theology that I was taught.  Again, we are not talking about her virginity, we are talking about her being sinless.  These are two different things.  There are other types of sins than the sins in the flesh.
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« Reply #85 on: December 03, 2007, 11:40:19 AM »

Just as we have many passages extolling the Theotokos, we have many references (in prayer and in homilies/writings) to Christ being the only sinless one.  What do we do with that?
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« Reply #86 on: December 03, 2007, 12:02:46 PM »


I'm sorry if you don't approve of my view of the Holy Theotokos.  Should that bother me?

All of these speak of her virginity, not being without sin altogether.

Again, these are speaking of her virginity--- no one denies that she was spotless in her virginity, and that she never commited the sins of the flesh. 

But there is no way for us to know what her very thoughts were-- sins are committed there too. 

I'm sorry if you find my position offensive, but I was taught that we believe only CHRIST was sinless.  To categorize the Theotokos as sinless puts her above the rest of humanity, the way the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does.  This is why we do not subscribe to that doctrine.  Of course the Theotokos was spotless in her virginity, and of course she was as close as a human being can get to being perfect, this is why she is filled with grace, why she is the Theotokos, and why we revere and love her so greatly (and yes, whatever you may think of me, I do revere and love her greatly).  Does this mean that she was completely without sin of any sort?  How could we possibly know?  We are taught that all human beings sin, and that only Christ achieved the impossible state of being human and sinless at the same time- and of course this is because He is also our Lord and Savior, not just a human.  Christ came to save all of us because we ALL, even the Theotokos, need to be saved.  I would love to think that she never committed a sin at all, but it goes against the theology that I was taught.  Again, we are not talking about her virginity, we are talking about her being sinless.  These are two different things.  There are other types of sins than the sins in the flesh.


God bless !

Sorry, but it must be clear that they all speak of HER ALL-HOLINESS and not only about her Virginity !

It is hard to read such things from an orthodox Matjuschka - really - to read this - it even hurts.....I have to stay away from this Topic.

I think you never read the Saints or Elders of our Holy Orthodoxy - for example -Staretz Siluan - who was told after thinking: if the Theotokos not even sinned with one thought- he heared a voice within:" stop it ,she never sinned not even with one thought". I could post you some other quotes from russian and greek and romanian Elders....but I will not, I have to keep away from this thread.....I can not read such stuff from an orthodox Presvitera.
( I am only wondering were you get such stuff ?)

In CHRIST
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« Reply #87 on: December 03, 2007, 12:49:09 PM »


God bless !

Sorry, but it must be clear that they all speak of HER ALL-HOLINESS and not only about her Virginity !

It is hard to read such things from an orthodox Matjuschka - really - to read this - it even hurts.....I have to stay away from this Topic.

I think you never read the Saints or Elders of our Holy Orthodoxy - for example -Staretz Siluan - who was told after thinking: if the Theotokos not even sinned with one thought- he heared a voice within:" stop it ,she never sinned not even with one thought". I could post you some other quotes from russian and greek and romanian Elders....but I will not, I have to keep away from this thread.....I can not read such stuff from an orthodox Presvitera.
( I am only wondering were you get such stuff ?)

In CHRIST

I'll take the condemnations from your all holiness bishop of the forum under advisement...
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« Reply #88 on: December 03, 2007, 06:54:57 PM »

An inherent problem for me, is that to belive Mary was in point of fact sinless would make her (or anyone else who was suppoosedly sinless) equally able to be the sacrifical offering for the sins of the world.

The whole point of the virgin birth is to allow God to become truly man, mortal, and yet remain divine and thus sinlessly perfect in the same person, at the same time. Furthermore...

IF any other person was ever actually completely and always sinless then that man (or woman) is perfect and is not in need of the saving grace of God in Christ.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 06:57:27 PM by Cleopas » Logged

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« Reply #89 on: December 03, 2007, 07:04:53 PM »

An inherent problem for me, is that to belive Mary was in point of fact sinless would make her (or anyone else who was suppoosedly sinless) equally able to be the sacrifical offering for the sins of the world.
Not at all. The Theotokos is not God. Only the second Adam, the Man Jesus Christ, is able to reconcile us to God. St. Paul writes this (emphasis mine):
Quote from: Romans 5
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Quote
The whole point of the virgin birth is to allow God to become truly man, mortal, and yet remain divine and thus sinlessly perfect in the same person, at the same time. Furthermore...
Agreed.

Quote
IF any other person was ever actually completely and always sinless then that man (or woman) is perfect and is not in need of the saving grace of God in Christ.
If that is so, then why does St. Paul say that death reigned in those who had not sinned?
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