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Author Topic: Mary, Sin, and Orthodox Understanding  (Read 9319 times) Average Rating: 0
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Alexius
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« Reply #90 on: November 29, 2007, 11:48:34 PM »

Well, I appreciate your apology and surely you are already forgiven in heaven because of your act of humility I, by no means, desire to spar with anyone hear about Christianity (I don't like labeling it down into anything else). I just don't feel real comfortable with where this thread has gone. I feel like we are talking more philosophy than Revelation and that makes me very uneasy. It appears an ill fit and clumsy laid over the Scriptures.  Undecided

Yes, I agree. It kind of reminds me of when I was a Protestant Embarrassed

Does anyone know of passages where the Church Fathers speak of this topic (original sin and its effects)? I would greatly appreciate it...
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« Reply #91 on: December 01, 2007, 03:22:51 AM »



BrotherAidan's post also seems like a 'fall-back' position for when discussions don't 'work out'. I don't believe God reveal Himself to confuse us. I don't know. This thread has really gotten me stirred up.

it is not a "fall-back" position at all. It was a commentary on methodology. I was once an evangelical and in that tradition, most everything revolves around propositional theology and Christianity primarily is something that takes place "between your ears" (intellect).

Orthodoxy is a way of prayer primarily. I don't know how else to put it.

And not trying to appear unkind, you DO sound a bit like the child that says "why" to each answer given. Stop with the questions and at least appear to have given SOME reflection to at least one or two of the responses you have been given.
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« Reply #92 on: December 01, 2007, 03:26:59 AM »

Yes, I agree. It kind of reminds me of when I was a Protestant Embarrassed

Does anyone know of passages where the Church Fathers speak of this topic (original sin and its effects)? I would greatly appreciate it...
you should read The Ancestral Sin by Fr. John Romanides
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« Reply #93 on: December 04, 2007, 10:09:49 AM »

So the Theotokos is righteous because her parents were? Am I reading into this too much?

Also, if the Holy Spirit came upon the Theotokos at the Annunciation as the Scriptures say, then was she without the Spirit before that? I thought God dwells within every soul from the beginning...I'm confused Huh Embarrassed Smiley

God bless !

The parents of the Theotokos were 100% spiritual (pneumatikos) people, from the beginning, - to say even without passion. ( I hope I have correctly translated)
- Elder Paisios from Mount Athos, this was revealed to him when he was on Sinai.

I think the same also says St. John of Damaskos:From the Homilies on the Dorm,

Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary. Joachim kept as strict a watch over his thoughts as a shepherd over his flock, having them entirely under his control. For the Lord God led him as a sheep, and he wanted for none of the best things.

St. Joachim had his thoughts entirely under his control ?

Joachim ever shepherded his thoughts. In the place of pastures, dwelling by contemplation on the words of sacred Scripture, made glad on the restful waters of divine grace, [156] withdrawn from foolishness, he walked in the path of justice.

And Anne, whose name means grace, was no less a companion in her life than a wife, blessed with all good gifts, though afflicted for a mystical reason with sterility.
Grace in very truth remained sterile, not being able to produce fruit in the souls of men. Therefore, men declined from good and degenerated; there was not one of understanding nor one who sought after God. Then His divine goodness, taking pity on the work of His hands, and wishing to save it, put an end to that mystical barrenness, that of holy (godbearing) Anne, I mean, and she gave birth to a child, whose equal had never been created and never can be. The end of barrenness proved clearly that the world's sterility would cease and that the withered trunk would be crowned with vigorous and mystical life.


From the Nativity of the Theotokos:

The foreordained Queen of all, God’s dwelling place, sacred enclosure of the eternal being, has come forth today from the barren womb of glorious Anne. Through her rash Hell has been trampled down and Eve the mother of all living dwells in unfailing life. As is fitting let us cry out to her: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

.....Bishop Kallistos stated he believed Virgin Mary was “from the very beginning of her existence … filled with grace for the task which she had to fulfill.” He responded affirmatively to Fr. Yarnold in saying: “Do I, as an Orthodox accept that, from the very beginning of her existence the Blessed Virgin Mary was filled with grace for the task which she had to fulfill? My answer is emphatically, Yes, I do believe that.  But I also believe that she was given a fuller measure of grace at the Annunciation,.


In CHRIST
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« Reply #94 on: December 04, 2007, 05:46:14 PM »

God bless !

The parents of the Theotokos were 100% spiritual (pneumatikos) people, from the beginning, - to say even without passion. ( I hope I have correctly translated)
- Elder Paisios from Mount Athos, this was revealed to him when he was on Sinai.

I think the same also says St. John of Damaskos:From the Homilies on the Dorm,

Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary. Joachim kept as strict a watch over his thoughts as a shepherd over his flock, having them entirely under his control. For the Lord God led him as a sheep, and he wanted for none of the best things.

St. Joachim had his thoughts entirely under his control ?

Joachim ever shepherded his thoughts. In the place of pastures, dwelling by contemplation on the words of sacred Scripture, made glad on the restful waters of divine grace, [156] withdrawn from foolishness, he walked in the path of justice.

And Anne, whose name means grace, was no less a companion in her life than a wife, blessed with all good gifts, though afflicted for a mystical reason with sterility.
Grace in very truth remained sterile, not being able to produce fruit in the souls of men. Therefore, men declined from good and degenerated; there was not one of understanding nor one who sought after God. Then His divine goodness, taking pity on the work of His hands, and wishing to save it, put an end to that mystical barrenness, that of holy (godbearing) Anne, I mean, and she gave birth to a child, whose equal had never been created and never can be. The end of barrenness proved clearly that the world's sterility would cease and that the withered trunk would be crowned with vigorous and mystical life.


From the Nativity of the Theotokos:

The foreordained Queen of all, God’s dwelling place, sacred enclosure of the eternal being, has come forth today from the barren womb of glorious Anne. Through her rash Hell has been trampled down and Eve the mother of all living dwells in unfailing life. As is fitting let us cry out to her: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

.....Bishop Kallistos stated he believed Virgin Mary was “from the very beginning of her existence … filled with grace for the task which she had to fulfill.” He responded affirmatively to Fr. Yarnold in saying: “Do I, as an Orthodox accept that, from the very beginning of her existence the Blessed Virgin Mary was filled with grace for the task which she had to fulfill? My answer is emphatically, Yes, I do believe that.  But I also believe that she was given a fuller measure of grace at the Annunciation,.


In CHRIST

Thanks for the response. I find this interesting...Where I diverge with the Immaculate Conception seems to be where Bishop Kallistos does aswell. I see the Theotokos as being filled with grace from the beginning of existence, yet not losing her human nature (physical mortality) and corruption toward sin. Food for thought, I guess...
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« Reply #95 on: December 05, 2007, 12:29:54 AM »

The parents of the Theotokos were 100% spiritual (pneumatikos) people, from the beginning, - to say even without passion. ( I hope I have correctly translated)
- Elder Paisios from Mount Athos, this was revealed to him when he was on Sinai.
And why should we, who are called to hold to that faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, believe new revelations to have dogmatic value, even if such revelations are made to apparently holy men?
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #96 on: December 05, 2007, 02:57:28 AM »

The specific tangent regarding the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception has been split off and moved to the Orthodox-Catholic board to encourage more discussion of the subject from our RC posters.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=13769

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Christodoulos
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« Reply #97 on: December 05, 2007, 07:31:08 AM »

And why should we, who are called to hold to that faith which was once for all delivered to the saints, believe new revelations to have dogmatic value, even if such revelations are made to apparently holy men?

God bless !

Before getting angry - read careful !

It is not a "new" revelation - I have posted from St. John of Damascus and there are many other Fathers who wrote about the great Holiness of the Ancestors of God. St. Anna is the Grand - Mother of God/ Christ.......?

I do not know why you always search for Dogmas - I never wrote of  Dogma ?

In CHRIST

BTW no one said you have to believe it - or do you want to start a new game - will you again accuse of "Matriology" ?
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« Reply #98 on: December 05, 2007, 10:51:21 AM »

God bless !

Before getting angry - read careful !

It is not a "new" revelation - I have posted from St. John of Damascus and there are many other Fathers who wrote about the great Holiness of the Ancestors of God. St. Anna is the Grand - Mother of God/ Christ.......?

I do not know why you always search for Dogmas - I never wrote of  Dogma ?

In CHRIST

BTW no one said you have to believe it - or do you want to start a new game - will you again accuse of "Matriology" ?

Actually, I didn't say anything about belief in the purity and holiness of the Theotokos and her parents.  My concern was with the belief in the dogmatic value of new revelations made after the original deposit of faith given us by the Apostles.

Now, on another note, why is it that when I point out problems I see with your reasoning you automatically assume I must be getting angry?  It's nothing more than the cross-examination of beliefs and presuppositions that make up the healthy flow of discussion and debate. Smiley  No need to get defensive about it.
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« Reply #99 on: December 05, 2007, 11:09:55 AM »

Actually, I didn't say anything about belief in the purity and holiness of the Theotokos and her parents.  My concern was with the belief in the dogmatic value of new revelations made after the original deposit of faith given us by the Apostles.

Now, on another note, why is it that when I point out problems I see with your reasoning you automatically assume I must be getting angry?  It's nothing more than the cross-examination of beliefs and presuppositions that make up the healthy flow of discussion and debate. Smiley  No need to get defensive about it.

God bless !

There is no dogmatic value - or any kind of new revelation !

And should I remind you of all accuses you made against my posts ? But, go on there is no problem - accuse me of being dogmatic or preaching "Matriology "- or accuse me ( with Elder Paisios ) of teaching revelations contrary to the ancient faith. The same happened with old calendarians in Bulgaria when they believed in the assumption of the Theotokos - they were accused by modernists that they are preaching "new"things.

It is nothing new "here", I will bear it.

I do not wonder, when "orthodox" here even call miracles of the Most Holy Theotokos "myths" and make excuses for abortion and even do not fear to use improper language when speaking about Her purity.

In CHRIST

Perhaps soon you will make me quiet ?
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« Reply #100 on: December 06, 2007, 09:28:00 PM »

Okay, don't shoot the messenger here.  I personally am still thinking and praying over this issue, considering the posts I've seen.  But in discussing it with my husband, he sent me this excerpt from the GREAT SYNAXARION OF THE CHURCH (for those who don't know what that is, that would be the book that is read from in the church that officially tells who or what feast is commemorated that day, and gives the information about them as held canonical by the entire church, not one saint or another, not one priest or bishop, but the entire church) on the feastday of the conception of the Theotokos:

The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos

   In accordance with the eternal purpose of God, who willed to prepare a most pure habitation for Himself in order to take flesh and dwell among men, Joachim and Anna were prevented from having Children for many years.  Their barren old age was symbolic of human nature itself, bowed down and dried up under the weight of sin and death, yet they never ceased begging God to take away their reproach.  Now when the time of preparation determined by the Lord had been fulfilled, God sent an Angel to Joachim in solitude on a mountain, and to Anna in her affliction weeping in her garden, to tell them that the ancient prophecies were soon to be fulfilled in them: a child would be born to them, who was destined to become the veritable Ark of the new Covenant, the divine Ladder, the unburnt Bush, the uncut Mountain, the living Temple where the Word of God would take up his abode.  Through the conception of Saint Anna, the barrenness of human nature itself, separated from God by death, has on this day been brought to an end; and by the wondrous birth-giving of her who had remained childless until the age when women can no longer bear fruit, God announced and testified to the more astonishing miracle of the Conception without seed, and of the immaculate coming to birth of Christ within the heart and the womb of the Most Holy Theotokos.
   Even though the birth of the Theotokos took place through a miraculous action of God, she was conceived by the union of man and woman in accordance with the laws of our human nature, which has fallen through Adam’s transgression and become subject to sin and corruption.  As the chosen Vessel and precious Shrine prepared by God since the beginning of time, she is indeed the most pure and most perfect of mankind, but even so, she has not been set apart from our common inheritance nor from the consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Just as it was fitting that Christ, in order to deliver us from death by his own voluntary death, should by his Incarnation be made like to men in all things except sin; so it was meet that His Mother, in whose womb the Word of God would unite with human nature, should be subject to death and corruption like every child of Adam, lest we be not fully included in Salvation and Redemption.  The Theotokos has been chosen and preferred among all women, not arbitrarily, but because God foresaw that she would preserve her purity and keep it perfect: conceived and born like all of us, she has been worthy to become the Mother of the Son of God and the Mother of us all.  So, in her tenderness and compassion, she is able to intercede for us with her Son, that He may have mercy upon us.
   Just as the Lord Jesus Christ was the fruit of the virginity of the Theotokos, so she herself was the fruit of the Chastity of Joachim and Anna.  And by following the same path of Chastity we too, monks and Christian married people, can bring Christ to be born and to grow in us.
----THE GREAT SYNAXARION OF THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEASTDAY OF THE CONCEPTION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS


Now, with that said, please feel free to offer comments, interpretations, etc. (especially you, Cleveland, FrChris, or pensateomnia-- I'd love to hear what ya'll think).  I won't be offended.  Again, please don't shoot the messenger.
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« Reply #101 on: December 06, 2007, 09:36:50 PM »

Okay, don't shoot the messenger here.  I personally am still thinking and praying over this issue, considering the posts I've seen.  But in discussing it with my husband, he sent me this excerpt from the GREAT SYNAXARION OF THE CHURCH (for those who don't know what that is, that would be the book that is read from in the church that officially tells who or what feast is commemorated that day, and gives the information about them as held canonical by the entire church, not one saint or another, not one priest or bishop, but the entire church) on the feastday of the conception of the Theotokos:

The Conception by St. Anna of the Most Holy Theotokos

   In accordance with the eternal purpose of God, who willed to prepare a most pure habitation for Himself in order to take flesh and dwell among men, Joachim and Anna were prevented from having Children for many years.  Their barren old age was symbolic of human nature itself, bowed down and dried up under the weight of sin and death, yet they never ceased begging God to take away their reproach.  Now when the time of preparation determined by the Lord had been fulfilled, God sent an Angel to Joachim in solitude on a mountain, and to Anna in her affliction weeping in her garden, to tell them that the ancient prophecies were soon to be fulfilled in them: a child would be born to them, who was destined to become the veritable Ark of the new Covenant, the divine Ladder, the unburnt Bush, the uncut Mountain, the living Temple where the Word of God would take up his abode.  Through the conception of Saint Anna, the barrenness of human nature itself, separated from God by death, has on this day been brought to an end; and by the wondrous birth-giving of her who had remained childless until the age when women can no longer bear fruit, God announced and testified to the more astonishing miracle of the Conception without seed, and of the immaculate coming to birth of Christ within the heart and the womb of the Most Holy Theotokos.
   Even though the birth of the Theotokos took place through a miraculous action of God, she was conceived by the union of man and woman in accordance with the laws of our human nature, which has fallen through Adam’s transgression and become subject to sin and corruption.  As the chosen Vessel and precious Shrine prepared by God since the beginning of time, she is indeed the most pure and most perfect of mankind, but even so, she has not been set apart from our common inheritance nor from the consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Just as it was fitting that Christ, in order to deliver us from death by his own voluntary death, should by his Incarnation be made like to men in all things except sin; so it was meet that His Mother, in whose womb the Word of God would unite with human nature, should be subject to death and corruption like every child of Adam, lest we be not fully included in Salvation and Redemption.  The Theotokos has been chosen and preferred among all women, not arbitrarily, but because God foresaw that she would preserve her purity and keep it perfect: conceived and born like all of us, she has been worthy to become the Mother of the Son of God and the Mother of us all.  So, in her tenderness and compassion, she is able to intercede for us with her Son, that He may have mercy upon us.
   Just as the Lord Jesus Christ was the fruit of the virginity of the Theotokos, so she herself was the fruit of the Chastity of Joachim and Anna.  And by following the same path of Chastity we too, monks and Christian married people, can bring Christ to be born and to grow in us.
----THE GREAT SYNAXARION OF THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEASTDAY OF THE CONCEPTION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS


God bless !

I think it is not contrary to my post. Of course the Most Holy Theotokos shared the same nature as all humans but she was filled with the grace of God because she was choosen to become the Mother of God. And her parents- the Ancestores of God- were both great Saints.

In CHRIST

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Alexius
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« Reply #102 on: December 06, 2007, 10:57:08 PM »

God bless !

I think it is not contrary to my post. Of course the Most Holy Theotokos shared the same nature as all humans but she was filled with the grace of God because she was choosen to become the Mother of God. And her parents- the Ancestores of God- were both great Saints.

In CHRIST



Yep!
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« Reply #103 on: December 06, 2007, 11:12:13 PM »

God bless !

I think it is not contrary to my post. Of course the Most Holy Theotokos shared the same nature as all humans but she was filled with the grace of God because she was choosen to become the Mother of God. And her parents- the Ancestores of God- were both great Saints.

In CHRIST



I agree with you.  So am I correct, then, in stating that the concensus of this thread is that we believe that the Theotokos was subject to sin and corruption as all of us were, but chose, herself, not to sin?

I'm only asking this for my own clarification and to help in my own prayer and study on this topic.

If this is the case, then how do we, as Orthodox, reconcile the following things:
1. That we are taught unequivocably that Christ alone is sinless
2. In light of the prayers of confession and communion, which speak of sins "known and unknown?"  Did the Theotokos never commit an unknown sin?  How do we know this, and how do we know that she never sinned when we can't have known her thoughts?
3. If we are relying on the revelation of Saints that the Theotokos never sinned, then how do we reconcile that some saints (such as St. John Chrysostom) say she DID sin (he speaks of her as being prideful), and some say she didn't? 

I'm asking these not to play devil's advocate or stir the pot or start controversy, only for questions to my own answers in light of the posts on these threads...
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« Reply #104 on: December 06, 2007, 11:19:52 PM »

I agree with you.  So am I correct, then, in stating that the concensus of this thread is that we believe that the Theotokos was subject to sin and corruption as all of us were, but chose, herself, not to sin?

I'm only asking this for my own clarification and to help in my own prayer and study on this topic.

If this is the case, then how do we, as Orthodox, reconcile the following things:
1. That we are taught unequivocably that Christ alone is sinless
2. In light of the prayers of confession and communion, which speak of sins "known and unknown?"  Did the Theotokos never commit an unknown sin?  How do we know this, and how do we know that she never sinned when we can't have known her thoughts?
3. If we are relying on the revelation of Saints that the Theotokos never sinned, then how do we reconcile that some saints (such as St. John Chrysostom) say she DID sin (he speaks of her as being prideful), and some say she didn't? 

I'm asking these not to play devil's advocate or stir the pot or start controversy, only for questions to my own answers in light of the posts on these threads...

God bless !

Let me answer short ( it is very late here Shocked )

The Theotokos is absolut sinless - it is clear - so many Service texts, writings of the Fathers...
when one or two Fathers made a mistake, means not that it is the teaching of the whole church.

Christ is the only sinless one - by nature and the Theotokos through grace and labour.

Christ is the only Mediator but she is also a Mediatress, like other Saints. I think the greek says more unique than one/monos.

The Sripture also says ONE HOLY ONE LORD - is only God holy - what happend with the Saints ?

In CHRIST,our true God

I have to read my evening prayers -.........


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Tags: Theotokos Mary Original Sin ancestral sin Immaculate Conception Theotokos without sin theotokos sinless 
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