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Author Topic: So-called "Irrefutable Questions"  (Read 1494 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 28, 2008, 09:55:29 PM »

I ran up on these so-called "Irrefutable Questions." http://www.bible.ca/catholic-questions.htm  Even with my meager knowledge of the Truth, I can tell that these questions are ignorant and easily answered.  But I would appreciate someone interacting with question 16 and the chart.  Is there any validity to any of this question at all?  I am in no wise trying to be argumentative but would like to get a grasp on the answer to this question somewhat better than I have now.   
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2008, 12:31:45 AM »

I ran up on these so-called "Irrefutable Questions." http://www.bible.ca/catholic-questions.htm  Even with my meager knowledge of the Truth, I can tell that these questions are ignorant and easily answered.  But I would appreciate someone interacting with question 16 and the chart.  Is there any validity to any of this question at all?  I am in no wise trying to be argumentative but would like to get a grasp on the answer to this question somewhat better than I have now.   

It seems as though this guy has absolutely no grasp of the Orthodox customs:

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disown the devil before baptism

From the service of the making of a Catechumen:

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Then the Priest turns him (her) that is to be baptized to face westward, unclothed, barefoot hands upraised. If the person is a child, the Sponsor holding him (her) faces West. the Priest then says thrice:

Do you renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his worship, and all his angels, and all his pomp?

   Each time the Catechumen (or the Sponsor if the person to be baptized is a child or a foreigner) answers and says:

I do renounce him.

Again the Priest asks him (her) that is to be baptized: (3 times)

Have you renounced Satan?

And the Catechumen or the Sponsor answers (3 times):

I have renounced him.

http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/liturgical_texts/Catechumen.asp

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thrice immersed

He did get this one right at least.

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Drink milk and honey after baptism

There is a rather long and interesting history of offerings made on the Sacrificial Table as played out through the several councils. It appears that this custom arose early on but was the cause of several grave abuses, the first canon to address the matter is the third of the Holy Apostles:

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If any Bishop or Presbyter, contrary to the Lord’s ordinance relating to sacrifice, offers anything else at the sacrificial altar, whether it be honey, or milk, or artficial liquor instead of wine, chickens, or any kind of animals, or vegetables, contrary to the ordinance, let him be deposed from office: except ears of new wheat or bunches of grapes, in due season. Let it not be permissible to bring anything else to the sacrificial altar but oil for the lamp, and incense at the time of the holy oblation.

This canon is primarially concerned with the use of milk, honey, or other substances being used in the place of wine for the Eucharist, which it explicitly forbids.

However, the practice of offering a blessed milk and honey, though separate from the Eucharist, continued in the as a local practice in some Regions for some times, as witnessed by the 44th canon of Carthage which allowed it as a concession:

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It is decreed that in the sanctuary nothing else than the body and the blood of the Lord shall be offered, as the Lord Himself prescribed, that is, bread and wine mixed with water. As for first-fruits, whether honey or milk, at the Mystery of the infants [N.B.: Baptism], though for the most part offered at the altar, let it nevertheless have a blessing of its own in proper fashion, so that it may stand apart from the sanctification of the Lord’s body and blood. But let nothing else be offered among firstfruits than grapes and grain (or wheat).

This practice lead to a confusion between the blessed wine and honey (and other goods such as wheat or fruit) and the Eucharist and was a local practice generally frowned upon by the Church at large, the practice was officially ended by the 57th canon of the Sixth Oecumenical Synod:

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That honey and milk must not be offered at the Altars.

This regional practice was more common in the west and especially North Africa (so it makes sense that Carthage approved of it), thus it makes sense that Tertullian and Jerome would have thought it a popular custom, but it was by no means a universal practice and was frowned on as early as the Apostolic Canons because of its continued confusion with the Eucharist in some communities and, on account of this confusion, it was eventually ended by the Sixth Oecumenical Synod.

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don’t bath for a week after baptism

This was more so after Chrismation than Baptism, though the two would have been inseparable during the time of Tertullian and Jerome. This practice was maintained for quite a while, from what I recall from primary sources I know at least well into the Late Byzantine Empire, probably longer; it has only been abandoned relatively recently for obvious reasons (for one, we actually learned the benefits of bathing regularly beyond being socially acceptable).

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kneeling in worship is forbidden

Well, to be exact, Kneeling on Sundays and during the days of Pentecost is forbidden, and not only by oral tradition but also by the 20th Canon of the First Oecumenical Synod:

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Since there are some persons who kneel in church on Sunday and on the days of Pentecost, with a view to preserving uniformity in all parishes, it has seemed best to the holy Council for prayers to be offered to God while standing.

Many (perhaps most around the world?) still observe this practice, it is only in certain parishes that have been influenced by Latin and Anglican practices that one can observe people kneeling on Sundays though it is still technically improper. Sundays and days of Pentecost are days of celebration of the Resurrection thus we do not engage in the penitential act of Kneeling, though we do from Monday to Saturday outside of Pentecost. Of course, another thing to consider is that since most don't go to Church on Sundays this significance is generally lost on the laity; so the practice, in some parishes, has fallen into disuse.

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Sign of cross on forehead

Actually we still do this, it's part of the Chrismation service which always accompanies baptism:

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And after the Prayer of Confirmation, the Priest chrismates the baptized and he makes on the person the Sign of the Cross with the Holy Chrism (Holy Myron), on the forehead, the eyes, the nostrils, the mouth, the ears, the breast, the hands, and the feet. At each anointing and sealing, he says:

THE SEAL OF THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AMEN.

http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/liturgical_texts/baptism.asp



In the end, there's no such thing as an 'Irrefutable Question'. Wink
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 12:37:35 AM by greekischristian » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2008, 12:43:52 AM »

It seems as though this guy has absolutely no grasp of the Orthodox customs:
I couldn't agree more!

In the end, there's no such thing as an 'Irrefutable Question'. Wink
You are quite right, GiC!

Great post, GiC!  I hope you emailed your response to Steve Rudd (you can email him using the link at the bottom of the page)!
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2008, 02:04:50 AM »

I was in email exchange with the clueless one who owns that site about three years ago trying to correct his mistakes. After the first three rounds he ceased answering me but made no changes. I deleted the bookmark and forgot about him. (Shook dust from sandles...)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 02:35:59 AM by Αριστοκλής » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2008, 02:30:40 AM »

In the traditional Orthodox Church when people are baptized they do not bathe for a few days (usually 3). Interesting thing is...even in the dead of summer...one does not sweat...
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008, 02:37:45 AM »

In the traditional Orthodox Church when people are baptized they do not bathe for a few days (usually 3). Interesting thing is...even in the dead of summer...one does not sweat...
Yes, this is the practice I as Godfather was instructed with on several occasions, and twice from Priests.
In the case of infant baptism, the Godparent bathes the child on the third day, and the child's undergarment which has been in contact with the Holy Myron is washed in water which is then poured into a river or the sea.
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008, 01:22:07 PM »

I would like to thank everyone for their replies (especially GiC).  They have been very helpful to me in increasing my understanding.
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