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Keble
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« on: June 25, 2003, 07:57:52 AM »

Is it too much to ask that these gloating sessions over the Episcopalians cease? To hear some talk here, our troubles aren't Christian news anyway because we're all such hopeless heretics.

Heretics, not people.
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2003, 08:41:20 AM »

In some cases it may not be gloating, but a lament of the apparant(at least in vocal Episcopal circles) malaise the ECUSA(and the Anglican communion worldwide, excluding the conservative Africans) finds itself in.  I wonder if someone as short a time ago as C.S. Lewis would even recognize modern Anglicanism.  

I am sure there are many pious, conservative Episcopalians like yourself, Ebor, and Edwin out there, but to the perceptions of most outside of the Anglican communion, there seems to be a devolution of sorts going on.  

In your opinion, Keble, what do you see for the future of Anglicanism in general and the ECUSA in particular?  Are the current Spong/Robinson/etc controversies merely a doctrinal hiccup that will soon be avoided, or do you see the continuing Anglican groups growing to form a new major Episcopalian denomination as the ECUSA becomes more and more concilitory to the world?    Are young Anglicans becoming more conservative than their bishops, as can be found among many Catholic dioceses these days?

It is true that Orthodoxy and Catholicism have their own problems right now.  But I would think there is a clear line of demarkation between problems such as jurisdictionalism, overactive ethnicity,etc as compared to denail of basic Christian dogma ie sexual morality, ordaining as clergy many types of people who do not meet the ancient requirements, and even in some extreme cases, denial of the resurrection of Christ.  

I want to take your side on this Keble, but it seems to me to be a hard point to argue.  I hope that modern Anglicanism can return to it's once proud state, and I personally do not gloat over it's woes, but to my admittedly non-Anglican eyes it does appear to be a sinking ship.  

There is no denial that we live in interesting times.  I guess we shall see what happens.
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2003, 09:31:55 AM »


Friends,

Several Orthodox have complained that Anglicanism is promoted over Orthodoxy by our Anglican memebers and several Anglicans have complained that Orthodox are unfairly bashing Anglicans.  I have from time to time privately moderated some people for either of the two extremes.  It was my hope that good discussions on Anglicanism and its relation to Orthodoxy would ensue.

For the most part that happened, but everyone on either side seems agitated and I am tired of reading the discussions myself.  Maybe in the future if a SPECIFIC point comes up one can start a new thread.  But no more back and forth on the issues already out there, ok?  I am going to do some thread closing.

This is an Orthodox board and Orthodoxy can not be bashed here.  At the same time, we must not unfairly bash others' beliefs (bashing is defined as stating things which are objectively not true).  I didn't have a problem with fair criticism for comparison purposes but that seems to have been lived out.

Let's move on to something else.

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PS Since I am into "open moderatorship"--in other words, since I discuss board issues with the board instead of running it like a dictator, I will entertain anyone's concerns before I go and shut down some of the Episcopalian threads.  My basic point is, though: we have said all that needs to be said.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2003, 09:37:22 AM »

Dear anastasios:

As I obviously enjoy discussions and debates about the Anglican Church, I think a folder called something like 'Anglicanism and Eastern Christendom' (covering not only EOs but OOs, Assyrians and BCs and other Eastern Catholics) might be a good place for them. I would agree that somehow the threads would need to have something to do with the latter; threads simply about Anglican doings would belong in 'Christian News' if anywhere here.
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2003, 12:00:01 PM »

What would I know of heretics?

I used to visit a small---but beautiful--Protestant Episcopal parish after my walks on the beach. Often, I would join the small congregation for the weekday Eucharist, but I couldn't--and wouldn't--partake.

It was at that parish, where I struck up a friendship with the rector, that I first learned of the Fatherhood of God. (Spong would have a fit!)

What a shame that I did not take the other advice of that fine rector.

Controversy aside, I have high regard for the many fine Christians I have met over the years who call themselves Anglicans or are the craftmanship of the Anglican Way.  

And what about such great saints as the Wesleys and Wilburforce?...woops!...Wilberforce, of 'Real Christianity,' fame?
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2003, 09:17:32 PM »

anastasios,

At the risk of being bad-tempered, I have to object to the statement that anyone has been "promoting Anglicanism over Orthodoxy." Mind you, that's what you might expect from Anglicans, and if you let us in you couldn't fairly complain that we defend our own communion. But in fact Keble doesn't seem to me to have done any such thing, and certainly I would be far from wanting to anything so silly. Anglicanism is a trivial, ephemeral part of Christendom compared to Orthodoxy. If one of the two had to vanish from the earth, I would have no hesitation in saying that we should. What I object to is members of _any_ communion writing off another Christian body as a whole because it is _struggling_ with certain kinds of problems which you don't face in the same degree. In that context both Keble and I have pointed out that Orthodoxy, like all Christian bodies, has plenty of problems with the sort of sin that Jesus seemed to regard as most serious. This isn't about promoting Anglicanism over Orthodoxy. It's about judging an entire religious group based on its most serious problems rather than its best ideals.

In Christ,

Edwin
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2003, 08:49:54 AM »


I'm all for Serge's suggestion of the creation of an Anglican forum.

It seems to me that whereas the discussion of Anglican problems has been based on actual news stories, the suggestion that the Orthodox Church has "plenty of problems with the sort of sin that Jesus seemed to regard as most serious" is based on rank speculation.

We know we're all sinners, so how can we disagree with such speculation? Never mind that those who accuse the Orthodox Church of such sin offer no specific instances for discussion.

Of course, we all commit sins that Jesus would have considered most serious.

We hang our heads in shame and back away from any discussion of the outrageous doings of the Anglican leadership.

We're sinners; they must be okay, then.

Let them appoint Sodomite bishops and female priests.

We sinners must learn to keep our mouths shut and let others suggest that Orthodoxy and Anglicanism are somehow equivalent, that the Church founded by Jesus Himself is guilty of "Phariseeism" that is somehow worse than elevating homosexuals to the episcopate.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2003, 08:59:48 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2003, 09:08:10 AM »

Of course, it may be pointless to continue this discussion. The last such was closed after a defender of the ECUSA, without any evidence whatsoever, accused Orthodox bishops of teaching "Phariseeisms," and a couple of others implied that continued discussion by Orthodox Christians would be "judgmental." Some said we were picking apart the weaknesses of another Christian body.

Look, Linus, if you're going to speculate about my motives, use my name.

It is not Orthodoxy per se that I'm "attacking" here. It's the complacency of those who go from topic to topic, identifying the heresies of the non-Orthodox in order to dismiss them, and rejoicing over the unblemished purity of Orthodoxy. I number you, Linus, among those who do this.

I don't see Orthodoxy as unblemished. And really, the wise in Orthodoxy don't either. Orthodox bishops do sin. The thing is that, for the most part, their sins do not attract the kind of instant outrage that homosexuality does. Which is actually worse? This is, after all, a board about Orthodoxy. If Orthodoxy means gossipy talk about the troubles of others, I don't want it. If Orthodoxy means turning a blind eye to all the "petty" evils committed in its name, I don't want it.

I want Robinson to fail to become a bishop. Those who truly know me know why. If you thought I wished to defend him, then you did not truly know me, and you shouldn't have dared to claim knowledge of my motives.
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2003, 09:38:32 AM »

This is not an "attack on Orthodoxy per se" or a defense of Robinson?

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From Keble: As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length.

In other words, there are ten Orthodox bishops who are Pharisees for every Sodomite among the Episcopalians.

Number me among those who think that the quote above is an attack on Orthodoxy and a defense of Robinson.

Personally, I think it would be best if we do not discuss Anglicanism here. It is having a corrupting influence on this web site.

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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2003, 10:10:02 AM »


Quote
Personally, I think it would be best if we do not discuss Anglicanism here. It is having a corrupting influence on this web site.

I agree. I think it would be better to have a separate folder for this topic. It is cluttering up thsi folder. Besides, as an Orthodox, I could care less what the Aglicans do. As a church - they are already lost.

Quote
What I object to is members of _any_ communion writing off another Christian body as a whole because it is _struggling_ with certain kinds of problems which you don't face in the same degree.

But they are NOT "struggling" - thay are simply rolling over and "accepting"

Oh sure, initially thses issues (i.e. ordination of Women, acceptance of the gay lifestyle, etc), are initially discussed as "problems", but you know what -- instead of confronting these "problems", and condemning them as against Scripture and Holy Tradition - they always seem to choose to just make them accepted. Then they are no longer problems -- no, no, no -- then they are held up as shining examples of how "inclusive and loving" the church is.

They will end up like all the other liberal churches; Christian in name only.

There comes a point when it is detrimental to a persons spritual growth to "hang on" and hope things will change.

The pattern is already part of the culture - it will only get worse.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2003, 11:00:31 AM by TomS » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2003, 10:56:49 AM »

This is not an "attack on Orthodoxy per se" or a defense of Robinson?

Quote
From Keble: As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length.

In other words, there are ten Orthodox bishops who are Pharisees for every Sodomite among the Episcopalians.

Number me among those who think that the quote above is an attack on Orthodoxy and a defense of Robinson.

Personally, I think it would be best if we do not discuss Anglicanism here. It is having a corrupting influence on this web site.

Count me in agreement.  No discussion of Anglicanism per se here.  And no further attacks on Orthodoxy either.   This is supposed to be an Orthodox Christian forum (or so I was led to believe).

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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2003, 10:59:32 AM »


There comes a point when it is detrimental to a persons spritual growth to "hang on" and hope things will change.

The pattern is already part of the culture - it will only get worse.

TomS:

I'm not so sure that another board for Anglican discussion would be a good thing, but perhaps it would help.

Your comments are exactly the reason why I walked away from the middle of the ordination process, from seminary, and from the Episcopal Church.  If I could have stayed in my little small town parish in central Illinois, I might have lived my Anglican fantasy for quite some time.  But my former parish is no longer what the Episcopal Church is about.  It is the gospel of political activism, not the gospel of Jesus Christ, that gets preached from pulpits, is that with which one is indoctrinated at seminary, and what forms the "core doctrine" of General Convention.

There are still good things that go on in parishes like my former one, and in some entire dioceses.  But they are now the fringe element.  ECUSA as a denomination is a man-made religion and offers no real hope.  It was affecting me and my family, severly straining my marriage to the breaking point.  But having left it behind, my wife and I were able to focus on the Truth which is Jesus Christ.  We are the better for it.
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2003, 11:03:43 AM »


Friends,

We are Christians! Let's start acting like it!

As I posted beofre, I would like to curtail discussions of Anglicanism per se.  If there is an issue where Anglicanism relates TO ORTHODOXY then great let's discuss it.  If one wishes to discuss Anglicanism per se, they are invited to post as well on Caterbury forum.  Serge can probably give us the link, and maybe Keble has it as well.  If one is unsure about the appopriateness of a post, please send it to me for review. I trust you all though.

No, there will not be an Anglican forum at this time--it would make the problem worse, IMO, and in the opinion of the other admins/moderators.

Both Keble and Linus are adept at arguing with one another and bringing forth quotes from the other which seem to disparage Orthodoxy or Anglicanism unfairly.

I wouldn't know where to begin if I tried to moderate you two personally--as far as I am concerned, neither of you have broken established forum rules intentionally, but you both have been uncharitable towards one another and towards the hierarchies of each other's Churches.  You can both argue out the ear why it's ok for you to have posted what you did, and like I said, neither of you intentionally violated forum rules.  However, several people are unhappy with the tone of your posts and therefore I am going to ask you personally both to stop this "back and forth" nonsense.

Regarding forum rules, it is not always clear what they are.  That's why we admins are working on a statement as to what they are that is easily accessible to all posters.  Don't worry, no major changes in store, just a clarification.

I would like suggestions for postings in "Christian News."  How can we keep allowing people to post articles about Christian News--including Anglican news--without it getting out of hand?

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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2003, 11:06:34 AM »

Thank you anastasios.

Time to move on and focus on OUR growth IN Orthodoxy!

 Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2003, 11:14:43 AM »

Count me in agreement.  No discussion of Anglicanism per se here.  And no further attacks on Orthodoxy either.   This is supposed to be an Orthodox Christian forum (or so I was led to believe).

Hypo-Ortho

And you are right--this is an Orthodox board. Non-Orthodox are welcome to post here for learning and comparing, but no attacks on Orthodox hierarchs.  If one has factual, public information that they would like to discuss, we don't censor that, if it is done in good taste (for instance, someone could discuss whether Bp X participated in Y and whether that was right).  But broad generalizations of Orthodox hierarchs being guilty of this or that sin is not acceptable.  Please everyone, from now on, let's not go there.

Anyone finding an offensive post is always encouarged to report it--I do not have 12 pairs of eyes, but I do check my email, and when I see that I look at the thread immediately.  I for my part promise from now on to be more careful in my reading of the threads.  Sometimes things slip by me.

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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2003, 11:35:54 AM »

Edwin,

Thank you for your post. I deliberately did not refer to Keble as I am more concerned about the tone of postings, not the man.

Ultimately, we have to keep one thing in mind: this is an Orthodox board.  If any non-Orthodox feel wronged, they may politely respond.  Using Keble as an example, Keble could have denied and refuted Linus's proposition without accusing Orthodox bishops of phariseeism.  There is also a report-a-post feature.  I encourage its use.  I have spoken to several posters privately about their posting style.  The results are usually good.

Perhaps promoting Anglicanism was the wrong phrase.  I don't mean prosyletizing.  I just mean the underlying assumption of many Anglicans that Orthodoxy and Anglicanism are basically the same thing, and that Orthodoxy has zyx problems while Anglicanism has abc problems.  The Orthodox Church is different than the Anglican Church, and in many ways sees the problems in Anglicanism today as a result of their moving away from the apostolic faith.

I would join you in asking Orthodox participants not to engage in "kicking the horse while it is down" but at the same time, a respect for Orthodoxy and its beliefs is essential for participation in an Orthodox Forum.

anastasios
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2003, 12:13:45 PM »

I just want to publicly thank anastasios for the job he is doing here. It certainly is not a job that I would want!

I support him 100% and commend him for his efforts in keeping this board focused on its goal of bringing Orthodox brothers and sisters together in the faith.  
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2003, 12:23:01 PM »

Amen, Tom!  I have done so privately to Anastasios, but it is not enough.  I too publicly support and commend Anastasios in the difficult task to which he attends as Moderator here.

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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2003, 02:32:07 PM »

I've just gone back and re-read the whole thread on this. Things really started to fall apart when I said

Quote
If you say that he can't be a bishop, you're a Donatist; the worst that can be said is that he shouldn't be a bishop.

Please understand that it's hard for me to keep up with the traffic on many of these topics. When there are six-plus people replying to me, if I reply even to a large fraction of them the tendency is for traffic to grow exponentially. Trying to craft a thoughtful reply takes time which I do not always have.

In retrospect, it was a mistake to say this (whether or not it reflects my views). I could have said things better. At the same time, the whole "Well, that just about wraps it up for Anglicanism" attitude was getting to me in a big way. The thread was started by someone Orthodox publicizing the Episcopal Church's troubles. It's not the only example of this; a lot of the "Christian News" threads start this way. And so do other threads. A lot of them come and go fairly quickly because there is nobody to take up the cause of whoever is being discussed. In this case there was.

I'm hearing a subtext of "well, those Anglican bishops are all scandalous heretics anyway, and those Messianic Jews are all just goofy heretics, but we in the One True Church don't have to worry about any of this because we are pure." I'll bet a lot of Roman Catholics thought that too, two years ago, and now they are faced with a torrent of scandal against which Robinson's potential consecration is a drop in the bucket. Maybe ten is the wrong multiplier, but surely there are Orthodox bishops out there who are doing in their own small, quotidian way the same sort of damage that the prospect of Robinson is doing on a larger scale. I've heard stories of Iakovos' behavior, for example, and they are quite appalling. And it's pretty likely that nothing is going to be done about them because nobody can slap an epithet like "sodomite!" on them. But they drive people away from the church too.

This is not an attack on Orthodoxy. Every church faces the same issue.

I don't think that people appreciate the one crucial sense in which Robinson's potential consecration is irrelevant. Ordination of women didn't destroy the Episcopal Church, and from a polity perspective it is a far more difficult problem. Problems which don't show up in one's home parish simply don't register on a lot of people. We in this forum are (for the most part) people who care to watch for these things; those who just go to church and commune and pray may not even see them. But priests who are indifferent, bishops who are rude, monks who give legalistic or facile advice-- these register on everyone. People leave to get away from them. Jane Dixon sent a number of people to my current parish, not because she was a woman, but because at times she was an indifferent pastor. It seems to me that these are far more serious stumbling blocks and that far more people are lost to The Church through these. That's why I'm more worried about things like "inclusive language" liturgy. The latter has the potential to put most people in the position of not being able to pray the words of the prayer book-- or worse, praying them when they are seriously wrong. A bishop in N.H. doesn't have the same direct effect on me, in the end.

I don't want to keep belaboring this. I just want people to realize that the sense of immunity that apparently some people have, because they are Orthodox, is dangerous.
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2003, 04:56:41 PM »

Keble -

Please note how I began the thread on Messianic Jews. I gave my initial impression and asked for further info.

Quote
Is anyone here familiar with the so-called "Messianic Jews?"

I have encountered some of them on another web site.

All of them seem to believe one must keep the Mosaic Law, including the Saturday Sabbath, and that believers of Jewish origin should be organized in groups separate from other (Gentile) Christians.

Many of them are apparently very aggressive Arians (they deny the deity of Christ).

Anyone have any further info on them (history, etc.)?

I did say later that I thought writing the word "God" as G*d was g**fy; and I still think it is. But I did not say Messianic Jews are "goofy heretics."

Your assertion that there are numerous Orthodox bishops "out there" doing damage is based on what? Speculation that they must be because we are all sinners?

The discussion of Robinson's election was based on a specific, real case. It began as an expression of sadness that such a thing could happen, not as an attack on the ECUSA. As I recall how the thing evolved, you turned it into a debate.

Sorry if you find the word "Sodomite" offensive.  It is biblical and, since Robinson is seeking a biblical office, seemed particularly appropriate.
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2003, 05:11:37 PM »


Quote
Personally, I think it would be best if we do not discuss Anglicanism here. It is having a corrupting influence on this web site.

I agree. I think it would be better to have a separate folder for this topic. It is cluttering up thsi folder. Besides, as an Orthodox, I could care less what the Aglicans do. As a church - they are already lost.

Are we indeed?   Huh Sad


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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2003, 11:19:05 AM »

If it has become necessary to assign responsibility to one person for turning the thread into a debate, then there is a problem. It takes two to debate-- at least two. I'll accept that I was willing to settle in on one "side" of the argument (although a lot of the discussion revolved around me trying to establish where my "side" was). You need to accept your responsibility for taking up the opposition.

The word "donatist" was a mistake. Though I still think there's room for discussion of the point in which it was brought up, there's clearly no hope for that now.
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2003, 11:27:29 AM »

Quote
You need to accept your responsibility for taking up the opposition.

Guilty as charged.  Grin
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