OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 26, 2014, 09:48:17 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Eastern vs Western concept of God. Any articles that can help?  (Read 1970 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Chuck S.
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Place Personal Text Here


« on: August 06, 2003, 02:04:41 AM »


Hi,

Just tonight I was talking to a friend who is going through a difficult time and they were under the impression that God was "punishing" them or that God wanted this to happen to them so they would draw closer to God.

They didn't say it in a hateful way, or like they resented God or anything like that. They just said it in passing  They're not really the most devout, but not exactly apathetic either. She is,  I suppose a typical North American Roman Catholic.

Anyways, I didn't really know how to answer her. And this is why I'm posting.

I know this view of God as a punishing being, waiting to inflicting "divine wrath" is definitely very Western/Roman in thought, and is not how we understand God to really be.

So I know thats not how we see God at all, and I have a basic understanding of the opposite view from the West...but OTH I haven't read that much on this issue to where I can actually articulate a more proper view to another person.

I actually know how we see God, but just haven't done a lot of reading on it.

So I was hoping everyone could provide me with some articles/books online regarding this subject?

Do you understand what I mean? And what kind of articles I'm looking for?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


In Christ, Chuck

Logged

In Christ, Thomas
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2003, 07:59:47 AM »

This is not what you're necessarily looking for (ie, no articles), but just my $0.02:

The Bible depicts God as both a God of justice and a God of Love.  God is angry at sin everyday yet is slow to wrath.  God is righteous and Holy--a "consuming fire"--yet He's gracious and merciful as well.  In other words, the Bible presents a "balanced" picture of God which is something we need to keep in mind if we are to truly worship Him in "spirit and in truth".
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
TomS
Banned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 3,186


"Look At Me! Look At Me Now! " - Bono


« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2003, 08:31:21 AM »

I personally do believe that God may sometimes allow bad things to be visited upon us to teach us a lesson. Kinda like "You reap what you sow"

Also, refer to the book of Job:

...And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  

Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  

But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.  
Logged
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Online Online

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 810


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2003, 01:05:10 PM »

God rebukes those He loves.  If we have no hardship, we should be worried because God doesn't punish us twice, once here and once in eternity, and if we've uterly rejected His grace, He won't make our lives here hard.  If hardship can bring us to repentance, He will do anything to save us in His great love.  One saint (St. John the Dwarf I think) went to an elder and said that he'd prayed that all temptations be removed from him and it had been done, the elder rebuked him and said to pray for the temptations to return since without them there can be no growth.
Logged
Chuck S.
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2003, 03:24:36 PM »



I understand what everyone is saying. And I certainly agree with it. God does "allow" bad stuff to happen at times to bring us closer to Him. I of course agree with all this.

And I'll admit, I may not be a theologian, and I have a lot to learn, but I'm certain Orthodox do not see God as sitting on His throne in heaven just waiting for us to mess up so He can smite us down, or strike us with a lightening bolt. or do something bad to us just to prove He is right.

I know there is a distinct difference between Orthodox and western theology. Much of western theology says, that when something horrible happens "God did it"...(like the world trade center disaster for example) Or if someone is born blind the question is asked "Why did GOD do that?"

Or like when Jesus told of the tower who fell down and killed some people in, where was it, I forgot? Anyways people asked Jesus essentially the same question "Why did GOD DO IT?" And Jesus basic response was, in modern lingo, "sometimes bad things just happen."

Yet the west (I know an over generalized statement but since it originated in the west its how I refer to it. Sorry if this is offensive) would say all these bad things God does. Again, I know I have alot to learn, but I also know this is not how Orthodox see things.

Does that clear up what I'm talking about? Of course I know God corrects us and chastizes us out of love. He does so to set us on the right path. But the west would say He does it because God hates sin rather than doing so because He loves us.

Another example of another person I know...who often says things like, "why does God want me to suffer in this way!" Or, "Why does God do this thing to me."  


Do you see what I mean? Or am I simply not making any sense as usual? lol!



In Christ, Chuck

Logged

In Christ, Thomas
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2003, 03:36:17 PM »

Does that clear up what I'm talking about? Of course I know God corrects us and chastizes us out of love. He does so to set us on the right path. But the west would say He does it because God hates sin rather than doing so because He loves us.

Chuck, I don't think that it's "either/or".  The Bible shows that God HATES sin AND LOVES the sinner.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
prodromos
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,463

Sydney, Australia


« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2003, 03:28:09 AM »

I think we have to be careful about making statements such as these. I remember on another forum, people posting that God cannot tolerate sin in His presence, which I think is a load of rubbish. God is omnipotent and omnipresent and it is because of His love and mercy that He washes us clean of our sins so that WE may be able to bear standing in HIS presence. It is our sin that cannot tolerate being around the all holy one, not the other way around.

unworthy John.
Logged
Chuck S.
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2003, 05:23:12 PM »



Prodromos,

What you said is 'exactly' what I was refering to. You dont happen to know if any articles or books on the subject do you? lol!

In Christ, Chuck
Logged

In Christ, Thomas
prodromos
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,463

Sydney, Australia


« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2003, 03:18:06 AM »

Hi Chuck!

I know that Father Avery cautioned you about reading "The River of Fire" over on Mo'Nachos but it would probably help in terms of finding church fathers who wrote about the issues your friend is dealing with. I don't know if many of the fathers quoted are available in English translations though, those works that are quoted at any rate Tongue

God bless,

unworthy John.

<edit> fixed URL </edit>
« Last Edit: August 12, 2003, 03:19:23 AM by prodromos » Logged
Tags: theology Western Christianity 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.059 seconds with 35 queries.