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Author Topic: How Often Must I Forgive My Brother?  (Read 13675 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthodoxlurker
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« Reply #90 on: October 16, 2008, 11:04:02 AM »


My point (and, I think, the point of others here) is that forgiveness should be given freely; this won't change the fact that the one who is forgiven will still have to deal with the consequences of their actions (just as Adam and Eve had to deal with the consequences), and the one who forgives should still show the Good Way to those whom they forgive.  We can call men to repentance through the words of our Savior and the teachings of the Church; but it can't be a condition of our forgiving them - it must only be our desire to see them reconciled with God.

Excellent, so all that is missing is the answer to this:


An extremely important part, crushing the complaints against what I (meant to) wrote here is the difference between us and God-Man - He will return to kill antiChrist (whom will enthrone himself in our sins), while we will not be able to stop him. The unanswered questions are:

1) Are we supposed to forgive antiChrist?

1.1) If we are, are we his advents?

1.2) If we are not, how does the exposed theory of unconditional forgiveness (by us, human), in time, during the sinning, stand in that relation?

...
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« Reply #91 on: October 16, 2008, 11:30:41 AM »

Orthodoxlurker,

I did that because I have an impression that nobody actually reads my arguments, while I repeated exactly your point several times.

But we're all reading your posts and are all drawing basically the same conclusions about what you're saying. Either you're double talking here, or it may be simply you're not expressing yourself/thoughts with the intention you mean to,  which is a major issue I have at times on internet forums. In fact that is one reason I do not care to get into a debate on this issue, or any issue on the internet, because it only leads to more confusion. (at least when it comes to my intentions and my input)



Quote
But I should know that I should not support what I see as sin/error/danger and that it is supposed to be my duty to signal about it to sinner/errer/endangered.

It's your duty to point out other people's sins? Are you kidding? Didn't Jesus say to first remove the plank from your own eye, before removing the speck from your brother's eye?

Quote
When we all do that, that's what's called ekklesia (sp?) - a community of believers.

No, it's called being rude! Smiley


Quote
Of course, once we have our message delivered, it ought to be left up to the sinner's/errer's/endangered's conscience to act according to his will.


Maybe this story about St. Moses the black will be helpful, it was forwarded to me when I was struggling over this issue. (the version I first read was forwarded to me by a priest, and it was somewhat longer but this is all I could find googling) And yes, he is an EO saint.


Once the Fathers of the Scetis were holding a council to reprimand a monk who had committed a fault. St. Moses was invited, but he refused to attend. The priest went to him, and said, Come, for the people are expecting you. St. Moses arose, took a bag filled with sand that had a hole in the bottom of it, carried it on his shoulder and started walking towards the council. When the monks saw him coming with the bag of sand, with sand pouring out of the hole, they asked him the reason of his behavior. He said to them, The sand you see running from the bag represents my sins which are always following me, and yet, today I am coming to judge the errors of my brother. When they heard this, they left the council and every monk went to his own cell, as none could judge that monk.


Maybe others know other stories such as this which were quite enlightening, (and hard to accept at first) to me. But for me anyway, in the long run, this story helped me tremendously. although I have a LONG path ahead of me, and am just on the beginning of the journey, so and any forgiveness I've been able to give is certainly not under my own power, but by God's grace only.


In peace...



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« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2008, 11:58:34 AM »

The unanswered questions are:

1) Are we supposed to forgive antiChrist?

1.1) If we are, are we his advents?

1.2) If we are not, how does the exposed theory of unconditional forgiveness (by us, human), in time, during the sinning, stand in that relation?

I actually don't expect you to answer the questions, just think about them during the studies.
Yes, we are to forgive everyone. Christ said that He forgives the sins of those who forgive others. Therefore, if we are to be forgiven, we must forgive others--all others. There have been many Antichrists, among them the Sanhedrin, Nero, Mohammed, Lenin, and Christ calls us to forgive them. He Himself forgave those who killed Him, while on the cross, before they had repented of their sins. To be Christians, to be followers of Christ, we must follow His example and forgive others regardless of whether they repent. Only then do we ourselves have a chance at God's forgiveness.
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« Reply #93 on: October 16, 2008, 02:08:03 PM »

The unanswered questions are:

1) Are we supposed to forgive antiChrist?

1.1) If we are, are we his advents?

1.2) If we are not, how does the exposed theory of unconditional forgiveness (by us, human), in time, during the sinning, stand in that relation?

I actually don't expect you to answer the questions, just think about them during the studies.
Yes, we are to forgive everyone. Christ said that He forgives the sins of those who forgive others. Therefore, if we are to be forgiven, we must forgive others--all others.

Well, I'm glad we have clarified the issue.

I will stay Orthodox. You will forgive antiChrist.

Don't send him my regards.
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« Reply #94 on: October 16, 2008, 06:01:11 PM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.
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« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2008, 06:30:11 PM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.

 Roll Eyes  Why am I expecting Ozzy to start singing the 'Barney' song at any moment?
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« Reply #96 on: October 16, 2008, 06:34:44 PM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.

 Roll Eyes  Why am I expecting Ozzy to start singing the 'Barney' song at any moment?

Was he also singing that when Christ forgave those who crucified him? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #97 on: October 16, 2008, 06:47:06 PM »

1) Are we supposed to forgive antiChrist?
Yes.

1.1) If we are, are we his advents?
No, the opposite.
Evil can only be overcome with Good (Romans 12:21). Responding to evil with evil only increases it's power.

1.2) If we are not, how does the exposed theory of unconditional forgiveness (by us, human), in time, during the sinning, stand in that relation?
Irrelevant given the answer to 1.1.

Don't be fooled. Any "martyr" or "confessor" who refuses to forgive his persecutors has lost his reward. It benefits you nothing to be killed for the Faith if you hate and wish ill on those who kill you.
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« Reply #98 on: October 16, 2008, 07:16:21 PM »

1) Are we supposed to forgive antiChrist?
Yes.

1.1) If we are, are we his advents?
No, the opposite.
Evil can only be overcome with Good (Romans 12:21). Responding to evil with evil only increases it's power.

1.2) If we are not, how does the exposed theory of unconditional forgiveness (by us, human), in time, during the sinning, stand in that relation?
Irrelevant given the answer to 1.1.

Don't be fooled. Any "martyr" or "confessor" who refuses to forgive his persecutors has lost his reward. It benefits you nothing to be killed for the Faith if you hate and wish ill on those who kill you.

George (I'll do you the courtesy of actually using your name...), I have to say, this is probably my favorite of all the responses I've ever read that you have written.  Smiley  I couldn't have said it better myself!
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« Reply #99 on: October 16, 2008, 11:59:39 PM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.

 Roll Eyes  Why am I expecting Ozzy to start singing the 'Barney' song at any moment?
why do you call George "Ozzy?"  He asked you not to, where I come from that is a huge disrespect to not honor the request of a person to call him by his proper name. 
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« Reply #100 on: October 17, 2008, 12:09:18 AM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.

 Roll Eyes  Why am I expecting Ozzy to start singing the 'Barney' song at any moment?
why do you call George "Ozzy?"  He asked you not to, where I come from that is a huge disrespect to not honor the request of a person to call him by his proper name. 

Is it now?

Interesting.  Kiss
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« Reply #101 on: October 17, 2008, 12:20:22 AM »

^ Okay, I won't. Unfortunately, you have two choices: to tell Antichrist you forgive him, or to tell Christ why you didn't.

 Roll Eyes  Why am I expecting Ozzy to start singing the 'Barney' song at any moment?
why do you call George "Ozzy?"  He asked you not to, where I come from that is a huge disrespect to not honor the request of a person to call him by his proper name. 

Is it now?

Interesting.  Kiss

You kids today  Huh Roll Eyes
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« Reply #102 on: October 17, 2008, 12:45:53 AM »

^ I don't get it.
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« Reply #103 on: October 17, 2008, 01:29:43 AM »

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven!
Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his Master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the Master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their Master all that had been done. Then his Master, after He had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his Master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
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« Reply #104 on: October 17, 2008, 02:39:36 AM »

Notice:

This thread has been inspired by the thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17916.0.html

So, how often must I forgive to stranger and custom officer?
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« Reply #105 on: October 17, 2008, 03:29:11 AM »

So, how often must I forgive to stranger and custom officer?

In other words, what you are asking is the same question which someone asked Our Lord, namely, "Who is my neighbour?"
His answer was that everyone you encounter (even here) is your neighbour.
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« Reply #106 on: October 17, 2008, 03:58:01 AM »

So, how often must I forgive to stranger and custom officer?

In other words, what you are asking is the same question which someone asked Our Lord, namely, "Who is my neighbour?"
His answer was that everyone you encounter (even here) is your neighbour.

No, what I meant was

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2018;&version=9;

Quote
Matthew 18

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

but I did not know the words exactly, so I used stranger instead of a heathen and custom officer instead of publican.
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« Reply #107 on: October 17, 2008, 04:18:47 AM »

but I did not know the words exactly, so I used stranger instead of a heathen and custom officer instead of publican.
You do realize that St. Matthew, whose Gospel you are trying to use to justify yourself, was a Publican don't you?

Lets look at "strangers" and "publicans" in the Gospel of St. Matthew (the publican)


About Strangers:

Matthew 25:31-40
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed Me; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’"


About Publicans:

Matthew 9:10
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and his disciples.

Matthew 10:3

Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Matthew 21:31

'Which of those two did the will of his Father?' They said unto Him, 'The first'. Jesus said unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you'.

Luke 5:27
And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.

Luke 18:9-14
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a Publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
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« Reply #108 on: October 17, 2008, 04:32:47 AM »


You do realize that St. Matthew, whose Gospel you are trying to use to justify yourself, was a Publican don't you?
...

You are mistaken. I have no need to justify myself to you.

Edit: "to you".
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« Reply #109 on: October 17, 2008, 04:54:29 AM »


You do realize that St. Matthew, whose Gospel you are trying to use to justify yourself, was a Publican don't you?
...

You are mistaken. I have no need to justify myself to you.

Edit: "to you".

.....So "nyah".....

Well I can see you're too much of a tower of knowledge when it comes to exegesis for me to contend with.
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« Reply #110 on: October 17, 2008, 10:47:54 AM »


Don't be fooled. Any "martyr" or "confessor" who refuses to forgive his persecutors has lost his reward. It benefits you nothing to be killed for the Faith if you hate and wish ill on those who kill you.

Excellent point. I've never heard it put quite so beautifully before. Thank you!
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« Reply #111 on: October 17, 2008, 10:57:57 AM »

I thought we orthodox don't put to much emphases on the Crucifixion of the lord but on the whole scenario.but mostly the resurrection that completes everything for our resurrection unto life or resurrection unto condemnation...


WHAT?  We certainly put as much emphasis on the Crucifixion as did those Saints who wrote the Gospels and Epistles.  We certainly do put as much emphasis on our Lord's Passion as our services repeatedly rehearse.  We are led through 40 days of fasting into Holy Week which culminates in our Lord's crucifixion.  Certainly it is correct to say that we understand the Passion of our Lord through the Ressurection, but to suggest that we "don't put to (too) much emphases on the Crucifixion", is simply a nonsensical statement.  Perhaps we don't follow the Jesuit practice instituted by its founder in attempting to create emotional short-cuts to being transformed by the knowledge we have been given in the Gospels and the Church, but I doubt we can ever give enough emphasis to the Crucifixion of our Lord.  The Eucharistic Liturgy and subsequent communion are as the Apostle Paul given to us by the Lord Himself and we are celebrating His Death until His future Parousia.

Too much emphasis on the Crucifixion...what an absurd idea.  There were and still remains three Crosses for each of us.  One belongs soley to our Lord, it was His by His own free-will; likewise we can choose for ourselves either of the other two.

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« Reply #112 on: October 17, 2008, 11:13:45 AM »

Orthodox lurker.

Here's another parable, about just who our neighbor is:


And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”

And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”


Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10:25-37 NKJV

Maybe you're not aware of the cultural context of this parable, but the neighbor, Jesus says, is a Samaritan. Samaritans were totally despised as not quite Jewish and not quite Gentile...and yet Jesus uses the most despised person and said, THIS is your neighbor. Not only that, but Jesus has the Samaritan doing the good deeds that everyone with the proper lineage, religion, and cultural wouldn't do. Ie: the maligned had something to teach to those with "the true" faith and culture.

As I said in a previous post, if this story was told in an American cultural context, the Samaritan would probably be replaced with Mexican, or Muslim, or perhaps something even more shocking like homosexual, or something more disturbing than that...(I won't give specific examples but use your imagination) In other parts of the world, say Ireland, the Samaritan's role might be taken by taken by England, or Northern Ireland. In Israel the role might be given to "the good Palestinian" or even more shocking, perhaps "the good Hamas follower". In Iran, the role might be "the good Jew, or good atheist". In Turkey in might be, "the good Armenian" in Greece it might be "the good Turk" in Serbia it might be the "good Croatian" or good Albanian...and so and so forth. The point is the cultural context of the parable, Jesus took the most maligned group of people the Jews could possibly imagine, and said THAT is your neighbor. In America's past it would have been "the good African American", as Jesus  told this story to the KKK grand dragon. That's the point, it was meant to be shocking. And I always wonder just how shocked and horrified some people were when they heard this. How shocked would have I been? Would I have accepted it?

So next time you read that, think of the group of people, or person you most dislike, and instead of Samaritan, insert that person into the parable. That is the point, EVERYONE is our neighbor. customs officer, or anyone else you can't stand in whatever culture you come from is the Samaritan. It's a universal teaching for us today, and not only for 1st century Jews. The titles and cultures might be different, but the MEANING is universal, because Christ's message is universal and for all time.

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« Reply #113 on: October 17, 2008, 11:20:46 AM »

just wanted to clarify I'm not trying to say what Jesus would or wouldn't do if had been Incarnated in our modern age, (because I don't know). I was only trying to show the context of the good Samaritan parable in our modern world, as I understand the parable. Thanks....Smiley
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« Reply #114 on: October 17, 2008, 11:55:00 AM »

So next time you read that, think of the group of people, or person you most dislike, and instead of Samaritan, insert that person into the parable.


No argue about the person. But I was speaking about persons' errors/sins.

Also, on orthodoxchristianity.net board, I thought I would find only brothers and sisters, and friends, not neighbors. The same way we are supposed to turn neighbors into brothers and sisters, there are the words I quoted above, how to treat them like publicans.

Just like St. Mark of Ephesus did.

Now, if you excuse me, I don't think I have anything more to say.
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« Reply #115 on: October 17, 2008, 12:50:49 PM »

orthodoxlurker, forgive me for my sins.   Cry

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May God forgive us all.   angel
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« Reply #116 on: October 17, 2008, 01:01:49 PM »

orthodoxlurker, forgive me for my sins.   Cry

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May God forgive us all.   angel

May God forgive, and I forgive, though I can't recollect it.

You forgive me, a sinner, too.
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« Reply #117 on: October 17, 2008, 01:13:28 PM »

May God forgive, and I forgive, though I can't recollect it.

The Modern World is just as nasty today as during Christ's time on Earth.  The same grace applies today as yesterday and tomorrow.  As difficult as it is to walk as "Children of Light" we have no choice unless we make a free will decision to give up faith in the name of convenience.

You forgive me, a sinner, too.

My Brother, as an unworthy sinner myself, I forgive you 7,777,777,777,777,777,777,777,777,777 times 777,777,777,777,777.   Wink
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« Reply #118 on: October 18, 2008, 11:54:48 AM »


No argue about the person. But I was speaking about persons' errors/sins.

OK, let's take a look at the passage you're referencing:


15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.


Fair enough, except the passage is talking about VERY specific circumstances. It's not a blanket statement that we treat everyone in the world like that. First it assumes the person is a member of the Church. Not only that, but (IMO) it is assuming that this is a person you have a close relationship with. (how else could you talk to him face to face about the problem, unless it's someone you would normally be talking to in private to begin with?) It is not a blanket statement about how we treat EVERYONE in the Church, or even everyone in our local community parish.

Finally that passage certainly has nothing to say about how we treat people outside the Church. (because we wouldn't bring our non Orthodox friends to the Church in such a case)

I've also heard/read this passage is talking about the primitive Church's method of excommunication, but maybe someone with more theological knowledge can give more insight on that. I do not know.

Considering this whole conversation was started by a statement about Roman Catholics and the Pope I don't see how this passage applies to this situation in any way.

Even if what you say is true, we're to treat them "like a publican"...what does that mean? does that mean we not forgive them? Of course not. Because 4 verses later Peter comes to Jesus (right after Jesus told this example) and asked, well, just how many times do I forgive my brother? And Jesus replied, 70 times 7. it kind of puts major limitations on the verse you keep quoting and just what it means.
 
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Also, on orthodoxchristianity.net board, I thought I would find only brothers and sisters, and friends, not neighbors. The same way we are supposed to turn neighbors into brothers and sisters, there are the words I quoted above, how to treat them like publicans.

What do you mean we're to turn our neighbors into brothers? Are you talking about Evangelizing? That's a different topic entirely.

We're to love our neighbor as ourself. There really isn't a distinction between neighbor and brother in the context of judgement, and how we treat them, we are ALL brothers and sisters in humanity. We are all living icons of Christ. Now being a brother in Christ, (fellow members of the Church) is a unique thing as you've pointed out. And in some circumstances the passage above might apply, but proper discernment is also necessary, and I don't think the passage you're talking about is in anyway a blanket statement. But rather, related to very limited and specific cases. And even then, it might not be proper .. . . again look at the story of St. Moses the black I posted above. The monks were doing EXACTLY what you believe that passage to say...they were bringing the sins of their brother to the Church, and yet St. Moses the black came in and turned their understanding of such things right on it's head.


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Now, if you excuse me, I don't think I have anything more to say.

Fair enough. I certainly hope nothing I've said has upset you. If I have offended you, I most certainly deeply apologize. And I truly mean that. I never had any intention upset you or anyone else. I know quite well, how much words on the internet can be misinterprated through no ones fault, and if something I've said, or any tone I've taken as upset you in any way, I deeply apologize and ask your forgiveness. This is why I tried to keep my words to a minimum and hoped to let the Scripture passages and story about St. Moses would speak for themselves. yet if anything I said upset you, I do apologize.

your brother in Christ....

NorthernPines
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