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Author Topic: It's stupid and shallow!  (Read 2428 times) Average Rating: 0
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Myrrh23
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« on: October 19, 2008, 01:27:11 AM »

If this is really true, I think it is stupid and shallow of God to bar people from Heaven just because they aren't Christian, just because they might be ignorant of which religion is the right religion, especially with how obnoxious and hateful Christians can be towards not only non-Christians, but people of their own religion! Why would God damn people who believe in Him, yet not his Son? It's a slap in the face to those that try to love him in the best way they know how. Does Orthodoxy honestly teach that those who don't believe in Jesus don't go to Heaven?? How pretty one-sided, conditional and petty of Love. Where in the Bible does it give this "reasoning"? Angry

Sidenote: Please keep your sarcasm to yourselves; I'm tired of certain individuals on this website using sarcasm to try and teach a person to grow closer to the Word. If any of you are comfortable with acting in such a manner, I don't want you as my spiritual teachers!
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 01:47:44 AM »

If this is really true, I think it is stupid and shallow of God to bar people from Heaven just because they aren't Christian, just because they might be ignorant of which religion is the right religion, especially with how obnoxious and hateful Christians can be towards not only non-Christians, but people of their own religion! Why would God damn people who believe in Him, yet not his Son? It's a slap in the face to those that try to love him in the best way they know how. Does Orthodoxy honestly teach that those who don't believe in Jesus don't go to Heaven?? How pretty one-sided, conditional and petty of Love. Where in the Bible does it give this "reasoning"? Angry
I'm not even close to being the most articulate of posters here, so I'm sure those who are will follow after me and clarify what I'm trying to say.  Having said that, I think we need to consider a few points.

1.  What you describe above sounds to me like the rational, scholastic view of the Gospel advanced historically in the Roman and Protestant churches--a view wherein God is a killjoy just looking for reasons to condemn His creatures to hell.  It doesn't really sound all that representational of Orthodox Christian thought.
2.  St. Paul said that "since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)  In essence, we believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of the very Logos/Tao of God who fills all creation and holds it together, the very Truth of all that is.  He has revealed Himself via Creation so that it is possible for us to know God and understand how to relate to Him and obey His precepts without knowing the historical man Jesus Christ.  As such, we believe that those who follow the Wisdom of Creation as best they know It/Him unknowingly follow Jesus Christ.  Will God condemn them to burn in hell simply because they don't know Him through the historical incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ?  I agree with you in saying that this certainly does strike me as stupid and shallow!
3.  We aren't God, so who are we to condemn people to hell?  Do we know the hearts of men and women as God does?

Quote
Sidenote: Please keep your sarcasm to yourselves; I'm tired of certain individuals on this website using sarcasm to try and teach a person to grow closer to the Word. If any of you are comfortable with acting in such a manner, I don't want you as my spiritual teachers!
Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 01:58:13 AM »

I've been looking at the entire passage most of the evening - James 2:14-26 where he mentions on a number of occasions that faith without works is dead.

So, many Catholics, Protestants and others who not only Loved one's neighbors, loved one's enemies, practiced faith with works and baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has just as an equal shot as an Orthodox Christian of receiving the reward for being a "good and faithful servant."

People who have believed in Jesus on their deathbed have become Saints.  Baptism is the key mechanism for entrance into the Church.

PS: You asked a very good and valid question.  Please forgive me if I acted sarcastic in the past.   Grin
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Myrrh23
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 02:17:21 AM »

What of those who were taught Jesus Christ, but left Christianity? I can't really say that some people who left Christianity really "knew" Jesus, given some of the wackjob sects of our religion....


Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink

(kiss PTA's nose) Thanks. Sad Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 02:18:07 AM »

Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink

(kiss PTA's nose) Thanks. Sad Smiley
AWWWW!  (looking down at his feet as he drags one in the dirt)  Shucks! Embarrassed
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 02:19:15 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Myrrh23
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 02:33:21 AM »

Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink

(kiss PTA's nose) Thanks. Sad Smiley
AWWWW!  (looking down at his feet as he drags one in the dirt)  Shucks! Embarrassed

 Cheesy Grin angel
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 07:23:32 AM »

It's okay, SolEx! Smiley
It's just...everyone on these boards needs to stop with the sarcasm as a means of getting people to become close to Orthodoxy and God. People need to stop with the name-calling, and I know I'm guilty of that. Wink People also need to stop ignoring PMs when the PM is a real apology, and I bet I'm not the only person having that cold shoulder to look at. People need to stop tearing into others when they become more conservative, or more liberal. Explain your reasoning on something and let God do the rest, but don't throw a rotten "you don't BELONG here" attitude. If a person thinks he's going to blow his top, excuse yourself from the conversation for a while before you say something ugly and excluding. People need to remember that you will have to face the Lord for everything that comes out of your mouth.
I'm so tired of certain people on these Boards seeming to have a rolled-up newspaper hidden behind their backs to move people in a certain spiritual direction. THAT is what turns people away from not only the OC, but Orthodoxy! Plus, it doesn't help that some of you don't seem to have a dandruff flake's-worth of humor in your bones, and I'm not referring to my track record of sexual jokes. I am starting to think this lack of humor is leading towards misunderstandings, fights, bad tempers, and general unhappiness. If this lack of getting along better continues, I think Fr. Anastasios and Fr. Chris need to start a whole new domain dedicated to teaching people their secrets to being sweet and gentle. Sad
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 02:57:59 PM »

Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink

(kiss PTA's nose) Thanks. Sad Smiley
AWWWW!  (looking down at his feet as he drags one in the dirt)  Shucks! Embarrassed

 Cheesy Grin angel

You two should get a room  Roll Eyes

(Yes, I just could not resist...  Wink )
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 04:54:10 PM »

Believe me, they'll have to go through me first. police Wink

(kiss PTA's nose) Thanks. Sad Smiley
AWWWW!  (looking down at his feet as he drags one in the dirt)  Shucks! Embarrassed

 Cheesy Grin angel

You two should get a room  Roll Eyes

(Yes, I just could not resist...  Wink )

Well...his birthday IS coming up. Lemme go find a giant cake for me to jump out of... Cheesy
Only playing, PTA! Grin

But seriously, some people on here do act like the God I described in the opening post. These kinds of reactions to others tends to spread like a virus, and it's not Christian. You no more convince people of your arguments by being sarcastic and mean to them than shoving people into the ground to try and prove that the grass really IS green. That's what I'm trying to say, and I won't be surprised in I'm getting a few eyerolls at my ranting. (shrugs) Sad
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 05:17:03 PM »

You two should get a room  Roll Eyes

(Yes, I just could not resist...  Wink )
I do not think that what you think I'm thinking is what I'm really thinking.
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Myrrh23
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2008, 06:15:35 PM »

This thread has degenerated....
Eh, s'okay. I'm done ranting anyways. Y'all can open your windows now. Wink
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2008, 06:36:30 PM »

If this is really true, I think it is stupid and shallow of God to bar people from Heaven just because they aren't Christian, just because they might be ignorant of which religion is the right religion, especially with how obnoxious and hateful Christians can be towards not only non-Christians, but people of their own religion! Why would God damn people who believe in Him, yet not his Son? It's a slap in the face to those that try to love him in the best way they know how. Does Orthodoxy honestly teach that those who don't believe in Jesus don't go to Heaven?? How pretty one-sided, conditional and petty of Love. Where in the Bible does it give this "reasoning"? Angry

This is not intended to be sarcastic, per your warning, but let me ask you a question--is your problem then with God or with the Holy Orthodox Church?  If you are going to condemn God based on the actions of those who claim to be His servants, whether for good or for ill, then you are going to be disappointed every time.  As for the Orthodox position on someone's salvation who is outside the Church, that has been discussed any number of times on other boards and I'd invited you to look at them.  If you want a straightforward answer, I'd say that God saves whom He wishes and that person could be Orthodox Christian, Presbyterian, Buddhist or even atheist.  The criteria for salvation is not determined by us.  It is our job to proclaim and live the Truth as revealed to the Holy Orthodox Church, which (i.e. the Truth), I will admit, does come out in obnoxious and even hurtful ways at times by its adherents.
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2008, 06:51:12 PM »

If this is really true, I think it is stupid and shallow of God to bar people from Heaven just because they aren't Christian, just because they might be ignorant of which religion is the right religion, especially with how obnoxious and hateful Christians can be towards not only non-Christians, but people of their own religion! Why would God damn people who believe in Him, yet not his Son? It's a slap in the face to those that try to love him in the best way they know how. Does Orthodoxy honestly teach that those who don't believe in Jesus don't go to Heaven?? How pretty one-sided, conditional and petty of Love. Where in the Bible does it give this "reasoning"? Angry

This is not intended to be sarcastic, per your warning, but let me ask you a question--is your problem then with God or with the Holy Orthodox Church?
I don't get the impression that she's actually complaining about the Orthodox Church, even though some of the Church's members can be just as triumphalistic and exclusivist in their interpretation of "no one comes to the Father but by Me" as many Protestants and Catholics.  I gather that Myrrh is really trying to gauge whether this exclusivist attitude is taught officially by the Orthodox Church or whether this is merely the misinterpretation advanced by prideful Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2008, 08:26:27 PM »

I was looking for the official stand of the OC on what makes a person "saved". Smiley I'm not trying to be hostile and I give a sincere apology if I've offended people with my sabertooth claws out, or if came off as a hypocrite. Smiley
What does the OC teach about a person who loves as Jesus says to love, but dabbles in witchcraft, tarot cards, or the LaVey Satanism? Undecided

Ok....I sorta threw a temper tantrum about what I wanted to know. It's just, I'm totally repulsed by the idea that if you're not a member of the Club, you don't get to enjoy the benefits. Sad It's totally repulsive... DX
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2008, 09:01:22 PM »

What does the OC teach about a person who loves as Jesus says to love, but dabbles in witchcraft, tarot cards, or the LaVey Satanism? Undecided
When you talk about a person who actually engages in occult practices that are explicitly condemned in Scripture (both OT and NT), then I think the Church would have a problem with this, though our approach would be more in the line of correcting the occultic behavior than with speculating on the eternal destiny of its practitioners.
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2008, 09:08:23 PM »

So, like how we shouldn't speculate when Jesus is going to return because we cannot know the time or day, we shouldn't speculate about a person's eternal destination because we really have no say in it?
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2008, 10:39:04 PM »

^ Exactly!
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2008, 09:25:51 AM »

So, like how we shouldn't speculate when Jesus is going to return because we cannot know the time or day, we shouldn't speculate about a person's eternal destination because we really have no say in it?

That's what I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong, but it has always seemed to me that this is the official doctrinal position of the Orthodox Church.

From my GOA Web page:

The final judgment will follow the resurrection of all. Some will rise to the resurrection of life, and some to the resurrection of judgment and condemnation. Christ will be our Judge on the basis of our deeds, our works of love or our acts of wickedness.
http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8038.asp
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2008, 10:07:20 AM »

You know, Heorhij, I kinda dread that Day, because I feel I wouldn't be accepted into Heaven because I didn't volunteer enough, didn't give to charity enough, didn't go to church enough, stuff like that. I think Christianity has been watered down from Orthodoxy to a point system or something...
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2008, 10:55:44 AM »


What does the OC teach about a person who loves as Jesus says to love, but dabbles in witchcraft, tarot cards, or the LaVey Satanism? Undecided


Just a note (interesting question, btw!), it is quite impossible for someone to both love as Jesus loved AND dabble in LaVeyan Satanism.  The latter specifically exhorts its members/believers to NOT love one's enemies  but, rather, smash them into oblivion.  I unfortunately have a number of old friends who have been lured into that particular darkness in the past few years Sad.
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2008, 11:28:01 AM »

You know, Heorhij, I kinda dread that Day, because I feel I wouldn't be accepted into Heaven because I didn't volunteer enough, didn't give to charity enough, didn't go to church enough, stuff like that. I think Christianity has been watered down from Orthodoxy to a point system or something...
Exactly! It's not that other Christians don't have the truth, it's just that what they teach is incomplete. The truth is that it does matter what you do, but you are not trying to earn a place in heaven. Your actions show the desires of your heart--and it is the condition of your heart that saves you. We are saved by faith, but if faith does not produce good works, is there really faith at all?
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2008, 11:38:44 AM »

I kinda dread that Day, because I feel I wouldn't be accepted into Heaven because I didn't volunteer enough, didn't give to charity enough, didn't go to church enough, stuff like that. I think Christianity has been watered down from Orthodoxy to a point system or something...

I know what you mean, but remember its not really about earning points even if our human language and wimpy minds makes it sound that way at times. Smiley It's about our relationship with Christ. If we love God as we should, then the works will flow from that love. Not automatically, like some Protestants say or anything, because loving someone is well, WORK...and faith without works is dead. But we cannot seperate the two things....us westerners tend to see things are either/or. Either we need works, or we need faith, but the Scriptures as a whole show over and over again through time, through the prophets and patriarchs and later the saints, that BOTH things work together. I can't express it as well as others can, but just try not to think about it as a point system, because it's not. The epistle of James sums it up really well, for me anyways.

Also remember it's not a competition. Try not to look at someone who volunteers 3 times a week, and sings in the choir, and is on the parish council, and tithes 10% every week and does all the "right things" for two reasons; one, you can DO all the right things, but not be doing them with the proper intentions, and two, it's not a competition. The only person your running the race of salvation against is yourself, and God is your coach. Smiley Just do YOUR best, not someone elses best. It's your race to run, and your life and your relationship with God.

I guess asking the question, "did I do enough?" is honorable, but only in the sense that you ask it out of love for God and neighbor, "did I do enough FOR Christ?" and not asking it of yourself because someone else "did better than me". God judges each according to the talent he receives, and not by comparing us to our neighbor. Try to keep that in mind, as I try to do, but often fail. (ie: do as I say not as I do because I struggle to follow this advice myself)

Secondly, as to your first question, God can save whoever He so chooses. Otherwise He ain't really God. (that's how a priest explained it to me when I was a catechumen)


In peace...
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2008, 11:42:23 AM »


Exactly! It's not that other Christians don't have the truth, it's just that what they teach is incomplete. The truth is that it does matter what you do, but you are not trying to earn a place in heaven. Your actions show the desires of your heart--and it is the condition of your heart that saves you. We are saved by faith, but if faith does not produce good works, is there really faith at all?

You said it much better than I attempted. Good post. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2008, 12:33:12 PM »

God can save whoever He so chooses. Otherwise He ain't really God. (that's how a priest explained it to me when I was a catechumen)

Mmm. I am afraid that's not quite true. God is NOT "all-powerful," contrary to some very common human belifs. There are things He CANNOT do. For example, if I do not want to be saved, He cannot save me.

It's another story though, just what does it exactly mean, "reject God," do not accept salvation." Just because someone behaves all of his or her life as a stubborn atheist, still does not necessarily mean that this person really hates/rejects/denies God. We don't know another human being's heart and what's there. Only God knows.
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2008, 12:57:42 PM »

Mmm. I am afraid that's not quite true. God is NOT "all-powerful," contrary to some very common human belifs. There are things He CANNOT do. For example, if I do not want to be saved, He cannot save me. 

He "cannot" do it, insofar as He restricts Himself from doing it.  It is His choice to allow for the existence and continuation of Free Will - so His unwillingness to circumvent it should not be seen as an impotent inability, but rather a benevolent allowance.
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« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2008, 01:13:07 PM »

Mmm. I am afraid that's not quite true. God is NOT "all-powerful," contrary to some very common human belifs. There are things He CANNOT do. For example, if I do not want to be saved, He cannot save me. 

He "cannot" do it, insofar as He restricts Himself from doing it.  It is His choice to allow for the existence and continuation of Free Will - so His unwillingness to circumvent it should not be seen as an impotent inability, but rather a benevolent allowance.

Thank you, Cleveland, good clarification.
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« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2008, 01:19:07 PM »

If this is really true, I think it is stupid and shallow of God

I get your question, which is truly a Christian question, as it shows your compassion for "everyone", not just Christians.

However, I have an issue with anyone referring to God or His decisions as being stupid or shallow.  It is not for us to judge Him or His actions.

We can never know God's reasons, nor are we to question them.

Having said that, Christ did inform us that the only way to the Father is through the Son.

However, I believe that even then, simply proclaiming Christianity won't get us in the door.  It is by God's grace alone that we (and others) will be granted entrance. 

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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2008, 01:21:12 PM »

Thank you, Cleveland, good clarification.

I only really spoke up, not to be argumentative, but to kind of provide a balance to the argument.  You are correct that God probably won't save those who don't want it because he's left free will intact.  But in the end, we don't know who wants it or doesn't, and in the end He Is still God.
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"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
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Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
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