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ialmisry
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« Reply #225 on: December 08, 2009, 04:50:20 PM »

Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  Huh

I would be very happy to learn that the OO are not Monophysites. Let me know when they accept Chalcedon Wink

You mean like the Nestorians did, following Nestorius' lead?
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« Reply #226 on: December 08, 2009, 05:03:10 PM »

It seems there is not one other person posting on this thread who believes in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which I had always thought was necessary to be included in the fold of the Orthodox Church.

If the OO believed in the faith of Chalcedon, they would accept the dogma of Chalcedon. They do not accept the dogma of Chalcedon, therefore they do not hold the faith of Chalcedon. Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders.

I wasn't aware that the Diet of Worms was an Ecumenical Council, or is your ecumenism showing? Tongue

I for one believe in upholding the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, as I swore when I entered the fold of the Orthdoox Church.

The supportes of the Three Chapters made the same argument you do against the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

Sorry ialmisry I didn't realize that would offend your Orthodox sensibilities. Obviously you are so zealous for Orthodoxy you wouldn't even quote something theologically neutral if it had been said by a heretic.

I'm certainly glad to hear you uphold the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils. I was beginning to wonder, I admit.

I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

Well, I guess Rome has spoken.

Quote
What I am prepared to debate is whether EO hierarchs have in fact denied that the OO have different teachings,

If the OO do not have different teachings, what is there to deny?

Of course, you would have to know what the OO teach to answer that. Roll Eyes


Quote
that they are in fact Orthodox,

Which they are.

Quote
and that they have recognized the mysteries of the OO and allowed communion between the OO and the EO.

Since you don't recognize the Holy Mysteries of the New Calendar EO nor allow communion between those on the Old Calendar and the New Calendarists, what difference could recognition of the OO in any way make to you?

Quote
I believe I have proved this by the example of the decision of the Synod of Antioch in 1991, but if anyone wants to dispute this, let them.

I don't dispute it at all. Your point?

Quote
Can we please move on to something else? I think the subject of the 1965 lifting of the anathemas against the Pope is an interesting topic. Questions to consider: how do we know that Patriarch Michael Cerularius excommunicated the Pope?


What difference would it make if he didn't.  Would your diptychs stick bishop Benedict XVI in?

Quote
On what grounds did he excommunicate the Pope? Is Metropolitan Philaret correct that lifting these anathemas constitutes an assertion of the Orthodoxy of the Pope, at least with respect to the doctrines for which the Pope was supposedly anathematized?

It was a meaningless gesture of no practical consequence. Except confusion.
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« Reply #227 on: December 08, 2009, 05:04:32 PM »

^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


In other words, he doesn't want to be confused with facts.

Thank You Fr. George - I find it interesting how quickly Jonathan can throw stones...

(quote:Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings)

...without asking the people he's discussing with, what their beliefs are.

'cuz straw men don't throw back.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 05:08:15 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #228 on: December 08, 2009, 05:05:32 PM »

^ AAAAAAHHH! He did it again! What's with this guy!?


quote: do the present day Copts share the same Faith with Pope St. Cyril of Alexandria?

Jonathon Gress: *I prefer to refrain from answering a question that directly confounds my current standing on a subject which is pertinent to the topic we are discussing. By doing so would assist in the dismantling of my current belief structure. So from here on out folks, only ask me questions which do not conflict with my train of thought, or I will continue to dodge by neither confirming nor denying.

*politricks


Yes sg you have it exactly right. I am an Orthodox Christian, I believe in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Nothing will make me budge. I really wonder why those who deny the importance of the dogmatic definition of Chalcedon don't just join the non-Chalcedonians, since as far as I can tell, their denial of the salvific efficacy of the Chalcedonian dogma reflects the OO teachings much more than the EO teachings.
That's just what the opponents of the Fifth Ecumenical Council said.
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« Reply #229 on: December 08, 2009, 05:10:43 PM »

Isa - You're on a roll! Cheesy
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« Reply #230 on: December 08, 2009, 05:40:07 PM »

I'll say it one more time: I am not going to debate whether the EO and OO have different teachings. I am adamant they do.

This is a fundamental presupposition for you, but it has not been proven to others (in fact, it is squarely in the center of the debate now).  As long as the point goes unproven (i.e. until you provide evidence supporting this point), I fear no one can engage in a conversation that uses this point as a presupposition.

Fr George, it's proven by the fact that the OO do not accept the definition of Chalcedon, that I copied and pasted in an earlier post.

The Vatican states that acceptance of Chalcedon means acceptance of its Ultramontanist claims (...Peter has spoken through Leo..., the appeal to Rome by St. Flavian...."Robber Council"...etc.).  I guess your acceptance of the definition of Chalcedon proves you accept the "fact" of Pastor Aetnernus.

Quote
The dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils are binding on the Orthodox, which I would have thought you knew already, being a priest.
Being Orthodox, he/we reject the Vatican's claims.

Quote
Therefore we Orthodox believe in the definition of Chalcedon,

...of the primacy of the Pope of Rome, as the Vatican interpretes it...

Quote
while the OO do not.

...believe in the supremacy of the Pope of Rome...

Quote
Hence we do not share the same doctrine.

Right.  You are on the side with the Vatican, and we Orthodox are on the other side of the Tiber.

Quote
Therefore recognition of OO mysteries is an example of ecumenist teaching,

And prima facie recognition of Rome primacy is an example of Ultramontanist teaching.

Quote
which as we know is the teaching that the dogmas of the Orthodox Church are not necessary for salvation and cannot be used to determine who is in the Church and who is outside the Church.

As Ultramontanism holds that submission to the Vatican is necessary for salvation and one in rebellion to the Apostolic See through which St. Peter speaks ex cathedra is outside the Church.
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« Reply #231 on: December 08, 2009, 05:48:19 PM »

Jonathan Gress.

My friend, it seems no one can show you that the OO are not (for the majority) Monophysite.

Yet you will not ask, look or discover for yourself one way or the other.  Huh

I would be very happy to learn that the OO are not Monophysites. Let me know when they accept Chalcedon Wink

We know that Miaphysites weren't Monophysites at Chalcedon. We know that Pope Leo and his legatees there were Ultramontanists.  I would be very happy to learn that you accept the Orthodox view of the matter.
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« Reply #232 on: December 08, 2009, 05:51:31 PM »

Thank you, moderator. Please please please can we talk about the anathemas of 1054 or something?

How about your Ultramontanist leanings in accepting the Definition of Chalcedon?
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« Reply #233 on: December 08, 2009, 08:00:09 PM »

Thank you, moderator. Please please please can we talk about the anathemas of 1054 or something?

Having reviewed this thread further, I have come to recognize that many have really been asking you to defend your heretofore unproven premise that acceptance of the formal dogmatic proclamations of the ecumenical councils, as opposed to the substance of the Christological belief expressed therein, is required for membership in the Orthodox Church.  This is actually much different from any question regarding the essence of your belief that the OO are heretics.  Seeing how the real question posed to you on this thread ties in perfectly with the larger discussion on ecumenism, I am prepared to allow others to hammer you with this question without telling them to stop or offering to move the discussion to another thread.  Even though I'm using moderator type to communicate this to you, I am not requiring you to answer this question if you don't want to.  I am just going to allow others to ask you this question on this thread.

So, taking my moderator hat off, I'm going to ask you as a mere poster:  Why must we make acceptance of the text of the dogmatic proclamation of Chalcedon the litmus test for Orthodoxy vs. heresy, as opposed to any evidence that the OO hold to the foundational Christology of Chalcedon despite their rejection of the Chalcedonian articulation of this Christology?  Think of this as a question of the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law.
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« Reply #234 on: December 08, 2009, 08:47:58 PM »

Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?

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« Reply #235 on: December 08, 2009, 09:59:17 PM »

Look somehow two debates have become tangled together here:

Are the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches ecumenists?

Are the non-Chalcedonians Orthodox?

The reason why we have been having the first debate is because both sides of the debate, or so I thought, believe ecumenism to be a heresy. If ecumenism were not a heresy, obviously it wouldn't matter whether or not one's hierarchs were ecumenists. If ecumenism is a heresy, then of course it matters whether or not one's hierarchs are preaching ecumenism.

Obviously we need a definition of ecumenism. I would think that the definition given in ROCA's anathema of 1983 should be taken as the basis for discussion:

"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"

We might paraphrase this as saying that ecumenism consists in the teaching that difference in doctrine does not constitute separation from the Church.

Now we need a definition of 'doctrine'. Doctrine is of course not merely that contained in the words of the Bible or the Councils, but the _consensus Patrum_. Ultimately it is not limited to any one text, but is the universal Truth as communicated through the words of the Fathers. The Councils themselves receive their authority from the Church, as does the Bible. However, when the Church determines that a certain dogmatic definition is true, such as concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone, or the two natures and wills of Christ, then She does not take this back at a later date, because the dogmatic definitions express eternal truths and the Church has decided that this is the only way to express the Truth. Since it is the words of the Fathers that give us our doctrine, the precise wording of dogmatic formulas is a crucial matter.

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.

It's easy to see how modernism leads to ecumenism. Redefining doctrine to exclude the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils leads to the teaching that the non-Chalcedonians or the Latins, who do not share our dogmas, have the same doctrine. Under the traditional Orthodox definition of doctrine, that is ecumenism and a heresy. Under a modernist definition of doctrine, of course you can claim that it isn't ecumenism to claim that the non-Chalcedonians share our doctrine, because you have conveniently redefined doctrine in such a way that there is no longer a difference. The question now is: how far can you redefine doctrine? If we today can arrogate to ourselves the authority to supersede the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils, where are the bounds on our authority? Obviously not the tradition of the Church, since we are able to redefine even Tradition as we please.

I suggest splitting this debate into two. In one thread, I can talk to those traditionally minded Orthodox who need to be convinced that their hierarchs are truly guilty of preaching ecumenism. In the other thread, I can debate with those who hold modernist views on Church doctrine and accept the arguments of ecumenists that those who have been excluded from Orthodoxy through their doctrinal errors may nevertheless be considered part of the Church.
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« Reply #236 on: December 08, 2009, 09:59:45 PM »

Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?


I don't know.  I suppose that's a good question for Jonathan to answer, since he's the one advancing his claim here on this thread.  Otherwise, I really don't see your question being the topic of discussion here. Wink
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« Reply #237 on: December 08, 2009, 10:05:21 PM »

Jonathan, can you answer this question for me.  The following quote, does it in your opinion agree with the doctrines of Chalcedon?

Jonathan,

What do you think of this confession:

Quote
No man shall say that the holy flesh, which our Lord took from the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, in a manner which He Himself knows, was different to and foreign from our body. And, indeed, since this is so, they who affirm that Christ did not become incarnate for us, give the lie to Paul. For he has said, 'Not from angels did He take (the nature), but from the seed of the House of Abraham'; to which seed Mary was no stranger, as the Scriptures teach us. And again,' It was right that in everything He should be made like unto His brethren,' and that word 'in everything' does not suffer the subtraction of any part of our nature: since in nerves, and hair, and bones, and veins, and belly, and heart, and kidneys, and liver, and lungs, and, in short, in all those things that belong to our nature, the flesh which was born from Mary was compacted with the soul of our Redeemer, that reasonable and intelligent soul, without the seed of man, and the gratification and cohabitation of sleep....For if, as the heretics think, this was not so, how is He named 'our brother,' supposing that He used a body different from ours ? And how, again, is that true which He said to His Father, 'I will declare Thy name to my brethren?' Let us not reject, neither let us despise, those who think in this way. For He was like us, for us, and with us, not in phantasy, nor in mere semblance, according to the heresy of the Manichaeans, but rather in actual reality from Mary, the Theotokos. To comfort the desolate and to repair the vessel that had been broken, He came to us new. And as Emmanuel, indeed, He is confessed; for He became poor for us, according to the saying of Paul, 'that we, by His humiliation, might be made rich.' He became, by the dispensation, like us; that we, by His tender mercy, might be like Him. He became man, and yet He did not destroy that which is His nature, that He is Son of God; that we, by grace, might become the sons of God. This I think and believe; and, if any man does not think thus, he is a stranger to the faith of the apostles.
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« Reply #238 on: December 08, 2009, 10:07:35 PM »

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". Roll Eyes  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".
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« Reply #239 on: December 08, 2009, 10:27:30 PM »


Obviously we need a definition of ecumenism. I would think that the definition given in ROCA's anathema of 1983 should be taken as the basis for discussion:

"Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church .... does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations,..."

This is the central point of Old Calendarist Ecumenism and it does indeed constitute an attack on the Church of Christ.   The 1983 Anathema formulated by ROCA encompasses Old Calendarists.

This is cogently pointed out in both the 1983 statement condemning Old Calendarist Ecumenism issued by the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece and by the 2000 AD article coming from the Holy Mountain

Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm


"Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance"
http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238

If you have not taken time to acquaint yourself with these articles, I would recommend them, and especially the latter.

We can appreciate that a photo of Pat Bartholomew kissing the Pope of Rome has a dramatic visual effect but it is superficial and does not touch on ecclesiology.   On the other hand, the invisible ecumenism of the Old Calendarists is more subtle and more destructive of Orthodox ecclesiology.  And we could say that it is in its own way "modernist" since it is a type of ecclesiology which has never been known in the Church before.

Read the articles and you will apprehend the ecumenical errors found in Old Calendarist thinking on the Church.

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« Reply #240 on: December 08, 2009, 11:02:19 PM »

Having cruised onto a Catholic forum, some of the Orthodox posters there are also insistent that the Church has to be faithful to what was taught at the seven ecumenical Councils. Thus, the Orthodox church is the "true church" because it was faithful to what was taught at those councils and did not depart from it. Similarly, those who deviated from that could no longer be part of the church. This seems to be the message that is always presented to Catholics - they must not depart from what was taught nor should they add to it. There were councils after Chalcedon - including the fifth (which confirmed the orthodoxy of the St. Cyril's theopaschite formula). I guess the question to ask is this, is there another court of last resort other than the Councils as the basis for unity of faith?


No.
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« Reply #241 on: December 09, 2009, 12:42:34 AM »

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". Roll Eyes  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that. If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too. But if you wish to dispute the dogmas, know that I already consider you an ecumenist, and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.

I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.

Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians? Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?
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« Reply #242 on: December 09, 2009, 01:11:49 AM »

All I'm asking for Jonathan is a simple yes or no question, and you're not answering that  Wink

I guess you don't believe Christ has a real body then, right?  By not answering, I assume you're saying no, just as you assumed of me?
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« Reply #243 on: December 09, 2009, 01:27:33 AM »

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". Roll Eyes  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that. If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too. But if you wish to dispute the dogmas, know that I already consider you an ecumenist, and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.
1.  Please don't attribute to me any desires that I have not expressed.  I asked YOU a question to challenge YOU to examine why YOU think the way YOU do.  It has nothing to do with the dogmas themselves.
2.  Please stop with the ad hominems and simply answer the question I and so many others here have asked of you.  If you don't want to, just say so, but stop with the ad hominems.
3.  Please don't put words in my mouth by accusing me of supporting what the "ecumenist" hierarchs are doing, since I never admitted to any such thing.

I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.
You keep on saying that it's necessary for us to hold to the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils as if this is some self-evident conclusion that needs no proof.  You also keep on accusing those who disagree with you of being modernist, ecumenist heretics.  Yet you continue to stubbornly refuse to explain WHY it's so necessary to adhere to the letter of these dogmas, despite our continued questioning.  As self-evident as you think your conclusion is, it is not self-evident to us.  You therefore need to prove to us why your conclusion is the only one possible for Orthodox Christians, and without dismissing us as heretics for questioning you.

Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians? Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?
Irrelevant, for I never argued that the wording of one articulation of dogma is any better than another at representing the spirit of the dogma--you're putting words in my mouth, and you need to stop.  Again, Jonathan Gress, this isn't an argument over dogma.  This is an argument with YOU about YOU.
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« Reply #244 on: December 09, 2009, 10:01:01 AM »

I was under the impression that so-called conservative New Calendarists, the kind with whom I thought I was debating in this forum, accept this understanding of doctrine, so that I wouldn't need to debate with them the question of whether or not we had to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. I took it as a given that the Church has declared these definitions to express immutable truths and that it is not permitted to deviate from them. The debate was supposed to focus on whether hierarchs of the official Churches have in fact been teaching ecumenism, under the definition of ecumenism given by ROCA in their anathema. The conservative New Calendarist argument that I'm familiar with has been that the hierarchs have not been preaching ecumenism, and I have been trying to present the Old Calendarist argument that in fact the official hierarchs have been preaching it and that therefore Orthodox Christians are obligated to sever communion with the bishops preaching heresy.

Instead, what I have been faced with is an argument that the dogmatic definitions of the Church do not necessarily express the true doctrine of the Church, and that if necessary they may be disregarded. To me, this is a modernist argument, not an argument of someone with an Orthodox mindset. Once the Church has determined that the dogmas of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, or any other Council, are true and saving, who are we to object to that? I didn't feel I had to debate with modernist theology in this thread.
Nice dodge, Jonathan.  Turn the big question around by labeling those who ask it "modernists". Roll Eyes  Why don't you just answer the question and tell us why we should adhere to the letter of the law at the expense of failing to see the law's spirit?  You don't have to discredit the question and those who ask it by attaching to it the ad hominem label "modernist".

You need to read what I said at the end. If you want to debate the dogmas of the Church, we can do that.

No one is debating the dogmas of the Church.  Except perhaps you.

Quote
If you want to debate whether or not the hierarchs of the official Orthodox churches are ecumenists, we can debate that, too.

Encyclical of 1983 Against "Old Calendarist Ecumenism"
http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/1983Encyclical_against_OldCalendarEcumenism.htm

Quote
But if you wish to dispute the dogmas,

No one is disputing the dogmas.  Except perhaps you.

Quote
know that I already consider you an ecumenist,

Rome speaks again.  Was that ex cathedra?

Quote
and therefore I consider debating with you over the second question pointless, since you clearly fully support what the ecumenist hierarchs are doing anyway.

Due to your obfuscation, I don't think we have gotten to the point of discussing what the Orthodox hierarchs are doing.

Quote
I do believe that it is "modernist" to deny the necessity of holding to the dogmas of those Councils accepted by the Church as Ecumenical. I don't know what else to call it; I certainly don't think it's Orthodox.

Again, no one has denied the necessity of holding ot the dogmas of the Ecumeical Councils.

Quote
Do you all believe the spirit of the law is better expressed by the teachings of the Armenians?

Armenians are a nation. The OO are a Church.

No one said (except the OO) that the OO wording better express the teaching of the Church.  At least they don't parrot, though.

Quote
Why don't you go to them for salvation, then?

You are the one inviting us down your rat hole.

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« Reply #245 on: December 09, 2009, 08:43:13 PM »

PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils? Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy? If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.
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« Reply #246 on: December 09, 2009, 08:51:01 PM »

PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.

Why would you want to discuss the one point that isn't under debate?

What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.

If you're referring to the OO, then none of them have "abandoned Orthodoxy" - from our perspective, they were born outside of it, and from their perspective we were born outside of it.  Either way, the current EO and OO have not "left" each other - their ancestors did nearly 1,600 years ago! If you're referring to EO "World Orthodox," then that's a different story.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils?

No one in this thread is debating it.

Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy? If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.

Ah, judge and jury you are.  If I had known so, I would have called you "Your Honor."  Or at least "Your Grace."
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« Reply #247 on: December 09, 2009, 10:35:50 PM »

PtA, I said I will discuss why an Orthodox Christian must hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils. What I said is that I consider anyone who does not believe in the dogmatic definitions not to be Orthodox, so I don't see the point in trying to prove to them that their hierarchs have abandoned Orthodoxy, since they have abandoned Orthodoxy themselves.
No one is arguing that an Orthodox Christian is free to not hold to the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.

So, make your choice. Do you want to discuss whether or not it's necessary to believe in the dogmatic definitions of the Councils?
I now accept and have always accepted the dogmatic definitions of the Ecumenical Councils.  I just don't consider myself so slavishly devoted to the letter of these dogmatic definitions that I fail to recognize the spirit of the faith they were articulated to defend.

Or do you want to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy?
I'm not here to discuss whether the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy.

If you want to discuss the latter, you have to convince me you accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church, since the discussion will proceed on that assumption.
I'm here to challenge your assumption that acceptance of the dogmatic definitions of the Church means slavish adherence to their very letter.  As long as you make this definition of "acceptance of the dogmatic definitions of the Church" your operating premise, then I'm afraid you either need to defend this definition or have your arguments that the official Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy be seen as coming from the foundation of dead legalism.


A house (i.e., your argument that the World Orthodox churches have abandoned Orthodoxy) built on a foundation of sand (i.e., your legalistic definition of what it means to accept the dogmatic definitions of the Church) will fall.
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« Reply #248 on: December 09, 2009, 11:28:01 PM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:

Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two. For the compound nature cannot be of the same essence as either of the natures out of which it is compounded, as made one thing out of others: for example, the body is composed of the four elements, but is not of the same essence as fire or air, or water or earth, nor does it keep these names. If, therefore, after the union, Christ’s nature was, as the heretics hold, a compound unity, He had changed from a simple into a compound nature, and is not of the same essence as the Father Whose nature is simple, nor as the mother, who is not a compound of divinity and humanity. Nor will He then be in divinity and humanity: nor will He be called either God or Man, but simply Christ: and the word Christ will be the name not of the subsistence, but of what in their view is the one nature.

We, however, do not give it as our view that Christ’s nature is compound, nor yet that He is one thing made of other things and differing from them as man is made of soul and body, or as the body is made of the four elements, but hold that, though He is constituted of these different parts He is yet the same. For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists of two natures, and exists in two natures. Further, by the word “Christ” we understand the name of the subsistence, not in the sense of one kind, but as signifying the existence of two natures. For in His own person He anointed Himself; as God anointing His body with His own divinity, and as Man being anointed. For He is Himself both God and Man. And the anointing is the divinity of His humanity. For if Christ, being of one compound nature, is of like essence to the Father, then the Father also must be compound and of like essence with the flesh, which is absurd and extremely blasphemous.

How, indeed, could one and the same nature come to embrace opposing and essential differences? For how is it possible that the same nature should be at once created and uncreated, mortal and immortal, circumscribed and uncircumscribed?

But if those who declare that Christ has only one nature should say also that that nature is a simple one, they must admit either that He is God pure and simple, and thus reduce the incarnation to a mere pretence, or that He is only man, according to Nestorius. And how then about His being “perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity”? And when can Christ be said to be of two natures, if they hold that He is of one composite nature after the union? For it is surely clear to every one that before the union Christ’s nature was one.

But this is what leads the heretics, that they look upon nature and subsistence as the same thing. For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.

But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”

Moreover, the Word appropriates to Himself the attributes of humanity: for all that pertains to His holy flesh is His: and He imparts to the flesh His own attributes by way of communication in virtue of the interpenetration of the parts one with another, and the oneness according to subsistence, and inasmuch as He Who lived and acted both as God and as man, taking to Himself either form and holding intercourse with the other form, was one and the same. Hence it is that the Lord of Glory is said to have been crucified, although His divine nature never endured the Cross, and that the Son of Man is allowed to have been in heaven before the Passion, as the Lord Himself said. For the Lord of Glory is one and the same with Him Who is in nature and in truth the Son of Man, that is, Who became man, and both His wonders and His sufferings are known to us, although His wonders were worked in His divine capacity, and His sufferings endured as man. For we know that, just as is His one subsistence, so is the essential difference of the nature preserved. For how could difference be preserved if the very things that differ from one another are not preserved? For difference is the difference between things that differ. In so far as Christ’s natures differ from one another, that is, in the matter of essence, we hold that Christ unites in Himself two extremes: in respect of His divinity He is connected with the Father and the Spirit, while in respect of His humanity He is connected with His mother and all mankind. And in so far as His natures are united, we hold that He differs from the Father and the Spirit on the one hand, and from the mother and the rest of mankind on the other. For the natures are united in His subsistence, having one compound subsistence, in which He differs from the Father and the Spirit, and also from the mother and us.
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« Reply #249 on: December 09, 2009, 11:40:35 PM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. I don't know if you accept this authority either, but I'm trying my best here:

Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two.

The intriguing question before us is HOW did the Roman Catholic Church come to accept that the Myaphysite position (Christ is human and divine in one nature) as the equivalent of the Dyophysite position (Christ has two natures, human and divine)?

I am not so mean to the Catholics as to believe that they sold out on Chalcedon in recent years.

Could somebody from the OO Churches or from the Catholic Church please explain how these two beliefs were reconciled to the satisfaction of the dyophysite Catholics?

This is THE major question in  the ecumenical dialogue between the Orientals and the Catholics.

And it's a major question for the Orthodox who hold the same Chalcedonian Christology as the Roman Catholics.


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« Reply #250 on: December 09, 2009, 11:45:49 PM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. I don't know if you accept this authority either, but I'm trying my best here:

We accept his authority, we just don't accept yours.

Btw, have you told us who your bishops are?

Quote
Chapter III.—Concerning Christ’s two natures, in opposition to those who hold that He has only one

For the two natures were united with each other without change or alteration, neither the divine nature departing from its native simplicity, nor yet the human being either changed into the nature of God or reduced to non-existence, nor one compound nature being produced out of the two. For the compound nature cannot be of the same essence as either of the natures out of which it is compounded, as made one thing out of others: for example, the body is composed of the four elements, but is not of the same essence as fire or air, or water or earth, nor does it keep these names. If, therefore, after the union, Christ’s nature was, as the heretics hold, a compound unity, He had changed from a simple into a compound nature, and is not of the same essence as the Father Whose nature is simple, nor as the mother, who is not a compound of divinity and humanity. Nor will He then be in divinity and humanity: nor will He be called either God or Man, but simply Christ: and the word Christ will be the name not of the subsistence, but of what in their view is the one nature.

We, however, do not give it as our view that Christ’s nature is compound, nor yet that He is one thing made of other things and differing from them as man is made of soul and body, or as the body is made of the four elements, but hold that, though He is constituted of these different parts He is yet the same. For we confess that He alike in His divinity and in His humanity both is and is said to be perfect God, the same Being, and that He consists of two natures, and exists in two natures. Further, by the word “Christ” we understand the name of the subsistence, not in the sense of one kind, but as signifying the existence of two natures. For in His own person He anointed Himself; as God anointing His body with His own divinity, and as Man being anointed. For He is Himself both God and Man. And the anointing is the divinity of His humanity. For if Christ, being of one compound nature, is of like essence to the Father, then the Father also must be compound and of like essence with the flesh, which is absurd and extremely blasphemous.

How, indeed, could one and the same nature come to embrace opposing and essential differences? For how is it possible that the same nature should be at once created and uncreated, mortal and immortal, circumscribed and uncircumscribed?

But if those who declare that Christ has only one nature should say also that that nature is a simple one, they must admit either that He is God pure and simple, and thus reduce the incarnation to a mere pretence, or that He is only man, according to Nestorius. And how then about His being “perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity”? And when can Christ be said to be of two natures, if they hold that He is of one composite nature after the union? For it is surely clear to every one that before the union Christ’s nature was one.

But this is what leads the heretics, that they look upon nature and subsistence as the same thing. For when we speak of the nature of men as one, observe that in saying this we are not looking to the question of soul and body. For when we compare together the soul and the body it cannot be said that they are of one nature. But since there are very many subsistences of men, and yet all have the same kind of nature: for all are composed of soul and body, and all have part in the nature of the soul, and possess the essence of the body, and the common form: we speak of the one nature of these very many and different subsistences; while each subsistence, to wit, has two natures, and fulfils itself in two natures, namely, soul and body.

But a common form cannot be admitted in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. For neither was there ever, nor is there, nor will there ever be another Christ constituted of deity and humanity, and existing in deity and humanity at once perfect God and perfect man. And thus in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ we cannot speak of one nature made up of divinity and humanity, as we do in the case of the individual made up of soul and body. For in the latter case we have to do with an individual, but Christ is not an individual. For there is no predicable form of Christlihood, so to speak, that He possesses. And therefore we hold that there has been a union of two perfect natures, one divine and one human; not with disorder or confusion, or intermixture, or commingling, as is said by the God-accursed Dioscorus and by Eutyches and Severus, and all that impious company: and not in a personal or relative manner, or as a matter of dignity or agreement in will, or equality in honour, or identity in name, or good pleasure, as Nestorius, hated of God, said, and Diodorus and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, and their diabolical tribe: but by synthesis; that is, in subsistence, without change or confusion or alteration or difference or separation, and we confess that in two perfect natures there is but one subsistence of the Son of God incarnate; holding that there is one and the same subsistence belonging to His divinity and His humanity, and granting that the two natures are preserved in Him after the union, but we do not hold that each is separate and by itself, but that they are united to each other in one compound subsistence. For we look upon the union as essential, that is, as true and not imaginary. We say that it is essential, moreover, not in the sense of two natures resulting in one compound nature, but in the sense of a true union of them in one compound subsistence of the Son of God, and we hold that their essential difference is preserved. For the created remaineth created, and the uncreated, uncreated: the mortal remaineth mortal; the immortal, immortal: the circumscribed, circumscribed: the uncircumscribed, uncircumscribed: the visible, visible: the invisible, invisible. “The one part is all glorious with wonders: while the other is the victim of insults.”

Moreover, the Word appropriates to Himself the attributes of humanity: for all that pertains to His holy flesh is His: and He imparts to the flesh His own attributes by way of communication in virtue of the interpenetration of the parts one with another, and the oneness according to subsistence, and inasmuch as He Who lived and acted both as God and as man, taking to Himself either form and holding intercourse with the other form, was one and the same. Hence it is that the Lord of Glory is said to have been crucified, although His divine nature never endured the Cross, and that the Son of Man is allowed to have been in heaven before the Passion, as the Lord Himself said. For the Lord of Glory is one and the same with Him Who is in nature and in truth the Son of Man, that is, Who became man, and both His wonders and His sufferings are known to us, although His wonders were worked in His divine capacity, and His sufferings endured as man. For we know that, just as is His one subsistence, so is the essential difference of the nature preserved. For how could difference be preserved if the very things that differ from one another are not preserved? For difference is the difference between things that differ. In so far as Christ’s natures differ from one another, that is, in the matter of essence, we hold that Christ unites in Himself two extremes: in respect of His divinity He is connected with the Father and the Spirit, while in respect of His humanity He is connected with His mother and all mankind. And in so far as His natures are united, we hold that He differs from the Father and the Spirit on the one hand, and from the mother and the rest of mankind on the other. For the natures are united in His subsistence, having one compound subsistence, in which He differs from the Father and the Spirit, and also from the mother and us.

μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη
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« Reply #251 on: December 10, 2009, 12:03:20 AM »

The intriguing question before us is HOW did the Roman Catholic Church come to accept that the Myaphysite position (Christ is human and divine in one nature) as the equivalent of the Dyophysite position (Christ has two natures, human and divine)?


It could be because the Roman Catholics venerate St. Cyril, even though he taught one nature:

"We say that there is one Son, and that he has one nature even when he is considered as having assumed flesh endowed with a rational soul."

"My friend, if anyone says that when we speak of the single nature of God the Word incarnate and made man we imply that a confusion or mixture has occured, then they are talking utter rubbish."


http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21068.msg316866.html#msg316866

I don't know.  I wasn't there when the Catholics signed all the agreements.  I'm just assuming that might have been one of the things going through their minds at the time.

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« Reply #252 on: December 10, 2009, 12:13:59 AM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?
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« Reply #253 on: December 10, 2009, 12:27:25 AM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally, and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally. Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.
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« Reply #254 on: December 10, 2009, 12:29:35 AM »

There's a description here:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Theology/CHANEAST.HTM

Quote
At the level of faith, Christological Declarations were signed by Pope Paul VI and John Paul II with almost all the Patriarchs and Leaders of the Ancient Churches of the East. Such Christological agreements have represented the most decisive step in the development of ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the aforementioned Eastern Churches which, at the time of the Council of Chalcedon (451), did not receive certain doctrinal formulas of the Council.

Despite certain differences in terminology that had caused misunderstandings and even deep-seated doctrinal disagreements, the qualified Authorities of the Catholic Church and the Churches known as Pre-Chalcedonian were able to declare their full communion in faith in Jesus Christ, who is perfect in his divinity and in his humanity.

The above-mentioned Christological agreements have put an end, if not to all the contentious theological disputes between the Catholic Church and the Ancient Churches of the East, at least to those with the most fundamental, doctrinal difficulty: "so much so that we have been able to profess together the faith which we have in common", as Pope John Paul II was able to affirm.3

These very Christological agreements form a secure and firm basis for every rapprochement on the other two levels of the dialogue, namely, those of the sacraments and the constitution of the Church.

The meeting at Cairo acknowledged some improvements in the content and form that could be brought to such Christological agreements, so that with even greater clarity and authority they may express the common faith of the Catholic Church and of all the Ancient Churches of the East. Such a supplementary task was not given the highest priority with respect to the numerous issues to be examined in other areas, especially those of the sacraments and of ecclesiology.

I don't know what was exactly signed at Cairo in January 2003, but this touches on the above issue. It seems like a "work in process."
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« Reply #255 on: December 10, 2009, 12:34:27 AM »

I believe there's a new wave of Catholic theologians that seem to be quite open now for taking the spirit of the Law very seriously, and in such extremes as to look upon other Apostolic churches perhaps with a sort of open arms approach, and try to establish perhaps a true Papal Catholicity, instead of keeping it Latin all these centuries.  Despite what has been condemned in the past, Papal authority seems to now allow one to believe in two natures, of two natures, two natures, one nature, or two persons in one honor, so long as they seem to interpret it the Pope's way.  Many today have been arguing that Nestorius and Theodore of Mopsuestia really didn't believe in two persons the way we see it.  However, there is no consensus on this, and after reading Fr. John Romanides' article on revisiting Theodore of Mopsuestia and not finding anyone challenging his conclusions, I continue to find it valid enough to find Nestorians still believing two Christs essentially.  I'm amazed to hear from people like Marduk as well that the Coptic Catholic Church still holds post-Chalcedonian anti-Chalcedonian fathers as saints.

But that is what we as Copts also want to know.  How did the Catholic Church reconcile themselves both to our beliefs and to the Assyrian church's beliefs?  Many Coptic bishops have sparked old polemical flames and called it something along the lines of "Leo has reincarnated and taken Theodoret and Ibas back into his fold," and consider the agreement with the Catholics to be null and void.  So there's an issue these days.

God bless.
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« Reply #256 on: December 10, 2009, 12:37:26 AM »

μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη

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« Reply #257 on: December 10, 2009, 12:40:04 AM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally, and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally. Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.

From the Council of Constantinople 553:

Quote
If anyone confesses a belief that a union has been made out of the two natures divinity and humanity, or speaks about the one nature of God the Word made flesh, but does not understand these things according to what the fathers have taught, namely that from the divine and human natures a union was made according to subsistence, and that one Christ was formed, and from these expressions tries to introduce one nature or substance made of the deity and human flesh of Christ: let him be anathema. In saying that it was in respect of subsistence that the only-begotten God the Word was united, we are not alleging that there was a confusion made of each of the natures into one another, but rather that each of the two remained what it was, and in this way we understand that the Word was united to human flesh. So there is only one Christ, God and man, the same being consubstantial with the Father in respect of his divinity, and also consubstantial with us in respect of our humanity. Both those who divide or split up the mystery of the divine dispensation of Christ and those who introduce into that mystery some confusion are equally rejected and anathematized by the church of God.

I want you to note here, that your own ecumenical council has allowed that those who want to keep the expression of "one nature" without changing humanity and divinity and inventing one new nature where there's no consubstantiality with Christ, either in his divine or human side.  So, your ecumenical council has made a distinction here between saying "One nature" and "inventing a new nature."

So, it seems, the Eastern Orthodox here who are talking about not taking the letter of the Law is basing their beliefs on the ecumenical councils, something you contradict Jonathan.  Perhaps, you're a Chalcedonian anti-Constantinopolitan, which did occur, with the North African Chalcedonian churches at the time, and Pope Vigilius at one point, who had to get beaten up just to agree.

By the way, you still haven't answered my question.
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« Reply #258 on: December 10, 2009, 12:43:22 AM »

OK... I dug up some more stuff on RCC/OO ecumenism. I don't know if it will answer minasoliman's query but I hope it helps. There's also a bit more with the Assyrians.

Big Ecumenical Link

Quote
In 1973, Pope Paul VI took the next step in this direction by formulating a new, extensive Christological statement along with the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The “Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III” states:

Quote
In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance, who for us was incarnate, assuming for Himself a real body with a rational soul, and who shared with us our humanity but without sin. We confess that our Lord and God and Saviour and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.44

Here we have agreement upon an expression that is “along the lines of” Chalcedon. The essence of Chalcedon, including some of the language, has been retained without requiring all of the language. Divinity and humanity are both preserved without using “in two natures” or “from two natures” or any other statement that one or the other party would consider objectionable. In fact, the problematic word “nature” is nowhere used. In place of this is simpler language that avoids the historical confusion—“humanity” instead of “human nature” and “divinity” instead of “divine nature.” Moreover, Pope Paul VI respected the heritage of the Coptic tradition by agreeing to language that takes great pains to emphasize the unity of Christ, including the metaphor that, in Christ, divinity and humanity did not separate even “for the twinkling of an eye.” It is worth noting that elsewhere the declaration also affirms the use of θεοτόκος for Mary.
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« Reply #259 on: December 10, 2009, 12:44:03 AM »

Here's something else that might be of interest. St John speaks directly about St Cyril's formulation:

 Chapter XI.—Concerning the Nature as viewed in Species and in Individual, and concerning the difference between Union and Incarnation: and how this is to be understood, “The one Nature of God the Word Incarnate.”

Nature is regarded either abstractly as a matter of pure thought (for it has no independent existence): or commonly in all subsistences of the same species as their bond of union, and is then spoken of as nature viewed in species: or universally as the same, but with the addition of accidents, in one subsistence, and is spoken of as nature viewed in the individual, this being identical with nature viewed in species. God the Word Incarnate, therefore, did not assume the nature that is regarded as an abstraction in pure thought (for this is not incarnation, but only an imposture and a figment of incarnation), nor the nature viewed in species (for He did not assume all the subsistences): but the nature viewed in the individual, which is identical with that viewed in species. For He took on Himself the elements of our compound nature, and these not as having an independent existence or as being originally an individual, and in this way assumed by Him, but as existing in His own subsistence. For the subsistence of God the Word in itself became the subsistence of the flesh, and accordingly “the Word became flesh” clearly without any change, and likewise the flesh became Word without alteration, and God became man. For the Word is God, and man is God, through having one and the same subsistence. And so it is possible to speak of the same thing as being the nature of the Word and the nature in the individual. For it signifies strictly and exclusively neither the individual, that is, the subsistence, nor the common nature of the subsistences, but the common nature as viewed and presented in one of the subsistences.

Union, then, is one thing, and incarnation is something quite different. For union signifies only the conjunction, but not at all that with which union is effected. But incarnation (which is just the same as if one said “the putting on of man’s nature”) signifies that the conjunction is with flesh, that is to say, with man, just as the heating of iron implies its union with fire. Indeed, the blessed Cyril himself, when he is interpreting the phrase, “one nature of God the Word Incarnate,” says in the second epistle to Sucensus, “For if we simply said ‘the one nature of the Word’ and then were silent, and did not add the word ‘incarnate,’ but, so to speak, quite excluded the dispensation, there would be some plausibility in the question they feign to ask, ‘If one nature is the whole, what becomes of the perfection in humanity, or how has the essence like us come to exist?’ But inasmuch as the perfection in humanity and the disclosure of the essence like us are conveyed in the word ‘incarnate,’ they must cease from relying on a mere straw.” Here, then, he placed the nature of the Word over nature itself. For if He had received nature instead of subsistence, it would not have been absurd to have omitted the “incarnate.” For when we say simply one subsistence of God the Word, we do not err. In like manner, also, Leontius the Byzantine considered this phrase to refer to nature, and not to subsistence. But in the Defence which he wrote in reply to the attacks that Theodoret made on the second anathema, the blessed Cyril says this: “The nature of the Word, that is, the subsistence, which is the Word itself.” So that “the nature of the Word” means neither the subsistence alone, nor “the common nature of the subsistence,” but “the common nature viewed as a whole in the subsistence of the Word.”

It has been said, then, that the nature of the Word became flesh, that is, was united to flesh: but that the nature of the Word suffered in the flesh we have never heard up till now, though we have been taught that Christ suffered in the flesh. So that “the nature of the Word” does not mean “the subsistence.” It remains, therefore, to say that to become flesh is to be united with the flesh, while the Word having become flesh means that the very subsistence of the Word became without change the subsistence of the flesh. It has also been said that God became man, and man God. For the Word which is God became without alteration man. But that the Godhead became man, or became flesh, or put on the nature of man, this we have never heard. This, indeed, we have learned, that the Godhead was united to humanity in one of its subsistences, and it has been stated that God took on a different form or essence, to wit our own. For the name God is applicable to each of the subsistences, but we cannot use the term Godhead in reference to subsistence. For we are never told that the Godhead is the Father alone, or the Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone. For “Godhead” implies “nature,” while “Father” implies subsistence, just as “Humanity” implies nature, and “Peter” subsistence. But “God” indicates the common element of the nature, and is applicable derivatively to each of the subsistences, just as “man” is. For He Who has divine nature is God, and he who has human nature is man.

Besides all this, notice that the Father and the Holy Spirit take no part at all in the incarnation of the Word except in connection with the miracles, and in respect of good will and purpose.
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« Reply #260 on: December 10, 2009, 12:46:22 AM »

From St John Damascene's Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. This is meant to show that the evidence that an Orthodox Christian must believe in two natures, not one, is not just found in the Fourth Ecumenical Synod:
So what's your point?  That you don't want to answer the question put before you?

Well, my point is you should take the words of Chalcedon literally, that is, the words 'two natures', because St John took them literally,
And St. John of Damascus is an infallible authority on how to understand Chalcedonian dogma properly?  I don't think so.

As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?

and if you like I will find and quote as many Fathers as I can who take the words literally.
Spare me. Roll Eyes  I've already argued with someone else that a list of all those Fathers who support your case does not make an authoritative consensus.

Find me a Father after Chalcedon who did not take them literally, but taught that it was permissible to speak of one nature of Christ.
You still miss the point that the words are merely an attempt to express a Christology that is essentially inexpressible.  So why do you hold so stubbornly to such a literalist interpretation of dogma that you fail to see its spirit?  Isn't this what we accuse fundamentalists of doing?
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« Reply #261 on: December 10, 2009, 12:54:04 AM »

PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words. Therefore, if the OO don't accept the words of the Ecumenical Synods, I don't consider them Orthodox.

If you don't trust St John of Damascus, who do you trust? Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
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« Reply #262 on: December 10, 2009, 12:56:50 AM »

PtA, I don't presume to know what the 'spirit' behind the Chalcedonian dogma is. As you say yourself, the Truth in its fullness is ineffable. Therefore, what hope have I to know the Truth? By holding unswervingly to the dogmas in the precise wording the Fathers have bequeathed me, since the Holy Spirit has deemed it right to express the Truth to me in those words.
Can the fullest essence of a Christology be summed up in its entirety by a few words?

Please, I want to know what authority you are drawing upon.
The authority to ask questions.
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« Reply #263 on: December 10, 2009, 01:02:07 AM »

“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
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« Reply #264 on: December 10, 2009, 01:11:41 AM »

As an aside, why do you go to St. John of Damascus to tell you what the Oriental Orthodox believe when you can ask the Oriental Orthodox for yourself, right here on this forum?  Is someone who was never OO more qualified to tell you what OO believe than the OO themselves?


What Jonathan is doing supports what I said earlier about some people treating the Fathers of their Church as infallible.  I can understand and even respect their not wanting to admit too easily that one of the Fathers of their Church was wrong about something.  

However, like you I have a problem with someone trusting a non-OO over an OO to tell them what the OO Church believes when it is a misrepresentation of our beliefs.  I feel like asking them, "If you believe your Church Fathers to be incapable of error, how can you blame the Roman Catholics for having a similar belief about their popes."  People can make errors.
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« Reply #265 on: December 10, 2009, 01:18:48 AM »

OK... I dug up some more stuff on RCC/OO ecumenism. I don't know if it will answer minasoliman's query but I hope it helps. There's also a bit more with the Assyrians.

Big Ecumenical Link

Quote
In 1973, Pope Paul VI took the next step in this direction by formulating a new, extensive Christological statement along with the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The “Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and of the Pope of Alexandria Shenouda III” states:

Quote
In accordance with our apostolic traditions transmitted to our Churches and preserved therein, and in conformity with the early three ecumenical councils, we confess one faith in the One Triune God, the divinity of the Only Begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Word of God, the effulgence of His glory and the express image of His substance, who for us was incarnate, assuming for Himself a real body with a rational soul, and who shared with us our humanity but without sin. We confess that our Lord and God and Saviour and King of us all, Jesus Christ, is perfect God with respect to His Divinity, perfect man with respect to His humanity. In Him His divinity is united with His humanity in a real, perfect union without mingling, without commixtion, without confusion, without alteration, without division, without separation. His divinity did not separate from His humanity for an instant, not for the twinkling of an eye. He who is God eternal and invisible became visible in the flesh, and took upon Himself the form of a servant. In Him are preserved all the properties of the divinity and all the properties of the humanity, together in a real, perfect, indivisible and inseparable union.44

Here we have agreement upon an expression that is “along the lines of” Chalcedon. The essence of Chalcedon, including some of the language, has been retained without requiring all of the language. Divinity and humanity are both preserved without using “in two natures” or “from two natures” or any other statement that one or the other party would consider objectionable. In fact, the problematic word “nature” is nowhere used. In place of this is simpler language that avoids the historical confusion—“humanity” instead of “human nature” and “divinity” instead of “divine nature.” Moreover, Pope Paul VI respected the heritage of the Coptic tradition by agreeing to language that takes great pains to emphasize the unity of Christ, including the metaphor that, in Christ, divinity and humanity did not separate even “for the twinkling of an eye.” It is worth noting that elsewhere the declaration also affirms the use of θεοτόκος for Mary.

That's the agreement that is being questioned right now, not that it's wrong, but the sincerity behind it.

Here's a recent article by a Copt in California:

http://www.lacopts.org/news/a-report-concerning-the-dialogue-of-the-syrian-and-the-assyrian-churches
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« Reply #266 on: December 10, 2009, 01:27:36 AM »

“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:8 ), -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
So I guess there's no use then in discussing whether the official Orthodox churches have fallen to the heresy of ecumenism (as regards specifically their relations with the OO), since you and we can't even agree as to how to properly understand the dogmatic proclamations of Chalcedon that are so foundational to both sides of this debate.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 01:33:50 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #267 on: December 10, 2009, 01:35:23 AM »

It's all right Fr George. I already have the answer I wanted.

I think we have to back and read this sentence very carefully.  It's no longer about the truth, it's about what "he wants."  He wants the OO's to be Monophysites and Eutychians.  He wants the OO's to profess a heterodox belief against Christ, against his own church.  He wants that, and no matter what proofs you can give him, he wants that delusion.  And what a delusion it is, because despite the fact that NO ANSWER was given, somehow, no answer to him meant a "no."

So, perhaps we have his answer too.  The answer is what he wants, not what is true.  If that is the case, then there's no more point in asking him anything.  Let him want destruction and non-salvation on others, because it pleases his own heart, and any other question therefore would trouble him.

Lord have mercy on any soul who wishes heresy upon others.  May we never want to murder other souls.
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« Reply #268 on: December 10, 2009, 01:53:31 AM »

“For this reason one must flee those who preach compromises since
they teach nothing which is certain, definite and fixed, but like the
hypocrites, they vacillate between both beliefs and, giving way to
one, they cling to another” (St. Mark of Ephesus).

“Do not speak to me of James and John, for even if one of the first
angels of heaven corrupts the doctrine, let him be anathema. Now he
(Paul) did not say: ‘if they proclaim things which are contrary’ or ‘if
they preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto
you’ (Gal. 1:Cool, -- even if they altered anything whatever, ‘let them be
anathema’” (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians).

“All these things are truly common unto all and it is necessary before
all else to guard those things which pertain to the Faith, from which, if
one turns aside but a little, one sins a sin that is unto death” (Letter of
St. Photius the Great to Pope Nicholas).

“We shall in no wise permit either ourselves or any one else to change
those things set down here or to change even one word or one
syllable” (Fourth Ecumenical Council).

The last shows that the Fourth Council, which I think you have claimed to believe in at least in 'spirit', has declared that its own dogmatic definitions are to be accepted word for word, altering nothing.
You really should read these things, or check them out before you post. You just make our point.


The last one is indeed from the Fourth Council, but it is the reading of the transcript of the Council of Constantinople of 448, which in turn is reading the Formula of Reunion, the statement of the Antiochian bishops who rejected Ephesus I which Theodoret of Cyrus put together and St. Cyril adopted in his epistle to Patriarch John of Antioch.  And it is refering to the Creed of Nicea I, quite a few syllables of which were changed at Constantinople I
http://books.google.com/books?id=6IUaOOT1G3UC&pg=PA182&dq=Council+of+Chalcedon+single+syllable&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

It is rather odd that you should quote what in essense is a document like the ones we have signed with the OO, getting behind terminology to the Faith the terminology is supposed to express.  Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.
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« Reply #269 on: December 10, 2009, 01:56:25 AM »

Terms were made for the Faith, and not the Faith for terms.

Indeed!  'Was the Sabbath for man, or man for the Sabbath?' (Christ)
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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