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Offline si2008

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #90 on: March 13, 2009, 05:27:56 PM »
I would like to add that there are opinions that the toll house doctrine is a heresy and that does not seem healthy either. Since this is a belief held within communion those who adhere to it cannot be judged within such criteria. It is one of those agree to disagree situations (I would personally think).

Yeaaaah...but even if I shrug it off with "agree to disagree", it's still either true or not true.  Or comprehensible by sinners or incomprehensible.  Exactly as you stated, it's a belief held by many influential and by all accounts godly Orthodox, which is why it is so troubling to me.  Sometimes it feels like Orthodoxy is being torn in doctrine and belief just as violently as Western Christianity; the Church just hasn't had a council to make some of these ideas definitive or not. 

I would like to think AlexanderofBergamo's response is what Fr. Seraphim Rose et al are aiming for; spiritual truths/visions that we have the power to fend off if we are ultimately oriented toward Christ.  But what I'm hearing is too literal, too juridical to be a metaphor or vision.  And ya know, I'm terrible at taking tests under pressure even if I know the right answers, so why should this doctrine be of no import to me even though I'm a struggling Christian?

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #91 on: March 13, 2009, 07:19:19 PM »
Toll Houses: dogma, a logic of damnation, and taking the implications seriously

Part iii

 
Of course I am fully aware of the teachings throughout our Tradition,
but particularly in Christ's parables and in the writings of ascetics
throughout the ages, that counsel us to be mindful always of the
nearness of death and therefore of the very real possibility that any of
our acts or thoughts may turn us decisively from God and onto the path
toward Hell. But it has always seemed to me that this is a matter of
taking our eternal course seriously and recognizing the eternal
implications of all our acts, whether loving or evil, trivial or
momentous: it is not that we are to be terrified of being caught
breaking the rules even at the last moment, as the toll-house belief
would teach us, but that we are to recognize that our lives unceasingly
weave a pattern which points us toward eternal life or eternal death,
and that death itself is the symbol and gateway of our passage into
eternity.

Yet Orthodoxy surely also teaches that such constant repentant
awareness of death can only be understood and lived aright if it is
paradoxically infused and balanced with an absolute, unreasonable,
unjust, unshakable, and entire trust and confidence in Christ's love, in
His mercy, and in the truth that His Death and Resurrection have indeed
opened for us the gates of the Kingdom in spite of all that we have done
and will forever do to hang Him upon the Cross. My human logic cannot
resolve that paradox, but I have always believed that as an Orthodox
Christian I must hold to it with my last breath and therefore refuse to
despair even as I acknowledge my endless sins. The teaching about the
toll houses, however, seems to me to tilt the balance-beam of anguish
and trust decisively in the direction of anguish; it seems to me to
replace the realism of Paschal joy with a realism of terror; it seems to
me to make the demons, rather than Christ Himself, the mediator(s)
between God and man after death; and it seems to me to make the decisive
encounter after death not that between the person and God but that
between the person and demons. And it seems to me to make participation
in Christ's Resurrection a faint hope; a gallant belief to be maintained
for strategic purposes against all odds, perhaps, but one that is very,
very unlikely to be realized.

Please understand, again, that I am not raising these questions
facetiously; I am truly struggling to understand how a belief that seems
to me redolent of the imagination (though not of course of the specific
tenets) of Calvinism, and more portentous in its exacting legalism than
the most legalistic elements of the Latin heritage, can be believed by
so many to be central to Orthodoxy--and whether it is therefore indeed
incumbent on me as an Orthodox Christian to accept it. Note that I am
not arguing the origins, geographic breadth, or historical depth of the
belief; those are separate and obviously intensely contentious
questions, but I'm willing to accept for the sake of argument that the
toll-house belief is both ancient and widespread within Orthodoxy
(though I can't resist paraphrasing St. Cyprian of Carthage to the
effect that the ancientness of a belief may simply be an indication of
the persistence of error). My concern is rather with the implications
of the toll-house belief, because it seems to me that these are so
important that they must be explored and acknowledged in the light of
Tradition and the belief itself accordingly either rejected as a
misguided overinterpretation of some of the metaphorical glimpses the
Lord has offered to certain pious people concerning a subject He wishes
us to entrust almost entirely to Him--or accepted as far more important
to Orthodoxy than even most of its ardent proponents have hitherto been
willing to recognize.

Am I wrong?

Yours in Christ,

--Jurretta Heckscher





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Jurretta Jordan
Heckscher
Research Specialist and Editor, American Memory
Digital Reference Team
The Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20540-4604
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Offline ChristusDominus

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Toll houses
« Reply #92 on: May 03, 2009, 05:57:00 PM »
Can anyone explain what the Orthodox teaching is concerning toll houses? Thanks
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #93 on: May 03, 2009, 06:32:59 PM »
Can anyone explain what the Orthodox teaching is concerning toll houses? Thanks

Good luck with that question.  :)  I've tried for years to get a coherent definition of the toll houses from their adherents. 

The concept was popularised in the 1970s by hieromonk Seraphim Rose of California but his own writings are contradictory.

At the bottom of this page you'll find links to previous discussions of the toll houses.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #94 on: May 03, 2009, 06:36:21 PM »
The Toll Houses don't exist. And even if you met a demon on your way to the Judgement Seat, you would simply have to say: "The Light of Christ shines on all, but you are in darkness and therefore I cannot see you".
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 06:37:15 PM by ozgeorge »
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #95 on: May 03, 2009, 06:39:59 PM »
Oh, they exist alright:


Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #96 on: May 03, 2009, 06:46:45 PM »
^Is that what you have to pay the demons to get through their Toll Houses? :D

The very idea of paying demons anything is ludicrous. Demons can accuse us all they want, but they do not judge us, God does. Why would we have to give an account of ourselves to demons, let alone have to "pay" them anything to get past them? I think if you stood before Christ and told him that you had been chatting with demons on the way and making offerings to them, it would not stand in your favour when you faced His Judgement!
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline ChristusDominus

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #97 on: May 03, 2009, 06:56:50 PM »
Those cookies look really good hmmm yummy  ;D . I guess this is one, hairy subject?. Somehow I thought it would be similar to the definition of Purgatory. That's why I ask  ::)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 06:57:21 PM by ChristusDominus »
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #98 on: May 03, 2009, 06:58:25 PM »
I guess this is one, hairy subject?

It's as hairy as the Forerunner's shirt.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #99 on: May 03, 2009, 07:27:43 PM »
I paid one on the PA Turnpike the other day - $6 for 75 miles of travel or 8 cents a mile which is pretty expensive....

Offline ChristusDominus

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #100 on: May 03, 2009, 07:41:45 PM »
I paid one on the PA Turnpike the other day - $6 for 75 miles of travel or 8 cents a mile which is pretty expensive....
I was waiting for someone to post a comment like this  8). Congrats!
There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials. - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Offline stashko

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #101 on: May 03, 2009, 07:50:40 PM »
Fr.Miroslav Mentioned the tollhouses once ,He actually believed in them ,,So I believe in Toll houses..
What is the difference if one believes in them or not...
The person that does accept the toll houses, will walk the straight and narrower Path
not wanting to confront, those accusing demons when death comes a calling...

« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 07:58:34 PM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #102 on: May 04, 2009, 01:10:39 AM »
Fr.Miroslav Mentioned the tollhouses once ,He actually believed in them ,,So I believe in Toll houses..

He must be a very holy man, for you to so trust his judgment on the matter.  But then again, we should all be able to trust our spiritual fathers...

Offline stashko

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #103 on: May 04, 2009, 04:31:48 AM »
Fr.Miroslav Mentioned the tollhouses once ,He actually believed in them ,,So I believe in Toll houses..

He must be a very holy man, for you to so trust his judgment on the matter.  But then again, we should all be able to trust our spiritual fathers...


Im not sure ....When he speaks there is a musical tone or quality in his voice from all the chanting of the Divine Lturgies, if that is a sign of holiness, maybe i don't know if i can explain it anymore more clear...
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #104 on: May 04, 2009, 04:51:44 AM »
I paid one on the PA Turnpike the other day - $6 for 75 miles of travel or 8 cents a mile which is pretty expensive....

The PA toll charges may be outrageous but they aren't heretical...

Offline AlexanderOfBergamo

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #105 on: May 04, 2009, 07:10:35 AM »
Dear ozgeorge, you wrote:
Quote
^Is that what you have to pay the demons to get through their Toll Houses?

The very idea of paying demons anything is ludicrous. Demons can accuse us all they want, but they do not judge us, God does. Why would we have to give an account of ourselves to demons, let alone have to "pay" them anything to get past them? I think if you stood before Christ and told him that you had been chatting with demons on the way and making offerings to them, it would not stand in your favour when you faced His Judgement!

Sorry for contradicting you, but it doesn't seem this is Christ's teaching...

Matthew 5:25-26 (see also Lk 12:58)
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.


Now, since Jesus spoke aramaic or hebrew, I might assume he said "satan" for "adversary"... or am I wrong?
Of course I'm not in favour of a too literal interpretation of the toll-houses... I interpret them as an allegorical and mystical description of the inner process of one's awareness in front of God's judgment, having angels to represent our good actions and devils representing our "dark side". The fact that the souls "feel" to be passing through the toll-houses may also be an allegory for the duration of the process of deification.

But in the end... why bother so much? Destiny of the souls after death is and remains a theologumenon until a doctrine doesn't entirely contradict the Gospel of Christ and the Holy Tradition of the Church. Since many mystics had revelation of the toll-houses we shouldn't be so hostile to such a description of the Particular judgment, don't you think?

Your unworthy brother in Christ,
        Alex
 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 07:13:44 AM by AlexanderOfBergamo »
"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #106 on: May 04, 2009, 07:57:30 AM »
Dear ozgeorge, you wrote:
Quote
^Is that what you have to pay the demons to get through their Toll Houses?

The very idea of paying demons anything is ludicrous. Demons can accuse us all they want, but they do not judge us, God does. Why would we have to give an account of ourselves to demons, let alone have to "pay" them anything to get past them? I think if you stood before Christ and told him that you had been chatting with demons on the way and making offerings to them, it would not stand in your favour when you faced His Judgement!

Sorry for contradicting you, but it doesn't seem this is Christ's teaching...

Matthew 5:25-26 (see also Lk 12:58)
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.


Now, since Jesus spoke aramaic or hebrew, I might assume he said "satan" for "adversary"... or am I wrong?

Well, it doesn't quite chime with how some of the holy Fathers interpreted "adversary" in this verse.  They see the "adversary" as our conscience.

Saint Abba Dorotheos and others explain the Saviour's parable:

"Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison."   (Lk.12:58).

St Dorotheos and other fathers explain that "the adversary" is a person's conscience with which he must be reconciled in this life ~Instruction 3, para.42.

Strangely some people have interpreted the "adversary" or "accuser" here as being Satan or his demons. One wonders how they could imagine that Christ is advising us to "be reconciled with Satan and his demons in the way."



Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #107 on: May 04, 2009, 09:07:18 AM »
...The person that does accept the toll houses, will walk the straight and narrower Path...
OK, whatever.... ::)

Offline Douglas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #108 on: May 04, 2009, 10:19:02 AM »
Fr.Miroslav Mentioned the tollhouses once ,He actually believed in them ,,So I believe in Toll houses..
What is the difference if one believes in them or not...
The person that does accept the toll houses, will walk the straight and narrower Path
not wanting to confront, those accusing demons when death comes a calling...



Oh, I don't know about that. I've known folks who believed this gnostic idea and they certainly didn't appear to walk any straight and narrow path; no more so than folks who don't hold to this notion, that is.
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Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #109 on: May 04, 2009, 10:34:36 AM »
Oh, I don't know about that. I've known folks who believed this gnostic idea and they certainly didn't appear to walk any straight and narrow path; no more so than folks who don't hold to this notion, that is.
I completely agree.

Offline SolEX01

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #110 on: May 04, 2009, 11:21:39 AM »
I paid one on the PA Turnpike the other day - $6 for 75 miles of travel or 8 cents a mile which is pretty expensive....

The PA toll charges may be outrageous but they aren't heretical...

I felt every expansion joint between Valley Forge interchange and somewhere between Reading and Lancaster interchanges.  That is a heresy for I-83 was a much smoother ride and non-toll.   :angel:

Offline PoorFoolNicholas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #111 on: May 04, 2009, 12:35:18 PM »
I have heard that there is a way of understanding toll-houses that is much more symbolic, instead of overly literal. Can anyone mention anything about this? Is a more symbolic interpretation original to the teaching of toll-houses? Or is it an innovation meant to make it more acceptable?

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #112 on: May 04, 2009, 02:01:58 PM »
Sorry for contradicting you, but it doesn't seem this is Christ's teaching...

Matthew 5:25-26 (see also Lk 12:58)
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

I disagree; I see this as a purely human situation. I think here Christ was admonishing us to make restitution for our mistakes quickly, because if we ignore or fight those who accuse us of wrongdoing, we may end up making the situation worse.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline Thomas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #113 on: May 04, 2009, 02:08:37 PM »
I moved this topic from Convert Issues Forum to Moderated Forums - Faith issues where the topic has been discussed frequently in the past. As the Toll Houses are a "Faith" and not a "convert issue" this  move will enable you to discuss the issue in the proper forum. I hope that your discussion will contineu, also don't forget to read the many other topics listed at the bottom of this  forum referring to Toll House discussions in the past.

Thomas
Convert Issues Forum Moderator.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 02:09:01 PM by Thomas »
Your brother in Christ ,
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Offline Douglas

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Re: Toll houses
« Reply #114 on: May 04, 2009, 02:12:55 PM »
Well, Satan has been characterized as the great accuser. It seems to me a reasonable assumption that he will accuse us at the Judgment. And we know that there will be a Judgment which suggests that our lives are going to be completely open for all to see. Christ the Lord will wipe away all tears, suggesting there will be tears. My objection to a literal interpretation of this tale is that the Lord alone will be my Judge and not some demon or even Satan himself. Only the Lord has this prerogative. In addition, to suggest that He might make use of demons or Satan to render His judgment seems to me an obscene idea. What has light to do with darkness? Then there is the whole notion of excess merits of departed Saints in the Lord which is brought into this tale. The Lord alone is worthy and as I cooperate with Him in working out my salvation in a synergistic fashion, salvation will be received. The idea, as one poster stated, that this fearful tale will somehow keep us on the straight and narrow is downright laughable. Running a gauntlet of demons in the afterlife is about as middle-ages as it gets (along with a literal lake of burning fire and Satan with his pitch fork).

The only symbolism that I would entertain is one that is connected with judgment. We know we will die. We know we will stand before the Lord and be judged. Beyond that we know very little (if in fact anything). We need to redeem the time as best we can "while it is yet day" for the "night comes in which no man works."
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #115 on: July 12, 2009, 03:30:21 AM »
This article raises a potentially serious problem since most of us are probably not even aware of this toll house doctrine. Personally I do not believe it (yes I know some do & that is their allowance) and do not have to believe it. A concept not in any form of catechism could be foisted as doctrine? Would disbelief of it be considered a heresy if this toll house teaching becomes doctrine? I do not care to discuss toll houses but rather its implications as a potential article of faith.

Sorry to resurrect this thread again, but no one seemed to answer recent convert's question. If there was a discussion, was it moved?
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #116 on: July 12, 2009, 04:15:59 AM »
This article raises a potentially serious problem since most of us are probably not even aware of this toll house doctrine. Personally I do not believe it (yes I know some do & that is their allowance) and do not have to believe it. A concept not in any form of catechism could be foisted as doctrine? Would disbelief of it be considered a heresy if this toll house teaching becomes doctrine? I do not care to discuss toll houses but rather its implications as a potential article of faith.

Sorry to resurrect this thread again, but no one seemed to answer recent convert's question. If there was a discussion, was it moved?

Dear Riddikulus and recent convert,

Please read this message in another thread

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg328999.html#msg328999

Basically it shows that in Russia the tollhouses lack general acceptance.   It would not be possible to "foist" it on the Church since it so obviously is not an accepted part of the 2 millennia of Orthodox teaching. 

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #117 on: July 12, 2009, 04:22:50 AM »
Would disbelief of it be considered a heresy if this toll house teaching becomes doctrine? I do not care to discuss toll houses but rather its implications as a potential article of faith.
IF the toll house teaching were to become dogma, then I suppose it would be heretical by definition to not believe the teaching.  That said, I don't think toll house teaching will ever become a dogma, since it really doesn't have any foundation in that faith which has been believed everywhere at all times by all the faithful.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #118 on: July 12, 2009, 04:35:11 AM »
[  That said, I don't think toll house teaching will ever become a dogma, since it really doesn't have any foundation in that faith which has been believed everywhere at all times by all the faithful.

Agreed!

We would have to explain why the tollhouses were unknown to the Church in the 10th century? When Paul of Thebes wished to know what happens to the soul after death he had no idea about any tollhouses. At the prayers of his spiritual father Saint Basil the New the newly reposed Saint Theodora (also Basil's disciple) visited Paul in a dream and revealed the existence of tollhouses and all the ghoulish details. The tale is called "Theodora's Journey through the Aerial TollHouses" - a foundational document for tollers.  It's a medieval version of a modern horror film. It is *just* the sort of apocryphal stuff which the Church rejected in deciding on the contents of the Bible. 

Prior to this vision Saint Paul of Thebes knew nothing of the toll houses.  (He was in the same blessed state as I was prior to Fr Seraphim Rose!)

Paul's lack of knowledge is proof that the tollhouses formed no part of the "Orthodox phronema" in the 10th century in Constantinople. After this vision he was forbidden by Saint Basil to reveal Saint Theodora's revelations to anybody.  This prohibition is yet more proof the tollhouses were unknown in the Church and not part of its Tradition.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #119 on: July 12, 2009, 05:11:52 AM »

Prior to this vision Saint Paul of Thebes knew nothing of the toll houses.  (He was in the same blessed state as I was prior to Fr Seraphim Rose!)


 :laugh: I suppose I shouldn't laugh, but I did! I have always been of the opinion that this tollhouse business is another of Fr Seraphim's odd tangents.
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Offline Douglas

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #120 on: July 12, 2009, 11:50:45 AM »
  (He was in the same blessed state as I was prior to Fr Seraphim Rose!)




Now THAT is funny!  :laugh:
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #121 on: September 04, 2009, 10:18:04 AM »
"Can  you offer up enough sins that, by them, you can tilt the balance of justice against the precious blood which I shed on the Cross for this man?   Behold  My murder and death, which I endured for the forgiveness of his sins."

The  Lord Jesus Christ to Satan, Evergetinos, Book I, Hypothesis I, E.

Offline Hopeful Faithful

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #122 on: September 04, 2009, 01:51:54 PM »
I think the only unforgivable sin is one not repented of.

Russian Old Slavonic manuscripts dating to the 13th century still exist which explain the itinerary of our moral pilgrimage after, or at, the separation from this world, showing the penalties and sufferings that can be expected. These are quite similar to those found in the Apocalypse’s 21st chapter.

The teaching really comes from the tenth century, not that its anceintness makes it worthy.

The idea that if we do not repent from sin is worthy, that is what I would make of it.

There is a booklet published by Holy Trinity Monastery called A Journey Beyond Death which has an interesting sketch on the first page. It shows The Broad Way, that has so many people dressed in sensual clothing, smoking tobacco, busy working in industry and all speeding their way along this wide path. There are passenger planes, cruise ships, cars, bicycles and all manner of people with their dogs all following in the way pointed down by the demon.

Let us all hope that we will be of the few that find the more hidden, narrow and difficult way that leads upwards and away from such things.

Forgive, brother John










« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 01:53:29 PM by Hopeful Faithful »
HIS Judgment Cometh, And That Right Soon! Mark 13:35

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Let us all hope to be found a faithful, loving bond-slave of Christ on the soon approaching Last Day.

Offline ignatius

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #123 on: September 04, 2009, 01:54:28 PM »
Grace and Peace,

I don't deny the existent of 'toll-houses' as the Saints envisioned them. I frankly would like to read the sources. Are there any translated english texts of these sources?


The Orthodox tradition on the judgement of the soul after death, and the

passage of the soul through the “toll-houses”, was summarized by St.

Macarius the Great as follows: “When the soul of man departs out of the body,

a great mystery is there accomplished. If it is under the guilt of sins, there

come bands of demons, and angels of the left hand, and powers of darkness

that take over that soul, and hold it fast on their side. No one ought to be

surprised at this. If, while alive and in this world, the man was subject and

compliant to them, and made himself their bondsman, how much more, when

he departs out of this world, is he kept down and held fast by them. That this

is the case, you ought to understand from what happens on the good side.

God’s holy servants even now have angels continually beside them, and holy

spirits encompassing and protecting them; and when they depart out of the

body, the hands of angels take over their souls to their own side, into the pure

world, and so they bring them to the Lord…
 

“Like tax-collectors sitting in the narrow ways, and laying hold upon the

passers-by, so do the demons spy upon souls and lay hold of them; and when

they pass out of the body, if they were not perfectly cleansed, they do not

suffer them to mount up to the mansions of heaven and to meet their Lord,

and they are driven down by the demons of the air. But if whilst they are yet

in the flesh, they shall with much labour and effort obtain from the Lord the

grace from on high, assuredly these, together with those who through

virtuous living are at rest, shall go to the Lord…” (Homilies, XLIII, 4, 9)

sources http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/214/death-toll-houses/
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 02:19:45 PM by ignatius »
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline GammaRay

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #124 on: September 04, 2009, 07:23:59 PM »
Anyone who is acquainted with the Orthodox view of death will surely agree that it was sin (not being in communion with God) that brought death, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, it is the devil who holds mankind bound to Hades. This is why Jesus Christ became a ransom. He, being sinless, died. That means that the devil cheated and took to Hades a sinless man, who -in fact- should live eternally. Thus the gates of Hades were stormed and Christ demanded an exchange for what the devil had done unto Him; thus He became a ransom for us.

Until Christ's Resurrection, there was only Hades, no matter how holy could one man be, and, since it was the devil who was ruling death, the evil spirits would come to transfer one's soul to Hades. Jesus Christ has mentioned that John 14:30, a common one.
Another passages used to support this doctrine include Psalm 7:1-2 and Jeremiah 20:9-10; clearly showing that, upon one's death, the evil spirits come to take him down to Hades.

A man who has lived a saint life and is filled with God's Grace will not stop at a demon, but rather make him go away, trembling in fear of the saint's holiness. Thus the saint will be free to climb the ladder to Heaven. Saint Symeon the New Theologian says that if the demons are burnt by the Light which surrounds a saint's body, imagine how much more will it be able to do when the souls leaves the body!

Of course, that does not mean that we have to literally believe that there's some sort of ladder which leads to a cloudy palace and some horned imps that forcefully take us inside planet Earth. It is just that the Saints could not describe what they have been revealed in any better way. The rest is apophatic theology to me and I will not even dare to try to interpret this any furtherer and delve inside the mystical visions of the Saints.

The Master of Death (Satan) is doing his best to take our souls down to Hades and he will not stop at our death, but will still be pursuing us, even when our soul has left our body. But no demon, and not even Satan himself, has such power that can drag a saint to Hades.
As the soul ascends, all the forces of evil will try to remind her how sinful she had been and cause her dismay and, latter on, being -finally- drawn down to Hades. A holy soul that has the Grace of God will not stop at any of the toll houses and for every sin the demon will be reminding her, the soul and her guardian angel will have a three times holier deed to be reminded of and repel the demon by the Light of God.

(I gathered those information together thanks to the book Life after Death of Hierotheos Vlachos of Nafpaktos.)
Though I've walked the valley of the shadow of the death, I've fallen not. Not completely. Not yet.

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #125 on: March 25, 2010, 12:34:47 AM »
MATTHEW777,

You wrote:
Quote
Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4)


How do the Psalms indicate that when they spoke of the person being begotten today, they referred to Christ's exaltation at the resurrection?


Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #126 on: March 25, 2010, 12:38:24 AM »
MATTHEW777,

You wrote:
Quote
Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4)


How do the Psalms indicate that when they spoke of the person being begotten today, they referred to Christ's exaltation at the resurrection?


You're not going to get a reply from Matthew777, for he was banned from this site a few years ago.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #127 on: March 25, 2010, 12:48:37 AM »
MATTHEW777,

You wrote:
Quote
Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4)


How do the Psalms indicate that when they spoke of the person being begotten today, they referred to Christ's exaltation at the resurrection?


You're not going to get a reply from Matthew777, for he was banned from this site a few years ago.

He was?  I thought when a person is banned, a red dot with the word 'Banned' appears under their name.  Matthew777 has a green dot 'Warned'.  ???
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Re: toll houses
« Reply #128 on: March 25, 2010, 12:50:47 AM »
MATTHEW777,

You wrote:
Quote
Texts which speak of the Son being begotten "today" do not mean He became the Son on a certain day, since they refer to His exaltation at the resurrection (Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:3-5; 5:5; cf. Psa. 2:7; cf. also Rom. 1:4)


How do the Psalms indicate that when they spoke of the person being begotten today, they referred to Christ's exaltation at the resurrection?


You're not going to get a reply from Matthew777, for he was banned from this site a few years ago.

He was?  I thought when a person is banned, a red dot with the word 'Banned' appears under their name.  Matthew777 has a green dot 'Warned'.  ???
Rogue defect in the forum software.  Check out Matthew777's profile, and you'll see that he is indeed banned.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 12:55:25 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline basilthefool

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #129 on: March 25, 2010, 06:46:20 AM »
Recognizing (so it seems) that this is an ON-GOING debate, I have a couple of 'score card questions'.

1) What is the alternative to Toll House theory? (And please don't give me oreoes!)

2) Which groups/ jurisdictions hold to the Toll House view versus which groups hold to the other (s) view (s)?

The more perplexed than a cat in a mirrored tinsel factory,

Basil the fool

Offline Azul

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #130 on: March 25, 2010, 07:14:41 AM »
"Can  you offer up enough sins that, by them, you can tilt the balance of justice against the precious blood which I shed on the Cross for this man?   Behold  My murder and death, which I endured for the forgiveness of his sins."

The  Lord Jesus Christ to Satan, Evergetinos, Book I, Hypothesis I, E.


Interesting.. I can picture that in mind.
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Offline recent convert

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #131 on: March 25, 2010, 08:45:00 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 08:50:26 AM by recent convert »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #132 on: March 25, 2010, 07:03:56 PM »


  "...a soul which departs from the body
  does not fall under the tyranny of the devil....
  For if while the soul dwells in the body the devil
  cannot bring violence upon it, it is obvious that
  when it departs he likewise cannot."

    -- St. John Chrysostom,
    Homily 2 on Lazarus and the Rich Man

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #133 on: March 25, 2010, 07:43:30 PM »
People shouldn't get too worked up about Toll Houses, which even the supporters of which (mostly) accept are an imagery to explain something the mechanics of which are ultimately a mystery.

As I say every time this topic comes up (I may have even said it in this thread, I didn't read the old posts!) a good book is The Mystery of Death by Nikolaos Vassiliadis.  Metropolitan Hierotheos's Life after Death is also good; it navigates between the two extremes presented by Fr Seraphim and Archbishop Lazar.  However, Met. Hierotheos's books are not the most scholarly (they are more pastoral and are often transcriptions of talks) and he does not give the Latin doctrine of Purgatory a fair treatment.  That being said, it's a good book.

The best news of all is though, however we understand toll houses and life after death, if we just do what we are supposed to while here, we will fly right through to Heaven at the hour of death! It's as simple as that! So let's get to work!!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 01:03:55 PM by Fr. Anastasios »
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Offline Keble

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Re: toll houses
« Reply #134 on: March 29, 2010, 08:43:16 AM »
The best news of all is though, however we understand toll houses and life after death, if we just do what we are supposed to while here, we will fly right through to Heaven at the hour of death! It's as simple as that! So let's get to work!!

Wisdom! Let us attend!