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Author Topic: Scriptural Proof: Mary is Not the Mother of God  (Read 38985 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ben
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« on: December 03, 2003, 12:22:28 AM »

Oy, the heresy of protestantism gets worse as time goes on. Now this is clearly not the position of many Protestants but such heresy is very popular in fundamentaltist groups and denominations.

Scriptural Proof: Mary is Not the Mother of God
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In the 4th century, when Constantine the Great appointed himself Pontifex Maximus - supreme head - of the Christian Church, pagans and their pagan beliefs began infiltrating Christendom. Among the most influential of the new “converts” were those from the Mediterranean and Middle East areas where worship of the “Great Mother Goddess” and the “Divine Virgin” had existed since Babylon. According to Britannica, these groups:

 “GǪ.found within the Christian Church a new possibility of expression in the worship of Mary as the virgin mother of God, in whom was achieved the mysterious union of the divine Logos with human nature.” (Britannica, Christianity: The doctrine of the Virgin Mary and holy Wisdom.)

By the end of the 4th century, Mary the mother of Jesus, known prior to the advent of Constantine as the Christ-bearer, (Greek Christotokos,) was being referred to as the God-bearer, (theotokos.) Thus was born the doctrine of Mary, mother of God, a title foreign to Scripture where she is called only the mother of Jesus. At first, this matter drew little attention, but in AD 428, Anastasius, a presbyter in the church at Constantinople, raised objections to the theotokos appellation, and thereby originated a controversy that continues to exist here in the 21st century.

Anastasius was immediately supported in his position by Nestorius, bishop of the Constantinople church, who believed that the theotokos title adversely affected the fact of our Lord’s full humanity. Cyril, powerful bishop of Alexandria, motivated as much by envy of Constantinople’s standing among the eastern churches as he was by the theological aspects of the controversy, joined battle over the issue with Nestorius, outflanked him at the AD 431 First Council of Ephesus, and succeeded in confirming Mary as the mother of God. Nestorius, falsely accused of separating Christ’s two natures - human and divine - subsequently was excommunicated, then sacked as bishop of Constantinople by the emperor, Theodosius II, who had appointed him in the first place. He died in exile, but the controversy lives on. Is Mary the mother or Jesus? Or is she, a created being, the mother of eternal God?

The Roman Catholic Church and certain mainline churches that split from Rome during or following the Reformation, declare unequivocally that Mary is, in fact, the mother of God. Those historically and currently who oppose this teaching are accused, as was Nestorius, of “dividing Christ” into an “earthly Jesus” and a “heavenly Jesus,” thereby denying the essential unity of our Lord’s two natures. But that is merely an unproved and unprovable accusation. Christ, in fact, had two distinct natures fused into a single human body, a mystery quite as hidden to man as three distinct persons comprising a single Godhead. To say that Mary was the mother of Jesus only is no more a division of Christ’s two natures than acknowledging Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father is a division of the Godhead. Both are mysteries akin to that of a virgin being with child allegedly conceived by that same unborn child because He is a member of the Godhead. Shades, in other words, of the Babylonian “Mystery” religion.

In a document entitled, The Mother of Jesus, published by the Catholic Information Service of the Knights of Columbus, justification for calling Mary the mother of God is capsulized in the following two paragraphs:

In the natural and normal process of human reproduction, when both maternal and paternal functions unite, God simultaneously creates the human soul which enlivens the fecundated ovum in the woman’s womb, and thus a human person is conceived. It is always an individual’s human nature - a person who possesses human nature. (Emphasis added.)

 

It matters not that the woman has no part in the production of the spiritual element (directly created by God) in the human nature of the person she conceives. It suffices that she has supplied the bodily substance which goes into the constitution of human nature possessed by the person, that she rightly acquires the title of mother. (Emphasis added.)

No one disputes the fact that Mary is the mother of the human Jesus even though she was not the “supplier” of His human soul. Nor is there any question that the man Christ Jesus was created human in body, soul and spirit. What is disputed is the extension of the title “mother” to a divine nature that eternally existed and was not created in the womb of the virgin. A mother is only the mother of what originates within her womb. The second person of the blessed trinity did not originate in Mary’s body. He is without beginning - has always existed - and has no mother.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.) (Psalm 90:2) “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” (Psalm 93:2) “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him,” (Psalm 103:17) “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 106:48)

That Jesus had two natures - one created and one eternal - united in a single human body is beyond question. That only one of those two natures originated in Mary’s womb also is beyond question. And why she cannot then be called the mother of God finds an exact parallel in Christ’s relationship to King David.

“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:” (Luke 1:32) “And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?” (Matt 12:23) “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” (Matt 15:22) “And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.” (Matt 20:30) “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matt 21:9)

In these Scriptures it is clearly established that the nation of Israel expected their Messiah to derive - as prophesied - from the tribe of Judah and the house of David, thereby attributing fatherhood of the Messiah to David in accordance with their method of reckoning descent. But David cannot be called the father of God because of his relationship to the man Christ Jesus. Our Lord Himself preempted any possibility of that erroneous belief.

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” (Matt 22:42-46) Parallel accounts of this episode are found in Mark 12: 35-37, and Luke 20:41-44.

In these Scriptures, our Lord has done what Roman Catholic apologists say may not be done. He has clearly drawn a line between the human nature and the eternal nature of Christ. He has clearly established the fact that David is NOT the father of God, because he is NOT the father of the second person of the blessed trinity. He has clearly shown this distinction of natures to be a mystery - one the Jews of His day could not comprehend any better than the Roman Catholics or Christians of the 21st century. This mystery of the two fused but separate natures manifest in Christ finds another reference in the following excerpt from the Gospel of John. When confronted by the Jews and constrained to identify himself, John the Baptist’s response included this interesting disclosure: “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” (John 3:34) Certainly the Holy Spirit could not have been given to the Second Person of the trinity for He is part of that trinity. So the Holy Spirit that was given without measure was given only to the man Christ Jesus.

  It stands to reason, then, that like King David - to whom fatherhood ONLY of the man Christ Jesus is attributed - Mary is the Mother ONLY of the man Christ Jesus. To prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, let us insert Mary’s name in place of King David’s in the previously cited Scriptures:

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of MARY. He saith unto them, How then doth MARY call him Lord, saying, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:46, 47) If MARY then call him Lord, how is he her son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”

To insist that Mary is Christotokos only and not theotokos is not to separate Jesus into a “heavenly Jesus” and an “earthly Jesus” as Roman Catholicism contends. It is merely recognizing what Jesus Himself made clear, that David was not the father of God, and by parallel reasoning, Mary was His earthly mother only, and not a Goddess or Queen of Heaven worthy of the title mother of God.

Because the Second Person of the blessed trinity is an eternal being having neither a beginning nor an ending, it was the man Christ Jesus who suffered as the second Adam on Calvary and died for the sins of the world. The Second Person of the trinity did not die, cannot die or be put to death. And it’s the man Christ Jesus - not the Second Person of the trinity - who is said Scripturally to be the one mediator between God and man. (1 Tim 2:5) He who is eternal, who could not and cannot die, could not be, and was not, born of the virgin.

Conclusion: Jesus Christ the man is the son of Mary. The Second Person of the Trinity is her God, not her son, for He did not originate in her womb.

- http://www.contenderministries.org/Catholicism/marymother.php

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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2003, 12:24:19 AM »

hmmm this person seems to forget Orthodoxy also teaches Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos) not just Roman Catholicism!
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2003, 12:31:27 AM »

I have seen that sort of thing time and time again, and it never fails to make me want to puke.

Notice how the article rehabilitates the heretic Nestorius and makes a proto-Fundamentalist hero out of him? Notice how it vilifies St. Cyril of Alexandria?

If you examine their beliefs closely, you will find that some of  these people really are Nestorians or semi-Nestorians.

Some of them, OTOH, are simply confused. When you press them on the issue and ask them if Jesus was not God when He was in His mother's womb, you can get the honest ones to admit that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. I know it can be done because I have done it.

The real reason behind denying the Virgin Mary the title Mother of God is the pathological fear of seeming Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2003, 12:33:46 AM »

I have seen that sort of thing time and time again, and it never fails to make me want to puke.

My Priest was just saying this a few sermons ago. He has been a Priest for 40 years and says that every 10-15 years (it never fails), they recycle the same theories and heresies for a new generation.
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2003, 12:44:51 AM »

I thought I might mention what a mother really is.

This person claims that a mother is only the mother of what originated in her womb. This is not 100% true. The fact that Mary gave birth to and raised God makes her the mother of God!

I think that on one level Mary is, of course, the mother God because he lived in her womb and she gave birth to him. But on another level she is his mother because she raised him and never left his side. She loved him very very much as he also lover her more than we can even imagine.

I think that being a mom has a lot more to do with raising and loving your child than just giving birth to a child. I am now speaking from personal exprience.

I lived with my mother for about the first 3 years of my life, she then ws unable to raise me, for a breadth of problems and reasons, so I moved in with my grandparents. And my grandmother was much more of a mother to me than my mom ever dreamed of being. This does not prove Mary to be the mother of God but this points out something very important: your mom isn't always the one that gave birth to you.

Well, now I'm way of the subject, but just thought I'd throw in my thoughts....

In Christ,
       Ben
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2003, 12:53:19 AM »

Ps. Mary didn't give birth to me and she is most certainly my mother  Grin lol...I feel sorry for the guy that tells me the Theotokos aint my heavenly mama!
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2003, 12:58:45 AM »

Well, if you noticed, that article is classic Nestorianism. It may use the language of "natures," but it is really distinguishing between two persons, a divine and a human. According to it, Mary can be credited with giving birth to the human but not to God. It makes of Jesus two separate persons.

Yes, our Lord has two natures: divine and human. But He is One, unified, undivided Person. Mary did not give birth to a nature; she gave birth to a Person: the God-Man, Christ Jesus.

Thus it can be said that God Himself lived (and lives) as a man, suffered, died, and rose from the dead for us, and that "the Word became flesh" (John 1:14).

The Word did not simply assume flesh or possess the man Jesus. He actually became a flesh-and-blood man.

And He whom Mary bore in her womb was fully God, as well as fully Man.

Therefore Mary is rightfully and truly the Mother of God.

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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2003, 07:54:45 AM »

Some of them, OTOH, are simply confused. When you press them on the issue and ask them if Jesus was not God when He was in His mother's womb, you can get the honest ones to admit that Mary is indeed the Mother of God. I know it can be done because I have done it.

The real reason behind denying the Virgin Mary the title Mother of God is the pathological fear of seeming Roman Catholic.

Linus, I think you've got a winner!

I might also mention that I think if you start from Theotokos and work from there it's a lot easier to get them over the Chalcedonian hump than if you start from "mother of God".
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2003, 09:42:53 AM »

Well, if you noticed, that article is classic Nestorianism. It may use the language of "natures," but it is really distinguishing between two persons, a divine and a human. According to it, Mary can be credited with giving birth to the human but not to God. It makes of Jesus two separate persons.


I agree.  

It is really amazing how the old heresies are recycled and come back again and again.  Many claim it is an original idea that was revealed to them.  It is unfortunate that many of these heresies have developed into an organized religion with millions of followers.  In some ways, the danger of heresy is even greater today in the past becasue of the following reasons:

1.  The internet and mass communications allows ideas to spread quickly.
2.  The ease of global transportation.  A heretic missionary with baskets of food can arrive in Africa in 8 hours.  
3.  The increasing marginalization of Christian beliefs in western society
4.  The whole idea from the 1960's that if it makes me feel good and does not hurt anyone, it is acceptable.
5.  The incredible wealth that exists today.
6.  the science of psychology has revealed how the mind works to some extent and how the mind learns new concepts.  This makes it easier to deveople techniques to trap people mentally.

We all need to be on our guard and be willing to defend the faith.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2003, 10:49:32 AM »

Why do people misrepresent things they do not understand?  Calling Mary Theotokos does not mean that Christ was imparted his divinity from MARY only that CHRIST is/was God from the moment of conception thus Mary gave birth to GOD.  The only people I ever see trying to make a GOD out of Mary are these fools.  oh and some one should tell these morons that Pontifex Maximus does not mean supreme HEAD but supreme BRIDGE BUILDER!!  A little knowledge is worse than total ignorance.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2003, 10:59:03 AM »

I started a thread over on CF that illustrates what another prominent Protestant 'theologian' thinks of the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour.

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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2003, 11:13:15 AM »

I started a thread over on CF that illustrates what another prominent Protestant 'theologian' thinks of the Incarnation of our Lord and Saviour.



What a crank!

Jesus' body was "prepared" in Mary's womb without the use of one of her eggs?

She contributed nothing to  Jesus' physical body?

Oblio -

You should bring that thread over here and post it. Everybody needs to see what Hunt had to say.

Incredible!
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2003, 11:17:08 AM »

oblio: welp, I'm done at CF.  Their "moderation" is faulty.  They Ban people with out warning - edit posts without notification - have NON-Christians on the staff - and when you point these things out they get very angry.  VERY angry.  

The next trip I will take over to CF will be to do two things:

1 - REINSTATE my deleted tag line.

2 - take down my profile.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2003, 11:21:57 AM »

Br. Max,

Have you been to TBTSNBN ? whispering ...That's christianity.com
CF ain't perfect, but it is a far cry from what it could be.  Many of us mods are trying to make it better Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2003, 11:25:08 AM »

Br. Max,

Have you been to TBTSNBN ? whispering ...That's christianity.com
CF ain't perfect, but it is a far cry from what it could be.  Many of us mods are trying to make it better Smiley

One way to make it better would be to eliminate the MJ forum.

They don't let the JWs and Mormons have their own forums. Why therefore do MJs have one?
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2003, 11:27:24 AM »

Let's not forget that Christ's human nature came from Mary.  If Mary wasn't really His mother, then he had no human nature and therefore we aren't saved.   Also, as others have said, Christ was God while still in the womb.  

Another thing that ticks me off is when you mention that we owe a great debt to the Theotokos for saying "yes' to God, and they tell you that if she hadn't, God would have just found someone else to carry Christ!  Well, it only took many centuries to produce a woman holy and pure enough to conceive and give birth to God in the flesh (as well as contribute His humanity).   I guess we could have waited centuries longer for another woman holy enough to be produced!  Roll Eyes  

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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2003, 11:30:55 AM »

Quote
One way to make it better would be to eliminate the MJ forum.

They don't let the JWs and Mormons have their own forums. Why therefore do MJs have one?

I'm not quite sure, and some of them actually deny the Trinity.  

I can't go into details, but there are discussions on the back boards over there that allows an astute person see the paradoxes and inconsistensies of MJ with Christianity.
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2003, 11:31:17 AM »

oblio: welp I've asked time and again for an explanation of WHY I was banned without notification and without explanation and gotten NO response.  I finally created a new handle and went in and IM'ed thebear.  Told him I only created this handle to ask as simple question and get an answer: WHY was I banned?  He banned that handle and gave no reason for why I was banned in the first place other than I had three official warnings - when I got those - who knows.  I had one that was supposedly removed but apparently not.  As best as I can figure, I got banned for standing up and pointing out that SIMCHAT is NOT a Christian even under the rules of CF.  He PUBLICLY denied the Nicene creed and rejected the trinity - as do MOST of the MJ's there.  Oh and I did call some one a HERETIC for denying the trinity.  *gasp*  since all Christians agree, deny the trinity and you are a heretic.
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2003, 11:32:38 AM »

linus: according to CF Momrons and JW are NOT even allowed to be considered Christians.
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2003, 11:33:44 AM »

The problem most prots have with the title THEOTOKOS is that they mistakenly feel it adds merit to MARY.  It does not.  It is a statement of the identity of her SON.
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2003, 11:34:32 AM »

I think we tend to forget the source of such Protestant heresies: the devil.

We refrain from saying it and "calling a spade a spade" because our pluralistic society has elevated what is now called "tolerance" to the rank of Supreme Virtue. We wouldn't want to offend the heretics.

But Satan hates the Mother of God and will do all he can to bring her into disrepute. Look at the Jews' "Pantherus" or "Pantera" story.

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman . . ." (Rev. 12:17).
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2003, 11:37:02 AM »

linus: according to CF Momrons and JW are NOT even allowed to be considered Christians.


Well, as you yourself know only too well, neither are MJs.

Just ask them. They will tell you themselves that they are not Christians.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2003, 11:50:54 AM »

linus: true. Sad  They too hate the mother of our Lord.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2003, 04:47:56 PM »

As a Protestant inquirer drawn to Orthodoxy, I don't see any problem with calling Mary, "Theotokos", as that's what she was.  The one she conceived and bore in her womb was God Incarnate.

The problems I (yet) have with Mariology is what seems to my (at least nominally) Protestant ears to be Mariolatry when I read statements like this taken from the Akathist:
"Priest: Our most gracious Queen, our hope, O Theotokos, Who receivest the orphaned and art the intercessor for the stranger; the joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see our distress, see our affliction! Help us, for we are helpless. Feed us, for we are strangers and pilgrims. Thou knowest our offences; forgive them, and resolve them as Thou dost will. For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?

I know, I know...Mary and the saints intercede for us much as our friends down here do with their prayers.  I guess my big hang-up is the idea about there being no other intercessor, comforter, or help than Mary.  Seems to me that such exclusive titles should be reserved for God alone.

 

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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2003, 06:47:57 PM »

Thomas don't the scriptures tell us:

1 - pray one for another

and

2 - seek the prayers of the righteous

WHO is more righteous than those in heaven with God, and among those - she who gave birth to Him and was keep from corruption by Him?
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2003, 07:06:44 PM »

I was just reading how as one progresses towards Theosis, the prayers offered up are in effect strengthened as they are offered by one more in communion with God.  How much more then, are the prayers of His mother received.
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2003, 07:12:20 PM »

From A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain The Fruits of the Jesus Prayer:

The ascetic, then, aquires great love for Jesus Christ through the Jesus prayer, and he is joined with Him through this love. It is natural, therefore, for him to love whatever God loves and desire whatever He desires. God "desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tit. 2. 4). This is what the athlete of prayer wants. He is shaken by the evil that exists in the world and grieves deeply for the loss and the ignorance of his brothers. Since sin always has ecclesiastical and cosmic dimensions and affects the entire world, it is natural that he who prays experiences all the tragedy of humanity and suffers deeply for her. He lives the agony of the Lord in Gethsemane. He reaches a point, therefore, where he ceases praying for himself and prays continually for others, to come to the knowledge of God. His purification from passions, his acquisition of the life-giving divine grace, and prayer for others -which is the result of his experiencing the unity of mankind in Jesus Christ- is the greatest mission. This is how the Fathers saw the missionary effort: as a striving for the renewal of the human being and a reintegration of nature. Each person who is purified becomes a valuable part of society, as we are all members of the blessed body of Christ. We can see this vividly in the person of the Most Holy Mother of God. She was "full of grace", and then bestowed grace and adorned all of human nature. Purified and "full of grace", she prays for the whole world. And thus we can say that the Most Holy Mother of God performs the greatest mission of all and benefits all of mankind effectively.

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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2003, 09:47:01 PM »

Thomas don't the scriptures tell us:

1 - pray one for another

and

2 - seek the prayers of the righteous

WHO is more righteous than those in heaven with God, and among those - she who gave birth to Him and was keep from corruption by Him?


I'm not arguing with those points.  (In fact, I pretty much agree with them. )  I'm concerned about the wording that says she's the only "intercessor", "comforter", and "help". That "only" would seem, at the very least, to rule out the intercession of the other saints.
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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2003, 09:58:03 PM »

As a Protestant inquirer drawn to Orthodoxy, I don't see any problem with calling Mary, "Theotokos", as that's what she was.  The one she conceived and bore in her womb was God Incarnate.

The problems I (yet) have with Mariology is what seems to my (at least nominally) Protestant ears to be Mariolatry when I read statements like this taken from the Akathist:
"Priest: Our most gracious Queen, our hope, O Theotokos, Who receivest the orphaned and art the intercessor for the stranger; the joy of those in sorrow, protectress of the wronged, see our distress, see our affliction! Help us, for we are helpless. Feed us, for we are strangers and pilgrims. Thou knowest our offences; forgive them, and resolve them as Thou dost will. For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?

I know, I know...Mary and the saints intercede for us much as our friends down here do with their prayers.  I guess my big hang-up is the idea about there being no other intercessor, comforter, or help than Mary.  Seems to me that such exclusive titles should be reserved for God alone.

 



I can understand how you feel about such language, DT. Honestly, some of it seems a bit excessive even to me.

I think what is meant is that there is no better merely human intercessor or advocate than the Blessed Virgin.

Perhaps there is a better explanation for some of the language of the Akathist you quoted. It seems to me to be hyperbolic. I think the background for such a prayer and hymn of praise is the full understanding of the part Mary played in the salvation of mankind. Without that background, that Akathist certainly would seem out of line.

Whatever help, intercession, and comfort Mary can supply comes only because of her Son.
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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2003, 09:59:34 PM »


This sounds like a prayer to a deity.  How could one call Mary the only "intercessor" or "gracious comforter" or "help" when Biblically the Holy Spirit has these roles?  Is this prayer exclusively attributing to Mary what more properly may be attributed to God the Holy Spirit?
 

The Holy Spirit isn't an "intercessor" as one of the Trinity....as I understand it.

This is what I had in mind...

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27
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« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2003, 10:18:03 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2003, 10:23:38 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.

Linus, here's the link:
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/m_akathist_e.htm

Scroll down to the bottom and then count up to the fourth (from the bottom) Priest paragraph.  It's in that paragraph.
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2003, 10:25:08 PM »

Yes...which translation? And thanks for clarifying...


That's from the NKJV.  The old "King Jimmie" pretty much says the same thing.  Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2003, 10:32:25 PM »

Where did you get that Akathist, DT?

Those in my Orthodox prayer books do not contain the lines you quoted.

Linus, here's the link:
http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/m_akathist_e.htm

Scroll down to the bottom and then count up to the fourth (from the bottom) Priest paragraph.  It's in that paragraph.

Curious.

It's there where you said it is, all right, but it's not in the Akathists in my prayer books, and I've never heard those lines in any Orthodox Church.

Strange.
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2003, 11:38:29 PM »


Curious.

It's there where you said it is, all right, but it's not in the Akathists in my prayer books, and I've never heard those lines in any Orthodox Church.

Strange.

Yeah, and I certainly can't explain it.  I've never seen an Orthodox prayer book, and I have not heard that sentiment in either of the Orthodox services I attended.  I just assumed in reading this, however, that this was not an uncommon prayer in Orthodox worship.

Can anyone else explain it?  Huh
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« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2003, 09:25:01 AM »

Hey DT.

You are right in that The Akathis him is "over the top". The first time I went to the service, when I left I was pretty disgusted with what I had heard. To me it IS almost like a service to a deity.

So, I just don't go to it anymore.

There most definitely is a "Cult of Mary" in the Orthodox Church that makes me very uncomfortable. I have talked to my Priest about it, and he said that I can't expect to agree with everything that my Church does, just focus in on the important parts.



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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2003, 10:12:16 AM »

TomS,

Jesus Christ glorifies His mother. The church is the body of Christ. We, the body of Christ, with Christ at  the head, glorify His mother. These hymns have been written by saints in the church, people filled with the Holy Spirit who were inspired by God to write these words.

It might help to put yourself in the shoes of someone in 1st century Palestine who has just received the gospel with joy. Then you learn that the mother of Christ your saviour is still alive and living a few hours away. Filled with awe and wonder you go to visit her to meet this wondrous lady.

Me personally, I would probably fall at her feet with tears in my eyes and not stop thanking her and praising her for her part in my salvation. I would definitely beg her to pray to her Son on my behalf and would quickly come to love her almost as much as I loved her Son.

Now since her falling asleep, Mary has appeared many times to christians and non christians alike, directly interceding for them, saving entire cities from invasion (and countries) either personally or through the many miracle working icons of her. The churchs experience of her intercessions has grown immensely since that time and it is no wonder that the hymnography of the church reflects that.

I can understand your difficulty in accepting the place Mary has in the church as I have been through all that myself (still struggling through it actually). but I have come to understand that it is impossible to truly love God and not have the same love and devotion to His mother. That love will of course spread to all the saints as we begin to see Christ in them, and as we become more pure we will see Christ in all men and women and love them accordingly.

Orthodoxy is a package deal and I hope you will overcome these difficulties and be able to fully appreciate the church in all its fullness. Your priest's advice is good. Focus on loving God and a life of prayer, and in time everything else will fall into place for you.

John.
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« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2003, 10:27:24 AM »

Orthodoxy is a package deal and I hope you will overcome these difficulties and be able to fully appreciate the church in all its fullness. Your priest's advice is good. Focus on loving God and a life of prayer, and in time everything else will fall into place for you.

I am sorry John, but Orthodoxy is NOT a packaged deal. Orthodoxy is a FORM of worship, a way to RELATE to God. It is not a checklist.

If it was a "packaged deal" then throughout history ALL Orthodox would be adhering strictly to ALL the Canons of the Church.


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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2003, 11:28:48 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin per se but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas: "For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

That passage does seem somewhat excessive even to me, and I very much love and venerate the all-holy Mother of God.

Of course the Blessed Virgin is our intercessor and comforter, etc., but are there no others? No other source of help?

That is the idea that TomS and DT reacted to negatively.

I could not find that passage in the Akathists in my prayer books.

And frankly, although I pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for me and my family and I am happy to praise and venerate her, I would not feel comfortable saying "no other help, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee," simply because such exclusive language is not true.

Our Lord Himself called the Holy Spirit the Comforter (John 14:26), and we know that God is our ever-present help and Christ our intercessor with the Father (Ps. 40:17; Heb. 7:25).

Perhaps someone can explain the excessive-sounding language of the Akathist quoted by DT.

Until such an explanation, however, I cannot see how it could be right.
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2003, 11:33:51 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas

That is correct Linus. I certainly revere, respect and love the blessed Theotokos, but sometimes I think that this reverence is taken a little  too far.
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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2003, 11:41:17 AM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas

That is correct Linus. I certainly revere, respect and love the blessed Theotokos, but sometimes I feel that this reverence is a little too much for me.

I am thinking that perhaps the words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas - apparently the Akathist written by St. Romanus the Melodist in the 6th century - should be understood to mean no other merely human intercessor, comforter, helper, etc.

Still, it would be a lot easier to understand if that was what was actually said, or if the exclusive words "no other" were not there.
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« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2003, 11:43:46 AM »

There is similar language in latin prayers.  

Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on You, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations, I shall never cease to call on You, ever repeating Your sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Your sacred name, or even only think of You! I thank God for having given You, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Your name; let my love for You prompt me ever to hail You, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.
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« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2003, 12:04:53 PM »

There is similar language in latin prayers.  

Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Your name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on You, for, in all my needs, in all my temptations, I shall never cease to call on You, ever repeating Your sacred name, Mary, Mary. O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Your sacred name, or even only think of You! I thank God for having given You, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Your name; let my love for You prompt me ever to hail You, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.


Wow. That IS a bit much.
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« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2003, 12:36:31 PM »

I think TomS and Doubting Thomas were not referring to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin per se but rather to these specific words of the Akathist quoted by Doubting Thomas: "For we know no other help but Thee, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee, O Theotokos to guard and protect us for ages of ages. Amen."

Linus, you are exactly right.  I've actually come around to seeing the reason for the veneration of Mary, but passages such as these which I have occasionally encountered are very worrisome.


Quote
Of course the Blessed Virgin is our intercessor and comforter, etc., but are there no others? No other source of help?

That is the idea that TomS and DT reacted to negatively.

Right.  (I refer readers to my comments regarding the Holy Spirit above on my first post in this thread)

Quote
And frankly, although I pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for me and my family and I am happy to praise and venerate her, I would not feel comfortable saying "no other help, no other intercessor, no gracious comforter, only Thee," simply because such exclusive language is not true.

That's the problem I'm having.  As I mentioned I feel I've made progress, so to speak, in accepting certain Orthodox dogmas regarding Mary.  However, this statement bothers  me, and I can imagine how much it would repel my wife should she ever read it!

Quote
Our Lord Himself called the Holy Spirit the Comforter (John 14:26), and we know that God is our ever-present help and Christ our intercessor with the Father (Ps. 40:17; Heb. 7:25).

Amen!  And I cited Romans 8:26-27 which states the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

Quote
Perhaps someone can explain the excessive-sounding language of the Akathist quoted by DT.

Until such an explanation, however, I cannot see how it could be right.

I'm glad there are Orthodox believers here who share my concerns.  I would appreciate any such explanation as I am continuing on my quest.
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« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2003, 12:37:26 PM »

and people wonder why protestants have issue with Mary. Sad
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« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2003, 12:49:00 PM »

and people wonder why protestants have issue with Mary. Sad  

Yeah, but they just react too strongly - only thinking she's some replaceable "vessel".  Ditto what Linus has said.


Anyone know what this mood thing is?  It seems to never change, I don't think I've really been sad that much while on the fora, even though it indicates so.  How do I change it?
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« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2003, 12:53:24 PM »

elisha: granted.  That's one of the biggest problems with the protestant reformation: they threw the Baby out with the bathwater.  Of course in regards to Mary, this did not happen until much later.  They had to reject History and thinking first.  Luther and Calvin and Swingli all praised the virtue of Mary and her role as Theotokos.
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« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2003, 01:01:59 PM »

elisha: granted.  That's one of the biggest problems with the protestant reformation: they threw the Baby out with the bathwater.  Of course in regards to Mary, this did not happen until much later.  They had to reject History and thinking first. Luther and Calvin and Swingli all praised the virtue of Mary and her role as Theotokos.
And from what I've read, John Wesley did pretty much the same.
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« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2003, 01:20:05 PM »

Quote
Anyone know what this mood thing is?  It seems to never change, I don't think I've really been sad that much while on the fora, even though it indicates so.  How do I change it?

Elisha.. go to the main page of the forum...in the upper left hand corner you'll see the mood indicator, and the other "smiley" options.  Click on whichever one you want.
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« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2003, 04:07:01 PM »

Here's more of the same thing I was talking about:
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/mpthn_canon.htm

Note the first couple of paragraphs.  How is that not blasphemous idolatry?  Huh

(Note the last paragraph is identical to the passage I pointed out earlier from the Akathist.)

So much of Orthodoxy makes sense to me, particularly the relationship of Scripture, Church, and Tradition; apostolic succession and the visible church; and the nature of baptism and the Eucharist.  However, this excessive praise for Mary--blessed indeed though she was--is a HUGE stumbling block and makes me second guess all I've read and learned thus far.  :-

Honoring Mary and asking for her intercessions to God is one thing.  Calling her one's only "hope" and "refuge" and "guardian" and "protector" is something entirely different--that sounds like goddess worship.
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« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2003, 04:29:32 PM »

Does anyone know what the Akathist says in Slavonic.  Perhaps we are seeing translation problems/variances here.  Aren't both of these sites ROCOR/ROCA ?
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« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2003, 04:46:45 PM »

Here's more of the same thing I was talking about:
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/mpthn_canon.htm
Note the first couple of paragraphs.  How is that not blasphemous idolatry?  Huh

It is as far as I am concerned. So you know what I was told to do -- DON"T ATTEND THE SERVICE.

I know that this is a refrain of mine, but you are never going to find a perfect Church existing on this miserable planet. All you can do is find the one that makes the most sense and not focus on the parts that you don't agree with.

Do what I do, and what my Priest suggested that I do, focus on the things that bring you joy and peace that the Church has to offer.

Remember I was once a Baptist too!   Wink
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« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2003, 04:54:15 PM »

Here's more of the same thing I was talking about:
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/mpthn_canon.htm

Honoring Mary and asking for her intercessions to God is one thing.  Calling her one's only "hope" and "refuge" and "guardian" and "protector" is something entirely different--that sounds like goddess worship.

Doubting Thomas,

I am Orthodox and have troubles with statements like that as well.   In all Orthodoxy, these thoughts and the Akathist you mentioned before are the only things I have reservation about.  All the rest I accept 100%.  As a Roman Catholic I had the same feeling.  It is just hard for me to think of the Theotokos as the only "hope" and "refuge" and "guardian" and "protector"   There may be some other meaning to this that could be explained.
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« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2003, 05:23:04 PM »

Again, I'm glad I'm not the only one that has these serious reservations.

What can I say?  I feel somehow stuck in theological "no-mans' land".  On one hand, I know that sola scriptura is problematic and seemingly unworkable.  Historically, there seems to be an interrelationship between Scripture, Church, and Tradition which act together to proclaim and guard the truth. (Even some PROTESTANT scholars I've read admit this and acknowledge the importance of this interrelationship!)  Apostolic succession was taken seriously at the beginning of the church it seems, and the early church regarded baptism and the Eucharist not as mere symbols but actual points of contact with Christ.  Also, and perhaps most important, the historic apostolic church has had no notion of "Once-Saved-Always-Saved", particularly the easy-decisionist variety of the 20th and 21st centuries.  For these reasons, I don't see how I can remain a Baptist.

OTOH, I read statements such as cited above regarding Mary and can't see how such are not in violation of the First Commandment!  How can I enter a church that condones this apparent idolatry? If God has indeed promised to keep the True Church free from error, how did these controversial prayers enter that Church's liturgical life?  No, I don't "hate" Mary, and don't have any particular problem with such doctrines as her perpetual virginity or even her assumption.  She is rightfully called "Theotokos", because theologically that is correct.  But to go on-and-on in prayers TO her (and not merely asking FOR her prayers) as if she's some divine goddess, albeit officially inferior to God (with a big "G"), asking for HER protection, help, etc, doesn't seem at all consistent with apostolic Christianity.

So here I am in spiritual "limbo"--pray for me.  :'(
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« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2003, 05:24:48 PM »

[
I know that this is a refrain of mine, but you are never going to find a perfect Church existing on this miserable planet. All you can do is find the one that makes the most sense and not focus on the parts that you don't agree with.

Do what I do, and what my Priest suggested that I do, focus on the things that bring you joy and peace that the Church has to offer.

Remember I was once a Baptist too!   Wink

That may be what I have to do.  Getting my wife to go along will be a whole other issue.... :-";"xx
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« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2003, 12:16:36 AM »

DT -

Although I think some of the language used in the Akathists you've cited is excessive, it truly doesn't bother me that much.

I look on it as hyperbole.

One might use similar exaggeration in making a request of a friend. You're my only hope! You're the only one who can help me! You're my savior!

None of those things are literally true; but they are true in a hyperbolic sense.

Perhaps this is not the best explanation, but if one looks at the Akathist as a whole, at the fullsome praise for the Holy Trinity it contains, it is pretty obvious that no idolatry could be intended.

One must likewise view such language used in connection with the Blessed Virgin in the context of all of Orthodox doctrine. We know Mary is not divine. We know that anything she can do is because of her Son. What she accomplishes for us she accomplishes by praying for us.

It is definitely not Orthodox dogma that the Blessed Mother of God is our only hope, only intercessor, etc., etc.

That kind of language in the Akathist and other prayers is pious hyperbole.

If it bugs you, don't use it in your own devotions.

I don't. In fact, as I said, my prayer books don't contain it.

I love the Blessed Virgin Mary and praise her name. I honor her. I will fall at her feet and shower them with tears of thankfulness if I am ever blessed enough to enter her presence.

She is our only hope in the secondary sense that she fulfilled an absolutely vital role in the plan of salvation, and still fulfills a vital role. But in the ultimate, absolute, and final sense God alone is our Hope, our Refuge, our ever-present Helper.

Maybe someone will post a better explanation than I have done; but, in the meantime, try to keep in mind that Orthodoxy IS Christianity. Everything else is some sort of historical aberration.

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« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2003, 05:17:59 AM »

Thanks Linus, that is pretty much my take on the words and expressions used in this and other hymns, I'm just no good at expressing it. Just as taking a verse of scripture out of its context leaves it open to misinterpretation, so does taking a hymn out of the context of Orthodox theology and dogma.

Although I might have reservations about some of the expressions used, I trust God on his word that the gates of hades would not prevail against the church. Since these hymns have been accepted and used by the church for a very long time, I feel I have no choice but to humbly accept that I do not understand many things terribly well and simply be obedient to the church.

Saint Seraphim said that the goal of our lives is to acquire the Holy Spirit. Until I reach a point where I am able to retain the Holy Spirit, I am not likely to be able to properly understand those scriptures and hymns inspired by the same. Until such time (if ever), I will try to humbly submit my own proud thoughts to those of the church.

TomS, my humble apology for misunderstanding the intent of your earlier post. My pride again Sad

John.
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« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2003, 08:35:02 AM »

Linus7 and Prodromos,

Thank you for your thoughts on this topic.  It is helpful and helps to put it all in the proper context.

It is a reasonable explanation to call the Akathist and other similar prayers a pious hyperbole.  I agree with viewing  such language used in connection with the Blessed Virgin in the context of all of Orthodox doctrine. In fact, I consider such an explanation rather insightful.

It is also reasonable to omit the use of it in private devotions, since it is not a required prayer such as the Pater Noster (Our Father) or the Creed.  In addition, prayers and devotions to the Holy Theotokos are not in any way mandatory in the way as they are to the Holy Trinity.  

In my understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Trinity are necessary and essential to the Christian life and salvation, where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.

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« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2003, 09:09:50 AM »

... where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.

They are, however, highly beneficial Grin. They also keep us from drawing lines seperating the church triumphant from the church militant, we are one body after all.

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« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2003, 09:12:44 AM »

Linus7 and Prodromos,

Thank you for your thoughts on this topic.  It is helpful and helps to put it all in the proper context.

It is a reasonable explanation to call the Akathist and other similar prayers a pious hyperbole.  I agree with viewing  such language used in connection with the Blessed Virgin in the context of all of Orthodox doctrine. In fact, I consider such an explanation rather insightful.

It is also reasonable to omit the use of it in private devotions, since it is not a required prayer such as the Pater Noster (Our Father) or the Creed.  In addition, prayers and devotions to the Holy Theotokos are not in any way mandatory in the way as they are to the Holy Trinity.  

In my understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Trinity are necessary and essential to the Christian life and salvation, where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.



I don't know man, from what your post reads, at least to me, you are drawing a very fine line in an almost scholastic approach. It's like saying, these prayers are mandatory but the rest are extra and superfluous. Or perhaps, you will go to heaven if you say the Our Father, but you won't affect salvation by saying a Hail Mary.  This seems very illogical and against the entire scope and mentality of prayer.

In MY understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Holy Trinity, the Theotokos, and all the Saints are essential. We are worshipping with the entire heavenly host, together giving praise to our God.  Closest to God is His and our Mother. Isn't it fitting that glorification be mandatory for her too??

Bobby
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« Reply #60 on: December 05, 2003, 09:16:10 AM »

... where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.

They are, however, highly beneficial Grin. They also keep us from drawing lines seperating the church triumphant from the church militant, we are one body after all.

John.

Absolutely right.

And I really liked your earlier point about the Holy Spirit, John.

The more one is filled with the Holy Spirit of God, the more one will want to honor those whom God Himself honors.

You also made an excellent point about trusting the authority of the Church. We know the Church Christ founded is "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).

She will not steer us wrong.
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« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2003, 09:52:21 AM »

.....for misunderstanding the intent of your earlier post. My pride again Sad

Oh Oh! See what happens when you hang around with Greeks!  Wink
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« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2003, 10:04:25 AM »

... where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.

They are, however, highly beneficial Grin. They also keep us from drawing lines seperating the church triumphant from the church militant, we are one body after all.

John.

I agree.
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« Reply #63 on: December 05, 2003, 10:32:06 AM »

I don't know man, from what your post reads, at least to me, you are drawing a very fine line in an almost scholastic approach. It's like saying, these prayers are mandatory but the rest are extra and superfluous. Or perhaps, you will go to heaven if you say the Our Father, but you won't affect salvation by saying a Hail Mary.  This seems very illogical and against the entire scope and mentality of prayer.

In MY understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Holy Trinity, the Theotokos, and all the Saints are essential. We are worshipping with the entire heavenly host, together giving praise to our God.  Closest to God is His and our Mother. Isn't it fitting that glorification be mandatory for her too??

Bobby

I think there is some misunderstanding of what I posted.  Also my use of mandatory does have a legalistic sound  that may have been a poor choice of words on my part.

I totally agree with giving honor and glorification to the Theotokos.  I also agree with the spiritual benfit of asking for the Theotokos and saints to pray for us.  My point is that that glorification and honor should never exceed or replace that for the Trinity as that is our ultimate source of salvation.  This is a key aspect that must be kept in mind in any prayer.
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« Reply #64 on: December 05, 2003, 10:48:13 AM »

It is also reasonable to omit the use of it in private devotions, since it is not a required prayer such as the Pater Noster (Our Father) or the Creed.  In addition, prayers and devotions to the Holy Theotokos are not in any way mandatory in the way as they are to the Holy Trinity.  

In my understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Trinity are necessary and essential to the Christian life and salvation, where as prayers invoking the aid of the Theotokos and the saints help us along the way, but are not necessary for salvation as prayers to the persons of the Trinity are.


With Justinianus' explanation of what he means here in mind, I would also like to add that I am not sure if we can say this at all.  If it is purely in the realm of private devotions, then yes, maybe this can be said.  But there is a reason why Orthodoxy, no matter which rite you use (Greek, Syriac, Coptic, etc.), has ALWAYS incorporated prayers to the Mother of God and to the saints (either in general, or specific ones on their feast days, or specific ones who are important enough to be commemorated daily) IN THE LITURGICAL PRAYER OF THE CHURCH.  So I don't know if we can say that prayer to the Mother of God and to the saints is not necessary for salvation: certainly in the realm of liturgical prayer, which is very important (perhaps most important?) in the lives of Orthodox Christians, such prayer is specifically required.

Furthermore, you need to define what is a "private devotion".  I don't think you can compare the Akathist to the Rosary in this sense, because the Akathist can and is used in public liturgical worship (I think one can be said at Compline, for example?).  The Rosary would never be incorporated into liturgical worship in the RCC, however.  There is no precedent for that.  While praying the Akathist privately might constitute a private devotion, I think it differs fundamentally from the Rosary in this: that the former can/is used liturgically.  

In MY understanding of Orthodoxy, prayers to the Holy Trinity, the Theotokos, and all the Saints are essential. We are worshipping with the entire heavenly host, together giving praise to our God.  Closest to God is His and our Mother. Isn't it fitting that glorification be mandatory for her too??

Well, you're using "mandatory" just as Justinianus was, Bobby, and while it doesn't sound as legalistic as what he said originally, I still wonder if this kind of language is applicable to this situation.  If I had to make a choice, though, I'm on your side on this one.
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« Reply #65 on: December 05, 2003, 10:58:13 AM »

Linus7 and Prodromos,

In my understanding of Orthodoxy......



The understanding is that the Theotokos and the saints are worthy of veneration and honor and can pray for us.  Also prayers asking for their help are a spiritual benefit.  But the Holy Trinity is the ultimate source of our salvation and is deserving of the highest praise and honor.
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« Reply #66 on: December 05, 2003, 11:04:15 AM »

Yes, there is nothing wrong with saying that.  But whether such prayer to the Mother of God and to the saints is "mandatory" or not?  See my remarks for my opinion.
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« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2003, 11:17:30 AM »

Justin: don't tell the fundies that!! Shocked If they were to find out that those they perceive as **CATHOLIC** (because sadly they see all who are liturgical and sacramental as catholic) do not look to Mary for salvation, it would ruin one of their favorite tools against Catholics!!
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« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2003, 12:22:01 PM »

DT -

Although I think some of the language used in the Akathists you've cited is excessive, it truly doesn't bother me that much.

I look on it as hyperbole.

I guess that's a good explanation.  As you point out such language should be interpreted in the context of official Orthodox dogma which is emphatic in that they do NOT worship Mary.  I wonder though, if one were to ever bow at her feet in reverence, if she would respond in much the same way the angel responded to John in Revelation:
"Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.  Then he said to me, 'See that you do not do that.  For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book.  Worship God.'" Revelation 22:8-9.


Quote
She is our only hope in the secondary sense that she fulfilled an absolutely vital role in the plan of salvation, and still fulfills a vital role. But in the ultimate, absolute, and final sense God alone is our Hope, our Refuge, our ever-present Helper.

Right.  However, to the casual observer (ie skeptical Protestant) that "secondary sense" is not clear.  He (or she) reads or hears the hyperbole and gasps in horror.   Shocked

Quote
Maybe someone will post a better explanation than I have done; but, in the meantime, try to keep in mind that Orthodoxy IS Christianity. Everything else is some sort of historical aberration.

Yeah, that's what I keep coming back to.  Your explanation seems as good as any right now.  In fact, last night I was thinking about further theological justification for such hyperbole.  I'll post those thoughts when I get more time.... Tongue
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« Reply #69 on: December 06, 2003, 12:25:17 PM »

Regarding some of the hyperbole containted in the Akathist I cited, I wonder if some of it may be justified in the following manner:

1.  In regards, to Mary being the only "intercessor, comforter, and help", it should be noted that all three of these descriptions are properly ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the NT.  Perhaps, since the Holy Spirit "came upon" Mary and the power of the Highest  "overshadowed" her in such a unique way in the Incarnation, these exclusive hyperbolic statements may indeed be in acknowledgement of this unique relationship with the Holy Spirit.

2.  I understand that Mary was (and still is) regarded as a type of the Church.  Therefore, when one says he is seeking Mary's exclusive "guardianship" or "refuge" or "protection", could this be perhaps an acknowledgement of the mystical association between Mary and the Church?


Sorry, if these thoughts are off-base in anyway.  Maybe I'm just trying to rationalize how such seemingly idolatrous language is addressed to Mary when Orthodoxy maintains that Mary is NOT to be worshipped, particularly if I may be otherwise convinced that Orthodoxy is the True Church kept from doctrinal error by the Holy Spirit  :-
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« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2003, 04:18:21 PM »

Here's more of the same thing I was talking about:
http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/mpthn_canon.htm
Note the first couple of paragraphs.  How is that not blasphemous idolatry?  Huh

It is as far as I am concerned. So you know what I was told to do -- DON"T ATTEND THE SERVICE.

I know that this is a refrain of mine, but you are never going to find a perfect Church existing on this miserable planet. All you can do is find the one that makes the most sense and not focus on the parts that you don't agree with.

Do what I do, and what my Priest suggested that I do, focus on the things that bring you joy and peace that the Church has to offer.

Remember I was once a Baptist too!   Wink

Wow...I was not aware Orthodoxy was a faith like a buffet where the members could pick and choose. I have spoken with Orthodox priests about this issue and all were in agreement that Orthodoxy is the truth, it is Christ's Church and we can not pick and choose what we like and don't like. This is very shocking, I am most certainly reconsidering my interest in Orthodoxy. I believe Christ established ONE Church and ONE true faith that we can not pick and choose from, it doesn't seem like many feel Orthodoxy is that ONE Church and ONE true faith, if people did they wouldn't be picking and choosing!
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« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2003, 06:21:48 PM »

This is very shocking, I am most certainly reconsidering my interest in Orthodoxy. I believe Christ established ONE Church and ONE true faith that we can not pick and choose from, it doesn't seem like many feel Orthodoxy is that ONE Church and ONE true faith, if people did they wouldn't be picking and choosing!

Good for you. Then if this is what YOU believe, isn't that ALL that is IMPORTANT. Why get your panties all in a bind because I have a different experience and/or viewpoint.

Please, don't judge ANYTHING based upon what I say. Who am I to you? Listen to YOUR Priests and counselors. Sheeesh!

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« Reply #72 on: December 06, 2003, 06:25:57 PM »


Quote
Good for you. Then if this is what YOU believe, isn't that ALL that is IMPORTANT. Why get your panties all in a bind because I have a different experience and/or viewpoint.


That is not only what I believe but that the Orthodox Church teaches and what the early Church Fathers taught.

As far as getting my panties in a bind..I do not wear panties, and I would prefer you to watch what you say. You come off extremley rude.

Quote
Please, don't judge ANYTHING based upon what I say. Who am I to you? Listen to YOUR Priests and counselors. Sheeesh!

The tree is judged by its fruits, if GOA produces faithful Orthodox Chrsitians as yourself...then ROAC sure looks very attractive Wink
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« Reply #73 on: December 06, 2003, 06:33:51 PM »

But Ben,

WHY would you take anything that I say as a representation of the WHOLE teachings of GOA? That's just silly.

So what, boxers or briefs?

And if you are SERIOUSLY considering ROAC, then you should know that you would NOT be a part of the Church, you would be in schism.


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« Reply #74 on: December 06, 2003, 06:36:04 PM »

wow GOA faithful are not only ignorant of their faith, but also rude...hmmm words of Bishop Gregroy come to life!

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« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2003, 06:37:23 PM »

Bishop Gregroy

ROFL! He is NOT a Bishop of the Church! He is a Bishop of a CULT.
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« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2003, 06:39:06 PM »

hmm  you who pick and choose from the faith now becomes the judge of who holds the faith and who doesn't. Wow! An amazing role you have. You don't have to hold the faith, but you get to judge those who dont.
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« Reply #77 on: December 06, 2003, 06:47:35 PM »

hmm  you who pick and choose from the faith now becomes the judge of who holds the faith and who doesn't. Wow! An amazing role you have. You don't have to hold the faith, but you get to judge those who dont.

But Ben, the the ROAC is not in communion with ANY Orthodox Church under any recognized Patriarch. So it is not just ME making this "judgement".

And tell me, just what is the FAITH to you? What does it mean? And please don't just post a link to an ROAC website, because that would just show me what that AUTHOR believes is the faith.

Have you really contemplated this?

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« Reply #78 on: December 06, 2003, 06:50:46 PM »

Lol am I known for posting ROAC links?

The Faith....that is something I ponder and struggle with everyday as I am stuck between Orthodoxy and Catholicism. But what I do know is that there is one true faith, and one true Chruch established by Jesus Christ. And one can not pick and choose from the one true faith. As it says in the heading of this site "One God, One kingdom, One truth, One Church, One Faith"
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« Reply #79 on: December 06, 2003, 06:54:54 PM »

Lol am I known for posting ROAC links?

The Faith....that is something I ponder and struggle with everyday

As do I and every other Christian on this earth. If ANYONE tells you otherwise, then they are lying. Everyone is searching and doubting. That is what THEOSIS is about.

All I am trying to say is don't get hung up in the details. Christs love is NOT about details. "Love One Another as I have loved you" That is the main thing to keep in mind. If you do that, then I believe the truth begins to flower.

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« Reply #80 on: December 06, 2003, 06:55:58 PM »

Were you once a Protestant?
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« Reply #81 on: December 06, 2003, 06:57:33 PM »

Were you once a Protestant?

Yes. Baptist. Why do you think I have these issues?  Grin
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« Reply #82 on: December 06, 2003, 06:59:14 PM »

oh yes your past invlovment in the evils of heresy is obvious. Just confirming the obvious...thanks. And one might wonder why you didnt solve these issues you have with the faith prior to converting.
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« Reply #83 on: December 06, 2003, 07:07:15 PM »

oh yes your past invlovment in the evils of heresy is obvious. Just confirming the obvious...thanks. And one might wonder why you didnt solve these issues you have with the faith prior to converting.

But aren't you judging ME now, friend?

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« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2003, 07:08:14 PM »

No....I am simply asking why you didnt solve your "issues" with the faith prior to converting.
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« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2003, 07:09:52 PM »

No....I am simply asking why you didnt solve your "issues" with the faith prior to converting.

What exact "issues" are you talking about? I would be happy to tell you if you want to define them for me. And I am not being sarcastic here. I really would not have a problem telling you my reasons and views.
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« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2003, 07:11:03 PM »

Huh...why would I know what these issues are...you brought them up.
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« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2003, 07:12:14 PM »

Okay. 'Cause I don't think I have any issues that prevent me from enjoying the full Grace of the Orthodox Church. I am happy in the Church.
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« Reply #88 on: December 06, 2003, 07:13:42 PM »

but sadly you have enough issues to prevent you from attending certain services in the Church.
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« Reply #89 on: December 06, 2003, 07:19:07 PM »

but sadly you have enough issues to prevent you from attending certain services in the Church.

I guess you could say that. My Priest just says that if I have not reached that point in Orthodoxy where I am comfortable with a specific part, then he sees no reason for me to be forced into something that I am not ready to accept.

And he does not see my objection to some of these words (like defined earlier) as critical to my salvation. And isn't THAT what it is about?

Do you feel that you have to accept 100% EVERYTHING the church tells you?




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« Reply #90 on: December 06, 2003, 07:20:24 PM »

I believe the faith is not a buffet, you can not pick and choose. I do believe that one must accept the teachings of the true Church 100%.
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« Reply #91 on: December 06, 2003, 07:22:23 PM »

I believe the faith is not a buffet, you can not pick and choose. I do believe that one must accept the teachings of the true Church 100%.

Then please explain to me the The Age of Iconoclasts. Was the teaching of the Church correct during this period?
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« Reply #92 on: December 06, 2003, 07:24:58 PM »

I was not aware that the Chruch taught iconclasm. I was taught the Church condemned it as heresy at the 7th ecumenical council. Am I wrong???
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« Reply #93 on: December 06, 2003, 08:06:14 PM »

Ben

What is this the pot calling the kettle?  A buffet???  You pick and chose what you believe.   Be fair to Tom. If his priest, his spiritual father says he shouldn't go to the akathist then he shouldn't go.  One thing you should be learning with the GOA is the concept of spiritual fatherhood. If you accept the teachings of the EOC 100% then of course you have ceased attending liturgy at the supposedly RC place you go to.  

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« Reply #94 on: December 06, 2003, 08:22:27 PM »

Regarding some of the hyperbole containted in the Akathist I cited, I wonder if some of it may be justified in the following manner:

1.  In regards, to Mary being the only "intercessor, comforter, and help", it should be noted that all three of these descriptions are properly ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the NT.  Perhaps, since the Holy Spirit "came upon" Mary and the power of the Highest  "overshadowed" her in such a unique way in the Incarnation, these exclusive hyperbolic statements may indeed be in acknowledgement of this unique relationship with the Holy Spirit.

2.  I understand that Mary was (and still is) regarded as a type of the Church.  Therefore, when one says he is seeking Mary's exclusive "guardianship" or "refuge" or "protection", could this be perhaps an acknowledgement of the mystical association between Mary and the Church?


Sorry, if these thoughts are off-base in anyway.  Maybe I'm just trying to rationalize how such seemingly idolatrous language is addressed to Mary when Orthodoxy maintains that Mary is NOT to be worshipped, particularly if I may be otherwise convinced that Orthodoxy is the True Church kept from doctrinal error by the Holy Spirit  :-


(bump)

Sorry to quote my own post, but it appeared that this thread was straying off topic somewhat.  :-

Any comments on my thoughts about how one might be able to justify the seemingly excessive Marian devotion cited above?
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« Reply #95 on: December 06, 2003, 08:36:23 PM »

Doubting: I'm interested myself.
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« Reply #96 on: December 06, 2003, 08:52:01 PM »

Carpo...I do not pick and choose...for God's sake you don't even know me! I am stuck between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, struggling to find the truth, Tom believes he has already found the truth, he has already chosen to embrace Orthodoxy. And I do not believe one can embrace Orthodoxy or Catholicism and pick and choose what he or she likes and doesn't like. And I never remember Tom saying his spiritual father told him not to attend certain services in the Church.
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« Reply #97 on: December 06, 2003, 10:19:24 PM »

Ben

posted by you at 7:52

And I never remember Tom saying his spiritual father told him not to attend certain services in the Church.

posted by Tom at 6:19

My Priest just says that if I have not reached that point in Orthodoxy where I am comfortable with a specific part, then he sees no reason for me to be forced into something that I am not ready to accept.

Remember?

CR
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« Reply #98 on: December 06, 2003, 10:35:51 PM »

What his priest said is WAY different than advising him not to attend.

His priest seems to have just told him if he has a problem with the service he doesnt have to attend, to me, thats different than the priest telling him not to go.
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« Reply #99 on: December 06, 2003, 11:28:51 PM »

Can we please stay on topic and keep off-topic conversations for PM or another thread?
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« Reply #100 on: December 08, 2003, 03:59:28 AM »

DT,

I really appreciated your second point as it is not something I had really considered before. I'm not sure that the words of the Akathist hymn can be understood as speaking of the church, but this clay pot is still pretty dirty on the inside, you may be seeing things a lot clearer than me Wink.

We celebrate Epiphany as one of the times when all three persons of the Holy Trinity were manifest and some time ago it dawned on me that Mary had experienced a similiar epiphany at her annunciation (the will of the Father, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, conceiving the Son), so now everytime I look at an icon of Panagia with the Christ child I consider myself to be looking at an icon of the Holy Trinity in that sense.

I don't know if this is really pertinent to the topic at hand, its just something I wanted to share.

John.
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« Reply #101 on: December 08, 2003, 05:33:13 AM »

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« Reply #102 on: December 08, 2003, 09:20:56 AM »

DT,

I really appreciated your second point as it is not something I had really considered before. I'm not sure that the words of the Akathist hymn can be understood as speaking of the church, but this clay pot is still pretty dirty on the inside, you may be seeing things a lot clearer than me Wink.

Wow...I certainly don't feel as if I'm seeing things clearly  :-, but thanks for the compliment.



Quote
We celebrate Epiphany as one of the times when all three persons of the Holy Trinity were manifest and some time ago it dawned on me that Mary had experienced a similiar epiphany at her annunciation (the will of the Father, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, conceiving the Son), so now everytime I look at an icon of Panagia with the Christ child I consider myself to be looking at an icon of the Holy Trinity in that sense.

I don't know if this is really pertinent to the topic at hand, its just something I wanted to share.

John.

I do think it may be pertinent--thanks for sharing.

DT
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« Reply #103 on: March 23, 2008, 12:10:19 AM »

This guy realy messed with history. The whole controversy over calling Mary Christotokos instead of Theotokos really had little to do with Mary. It had to do with the Arian heretics wanting to say that there was a difference between Christ and God. In other words, Jesus was not God, so we should call his mother Christotokos instead of Theotokos.
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« Reply #104 on: March 23, 2008, 12:25:41 AM »

This guy realy messed with history. The whole controversy over calling Mary Christotokos instead of Theotokos really had little to do with Mary. It had to do with the Arian heretics wanting to say that there was a difference between Christ and God. In other words, Jesus was not God, so we should call his mother Christotokos instead of Theotokos.
Maybe YOU should get YOUR history straight on this one.  The issue of whether to call Mary "Christotokos" or "Theotokos" was really connected to the Church's battle against Nestorianism.  As the Nestorians taught, "He whom Mary bore is merely Christ's human person, as separated from the divine Person of God the Word; he is not God incarnate, so we cannot call Mary 'Birthgiver of God' (Theotokos)."
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« Reply #105 on: March 23, 2008, 01:22:20 AM »

I think it was Thomas Hopko that stated somewhere that the Church used to use the term Theotokos in the liturgy for years before (in Fact Origen   is the first documented writer that used the phrase but many other fathers had already used it around the early 3rd century) the controversy was just Nestorius around 400 AD caused a big fuss over not liking the term and wanting it changed to Christotokos.
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« Reply #106 on: March 23, 2008, 02:40:36 PM »

Protestants always have trouble with this issue. How could the eternal God be born of a temporal woman? Yet they have no problem believing that the eternal Christ was given a human body in the Theotokos' womb. Really, I think they're afraid that the title "mother of God" elevates the Theotokos above God; this is a commendable position insofar as their commitment to keeping the Holy Trinity as the focus of our faith. When they see that the Theotokos can be venerated for her role in salvation without diminishing in any way our dependence on God for our salvation, they generally cease to have a problem with the title "mother of God."
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« Reply #107 on: March 23, 2008, 02:53:53 PM »

this is a commendable position insofar as their commitment to keeping the Holy Trinity as the focus of our faith.
I disagree. I think it is neither commendable, nor keeps the Holy Trinity as the focus of the Christian Faith. All doctrines about the Theotokos are Christological doctrines, and all Christological doctrines are Trinitarian doctrines. We cannot claim to know anything about the Trinity if we don't know the truth about the Second Hypostasis of the Trinity.
To deny the title "Mother of God" is to deny a Christological Truth- namely, the Two Natures in One Hypostasis. To say that "Mary is not the Mother of God" means that the Hypostasis she gave Birth to is not God, but somehow either "became God" later (which is the heresy of Adoptionism or Monarchianism) or that the Hypostasis Mary gave birth to is a different Hypostasis to the Pre-Incarnate Christ (which is the heresy of Nestorianism).
I find nothing commendable in expounding these heresies about Christ and the Holy Trinity.
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« Reply #108 on: March 23, 2008, 03:21:55 PM »

I understand what you're saying, and I agree with you. I did not mean to say that the position itself is commendable, but rather the desire to keep the Trinity as the focus of our faith. Like many Protestant theologies, their position actually undermines what they're trying to do, but they generally hold that position out of a lack of understanding of the Trinity rather than a desire to deny the Trinity.
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« Reply #109 on: March 26, 2008, 09:48:27 PM »

The term itself is a bit on the polemic; it's a "rub their face in it" to the Nestorians. Therefore it's a bit of a red flag for most Protestants, who have never been run up against the Christological disputes and therefore have no context for understanding that it doesn't really mean what it seems to say on the surface. They put the statement of the Council of Chalcedon in the back of the BCP, so Episcopalians at least have no excuse.  Wink
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« Reply #110 on: March 26, 2008, 11:21:21 PM »

Quote
Protestants always have trouble with this issue. How could the eternal God be born of a temporal woman? Yet they have no problem believing that the eternal Christ was given a human body in the Theotokos' womb.

I was told that people, Protestant or not, must realize that Mary's role as "Mother of God" is otherworldly in that She possessed a humility that was not of this sinful world. With Mary, her role as Mother of God is actually one of humility and obedience and love, not of worldly and royal standing... Smiley Sorta like Opposite Day, or something... Cheesy
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« Reply #111 on: March 27, 2008, 01:20:09 AM »

I was told that people, Protestant or not, must realize that Mary's role as "Mother of God" is otherworldly in that She possessed a humility that was not of this sinful world. With Mary, her role as Mother of God is actually one of humility and obedience and love, not of worldly and royal standing... Smiley Sorta like Opposite Day, or something... Cheesy
Good point.  In the Gospel reading for the Feast of the Annunciation (celebrated yesterday on the Gregorian Calendar) we read Mary's statement to Gabriel, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38)  What greater humility have we then this act of free obedience to God's word?
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« Reply #112 on: March 27, 2008, 04:51:26 AM »

I'm in a bit of quandry on how to reply.

I believe Mary was the mother of Jesus who was both human and divine in His one person. So in that respect she is the mother of God, albeit God in the flesh.

Yet, in a biological sense she is only the producer of the humanity of Christ. His divinity is self sustained and eternal, else it is not divinity at all. Thus, in this sense, she is not the mother of God, that is of divinity.
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« Reply #113 on: March 27, 2008, 05:25:42 AM »

True enough, she did not give birth to the divinity, which would be blasphemous nonsense. But she did give birth to the divine person of the Word in his humanity, thus mother of God. When we speak of someone being the mother of another, or of bearing that person in the womb, we always look to the individual. The divinity of the Word isn't a personal subject, nor is his humanity. We don't speak of people giving birth to natures, but rather persons.

Anyway, why was this antique of a thread resurrected?
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« Reply #114 on: March 27, 2008, 05:32:27 AM »


Anyway, why was this antique of a thread resurrected?

*shrugs*

I just replied to it because it already had a new indicator on it.  angel
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« Reply #115 on: March 27, 2008, 06:29:02 AM »

Yet, in a biological sense she is only the producer of the humanity of Christ. His divinity is self sustained and eternal, else it is not divinity at all. Thus, in this sense, she is not the mother of God, that is of divinity.
But in the "biological sense" women don't give birth to "Natures" like "humanity" or "divinity", they give birth to Persons. And the Person Mary gave birth to is God, hence she is the God-Birther (Theotokos) or "Mother of God".
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« Reply #116 on: March 27, 2008, 07:37:11 AM »

This is nothing but nestorianism.  He says he is not dividing the person of Christ but he is.  Mary was not the mother of a nature, she was the mother of a person, Jesus Christ who was both God and man.  So, yes, she was the mother of God.  And his denial of this is either nestorian or arian.
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« Reply #117 on: March 27, 2008, 08:41:28 AM »

I'm in a bit of quandry on how to reply.

I believe Mary was the mother of Jesus who was both human and divine in His one person. So in that respect she is the mother of God, albeit God in the flesh.

Yet, in a biological sense she is only the producer of the humanity of Christ. His divinity is self sustained and eternal, else it is not divinity at all. Thus, in this sense, she is not the mother of God, that is of divinity.
Mary provided Him with His humanity.  She was not just a vessel or a womb that carried Him without contributing some of herself to Him, as any mother does.  Not to be facetious, but if they'd had DNA testing in those days, there would have been a match if they'd ever done a DNA test on Him.  As said, Mary didn't just provide a womb and  that's it.  If Mary had said "no", we would still be waiting for the Messiah.   God created Mary to be the one to bring His Son into the world in the Flesh.  He created her to be the "New Eve" who would obey God and bring His salvation into the world in the flesh.  A mother is mother to all of her child, including the parts that come from the other parent.  No mother is mother to just the parts of her child that come from her.   If Jesus was divine during His conception, His time in her womb, and afterwards, then she is also mother to that nature as well.  The term "Mother of God" is used to protect Jesus's having always been divine.  Nestorius and others tried to say that Jesus obtained His divinity later (some argue that it was during His baptism). 
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« Reply #118 on: March 27, 2008, 12:43:34 PM »

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But in the "biological sense" women don't give birth to "Natures" like "humanity" or "divinity", they give birth to Persons. And the Person Mary gave birth to is God, hence she is the God-Birther (Theotokos) or "Mother of God".

Not only that, Ozzy, but Christ Himself chose not to end her role at His cruxifiction and death, but gave her to Humanity as our Mother. This is further supported at the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, as well as the Apostles. Besides...us rowdy human kids need a mother... Wink
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« Reply #119 on: March 27, 2008, 01:40:54 PM »

I'm in a bit of quandry on how to reply.

I believe Mary was the mother of Jesus who was both human and divine in His one person. So in that respect she is the mother of God, albeit God in the flesh.

Yet, in a biological sense she is only the producer of the humanity of Christ. His divinity is self sustained and eternal, else it is not divinity at all. Thus, in this sense, she is not the mother of God, that is of divinity.

Cleopas,

It seems to me what you and other Protestants have trouble with is that you think by the Orthodox saying "Mother of God" that the Theotokos created Christ and we mean nothing of the sort.  We mean exactly as we have stated - that Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, took flesh from the Virgin Mary and was born of her.  She is Jesus's mother, but since he is also God, she is also the Mother of God.  Does this help?
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« Reply #120 on: March 27, 2008, 08:09:35 PM »

Elisha--What you wrote describes why I, at least, had trouble with this concept as a Protestant.  Yet Cleopas' explanation is what I believed even as a Protestant.  It sounds like yet another misunderstanding, each side understanding things correctly, but thinking the other has it wrong because of a difference in terms.

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« Reply #121 on: March 27, 2008, 09:31:56 PM »

Cleopas,

It seems to me what you and other Protestants have trouble with is that you think by the Orthodox saying "Mother of God" that the Theotokos created Christ and we mean nothing of the sort.  We mean exactly as we have stated - that Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, took flesh from the Virgin Mary and was born of her.  She is Jesus's mother, but since he is also God, she is also the Mother of God.  Does this help?

It does.
In fact I would consider this to be essentially the same thing I said.
At least, it is what I meant.
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« Reply #122 on: March 27, 2008, 09:49:44 PM »

Personally this title is not an issue for me as a protestant (especially since I'm not seeking to convert), though I agree that it gives the implication (to protestants) of Mary being over Christ in relationship to His divinity in some sense.

However, I do fell the Orthodox and Catholics alike make more than is proper over Mary.

Now, I have no problem with honoring her as holding a unique place and function in the plan of God in the Incarnation.
I have no problem with mentioning her as a prime example of faith and obedience to God.

However, I do have a problem with elevating her above the rest of humanity in respect to her relationship with the risen and ascended Son of God.
Even Christ said that those who were obedient to the gospel were blessed above the mother whose paps gave him suck as an infant. So, in respect to obedience ot the gospel, Mary is equal with all believers, and all believers with Mary. Though clearly she is to be honored for her role in the incarnation.
I do have a problem with praying to her and other "saints", but that's a different subject I suppose.
I certainly have a problem with any idea of her as a co-redemptress (which I know is not an Orthodox position).

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« Reply #123 on: November 23, 2010, 09:48:49 AM »

I think it was Thomas Hopko that stated somewhere that the Church used to use the term Theotokos in the liturgy for years before (in Fact Origen   is the first documented writer that used the phrase but many other fathers had already used it around the early 3rd century) the controversy was just Nestorius around 400 AD caused a big fuss over not liking the term and wanting it changed to Christotokos.

Fwiw, according to Jaroslav Pelikan it was Alexander of Alexandria in c. 319 CE who was the first to use it for sure, and Athanasius a few years later. Pelikan does write about how "the title already enjoyed widespread acceptance in the piety of the faithful at Alexandria and beyond," but the context of this statement is so imprecise that it's difficult to tell when exactly he thinks such "widespread acceptance" actually happened--though I'd guess early 4th century (Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 105).
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« Reply #124 on: January 14, 2013, 08:28:54 PM »

I heard the allegation that Theotokos was a term made up after St. Constantine (although it might have been something I heard in a discussion rebutting the charge). I found it noteworthy that one 3rd century song, before St. Constantine's time, refers to her this way.

I learned this in an Antiochian Orthodox email newsletter, which pointed to ancient writings that have been found:
Quote
the earliest known hymn in honor of the Virgin Mary:

Beneath thy compassion,
We take refuge, O Theotokos:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble,
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure one, only blessed one.

The papyrus fragment of this hymn (Ryland's Papyrus, P52) dates between the mid to late third century. It is tempting to ascribe this prayer to Christians suffering persecution under Decius (249-251) or Valerian (257-260), but this association cannot be proved. Significantly, this famous invocation to the Theotokos occurs long before Constantine and almost two centuries before the ascription "Theotokos" was upheld by St. Cyril and the Fathers at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
The message I received pointed to:
http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/02/sub-tuum-praesidium.html
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« Reply #125 on: January 14, 2013, 08:35:24 PM »

I heard the allegation that Theotokos was a term made up after St. Constantine (although it might have been something I heard in a discussion rebutting the charge). I found it noteworthy that one 3rd century song, before St. Constantine's time, refers to her this way.

I learned this in an Antiochian Orthodox email newsletter, which pointed to ancient writings that have been found:
Quote
the earliest known hymn in honor of the Virgin Mary:

Beneath thy compassion,
We take refuge, O Theotokos:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble,
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure one, only blessed one.

The papyrus fragment of this hymn (Ryland's Papyrus, P52) dates between the mid to late third century. It is tempting to ascribe this prayer to Christians suffering persecution under Decius (249-251) or Valerian (257-260), but this association cannot be proved. Significantly, this famous invocation to the Theotokos occurs long before Constantine and almost two centuries before the ascription "Theotokos" was upheld by St. Cyril and the Fathers at the Council of Ephesus in 431.
The message I received pointed to:
http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2011/02/sub-tuum-praesidium.html

I love that prayer. It's perfect to show to those who say that the Theotokos was never honored by the early Christians.
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« Reply #126 on: January 14, 2013, 11:22:20 PM »

I wonder if there's a statistical correlation between the number of times a thread is resurrected and the amount of hearsay used to further a hopeless or unnecessary argument.
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« Reply #127 on: January 14, 2013, 11:30:19 PM »

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« Reply #128 on: January 14, 2013, 11:40:04 PM »



I forget what this is from, but I remember the picture. Is he being accused of something?
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« Reply #129 on: January 15, 2013, 12:18:02 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod
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« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2013, 12:18:19 AM »



I forget what this is from, but I remember the picture. Is he being accused of something?

Being dead.
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« Reply #131 on: August 13, 2013, 04:50:15 AM »

The Theotokos was a problem for me during my conversion.  Not the title of Mother of God.  The problem arose out of the defense of very Orthodox Christiology.  On the other hand, it was the love of her that helped to draw me to Orthodoxy.  While a Protestant I understood the consternation some had for her place but equally I've never understood the ugliness and rudeness some express toward her.  Imagine going to somebody's house and disrespecting someone's mother in that fashion.  Fear of the LORD is still the beginning of wisdom and disrespecting anyone's momma is not a healthy habit.
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« Reply #132 on: August 13, 2013, 09:42:19 AM »

Haha you make me laugh. Tell me then do you think that the  church would not know the Mother of it's head? Mary was the Mother of God... How then the gospels say so. The church knew most of her life and from this knowledge some people inserted them into the gospels known as apocrypha.
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« Reply #133 on: August 13, 2013, 09:56:06 AM »

Haha you make me laugh. Tell me then do you think that the  church would not know the Mother of it's head? Mary was the Mother of God... How then the gospels say so. The church knew most of her life and from this knowledge some people inserted them into the gospels known as apocrypha.

Nikolaos--With all respect, I think that you are responding to the title of this topic, no? If so, you are responding to an article by a Protestant that was posted back in 2003. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2358.msg25488.html#msg25488
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« Reply #134 on: August 13, 2013, 10:11:03 AM »

 Embarrassed My bad.
Well, Mary gave birth to Christ. Yes only to his human nature but tell me... Are His natures split? Cool
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« Reply #135 on: August 13, 2013, 11:23:44 AM »

2natures; one person Who is fully man, fully God.
The term is not apocrypha but deuterocanon (spell)
True Theotokos we magnify thee
The Son is eternally begotten of the Father and has always existed but is not fragmented as a manufactured machine with one part made in China and another in USA and later assembled. 
One person; two natures
While his human nature came from Mary, it would be wrong to say she gave birth to the man but not the Devine.  She gave birth to our LORD God the Son and is TRUE Theotokos.
You know part of this is indeed beyond my understanding, but for me to utter that is moronic, for God is infinite for me to imply that I could completely understand God would be hyperbolic huberous.
I have a big problem with the Scholastic Movement for this reason. Instead many mystical truths must be accepted without complete understanding.  This where obedience comes in.  I am wary of complex explanations of mystical truths. Truth may evade us but when it is reveled it is as obvious ,simple, straight forward as the sun on a clear October morning.
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« Reply #136 on: August 13, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »

Embarrassed My bad.
Well, Mary gave birth to Christ. Yes only to his human nature but tell me... Are His natures split? Cool

God became flesh at the Annunciation. Flesh and Spirit are God in this case. Ergo, Mary is the Mother of God.  Christ is both flesh and spirit as we speak. They are inseparable.
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« Reply #137 on: August 13, 2013, 11:24:36 AM »

Embarrassed My bad.
Well, Mary gave birth to Christ. Yes only to his human nature but tell me... Are His natures split? Cool

No, she did not give birth only to the human nature.  The human nature derives only from her, but she gave birth to the one person, Christ.    
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« Reply #138 on: August 13, 2013, 04:17:11 PM »

Oh I am sorry I didn't know that. Thanks for informing me. I thought that she gave birth only to the human nature of Christ his body and soul.
Thanks for drawing me away from this heretic mistake  angel
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« Reply #139 on: August 13, 2013, 04:21:16 PM »

Who birthed Christ then if St. Mary didn't? Did Christ just poof into existence?*

*As a human being, that is.
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