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Author Topic: "Graceless heretics" a purely EO "extremist" position?  (Read 10694 times) Average Rating: 0
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Br. Max, OFC
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« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2003, 08:54:58 PM »

funny ain't it that the traditionalists all end up being sectarians?
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« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2003, 08:58:07 PM »

Seraph

I've seen all the posts you've made.  Shouldn't you save some energy for when you actually become Orthodox?  I think you might burn your batteries out at the rate you're going.

[They give no remission of sins, no re-birth into Christ.  They cannot, for they are not members of Christ themselves.  It's all very sad.]

LOL   Seriously though.  Where do you get all this stuff?  Is ROAC really like this?  My God it sounds like what I've read about the Old Believers.  What is it like I wonder to have all truth and be God's last faithful remanent on earth.  The bar must be set very high.  Thanks be to God I'm a graceless hairy-tic in the RCC we set the bar much lower.

Oh well I'd offer to pray for you but [heretics can do none of this]

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« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2003, 09:03:05 PM »

Carpo: I'm reminded of the Sedevacantist position that Protestants worship a false God- being heretics and all. . . .It’s scary when people feel justified in lashing out like that. Sad
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« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2003, 09:35:18 PM »

I am Orthodox. Let's get that straight first.

If the RCC is graceless, then why does it produce so many incorruptible saints?

Are they the product of satanic deception?

Can the devil produce such holy lives and also have the ability to preserve human bodies after death? Don't think so.

I am not arguing that the RCC is right; I am asking for an explanation of what I see that seems to be evidence of God's grace.

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« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2003, 09:53:46 PM »

I'd like to ask...what was behind the sanctity of St. Therese of Lisieux? or the exorcisms of St. Padre Pio? Or the solicitude of Bl. Pope John XXIII?
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« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2003, 11:02:24 PM »

I have a feeling we are all wasting our breath.  Of course, the seminary faculty and priests know nothing about the canons or how to apply them. Shocked  Personally, I'm glad that only priests and bishops can apply the canons and that laypeople have nothing to do with applying them.  It's funny, but I have a feeling that they want economia used when the canons are applied to themselves, but want them applied strictly to everyone else.  Remember, Christ warned us that if we want him to be merciful and forgiving towards us, then we have to give mercy and forgiveness to others.

Also, God decides who He will give grace to and whom He will save.  That is His decision, not ours.  We'd better be careful about thinking that we know who God will give His grace and mercy too.  And the fact is, some of those who aren't Orthodox do better with the truth that they do have than those of us who are Orthodox.  Some have more love for God and others than some of us who are Orthodox do.  Paul said that you can die a martyr, but if it's not done out of love, it will be for nought, and will probably be for your judgment and condemnation.

Probably the best thing to do is to concentrate on our own salvation, instead of looking at everyone else.  Especially, as we tend to judge others when we're looking at them (at least I do).   Working out our own salvation with fear and trembling is a full-time job for each of us.  Of course, we should share our faith with others if they want to know about it, and love others, whether they are Orthodox or whatever.  We are to love all people as Christ loved us.  

I have a feeling that come Judgment Day, we will be really surprised to see who God decides/has decided to give His grace and mercy to.
 

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« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2003, 11:04:46 PM »

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Probably the best thing to do is to concentrate on our own salvation, instead of looking at everyone else.

what a Shocked *gasp* Shocked radical idea!!  Grin
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« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2003, 11:08:46 PM »

Well, Christ Himself told us to do that in many different ways.  As we all know, He had many *radical* ideas Grin

After 2000 years, His ideas are still *very* radical!
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« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2003, 11:10:09 PM »

katherine: and radical ideas still frighten fascists.
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« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2003, 01:44:43 AM »

TomS,

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Because the ROAC is a cult that believes only they hold the Truth.

Well, Orthodoxy is a "cult", and does believe it alone has the truth which leads to salvation.  If you do not think that describes your sect, then you should scarcely bother with it (if you have any conventional notions of "revealed religion" left in your way of thinking, that is.)

Your own personal problem, however, brings this house of cards down.

A crucial grace here is infallibility, and it is one you cannot grasp. You are, by your own admission, graceless; hence you stand outside infallibility and we cannot trust you to represent grace accurately.

Nor do I trust anyone, in that sense. You are not revealing grace, per se, but rather defining it into existence. If I encounter grace elsewhere, isn't that sufficient to show that your calculations are wrong?

Furthermore, what grace in Catholicism led you to Orthodoxy? Is it not true that Catholicism made you Christian first, so that Orthodoxy is now simply reaping the harvest?

All these are reasons why I don't accept the Cyprianic theory (and furthermore, I don't think it is consistent with scripture, but that's another battle). It's essentially a form of theological laziness, because it props up the dubious notion that you don't have to listen to anyone else. Yet the only person to have a successful theological argument with Jesus was a pagan woman.
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« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2003, 05:11:08 AM »

Seraphim hasn't responded to the confession of my faith in Christ. You can post me off-list if you want. But I'd seriously and genuinely like to know in which points my understanding and faith in Christ is deficient according to your own understanding.

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« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2003, 05:54:54 AM »

Hey Keble,

does the D.P. stand for "damned protestant"?  Grin
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« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2003, 08:34:02 AM »

Hey Keble,

does the D.P. stand for "damned protestant"?  Grin

You betcha.
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« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2003, 09:31:44 AM »

Carpo,

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Oh so we're papists.    When ever anyone calls us "papists"  I get an image of them burning down an RC church.

Well, heresies are typically named after their founder or their distinctive quality - in the case of Roman Catholicism (which has errors that are all over the place, unfortunately) a key distinctive is it's ecclessiological errors; the most contentious, historically, being the Papacy.

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« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2003, 09:33:19 AM »

Max,

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funny ain't it that the traditionalists all end up being sectarians?

I wasn't aware St.Cyprian was a "sectarian."  Thoug he's certainly not alone in his views on this subject, he perhaps (due to circumstances) spoke the most on it; and what I'm putting forward here is no different than what he taught.

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« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2003, 09:38:26 AM »

Carpo,

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I've seen all the posts you've made.  Shouldn't you save some energy for when you actually become Orthodox?  I think you might burn your batteries out at the rate you're going.

I appreciate your concern.

Quote
LOL  Seriously though.  Where do you get all this stuff?  Is ROAC really like this?  My God it sounds like what I've read about the Old Believers.

Where do you think the Old Believers got this idea?  It's an Orthodox precept - there is no salvation outside of the Church.

Quote
What is it like I wonder to have all truth and be God's last faithful remanent on earth.  The bar must be set very high.  Thanks be to God I'm a graceless hairy-tic in the RCC we set the bar much lower.

Well, I only have what I've received from those who are unfathomably better than myself.

Orthodoxy is not "easy".  What you say about Catholicism setting the bar "lower" is true, unfortunately - as the centuries passed in Rome's alienation (fed in large part by a false understanding of penance and it's value; further harmed by the teaching of "indulgences", which flows from such a false understanding), practically all of the disciplines which Rome once observed in common with the Orthodox Church have vanished.

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« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2003, 09:58:06 AM »

Linus,

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I am Orthodox. Let's get that straight first.

Are you ACROD?

Quote
If the RCC is graceless, then why does it produce so many incorruptible saints?

Are they the product of satanic deception?

In India, there is a very popular "holy man" who calls himself Saitha Sai Baba.  There are many, many people, who worship him as a god, and they, along with many witnesses who are not devotees of his, will attest to his ability to seemingly work wonders - for example, the ability to produce nectar (which is analogous to the "food of the gods" spoken of in Hindu mythology) and even metal idols of the Hindu deities out of thin air.

Apparently in the Himalayas (as an eye witness account in Fr.Seraphim's Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future) there is a well known shrine, devoted to the Hindu deity "shiva".  In this shrine, water droplets collect on their own, according to the waining and waxing of the moon, and freeze into the form of the image of this heathen "divinity."

There are many inexplicable things in this world outside of the Orthodox Church, which are hard to reconcile to any purely materialistic, pedestrian cause.  According to the Apocalypse, one of the key notes of the anti-Christ, will be his ability to work quite amazing "miracles" - right down to being able to call fire from the sky (which if you'll remember, was the miracle St.Elijah worked, when squaring off against the priests of baal.)

I could gander at some natural explanation of the RC "incorruptables".  In the end though, it is unnecessary - all that occurs outside of the Church, is anathema (recognized as not being of the Church, and held up to God for judgement.)  I will note though, that "incorruptability", even according to the Roman Catholics themselves, is not always a sign of something supernatural (I remember reading an RC discussion of this topic, where this is not only said candidly, but examples of bodies found "incorrupt" who were not concluded by this alone, even in their own estimation, to be "saints.")

If the alleged "wonders" of Roman Catholic shrines demonstrate something we should consider of consequence, what about the heaten "wonders" I mentioned, and others like them?

Quote
Can the devil produce such holy lives and also have the ability to preserve human bodies after death? Don't think so.

To pretend that the excercise of natural virtue is something totally unique to the Church is blind - as it would be to pretend such extraordinary virtues are limited to those who call themselves "Christians" of some persuassion.  For example, some of the most honest people I've met, have actually been very religious Muslims.  I've also become acquainted with many Jehovah's Witnesses (including my wife's grandmother, who converted later in life), and in general I've found them to be earnest, gentle people.  Reading some of the great philosophers of both Hellas and the far East, I'm struck by how many of them exhibited great courage, level headedness, wisdom, and personal depth.

However this is not the same as "holiness."  Holiness, strictly speaking, is a quality proper only to God, that some participate in because they have been consecrated to Him...and by the admission of all who live this consecration, it is something completly unmerited/unwarranted by anything they've ever done, or ever will do.  This is why, in a strict sense, all the members of the Church are hallowed/holy (called quite broadly "saints" in the Scriptures); though, obviously that term is used as a title for those in the Church who have manifested an "extraordinary" assimilation to God.

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I am not arguing that the RCC is right; I am asking for an explanation of what I see that seems to be evidence of God's grace.

That's the important word - "seems".

Seraphim
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« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2003, 10:11:58 AM »

seraphim: anyone who believes that they alone hold the TRUE salvation and all other "opinions" are damned is a sectarian.
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« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2003, 10:13:56 AM »

Katherine,

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Of course, the seminary faculty and priests know nothing about the canons or how to apply them.

Most heresairchs were very "educated" men.  This is not a knock against education - only that it demonstrates very little.  There have been 11th hour Saints, just as there have been long lived heretics.

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Personally, I'm glad that only priests and bishops can apply the canons and that laypeople have nothing to do with applying them.

You said it.

Quote
It's funny, but I have a feeling that they want economia used when the canons are applied to themselves, but want them applied strictly to everyone else.

On what basis do you believe this to be the case?  Any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise?

Quote
Also, God decides who He will give grace to and whom He will save.  That is His decision, not ours.  We'd better be careful about thinking that we know who God will give His grace and mercy too.

Every creature is a benefactor of God's grace/mercy, not just mankind, and not just those in His Church.

However, the particular grace we are speaking of here, is unique to the Church - it is the grace of communion with the Head of those who will be called "blessed", Christ Jesus, the new Man, Who has overcome the world.

Quote
Some have more love for God and others than some of us who are Orthodox do.

Perhaps; and many more are in love with idols.  Of course, such idolatry is not something impossible for someone of the Orthodox fold to fall into (as is any sin, even up to apostacy.)

Quote
Paul said that you can die a martyr, but if it's not done out of love, it will be for nought, and will probably be for your judgment and condemnation.

I thought he was talking about faith, which lacked charity...which is definatly true - confessing the truth, without it's assimilation into the heart, means nothing.  Devils can do this (indeed, they are quite aware of how things "actually are.")

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« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2003, 10:19:38 AM »

Seraphim, are you going to respond to subdeacon Peter's request or not? We are now 4 pages further down this thread since he first asked you.

John.

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« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2003, 10:24:06 AM »

Keble,

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Your own personal problem, however, brings this house of cards down.

A crucial grace here is infallibility, and it is one you cannot grasp. You are, by your own admission, graceless; hence you stand outside infallibility and we cannot trust you to represent grace accurately.

There seems to be an attempt here (either out of ignorance, or out of plain deceit) to confuse the "grace of the New Testament", the assimilation to God in Christ, which is unique to the Church, with the grace which God extends not only to mankind in general, but all creation.

This is why the caricture of genuine Orthodoxy as teaching "that there is no light, but only undifferentiated darkness" outside of the Church, is so painfully false.  It serves an obvious (and useful) polemical end, but it is unquestionably a straw man.

Were this providential, extrinsic grace/mercy of God only present in the Church (as the ecumenists falsely attribute to the genuine confessors of the faith), then nothing could exist, let alone be so well cared for.  More importantly, no one would be able to come to the truth, or be received into the Church - for Who is it but the Holy Spirit, Who accomplishes this?  This is why you'll hear the term "grace before grace" be used to speak of those who come to the Church, and plea to be received into Her embrace.  But even this great gift, of itself, is not the same as being initiated into the New Covenant made in Christ's Precious Blood, or passing from death into Life.

Quote
Nor do I trust anyone, in that sense. You are not revealing grace, per se, but rather defining it into existence. If I encounter grace elsewhere, isn't that sufficient to show that your calculations are wrong?

I would only be curious what your standard for finding such "grace" is?

Quote
Furthermore, what grace in Catholicism led you to Orthodoxy? Is it not true that Catholicism made you Christian first, so that Orthodoxy is now simply reaping the harvest?

Catholicism made me a Roman Catholic.  Frankly, it wasn't until I was absolutly torn down to the foundation, and almost lost even the vaguest belief in a "God" of any sort or reckoning, that I could even begin to deal squarely with the Orthodox Church, and be receptive to the pan-revelation of God.

This is not to deny the whole experience was without value...far from it.  But I'm sure former atheists, pagans, Jews, etc. could say just as much of their own journey, if it ended happily in the Church of Christ our God.

Seraphim
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« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2003, 10:27:15 AM »

Max,

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seraphim: anyone who believes that they alone hold the TRUE salvation and all other "opinions" are damned is a sectarian.

i) I do not claim to hold anything - Christ is the Saviour and Lover of mankind, not I, who am scarcely capable of kindness, let alone such universal charity.

ii) I have to wonder if you believe "Christianity" (however you choose to define that) as being the revelation of God?  As such, do you not think God alone is competent to inform us as to what the way of salvation is, and to provide the means to attain such?

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« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2003, 10:47:11 AM »

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Seraphim Reeves:
Linus,

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Linus7: I am Orthodox. Let's get that straight first.

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: Are you ACROD?

I am an Orthodox Christian who attends an ACROD church. I was received into Holy Orthodoxy in that same parish.

Are we going to begin splitting jurisdictional hairs here like Protestants?

Quote
Linus7: If the RCC is graceless, then why does it produce so many incorruptible saints?

Are they the product of satanic deception?

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: In India, there is a very popular "holy man" who calls himself Saitha Sai Baba.  There are many, many people, who worship him as a god, and they, along with many witnesses who are not devotees of his, will attest to his ability to seemingly work wonders - for example, the ability to produce nectar (which is analogous to the "food of the gods" spoken of in Hindu mythology) and even metal idols of the Hindu deities out of thin air.

Apparently in the Himalayas (as an eye witness account in Fr.Seraphim's Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future) there is a well known shrine, devoted to the Hindu deity "shiva".  In this shrine, water droplets collect on their own, according to the waining and waxing of the moon, and freeze into the form of the image of this heathen "divinity."

Are you actually going to compare paltry forms of fakirism and idolatry to the miracles associated with RC saints?

When we speak of Roman Catholics living holy lives and doing good works of charity and self-sacrifice we are speaking of Christians, people who hold about 99% or more of their beliefs in common with us, people who worship the Holy Trinity and share our faith in Christ.

We are not speaking of Hindus and Muslims and Jews and other deniers of Christ.

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: There are many inexplicable things in this world outside of the Orthodox Church, which are hard to reconcile to any purely materialistic, pedestrian cause.  According to the Apocalypse, one of the key notes of the anti-Christ, will be his ability to work quite amazing "miracles" - right down to being able to call fire from the sky (which if you'll remember, was the miracle St.Elijah worked, when squaring off against the priests of baal.)

What is "antichrist" about the RCC?

Are you comparing the saints of the RCC to the priests of Baal faced by the prophet Elijah?

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: I could gander at some natural explanation of the RC "incorruptables".  In the end though, it is unnecessary - all that occurs outside of the Church, is anathema (recognized as not being of the Church, and held up to God for judgement.)  I will note though, that "incorruptability", even according to the Roman Catholics themselves, is not always a sign of something supernatural (I remember reading an RC discussion of this topic, where this is not only said candidly, but examples of bodies found "incorrupt" who were not concluded by this alone, even in their own estimation, to be "saints.")

Then what is to be said of our own incorruptible saints?

You wrote, "all that occurs outside of the Church, is anathema."

Is that really true?

Will not God judge each person according to his or her own works and how much he or she knew?

Or will He judge simply based upon whether or not one is within the visible Church?

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: If the alleged "wonders" of Roman Catholic shrines demonstrate something we should consider of consequence, what about the heaten "wonders" I mentioned, and others like them?

So, you see absolutely no difference between heathens and Christians?

Between those who deny Christ and those who worship Him?

Between Roman Catholics and pagans?

Quote
Linus7: Can the devil produce such holy lives and also have the ability to preserve human bodies after death? Don't think so.

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: To pretend that the excercise of natural virtue is something totally unique to the Church is blind - as it would be to pretend such extraordinary virtues are limited to those who call themselves "Christians" of some persuassion.  For example, some of the most honest people I've met, have actually been very religious Muslims.  I've also become acquainted with many Jehovah's Witnesses (including my wife's grandmother, who converted later in life), and in general I've found them to be earnest, gentle people.  Reading some of the great philosophers of both Hellas and the far East, I'm struck by how many of them exhibited great courage, level headedness, wisdom, and personal depth.

However this is not the same as "holiness."  Holiness, strictly speaking, is a quality proper only to God, that some participate in because they have been consecrated to Him...and by the admission of all who live this consecration, it is something completly unmerited/unwarranted by anything they've ever done, or ever will do.  This is why, in a strict sense, all the members of the Church are hallowed/holy (called quite broadly "saints" in the Scriptures); though, obviously that term is used as a title for those in the Church who have manifested an "extraordinary" assimilation to God.

Apparently even good works performed through "natural virtue" have value to God, who will judge men according to their works.

If I understand you rightly, you are saying that all post-schism Roman Catholic saints lived the lives they did through the exercise of purely natural virtue and performed the wonders they performed through the power of Satan, and not by the grace of God, correct?

When did Satan get into the business of virtue and healing and helping?

Quote
Linus7: I am not arguing that the RCC is right; I am asking for an explanation of what I see that seems to be evidence of God's grace.

Quote
Seraphim Reeves: That's the important word - "seems".

Seraphim


Identify the tree by its fruit.

I don't think that God has totally abandoned Western Christendom, and even the Protestants (shudder!) sometimes display evidence of God's grace.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2003, 10:52:47 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2003, 11:00:26 AM »

As a follow-up to my last post, I would like to answer this thread's title question: " 'Graceless heretics' a purely EO 'extremist' position?"

Yes, it is an extremist position.

The extremists are as likely to condemn Orthodox Christians as "graceless heretics" as they are to so label Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2003, 11:45:33 AM »

Exactly, Linus.  Anyone who doesn't fit their narrow little definition of Orthodox or Christian is a heretic and without grace.  Not to mention, they don't hesitate to try and fit God into a little box and tell Him who He's allowed to give grace, mercy and salvation to.  

I think God is going to be much more interested in how we loved Him and others (since you can't love Him without loving others) and what we've done is going to be much more important than how well we knew the canons, which calendar we used, or all the external piety.  He's going to be interested in whether we saw His image in other people, whether we loved them and did things for them, etc.  Excuse me, but I'm better than Mother Theresa, just because I'm Orthodox?  Personally, I don't think so.  I don't even come close to loving others as she did.





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« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2003, 01:02:44 PM »

Keble,

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Your own personal problem, however, brings this house of cards down.

A crucial grace here is infallibility, and it is one you cannot grasp. You are, by your own admission, graceless; hence you stand outside infallibility and we cannot trust you to represent grace accurately.

There seems to be an attempt here (either out of ignorance, or out of plain deceit) to confuse the "grace of the New Testament", the assimilation to God in Christ, which is unique to the Church, with the grace which God extends not only to mankind in general, but all creation.

But to even make this distinction you have to demonstrate-- not prove, but demonstrate-- that this distinction is real. And the way people have been explaining grace within the context of Orthodoxy, it's going to impossible to do so without falling into some strange modalism.

At any rate, you are attempting to evade the real problem: you cannot speak for the grace of the church (however constituted) because you are still outside it.

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Nor do I trust anyone, in that sense. You are not revealing grace, per se, but rather defining it into existence. If I encounter grace elsewhere, isn't that sufficient to show that your calculations are wrong?

I would only be curious what your standard for finding such "grace" is?

How on earth could one come up with a standard? ? ? How did Moses come up with a standard for approaching the burning bush?

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Furthermore, what grace in Catholicism led you to Orthodoxy? Is it not true that Catholicism made you Christian first, so that Orthodoxy is now simply reaping the harvest?

Catholicism made me a Roman Catholic.  Frankly, it wasn't until I was absolutly torn down to the foundation, and almost lost even the vaguest belief in a "God" of any sort or reckoning, that I could even begin to deal squarely with the Orthodox Church, and be receptive to the pan-revelation of God.

If you say so. It seems to me more likely that you began to pass judgement on the Catholic Church because of the faith which it had already inculcated in you.
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« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2003, 06:47:52 PM »

I'm stunned.

This thread is almost compelling reading in it's attack on anyone who does not share Seraphim's particular theories.

I notice he has not yet answered Vicki's last post .

Perhaps he can't.

Seraphim --  ignoring the fact that you are still, I understand , canonically RC , do you really think that this constant bashing will win any converts. ?

When will you learn that kindness and kind words will get  similar responses ?

Are you trying to make friends or enemies?  Do you really want people to realise that you have something to offer them ?

At the moment all you seem to be offering them is your derision/contempt. You seem to be trying to prove your superiority.

I can't argue with you from Canons  - nor can I prove my points with umpteen quotes - I don't have that type of knowledge.

I do , from my own experience , know that kind , gentle words and the occasional bit of praise when it has been earned, brings respect. In due course respect will attract people to what you have to offer.

As far as I am concerned this thread is over , finished . It is totally lacking in charity.

I'll pray for you - but I don't expect that you will want my heretical prayers - but that's up to you.
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« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2003, 07:14:09 PM »

[the fact that you are still, I understand , canonically RC ]

Seraph old buddy I had forgotten this, you are still canonically RC we've still got you on the books!  Grin  No wonder you suggested Catholic Answers a few posts back.  See everybody else thinks this is just so tragic that is your being an extremist.  Me I think it's funny, hilarious in fact.  Here you are still canonically RC (don't worry I won't tell your ROAC friends) only a catechumen and you sit at your terminal presuming to instruct people who've been Orthodox all their lives in some cases the Orthodox Faith.  It's a bit like that part of Job when Job questions God you know the passage I mean? You've never heard that old expression "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar"?  My one hope is that ROAC buts you in charge of the ROAC membership drive.

On a serious note what led you to Rome?  Then what led you to ROAC?  Just curious.  Others can correct me if I'm wrong but at least you've no place else to go.  I mean ROAC is the most extreme in Orthodoxy right?

I don't know if you read literature but I'd suggest you read James Hogg's "Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner".  It's a good read and you might see someone you know in it's pages.

I will put you on my prayer list.

CR
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« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2003, 07:40:44 PM »

"Graceless" and "heretical" prayers ascending as I type.
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« Reply #74 on: December 08, 2003, 08:12:10 PM »

yea well . . . if Catholics are graceless heretics - what am I?? Huh The spawn of Lucifer?
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« Reply #75 on: December 08, 2003, 08:18:48 PM »

yea well . . . if Catholics are graceless heretics - what am I?? Huh The spawn of Lucifer?

Do you really want me to answer that?  Grin

You sir, are a glutton for punishment!
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« Reply #76 on: December 08, 2003, 08:26:29 PM »

Tom: ah, but I have the good humor to laugh at myself and the willingness to make a fool of myself for Christ.
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« Reply #77 on: December 08, 2003, 08:34:25 PM »

ROTFL
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« Reply #78 on: December 08, 2003, 08:46:52 PM »

Absolutely correct, my dear!

Now, do you see the benefit of listing that disclaimer Max?
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« Reply #79 on: December 08, 2003, 08:57:38 PM »

TOM: nope.  Especially since your handle is just a name.  You attempt to shame me into conforming to what you wish me to be wasted.  My mother IS a Jewess after all!
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« Reply #80 on: December 09, 2003, 12:01:28 AM »

Vicky, that was a wonderful post above.  Though, I have to admit that the self-righteousness part hits home on me too (I usually have to confess this at confession).  The story from the Gospels that seems to come to me with this thread (and I'll have to find where in the Gospels it is in the next couple of days) where one of the disciples asked about what Jesus was doing with or would do for one of the other disciples and Jesus basically told him that whatever He decided to do for someone else wasn't this disciples business.  I think that is very important for us all to remember.  We don't know how God chooses to deal with others and it really isn't our business.  He can deal with others however He chooses to deal with them.  It is His decision to decide who He will give grace and mercy to, not ours (and personally I think He wants to shower it on everybody, if they will accept it).  

Seraphim, do yourself a favor.  Join one of the real Orthodox churches and find a priest who will call you on it everytime he even senses that you are becoming legalistic.  Ask God to show you when you are becoming that way.  God is a person.  He wants all of us to come to know Him and have a relationship with Him as a person.  He is not a bunch of canons and rules.  Vicky is exactly right.  You are looking at everyone else based on YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION of the canons.  Applying the canons is the job of the priests and bishops, not laypeople.  There are many, many factors that have to be taken into consideration, and as my first priest said one time, God gives the ability to love in a special way to priests at ordination.  Remember what Jesus criticized the Pharisees for.  He criticized them for knowing the law, but applying it with no mercy and no love.  Well, some people have just replaced the Law with the Canons.  Maybe we should all just ask God to show us how much He loves us and then teach us to love Him and others like that.  If we get that, then we will be able to keep the canons.  I know from experience that if you struggle with knowing God's love and ask Him to show you (I did this after my priest told me to do it), He will gladly show you.  I have a long, long way in learning to love as Christ loved and loves, and that is going to be a full-time job learning how.
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« Reply #81 on: December 09, 2003, 02:29:32 AM »

Wow. I had given up on this thread.

Thanks, Vicki, Katherine, Slave... there is hope!
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« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2003, 11:19:44 AM »

Linus,

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I am an Orthodox Christian who attends an ACROD church. I was received into Holy Orthodoxy in that same parish.

Are we going to begin splitting jurisdictional hairs here like Protestants?

No, I was just curious.

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Are you actually going to compare paltry forms of fakirism and idolatry to the miracles associated with RC saints?

The people who adore this man are quite sincere, and do not think it's "paltry" at all.

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When we speak of Roman Catholics living holy lives and doing good works of charity and self-sacrifice we are speaking of Christians, people who hold about 99% or more of their beliefs in common with us, people who worship the Holy Trinity and share our faith in Christ.

We are speaking of heterodox Christians.

btw., I do not out of hand/automatically question the sincerity of anyone, let alone the legions of people who regularly attend Roman Catholic services.  Several of them are friends and family of mine, and they are amongst the most decent people I know.  Sadly, this does not render them members of Christ.

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We are not speaking of Hindus and Muslims and Jews and other deniers of Christ.

Hindus do not formally say they "deny Christ" - I know many include images of Him in their private shrines, and I was even told by a Hindu friend years back, that the temple he regularly attends has a picture of Him, along with their idols.

Muslims certainly do not "deny Jesus" either - they hold Him in great esteem, even numbering Him amongst their "prophets".  In their opinion, He's a brother of theirs.

But you would do well, if you raised the following valid point - while these people may speak of Christ, and even know of His Sacred Life amongst men, they have some very false ideas about Him, and about what He taught - they also hold other ideas, which are incompatable with what He actually taught.  Yet as far as I can know, they are "sincere."

While it is obvious that at least on a didatic level they are "more far off" than the Roman Catholics, or Protestants, qualitatively the problem is the same (just not to the same extent) - for Roman Catholics too, have not only misconceptions about God and Christ (which are formally espoused by their church), but profoundly mistaken ideas about what He has taught, or the identity of His qahal/ekklesia, and what She really constitutes.

What really distinguishes the heresies from Orthodoxy, is that they are still (in varying degrees) in possession of things which are "of the Church" (both in fact, and by way of historical descent); whether it be particular beliefs, certain writings (Scriptures, writings of Fathers they accept), and certain practices/disciplines.

However, what they sadly have in common with the previously mentioned groups (infidels, pagans) is that they are outside of the Church of Christ.

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What is "antichrist" about the RCC?

Several things, unfortunately.  The Papacy, is a conspicuous example of this.

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For, as your venerable Holiness knows, this name of Universality was offered by the holy synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the Apostolic See which by the providence of God I serve38 . But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title; since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated. But far be this, far be it from the mind of a Christian, that any one should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honour of his brethren. While, then, we are unwilling to receive this honour when offered to us, think how disgraceful it is for any one to have wished to usurp it to himself perforce. (Pope St.Gregory the Great, Book V, Epistle XLIII)

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Now I confidently say thatwhosoever calls himself, or desires to be called, Universal Priest, is in his elation the precursor of Antichrist, because he proudly puts himself above all others. Nor is it by dissimilar pride that he is led into error; for, as that perverse one wishes to appear as above all men, so whosoever this one is who covets being called sole priest, he extols himself above all other priests. (Pope St.Gregory the Great, Book VII, Epistle XXXIII

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Are you comparing the saints of the RCC to the priests of Baal faced by the prophet Elijah?

As you know, the "cult of baal" was very popular amongst the people in that part of the levant, and due to dissent from what they received from Moses and the Prophets, the Israelitic people themselves.  What is interesting about the Israelites, is that they seem to have confounded the "cult of baal" with the worship of the Lord.  This wasn't new - for example, the idol of the calf they formed in the desert (symbolically borrowed from the Egyptians, though also very popular throughout the Middle East), was not intended to be a representation of a completly foreign god, but as the Scriptures relate, was understood to be of the Lord (Hebrew: YHWH).

The same is true of the schism of the Northern Kingdom - it's heterodox rites, and idolatrous practices, were meant to be a competitive parallel to what was going on in Jerusalem, and the Kingdom of Judah.

It's easy to understand how this syncretism and falsehood could occur; the name "baal" itself simply means "master" - and certainly, the Lord/YHWH was understood to be a "Master".

It even appears that many of the practices which would come to be  prohibited amongst the Israelites because of their association with the "baal cult", were actually narrowly allowed by the Torah, and were common in Patriarchal practice (for example, the erection of sacred pillars in honour of holy sites, or significant land marks).  It's as if there was a pious version of many of these practices, and a heterodox one.

I'm not saying of course that it is all the "exact same thing"; but the parallels are certainly present; since the Roman Catholic church also has rites similar to Orthodox ones, is a historical schism from the Orthodox Church/Israel, but many of these are infused with a differing meaning, and spiced with beliefs that are simply false, and not from God.  Like the baal cults, and the similar cult of the Northern Kingdom, the RCC also acts as a competitor/replacement in regards to the genuine Church of Christ.

Before launching into a tyrade of how terrible a thing this is to say, I would appreciate telling me how this comparison is invalid.  Then feel free to launch into the tyrade...

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Then what is to be said of our own incorruptible saints?

Well, incorruptability is only considered a sign; it's not understood in a context serpated from the Church, or a pious, confessing life.  Other alleged "wonders" are most certainly seperate from this, whether they be those of the Roman Catholics, the charismatics, or even more "foreign" (historically and doctrinally speaking) groups (Hindus, Muslims, etc.)

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You wrote, "all that occurs outside of the Church, is anathema."

Is that really true?

Look up the meaning of this Greek term, and I think you'll find my meaning is very clear (in fact, I explained it's meaning to you...but I invite you to do your own research to confirm or deny what I explained.)

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Will not God judge each person according to his or her own works and how much he or she knew?

..and in light of what God has given them, and how they accepted or rejected this.  Yes, He will - and these are things which will be revealed on the Last Day.

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Or will He judge simply based upon whether or not one is within the visible Church?

No, not simply - since there will be (sadly) many of those who received the grace of Holy Baptism, other Holy Mysteries, and the true doctrine of the Church, who will be condemned.

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So, you see absolutely no difference between heathens and Christians?

Between heathen and heterodox Christians?  Of course not.  Just as I perceive differences between Jews and Buddhists.  See my explanation above, of how the heterodox are, and are not, fundamentally similar to infidels and heathen.

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Between those who deny Christ and those who worship Him?

The Arians also called on the "name" of "Christ" and claimed to worship Him.

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Apparently even good works performed through "natural virtue" have value to God, who will judge men according to their works.

Of course...keeping in mind, no man is saved by works.  That would be Pelagianism, hence, a heresy.

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If I understand you rightly, you are saying that all post-schism Roman Catholic saints lived the lives they did through the exercise of purely natural virtue and performed the wonders they performed through the power of Satan, and not by the grace of God, correct?

I will simply say, to avoid scandal, that the ecumenical appraisal you (and those who think like you) grant them, is neither unquestionable, nor the only one possible.  I will also say that there are certainly "RC mystics" and "saints" whose method and teaching, betray precisely the mis-steps which the Orthodox Fathers would have identified as prelest, and are precisely the thing which a struggler must avoid.

Keep in mind, that there have even been Orthodox who ended up rectifying their ways and becoming Saints, with the benefits of the Church close at hand, who have fallen into such delusion and had all sorts of incredible, yet false "mystical" experiences, and even did things which are far outside of any normal, naturalistic explanation.  Yet, because their spiritual fathers were in the bosom of the Church, and possessed/understood the healing medicine which is contained in Her doctrine, they could identify this in these poor souls, and put them on the right track.  In heterodoxy, not only is this medicine not present, but the "poison" is mistooken for medicine, and actively prescribed.

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Identify the tree by its fruit.

Precisely.  Is heterodoxy the gift of God?

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I don't think that God has totally abandoned Western Christendom, and even the Protestants (shudder!) sometimes display evidence of God's grace.

Of course He does.  He hasn't abandoned anyone, let alone the heterodox Christians.  All are, in many ways, benefactors of His Grace; including the birds in the trees.

Seraphim
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« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2003, 11:40:41 AM »

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From Linus7:What is "antichrist" about the RCC?

 

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Response from Seraphim Reeves: Several things, unfortunately.  The Papacy, is a conspicuous example of this.

"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22).

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist" (2 John 7).


How has the RCC or the papacy been guilty of any of the things St. John defined as "antichrist"?

I do not have the time or the inclination to answer all of your long posts, Seraphim, although I think they might be easily answered.

I am certain, for example, that your quote from St. Gregory the Great has been lifted out of its context and used to imply something he did not mean to imply.

Suffice it to say, for now, that I find your views extreme and, in fact, impossible.
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« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2003, 11:53:09 AM »

Linus,

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How has the RCC or the papacy been guilty of any of the things St. John defined as "antichrist"?

Read the passage - St.John is describing such persons as "anti-Christs", not offering an all inclusive definition of what it is to be "anti-Christ" (though I would say, in essence, his words here do cover it).  Last I checked, the term simply means "opposed" to Christ.  Is heresy opposed to Christ, or not?

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I do not have the time or the inclination to answer all of your long posts, Seraphim, although I think they might be easily answered.

You have so far.  However, given that this could be done very easily (according to you), I do not see why you would back out now.  How very odd...

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I am certain, for example, that your quote from St. Gregory the Great has been lifted out of its context and used to imply something he did not mean to imply.

The hyperlink to the complete passage is in the quote.  Feel free to check it.  He was writing about the taking of the title "Ecumenical Patriarch", which by the time it reached St.Gregory, was misunderstood by him to be "Universal Bishop".  In the Empire, there were all sorts of "Ecumenical" offices, with the understanding that this referred to the Empire, which was (perhaps inappropriatly) understood to encompass the totality of the civilized world.  Thus, there was the "ecumenical librarian", and in this case, the Bishop of the Imperial City (Constantinople); "Ecumenical Patriarch."  IOW, he understood this title to be bad, because he clearly understood it to have all of the qualities of what would later (unbeknownst to him) characterize the medieval/modern Papacy.  Unless of course, you actually believe there is room for this idea in Orthodoxy ("universal juristiction", all Bishops thus rendered lieutenants of a single Bishop).

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Suffice it to say, for now, that I find your views extreme and, in fact, impossible.

Suffice it to say, without something to back this up, I find your appraisal to be of little meaning or effect.

Seraphim
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« Reply #85 on: December 09, 2003, 12:28:02 PM »

Carpo,

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Me I think it's funny, hilarious in fact.  Here you are still canonically RC (don't worry I won't tell your ROAC friends) only a catechumen and you sit at your terminal presuming to instruct people who've been Orthodox all their lives in some cases the Orthodox Faith.

- last I heard, "once a Catholic, always a Catholic" is still Rome's mindset.  I cannot do much about this, anymore than the former Muhammedan who converts to Orthodoxy can stop his former co-religionists from deeming him worthy of death.

- "been Orthodox all of their lives" is a debatable assessment, on various grounds.  But I am loath to make this about anyone in particular, so I will not elaborate further on this point.

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You've never heard that old expression "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar"?

While I know I've transgressed at times, I do think it's accurate to say I've been quite respectful of others, all things considered.  Unfortunately, there is no sufficiently nice way of saying "such and such is heretical" so as to avoid upsetting anyone.

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On a serious note what led you to Rome?  Then what led you to ROAC?  Just curious.  Others can correct me if I'm wrong but at least you've no place else to go.  I mean ROAC is the most extreme in Orthodoxy right?

I will simply say "extremism" is not, in my thinking, some kind of qualification for truth.  However, consistancy, and paying more than lip service to the memory and teaching of one's supposed "forefathers" (which is, imho, what both Roman Catholics and pseudo-Orthodox do in regard to those they laud as "venerable, Holy Fathers of the Church"), is certainly a qualification.  If one claims a certain foundation to be their own, they have to be building upon this.

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I don't know if you read literature but I'd suggest you read James Hogg's "Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner".  It's a good read and you might see someone you know in it's pages.

Yes, I read literature...I even have learned to spell my name. Smiley

I'll take the recommendation under consideration (though, I will admit I already have plenty of other things on my "to read" list.)

Seraphim
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« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2003, 12:37:32 PM »

Vicki,

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Learn some humility, you annoying puppy. I'll back up Linus's appraisal any time. Your views ARE extreme, impossible, and un-Orthodox, and are turning the stomachs of most people on this board.

Yes, yes...I mean, I know, I chew everyone's sneakers when they're not looking, and do my business on the carpet every now and then...but really...(putting on my best over the top french accent) "how rude!" Smiley

God bless you!

Seraphim
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« Reply #87 on: December 09, 2003, 12:42:16 PM »

I really can't let this go by

<<While I know I've transgressed at times, I do think it's accurate to say I've been quite respectful of others, all things considered. Unfortunately, there is no sufficiently nice way of saying "such and such is heretical" so as to avoid upsetting anyone.>>[/i]

Well - I'm speechless . really I am.

Oh Seraphim - stop posturing !!

One of these days you will be before the Judgement Seat.

When you are asked about charity to others how will you answer ??

You cannot say you love your fellow Christians when you keep battering them the way you do.

We are all supposed to be preparing for the Birth of The Child - well I thought we were - maybe I'm wrong [ again ??]

How can you spend this time telling anyone who does not agree with you and your very outlandish views that they are doomed ?

Get on with your preparation for the most wonderful Feast of the Nativity  of Our Lord and Saviour - time is fast running out.
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« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2003, 12:52:17 PM »

The Slave,

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One of these days you will be before the Judgement Seat.

When you are asked about charity to others how will you answer ??

"I've failed miserably - Lord have mercy."

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You cannot say you love your fellow Christians when you keep battering them the way you do.

- "fellow Christians"...not quite.

- As human beings however, I definatly do not "hate" them.  The worst hatred would be to pretend that poison was medicine.

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How can you spend this time telling anyone who does not agree with you and your very outlandish views that they are doomed ?

Quote me on that, and I may have something to say in reply.

Suffice it to say, only God will make the appraisal on the last day, that "x person" is an alien to the inheritance of the blessed.   I wouldn't presume taking this right as my own ever, let alone while we sojourn in this wilderness, where even the worst blasphemer still has time to acquire a change of heart.

Lord, may I be so converted!

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Get on with your preparation for the most wonderful Feast of the Nativity  of Our Lord and Saviour - time is fast running out.

A good suggestion, irregardless of the context.

Seraphim
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« Reply #89 on: December 09, 2003, 01:08:47 PM »

<<"I've failed miserably - Lord have mercy." >>

 as we all do

<<- "fellow Christians"...not quite.

- As human beings however, I definatly do not "hate" them. The worst hatred would be to pretend that poison was medicine. >>


Did I actually say anything about hate ?
 Why the inverted comma round Fellow Christians  - they are  - well so I have always been taught, but of course I am RC - and practicing too - so I suppose that makes me a heretic - and I HATE that word - it's cruel and unfeeling .

<<Suffice it to say, only God will make the appraisal on the last day, that "x person" is an alien to the inheritance of the blessed.>>
Yes - God will make that judgement and we should not attempt to do it here on earth. Example is far better than words
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"Never let anyone try to tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years; and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."
- St. John Maximovitch
Tags: Valid Sacraments schism traditionalist 
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