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Author Topic: I don't understand the Evangelical mindset - never have, never will!!  (Read 42665 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #405 on: January 29, 2010, 11:04:15 AM »

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Doesn't this seem to indicate that God does change, or can at least change his mind:

Yes, it does. It really does. Even if you say it's anthropomorphic language, it still does. But that's not orthodox belief, so cut that tumor-of-truth from your intellectual brain and move on. Wink But if you would dare to have your mind corrupted, you might want to look up some info on the Open Theism debate, which is quite lively in certain Protestant groups.
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« Reply #406 on: January 29, 2010, 11:34:00 AM »

I am so glad that I am out of the Charismatic, Evangelical, Dispensational, Pre-tribulation, Protestant world. 

I don't think there should be a doubt as to God getting angry. The thing that seems to be getting overlooked is that when that happens, God deals with it pretty quickly. Lot was evacuated hours before the end, but the decision was made and things set in motion rather quickly from what I can understand of the account. When Paul confronted Ananius and then Sapphira the result was quick and without question. Paul also tells us of those who approached the Lord's table in an unworthy state and met their fate. God is not surprised by our actions, but His anger is one of displeasure and does not look like human rage.   

But this is not God's default state with humanity. As Jesus showed us with the Prodigal Son, he walked away from what his father had for him. But the father did not stand around fuming about the situation and planning the son's punishment. Instead he was shown as waiting hopefully for the son's return. When the son did return it was not to stand before the father in judgment, but a celebration and restoration of the relationship. The loss of the inheritance was not counted but new wealth was given.




 
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« Reply #407 on: January 29, 2010, 12:23:14 PM »

Quote
Doesn't this seem to indicate that God does change, or can at least change his mind:

Yes, it does. It really does. Even if you say it's anthropomorphic language, it still does. But that's not orthodox belief, so cut that tumor-of-truth from your intellectual brain and move on. Wink But if you would dare to have your mind corrupted, you might want to look up some info on the Open Theism debate, which is quite lively in certain Protestant groups.

Good, because that's where such thinking belongs.

God doesn't change His mind any more than when He asked Adam "Where are you?...What have you done?" that He didn't know.  As for anthropomorphic language, this morning I asked my son if he had done his homework, I knowing full well that he had not.
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« Reply #408 on: January 29, 2010, 02:24:36 PM »

OK, let's try a different question then.  Does God punish?
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« Reply #409 on: January 29, 2010, 03:45:08 PM »

OK, let's try a different question then.  Does God punish?

No. "Punishment" is what occurs when God allows us to follow our own wills instead of His.
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« Reply #410 on: January 29, 2010, 03:57:17 PM »

By providing unpleasant things in order to correct improper behavior? I would guess that He does.

Corrective punishment would be what Moses felt when God kept him from entering into the promised land. It was unpleasant for Moses, but it corrected the improper behavior and allowed God to continue working with him.
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« Reply #411 on: January 29, 2010, 04:26:38 PM »

OK, let's try a different question then.  Does God punish?

Yes. By creating a will. One can choose to revolt. The revolt may become everlasting because of your reliance to whom you withdrew.
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« Reply #412 on: January 29, 2010, 07:50:15 PM »

OK, let's try a different question then.  Does God punish?
No. There is no point in punishment. What was Job "punished" for? If God "punishes" then His punishment is completely arbitrary and makes no sense. Even Our Lord Jesus Christ said so:

Luke 13:1-5

"There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

In fact, Our Lord said that the spirit which seeks to punish does not come from God:

Luke 9:52-56
"and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” "

And He clearly said that God treats the good and the wicked the same and commands us to do likewise:

Matthew 5:43-45
“You have heard that it was said,  ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

The Sun (Divine Energies) shines on the good and the wicked alike. The Light of Christ shines on all. Those who are prepared for it experience it as the glorious Light of Tabor, and those who are unprepared for it and seek to hide from it experience it as the flames of torment. But it is the same Light shining on both. God does not punish us. We punish ourselves.
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« Reply #413 on: January 29, 2010, 07:52:03 PM »

What ozgeorge said.
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« Reply #414 on: January 29, 2010, 07:58:21 PM »

What ozgeorge said.

Hear, hear!  Grin
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« Reply #415 on: January 30, 2010, 02:12:01 AM »

No. There is no point in punishment.

Thanks for the thorough response.  I really appreciate all of the time you put into it.  So please bear with me as I continue to try to understand your position.

Does God discipline?
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« Reply #416 on: January 30, 2010, 03:26:35 AM »

Does God discipline?
Look at the world around you, does it look disciplined? Innocent children starving to death, being butchered in wars, being orphaned in the millions by AIDS. What did they do? My sins weigh on me with the weight of the Great Pyramid, and these children are innocents- why are they "disciplined" and not I?
Tomorrow is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Read the Gospel for the day in which Our Lord Jesus Christ explains the Forgiveness of God. It was not the Father who caused the Prodigal Son to suffer. And when the Prodigal Son returned, he couldn't even finish what he had planned to say before the Father embraced him. God does not discipline. God heals. God forgives.
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« Reply #417 on: January 30, 2010, 02:06:24 PM »

Quote
God heals. God forgives.

Say also that the medicine He uses may be bitter, and have unpleasant side-effects.
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« Reply #418 on: January 30, 2010, 03:33:30 PM »

God does not discipline. God heals. God forgives.

I am really trying to understand your position George.  I really am.  It just seems like you're ignoring the plain truth of the Holy Scriptures to avoid an aspect of God that you don't like; anything that offends your conception of God, even if it is in the Holy Scriptures themselves.

Quote from: Proverbs 3:11-12
My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
       and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
       as a father the son he delights in.

Here we see that God's discipline or chastising is an aspect of his love and concern for us.  I am not talking about natural disasters and diseases per se, just to address things you were bringing up.  But a chastening can be a part of God's love for us.

Quote from: Hebrews 12:7-11
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

The writings of Elder Ephraim of Florence are worth bringing up because he actually talking about God being dispassionate while disciplining us:

Quote from: On Afflictions, Pain, and Labors #4
The discipline of the Lord is inevitable towards his own children, whom he knows.  God does practice favoritism; God, being dispassionate and holy, is not overcome by unhealthy love - which many foolish parents practice on their children and which afterward causes the destruction and eternal punishment of their loved ones.  He does not overlook the misconduct and lack of discipline of His beloved children so that He would not upset them.  No, a thousand times no!  He is God, possessing genuine love towards His children.  he will discipline them; He will admonish them; He will bind their freedom and will them in various ways in order to transform evil characters into His own holy characters, unto glory and praise in Christ Jesus.

Please help me to understand your position, if it is the proper and binding one for Orthodox Christians, as I desire to conform to the mind of the Church, not to contend with Her.  May God guide us all together toward His Truth.
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« Reply #419 on: January 30, 2010, 04:23:19 PM »

I am really trying to understand your position George.  I really am.  It just seems like you're ignoring the plain truth of the Holy Scriptures to avoid an aspect of God that you don't like; anything that offends your conception of God, even if it is in the Holy Scriptures themselves.
Then How come I quote so much of it? And particularly the New Testament while in order to support your thesis of an "angry" God who changes moods, you can only quote the Old?

Quote from: Hebrews 12:7-11
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Patience in the face of hardship. That is our discipline, hence my favourite non-Orthodox hymn:
( http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25683.msg404304.html#msg404304 )  
Note also the contrast between the discipline of earthly fathers and God in your quote above: "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good".

The writings of Elder Ephraim of Florence are worth bringing up because he actually talking about God being dispassionate while disciplining us:
If God is dispassionate, how can He get angry as you claim He does? You can't have it both ways.
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« Reply #420 on: January 30, 2010, 04:52:27 PM »

Quote
God heals. God forgives.

Say also that the medicine He uses may be bitter, and have unpleasant side-effects.
It only seems bitter and unpleasant because of our sins. Just as the Divine Energies seem as torment to those who reject Him.
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« Reply #421 on: January 30, 2010, 07:03:32 PM »

Would it be fair to say that God’s *discipline* is really a natural or expected consequence of our sin, rather than God actually instigating disciplinary action against us. For instance, if we overeat, we suffer the consequences of that sin as many health issues. While we might be suffering some kind of *punishment* for our lack of self-discipline, it’s not actually God who is dishing that *punishment* out; we did it to ourselves by our lack of discipline in the first place. In a spiritual sense, this can all be for our own good. Coming to accept of our own failings and dealing with them is a humbling affect that brings us closer to God; but the issues that we might be left dealing with aren't designed specifically to teach us a lesson; even though they do.
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« Reply #422 on: January 30, 2010, 07:36:02 PM »

Would it be fair to say that God’s *discipline* is really a natural or expected consequence of our sin, rather than God actually instigating disciplinary action against us. For instance, if we overeat, we suffer the consequences of that sin as many health issues. While we might be suffering some kind of *punishment* for our lack of self-discipline, it’s not actually God who is dishing that *punishment* out; we did it to ourselves by our lack of discipline in the first place. In a spiritual sense, this can all be for our own good. Coming to accept of our own failings and dealing with them is a humbling affect that brings us closer to God; but the issues that we might be left dealing with aren't designed specifically to teach us a lesson; even though they do.

Now that makes the most sense of all to me! But what about all the poor little children who suffer terrible things: starvation, abuse, deprivation etc. For what are they being punished? Maybe we just blame God for far too much. Maybe everything bad that happens is either, as Riddi said, a consequence of our own actions; or the actions of others, or simply, unfortunate circumstances completely out of our control and absolutely nobodys fault-like bad genetics, place and station of birth etc. ?
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« Reply #423 on: January 30, 2010, 08:59:03 PM »

Would it be fair to say that God’s *discipline* is really a natural or expected consequence of our sin, rather than God actually instigating disciplinary action against us. For instance, if we overeat, we suffer the consequences of that sin as many health issues. While we might be suffering some kind of *punishment* for our lack of self-discipline, it’s not actually God who is dishing that *punishment* out; we did it to ourselves by our lack of discipline in the first place. In a spiritual sense, this can all be for our own good. Coming to accept of our own failings and dealing with them is a humbling affect that brings us closer to God; but the issues that we might be left dealing with aren't designed specifically to teach us a lesson; even though they do.

Now that makes the most sense of all to me! But what about all the poor little children who suffer terrible things: starvation, abuse, deprivation etc. For what are they being punished? Maybe we just blame God for far too much. Maybe everything bad that happens is either, as Riddi said, a consequence of our own actions; or the actions of others, or simply, unfortunate circumstances completely out of our control and absolutely nobodys fault-like bad genetics, place and station of birth etc. ?

If everything that God has made and provided is good, so much so that there was a potential for humans to work and live in harmony on this planet forever, then it's humans who messed and are still messing things up; it's humans who reap the consequences. That's the message of Genesis, I believe. God provided; man stuffed up. Innocent children suffer, not from their own fault, and certainly not as punishment from God, but because we humans, instead of doing the good that we are designed to do by righteous living and receiving God's Grace, are selfish and proud - and wilfully stupid. Our spiritual illnesses affect everyone around us in a kind of ripple affect and we are all to blame for the suffering; not God. Each and every one of us is part of the problem as collective sin ravishes the planet and leaves the suffering, the starving, the dead in its wake.

Certainly, we can learn from personal suffering; even those that appear to be none of our doing. God is there to give us strength by His Grace, but we have to seek that Grace in humility or we are simply adding to the problem. That is the discipline, humbling ourselves. Grace just doesn't get through to the selfish, the prideful and the wilfully stupid. Without that Grace, we are always going to see the global consequences of suffering.
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« Reply #424 on: January 30, 2010, 11:43:51 PM »

Why is it necessary for you that God be subject to emotions?

How is God's Love dispassionate?  Isn't it deep and heartfelt?

Also, if in God there is no shadow of turning, then wouldn't that make him static; inert; quiescent?  Isn't a god that doesn't move a dead god?  Or are we making a designation between movement and turning, and you would say that God is infinitely moving, but only forward and never to the side?

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« Reply #425 on: January 31, 2010, 01:38:55 AM »

Dispassion is the state of not being subject to the passions.  It is not a total lack of feeling or emotional involvement.
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« Reply #426 on: January 31, 2010, 01:55:34 AM »

Why is it necessary for you that God be subject to emotions?

How is God's Love dispassionate?  Isn't it deep and heartfelt?

Also, if in God there is no shadow of turning, then wouldn't that make him static; inert; quiescent?  Isn't a god that doesn't move a dead god?  Or are we making a designation between movement and turning, and you would say that God is infinitely moving, but only forward and never to the side?

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« Reply #427 on: January 31, 2010, 02:20:35 AM »

Why is it necessary for you that God be subject to emotions?

How is God's Love dispassionate?  Isn't it deep and heartfelt?
Love is not a feeling, its an act of will.

Also, if in God there is no shadow of turning, then wouldn't that make him static; inert; quiescent?  Isn't a god that doesn't move a dead god?  Or are we making a designation between movement and turning, and you would say that God is infinitely moving, but only forward and never to the side?
You do realise that "no shadow of turning" is a direct quote from Scripture. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17).  God is not changing, nor would He have to move since He is "everywhere Present and filling all things". God is Beyond time and space. Eternity doesn't mean "forever" (thats "everlasting"), rather, Eternity is "all time and beyond". God is in the Eternal "Now". Think of it from this perspective: the same God Who is present in the world around you now is the same God Who was present in your parents world, and the same God Who was present in your Grandparents world, and Great Grandparents world, and so on. God has not changed. The world has changed but God has not changed. This same God will be present in your children's world, your grandchildren's world, your great grandchildrens world and so on long after you and I have died. The same God is present not only in all places, but in all times as well, and He is the same God. God's "foreknowledge" is because God dwells in the "Eternal Now" and to Him everything that exists, ever existed and will exist is present. As Scripture says:
"God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; And He is the same in all of them. " (Romans 4:17)
God doesn't think one way in one age and a different way in another age.

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« Reply #428 on: January 31, 2010, 08:23:27 AM »

Why is it necessary for you that God be subject to emotions?

How is God's Love dispassionate?  Isn't it deep and heartfelt?

Also, if in God there is no shadow of turning, then wouldn't that make him static; inert; quiescent?  Isn't a god that doesn't move a dead god?  Or are we making a designation between movement and turning, and you would say that God is infinitely moving, but only forward and never to the side?

I'm not trying to be difficult, I promise.

Dante would say God is the still point of the turning world, the centre around which everything else pivots. To see Him like that changes how you understand stillness, I think.
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« Reply #429 on: February 01, 2010, 08:31:22 PM »

Does your church believe that when God declares us righteous, that his words are fruitful and literally make us righteous?

Papist,

My apologies in being so long in responding to this question, but I was busy with the propitiation portion of the conversation, and other things as well. I had not forgotten just had not taken the time to get back to it till now.

I'm sure their are probably differences in the details, nuances in the implications, between our views. I don't know of any specifically off hand, but I've interacted long enough with both Catholic and Orthodox to know there usually are some differences, even if vague and underlying. That said...

Yes, I believe we literally become righteous. I do believe in imputation, but I do not believe that is the sum of the work of Christ in us. I also believe in imparted righteousness, infused if you will in the regenerate heart of the believer and progressively worked out into the experience and life as we are all the more conformed to the image of Christ. I am not merely counted righteous, though I am counted such, at least initially, but I have been cleansed of sin and reborn within into a state of true righteousness and holiness in heart (see Ephesians 4:24) which reflects in my living as I grow in grace and knowledge in the Lord.

A man who is said to have received only imputed righteousness is like unto Christ crucified, but not risen. Whereas a man who has received both the imputed and imparted righteousness of God is both dead with Christ, and to sin, and alive with Christ (resurrected), to God.

I trust this answers your question. If not then I am at a loss as to what it is you mean when you inquire if I believe God's declaration of righteousness to be fruitious.
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« Reply #430 on: February 02, 2010, 01:15:43 AM »

Does your church believe that when God declares us righteous, that his words are fruitful and literally make us righteous?

Papist,

My apologies in being so long in responding to this question, but I was busy with the propitiation portion of the conversation, and other things as well. I had not forgotten just had not taken the time to get back to it till now.

I'm sure their are probably differences in the details, nuances in the implications, between our views. I don't know of any specifically off hand, but I've interacted long enough with both Catholic and Orthodox to know there usually are some differences, even if vague and underlying. That said...

Yes, I believe we literally become righteous. I do believe in imputation, but I do not believe that is the sum of the work of Christ in us. I also believe in imparted righteousness, infused if you will in the regenerate heart of the believer and progressively worked out into the experience and life as we are all the more conformed to the image of Christ. I am not merely counted righteous, though I am counted such, at least initially, but I have been cleansed of sin and reborn within into a state of true righteousness and holiness in heart (see Ephesians 4:24) which reflects in my living as I grow in grace and knowledge in the Lord.

A man who is said to have received only imputed righteousness is like unto Christ crucified, but not risen. Whereas a man who has received both the imputed and imparted righteousness of God is both dead with Christ, and to sin, and alive with Christ (resurrected), to God.

I trust this answers your question. If not then I am at a loss as to what it is you mean when you inquire if I believe God's declaration of righteousness to be fruitious.
Yes, that answers my question. Thank you for responding. So you don't believe so much in the "dung covered in snow" of Luther?
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« Reply #431 on: January 12, 2013, 07:29:32 PM »

Neither my friend m. understands this mindset, and she is Evangelical too. I guess it has to do with some people's brain function. Some people are born and die with issues.
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« Reply #432 on: January 12, 2013, 07:34:17 PM »

It cannot be understood. It can only be experienced.
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« Reply #433 on: January 12, 2013, 07:39:53 PM »

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God heals. God forgives.

Say also that the medicine He uses may be bitter, and have unpleasant side-effects.
It only seems bitter and unpleasant because of our sins. Just as the Divine Energies seem as torment to those who reject Him.

I like that.
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« Reply #434 on: January 12, 2013, 09:14:46 PM »

Evangelicals are generally fueled by hyper-emotionalism--whereas more mainline denominations of Protestantism such as Baptists, Prestbyterians and Lutherans are somewhat more mature and sensible--there really is no concept of "suffering for God" or having our own Crosses to bear--including our death, but a happy-happy yuppy mindset that everything is good. This is why they are so reliant on vibrant events that are clearly secular (like Rock n Roll "worship" bands) under the label of "Jesus". Try not to feel too bad. They don't know any better. Pray for them.
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« Reply #435 on: January 17, 2013, 04:11:36 AM »

Disclaimer: I am not yet officially Eastern Orthodox



For all the people who are not Orthodox on this thread seeking to learn about Eastern Orthodoxy  I would give a word of caution: There are many  Eastern Orthodox who present their own opinions as the dogma in their church when in reality there is often a large degree of legitimate diversity of opinion about many important but not necessarily essential theological positions within Eastern Orthodoxy. Some examples of these controversial postions are: Beliefs regarding "aerial toll booths", whether Mary was completely sinless, the impassibility of God(God feeling nothing resembling emotion), the exact nature and mechanism of the Eucharistic change, and the exact nature of Christ's atonement. Keep in mind that there is a real anti-western bias that has crept into some EO minds(especially often converts) which makes them oppose anything that they deem to be Western. Another thing is that there is often a difference upon emphasis which at first seems like it is a contradiction but it is not really so. For example some EO will say that God heals the wounds inflicted by our sin, while a Western Christian would more likely say that God forgives our sins. To some at first it may seem that perhaps the Eastern Christian sees sin only as disease to be healed, and not also as a deed for which there should be some form of punishment. It is not however an either/or situation but a both/and situation. Healing the wound caused by sin is the same as forgiving the sin, because the wound is the punishment. A rule of thumb is outside of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and what is believed by all Orthodox Christians everywhere there is considerable room for theological speculation.
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« Reply #436 on: January 17, 2013, 04:24:32 AM »

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A rule of thumb is outside of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and what is believed by all Orthodox Christians everywhere there is considerable room for theological speculation.

The hymnographic and iconographic (of canonical content) deposit is the most accessible and reliable source of that the whole Church believes, teaches and proclaims, and best represents the consensus patrum. Be that folks would use this treasure as their first port of call when seeking answers to their questions!
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« Reply #437 on: January 17, 2013, 11:40:51 AM »

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A rule of thumb is outside of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and what is believed by all Orthodox Christians everywhere there is considerable room for theological speculation.

The hymnographic and iconographic (of canonical content) deposit is the most accessible and reliable source of that the whole Church believes, teaches and proclaims, and best represents the consensus patrum. Be that folks would use this treasure as their first port of call when seeking answers to their questions!
I think you're missing sheep's point.
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« Reply #438 on: January 17, 2013, 02:06:35 PM »

Dispassion is the state of not being subject to the passions.  It is not a total lack of feeling or emotional involvement.

tell them bro.
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