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Author Topic: Orthodox never condemned Chiliasm  (Read 9797 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kaste
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« on: November 22, 2009, 12:19:17 PM »

Chiliasm: the belief Christ will return and rule for a thousand years before finally binding Satan in eternal flames and bringing down the New Jerusalem, as spoken of in Revelations 20. 

Some common objections:

1) Chiliasm was condemned in the early Church.

Answer: Not true, no authoritive council declared it heretical.  It only fell out of favor with the allegorical interpretation taking its place.  St. Irenaeus, St. Justin among others believed it.

2) Nicene Creed states that Christ will come to judge and His kingdom will have no end.  The literal thousand years assumes His kingdom has an end and therefore contradicts the Creed.

Answer: Not true.  A closer look at Rev 20 can have us see that although Christ returns and will reign with some for a thousand years
that need not assume "it ends" before the New Jerusalem comes down.  Christ's reign merely extends into the time when the new Jerusalem comes and so there is no contradiction with the Creed's statement on Christ's return, judgement, and eternal reign.

3) Orthodox don't read Revelations literally like those ignorant fundamentalists.

Answer: They used to, at least on this part they did.  Also the chiliast "Pre-millenial" belief only takes Chapter 20 in a fairly literal sense.

So can one be Orthdox and believe Christ will come and reign for a thousand years?  I don't see why not.

K
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 12:37:38 PM »

Quote
1) Chiliasm was condemned in the early Church.

Answer: Not true, no authoritive council declared it heretical.  It only fell out of favor with the allegorical interpretation taking its place.  St. Irenaeus, St. Justin among others believed it.

According to tradition, the Second Ecumenical Council condemned chiliasm as part of Apollinarianism. I'm sure that would suffice for most Orthodox, even if the evidence is somewhat lacking.
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 12:39:02 PM »

If we didn't have John 18, 36, I would agree with you.
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Kaste
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 02:11:15 PM »

If we didn't have John 18, 36, I would agree with you.

Then come, Mike, I will show you how you can agree with me, St. Justin, Iranaeus, and the other Fathers:

John 18:36 says Christ's kingdom is not of this world.  This is true.  Revelations 21:1 tells us that a new heaven and new earth were formed.  This is the place Christ's kingdom will continue to exist from the previous 1000 year reign.  There is no contradiction with John or with the Creed.

Asteriktos, Appolinarus was condemned by the 2nd Ecum Council because of his views on the nature of Christ.  Where is the part that condemns his view of Chiliasm? 

K
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 03:33:44 PM »

Quote
Asteriktos, Appolinarus was condemned by the 2nd Ecum Council because of his views on the nature of Christ.  Where is the part that condemns his view of Chiliasm? 

It's right underneath the part that condemns his views on the nature of Christ. Wink
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 03:56:16 PM »

For clarification, Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, as Revelations and Gospel of John confirm.  Nevertheless, He will reign for a thousand years on this post apocalyptic scorched earth as Revelations 20 explains before that Kingdom comes.  That 1000 year reign on earth is not His Kingdom, it is a lesser version of it.  It is a precursor to the Kingdom that will come down (extending not beginning His reign) to a "new" earth, as Rev 20 says.  The "Kingdom" will be in a new earth "not of this world, agreeing with your quote from John.  

Christ comes, rules for 1000 years on earth, continues His rule in His new Kingdom unto eternity. 

Asteriktos, maybe I'm missing your sarcasm, but I cannot find anything about chiliasm in the council.
http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum02.htm

Orthodox can believe this, just as they can a literal 6 days of Creation.

K  
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2009, 04:07:16 PM »

Quote
Asteriktos, maybe I'm missing your sarcasm, but I cannot find anything about chiliasm in the council.
http://www.piar.hu/councils/ecum02.htm

My point was that there isn't a lot of information that we have on the 2nd Ecumenical Council, and to deny that chiliasm was condemned there you must 1) deny what tradition says about that council, and 2) make an argument based on the absence of evidence ("I don't see chiliasm condemned in the surviving documents, thus it must not have been condemned"). If that's the route you want to go, that doesn't bother me, I just don't think such a route is going to convince many here.
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2009, 04:12:29 PM »

Asteriktos,

Yes, then that is the route I wish to go.  Let us go there then.  So what is the highest authority/tradition some Orthodox look to that says chiliasm was condemned at the 2nd Ecum Council? 

K
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2009, 04:48:04 PM »

Kaste,

Are you Orthodox?  Your profile says merely that you're a Christian with membership in the Invisible Church.  Most Orthodox don't identify themselves with an invisible church.  If you're not Orthodox, why are you on the Faith Issues board telling Orthodox what they are permitted to believe?
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2009, 09:46:30 PM »

What the 2nd Ecumenical Council did was, in its completion of the creed, add the clause "He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end."  That "his kingdom will have no end" was given as a response to chiliasm. 

As for Rev. 20, it clearly says that Christ will reign for 1000 years with "the souls of those beheaded" (vs. 4).   Are they alive?  No, as we see, they were beheaded, and vs. 5 says "but the rest of the dead lived not..."   It is referring not to the reign of Christ on earth with the living in some future age, but rather the present reign of the faithful departed with Christ in their souls, as clearly the text says, for clearly the strong man was bound at Pascha.     
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2009, 10:18:08 PM »

What the 2nd Ecumenical Council did was, in its completion of the creed, add the clause "He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom will have no end."  That "his kingdom will have no end" was given as a response to chiliasm. 

As for Rev. 20, it clearly says that Christ will reign for 1000 years with "the souls of those beheaded" (vs. 4).   Are they alive?  No, as we see, they were beheaded, and vs. 5 says "but the rest of the dead lived not..."   It is referring not to the reign of Christ on earth with the living in some future age, but rather the present reign of the faithful departed with Christ in their souls, as clearly the text says, for clearly the strong man was bound at Pascha.     

FatherHLL,

That's not how Ss. Iraneaus, Justin or Papias and other early Fathers interpreted it, and I do not read it that way either.  Those souls who were beheaded were those who did not wear the mark of the beast on their foreheads or arms.  This has not yet come to pass, but refers to those Christians who stand strong during the tribulation.  And when vs 5 mentions that some came to life and others did not, it is referring to those who are found in favor with God being resurrected, wheras those not will wait to be resurrected until after the thousand year reign to be judged.  I think this is a good example of 2 Christians disagreeing on a non-essential topic of the faith.  Literal 6 day creationism falls under the same category. 

I have adressed how the Creed's addition of "His kingdom will have no end" as being compatible in my previous posts.  However Asteriktos says that there may be a strong tradition showing that that phrase was put in to combat chiliasm specifically.  I would like to see statements from the Fathers backing this up.

K
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2009, 10:28:51 PM »

That's not how Ss. Iraneaus, Justin or Papias and other early Fathers interpreted it, and I do not read it that way either.

Church Fathers can be wrong.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 10:37:00 PM »

Which is something many people sometimes forget (St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Tertullian, Origen, etc have views on certain issues contradicting the Faith).
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 11:12:13 PM »

Clearly the first death isn't a physical death but rather a revival through baptism. As explained here in Ephesians. Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 11:42:35 PM »

The Church has always understood the Millennium to be "a very long time/forever", not "365,242.199 rotations of the earth precisely".

"for by the number of a thousand he denoted not the quantity of time but the universality, with which the Church excercises dominion." -Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job

"By the number of one thousand years, by no means is it reasonable to understand so many (years).... We infer the number one thousand to indicate either a great many or perfection.... The one thousand years, therefore, is the time from the year of the incarnation of the Lord until the coming of the Antichrist." - Apocalypse Commentary of Andrew of Caesarea, ch 60

He also says, after describing some alternative theories: "it is unnecessary to note that the Church has accepted none of these." (ibid, ch 63)  Just because some church fathers believed something doesn't mean it was true. It must be accepted by the whole church-- and millennialism/chiliasm was not.

The Bible often speaks symbolically using numbers. I don't know, but I dare say more often than not that's the case. Taking some of the numbers in Revelation literally leads to crazy theology of the LaHaye sort.

 
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2009, 12:08:06 AM »

Clearly the first death isn't a physical death but rather a revival through baptism. As explained here in Ephesians. Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

That interpretation is not clear at all.
If Baptism is the "first death" then why are the Baptised described as "sleepers"?
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2009, 12:45:05 AM »

Also Revelations 20:7 says after the 1000 years Satan will be released for a little while. 

If we are to take 1000 years to mean eternity this would not make sense. 

I think Ss Justin, Iranaeus, Papias etc... had it right.  In any event since no Ecumenical Council has declared this heretical, Orthodox are allowed to believe this, just as they are a literal 6 days of creation. 

The only thing that would pursuade me otherwise is if it can be shown that the phrase "and his kingdom shall have no end" was placed on the end of the Nicene Creed at the 2nd Ec Council specifically to combat chiliasm.  I don't think it was placed for that reason for the reasons I've already stated above, but I will hold my final judgment if such evidence can be shown.

K
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2009, 12:52:59 AM »

Also Revelations 20:7 says after the 1000 years Satan will be released for a little while.  

If we are to take 1000 years to mean eternity this would not make sense.  

I think Ss Justin, Iranaeus, Papias etc... had it right.  In any event since no Ecumenical Council has declared this heretical, Orthodox are allowed to believe this, just as they are a literal 6 days of creation.  

The only thing that would pursuade me otherwise is if it can be shown that the phrase "and his kingdom shall have no end" was placed on the end of the Nicene Creed at the 2nd Ec Council specifically to combat chiliasm.  I don't think it was placed for that reason for the reasons I've already stated above, but I will hold my final judgment if such evidence can be shown.

K
Kaste, you still haven't answered my question.  Are you Orthodox?
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2009, 01:05:50 AM »

Also Revelations 20:7 says after the 1000 years Satan will be released for a little while. 

If we are to take 1000 years to mean eternity this would not make sense. 

I don't think it means "eternity", but it does mean "a long unspecified amount of time." Not, as you suggest, "365242 days, 4 hours, 46 minutes, and 33.6 seconds."  Again from Andrew's commentary:

"For as it had been written above, it is not necessary to understand the one thousand (years) so much by the (literal) number. For neither what is being said in the Canticles, a man will lay down one thousand pieces of silver for his fruit, nor, one thousand to Solomon and two hundred to those who keep his fruit, meant this number, but (it means) the great quantity and the perfection in harvest, just as here also the harvest of the faith in perfection (is implied) after which the son of perdition, the man of lawlessness, will come..." (emphases in original)
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2009, 08:43:43 AM »

Also Revelations 20:7 says after the 1000 years Satan will be released for a little while.  

If we are to take 1000 years to mean eternity this would not make sense.  

I think Ss Justin, Iranaeus, Papias etc... had it right.  In any event since no Ecumenical Council has declared this heretical, Orthodox are allowed to believe this, just as they are a literal 6 days of creation.  

The only thing that would pursuade me otherwise is if it can be shown that the phrase "and his kingdom shall have no end" was placed on the end of the Nicene Creed at the 2nd Ec Council specifically to combat chiliasm.  I don't think it was placed for that reason for the reasons I've already stated above, but I will hold my final judgment if such evidence can be shown.

K
You consistently refer to the last book of the New Testament as "Revelations". Your lack of attention to detail undermines your credibility. Yes, I know I'm being picky on this, but you seem to be expecting to find specific and accurate references, so it is only fair that you likewise be specific and accurate.

I don't make any claims about being a scholar on the Ecumenical Councils or the Church Fathers, but it seems to me that since the issue of the details of the end of the age doesn't appear to have been a focus in the early church  I must wonder why you and others like you (I know very well you're not alone  Smiley ) want to make it so important. Please note that the book you refer to begins "The Revelation of Jesus Christ...." It is important to let our focus be on Jesus Christ - not on some pet doctrine over which Christians have squabbled throughout the ages.
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2009, 11:27:58 AM »

The Alexandrians opposed Chiliasm, from the early writers to St. Cyril himself, as did the Cappadocians in Asia Minor and Augustine in the West.

Although most modern scholars argue that Constantinople I (381) did not condemn chiliasm per se, St. Gregory the Theologian thought it had -- and I imagine he would know, since he was the president of the council for a short time after Meletius of Antioch died. In his mind, Apollinaris' reputed chiliasm was another example of why he was clearly unorthodox. More importantly, there aren't any major advocates of the position after the fourth century. As far as Orthodox Christians are concerned, that's all that matters. A belief that didn't make it out of the 3rd century, except in a few (often heretical) examples, doesn't pass the smell test.
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« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2009, 11:40:13 PM »

Kaste,

As a former advocate of pre-nicene chillism myself, I will second what pensateomnia had to say.

It is true that chillism was popular among many early fathers and nonfathers, but it is also true that it was opposed by some in early Alexandria and Rome, and so it wasn't universally tought, and I agree with pensateomnia when he said it was condemned in the second council. Pelagainism was condemned in the 3rd council, and yet, we don't just look at only one teaching when it comes to that condemnation. The same is true with Origenism. We just don't point to "one" teaching and say, "this is all Origenism is and nothing else, no, Origen had multiple errors, and the same is true with Apollinarianism.

Now when I debated this issue last year...or the year before.....I forgot what year, but when I did, I didn't know anything of what St. Gregory the Theologian had to say. The council was mostly an eastern council and so the westerners probably wouldn't of known the contents of it anyway. Chillism was extremely unpopular in the east in the 4th century. Chillism seemed more popular in the west around that time, eventhough it was dying out overthere as well, and since very few in the west attended that council, there would of been little to no restraint to stop the  christian east from condemning chillism.

It took about 70 something years for the 2nd council to be seen as ecomenical, and so, for a number of decades, you will still see small pockets of those who still believed in chillism, even after 381 A.D., but eventually it died out.

Like I said, before I became Orthodox, I use to advocate pre-nicene chillism. Now, if you want to know what Orthodoxy will or won't accept, then you will have to go to your local Orthodox priest and have a long talk with him..........that's what I did.

They may or may not allow you to struggle over that issue, for we all may have doubts about something every now and then, but it will be something you will have to talk about with the local priest in your area.

However you seem to want to teach the idea or advocate it, and that's just not gonna fly. Now I don't know what type of chillite you are, but the transition from pre-nicene chillism to eastern christian amill is not hard at all.

It's fairly easy. If I can do it, you can do it.


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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2009, 01:34:02 AM »

I think Ss Justin, Iranaeus, Papias etc... had it right.  In any event since no Ecumenical Council has declared this heretical, Orthodox are allowed to believe this, just as they are a literal 6 days of creation. 

Where exactly do they say these things?  Do you have sources or are you just fabricating lies about the fathers?
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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2009, 02:16:51 AM »

Elder Cleopa on Chiliasm: http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/orthodox/orthodox_advices_cleopa_thousand_year_reign.htm

"As I explained to you earlier, the True Church of Christ understands the “millennium” of Holy Scripture mystically and symbolically to mean an indeterminate number of years. Do you think that Scripture only in this passage speaks in a mystical and veiled manner, or could it be that many hard to comprehend subjects are approached in this way? Are there not, in fact, many mystical, symbolic and allegorical expressions or events that cannot be explained literally (Rev. 5:1) but carry exalted and spiritual meanings often completely different from that readily apparent? How can we explain the book of Revelation literally when it is bound with seven seals? (Rev. 6:4) What is the red horse that is like unto fire? And what of the seven angels who were given seven plagues? (Rev. 15:1-7) How should we understand them?"
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2009, 08:20:07 AM »

The debate I was talking about from last year:

This was my second time defending nonchillism, for most of my life I have been fighting for chillism. And so I personally feel that I slightly lost this debate, but I learned alot in the process. In the future, I can only get better at defending eastern christian amill.

Part 1
http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2008/07/my-rejoinder-to-jason-engwer-of.html

Part 2
http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2008/07/my-rejoinder-to-jason-engwer-of_26.html










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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2009, 09:32:51 AM »

Where exactly do they say these things?  Do you have sources or are you just fabricating lies about the fathers?

Both Justin and Irenaeus were chiliasts, in large part because of how they understood the broader stream of Judaic politico-apocalypticism, especially as it interpreted Isaiah and Ezekiel. Ezekiel in particular speaks of the gathering of Israel from amongst the nations and the creation of a new, sanctified land for the Jews. Justin, Irenaeus and other second/third century chiliasts understood these prophecies as literally true: God would overthrow the Romans and establish a new, holy empire in Jerusalem. Kind of fits nicely into the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic polemic against Rome.

Check out Dial. Trypho 80 and Adv. haer. 5.35.

Other Christian writers from the second and third century saw this kind of talk as Judaizing, as did the great fourth century fathers.
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2009, 05:49:37 PM »

Jnorm,

Good advice to talk to a priest.  Do you know of any priests saying it's ok to believe in chiliasm?  

What part of St. Gregory Theologian's opposition to chiliasm convinced you?  

I don't see the problem with believing this.  How petty to come down hard (not you Jnorm) on someone for believing this.  This is no different than believing in 6 literal days of creation.  

K
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2009, 06:21:10 PM »

Where exactly do they say these things?  Do you have sources or are you just fabricating lies about the fathers?

Both Justin and Irenaeus were chiliasts, in large part because of how they understood the broader stream of Judaic politico-apocalypticism, especially as it interpreted Isaiah and Ezekiel. Ezekiel in particular speaks of the gathering of Israel from amongst the nations and the creation of a new, sanctified land for the Jews. Justin, Irenaeus and other second/third century chiliasts understood these prophecies as literally true: God would overthrow the Romans and establish a new, holy empire in Jerusalem. Kind of fits nicely into the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic polemic against Rome.

Check out Dial. Trypho 80 and Adv. haer. 5.35.

Other Christian writers from the second and third century saw this kind of talk as Judaizing, as did the great fourth century fathers.

Much thanks!  now that you put the sources i vaguely remember looking at these two in particular...interesting.  I will definitely look into it! 

What do you think about the later fathers' assessment of Justin & Ireneus?
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2009, 11:13:24 PM »

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Kaste, you still haven't answered my question.  Are you Orthodox?

Since he isn't answering, I would guess the answer is no.
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2009, 12:47:54 AM »

Jnorm,

Good advice to talk to a priest.  Do you know of any priests saying it's ok to believe in chiliasm?  

What part of St. Gregory Theologian's opposition to chiliasm convinced you?  

I don't see the problem with believing this.  How petty to come down hard (not you Jnorm) on someone for believing this.  This is no different than believing in 6 literal days of creation.  

K


I have a question. When it comes down to it what difference does it make if we believe in chiliasm or some other kind of "ism" about the book of Revelation? What practical bearing does it have on anyone's salvation? How does it help anyone grow in communion with God?

Maybe I just don't get it...........Huh



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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 11:32:11 PM »

Jnorm,

Good advice to talk to a priest.  Do you know of any priests saying it's ok to believe in chiliasm?

No, but that one issue shouldn't stop you, for if you agree not to advocate it nor teach it to the faithful, but to only keep it to yourself, then I don't see the problem. But this is something you will have to work out with the local priest........I really don't want to tell you what my priest told me.

 I don't know if I should tell you the story about my own sponsor/godfather falling into the error or not. He picked it up for a time through reading some of the pre-nicene fathers, nonfathers, schizmatics, and heretics.

But like I said before, it's a pastoral issue. If one knows that we don't have infallible fathers, and that they can error on certain topics, then it's easy to overlook some of the errors in the pre-nicene world. But that takes time, patience, and humility on the part of the seeker.

 
Quote
What part of St. Gregory Theologian's opposition to chiliasm convinced you?
 

He didn't convince me for at the time I didn't know what he said about it. Most of my reading from 1997/1998 to 2007 have been mostly in the early nicene, and pre-nicene world. I did read Saint John Cassian, Saint John Chrysostom, and Saint Augustine, as well as a few others, but I never really read St. Gregory the Theologian before 2007. ......and so, I didn't know what he had to say about it.

Before 1997/1998 I was a dispensationalist and so the chillism I was raised in came from that tradition. After 1997/1998 to 2007 I was strictly pre-nicene chilism, and so what convinced me was the fact that I knew that pre-nicene chillism wasn't the only pre-nicene eschatological view, and I knew that those who opposed it were true christians just like those in whom I looked up to who held it were true christians.........I am only saying this because I want you to know my mindset at the time........you see, being raised the way I was, and it might be similar for you as well........but for me, it was all about being a true christian!!! Being saved......etc. And since I saw them as being just as saved as the ones in whom I favored, I knew that it would be safe to make the switch if I ever had to.

And that time came when I was tired of being alone. You see, alot of the people who follow David Bercot end up alone with no fellowship to run to. I know I didn't mention Bercot before, but I tried to become Orthodox back in 1997/1998. I called an Antiochian parish over here in Pittsburgh.....right around Christmass time, and no one returned my phone call.

And so, I went back to school, surfed the net, and found Bercot's website, and I was sidetracked for almost 10 years. I became interested in the convergence of the streams movement, and I stopped following Bercot around 2003 when his fellowship in Texas fell apart.....as well as him changing his mind over a number of issues. Also in 2003 I became Anglo-Catholic within the ECUSA.......I had an extremely hard time taking the Lord's supper in most protestant churches.......a really really hard time, and I thought that an Anglo-Catholic parish was my best bet in not only trying to find fellowship, but to also partake of the Sacraments. My conscience at the time wouldn't allow me to partake in any other protestant church.

 And when the main group within the convergence movement had their scandel in Semptember of 2006, that's when I decided to look east again.

And so, giving up chillism as well as my rejection to our Blessed Mother being ever-virgin were the two things I gave up in order to become EO.

1.) I was tired of being an odd ball in most protestant churches for reading the church fathers
2.) I was tired of being alone without anywhere to fellowship
3.) I knew that the early pre-nicene nonchillites were just as true and saved as my pre-nicene chillite favorites

And so I changed.


Quote
I don't see the problem with believing this.  How petty to come down hard (not you Jnorm) on someone for believing this.  This is no different than believing in 6 literal days of creation.  
K


Hey, as long as I can believe in a future Anti-christ/man of sin, with a future tribulation, as well as a future second coming, then I'm willing to give up pre-nicene chillism.

The switch isn't that hard to make Kaste, it's not that hard to make. You can still love your favorite pre-nicene chillite Saints, for we don't have infallible fathers in EO. Our fathers and nonfathers can error, and so it really shouldn't be a problem. You may not be able to understand why now, but you might after being Baptized or Chrismated. The Divine Mysteries should be pretty high on your list, for at the end of the day, a belief or a nonbelief in chillism isn't gonna spiritually feed you.

So learn what you can about the Divine mysteries.........for I found that in the same pre-nicene chillite fathers, and that is what ultimately drove me to EO. I need the Mysteries Kaste. I needed the Mysteries more than I needed the other things, and so I dropped them.

Take care and God bless! I hope you have a happy thanksgiving with your loved ones.









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« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2009, 03:06:36 AM »

Thanks Jnorm, a good post and very fitting for me. 

You said: "Hey, as long as I can believe in a future Anti-christ/man of sin, with a future tribulation, as well as a future second coming, then I'm willing to give up pre-nicene chillism."

So Orthodox at least believe in these things?  And also do they think "Christ's 1000 year reign" began in the 1st Century and goes until he returns?  If so, how do Orthodox account for the period of the anti-Christ (which comes before Christ returns)?...That would conflict with Christ's reign that according to the allogorizors began in first century and continues uninterrupted until His return. 

I appreciate your sharing, especially the part that the Mysteries are important.

K
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« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2009, 09:00:45 AM »

Thanks Jnorm, a good post and very fitting for me. 

You said: "Hey, as long as I can believe in a future Anti-christ/man of sin, with a future tribulation, as well as a future second coming, then I'm willing to give up pre-nicene chillism."

So Orthodox at least believe in these things?  And also do they think "Christ's 1000 year reign" began in the 1st Century and goes until he returns?  If so, how do Orthodox account for the period of the anti-Christ (which comes before Christ returns)?...That would conflict with Christ's reign that according to the allogorizors began in first century and continues uninterrupted until His return. 
Most Orthodox believe that some of things written in Revelation have been fulfilled, some are being fulfilled now, and still others are to come. Most would say that the Tribulation began with the Age of the Church. It is characterised by persecution and the reign of Anti-Christ, who is not a single person but any person or entity which sets themselves up as contrary to Christ's will. In addition, the Second Coming of Christ itself is a once and future event. Christ comes to us in the Liturgy every time we celebrate it, yet we also eagerly await His Coming. For us, though, it is not a return, because Christ never left us. He is and always shall be Immanuel, God With Us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ. By trusting in Christ, all who repent can find eternal life. The lake of fire is to come, but the devil has already been defeated, and we believe that Christ reigns over all the earth even now.
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« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2009, 10:41:08 AM »

Thanks Jnorm, a good post and very fitting for me. 

You said: "Hey, as long as I can believe in a future Anti-christ/man of sin, with a future tribulation, as well as a future second coming, then I'm willing to give up pre-nicene chillism."

So Orthodox at least believe in these things?  And also do they think "Christ's 1000 year reign" began in the 1st Century and goes until he returns?  If so, how do Orthodox account for the period of the anti-Christ (which comes before Christ returns)?...That would conflict with Christ's reign that according to the allogorizors began in first century and continues uninterrupted until His return. 

I appreciate your sharing, especially the part that the Mysteries are important.

K

"The Second Coming of Christ will be unmistakable: it will be sudden, from heaven and it will mark the end of this world. There can be no preparation for it save only the Orthodox Christian preparation of repentance, spiritual life, and watchfulness. Those who are preparing for it in any other way who say that He is anywhere here who preach that Jesus is coming soon without warning of the great deception that is to precede His Coming: are clearly the prophets of Antichrist, the false Christ who must come first and deceive the world, including all Christians who are not or do not become truly Orthodox. There is to be no future millennium. For those who can receive it, the millennium of the Apocalypse is now; the life of Grace is the Orthodox Church for the whole thousand years between the First Coming of Christ and the time of Antichrist. That Protestants should expect the millennium in the future is only their confession that they do not live in it in the present--that is, that they are outside the Church of Christ and have not tasted of Divine Grace." - Fr. Seraphim Rose
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« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2009, 02:38:54 PM »

First: how do I quote multiple pieces of people's statements?  Smiley

Ytterbiumanalyst said:

"As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ."

This, however, directly conflicts with Rev 20:3: "and threw the devil into the abyss, whch he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed."

The devil has led nations astray so this idea that Rev 20:3 refers to the period between Christ's death and Second coming does not hold.  

Another poster, appologies to whom this was, stated I can believe in Chiliasm as long as I don't teach it or ask other Orthodox to believe this.  Afterall it's not heretical, merely discouraged.  

Ukiemeister,

Thanks for posting the Fr. Rose remarks.  I was half wrong by implying he believed in chiliasm and creationism.  Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.

K
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« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2009, 03:18:45 PM »

First: how do I quote multiple pieces of people's statements?  Smiley

I usually copy and paste the sections I want to quote, highlight them, and click the Quote button above (looks like a dialog box from a cartoon).  If you prefer to type it out, it's [ quote ]Text text text [ / quote ] without all the spaces between the brackets (that was just so you'd see it and it wouldn't activate the tag).  To include the quoted author, it's [ quote author = INSERTNAMEHERE ] text text [ / quote ].  Here's the rest of your post quoting the authors (which is in nested quotes; basically, you just quote each author and be sure to close each set of tags, so [ quote author = Kaste ] [quote author = ytterbiumanalyst] and then close Mr Y's text block with [ / quote ] and then your text box with [ / quote ].


Quote from: Kaste
Quote from: Ytterbiumanalyst

"As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ."

This, however, directly conflicts with Rev 20:3: "and threw the devil into the abyss, whch he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed."

The devil has led nations astray so this idea that Rev 20:3 refers to the period between Christ's death and Second coming does not hold.  

Another poster, appologies to whom this was, stated I can believe in Chiliasm as long as I don't teach it or ask other Orthodox to believe this.  Afterall it's not heretical, merely discouraged.  

Ukiemeister,

Thanks for posting the Fr. Rose remarks.  I was half wrong by implying he believed in chiliasm and creationism.  Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.

K

Hope that makes sense.  Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2009, 03:31:07 PM »

Thanks for posting the Fr. Rose remarks.  I was half wrong by implying he believed in chiliasm and creationism.  Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.

The Church does not waver on this. The Church simply says that a certain position either way on this matter is not essential for one's salvation. Church tradition also says that the first Ikon written was written by St. Luke. This is church tradition, not church dogma. One is certainly allowed--although not many do--to believe that St. Luke did not write the first ikon.

At the Judgment, we will not be asked what our position was on the interpretation of Genesis, or who wrote the first Ikon. We will be asked whether or not we fed the poor, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the prisoner, cared for the sick and suffering. To allow ourselves to be distracted by such trivial matters as interpretations of Genesis is beside the point.
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« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2009, 03:40:54 PM »

Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.
This is not a "current" view of the Orthodox Church, it has been around from the time of the Early Fathers who were in fact divided over the issue of a literal 6 x 24 hour days. See http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Chapter3.htm
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2009, 04:19:04 PM »

First: how do I quote multiple pieces of people's statements?  Smiley

Ytterbiumanalyst said:

"As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ."

This, however, directly conflicts with Rev 20:3: "and threw the devil into the abyss, whch he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed."

The devil has led nations astray so this idea that Rev 20:3 refers to the period between Christ's death and Second coming does not hold.  

Another poster, appologies to whom this was, stated I can believe in Chiliasm as long as I don't teach it or ask other Orthodox to believe this.  Afterall it's not heretical, merely discouraged.  

Ukiemeister,

Thanks for posting the Fr. Rose remarks.  I was half wrong by implying he believed in chiliasm and creationism.  Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.

K


I have to agree with Kaste on this one, to suggest that the devil was "bound" at Messiah's resurrection is in direct conflict with what St. Peter wrote here, years after Messiah ascended into Heaven:

{1 Peter 5:8} Be watchful and remember, because your enemy, Satan, roars as a lion and walks about and seeks whom he may swallow.

A person who is "bound" cannot walk or do anything - they are powerless, Satan has been defeated but he is not powerless, he wouldn't still be trying deceive the nations if he truely acknowledges his defeat. Satan has been deceiving the nations ever since the Cross and is still deceiving them today, in fact if anything, he's been even more determined to deceive them since Messiah's resurrection, because Messiah being the true light showed us the way, so now it's harder for Satan to keep mankind in the dark.

Consider this, if Satan has been bound all this time then how do we explain the biggest deception in human history, namely Islam? Or do we credit this to the angel Gabriel? The interesting thing the nations that have fallen prey to this deception are the "nations" specifically mentioned in Scripture by name (read the Prophets). So Satan has successfully deceived the nations, and therefore has not been bound yet, or perhaps the millenium officially ended in the 7th century? If 1000 years is symbolic for an unspecified time, which I feel is a valid interpretation, then if the "literal" period could equal more than 1000 years, then it stands to reason that it could also equal less than 1000 years. Islam was the first major deception to arise after the Apostolic age, all the other major world deceptions (like Hinduism & Buddahism) date before Messiah's 1st comming, and no other deception, either before or since, has equalled Islam in power, influence, number, brutality and sheer hatred against Christians and Jews.

I used to be a staunch Premillenialist, now I'm undecided. I need to study Amillenialism in greater detail before I form an official stance on it. I will say that when it comes to studying Eschatology chronologically, I'm not 100% satisfied with either position. I can't get all the pieces of the puzzle to fit with either, but I can get more pieces to fit with Premillenialism than with Amellinialism, but then again chronology isn't the only thing to consider in Eschotological study.

So far I see little evidence that Satan was ever bound, sure when the Church was established in Jerusalem and moved into the Greco-Roman world, Satan must've felt really beaten up with all them Church Fathers condemning all his attempts of raising heresies. But did that discourage him from his ultimate mission? Did he throw in the towel after that? No, he went "roaming through the earth and walking back and forth in it" among heathen nations till he made his way to Arabia and found the "opportunity of lifetime" - the result was his most successful brainchild ever, his greatest masterpiece.

For now I'm of the opinion that if the millenium hasn't began yet, then it ended 610 CE.

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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2009, 04:43:44 PM »

First: how do I quote multiple pieces of people's statements?  Smiley

Ytterbiumanalyst said:

"As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ."

This, however, directly conflicts with Rev 20:3: "and threw the devil into the abyss, whch he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed."

The devil has led nations astray so this idea that Rev 20:3 refers to the period between Christ's death and Second coming does not hold.  

Another poster, appologies to whom this was, stated I can believe in Chiliasm as long as I don't teach it or ask other Orthodox to believe this.  Afterall it's not heretical, merely discouraged.  

Ukiemeister,

Thanks for posting the Fr. Rose remarks.  I was half wrong by implying he believed in chiliasm and creationism.  Though he did believe in 6 literal day creation, even though the Orthodox Church wavers on this currently.

K


I have to agree with Kaste on this one, to suggest that the devil was "bound" at Messiah's resurrection is in direct conflict with what St. Peter wrote here, years after Messiah ascended into Heaven:

{1 Peter 5:8} Be watchful and remember, because your enemy, Satan, roars as a lion and walks about and seeks whom he may swallow.

A person who is "bound" cannot walk or do anything - they are powerless, Satan has been defeated but he is not powerless, he wouldn't still be trying deceive the nations if he truely acknowledges his defeat. Satan has been deceiving the nations ever since the Cross and is still deceiving them today, in fact if anything, he's been even more determined to deceive them since Messiah's resurrection, because Messiah being the true light showed us the way, so now it's harder for Satan to keep mankind in the dark.

Consider this, if Satan has been bound all this time then how do we explain the biggest deception in human history, namely Islam? Or do we credit this to the angel Gabriel? The interesting thing the nations that have fallen prey to this deception are the "nations" specifically mentioned in Scripture by name (read the Prophets). So Satan has successfully deceived the nations, and therefore has not been bound yet, or perhaps the millenium officially ended in the 7th century? If 1000 years is symbolic for an unspecified time, which I feel is a valid interpretation, then if the "literal" period could equal more than 1000 years, then it stands to reason that it could also equal less than 1000 years. Islam was the first major deception to arise after the Apostolic age, all the other major world deceptions (like Hinduism & Buddahism) date before Messiah's 1st comming, and no other deception, either before or since, has equalled Islam in power, influence, number, brutality and sheer hatred against Christians and Jews.

I used to be a staunch Premillenialist, now I'm undecided. I need to study Amillenialism in greater detail before I form an official stance on it. I will say that when it comes to studying Eschatology chronologically, I'm not 100% satisfied with either position. I can't get all the pieces of the puzzle to fit with either, but I can get more pieces to fit with Premillenialism than with Amellinialism, but then again chronology isn't the only thing to consider in Eschotological study.

So far I see little evidence that Satan was ever bound, sure when the Church was established in Jerusalem and moved into the Greco-Roman world, Satan must've felt really beaten up with all them Church Fathers condemning all his attempts of raising heresies. But did that discourage him from his ultimate mission? Did he throw in the towel after that? No, he went "roaming through the earth and walking back and forth in it" among heathen nations till he made his way to Arabia and found the "opportunity of lifetime" - the result was his most successful brainchild ever, his greatest masterpiece.

For now I'm of the opinion that if the millenium hasn't began yet, then it ended 610 CE.



I don't think the binding is such that it would not keep the accuser from roamning around.  I believe that he no longer has the ability to completely blind humanity to God as he once did, hence the binding.  I am sure, trying to remember, were scripture says that there will be a time when a great delusion comes over mankind near the end sent by God.  It is possible a reference to the  unbinding of satan to blind those not of Christ completely for a short time.
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« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2009, 04:58:09 PM »

Ytterbiumanalyst said:

"As for the "thousand-year reign," most of us take that to be tied with the binding of the devil, which occurred at the Harrowing of Hell. By rising from the tomb, Christ bound the devil, so that though he may tempt, and though humans may give in to that temptation, ultimately the devil cannot overcome the power of Christ."

This, however, directly conflicts with Rev 20:3: "and threw the devil into the abyss, whch he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed."

The devil has led nations astray so this idea that Rev 20:3 refers to the period between Christ's death and Second coming does not hold.  
I apologise. I was under the impression you actually wanted to know what the Orthodox believe. Now I see you just want to tell us we're wrong. Sorry for trying to provide you with information; you can rest assured I won't be making the same mistake again.
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2009, 05:08:50 PM »

Suppose Orthodoxy never officially (or clearly) condemned chiliasm. Why should we believe that it's about a literal 1.000-year of Christ ruling on Earth?



P.S.: I thought that visions were to be interpreted, not taken literally.
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« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2009, 05:24:56 PM »

I don't think the binding is such that it would not keep the accuser from roamning around.  I believe that he no longer has the ability to completely blind humanity to God as he once did, hence the binding.

OK but that's assuming that he ever had this ability to begin with. I don't believe this has ever been the case, as St. Paul specifically said that it was Eve who was deceived not Adam, Eve was blinded but Adam willfully and consciously chose to listen to Satan and disobey God. That story is a good illustration of how evil works in the world - half of it is due to Satan's deception, the other half is due to man's deliberate disobediance to God's commandments.

Messiah defeated Satan not only in His death but also in His life. He exposed Satan and the tactics Satan uses. The Prophets had almost nothing to say about Satan, back then he was a hidden enemy, when Messiah exposed Satan in broad daylight his power, which was limited to begin with, decreased signifanctly, "darkness hates light".

I am sure, trying to remember, were scripture says that there will be a time when a great delusion comes over mankind near the end sent by God.  It is possible a reference to the  unbinding of satan to blind those not of Christ completely for a short time.

{2 Thessalonians 2:9-12} For the coming of that [one] is by the working of Satan, with all power pand signs and lying wonders and with all the asdeception of wickedness that is in the perishing [ones], because they did not receive the love of the truth by which they should have life. Because of this, God will send them the asworking of deception that they should believe the lie and [that] all of them would be condemned, those who did not believe with truthfulness, but delighted in wickedness.

That's an interesting observation, thanks. And yes I think this could be directly linked to Satan "being released for a short time", since God bound him (through His angel) only God can release him. For a possible historical fulfillment, the rise of Islam is the best candidate IMO.

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Kaste
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« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2009, 07:20:57 PM »

Mrs. Y, yes thank you that helps Smiley

Ytterbiumanalyst, realize not everyone is bound to agree with you.

Ukiemeister, yes agreed, the proper interpretation in Genesis won't get us into Heaven, but the same can be said about Revelations.  There is room for disagreement yet salvation for both sides.

Gamma Ray, a thousand year literal interpretation isn't mandatory but I believe it makes the most sense.

Nazarene, excellent idea: since some groups don't view the 1000 years as literal, maybe it could be less.  I hadn't thought of that, but the thousand years (which you interpret as 600 years from Christ to Islam) would not seem to account for Rev 20:4 which talks about rewarding those who rejected the beast's mark on their foreheads or hands.  Where would that fit in along with all the other actions that were supposed to have taken place by the time the thousand year (or 600 in your interpretation) reign takes place, such as the beast performing great signs and miracles such as healing its mortal wounds, demanding that all inhabitants of the earth make an image of it, and finally the marks everyone must have as found in Rev 13? 

Your interpretation would mean that all this must have already occurred. 

I think people are going to be very surprised and unprepared, especially in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches when these events do take place in a manner very similar to what Ss Justin and Iranaeus believed, and as the book seems to read.

As for me, since no Ecumenical Council condemned it, I will most likely hold to the more literal interpretation as a theologoumen and will wait it out for the Orthodox to either support or officially condemn it.  Until then it falls under "sententia communis" doctrine

K

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« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2009, 07:38:07 PM »

As for me, since no Ecumenical Council condemned it, I will most likely hold to the more literal interpretation as a theologoumen and will wait it out for the Orthodox to either support or officially condemn it.  Until then it falls under "sententia communis" doctrine
If you're not Orthodox, then what does the decision of an Ecumenical Council even matter to you?
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