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Author Topic: Orthodox position on Jews and their salvation  (Read 3679 times) Average Rating: 0
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StGeorge
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« on: March 19, 2005, 04:17:07 AM »

Hello. I am a Latin Rite Catholic.

Ever since Vatican II, there have been numerous changes in how the Western Church officially views the Jews. Before Vatican II, I understand that the Jews were collectively held responsible for the death of Jesus. In fact, in the old order of mass for Good Friday, the phrase, "accursed Jews," was used in reference to their collective involvement in Christ's passion.

More recently, the Vatican has declared that the Jews should not collectively be held responsible for the death of Jesus. Also, there is a growing inclination in the Western Church (although, admittedly, no definitive and dogmatic definition has yet to be made) that the Jews no longer need to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation--that their own covenant with God is eternal and sufficient for salvation. There already is a de facto position held by the Catholic Church NOT to target Jews for conversion. Here are some disturbing passages from Cardinal Kasper, who heads the inter-faith dialogue committee with today's rabbis:

Quote
More recently, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Religious Relations with the Jews, explained this practice. In a formal statement made first at the seventeenth meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee in May 2001, and repeated later in the year in Jerusalem, Cardinal Kasper spoke of "mission" in a narrow sense to mean "proclamation" or the invitation to baptism and catechesis. He showed why such initiatives are not appropriately directed at Jews:

The term mission, in its proper sense, refers to conversion from false gods and idols to the true and one God, who revealed himself in the salvation history with His elected people. Thus mission, in this strict sense, cannot be used with regard to Jews, who believe in the true and one God. Therefore, and this is characteristic, there exists dialogue but there does not exist any Catholic missionary organization for Jews.

As we said previously, dialogue is not mere objective information; dialogue involves the whole person. So in dialogue Jews give witness of their faith, witness of what supported them in the dark periods of their history and their life, and Christians give account of the hope they have in Jesus Christ. In doing so, both are far away from any kind of proselytism, but both can learn from each other and enrich each other. We both want to share our deepest concerns to an often -disoriented world that needs such witness and searches for it.20

From the point of view of the Catholic Church, Judaism is a religion that springs from divine revelation. As Cardinal Kasper noted, "God’s grace, which is the grace of Jesus Christ according to our faith, is available to all. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, i.e. the faithful response of the Jewish people to God’s irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his promises."21
(http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/research/cjl/Documents/ncs_usccb120802.htm) (my emphasis added)

Personally, although I understand the modern dangers of being anti-semitic, I believe that the Western Church is going too far in its accomodations of Judaism as an apparently equally-acceptable path of salvation. From what I understand in Scripture, the Jews are cut-off from God's grace, and the Church is engrafted in the place that the Jews previously possessed. I find somewhat contrary to the ancient faith of the Church the idea that, so long as you believe in God, you are on the salvific path. Were the present bishops of the Catholic Church to go back to medieval Spain and teach this convivencia-style teaching--namely, that one doesn't need to be Christian, much less Catholic, to be saved--they most likely would be labeled as heretics and thrown into prison by the Spanish Inquisition. Scripture is pretty clear that only through Christ is there true salvation.

In any case, how do the Orthodox understand the Jews, their covenant, and the possibility of their salvation in openly not accepting Christianity?  
 
Do Orthodox change their beliefs to lessen charges of anti-semitism? If not, do they continue such beliefs without hesitation and without fear of being called anti-semitic??? Does Orthodoxy believe what has always been held by Christians about the Jews?


 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 04:22:26 AM by StGeorge » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2005, 06:48:46 AM »

Quote
Also, there is a growing inclination in the Western Church (although, admittedly, no definitive and dogmatic definition has yet to be made) that the Jews no longer need to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation--that their own covenant with God is eternal and sufficient for salvation. There already is a de facto position held by the Catholic Church NOT to target Jews for conversion.
Extremely dangerous view, and I would be very disappointed if it they forumlate the dogmatic reasoning for it, for there is none.
It is one thing to have talks inter-faith dialogues, and a totally other thing to concede what is very necessary for salvation for apparent political gain. This continuous dogmatic evolution by the RC's will lead to false unity. Maybe you can shed some light on why the RC church has adopted this way. WHat are the factors that makes it necessary for the RC church, which does not lack in power, to take this road ? 

As for jews , I will speak from an OO point of view:

- Salvation has to go through the blood of Christ, and there is no way around it. If there was, there would be no need for Son to be incarnate, if the covenant with Abraham was enough for salvation.
- I do not believe that stating a historical fact, such as the fact that it was the Jewish nation and the Jewish clergy who crucified the Lord Christ, is anti-semitic. It is an accurate statement, and even Jews do not dispute it, nor do they deny their responsibility for it. It is the same if an egyptian,like myself, denies that Pharaoh did persecute the Jews and denies that he did enslave them, and attack anybody who states this historically clear fact as "anti-hametic" (egyptians are hametic).
- The way for salvation is open for all nations: Jewish, Arab, chinease, africans, and there is no superiority of any race, ethnic group, nation over the other when it comes to salvation or for any other reason. We pray for everybody, including Jews, that they may come to the true faith and be saved, even if their ancestors crucified Christ. We still love them, but we do not appease anybody on the expense of faith.
- We do not try to portray Jews as villians. But there has to be a clear distinction between religion (Judaism) and politics (the state of Israel).
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2005, 07:53:45 AM »

Here is a sermon by Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), one of Russia's foremost theologians at the beginning of the 20th century and the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

You can read it on the Net at
http://www.new-ostrog.org/pogroms.html
 
SERMON AGAINST THE POGROMS
Antony, Metropolitan of Kiev
(Delivered in the Cathedral of Zhitomir on 20 April, 1903)




 
The joyous feast of reconciliation, the Resurrection of Christ, continues. We have completed the commemoration of the Thomas, who was the first to confess that the risen Jesus is our true God, and we are now singing of the deeds of the myrrhbearers. We commemorate those women who did not grow weak in their faithfulness to Christ even during the terrible days when He was betrayed and put to death, and who were accounted worthy to announce His resurrection to the apostles. The apostles would enlighten the world by proclaiming the resurrection, but these holy women had first enlightened the apostles with it.

In extolling their faith, the Church calls all of us to imitate this struggle and to participate in the preaching of the resurrection. We are called upon to become so penetrated by joy in Him that we not only forget about the evil done against us by enemies, but to forgive from our hearts their hatred toward us and not only forgive them, but even love our enemies. We must now strive to embrace with love all mankind, inviting them to share with us the spiritual ecstacy of that new life revealed so clearly to us, that everlasting life filled with blessed communion with God. Now is fulfilled that prophecy of Isaiah; "And everlasting joy ... illness, sorrow and sighing have, fled away" (Is 35:10).

The grace of Christ's resurrection shines brightly even in our corrupt age, and it shines not only on the pious but even on those who are unconcerned. During these sacred days, those who did not pray earlier now turn to prayer; even those whose hearts were hardened. We greet one another with the kiss of peace, and even the unmerciful and miserly find pleasure in showing love toward their neighbour. "Christ is risen and life springs forth" as the God-fearing voice of Chrysostom proclaims. But amidst such comforting circumstances in our Christian life, sorrowful, shameful news reaches us that in the city of Kishenev, on the very day of Christ's resurrection, on the day of forgiveness and reconciliation, there occurred the cruel inhuman massacre of unfortunate Jews.

At the very time when in the holy temples there was being sung, "Let us embrace one another and say 'brother' even to those who hate us..." yes at that very time, outside the church walls, a drunken, beastly mob broke into Jewish homes, robbing the peaceful inhabitants and tearing human beings into pieces. They threw their bodies from windows into the streets and looted Jewish stores. A second crazed, greed filled mob rushed in to steal the clothing and jewelry from the bloodied corpses, seizing everything they could lay hand on. Like Judas, these robbers enriched themselves with silver drenched in blood - the blood of these hapless human sacrifices!

O God! How did Thy goodness endure such an insult and offence to the day of Thy saving passion and glorious resurrection! Thou didst endure Thy terrible struggle so that we would be dead to sin and live in Thee (Rm.6:11), but here they cruelly and in a most beastly manner slaughtered those who are Thy relatives according to the flesh, who, though they did not recognise Thee are still dear to Thy heart as Thou Thyself didst say not long before Thou didst suffer in the flesh, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who killest the prophets and stone those who are sent to thee; how often have I longed to gather your children as a hen gathers its chicks under its wing, and you desired it not" (Matt. 23:37).

O brethren, I wish to make you understand this so that you would comprehend that even today the Jewish tribe is dear to God's heart, and realise that God is angered by anyone who would offend that people. Lest anyone suppose that we are selecting words from the sacred scripture with partiality, let me cite for you the words of that man whom the Jews hated above all men. This is the man whom a company of the Jews vowed neither to eat nor drink until they had killed him (Acts 23:12) - Apostle Paul.

Hearken to the words of God's spirit speaking through him: "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing my witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen" (Rm. 9:1-5).

Startling and frightening word! Did you truly write them, Paul, you who came to love Christ, who began to live in Christ as Christ lived in you? For whose sake did you consent to be separated from Christ? Was it not you, Paul, who wrote the lines preceding this verse "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rm.8:38-39). Even the angels could not have done that which you would voluntarily have done for the sake of the salvation of the Jews - those who were your enemies, your betrayers, they who beat you with whip, chained you in prison, exiled you and condemned you to death.

Behold, brethren and marvel: these words of Apostle Paul are spoken concerning the Jews, even though they were opposed to Christ's faith. Lest your perplexity i continue, that same apostle and martyr explaining in the following chapter, the reason for his love of the house of Israel! "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (10:1-2)

The words are confirmed in our own day by the life of the Jews. Observe for yourselves their dedication to their law, their preservation of the Sabbath, their faithfulness to their spouses, their love of work and their love toward their children, whom they encourage toward obedience. There was a time not so long ago when Christians excelled them in all these things, but in our present corrupt and degenerate age, we must look with regret upon all these qualities of the way of life of pious Jews. In our cities, the majority of Christians no longer distinguish between the ordinary day, feastdays and fasts, but have fallen into negligence and a loose life.

It is true that there are also some like this among the Jews, but from whom did they learn such a disorderly path? Alas, from those whose forefathers confess Christ, from European and Russian nihilists who, like toads, swarm over our land, whose books and newspapers poison the air around us like the plague and cholera.

The Karaim and Talmud Jews must be respected, but woe to both those nihilists from among the Jews and from among us, who are corrupting both family and society, who sow the seed of their contagion among Russian and Polish youth, and who are the main cause of the hatred toward the descendants of the holy forefathers and prophets beloved by the Lord. I am not speaking about respect for these nihilists among the Jews.

Listen as the blessed apostle further explains the reason for his warm, self-denying love toward this people; hear how he explains their unbelief and obduracy toward Christ "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy" (11:11). If the Jews had all accepted Christ's faith, then the heathens who despised the Jews would have rejected it. If the Jews had all believed, then we, brethren, would not have become Christians, but would still be worshipping Jupiter and Venus or Perun and Volass as our pagan ancestors did. Be cautious, therefore, about slandering the unbelief of the Jews; rather grieve over it and pray that the Lord may be revealed to them. Do not be at enmity with them, but respect the apostolic word about the Israelite root and the branches that broke from it "Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. " (11:20-21)

O Christians, fear to offend the sacred, even though rejected, tribe. God's recompense will fall upon those evil people who have shed blood which is of the same race as the Theanthropos, his most pure mother, apostles and prophets. Do not suppose that this blood was sacred only in the past, but understand that even in the future reconciliation to the divine nature awaits them (2Pt.1:4), as Christ's chosen vessel further testifies, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written. There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (11:25-27).

Let the savage know that they have slain future Christians who were yet in the loins of the present day Jews; let them know that they have shown themselves to be bankrupt opponents of God's providence, persecutors of a people beloved by God, even after its rejection (11:28).

How sinful is enmity against Jews, based on an ignorance of God's law, and how shall it be forgiven when it arises from abominable and disgraceful impulses. The robbers of the Jews did not do so as revenge for opposition to Christianity, rather they lusted for the property and possessions of others. Under the thin guise of zeal for the faith, they served the demon of covetousness. They resembled Judas who betrayed Christ with a kiss while blinded with the sickness of greed, but these murderers, hiding themselves behind Christ's name, killed His kinsmen according to the flesh in order to rob them.

When have we beheld such fanaticism? In Western Europe during the middle ages, heretics and Jews were shamefully executed, but not by mobs intent on robbing them.*

How can one begin to teach people who stifle their own conscience and mercy, who snuff out all fear of God and, departing from the holy temple even on the bright day of Christ's Resurrection, a day dedicated to forgiveness and love, but which they i rededicate to robbery and murder?

O believers in God and His Christ! Fear the Lord's judgment in behalf of His people. Fear to offend the inheritors of the promise, even though they have been renounced. We are not empowered to judge them for their unbelief; the Lord and not we will judge. We, looking upon their zeal even though it is "not according to knowledge" (Rm.10:2) would do better to contemplate their fathers: the righteous Abraham, Isaak, Jakob, Joseph and Moses, David and Samuel and Elijah, who rose to heaven still in the flesh. Look upon Isaiah who accepted voluntary death for the faith, Daniel who stopped the mouths of beasts in a lions' den, and the Maccabbee martyrs who died with joy for the hope of resurrections. Let us not beat, slay and rob people, but soften their hardness toward Christ and Christians by means of our own fulfilment of the law of God. Let us multiply our prayer, love, fasting and alms and our concern for those who are suffering, let us be zealous about the true essence of the faith; let our light so shine before people that they may glorify our heavenly father and Christ. Let us overcome unbelief and impiousness among Christians first, and then concern ourselves with the Jews, "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:20-21).


***
Saint Antony Khrapovitsky not only preached against the pogroms, and attempted to influence the government to intervene, but on at least one occasion, he placed himself in the breach. While he was bishop in Volyn, a mob of pogromists was marching on the local synagogue. Metropolitan Antony drove his carriage into the path of the surging march, placing himself between the mob and the synagogue, and censured the crowd for their intended crime.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 08:00:13 AM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2005, 11:13:01 AM »

StGeorge,

The Church considers itself the New Isreal, we are the Fulfillment of the Covenant God Made with Abraham, the Covenant is between us and God. Those who are outside of the Church do not have the Fullness of Grace, and can not claim any Covenant with God. The Jews are Heterodox, in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist, they have turned their back on God and His people, who are the Church. The crimes of the Jews, and their state in relation to God and His Church, are made clear in multiple Patristic texts, and even in the Oecumenical Synods (e.g. the Imperial Letter of St. Constantine promulgating the Decrees of the Great Synod in regard to Pascha).

However, since that was only half your question, I shall endeavour to address the soteriological aspect thereof. God shall save who he wills, and God shall condemn who he wills, and though we believe the Orthodox Church to have the fullness of the Faith and the fullness of Grace, membership therein has never been regarded as a guarantee of salvation (we really dont have any guarantees of Salvation, God gets to choose who to let into His Kingdom, not us), nor is Ignorance of Christ, His Law, and the Covenant between Christ the New Isreal, which is the Church, necessarily condemning, for as St. Paul said in his Epistle to the Romans,

'For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.'

So the Soteriology I'm getting at is: may the Lord have mercy on we who are Sinners, for by His Grace and Mercy alone are any saved.
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2005, 06:25:53 PM »

Those who are outside of the Church do not have the Fullness of Grace, and can not claim any Covenant with God. The Jews are Heterodox, in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist

This is very erroneous. It contradicts the teachings of Saint Paul which after all the Church accepts as inspired Scripture. Please see the many references to the correct teaching of the Apostle and the Church in the sermon of Metropolitan Antony above.

Quote
they have turned their back on God and His people, who are the Church. The crimes of the Jews, and their state in relation to God and His Church, are made clear in multiple Patristic texts

There is in some Church Fathers, notably Saint John Chrysostom, a level of anti-semitism which must be evalauted as wrong and sinful, although when we examine the historical circumstances we can understand their atitude better. A reading of Saint John's series of sermons against the Jews and their judaising fellow travellers must make any Christian shudder, especially where the Saint teaches that they are like beasts and fit only for slaughter.


« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 06:30:51 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2005, 06:59:19 PM »

Stavros,

Your post is indeed a breath of fresh air. Leaders of the RCC are indeed wrong to give the impression that people may approach God the Father without having to go through our Lord Jesus Christ. To give such an impression is to contradict both our Lord, who identified Himself as mankind's only way to God the Father ( John 14: 6 ), and the apostle Peter, who told Jewish religious leaders after the Resurrection, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" ( Acts 4: 12 ).

As to the corporate guilt some people think today's Jews have for our Lord's death, such a belief is refuted by the Torah and the prophet Ezekiel:

"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall chidren be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin" ( Deuteronomy 24: 16 ).

"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" ( Ezekiel 18: 20 ).

A lot of worry about anti-Semitism arose because Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ quoted the curse uttered by the Jewish mob calling for our innocent Lord's crucifixion: "His blood be on us and on our children!" ( Matthew 27: 25 ). Surely the murderers' blood was required of them during Jerusalem's fall in A.D. 70, but that does not mean their children would be automatically cursed, too. God, who is just and true to His word, would never violate His Law. He would have a curse fall only on those children who continued their parents' practice of blaspheming our Lord and persecuting His followers.

In Christ,
Mathetes
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2005, 07:17:34 PM »

GreekisChristian,

You wrote in part: "The Jews are Heterodox, in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist, they have turned their back on God and His people, who are the Church."

I've notice the word heterodox in Orthodox literature, especially in reference to Protestants, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.  To see it used of non-Christians makes me curious.  Do the Orthodox consider heterodox and heretical synonymous?  If not, how do the Orthodox think those words differ?

In Christ,
Mathetes
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 07:57:59 PM »

This is very erroneous. It contradicts the teachings of Saint Paul which after all the Church accepts as inspired Scripture. Please see the many references to the correct teaching of the Apostle and the Church in the sermon of Metropolitan Antony above.

I read through the article, and I really think you missed the point...the article wasn't that Jews are God's People so much as they were once His people, and we shouldn't kill them (except the communist and secular jews, of course) for the simple sake of robbery. He then makes a very weak argument from the Pauline Epistles to support his conclusion. The Point of the late metropoitan's sermon was not to make a statement on Ecclesiology, as I did, but to rather discourage theft and murder by drunken and unruly mobs (believe it or not, I have a similar objection to drunken and unruly mobs).

Moreover, the Patristic teaching that the Church is the New Isreal, that the True 'Jews' St. Paul refers to is to be interpreted as the Christians also have very biblical roots; did not St. Paul himself say to the Romans, 'As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.'

The blessings given to Isreal are understood by the Church to belong to Her, for it is She, and She alone, who is the Body of Christ as well as the New Isreal. It is not only St. John Chrysostom, but nearly the entirety of the Patristic record, that attests to that fact.

There is in some Church Fathers, notably Saint John Chrysostom, a level of anti-semitism which must be evalauted as wrong and sinful, although when we examine the historical circumstances we can understand their atitude better. A reading of Saint John's series of sermons against the Jews and their judaising fellow travellers must make any Christian shudder, especially where the Saint teaches that they are like beasts and fit only for slaughter.

Though you will get no argument from me that the Fathers were simply human, and subject to error, you should have something better than the modern politically correct cry of 'anti-semitism' to dismiss the writings of a Saint who is regarded as one of the Greatest Theologians of our Church; moreover, the Holy Saint was hardly alone in his posistion, not only did individual Fathers support this posistion, but it was promulgated through Holy and Oecumenical Synods, as is witnessed by our Canonical Tradition. So the writings of St. John do make me shudder, they make me shudder to consider the offences of the Jews that lead him to write what he did. Though I know why the Holy Saint wrote what he did, he wrote it because the Jews and their Judaizing allies were trying both to Undermind and Judaize the Apostolic Faith that the Holy Patriarch was responsible to defend, and on top of that were trying to deceive the Faithful entrusted to his Care and cause them to forsake Christ and the Church. How do you propose the Holy Patriarch respond to these people? Perhaps he could have decreed, 'Though the Holy Evangelist declared in his Acts that Salvation comes only from our Lord, I decree that there is another way, if you forsake the faith of the Apostles, defy the teachings of the Fathers, and apostatize from the Body of Christ to follow the Customs of the Jews and enter into the bondage of the Law, then by the teachings of the Jews, you may be saved'? I think not. There was a genuine threat, and St. Chrysostom responded to it, using the colourful polemic language for which he is so well known, and was so well loved.
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 08:09:35 PM »

A lot of worry about anti-Semitism arose because Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ quoted the curse uttered by the Jewish mob calling for our innocent Lord's crucifixion: "His blood be on us and on our children!" ( Matthew 27: 25 ).  Surely the murderers' blood was required of them during Jerusalem's fall in A.D. 70, but that does not mean their children would be automatically cursed, too.  God, who is just and true to His word, would never violate His Law.  He would have a curse fall only on those children who continued their parents' practice of blaspheming our Lord and persecuting His followers.

Very good point, 'curses' arn't inherited, they are brought upon ourselves when we forsake our Lord and reject His Church.


You wrote in part: "The Jews are Heterodox, in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist, they have turned their back on God and His people, who are the Church."

I've notice the word heterodox in Orthodox literature, especially in reference to Protestants, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc. To see it used of non-Christians makes me curious. Do the Orthodox consider heterodox and heretical synonymous? If not, how do the Orthodox think those words differ?

Technically speaking, the Heterodox are those who are not Orthodox, from Jews and Moslems to Baptists and Pentecostals. Heretics are those who were once part of the Church and adopted false teachings and left the Church, and their followers. Schismatics are those who were once part of teh Church and left the Church, yet did not adopt false teachings, and their followers. Apostates are those who were once part of the Church and renounced the Faith in its entirety. Technically speaking, the word I probably should have used to get my point across would have been 'infidel,' but because of the very strong negitive connotations and emotions that are associated with that word, I often will simple use the more general term of 'heterodox.'
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2005, 08:29:31 PM »



I read through the article, and I really think you missed the point...

I think it is you who have missed the point. You wrote that the Jews are " in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist"

This is not correct and the Apostle Paul disagrees with you. Do you not see what he is saying?
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2005, 08:52:08 PM »

Though you will get no argument from me that the Fathers were simply human, and subject to error, you should have something better than the modern politically correct cry of 'anti-semitism'

You are being too facile in your judgement of me. I was not indulging in any "modern politically correct cry of 'anti-semitism'."

Quote
to dismiss the writings of a Saint who is regarded as one of the Greatest Theologians of our Church; moreover, the Holy Saint was hardly alone in his posistion, not only did individual Fathers support this posistion, but it was promulgated through Holy and Oecumenical Synods, as is witnessed by our Canonical Tradition.

Saint John: "Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them"."

and:

"The Jews do not worship God but devils.... God hates the Jews, and indeed has always hated them. But since their murder of Jesus He allows them no time for repentance... It was of set purpose that He concentrated all their worship in Jerusalem that He might more easily destroy it."

I have not "dismissed" the writings of the Golden-mouthed but I am critical of this one aspect which I detest and find to be out of line with the Gospel.

I am not aware that the Ecumencial Councils recommended the slaughter of the Jews as did Saint John Chrysostom. Would you reference this for us. If the killing of non-Christians is enshrined in the teaching or the canons of Ecumenical Councils then their departure from the the teachings of Christ is obvious.

Quote
There was a genuine threat, and St. Chrysostom responded to it, using the colourful polemic language for which he is so well known, and was so well loved.

Some of his language may be colourful and well loved by the hoi poloi, but it is no different to that of Hitler and Goebbels whose antisemitic statements were also well loved at the time.

Here are Saint John's sermons against the Jews:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2005, 09:20:26 PM »

Quote
A lot of worry about anti-Semitism arose because Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ quoted the curse uttered by the Jewish mob calling for our innocent Lord's crucifixion: "His blood be on us and on our children!" ( Matthew 27: 25 ).  Surely the murderers' blood was required of them during Jerusalem's fall in A.D. 70, but that does not mean their children would be automatically cursed, too.  God, who is just and true to His word, would never violate His Law.  He would have a curse fall only on those children who continued their parents' practice of blaspheming our Lord and persecuting His followers.
Dear Mathetes,
I agree with you that the blood is required from the criminals only when it comes to a crime, but this phrase was uttered by the Jews as documented by the Holy Gospels, and it is indeed a historical fact and it would be a big mistake to omit it in a movie for political correctness (it was not translated though).
There is nobody more zealous or more of a Pharisee than Saul, and there is no doubt that the same person became the greatest evangelist and a great saint. His sins were forgiven although he was among the generation that crucified Jesus and added to it his personal crimes before turning his whole life around.
But we must not neglect that every non-believer will be asked for the blood of Christ, whether he lived in the generation that crucified him or in the 20th century. Christ was pierced in his side by only one soldier,and in many traditions this soldier is St.Longenuus, but the scripture says that :"Those who stabbed him ....", meaning all those who rejected salvation have stabbed Christ. As such, everybody who does not believe in Christ will have to answer for the same crime with the Caiphas and the rest of the Jewish nation.
To excuse the Jews from the crime will only happen when they believe.
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2005, 12:24:22 AM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by GreekisChristian:

Quote from: mathetes on Today at 05:59:19 PM
A lot of worry about anti-Semitism arose because Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ quoted the curse uttered by the Jewish mob calling for our innocent Lord's crucifixion: "His blood be on us and on our children!" ( Matthew 27: 25 ). Surely the murderers' blood was required of them during Jerusalem's fall in A.D. 70, but that does not mean their children would be automatically cursed, too. God, who is just and true to His word, would never violate His Law. He would have a curse fall only on those children who continued their parents' practice of blaspheming our Lord and persecuting His followers.


Very good point, 'curses' arn't inherited, they are brought upon ourselves when we forsake our Lord and reject His Church.

I agree with what both of you have written, but I seem to be somewhat confused on particulars extending from this logic. 

I understand that the Orthodox conception of original sin is slightly different than the Western, so I'm not going to heavily delve into how the guilt of original sin is passed on. However, I am curious (and please excuse me if this is a simple question), but if "curses" aren't inherited, then why must infants, who have not sinned, and, according to Orthodox understanding, do not have the guilt of original sin, die (the punishment given to Adam and Eve for their sinning)? It seems that the punishment given to Adam and Evefor their specific sin of disobedience and lack of faith is passed down to us in several ways, including death. Huh

I appreciate any help in clearing up any misunderstandings I am having Smiley
 

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2005, 01:23:25 AM »

I'm not sure if this is the exact teaching of the Church, but I will have a go and please correct me if i'm wrong.....

Death was brought on by Adam and Eve.......
The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ concurred Death brought on by Adam and Eve because of their sin...and did not admit(confess the truth) about who was to blame for their sin..they both pointed the finger at someone else other then themselves......
Which means at the final resurrection(The first being when Christ died on the Cross, and freed Adam and Eve and the others from eternal DEATH ) which is JUDGMENT DAY (not Arnold Swar.....cannot spell his name.......all will be alive and death will be no more....

I guess before Jesus Christ (Old Testament) all who died were placed in hades(A place for the demons)
The Apostles Creed is pretty good in explaining itself

http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/LGFLS/faith.shtml

Any way if I find any more info I will put it here...
helen..
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2005, 01:44:48 AM »

Adam.....was the first man created by God....
Jesus Christ came being the second Adam to fullfill the scriptures.....

here is a web site with some info ''The Descent of Christ into Hades ''
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx

QUOTE//
references from Holy Scripture to the Nicene-Creed:

I believe in (Romans 10: 8-10; 1 John 4: 15)
One God (Deuteronomy 6: 4, Ephesians 4: 6)
Father (Matthew 6: 9)
Almighty, (Exodus 6: 3)
Creator of heaven and earth, (Genesis 1: 1)
and of all things visible and invisible; (Colossians 1: 15-16) and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, (Acts 11: 17)

http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/holyscripturereferencestothecreed.htm
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2005, 02:26:18 AM »

I understand that the Orthodox conception of original sin is slightly different than the Western, so I'm not going to heavily delve into how the guilt of original sin is passed on.  However, I am curious (and please excuse me if this is a simple question), but if "curses" aren't inherited, then why must infants, who have not sinned, and, according to Orthodox understanding, do not have the guilt of original sin, die (the punishment given to Adam and Eve for their sinning)?  It seems that the punishment given to Adam and Eve for their specific sin of disobedience and lack of faith is passed down to us in several ways, including death.  Huh

Hopefully I can word this properly at this late hour.
First, part of your confusion is in using the term "guilt of original sin" that is passed on. This is Latin wording and teaching.
Orthodox - The guilt of Original Sin belongs to Adam and Eve. We inherit the consequences of the Original Sin in our continuing propensity to fall into temptation (recall the Lord's Prayer). And we are guilty of our own sins - many in my case.
Second, an infant is born with this same sinful nature -the ability and propensity to sin, even if no sin that we can see has been made.

Helen's post about Eternal (spiritual) death follows from here, and so I don't have to add to her good explanation.

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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2005, 07:48:10 PM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é:

Hopefully I can word this properly at this late hour.
First, part of your confusion is in using the term "guilt of original sin" that is passed on. This is Latin wording and teaching.
Orthodox - The guilt of Original Sin belongs to Adam and Eve. We inherit the consequences of the Original Sin in our continuing propensity to fall into temptation (recall the Lord's Prayer). And we are guilty of our own sins - many in my case.
Second, an infant is born with this same sinful nature -the ability and propensity to sin, even if no sin that we can see has been made.

Helen's post about Eternal (spiritual) death follows from here, and so I don't have to add to her good explanation.

Yeah, I understand that the Latin understanding of Original Sin is different, and that the Orthodox believe the guilt of Original Sin belongs exclusively to Adam and Eve. Thanks for explaining though.

I still don't understand why the punishments of Original Sin--in particular, death--placed upon Adam and Eve are placed upon infants who die in childbirth or are aborted in gestation, when those babies do not have the opportunity to sin before dying, and so cannot be held accountable for any sin of their own which would result in divine punishment on their own account. Even if the infant has not sinned and has but a sinful nature, would this infant not have had this sinful nature had Adam and Eve not sinned? It seems to me that the sinful nature is a kind of punishment passed onto all mankind by Adam and Eve's Original Sin. The infant, therefore, is not personally responsible for receiving the punishment of a sinful nature.  

I am thinking it may be that, since Original Sin changed the whole "nature" of things on earth, the punishments (or the consequences) of a changed earthly nature (including a new, sinful nature) from Original Sin are passed on to all mankind.

I apologize if I am approaching this situation with a Western mindset. What would an Orthodox say about this situation? I don't mean to irritate you Orthodox. I am simply trying to more fully understand the Orthodox understanding of the relationship between Adam and Eve's sin, the punishment leveled upon them for that sin, and the reason why every person today, including human vegetables, infants, etc., fall under the consequences of Original Sin.

If we are only held responsible for our own sins, then why should those who do not sin receive a sinful nature as the result of the sin of two other human beings?

Sorry if I'm still a little confused Huh

Maybe I'm misunderstanding as "punishment" which is really a "natural result" of Original Sin, in which case we don't receive the consequences of Original Sin as a punishment, but simply because "that's the way things now work" since Adam and Eve's Original Sin.  Please tell me if this is the case.   

Thanksfor posting! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2005, 04:51:34 AM »

St George,

Quote
I still don't understand why the punishments of Original Sin--in particular, death--placed upon Adam and Eve are placed upon infants who die in childbirth or are aborted in gestation, when those babies do not have the opportunity to sin before dying, and so cannot be held accountable for any sin of their own which would result in divine punishment on their own account.  Even if the infant has not sinned and has but a sinful nature, would this infant not have had this sinful nature had Adam and Eve not sinned?  It seems to me that the sinful nature is a kind of punishment passed onto all mankind by Adam and Eve's Original Sin.  The infant, therefore, is not personally responsible for receiving the punishment of a sinful nature.   

You'll probably find it helpful to understand this if you realise that whereas Roman Catholicism tends to use courtroom metaphors with regards to the Church, we tend to use hospital metaphors. In other words, you are seeing the consequences of Adam's sin as a punishment from God, whereas we don't.

If you think of mortality as God's punishment on Adam and Eve for their sins then, of course, the Orthodox understanding of Original Sin will not make sense to you. Punishing the innocent is a horrendous idea and not one we would associate with God. However, if you understand mortality as the consequence of Adam's turning away from God through his sin, you should understand better. God is the source of all life and Adam turned from Him. God had warned Adam that if he did this he would surely die, He did not say 'If you eat of the fruit I will kill you'. Adam' turning from God cut him off from the source of all life and gave him a corruptible nature, which all his descendants inherit - but they certainly do not inherit his guilt.

In effect, mankind is suffering from a sickness which is the result of an estrangement from God. Christ's Incarnation, then, was the only cure for this sickness as it divinised human nature allowing us to reenter the communion with God that was lost through Adam's sin. This is why our soteriology tends to focus on the entire Incarnation rather than just the sacrifice of the Crucifixion as is more common in western theology. I hope this goes some way towards clearing up your problems with the Orthodox understanding of the Fall and I hope that other Orthodox here will correct me if anything I have written seems wrong or overly simplistic. I am an ex-Protestant convert and I'm not always absolutely certain that western theology isn't creeping into my Orthodoxy.

James
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2005, 12:06:06 PM »

Why then did God authorize the killing of the children, for instance, when Israel conquered the Canaanites? I know God's ways are higher than ours, but this has always seemed one of the most troubling things recorded in Scripture. I'm not a Calvinist, but Calvinists have answered basically that God can do whatever He wants with His creation. Although there is some truth to do that, it doesn't on the surface seem to jibe with what else we know about God. How to the Orthodox answer this?
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2005, 01:24:39 AM »



You are being too facile in your judgement of me. I was not indulging in any "modern politically correct cry of 'anti-semitism'."



Saint John: "Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them"."

and:

"The Jews do not worship God but devils.... God hates the Jews, and indeed has always hated them. But since their murder of Jesus He allows them no time for repentance... It was of set purpose that He concentrated all their worship in Jerusalem that He might more easily destroy it."

I have not "dismissed" the writings of the Golden-mouthed but I am critical of this one aspect which I detest and find to be out of line with the Gospel.

I am not aware that the Ecumencial Councils recommended the slaughter of the Jews as did Saint John Chrysostom. Would you reference this for us. If the killing of non-Christians is enshrined in the teaching or the canons of Ecumenical Councils then their departure from the the teachings of Christ is obvious.



Some of his language may be colourful and well loved by the hoi poloi, but it is no different to that of Hitler and Goebbels whose antisemitic statements were also well loved at the time.

Here are Saint John's sermons against the Jews:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html

Personally, I think Irish Hermit is being a little too gentle here. It is long overdue for Christendom to repent, in sack cloth and ashes, for the numerous instances of virulent anti-semitism that blot its history. If John Chrysostom indeed wrote those malicious and putrid things regarding the Jews, which go so far as to put false words and vicious lies in the mouth of Our Lord Jesus Christ ( "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them"), well, I will not speculate on his eternal destiny, that is not my job. I will say I would not want to be in the shoes of anyone who said such things, when on Judgment Day I stand mute in Jerusalem before the Eternal Throne of the KIng of the Jews. This of course does not go only for Chrysostom, it goes for Martin Luther, whose pathological antisemitism is cheerfully quoted on many Muslim websites. It goes for Southern Baptists of yesteryear, who attended church services on Sunday morning and Klan meetings on Sunday evening. For all its faults, Rome is to be lauded for formally renouncing the toxic notion that the Jews bear some sort of collective guilt or responsibility for the Crucifixion. Christ was crucified by ME, and by YOU, gentle reader, as much as by the Jewish mob on that sad day in Jerusalem, or by the Roman authorities (who of course were the only people capable of pronouncing and implementing a death sentence). The matter of salvation of the Jews is a different matter and not as clearly delineated. Zola Leavitt, the well known Messianic Jewish televangelist, is completely in accord with Orthodox teaching, on this issue, working and praying for the conversion of his Jewish brethren to Christianity, without which they cannot be saved. The Catholics and mainstream Protestants have re-evaluated the situation in recent decades. God made His Covenant with Abraham, and when He did so, He said it was FOREVER. No time limit or expiration date was included. Assuming that Scripture is authentic, one might reasonably conclude that the Abrahamic Covenant must still be in effect, with the New Covenant being a means by which Gentiles might hope to be grafted on to it. Of course, Old Testament scripture is full of stories of God and His Prophets expressing dismay and anger at the chronic faithlessness and disloyalty of His chosen people. Even if the Covenant God made with Abraham is still in effect, that does not mean most Jews are adhering to its terms. Metropolitan Antony alluded to this in  his wonderful sermon quoted elsewhere in this thread. No where in Scripture is it implied that simply being Jewish gives one a free pass to Heaven. To the contrary, no one is sure of that, especially among those who spend the most time studying it and worrying about it and praying about it. God will save who He will. We all need to pray for mercy, for ourselves and others. I hope Chrysostom and Luther and the many other antisemite luminaries in Church history had occasion to reflect upon their feelings, and had a change of heart, before they went to meet their Maker, who sent his Prophets and His Son to the Jew first, and later to the gentiles. By the way, I should not have rto add this, but I will anyhow: I am entirely of Swedish-Scot-
Welsh descent, with some apocryphal French thrown in. No Jewish blood in my veins. Nor will there be until the first time I take the Holy Eucharist and taste the blood of Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2005, 02:12:11 AM »

I think it is you who have missed the point. You wrote that the Jews are " in no better State than the Moslem or the Hindu or the Buddhist"

This is not correct and the Apostle Paul disagrees with you. Do you not see what he is saying?

One who rejects Christ is an infidel; whether they worship the god of Mohammed, the Mahadevas of the Hindu, or the god of the Jews, they are rejecting the Triune God we worship and serve. Also, as I said before, the Theology in the New Testament refering to the Covenantal Relationship between God and Isreal or Jews is interpreted by the Church as refering to a Covenant between God and Herself.

I have not "dismissed" the writings of the Golden-mouthed but I am critical of this one aspect which I detest and find to be out of line with the Gospel.

Perhaps if you lived at that time, and had to deal with the Pastoral Concerns the Most Blessed and Holy Saint had to deal with you would not be so judgemental of his words. He sought to protect the flock entrusted to him, even if it meant stepping on the toes of some Apostates and Jews. Or perhaps you would have not cared if faithful left the Church to enter the Synagogues of the Jews, I dont know...but I know that St. John Chrysostom was concerned for good reason.

I am not aware that the Ecumencial Councils recommended the slaughter of the Jews as did Saint John Chrysostom. Would you reference this for us. If the killing of non-Christians is enshrined in the teaching or the canons of Ecumenical Councils then their departure from the the teachings of Christ is obvious.

I was refering to first of all the Canons against associating with Jews, and Secondly to the Letter Sent out by the First Oecumenical Synod Promulgating its decrees on the Dating of Pascha. A few quick quotes from it: 'It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the customs of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded.' And later, 'We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course; and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been lead by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?' There is, of course, more; however, the point is made, that not only did the Holy Saints, but even the Holy and Oecumenical Synods themselves realized the threat that the Jews were, and did what it could to counter that threat. The primary reason for the Establishment of a common date for Pascha was to ensure that the Feast was NEVER celibrated with the Jewish Passover (the greatest problem with the Gregorian Easter is that, some years, it can coincide with the passover of the Jews). The Jewish prosyletites were a threat to the Church, and the Church did what was necessary to protect her faithful, anything less would have been irresponsible and negligent at best. St. John Chrysostom was just more blunt than some (though by no means all), in what he thought was a just reward for those who hated God, and openly sided with the forces of evil in the battle against Him (which any who oppose the Church do).

Some of his language may be colourful and well loved by the hoi poloi, but it is no different to that of Hitler and Goebbels whose antisemitic statements were also well loved at the time.

That is an unfair analogy, which serves no purpose, save to attack the character of one of the Greatest Saints of the Church. There is a fundamental difference in the true anti-semitism of Hitler and G+¦bbels and the Pro-Christianity of St. John Chrysostom; whereas St. John would have recieved, with open arms, any Jew who confessed the errors of their ways, and renounced their apostasy against God, neither Hitler nor G+¦bbels had any interest in this. Hitler and G+¦bbels hated the Jews for who they were, as a people, something they could not change; St. John Chrysostom hated the blasphemies the Jews proclaimed, and desired that they come to repentance and embrace the Christian Faith, this was a choice each one of them had, and most chose to continue their opposition to God and their hatred of His Church.
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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2005, 02:44:44 AM »

One who rejects Christ is an infidel; whether they worship the god of Mohammed, the Mahadevas of the Hindu, or the god of the Jews, they are rejecting the Triune God we worship and serve.

Yet this is not what Saint Paul teaches the Church about the Jews. He writes to the Church at Rome:

"I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise in your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and thus all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come out of Zion, he will turn away godlessness from Jacob; and this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but in respect to election, they are beloved because of the patriarchs. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

You see that the Apostle does not place the Jews with the infidel as you would have it but as those beloved of God because of the patriarchs and with an irrevocable calling.

Quote
Also, as I said before, the Theology in the New Testament refering to the Covenantal Relationship between God and Isreal or Jews is interpreted by the Church as refering to a Covenant between God and Herself.

Yes we know this. Replacement theology is a cornerstone of the Fathers, Nobody disputes that. Of course it would be difficult to apply your own approach -that the relationship between God and the Jews spoken of by Saint Paul in the above passage should be interpreted as being between God and the new Israel the Church. It simply refers to the Jews themselves. It makes no sense if we reference to the Church.

We dispute your words where they stand in contradiction to the inspired teaching of the Apostle.

Quote
Perhaps if you lived at that time, and had to deal with the Pastoral Concerns the Most Blessed and Holy Saint had to deal with you would not be so judgemental of his words. He sought to protect the flock entrusted to him, even if it meant stepping on the toes of some Apostates and Jews.
Stepping on toes is one things. Advocating the murder of the Jews is quite another. Let us not be so naive as to equate the two.

Quote
Or perhaps you would have not cared if faithful left the Church to enter the Synagogues of the Jews, I dont know...but I know that St. John Chrysostom was concerned for good reason.
Did the Saviour advise us to kill the Jews if we are finding them a threat? Don't you see -you are bringing us another Gospel if you support that, and we know that we have been told by the Apostles and especially the Apostle John to reject any man who brings us a different Gospel to that which we have received. "Do not," says the Apostle John, "even welcome such a man into your house or you will share in his evil deeds."

Quote
I was refering to first of all the Canons against associating with Jews
Does your Patriarch not associate with Jews and even pray with them?


Quote
That is an unfair analogy, which serves no purpose, save to attack the character of one of the Greatest Saints of the Church. There is a fundamental difference in the true anti-semitism of Hitler and G+¦bbels and the Pro-Christianity of St. John Chrysostom; whereas St. John would have recieved, with open arms, any Jew who confessed the errors of their ways, and renounced their apostasy against God, neither Hitler nor G+¦bbels had any interest in this. Hitler and G+¦bbels hated the Jews for who they were, as a people, something they could not change; St. John Chrysostom hated the blasphemies the Jews proclaimed, and desired that they come to repentance and embrace the Christian Faith, this was a choice each one of them had, and most chose to continue their opposition to God and their hatred of His Church.

Who denies that Saint John wished the Jews tro enter the Church?

Answer this question... Do you believe that such circumstances can arise that bishops of the Church can recommend the slaughter of Jews?
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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2005, 11:18:01 AM »

I apologize if I am approaching this situation with a Western mindset.  What would an Orthodox say about this situation?  I don't mean to irritate you Orthodox.  I am simply trying to more fully understand the Orthodox understanding of the relationship between Adam and Eve's sin, the punishment leveled upon them for that sin, and the reason why every person today, including human vegetables, infants, etc., fall under the consequences of Original Sin. 

If we are only held responsible for our own sins, then why should those who do not sin receive a sinful nature as the result of the sin of two other human beings? 

Sorry if I'm still a little confused  Huh

Maybe I'm misunderstanding as "punishment" which is really a "natural result" of Original Sin, in which case we don't receive the consequences of Original Sin as a punishment, but simply because "that's the way things now work" since Adam and Eve's Original Sin. Please tell me if this is the case.
Well, I think you hit on it in this last paragraph, though not quite. "Punishment" can be both logical and natural. Logical punishment is "if you can't abide by my rules you can't live in my house". A Natural punishment would be "if, because you refused to abide by my rules you get kicked out of my house your children will be born and live outside my house as well".  Consider the situation of Australia. It was originally a penal colony for the British Empire. People were sent there as a punishment. When they had children, those children also lived in Australia. They participated in the punishment though they had no guilt for the crime and it was not "imposed" upon them by the British authorities or courts, but merely by being born to those particular parents.

Likewise, we inherit the effects of Adam's sin, the Fall, but not because God "imposes" it on each child who is born, but because it is a natural consequence of being born to the line of Adam.  We obtain our own logical punishments for rebelling against God all on our own.
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2005, 11:23:31 AM »

"I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise in your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and thus all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come out of Zion, he will turn away godlessness from Jacob; and this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but in respect to election, they are beloved because of the patriarchs. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."

You see that the Apostle does not place the Jews with the infidel as you would have it but as those beloved of God because of the patriarchs and with an irrevocable calling.

I thought of doing my own exegesis of this verse; however, since St. John Chrysostom himself has a Homily that Covers this Passage, I thought I'd simply appeal to the Patristic text, which was and is regarded as the exegesis of the Church (emphasis added is my own):

Quote
Ver. 25. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise m your own conceits."

Meaning by mystery here, that which is unknown and unutterable, and hath much of wonder and much of what one should not expect about it. As in another passage too he says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Cor. 15:51.) What then is the mystery?

"That blindness in part hath happened unto Israel." Here again he levels a blow at the Jew, while seeming to take down the Gentile. But his meaning is nearly this, and he had said it before, that the unbelief is not universal, but only "in part." As when he says, "But if any hath caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part" (2 Cor. if. 5): And, so here too he says what he had said above, "God hath not cast off His people whom He foreknew" (Rom. 11:2): and again, "What then? Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid" (ib. 11): This then he says here also; that it is not the whole people that is pulled up, but many have already believed, and more are likely to believe. Then as he had promised a great thing, he adduces the prophet in evidence, speaking as follows. Now it is not for the fact of a blindness having happened that he quotes the passage (for every one could see that), but that they shall believe and be saved, he brings Isaiah to witness, who crieth aloud and saith,

Ver. 26. "There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." (Is. 59:20.)

Then to give the mark that fixes its sense to salvation, to prevent any one from drawing it aside and attaching it to times gone by, he says,

Ver. 27. "For this is my covenant unto them,(1) when I shall take away their sins."

Not when they are circumcised, not when they sacrifice, not when they do the other deeds of the Law, but when they attain to the forgiveness of sins. If then this hath been promised, but has never yet happened in their case, nor have they ever enjoyed the remission of sins by baptism, certainly it will come to pass. Hence he proceeds,

Ver. 29. "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

And even this is not all he says to solace them, for he uses what had already come about. And what came in of consequence, that he states as chiefly intended, putting it in these words,

Ver. 28. "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes."

That the Gentile then might not be puffed up, and say, "I am standing, do not tell me of what would have been, but what has been," he uses this consideration to bring him down, and says, "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes." For when you were called they became more captious. Nevertheless God hath not even now cut short the calling of you, but He waiteth for all the Gentiles that are to believe to come in, and then they also shall come. Then he does them another kind favor, by saying, "As touching election, they are beloved for the fathers sakes." And what is this? for wherein they are enemies, punishment is theirs: but wherein they are beloved, the virtue of their ancestors has no influence on them, if they do not believe.

--St. John Chrysostom, Homily XIX on the Romans

I believe the Blessed Saint more than adequately explains the patristic understanding of that passage of Romans, you see, it is not opposed to Christian ecclesiology.

Yes we know this. Replacement theology is a cornerstone of the Fathers, Nobody disputes that. Of course it would be difficult to apply your own approach -that the relationship between God and the Jews spoken of by Saint Paul in the above passage should be interpreted as being between God and the new Israel the Church. It simply refers to the Jews themselves. It makes no sense if we reference to the Church.

We dispute your words where they stand in contradiction to the inspired teaching of the Apostle.

My words are consonant with the Teachings of the Apostles as interpreted by the Fathers. See Above.

Stepping on toes is one things. Advocating the murder of the Jews is quite another. Let us not be so naive as to equate the two.


Did the Saviour advise us to kill the Jews if we are finding them a threat? Don't you see -you are bringing us another Gospel if you support that, and we know that we have been told by the Apostles and especially the Apostle John to reject any man who brings us a different Gospel to that which we have received. "Do not," says the Apostle John, "even welcome such a man into your house or you will share in his evil deeds."

I think you misread the Holy Saint, he is not saying that we should necessarily kill the Jews, only that to do so would be their Just Rewards. But even though a people may be diserving of death, it is not always for us to give it to them; by their own law, the Jews should be stoned for their blasphemies, but that is not our way; St. John Chrysostom's intent was to speak to the gravity of the Crimes of the Jews, in hopes of both their salvation, and the salvation of those who might presume to follow their impieties, not to pass judgement on them as if he were the Judge in some secular court of Law.

Does your Patriarch not associate with Jews and even pray with them?

The situation is different today, the Jews are no longer the Threat the once were, they are no longer openly proselytizing, seeking to corrupt the faith, and draw the faithful from it. As their activities become less militant and violent against the Church, a different pastoral approach is called for; we now have the luxury of dialogue instead of polemics, in hopes of bringing them to salvation, a luxury we did not always enjoy.
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2005, 07:31:16 PM »



I thought of doing my own exegesis of this verse; however, since St. John Chrysostom himself has a Homily that Covers this Passage, I thought I'd simply appeal to the Patristic text, which was and is regarded as the exegesis of the Church (emphasis added is my own):



I believe the Blessed Saint more than adequately explains the patristic understanding of that passage of Romans, you see, it is not opposed to Christian ecclesiology.



My words are consonant with the Teachings of the Apostles as interpreted by the Fathers. See Above.



I think you misread the Holy Saint, he is not saying that we should necessarily kill the Jews, only that to do so would be their Just Rewards.

It seems the term "holy saint" is being used rather loosely here. I would substitute the term "demon of Hell". How gracious of this so-called "saint" to imply that we should not "necessarily" kill the Jews. Is one supposed to posit some difference in moral character or moral content between this "holy saint" and, say, Joseph Goebbels or Herman Goerring? I can only hope, very sincerely, that  this saint is being terribly misquoted, or dreadfully misinterpreted. Because if he is not - if his remarlks are accurately quoted and if they should be taken at face value, well then, he aint no saint. A good tree cannot being forth poison fruit, and that is poison fruit if I ever saw it. I don't care how many centruries ago it was, or what the historical context is, it needs to be disavowed and repudiated, and I personally express my own deep embarassment and regret that such toxic drivel can apparently be associated with a major figure purportedly belonging to the Church of Christ.
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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2005, 08:42:42 PM »

Orthodoxical,

While your post failed to present any arguments in support of your posistion, you did quite the job of denigrating your own character:

It seems the term "holy saint" is being used rather loosely here. I would substitute the term "demon of Hell".

Is the best support you can come up with for your posistion to libel one of the Greatest Saints of the Church? If you're going to attack the posistion of St. John Chrysostom, I would expect either an Oecumenical Synod or Library of Patristic references to be put forward in your defence; while we're on the issue of Oecumenical Synods, perhaps you'd like to comment on the Letter sent forth by the Great Synod of Nicea?

I was corrected before when I claimed that all these objections were nothing more than a 'modern politically correct cry of "anti-semitism;"' however, I have not been given any evidence to support another motive, and your 'argument' does not help your posistion. Please, enlighten me as to the reason you have to ignore historical circumstances and Christian ecclesiology inorder to libel the Saints of the Church?
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2005, 02:03:08 AM »

Quote
Originally Quoted by Jonathan_D:

Well, I think you hit on it in this last paragraph, though not quite. "Punishment" can be both logical and natural. Logical punishment is "if you can't abide by my rules you can't live in my house". A Natural punishment would be "if, because you refused to abide by my rules you get kicked out of my house your children will be born and live outside my house as well".  Consider the situation of Australia. It was originally a penal colony for the British Empire. People were sent there as a punishment. When they had children, those children also lived in Australia. They participated in the punishment though they had no guilt for the crime and it was not "imposed" upon them by the British authorities or courts, but merely by being born to those particular parents.

Likewise, we inherit the effects of Adam's sin, the Fall, but not because God "imposes" it on each child who is born, but because it is a natural consequence of being born to the line of Adam.  We obtain our own logical punishments for rebelling against God all on our own.

Thank you for clearing things up for me, and thank you for the demonstrationn

When you use "logical" v. "natural" punishment, are you drawing from a Patristic or theological vocabulary concerning sin, or are you simply using this vocabulary to elucidate your point?  What you wrote makes perfect sense, but for some reason I don't ever recall running into the distinction between these two types of punishment. 

In thinking about "logical" v. "natural" punishments, I can see some situations in which it is difficult to discern which is happening.  Oftentimes I wonder if what I suffer is simply a natural punishment of the Fall, a punishment for some sin I myself comitted, or neither, and instead a kind of redemptive suffering.   

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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2005, 04:07:53 PM »



Thank you for clearing things up for me, and thank you for the demonstrationn

When you use "logical" v. "natural" punishment, are you drawing from a Patristic or theological vocabulary concerning sin, or are you simply using this vocabulary to elucidate your point? What you wrote makes perfect sense, but for some reason I don't ever recall running into the distinction between these two types of punishment.

In thinking about "logical" v. "natural" punishments, I can see some situations in which it is difficult to discern which is happening. Oftentimes I wonder if what I suffer is simply a natural punishment of the Fall, a punishment for some sin I myself comitted, or neither, and instead a kind of redemptive suffering.
Actually, I was simply applying terminology from modern theories of discipline to the concepts. Legal sanctions are examples of "logical consequences". Natural consquences we see all around us. Jump off a building and, if it's tall enough, you're going to break something or even kill yourself. God doesn't half to impose that penalty, it simply is part of doing something "stupid".
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2005, 08:08:01 PM »

It should not be surprising that passions run high on this issue.
I think it is imortant to remember that the Fathers are human beings, and not everthing they write is of equal value.
Much of what St John has written is instructive for the Church. His comments on the Jewish People clearly are not.

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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2009, 08:23:51 PM »



You are being too facile in your judgement of me. I was not indulging in any "modern politically correct cry of 'anti-semitism'."



Saint John: "Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them"."

and:

"The Jews do not worship God but devils.... God hates the Jews, and indeed has always hated them. But since their murder of Jesus He allows them no time for repentance... It was of set purpose that He concentrated all their worship in Jerusalem that He might more easily destroy it."

I have not "dismissed" the writings of the Golden-mouthed but I am critical of this one aspect which I detest and find to be out of line with the Gospel.

I am not aware that the Ecumencial Councils recommended the slaughter of the Jews as did Saint John Chrysostom. Would you reference this for us. If the killing of non-Christians is enshrined in the teaching or the canons of Ecumenical Councils then their departure from the the teachings of Christ is obvious.



Some of his language may be colourful and well loved by the hoi poloi, but it is no different to that of Hitler and Goebbels whose antisemitic statements were also well loved at the time.

Here are Saint John's sermons against the Jews:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html

Personally, I think Irish Hermit is being a little too gentle here. It is long overdue for Christendom to repent, in sack cloth and ashes, for the numerous instances of virulent anti-semitism that blot its history. If John Chrysostom indeed wrote those malicious and putrid things regarding the Jews, which go so far as to put false words and vicious lies in the mouth of Our Lord Jesus Christ ( "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them"), well, I will not speculate on his eternal destiny, that is not my job.
Is Chrysostom quoting a text not included in the canon?
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« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2009, 12:29:45 PM »


Is Chrysostom quoting a text not included in the canon?

He's "quoting" (somewhat loosely) Luke 19:27, but it has always seemed to me that he quoted it radically out of it's context. (it's Luke's version of the parables of the talents, not Jesus actually talking to His Apostles about "the Jews".) It's a parable about what we do with what we've been given and applies to us all.  I do believe St. John quoted this completely out of context, both narrative and historical, and while I trust the Church that St. John was/is a saint, he certainly wore his sins on his sleeve.
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