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Author Topic: Why did God allow Constantinople to fall?  (Read 4412 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kaste
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« on: December 06, 2009, 03:29:56 PM »

And Orthodoxy in general to decline before the fall so steadily after 700AD? 

And why is Orthodoxy not spreading in the West like the Christian Faith did so rapidly in the 1st century?

K
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 03:46:16 PM »

And Orthodoxy in general to decline before the fall so steadily after 700AD?

 Another one of your antagonistic impulses disguised as a question I see.
   
And why is Orthodoxy not spreading in the West like the Christian Faith did so rapidly in the 1st century?

K

 Holy Orthodoxy is the Christian Faith, Kaste. 

 You'll have to do better than this if you want honest and sincere dialogue.
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 04:28:31 PM »

And Orthodoxy in general to decline before the fall so steadily after 700AD?  

And why is Orthodoxy not spreading in the West like the Christian Faith did so rapidly in the 1st century?

K

Alaska is as far west as you can go, and the Orthodox Church is the largest Church there.  And the mass conversions took place after the Russian government left.  Why is it that the Western churches needed western imperialism to make converts in the east?

And Orthodoxy spread from Constantinople across Russia into the Arctic Circle and across into the New World after 700 AD, in fact the majority of Orthodox today live in lands evangelized after 700 AD, so I don't know what you are talking about.  Do you?

As for Constantinople falling, she put her faith in the sons of men at Florence, and suffered accordingly.
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 06:14:41 PM »

The trouble I think Iasalmry, is that the Byzantine Empire steadily shrank after about 700AD.  This was way before the bishops at Florence "turned away from Orthodoxy".  I don't think it's reasonable to lay the guilt on those uniate bishops.  Take a look at maps showing Byzantium through the centuries...it's fate was over long before 1453's union. 

Though I suppose one could say, Rome fell in 476 to Arians...still Bishop of Rome grew from that "transition" whereas it seems the East lost a lot of its flock to the Turks...

In any case, it's something I've wondered about reg. Byzantine history.
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 06:24:07 PM »

Quote
Why did God allow Constantinople to fall?

An even more pertinent question is:  Why did God allow Jerusalem to fall?

The sacred centre of the Old Testament, the place which Jesus preached, the place where He was crucifed, the place where He rose from the dead.

The place which the Lord chose as the founding city for the congregation of Christians, the home of His brother James the first bishop of Jerusalem, the place where the Christians held their first church council, the place seen as "home" by the Apostles.

Why did God allow this Holy City to fall?  Was it a judgement against the Jews?  A judgement against the Christians?
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 06:57:24 PM »

Why did He allow the jews to be expelled from the Holy Land and their temple to be destroyed?
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 07:11:12 PM »

So people are comparing the fall of Constantinople with the fall of Jerusalem... and the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that Orthodoxy has also been rejected just as post-Christ Judaism was. Well, if you guys insist, I won't argue with you!
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 07:39:32 PM »

Orthodoxy still grew after 700A.D. to ignore that fact is to pick and choose what you want from history.

Asteriktos,

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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 07:44:41 PM »

Why did God allow Hitler to be born?  Judgment on the world?
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 07:48:54 PM »


Asteriktos,

What's up with all the hostility?
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What are you talking about?  Huh
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 07:51:26 PM »

And Orthodoxy in general to decline before the fall so steadily after 700AD? 

And why is Orthodoxy not spreading in the West like the Christian Faith did so rapidly in the 1st century?

K

Considering that the Land of Rus was not baptised until 998 CE and is now the largest home of Orthodoxy, how do you argue that it went into decline after 700 CE?
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 07:57:44 PM »

So people are comparing the fall of Constantinople with the fall of Jerusalem... and the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that Orthodoxy has also been rejected just as post-Christ Judaism was. Well, if you guys insist, I won't argue with you!

I think the point is the emptiness of Kaste's implication that if God don't like ya he'll make your walls tumble down and your enemies will come pouring in.   Poor old Pope Pius IX had the same experience when the Italian armies fought him for control of the Papal States and Rome.  In 1870 the Pope lost the war and Rome was captured by the Italians!
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2009, 08:00:37 PM »

Kaste, it is tempting to equate earthly success with true orthodoxy (small "o" in this case). If we allow ourselves to think this way, Catholicism's "Over 1 Billion Catholics can't be wrong!" logic and Islam's "We're the world's fastest growing religion!" logic is inescapable. ([Some] Atheists use this false logic too--"Abandon religion so you can have electronic toys" and so forth).

The honest truth is that there really isn't a one-to-one relationship between holiness and blessing in the present sense. Job was a holy man whom God allowed to suffer. Satan told God that Job would curse Him if Job lost his blessings. In addition to material loss and poor health, Job's friends out of ignorance accused him of being a sinner. Job, despite all afflictions, refused to curse God and as a result, God blessed him with even more than he had before.

The hard thing about faith is that even if a faith is not "blind," there is always an aspect of uncertainty in it. Who knows how Job really felt during his trials? Maybe his friends were right, or maybe he thought God was not there. There was no way for Job to know that God was there for him until He came. Some of the Psalms cover this, particularly the idea that evil men prosper and good men perish. But in the end, good and evil alike share death as a common fate.
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2009, 09:08:02 PM »

The trouble I think Iasalmry, is that the Byzantine Empire steadily shrank after about 700AD.

No trouble at all.
Here's the Empire around 700.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/ByzantineEmpire717%2Bextrainfo%2Bthemes.PNG
Here's the empire during the Comnena restoration, about a hundred years after 1054 and almost a century after your friends the Crusaders came.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5f/Byzantium_in_1170%283%29.PNG

Oh dear.  It seems the Empire got bigger.

Quote
 This was way before the bishops at Florence "turned away from Orthodoxy".  I don't think it's reasonable to lay the guilt on those uniate bishops.  Take a look at maps showing Byzantium through the centuries...it's fate was over long before 1453's union.

Yes. 1204.


Quote


Though I suppose one could say, Rome fell in 476 to Arians...still Bishop of Rome grew from that "transition" whereas it seems the East lost a lot of its flock to the Turks...

Really?  You are right, the Arians ran things in the West until the Emperor came from the East and put an end to that.  What happened to Rome's flock in North Africa, the original homeland of the Latin mass and St. Augustine and the Father of Latin Fathers, Tertullian?

I've seen a lot of the flock in the East in Russia, throughout the Balkans, all the way up to Finland, not to mention in Antioch, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt.  Further down there are two Christian Orthodox countries, Eriteria and Ethiopia, who didn't need to have European colonialists bring Christianity, as they had it centuries before most Europeans.  Oh, and btw, there is a Turkish flock, the Gagauz too in Europe.  The Turkish Karamanli Orthodox went to Greece with the population exchange, but they were about a million.



Quote
In any case, it's something I've wondered about reg. Byzantine history.
K
"reg. Byzantine history"?  Is that like revisionist Marxist theory?
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 10:05:15 PM »

Ialsmisry: If you have a look at the following trend, it shows the decline, though yes, it does spike back up briefly, the trend is overwhelmingly negative after Justinian and definitely before Council of Florence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Byzantine_Empire

IrishHermit, good point about Jerusalem and Job.  But Job did receive double what he lost right?  Perhaps Orthodoxy though is going through a long Job phase?  Perhaps this is true, if that is what you are suggesting, though it does seem long.

And Jerusalem being overun.  The Roman Catholics believe they are the new Jerusalem as do Orthodox (is this correct?) so I suppose a Catholic would respond with Rome is the Church, and that is why it has come out on top (though Rome experienced a few "Job" moments herself, as was pointed about by a poster).  And I would suppose there were some in that city early in 1453 who believed their city would not fall because they are the True Church, in the same way Roman Catholics may claim Jerusalem could be overrun because Jerusalem-the-Church transferred to Rome.

K

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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2009, 10:22:02 PM »

The Roman Catholics believe they are the new Jerusalem as do Orthodox (is this correct?)

Yes, Orthodoxy holds unashamedly to replacement theology.   This is not seen as PC anymore by other Christians and even Rome has been backing away from it, but not the Orthodox.
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2009, 10:27:59 PM »

If God allowed man to fall because of his own activity, why are you surprised that Constantinople fell?  Why would it mean more than Adam & Eve's mistake?
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2009, 03:38:12 AM »

So people are comparing the fall of Constantinople with the fall of Jerusalem... and the only conclusion that I can draw from that is that Orthodoxy has also been rejected just as post-Christ Judaism was. Well, if you guys insist, I won't argue with you!

I'm referring to pre-Christian Judaism. Back when they were the *ahem* "chosen people".  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2009, 05:51:27 AM »

Ialsmisry: If you have a look at the following trend, it shows the decline, though yes, it does spike back up briefly, the trend is overwhelmingly negative after Justinian and definitely before Council of Florence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_the_Byzantine_Empire

1204 is definitely before Florence. What of it?  

Funny you should mention Justinian, as he reigned almost a century after Old Rome fell (you were aware that Old Rome fell, no?).

And a do believe that the papal states have declined a bit, in a overwhelmingly negative trend, from this:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/PapalStates1700.png
to this.

http://www.rome.info/vatican/map/mapvatican.gif
and even this is restored, with Mussolini's help.

They ended up lasting less than the Empire of the Romans in the East, which saw plenty of states in the West come and go.

Btw, you in the "invisible church" do know that He said "My Kingdom is not of this World?"

And then you have this to explain:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Imperio_Ruso_zenith.PNG

btw, the Green should go down to San Francisco.


Quote
IrishHermit, good point about Jerusalem and Job.  But Job did receive double what he lost right?  Perhaps Orthodoxy though is going through a long Job phase?

Not even a century since 1917. Not terribly long when you are millenia old. You wouldn't know about that in the invisible church.


Quote
Perhaps this is true, if that is what you are suggesting, though it does seem long.
Roll Eyes

Quote
And Jerusalem being overun.  The Roman Catholics believe they are the new Jerusalem as do Orthodox (is this correct?) so I suppose a Catholic would respond with Rome is the Church, and that is why it has come out on top (though Rome experienced a few "Job" moments herself, as was pointed about by a poster).

Like the self inflicted wounds of Vatican II?  The Reformation?  The Great Western Schism?  The Avignon Papacy?....

Quote
And I would suppose there were some in that city early in 1453 who believed their city would not fall because they are the True Church, in the same way Roman Catholics may claim Jerusalem could be overrun because Jerusalem-the-Church transferred to Rome.

K



The Vatican overran Jerusalem in 1099, yet it is still around, although the Tomb worshippers are working on that.
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2009, 05:53:27 AM »

The Roman Catholics believe they are the new Jerusalem as do Orthodox (is this correct?)

Yes, Orthodoxy holds unashamedly to replacement theology.   This is not seen as PC anymore by other Christians and even Rome has been backing away from it, but not the Orthodox.

That's a topic for another thread, Father.
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2009, 08:23:29 AM »

The reasons?
1) Evil and sufferings are a part of this world.
2) The Roman Empire had lost its reasons to exist, both in the East and in the West.
3) Because the mystery of iniquity had to be shown after the Fall of the Roman Empire, so to give access to power for the future Antichrist, who will find it easier to conquer a divided world then a united one.
4) Because the Church is infallible, but humans are not.
5) In order to purge the Orthodox Church from her cesaropapist tendencies when they came to work no more in advantage of Church unity.

Some Orthodox believe that the Fall of Constantinople was followed by Moscow, the Third Rome. Sincerely, I can't speak for the Orthodox or for the Catholic, but I don't think that having lost the Roman Empire was necessarily a sign that the Orthodox church is not the true Church, as well as the Avignon captivity of the Papacy can't be used as an argument to say that Rome has never been a part of the infallible Catholic Church. The Church is CHRIST'S, and no chief on Earth has an exclusive authority over it. Even a better reading of the Papal infallibility clearly proves that Popes can err in their private opinions on faith and that some Popes have been heretic, as stated in clear letters by pope Adrian VI (1522-1523) regarding John XXII. In the very same way, the Orthodox Church has survived the Fall of Constantinople and the Soviet persecution brilliantly. I think this proves exactly the contrary, i.e. that the Orthodox Church is a Christian community loved by God in a very special way. Old Israel, despite its grave sins and its deportations has never been wiped out completely - I think this is another sign that God loves this people - even the fact that they survived the holocaust is to me a proof that God's still working to get his flock back into the People of God.
I'm sorry dear Kaste but your ideas prove nothing. No church can use arguments like the extension of their territories, the number of faithful etc... to state to be the only true Church!

Do you want my personal interpretation? God let the Fall of Constantinople to judge the Byzantine Emperors, but not the Byzantine Church.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2009, 09:07:04 AM »

Because God has permitted us to be subject to the forces of nature because of our fallen nature like Christ mentions in Luke 13:1-5? Its a cruel world and all we can do is repent and pray for others etc. not assume anyone has it coming.
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 01:29:30 PM »


Why did God allow Constantinople to Fall? IMO because God doesn't prop up human Empires, put human kings into power over other people, (He didn't even put Jesus as a human-Empire kind of king even though that's what everyone, including the Apostles expected) or in fact had any hand in the human civilization of Rome or Byzantium. God stopped doing that LONG, LONG ago. In many ways, He stopped doing that after Solomon and the fall of the 1st Temple....things were never quite the same in Israel after the Exile. There is a tradition within Judaism and Christianity that the farther away one gets from Mt. Sinai the more seemingly distant God becomes. At the Exodus God is directly intervening, parting the Red Sea, sending locusts, shaking the mountain in fire and shadow, booming voices from the sky, burning bushes....earthquakes, trumpets, the walls of jericho crumbling etc....but the further one gets away from Sinai, the more "distant" He becomes and the all the less direct intervention in the affairs of Israel...by the time of the prophets God "allows" a whole bunch of stuff to happen, but there seems to be very little God bringing down mountains etc...He begins to work through Israel as opposed to working FOR (or in place of) Israel. By the time of the prophets God is no longer in the fire, thunders lightenings, but in the still small voice, the whisper...it's the weird "God is distant, but actually much more present than on Sinai" idea....yes, it's strange but that's been the Jewish understanding for a couple of thousand years now. And it seems to fit pretty well with Christian theology IMO.

in the end, Empires come and Empires go. They rise, and they all eventually fall. Rome, Constantinople, the Ottomans, the British Empire, and some day America as an Empire will fall too. God functions on earth through His people the Church, not Rome or Byzantium, or Brazil, but through the Church. Now civilizations may rise and because people are Christian, that society may be a Christian one, but that's different than saying God was actually holding up some ancient Empire or some modern Empire, or nation state.


And Orthodoxy in general to decline before the fall so steadily after 700AD? 

Yeah, I don't know if Orthodoxy really declined that steadily. The same question could be asked about Christianity in general throughout the modern age.


Quote
And why is Orthodoxy not spreading in the West like the Christian Faith did so rapidly in the 1st century?

That's a multifaceted question with many layers of answers. But it has much more to do with internal Church politics than it does with any sort of statement on Orthodoxy as a faith.

Not sure if this helps, but thats how I see things anyways.
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2009, 01:33:10 PM »

I don't know how anyone who knows history can say that Orthodoxy declined steadily post 700, especially considering the massive, demographic-shifting conversions that followed that point (the Slavs for one).
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2009, 01:33:23 PM »

Christianity as a whole is on the decline in the west.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2009, 01:37:50 PM »

Christianity as a whole is on the decline in the west.

Christianity can't "decline."  Its number of adherents can decline, but "Christianity" is the faith of the Apostles - it cannot decline, only ascend to the Lord on High.
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 12:37:57 AM »

Quote
God let the Fall of Constantinople to judge the Byzantine Emperors, but not the Byzantine Church.

Why do you think God let the city fall because of the emperors?  

Also many good points on this thread.  Afterall, God let Jerusalem fall, even before Jesus came to teach a lesson.  Adam's fall as well was allowed, another poster pointed out.  

But both of these examples illustrate a punishment for disobedience: Jews and Adam not listening to God.

Another poster said the empires simply outlived their use.  Good point, and contrary to the above, not based on God's judgment.

I tend to favor the idea the Byzantines did something wrong (and no Isalmry it's not because of Florence).  Perhaps without change we tend to idolize what we have.  And in this case the Byzantines might have grown complacent and idolized their city maybe even to the extent they were borderline blasphemous about likening it to God's city on earth, and this was judged a hinderance...

K
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2009, 04:58:57 PM »

...and pontificating with all those absolutes, dear Kaste, your following exactly in the same sin of PRIDE then the Constantinople you are portraying: you consider yourself the only infallible interpreter of history, doctrine and scripture, if not in words, at least de facto with your arrogance sometimes emerging in your posts. How's that? Aren't you committing self-idolatry like Nabucodonosor in the Book of Judith? Let God judge, and don't be a judge yourself if you want to lead a TRUE Christian life.
God even allowed Christ's death: should we think Christ was a criminal or a wicked? Of course not! God allowed Job to be proved by Satan with all kinds of sufferings: should we believe Job was a grave sinner? No, and God told this in clear words in the end of the Book of Job. Evil exists to test our faiths, and not to condemn us. Of course, if we fail, all tests promoted by God will be a judgment towards us in the life to come. The justice of God is NOT in this world, it's in the next one. The Orthodox Church, despite all of your words of hatred for that institution, has passed through many temptations, persecutions, and genocides: yet we have it AT WORK in our world exactly as 2000 years ago, and we can tell the same of the Roman Catholic Church despite barbarian invasions, power conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire, schisms, tensions, revolutions, two World Wars and a catastrophic Second Vatican Council. That doesn't show that the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic are absolutely right, or that they are equally the True Church: that shows that the faith of their faithful are so solid that, despite all crisis and wars, the true friends of God can pass through all evil unchanged in their faiths, and that through their sacrifices the message of Christ can triumph and spread.

Stop to throw useless condemnations: NOBODY knows why God allowed Constantinople fell, and everybody will look at this event from one's own perspective. It's like 9/11: did God allow it to show that Islam is good, as a taliban would say? Or to show that Islam is the home of Antichrist, as some have proposed? Or to punish the US for their imperialism (a leftist would agree on this point)? Or maybe to condemn Christianity? And if the latter, which specific Christian denomination? Speculation is just speculation. Keep it outside of your mind and concentrate on your PERSONAL growth as a Christian.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2009, 07:17:34 PM »

...and pontificating with all those absolutes, dear Kaste, your following exactly in the same sin of PRIDE then the Constantinople you are portraying: you consider yourself the only infallible interpreter of history, doctrine and scripture, if not in words, at least de facto with your arrogance sometimes emerging in your posts.

Stop to throw useless condemnations: NOBODY knows why God allowed Constantinople fell...Speculation is just speculation. Keep it outside of your mind and concentrate on your PERSONAL growth as a Christian.

Kase:

I agree with Alex. I had thought that your approach was a way to work out questions about the Orthodox Church. I think that I may have been wrong: you may indeed be nothing more than an intellectual bully in search of cheap victories. Too bad.
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« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2014, 06:25:09 PM »

Well....this is not that difficult of a question to answer for a thinking person. Firstly, we have to ask...Why did Jerusalem fall? Why did Rome fall? Why did Alexandria fall? Concerning Alexandria, it is unique in Egypt, and by the grace of God, The Coptic Christians are the majority population in the city. I think the real spite to this question is, "Why does God continue to allow Constantinople to be in Muslim possession? " Well, firstly, TECHNICALLY, Turkey is a Republic, so there is no officialized religion. Turkey and Islam are ONE, no doubt, but they make so much money off of Byzantine history, it's not like the spirit has completely left the city. On the other hand, Ottoman tradition has been almost entirely booted out of Eastern Europe. The struggle with Islam in the 21st Century is another discussion. Along with the Byzantine "museums," there are still some sizable Greek churches in "Istanbul." The Holy Triaga, and especially St. George where the seat of the Bishop of Constantinople still is. "Istanbul," itself is not COMPLETELY a lost cause. There is still a cultural fight to keep the city a secularized Western identity, while tolerating the fact that it has a majority, Muslim population. The Eu named it one of the "culture centers" of EUROPE. It's a global city for business, there is no denying this. It is a NATO ally, so one could argue it is still in Western hands....and ONE DAY, those "museums" will return to being churches, (Christianity is growing again in Turkey for the first time in centuries) and if there ever is a Western culture explosion, those mosques that look like churches, can easily be converted into churches....maybe ONE DAY, we will find out Elder Passios was right, and church bells will once again be heard from the Hagia Sophia.
So, the difficult aspect, is history. There was Civil War in the Byzantine Empire, the Black Plague came through which killed half of the city. You also has the 4th "Crusades" where many Venetian Knights raided the city and took shrines and relics back to cities like Venice, where they are still displayed today. The Byzantines took back the city, eventually, but never fully recovered....so, the Ottomans storm through Europe like a spread of Locusts and take advantage of internal conflicts. In 1453, the Ottomans closed in....but there was still a chance to rescue the city! Politics divided the East from the West from coming together and saving what they considered to be a hallowed city...but also, the Renaissance was on its way, and the West had differing ambition. The West was in love with Rome again. They also undermined the threat. The walls of Constantinople were historically well secured...so certainly it would withstand another Ottoman assault such as it had for centuries. Western help was limited, and the final Greeks put up a valiant effort fighting the Turks. Mass Turkish casualties and "Greek Fire." It took 54 long days to take the city. Some knuckle head left one of the gates open, and the emperor died in plain sight....thus the siege began, and the still strong church influence over the city, gradually waned. It is suggested that because Mehmet's mother was a Christian, along with other of his relatives who were European on his mothers side. It is further suggested that he became Christian later in life, and was buried among Byzantine royalty. He was very influenced by the culture. and a lot of his chief planners were Greek. Many Turkish educators and politicians will go out of their way to suppress such information. Nevertheless, the Muslim Turks were in control of the city......but there were great opportunities for Western society to take the city back....
The greatest(s) being in the 19th Century when the empire was crumbling, and Greece had won its independence. The first of anyone in the Balkans. The Russians defeated the Ottomans in every major campaign, and they were on the verge of taking the city. Who cam e to help the Turks? The English and the French allies who were more concerned about Russian influence in the region than a Muslim controlled Constantinople. At this time, Western powers were colonizing the world, militarily superior in every way...the city was practically handed to them for the taking. The Ottomans were known as the sick man of Europe. Again in the 20th Century, after the fall of the Ottoman empire. The British were in control of the entire fate of the Middle East. They occupied Constantinople for a couple of years, too. During this time, you had the "Turkish independence." The Greeks and Turks fought over Asia minor, and the city. At one point the Greeks were winning! They were promised help from the allies.....and because the allies didn't want Russian influence, AGAIN, they helped the Turks keep the city...so at this point, Western politics is to blame. It was Christians who KEPT Istanbul, Muslim! The word, "Istanbul," itself derives from the Greek dialect meaning, "Into the City." Consider this, Constantinople was a sacrifice. When the Fall came, Byzantine intellects, educators, artisans, architects, historians etc...came to the West, which in many ways spurred and influenced the Western Renaissance which changed the fate of the World. The legacy eventually triumphed. Politics kept the landscape, and continues to do so, today....opportunities, and different kinds of opportunities change from generation to generation....and sometimes change comes best through the Word than the sword.....
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« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2014, 04:34:25 PM »

Kaste, it is tempting to equate earthly success with true orthodoxy (small "o" in this case). If we allow ourselves to think this way, Catholicism's "Over 1 Billion Catholics can't be wrong!" logic and Islam's "We're the world's fastest growing religion!" logic is inescapable.... The honest truth is that there really isn't a one-to-one relationship between holiness and blessing

This seems to me a sensible approach to an answer to Kaste's question. However, let us look also at providence. The fall of Byzantium happened at about the same time as printing was invented. Scholars fled west from Byzantium, bringing the Greek New Testament with them, which had been so largely replaced by the Latin Vulgate in the west. Erasmus published the Greek. Luther, Tyndale &c translated the scriptures into the spoken languages of the people, from the original texts; translations were printed and widely distributed, and a flood of light was shed over the benighted late mediæval or early modern west. Praise God, it continues to shine.

Also, as someone else pointed out above, God does not prop up empires, even ones that profess Christianity: Christ's kingdom is not from this world.

Also, if one accepts (for the sake of argument if for no other reason, at the moment) that the Orthodox Church descended from the original church of the apostolic age, one should also be able to recognise that even great movements of God's Spirit go into decline. Put in there whatever one sees as such a movement: Francis of Assisi's work; early Cistercians; the early Quakers; Methodism; Lollards; the Moravian Brethren... none has retained its pristine ardour and spirit. Why does God allow it?

And as someone else observed above, God allowed the birth, life and work of Adolf Hitler - yet from that the Jews briefly gained the world's sympathy and thus their land of Israel. God allowed Mao Tse-tung, Stalin, etc etc.

One might ask why King Oswald was killed on the field of battle at an early age, but King Alfred has such a significant victory at Edington: the former advanced paganism, the latter secured Christianity. History contains many such examples. Byzantium is not alone.

We need to confess that there is mystery in God's providence, yet at the end every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory if God the Father. We do not know the answers to many mysteries, for only the things that are revealed belong to man; but we know that He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and of his kingdom there will be no end.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 04:37:52 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2014, 04:50:25 PM »

Well....this is not that difficult of a question to answer for a thinking person. Firstly, we have to ask...Why did Jerusalem fall? Why did Rome fall? Why did Alexandria fall? Concerning Alexandria, it is unique in Egypt, and by the grace of God, The Coptic Christians are the majority population in the city. I think the real spite to this question is, "Why does God continue to allow Constantinople to be in Muslim possession? " Well, firstly, TECHNICALLY, Turkey is a Republic, so there is no officialized religion. Turkey and Islam are ONE, no doubt, but they make so much money off of Byzantine history, it's not like the spirit has completely left the city. On the other hand, Ottoman tradition has been almost entirely booted out of Eastern Europe. The struggle with Islam in the 21st Century is another discussion. Along with the Byzantine "museums," there are still some sizable Greek churches in "Istanbul." The Holy Triaga, and especially St. George where the seat of the Bishop of Constantinople still is. "Istanbul," itself is not COMPLETELY a lost cause. There is still a cultural fight to keep the city a secularized Western identity, while tolerating the fact that it has a majority, Muslim population. The Eu named it one of the "culture centers" of EUROPE. It's a global city for business, there is no denying this. It is a NATO ally, so one could argue it is still in Western hands....and ONE DAY, those "museums" will return to being churches, (Christianity is growing again in Turkey for the first time in centuries) and if there ever is a Western culture explosion, those mosques that look like churches, can easily be converted into churches....maybe ONE DAY, we will find out Elder Passios was right, and church bells will once again be heard from the Hagia Sophia.
So, the difficult aspect, is history. There was Civil War in the Byzantine Empire, the Black Plague came through which killed half of the city. You also has the 4th "Crusades" where many Venetian Knights raided the city and took shrines and relics back to cities like Venice, where they are still displayed today. The Byzantines took back the city, eventually, but never fully recovered....so, the Ottomans storm through Europe like a spread of Locusts and take advantage of internal conflicts. In 1453, the Ottomans closed in....but there was still a chance to rescue the city! Politics divided the East from the West from coming together and saving what they considered to be a hallowed city...but also, the Renaissance was on its way, and the West had differing ambition. The West was in love with Rome again. They also undermined the threat. The walls of Constantinople were historically well secured...so certainly it would withstand another Ottoman assault such as it had for centuries. Western help was limited, and the final Greeks put up a valiant effort fighting the Turks. Mass Turkish casualties and "Greek Fire." It took 54 long days to take the city. Some knuckle head left one of the gates open, and the emperor died in plain sight....thus the siege began, and the still strong church influence over the city, gradually waned. It is suggested that because Mehmet's mother was a Christian, along with other of his relatives who were European on his mothers side. It is further suggested that he became Christian later in life, and was buried among Byzantine royalty. He was very influenced by the culture. and a lot of his chief planners were Greek. Many Turkish educators and politicians will go out of their way to suppress such information. Nevertheless, the Muslim Turks were in control of the city......but there were great opportunities for Western society to take the city back....
The greatest(s) being in the 19th Century when the empire was crumbling, and Greece had won its independence. The first of anyone in the Balkans. The Russians defeated the Ottomans in every major campaign, and they were on the verge of taking the city. Who cam e to help the Turks? The English and the French allies who were more concerned about Russian influence in the region than a Muslim controlled Constantinople. At this time, Western powers were colonizing the world, militarily superior in every way...the city was practically handed to them for the taking. The Ottomans were known as the sick man of Europe. Again in the 20th Century, after the fall of the Ottoman empire. The British were in control of the entire fate of the Middle East. They occupied Constantinople for a couple of years, too. During this time, you had the "Turkish independence." The Greeks and Turks fought over Asia minor, and the city. At one point the Greeks were winning! They were promised help from the allies.....and because the allies didn't want Russian influence, AGAIN, they helped the Turks keep the city...so at this point, Western politics is to blame. It was Christians who KEPT Istanbul, Muslim! The word, "Istanbul," itself derives from the Greek dialect meaning, "Into the City." Consider this, Constantinople was a sacrifice. When the Fall came, Byzantine intellects, educators, artisans, architects, historians etc...came to the West, which in many ways spurred and influenced the Western Renaissance which changed the fate of the World. The legacy eventually triumphed. Politics kept the landscape, and continues to do so, today....opportunities, and different kinds of opportunities change from generation to generation....and sometimes change comes best through the Word than the sword.....

Good friend,

Your posts are friendly in nature and would be enjoyable. However, have you ever considered breaking down your posts in paragraphs for easier and less painful reading? Wink
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2014, 10:45:34 PM »

I'll create more space for long posts, my friend. Wink Thank you.
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