Author Topic: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.  (Read 18277 times)

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Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2010, 02:41:04 AM »
Revelation was the last book to go in the Western Canon without questions. I personally believe it to be canon, but it didn't come all at once handwritten by the disciples Addai and Mar Mari like the 22.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2010, 02:49:35 AM »
Revelation was the last book to go in the Western Canon without questions. I personally believe it to be canon, but it didn't come all at once handwritten by the disciples Addai and Mar Mari like the 22.

That's assuming that SS Addai and Mari wrote the 22 books you are refering to.
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Offline bogdan

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2010, 03:17:27 AM »
Actually no, I wasn't thinking of the story (Deut. 21:10-14) about how God's people could slaughter all the men and babies and whatnot, and take the virgin women as the loot. That one is a fine example of Old Testament morality, but that's not what I was talking about. I was thinking of Deut. 22:28-29:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

Actually there are practical reasons for that one. If a woman was raped, no respectable man would ever marry her and she would be destitute. By the standards of the day, this was an advancement for women.

I don't know if the Old Testament law is a dictation from God or just cultural customs, but I do believe there are good intentions behind all of them, imperfect though they may be. Moses' law told people how to clean up the mess, Christ's law tells people how to not make a mess in the first place, so it is far superior.

Offline Liz

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #48 on: January 10, 2010, 08:36:16 AM »
Let me re-phrase it:

What would Jesus do?

vs

What would Satan do?

Isn't this quotation something Evangelicals say? It has always seemed remarkably trite to me (one more reason to be Orthodox, I thought, was the subtler view of sin). But why do you put all the examples where Jesus forgave sinners against your own view that loss of virginity is a sin not to be forgiven? If you forgave someone for a fault, how could you be doing a bad thing? Forgiving someone yourself isn't tantamount to condoning the sin itself, is it?

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #49 on: January 10, 2010, 01:30:17 PM »
That's garbage. God does not change:

"I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Gosh, I hope you don't eat shellfish or pork, because God said these things were all abominations and he never changes. ;)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2010, 05:26:05 PM »
Let me re-phrase it:

What would Jesus do?

vs

What would Satan do?

Isn't this quotation something Evangelicals say? It has always seemed remarkably trite to me (one more reason to be Orthodox, I thought, was the subtler view of sin). But why do you put all the examples where Jesus forgave sinners against your own view that loss of virginity is a sin not to be forgiven? If you forgave someone for a fault, how could you be doing a bad thing? Forgiving someone yourself isn't tantamount to condoning the sin itself, is it?

Just be clear: Rafa is not, nor claims to be, in communion with the Orthodox Church. His church, the Nestorian/Assyrian Church of the East.

Fornication, though serious, is not the unforgivable sin.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
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Offline Liz

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2010, 05:32:49 PM »
Let me re-phrase it:

What would Jesus do?

vs

What would Satan do?

Isn't this quotation something Evangelicals say? It has always seemed remarkably trite to me (one more reason to be Orthodox, I thought, was the subtler view of sin). But why do you put all the examples where Jesus forgave sinners against your own view that loss of virginity is a sin not to be forgiven? If you forgave someone for a fault, how could you be doing a bad thing? Forgiving someone yourself isn't tantamount to condoning the sin itself, is it?

Just be clear: Rafa is not, nor claims to be, in communion with the Orthodox Church. His church, the Nestorian/Assyrian Church of the East.

Fornication, though serious, is not the unforgivable sin.

Ah, thanks. Sorry - feel very ignorant now!  :-[

Offline Bogoliubtsy

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2010, 05:50:09 PM »
Quote
He's saying that the OT sometimes reflects an inaccurate perception of God. That means that the deficiency is in the people recording it, not in the deity they encountered.

The first five books of the bible (the Torah) are God speaking directly so no, that's not true.


Do you eat shellfish?


Edit: Whoops, I see George beat me to it.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 05:51:01 PM by Bogoliubtsy »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2010, 09:24:05 PM »

Saying God was wrong in the OT counts as an excuse to me.

Nobody said God was wrong. We only said that God was not perfectly represented in the OT. That means, if anything, that the writers were wrong, not God.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 09:24:31 PM by deusveritasest »

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2010, 09:27:21 PM »

Asterkitsos said Gods laws are "sickening".

You're misrepresenting what was said, as usual.

I said that it was sickening that you claim (for your church) rejection of the parable of the pardoning of the adulteress and on the basis of that support a history of stoning adulterers. What I am saying is sickening is your views, and perhaps those of your church, not God.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2010, 09:31:24 PM »

Just be clear: Rafa is not, nor claims to be, in communion with the Orthodox Church. His church, the Nestorian/Assyrian Church of the East.

Evidently though, he believes that the ACoE is the orthodox church.

Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2010, 11:54:31 PM »
ozgeorge said
Quote
Gosh, I hope you don't eat shellfish or pork, because God said these things were all abominations and he never changes. Wink

Well, God doesn't change. The way he instructs us does. Also there is much proof that certain types of food are more harmful to your health and even spiritual well being than others:

Quote
Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat
Proverbs 23:20

Also St. Paul with : "their God is their belly". The Bishops and Archbishops of the COE donot in fact eat any flesh meat or shellfish considering this scriptural connection and others. One hundred years ago this rule was applied to nearly everybody in the COE actually. I personally believe God said Shellfish and pork were abominations as ways to get people away from Canaanites who raised pigs, also shellfish were representative of general uncleanliness (they stay in the mud). The actual idea of sin needed to be re-taught in a society surrounded by ritual prostitution and baby sacrificing.

Quote
I don't know if the Old Testament law is a dictation from God or just cultural customs

Ummm, God wrote the commands with his finger.

The Assyrian Church of the East is much more orthodox than anybody here. For one it grew free from Monophysite emperors like Justinian who (because of the courtesan Theodora) engaged in extermination wars on everybody who disagreed with his view. The COE was safe and sound in the Persian empire where the sapors only cared about taxing people to death. Also the COE does not reject the repentance message, I was just saying that the story of the adultress is not in the East Syriac bible (which is the oldest NT, its organization is the same of the apostolic fathers such as papias who didn't have this story in his bible either).

Also, the COE accepts all apostolic Christians into communion, so we are not sectarians.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 12:12:45 AM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2010, 12:19:08 AM »
So, I'm wondering, like everyone else, if you Nestorians eat shellfish and pork and cheeseburgers; and wear mixed fibered clothing?
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Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #58 on: January 11, 2010, 12:19:49 AM »
Yes, but not the ones in the Hakkari mountains or clergy. Many Assyrians are having a sort of historical amnesia post-1915 as well, especially here in the West.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 12:27:08 AM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #59 on: January 11, 2010, 12:21:29 AM »
Why the distinction between the Hakkari mountains, clergy and everyone else? Shouldn't everyone strive towards the same level of holiness/obedience to the commandments?
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Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2010, 12:24:05 AM »
The domains of the Assyrian church were invaded by the murderous turk in 1915, so many old customs were suddenly abandoned,and folks who immigrated suffer from amnesia in some bits and pieces of history. Also many different tribes who retain different customs. Clergy are ultra-conservative as well. Clergy in the COE is like it was for the Greeks before the Greek independence war.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 12:24:59 AM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2010, 12:49:49 AM »
Quote
I don't know if the Old Testament law is a dictation from God or just cultural customs

Ummm, God wrote the commands with his finger.


We are told that God wrote the Decalogue on stone tablets to replace those which Moses broke in anger; not the entire 613. (Exodus 31:18)
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2010, 12:50:09 AM »

The Assyrian Church of the East is much more orthodox than anybody here. For one it grew free from Monophysite emperors like Justinian who (because of the courtesan Theodora) engaged in extermination wars on everybody who disagreed with his view. The COE was safe and sound in the Persian empire where the sapors only cared about taxing people to death. Also the COE does not reject the repentance message, I was just saying that the story of the adultress is not in the East Syriac bible (which is the oldest NT, its organization is the same of the apostolic fathers such as papias who didn't have this story in his bible either).

Also, the COE accepts all apostolic Christians into communion, so we are not sectarians.

You're "much more orthodox" but fine with "being with union" (communion) without really being with union (in faith). Right........

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #63 on: January 11, 2010, 12:53:29 AM »

The COE considers all APOSTOLIC (note key word) churches to have understood the revelation in their own national perspective.

This seems inconsistent. If you believe you are "much more orthodox" than these groups, then how can you say that we have all understood the revelation?

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2010, 12:57:44 AM »

What do you mean I haven't proved it? The COE was the only church before the monophysite heresy struck,

Yet more inconsistency. You're willing to say that Monophysitism is heresy, but not that its adherents are heretics?

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2010, 01:09:16 AM »

Well, the COE believes that the language of the OO and Copts beliefs is pretty bad, however I don't think Copts and OO REALLY believe that God changed, that spirits have blood, and that Jesus is a half God, half human fusion being who could not offer his humanity as a sacrifice in the cross (thus dooming everybody).

Well, you may or may not be right:

1. The Logos "changed", in so far as He assumed an instance of humanity as His. But the two enhypostatic elements did not mix or convert in their essence.
2. We believe that the Logos has blood, yes.
3. We believe that Jesus is the Logos. The Logos is both fully divine and fully human, after the union.

Where did you get your conception of what Monophysitism is?

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2010, 01:42:33 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2010, 01:52:02 AM »
Tangent on the Emperor Justinian, his wife St. Theodora, and the Secret History of Procopius split off and moved here:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25301.0.html
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 01:54:27 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2010, 02:24:07 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


Would you mind explaining how you see Uki's expression of "only relevance" as being trivialising the OT?
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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2010, 02:33:45 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


Would you mind explaining how you see Uki's expression of "only relevance" as being trivialising the OT?

The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam   
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2010, 03:31:33 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


Would you mind explaining how you see Uki's expression of "only relevance" as being trivialising the OT?

The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam   

Ok. I didn't get that Uki was suggesting anything like that. I simply thought his point was that the OT isn't the be all and end all in expressing who God is. I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation. Therefore, the OT is interpreted in the light of the NT without denigrating it in any way. Otherwise, I think we might be applying Protestant understanding to scripture and claiming it to be inerrant and inspired in a dictatorial way. 
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Offline John of the North

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2010, 03:37:58 AM »
The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam  

""no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son; and He to whomever the Son will reveal Him." (Mt. 11:27) Thus it should be clear that whatever knowledge or understanding of God and His relationship with mankind that one thought to have got from the Old Testament is incorrect. Not only did the Old Testament writers filter the revelation through the matrix of their own passions, but frequently they "transferred" their own thoughts and personalities to their understanding of God. They placed in the mouth of God expressions of their own thoughts and passions. How could they have recorded the history of the Chosen Nation and the revelation given through the prophets in such a distorted manner?? Because no one could know the Father until Jesus Christ revealed Him, and then only to those to whom He chose to reveal Him. Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ." - page 3, "The Creation and Fall," by Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 03:41:09 AM by Ukiemeister »
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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2010, 03:50:54 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


Would you mind explaining how you see Uki's expression of "only relevance" as being trivialising the OT?

The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam   

Ok. I didn't get that Uki was suggesting anything like that. I simply thought his point was that the OT isn't the be all and end all in expressing who God is. I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation. Therefore, the OT is interpreted in the light of the NT without denigrating it in any way. Otherwise, I think we might be applying Protestant understanding to scripture and claiming it to be inerrant and inspired in a dictatorial way. 

If Protestant "Sola Scripturists" view the Bible as a literal dictatorial message from God, let us not be guilty of trying to overcompensate by demoting the OT as merely a collection of uninformed stabs at expressing truths about God. I mean, the Prophets and the Psamists weren't merely stating blind subjective opinions about divine truth; they were in fact revealing divine Truth, even if not in its fullness. So let's be careful about how we view and characterize the Scriptures- be they OT or NT.

Selam
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2010, 03:55:38 AM »
I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation.

Can this also be said of the New Testament?

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2010, 03:56:41 AM »
The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam  

""no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son; and He to whomever the Son will reveal Him." (Mt. 11:27) Thus it should be clear that whatever knowledge or understanding of God and His relationship with mankind that one thought to have got from the Old Testament is incorrect. Not only did the Old Testament writers filter the revelation through the matrix of their own passions, but frequently they "transferred" their own thoughts and personalities to their understanding of God. They placed in the mouth of God expressions of their own thoughts and passions. How could they have recorded the history of the Chosen Nation and the revelation given through the prophets in such a distorted manner?? Because no one could know the Father until Jesus Christ revealed Him, and then only to those to whom He chose to reveal Him. Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ." - page 3, "The Creation and Fall," by Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo)

Not that I am one to argue with the Archbishop (with whom I'm unfamiliar :-[), but I can't quite subscribe to the opinion in bold type above. If this statement is true, then why do the Psalms form such a prominent part of the Orthros and the Liturgy? The OT Psalms teach us many theological Truths, all of which indeed point to Christ. So I don't think that the knowldege and understanding of God we get from the OT is incorrect; it is only incomplete.

Selam
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2010, 04:01:09 AM »
Yeah, I guess we can throw out "Old Testament God" along with Penal Satisfaction and all other inconvenient elements of the faith.  This kind of stuff really blows my mind.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2010, 04:05:11 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


Would you mind explaining how you see Uki's expression of "only relevance" as being trivialising the OT?

The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam   

Ok. I didn't get that Uki was suggesting anything like that. I simply thought his point was that the OT isn't the be all and end all in expressing who God is. I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation. Therefore, the OT is interpreted in the light of the NT without denigrating it in any way. Otherwise, I think we might be applying Protestant understanding to scripture and claiming it to be inerrant and inspired in a dictatorial way. 

If Protestant "Sola Scripturists" view the Bible as a literal dictatorial message from God, let us not be guilty of trying to overcompensate by demoting the OT as merely a collection of uninformed stabs at expressing truths about God. I mean, the Prophets and the Psamists weren't merely stating blind subjective opinions about divine truth; they were in fact revealing divine Truth, even if not in its fullness. So let's be careful about how we view and characterize the Scriptures- be they OT or NT.

Selam

Oh, I didn't suggest that they were uninformed; that's your adjective not mine. I think you are running with polemics, here.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2010, 04:08:22 AM »
I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation.

Can this also be said of the New Testament?

I'm not sure that it can be. Isn't Jesus our guide in the NT? Isn't what his very being saying that the old has passed away and we are moving on to new things? Otherwise, if the Old isn't somehow trumped by the New why are we not following the Law?
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Offline John of the North

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2010, 04:10:12 AM »
The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam  

""no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son; and He to whomever the Son will reveal Him." (Mt. 11:27) Thus it should be clear that whatever knowledge or understanding of God and His relationship with mankind that one thought to have got from the Old Testament is incorrect. Not only did the Old Testament writers filter the revelation through the matrix of their own passions, but frequently they "transferred" their own thoughts and personalities to their understanding of God. They placed in the mouth of God expressions of their own thoughts and passions. How could they have recorded the history of the Chosen Nation and the revelation given through the prophets in such a distorted manner?? Because no one could know the Father until Jesus Christ revealed Him, and then only to those to whom He chose to reveal Him. Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ." - page 3, "The Creation and Fall," by Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo)

Not that I am one to argue with the Archbishop (with whom I'm unfamiliar :-[), but I can't quite subscribe to the opinion in bold type above. If this statement is true, then why do the Psalms form such a prominent part of the Orthros and the Liturgy? The OT Psalms teach us many theological Truths, all of which indeed point to Christ. So I don't think that the knowldege and understanding of God we get from the OT is incorrect; it is only incomplete.

Selam

Although I wanted to emphasize the sentence in bold, we should be aware of what the Archbishop says later on in the paragraph, namely: "Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ."

My whole intent in posting this paragraph was to point out that the OT got alot of things right, but not everything. This is why in the Church, the Gospel book lies on the Altar, when the Apostol and the Psalter do not. Do the Epistles have many spiritual truths?? yes. But not at the same level as the Gospel of Our Lord. Thus, it is apparent at times in the Old Testament that God comes across as a vengeful, angry God. Is that necessarily the theological reality?? I would argue no--but you are free to disagree.

For what its worth, the Archbishop does have a series of videos titled "The Old testament is about you" on YouTube. The first in the series can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQosAqS25F0

I haven't actually watched the series so I can not give you any feedback, but it would be interesting to see what he had to say.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2010, 04:12:29 AM »
I'm not sure that it can be. Isn't Jesus our guide in the NT? Isn't what his very being saying that the old has passed away and we are moving on to new things? Otherwise, if the Old isn't somehow trumped by the New why are we not following the Law?

I just meant that the words of the Lord were recorded by equally fallible human beings.  Could they not also have been said to have been "taking a stab" at it when trying to record the words of God incarnate?

I'm anticipating a response which takes into account their possession of the Holy Spirit, which is no small matter, but I still would feel you're being a bit too cavalier and dismissive of the revelations of the One True God in earlier times.

Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #80 on: January 11, 2010, 04:16:28 AM »
There's a way to reconcile things. The Old testament had 613 rules, half of which are impossible or near impossible to follow today (Temple rules, priest rules, Nazarite vows, land sabbath,etc.) so this means that the instruction changes...but God doesn't. Also before, Noah was given the laws described in the Book of acts as a basis for morality after the flood (way less than 613), so the terms of the law contract or expand, they have a fluidity but the WILL behind it does not. This is my interpretation. God cannot change yet he changed his instruction, therefore his instruction at different ages is the expression of his will.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #81 on: January 11, 2010, 04:18:01 AM »
Yeah, I guess we can throw out "Old Testament God" along with Penal Satisfaction and all other inconvenient elements of the faith.  This kind of stuff really blows my mind.

Well, I think to an extent we are throwing out certain aspects and understandings of the "Old Testament God" as He was perceived by the very people who served Him in order to get a clearer picture of Him. Jesus constantly rebukes his people for their misunderstandings and legalistic approaches; how they missed the whole "Loving God' aspect in favour of rule-making for fear of giving Him offense. Is it not possible that their understanding was kind of inevitable considering how God is portrayed by the OT? How would we view God if we didn't have the revelation of Christ?

Just some thoughts.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2010, 04:19:48 AM »
I'm not sure that it can be. Isn't Jesus our guide in the NT? Isn't what his very being saying that the old has passed away and we are moving on to new things? Otherwise, if the Old isn't somehow trumped by the New why are we not following the Law?

I just meant that the words of the Lord were recorded by equally fallible human beings.  Could they not also have been said to have been "taking a stab" at it when trying to record the words of God incarnate?

I'm anticipating a response which takes into account their possession of the Holy Spirit, which is no small matter, but I still would feel you're being a bit too cavalier and dismissive of the revelations of the One True God in earlier times.

I'm sorry you feel that way; that isn't my intention.
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Offline John of the North

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #83 on: January 11, 2010, 04:23:38 AM »
I'm not sure that it can be. Isn't Jesus our guide in the NT? Isn't what his very being saying that the old has passed away and we are moving on to new things? Otherwise, if the Old isn't somehow trumped by the New why are we not following the Law?

I just meant that the words of the Lord were recorded by equally fallible human beings.  Could they not also have been said to have been "taking a stab" at it when trying to record the words of God incarnate?

I'm anticipating a response which takes into account their possession of the Holy Spirit, which is no small matter, but I still would feel you're being a bit too cavalier and dismissive of the revelations of the One True God in earlier times.

I haven't really had a chance to read much Orthodox scholarship on this, but I can give you a bit of my perspective as a history major.

As a primary source document, the NT books are extremely accurate. We have hundreds of manuscripts, dating back to fairly close to the period in question. Based on the oral nature of the Judaean culture at the time, there would have been a lot of checks and balances on the accuracy of the writings. That said, these aren't necessarily word for word "transcripts" of the conversations and events. Its the main points that matter, and the main points that are consistent. There are contradictions in the NT, but none that affect the core message. Often times we are too used to our own culture--our own media culture is obsessed with details--that we dont realize that in another time and place, the emphasis is somewhere else.
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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #84 on: January 11, 2010, 04:57:09 AM »
I think it's correct to say that it wasn't actually written by God (as someone has suggested), but fallible humans making a stab at expressing things about God that ultimately only matter in that which points to Christ - and in other areas there could be human error in understanding what God actually is like and wants from his Creation.

Can this also be said of the New Testament?

I'm not sure that it can be. Isn't Jesus our guide in the NT? Isn't what his very being saying that the old has passed away and we are moving on to new things? Otherwise, if the Old isn't somehow trumped by the New why are we not following the Law?

Well please inform your Priest that OT Scriptures need to be removed from the Liturgy.

Selam
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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #85 on: January 11, 2010, 05:00:04 AM »
The fact that the OT points us towards Christ is exactly what makes the OT so relevant and so worthy of Orthodox application in our lives today. I felt that to say "only" is to trivialize it. Imagine if I said, "The only relevance the Church has today is to teach the Faith." That would sound like I was trivializing the mission of the Church. Perhaps Ukimeister used poor wording. It just seemed to smack of both a disrespect for the OT and a disrespect for the value of pointing people to Christ. But I may be over sensitive here.

Selam  

""no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son; and He to whomever the Son will reveal Him." (Mt. 11:27) Thus it should be clear that whatever knowledge or understanding of God and His relationship with mankind that one thought to have got from the Old Testament is incorrect. Not only did the Old Testament writers filter the revelation through the matrix of their own passions, but frequently they "transferred" their own thoughts and personalities to their understanding of God. They placed in the mouth of God expressions of their own thoughts and passions. How could they have recorded the history of the Chosen Nation and the revelation given through the prophets in such a distorted manner?? Because no one could know the Father until Jesus Christ revealed Him, and then only to those to whom He chose to reveal Him. Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ." - page 3, "The Creation and Fall," by Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo)

Not that I am one to argue with the Archbishop (with whom I'm unfamiliar :-[), but I can't quite subscribe to the opinion in bold type above. If this statement is true, then why do the Psalms form such a prominent part of the Orthros and the Liturgy? The OT Psalms teach us many theological Truths, all of which indeed point to Christ. So I don't think that the knowldege and understanding of God we get from the OT is incorrect; it is only incomplete.

Selam

Although I wanted to emphasize the sentence in bold, we should be aware of what the Archbishop says later on in the paragraph, namely: "Nor could anyone come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, so it is clear that we must read the Old Testament through the revelation of Jesus Christ and understand God as He revealed Himself face to face in the ministry and Gospel of Jesus Christ."

My whole intent in posting this paragraph was to point out that the OT got alot of things right, but not everything. This is why in the Church, the Gospel book lies on the Altar, when the Apostol and the Psalter do not. Do the Epistles have many spiritual truths?? yes. But not at the same level as the Gospel of Our Lord. Thus, it is apparent at times in the Old Testament that God comes across as a vengeful, angry God. Is that necessarily the theological reality?? I would argue no--but you are free to disagree.

For what its worth, the Archbishop does have a series of videos titled "The Old testament is about you" on YouTube. The first in the series can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQosAqS25F0

I haven't actually watched the series so I can not give you any feedback, but it would be interesting to see what he had to say.

Do you agree with my statement, "The knowledge and understanding of God we get from the OT is not incorrect; it is only incomplete"?

Selam
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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #86 on: January 11, 2010, 05:01:53 AM »
There's a way to reconcile things. The Old testament had 613 rules, half of which are impossible or near impossible to follow today (Temple rules, priest rules, Nazarite vows, land sabbath,etc.) so this means that the instruction changes...but God doesn't. Also before, Noah was given the laws described in the Book of acts as a basis for morality after the flood (way less than 613), so the terms of the law contract or expand, they have a fluidity but the WILL behind it does not. This is my interpretation. God cannot change yet he changed his instruction, therefore his instruction at different ages is the expression of his will.

Yes. Well said.

Selam
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #87 on: January 11, 2010, 05:04:28 AM »
Leviticus is in the OT, and was written through the distorted filter of the human experience. The only relevance the OT has is to point us towards Christ.


Wow. It's a shame that you trivialize the OT by saying its "only relevance is to point us towards Christ." I mean, that relevance is pretty darn relevant don't you think?

Selam


I don't he's saying that the OT is irrelevant because it only points us to Christ, but rather he is stating that in criticism of others who appear to attribute independent relevance to the OT beyond what we see if we strictly submit our interpretation to the lens of Christ. In this situation, I definitely agree with the criticism.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2010, 05:11:03 AM »

Yeah, I guess we can throw out "Old Testament God" along with Penal Satisfaction and all other inconvenient elements of the faith.  This kind of stuff really blows my mind.

Since when was Penal Satisfaction even legitimate doctrine such that it could be thrown out?

Offline Rafa999

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Re: The way God instructs us may change, but God Himself does not.
« Reply #89 on: January 11, 2010, 05:24:25 AM »

Well, the COE believes that the language of the OO and Copts beliefs is pretty bad, however I don't think Copts and OO REALLY believe that God changed, that spirits have blood, and that Jesus is a half God, half human fusion being who could not offer his humanity as a sacrifice in the cross (thus dooming everybody).

Well, you may or may not be right:

1. The Logos "changed", in so far as He assumed an instance of humanity as His. But the two enhypostatic elements did not mix or convert in their essence.
2. We believe that the Logos has blood, yes.
3. We believe that Jesus is the Logos. The Logos is both fully divine and fully human, after the union.

Where did you get your conception of what Monophysitism is?

Ok, all I care about is the divine Kyana not changing. The Person of Christ had blood, his humanity had blood, but the humanity and divinity remained separate with no intermingling, or else God changed. This is the view of the COE. The Divine Qnome had no blood, the human qnome did.
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