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Offline Myrrh23

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Having faith in God...
« on: September 23, 2008, 01:42:21 PM »
Have you ever been terrified to have complete faith in God? If so, what did you do about it? How can we have complete faith in God without being absolutely terrified of the prospect?
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All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 01:54:11 PM »
If we are terrified to have complete faith in God, then we aren't really having faith in Him. If we have complete faith in God, we have nothing to be terrified about.

Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 02:02:29 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity? I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...
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We all have a Black Dog and a White Dog inside of us. The One you feed the most eventually eats the Other.

All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2008, 02:05:21 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity? I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...

1 John 4
18.     There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2008, 02:09:00 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity?
Only if God chose to work alone.  As it is, He has chosen men and women to be his co-workers.

Quote
I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...
And yet people can also be kind and loving.
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2008, 02:33:21 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity? I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...

Possible, yes, but it's not good for you.  There are certainly people who will earn your mistrust and I don't think you should allow yourself to be abused by those people for the sake of trust, but at some point you'll have to have faith in people or you'll isolate yourself from everyone.  I've been there too, believe me.  I have a good friend who is the epitome of passive-aggressive and I never felt like I could trust her enough to really open up to her because I knew the next day she'd use the information to hurt me.  We're still friends but I'll never get close to her again.  Even so, I know she's just one person and not everyone behaves the same way.  I've found it helps to hang back and just watch and listen to those around me.  I'm usually accused of being too quiet but it's because I'm analyzing. 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2008, 02:38:34 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity?
Only if God chose to work alone.  As it is, He has chosen men and women to be his co-workers.

Quote
I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...
And yet people can also be kind and loving.

Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

It is a real matter that many people are mean. It is not best to dismiss this fact by stating the opposite.

We should not trust in any man.

Trust in God only.
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline Myrrh23

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2008, 02:43:45 PM »
The reason why I asked these questions is because...I'm terrified to love you guys, even though I've met lovely people of EofK and PetertheAleut. I've always been concerned about how imperfect I am, and how annoying I might be or the mistakes zi've made. OzGeorge, among many, many others, has told me before to relax..that I'm doing fine, but I still have the abject terror of rejection. I find it very hard to love others as God wants me to because I feel I'm not good enough to fit into their lives, and so this affects how I think God sees me. Has anyone else gone through this mess before?? I've recently read that ozgeorge said hatred is insane. It is, and it's hard to get rid of, it seems. I don't hate any of you, I just find it very difficult to love you because I'm so afraid you won't like what you see...that God won't like what he sees.... :(
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We all have a Black Dog and a White Dog inside of us. The One you feed the most eventually eats the Other.

All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 02:47:19 PM »
Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

It is a real matter that many people are mean. It is not best to dismiss this fact by stating the opposite.

We should not trust in any man.

Trust in God only.

And synergia is summarily revoked by Amdetsion. ::)
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 02:48:59 PM »
Have you ever been terrified to have complete faith in God? If so, what did you do about it? How can we have complete faith in God without being absolutely terrified of the prospect?

I have my moments of absolute terror. I believe in something I can't see? How can God ever love me? Why would He ever care about me? Humanity is so cruel to each other why are we even still here if there is a loving and just God?

But once I awake from this moment of terror I remember that each day is a gift. We aren't entitled to anything as humans. So many of us take our faith for granted. We don't have to fight for it physically on a daily basis. We don't have friends and family daily tortured for the faith. So we have more time to doubt. Doubt is for those that can't and don't struggle. And I say this as someone that has doubted much more often than I would like to admit. Doubt is something that we can have only when what we believe doesn't require sacrifice.

I have asthma. And when I am having an attack it is easy for me to forget that air is everywhere. Not so much forget as to take it for granted. But when I have an attack and I feel like all the air has been sucked out of the room I have to keep trying to breathe, knowing that this air I need so badly-yet can not see is there.

Most Christians today (I include myself in this as well) wait until something terrible happens to either believe or disbelieve in God. And faith shouldn't fluctuate based upon how well or poorly things are going.

So I have decided to go down this path of faith, this road of salvation-theosis. And when I doubt, I continue on knowing that I don't know everything. And that if I try to know everything I will ultimately learn nothing.

(Edit to add; I have struggled a great deal in my little life. And I currently am struggling. But the struggles I fight are nothing campared to what Christians had to endure in the past. My husband is gone for awhile. But I haven't had to watch him be tortured and killed for the faith. I have children that on occasion drive me batty. But I haven't had to watch them tormented for the faith. Life is a struggle for everyone. But I think that faith as a struggle is something that we can't fully comprehend since we don't have to fight physically for it daily).
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 02:59:57 PM by Quinault »

Offline Quinault

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 02:56:15 PM »
The reason why I asked these questions is because...I'm terrified to love you guys, even though I've met lovely people of EofK and PetertheAleut. I've always been concerned about how imperfect I am, and how annoying I might be or the mistakes zi've made. OzGeorge, among many, many others, has told me before to relax..that I'm doing fine, but I still have the abject terror of rejection. I find it very hard to love others as God wants me to because I feel I'm not good enough to fit into their lives, and so this affects how I think God sees me. Has anyone else gone through this mess before?? I've recently read that ozgeorge said hatred is insane. It is, and it's hard to get rid of, it seems. I don't hate any of you, I just find it very difficult to love you because I'm so afraid you won't like what you see...that God won't like what he sees.... :(

I used to have a T-shirt I proudly wore. You know those "Mean people suck" shirts? Mine said "People suck." But really I meant I suck. I have done so many things to be ashamed of. I have been rejected by many people, even family members. So fear is always there (especially of women in general). But Christianity is not meant to be lived alone. Have faith that God is active in other Christians lives.

Have you ever been to Forgiveness Vespers? If you haven't I have to say it is one of the most healing experienced that I have ever attended for my general distrust of humanity.

Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2008, 03:08:08 PM »
The reason why I asked these questions is because...I'm terrified to love you guys, even though I've met lovely people of EofK and PetertheAleut. I've always been concerned about how imperfect I am, and how annoying I might be or the mistakes zi've made. OzGeorge, among many, many others, has told me before to relax..that I'm doing fine, but I still have the abject terror of rejection. I find it very hard to love others as God wants me to because I feel I'm not good enough to fit into their lives, and so this affects how I think God sees me. Has anyone else gone through this mess before?? I've recently read that ozgeorge said hatred is insane. It is, and it's hard to get rid of, it seems. I don't hate any of you, I just find it very difficult to love you because I'm so afraid you won't like what you see...that God won't like what he sees.... :(

Keep in mind, too, that on the internet it's way too easy for people to forget there is another human being on the other end of the line.  I think every person here has had some snarky remark or ad hominem directed toward them.  People can be really cruel when they don't have to face the person they're attacking.  My only advice for that is just ignore those people when they hurt you.  As my dear friend Shirley likes to quote, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.” We all have wounds from one thing or another.  Some people choose to lash out, some people hide them, some people find a way to heal and help others learn how to do it too.  I'd rather be on that team.

As far as faith in God goes, it's hard to understand God when the examples we've seen of authority figures are tarnished.  Human families can go a long way toward helping us understand how God works but (surprise!) they're also flawed.  There's a reason why every kid thinks his family is weird.  ;)  In any case, even when our families fail in being examples of God-like love, acceptance, and mercy, there is usually someone around you who can show you those qualities.  My dad is terribly paranoid and gullible (two of the worst things to put together) and he believes every panicky sky-is-falling thing he hears.  My mom, on the other hand, is as level-headed and wise as they come.  Try to seek out those people who have godly qualities about them.  :)  It helps, believe me.

PS  You're all right with me.  

Edited to fix Shirley's quote. ;)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 04:54:49 PM by EofK »
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 03:10:03 PM »
It is a real matter that many people are mean. It is not best to dismiss this fact by stating the opposite.
The operative word here is "can be".  Sure, people can be mean, and they often are.  But people also can be kind and loving, and they often are.  In fact, the same person can be mean at one time yet be kind and loving at another.  There's nothing dismissive here.
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Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 03:10:25 PM »
Have you ever been to Forgiveness Vespers? If you haven't I have to say it is one of the most healing experienced that I have ever attended for my general distrust of humanity.

This!  :)

It's hard to mistrust people when you're sweating and crying.   :laugh:
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2008, 03:16:19 PM »
Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

...

We should not trust in any man.

Trust in God only.
So, no more prayers to the Theotokos?  No more prayers to the saints?  No more confessing your sins to a priest?  Congratulations! :)  You've just espoused Protestantism! ;D
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2008, 03:26:25 PM »
One piece of advice; don't wait and wonder how everyone is going to screw you over.

Faith in God has not really been an issue for me. Faith in others is my biggest issue. And in that case one must act in faith to have the faith grow. If you never give people to opportunity to prove themselves to you, they never will. It is better to be hurt on occasion than to never be hurt at all because you never let anyone in.

Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2008, 03:30:32 PM »
^Definitely.  I try to assume the best in people and if they fail, oh well.  We all do.  I wouldn't want it held against me for the many times I screw up too.  (That applies to marriage very well. ;))
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Quinault

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 03:34:39 PM »
In marriage I always say; "Don't assume he can read your mind. Because if he could-you would be a very boring creature indeed."  ::) :laugh: I would rather over explain to my husband what I am thinking/feeling than get angry when he doesn't know. And my husband always says; "Foreplay starts in the kitchen. If you want to get your wife in the mood do the dishes!" I trained him well! ;D
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 03:36:11 PM by Quinault »

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2008, 03:39:04 PM »
Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

...

We should not trust in any man.

Trust in God only.
So, no more prayers to the Theotokos?  No more prayers to the saints?  No more confessing your sins to a priest?  Congratulations! :)  You've just espoused Protestantism! ;D

Ok Ok!

Was I really that radical?

Saints are not God and neither are priest or deacons. The Holy Virgin Mary has found favor with God unlike no other human she is honored for she is the mother of God and not God. She is our intercessor.

The point is all that come to US (humans) is Gods we do not help Him He helps himself. He gives us all that we need. We do not help Him with that. He died on the cross we did not help Him with that either. In fact most of us who were the "believers" the Saintly Apostles ran and left him to suffer alone.

Look at an Icon of Christ suffering and His crucifiction. WE were not co-workers at all. We see Him alone who is God who created all creation. WE know HIm by His mystries and how he has brought us to this hour.

The Holy Trinity is also not 'co-workings' but all are One and the same God.

WE are all 'in' Christ. The work is His...Amen

Give God all the glory...Amen! Halleujah!

 
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2008, 03:59:21 PM »
In marriage I always say; "Don't assume he can read your mind. Because if he could-you would be a very boring creature indeed."  ::) :laugh: I would rather over explain to my husband what I am thinking/feeling than get angry when he doesn't know. And my husband always says; "Foreplay starts in the kitchen. If you want to get your wife in the mood do the dishes!" I trained him well! ;D

:laugh:

I'm learning that we work at different speeds, too, and sometimes when I think he's forgotten I asked him to do something he's actually got it in a Sims-like queue, just after the other three things he had in mind to do.  But then he's also very focused so I can never tell if he didn't hear my mumbling or forgot or is gearing up to do it.  We've had many apologies between us for the old nag/do-something cycle.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Quinault

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2008, 04:01:20 PM »
In marriage I always say; "Don't assume he can read your mind. Because if he could-you would be a very boring creature indeed."  ::) :laugh: I would rather over explain to my husband what I am thinking/feeling than get angry when he doesn't know. And my husband always says; "Foreplay starts in the kitchen. If you want to get your wife in the mood do the dishes!" I trained him well! ;D

:laugh:

I'm learning that we work at different speeds, too, and sometimes when I think he's forgotten I asked him to do something he's actually got it in a Sims-like queue, just after the other three things he had in mind to do.  But then he's also very focused so I can never tell if he didn't hear my mumbling or forgot or is gearing up to do it.  We've had many apologies between us for the old nag/do-something cycle.

I try so hard not to nag that I end up assuming that he remembers when he doesn't. So he asks me to nag him more often. So either I nag too much, or not enough! I can't win! :D

Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2008, 04:09:55 PM »
^I'll never get that request!  LOL 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2008, 10:42:25 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity?
Only if God chose to work alone.  As it is, He has chosen men and women to be his co-workers.

Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

What you say above denies the Orthodox teaching of synergism and contradicts St Paul. In 2Corinthians 6:1, St Paul includes himself amongst other "workers together with Him" - ie co-workers with God. This is not a cooperation of equals and has nothing to do with man being elevated to be equal status, but finite man responding to God's offer of salvation by His Grace. While our ability to cooperate with God is also a grace, we nevertheless may be His co-workers.

(grrrr - can't get the quotes to cascade properly.) - But I can. ;)  -PtA

« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 01:10:38 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2008, 07:44:16 AM »
Thanks Peter. :)
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2008, 08:15:24 AM »
I really have a hard time trusting people most of the time.
Papa always tells me,"Life is harsh, life is harsh".I hate it every time he talks about human goodness because When "IM" the one talking about it, he tells me about the "Life is harsh thing".
Sometimes I tell myself, "how stupid are we to even HOPE FOR GOOD TIMES". we should not hope!! Despair is our bestfriend!!! and Hypocrisy is the engine of our being!!".. Yet, papa hates it when i declare that, but thats what i cetainly learned from him, because eversince I was a child he always explains to me about the harsness and painfulness of life..

This is one of the reasons,why I look on to God for help. I don't have a hard time trusting or having faith in Him, because I certainly know he's no hypocrite, and somebody who isn't so HARSH, unlike human beings.  >:(

P.S. Papa and I just fought over issues like this, a few moments ago. sorry if I sound so upset..

Edited for slightly colorful language.  -EofK
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 08:34:18 AM by EofK »
""Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it's source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.""
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Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2008, 08:36:37 AM »
^My father is the same way.  One minute he's talking about not trusting anyone, they're all out to get him and the next minute he's talking about some "good ol' boy" he met down at the farmer's mercantile.  Our perception of people greatly influences how those people act toward us, I believe. 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2008, 08:42:06 AM »
This is the reason why I value my faith more than reason. I don't mean to say that papa is wrong to say that Life is Harsh, because its true. But if this is the central core of reality,and if our faith were to perish, what else would we be here for?

Eofk im sorry for you having to edit my colorful language.I'll be more carefull next time. :)
""Pride is not the opposite of shame, but it's source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.""
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Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2008, 08:44:55 AM »
I agree, life is harsh.  But there are great joys in life as well and often those joys come from the same harsh situations and people.  I love my daughter dearly but I also have to get up at 5 a.m. and change her diaper, make her breakfast, change her clothes, entertain her, and all while I'm trying to get myself ready for work.  It's tough but there's nothing better than seeing that little girl grin while she's eating her Cheerios.  :) 

Eofk im sorry for you having to edit my colorful language.I'll be more carefull next time. :)

No big deal, brother.  All is forgiven.  :) 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 08:45:54 AM by EofK »
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2008, 08:52:58 AM »
It's actually so ironic that society wants you to grow, "morally upright". Yet, they discourage you from doing good, by throwing in "reality" in your face. Then when you despair on the good, they'll call you a "pessimist" in a mocking sort of way. Just like in school, why do have to treat your teachers well?; because theyre the one holding the pen and the class record. What is so moral about that? being good to others so that they'll reward your goodness.. the morality of the act is being consumed by the reward. and yet, the same society, who wants you to see, act and judge in an upright moral way, is the one teaching you to do these!
I know its very hard to be kind to everybody, but being kind to a person for the purpose of benefit, is in no way superior to kindness for the sake of love!  :-\
Society condemns hypcrisy, by being hypocritical to its members. At least when Christ said "offer your left cheek", He certainly held on to those words, when He said as he was hanging on the cross, "Father, forgive them".  :angel:
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 08:55:03 AM by sohma_hatori »
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Offline EofK

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2008, 09:55:53 AM »
I think the reason society teaches being nice for rewards is because it's easier that way.  It's much simpler to teach good behavior to children (for instance) for the sake of getting a piece of candy in return rather than teaching them to be nice to others because it's the moral thing to do.  Love and kindness are such abstract concepts for smaller children that if they're not reinforced with tangible rewards it's too difficult for them to understand the idea.  In truth, I've only begun to understand loving others when they harm me.  It's kind of funny, but when someone says something cruel or acts rude to me it helps me to remember that they were once just a fragile and innocent as my daughter is now.  Somewhere along the way they've been hurt too and they're just passing their hurt and anger along.  It's not fair, but it's understandable. 
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Amdetsion

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2008, 02:22:28 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity?
Only if God chose to work alone.  As it is, He has chosen men and women to be his co-workers.

Go has no "co-workers"........God prevails overall and everything is subject to Him. He has not (yet) given man any equal status outside of Christ. We have the power in the church by the 'grace' of the Holy Spirit. Thus we are not "co-workers" but "faithful". All work is Gods work alone.

What you say above denies the Orthodox teaching of synergism and contradicts St Paul. In 2Corinthians 6:1, St Paul includes himself amongst other "workers together with Him" - ie co-workers with God. This is not a cooperation of equals and has nothing to do with man being elevated to be equal status, but finite man responding to God's offer of salvation by His Grace. While our ability to cooperate with God is also a grace, we nevertheless may be His co-workers.

(grrrr - can't get the quotes to cascade properly.) - But I can. ;)  -PtA



I have no intention of denying true Orthodox teaching.

2 Cor 6:1
1: We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Correct is St Paul of course that we are ordained to be workers together 'with' him.

WE are workers 'with' God if:We believe in Him, 'Follow' His commandments and partake of His precious Body and precious Blood. Thus we are wokers 'with' because WE obey God in our lives in all aspects. We place our lives on the line even for the sake of His true Love and grace. This is working 'with' God as St. Paul is teaching.

If we are more apt to obey our own ideas and trust in "luck", "ole-wise-tales"and dead traditions of our past generations than we are not working 'with' him the way St. Paul is teaching.

I say Dead because we are new in Christ..."all things are made new" ...and our new lives in Him is the fullness of our traditions; which is a new holy tradition with Christ historically at the beginning in the middle and the end. Thus our traditions that we (the Holy Church) hold and practice share no past with heathens, pagans or other corruption in any shape, form or fashion. ALL of our traditions are born in Christ and not in the world. By applying (sacraficing) ourselves this way we obey our Lord and work 'with' Him by denying our worldly past (though difficult) putting that old life to death on the cross for the immediate joy of salvation and newness of life and the hope of His glorious future which is the promise of eternal life 'with' Him.

This is the only hope in the world. This is the teaching, that St.Paul is providing us. Which is only true way to be with God. All of us (the Holy Church) together. Not just each individual for himself. 

Of course if we are fornicators, liers, slave dealers (or the benefactors thereto), thieves (or the benefactors thereto), covetous (or the benefactors thereto), war mongers, contrivers, manipulaters, adulterers, divorcee', slaughtful, greedy, stingy, lazy, arrogent, proud, friends with non-belivers of the true faith, lovers of money, and material success and if we love our lives in this world and or place anyone or anything in this world before God than we are not working 'with' God in the way St. Paul is teaching. Which is (again) the only true way.

What St,. Paul teaches is the truth indeed. May I say the "hard truth" even. He teaches in the same chapter that the "the grace of God should not be taken vainly". Thus we have no part at all in Gods Providence, Authority or Power except by our 'obedience' to Him.

So we are not "co"-workers with Him but 'with' Him for our obedience.

"co"...This implies some sort of equality if we say "co". We might say "with" as St. Paul states since this indicates a clear 'association' in subjection to the higher. For example a soldier works "with" the President for sure but is NOT his 'co' worker. The soldier follows orders (obeys). The Presidents 'co' worker would have to have the same power and status to really be "co"....to 'give' orders without question.

In the case of 'with' this still comes with a great deal of authority since much is required of us to work 'with' God. But this is no where near what would be implied by "co".

Maybe we are saying the same thing and dancing around semantically?

Can you find a reading in holy scripture or a teaching of the orthodox church that uses the term 'co-worker' as it would relate to us...His followers?

Please let me know.

Thanks
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 03:03:33 PM by Amdetsion »
"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2008, 03:06:15 PM »
^ And yet, Jesus called His disciples friends, thus implying a level of equality, even though they would remain eternally subordinate to Him.  And in a marriage, judging at least from my priest's standard wedding homily, are not the husband and wife to see each other as superiors and to see themselves each as a servant to the other, even though they're still equals?
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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2008, 08:53:02 PM »
I have no intention of denying true Orthodox teaching.

2 Cor 6:1
1: We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Correct is St Paul of course that we are ordained to be workers together 'with' him.

WE are workers 'with' God if:We believe in Him, 'Follow' His commandments and partake of His precious Body and precious Blood. Thus we are wokers 'with' because WE obey God in our lives in all aspects. We place our lives on the line even for the sake of His true Love and grace. This is working 'with' God as St. Paul is teaching.

If we are more apt to obey our own ideas and trust in "luck", "ole-wise-tales"and dead traditions of our past generations than we are not working 'with' him the way St. Paul is teaching.

I say Dead because we are new in Christ..."all things are made new" ...and our new lives in Him is the fullness of our traditions; which is a new holy tradition with Christ historically at the beginning in the middle and the end. Thus our traditions that we (the Holy Church) hold and practice share no past with heathens, pagans or other corruption in any shape, form or fashion. ALL of our traditions are born in Christ and not in the world. By applying (sacraficing) ourselves this way we obey our Lord and work 'with' Him by denying our worldly past (though difficult) putting that old life to death on the cross for the immediate joy of salvation and newness of life and the hope of His glorious future which is the promise of eternal life 'with' Him.

This is the only hope in the world. This is the teaching, that St.Paul is providing us. Which is only true way to be with God. All of us (the Holy Church) together. Not just each individual for himself. 

Of course if we are fornicators, liers, slave dealers (or the benefactors thereto), thieves (or the benefactors thereto), covetous (or the benefactors thereto), war mongers, contrivers, manipulaters, adulterers, divorcee', slaughtful, greedy, stingy, lazy, arrogent, proud, friends with non-belivers of the true faith, lovers of money, and material success and if we love our lives in this world and or place anyone or anything in this world before God than we are not working 'with' God in the way St. Paul is teaching. Which is (again) the only true way.

What St,. Paul teaches is the truth indeed. May I say the "hard truth" even. He teaches in the same chapter that the "the grace of God should not be taken vainly". Thus we have no part at all in Gods Providence, Authority or Power except by our 'obedience' to Him.

So we are not "co"-workers with Him but 'with' Him for our obedience.

"co"...This implies some sort of equality if we say "co". We might say "with" as St. Paul states since this indicates a clear 'association' in subjection to the higher. For example a soldier works "with" the President for sure but is NOT his 'co' worker. The soldier follows orders (obeys). The Presidents 'co' worker would have to have the same power and status to really be "co"....to 'give' orders without question.

In the case of 'with' this still comes with a great deal of authority since much is required of us to work 'with' God. But this is no where near what would be implied by "co".

Maybe we are saying the same thing and dancing around semantically?

Can you find a reading in holy scripture or a teaching of the orthodox church that uses the term 'co-worker' as it would relate to us...His followers?

Please let me know.

Thanks

Deacon,

The scripture already quoted will suffice, but I think we are simply missing the preposition. As St Paul states, we are workers with Him - "working with" is synonymous with "co-working". PtA was correct in saying that those who are Christ's are co-working with God; for our own salvation and the salvation of others. God doesn't do everything Himself; all through biblical history he has chosen people who are willing to work with him for the purpose of salvation; co-workers. The word St Paul uses is synergy; syn = same, together; ergos = energy, work. Also, the teaching of synergism does not suggest equality with God in an idolatrous way, but finite man cooperating with Him, through Grace. Just as God offers salvation by His Grace, so to is the believer's ability to cooperate/co-work with Him a grace.

The quotes below might be helpful in understanding the Orthodox view of synergy.

Synergy. In Orthodoxy, the conflict between Grace and works found in Western thinking is overcome--not by imputation and virtual reality but--by participated or shared energy--being.  Where Grace is imputation with the Reformers or a created form or quality of the soul with the Latins, there is a conflict between Grace and works.  (Imputational Grace is also instantaneous.)  Contrast these views with the biblical and Orthodox energetic view of uncreated Grace as the Life of God shared by--and hence uniting--Christ and the ontological members of His Body:   Here, what is Christ's becomes ontologically the believer's (without depending on imputation:   Imputation depends on the ontology!); and Christ's working (or "in-working," i.e. "en-ergizing") in us are ours as well as His, as we gradually receive back the lost Likeness of God--Divinization--in Worship and other acts of piety.  All depends on Grace in the Orthodox view; and anyone can see that there is no conflict between Grace and our good works in this Faith.  If divine will can decree that present reality is something else without having changed what is,  there is of course a conflict between Grace (divine goodwill) and works performed by Christ's virtual members.   

But for Orthodoxy, where Christ's members participate in His uncreated Energies, John 1:16 got it right:  "For of His plenitude we have all received, and indeed Grace for Grace"; allowing the energy of Grace to work, we receive more Grace.  Grace is ontological here, not divine-volitional, as in Protestantism.  Hence, there is no conflict between Grace, Christ's uncreated Energies, and the works His members produce with those Energies of their Head.  I think that the much-used expression "synergy" can be easily misinterpreted by those setting out from Protestant premises about the way will can set aside what is in a "virtualist" reality.  The Orthodox view goes by the name of  "synergy" ("working together"), though the human side is more to let one's will accord with the divine will than to initiate divinely approved behavior.  Since, the term "synergy" is prone to grave misinterpretation in the Reformers anti-ontological--will-based and word-based--framework (a framework impossible to "impute" to Apostolic times)--where it is understoodd as some sort of independent human functioning alongside of Christ, the contrast between Grace and works is overcome with the biblical view of Energy in Orthodoxy in the same way that the Orthodox distinction between the Icon (Image) of God and the Likeness of God [see the foregoing account of the Icon and the Likeness] overcomes the idea that human nature lost the Icon (Image) of God at the Fall without failing to acknowledge and account for the tremendous loss (of the Likeness of God) that took place in that catastrophe.  For energy is a concept that averts any opposition between Icon of God and the Likeness of God as well as being one that bridges over the distinction between the unknowable divine Essence and the knowable Energies of God.  The distinction between essence and energies helps us distinguish the Icon or Image of God in humans (reason and freewill, of the essence of humanity, damaged but not lost at the Fall) from the uncreated divine Energy of the Likeness of God.  We are free of the noxious idea of inherited guilt in view the Fall as a loss of the Likeness and the incurring of death and decay.  Energy allows us to overcome the Western antinomy of Grace and good works by uniting them in divinely energized good works which believers synergistically perform as the Likeness is restored to them.  The Orthodox are thus fortunate that our "dynamic" biblical term, energy, has been preferred (by the Greek-speaking God-bearing Fathers and Mothers of the Church and their disciples of every language) to the "static" concepts of Western Christianity.  If the Latins call Grace an uncreated "accidental form or quality of the soul," and the heirs of the Reformation view Grace as God's imputative goodwill--an external, volitional, inoperative divine attitude that wills what is not to be virtually something else--not an ontological "new creation".


http://orlapubs.com/AR/R62.html#synergy

and

Since synergy is often misunderstood in an objectionable sense in which the human works and the divine works more or less equally as joint agents; in fact, that's about all it can mean in nominalism.   In the Orthodox framework, however, the divine side is that of the Origin and true Agent, whereas the human is partly passive in accepting the gift of Grace and partly active in striving with the aid of uncreated Energy against the devil to do good to please God.  God is pleased with the good works performed by the Spirit's working in Christ's members.  And they receive some assurance--which would be lacking if they weren't obeying Christ--that they are on the right side of the war between Christ and satan.

http://orlapubs.com/AR/R107.html#synergy

edited for clarity

 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 11:23:12 PM by Riddikulus »
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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2010, 08:41:50 PM »
I noticed a guest (bot?) in this thread. I must have missed it the first time around, but it deals with something I've been struggling with lately, so I thought I'd resurrect it.

Quote
Have you ever been terrified to have complete faith in God? If so, what did you do about it? How can we have complete faith in God without being absolutely terrified of the prospect?

I'm sitting here thinking about these questions. These are very serious questions, I think. But I don't want to be melodramatic, nor do I want to be removed or sort of on the outside looking in here, so I'm not sure what to say. A lot of people say things like "respect is not freely given, it is earned". I feel the same way about faith. Why would I "just have faith" in the God that, by mere coincidence, the majority of people around me worship? Does that mean that God has to prove him/herself to me? Absolutely not. Yet, I can't in good conscience give me undying allegience to a God I have major issues with. That is not to say that I want to be free from doubts before I have complete faith in a God. It's not about doubts. I'll probably always have doubts, that's just how I'm wired.

This is a very imperfect way of putting things, but for me it's sort of like weighing things on a scale, with faith and belief on one side, doubts and stumbling stones on the other. I wouldn't require 100% assurance about a God--if I had that, then the concept we call faith would be meaningless anyway. But it's not really just about a preponderance of the evidence, either... I need more than that. I think that's only fair. What if I grew up in a Muslim country, or Hindu? Should I just believe? What if Pascal had been Indian, and his wager argued that I had better be a Hindu, just in case? I can't believe or worship a certain God just because I think it is maybe, sort of, kinda, possibly right.

I'm not terrified at the prospect of having complete faith in God, but perhaps that's because I'm nowhere near that point. It's easy to be comfortable when you're nowhere near the cliff, and aren't thinking about making the leap. But complete faith in God, what does that mean? I guess it's probably something different to each person. For one, it means selling all that you have, giving the money to the poor, and becoming a monk. For others, following such a path would be absurd or silly. This brings to mind a passage in St. Gregory the Theologian, which people around here are probably tired of me quoting, but I think it's relevant here:

Quote
It is better both to attain the good and to keep the purification. But if it be impossible to do both it is surely better to be a little stained with your public affairs than to fall altogether short of grace; just as I think it better to undergo a slight punishment from father or master than to be put out of doors; and to be a little beamed upon than to be left in total darkness. And it is the part of wise men to choose, as in good things the greater and more perfect, so in evils the lesser and lighter. Wherefore do not overmuch dread the purification. For our success is always judged by comparison with our place in life by our just and merciful Judge; and often one who is in public life and has had small success has had a greater reward than one who in the enjoyment of liberty has not completely succeeded; as I think it more marvellous for a man to advance a little in fetters, than for one to run who is not carrying any weight; or to be only a little spattered in walking through mud, than to be perfectly clean when the road is clean. To give you a proof of what I have said:— Rahab the harlot was justified by one thing alone, her hospitality, though she receives no praise for the rest of her conduct; and the Publican was exalted by one thing, his humility, though he received no testimony for anything else; so that you may learn not easily to despair concerning yourself. - St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 40, 19

I find this passage comforting, in spite of my not going along with the whole Christian program.

Offline ms.hoorah

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Re: Having faith in God...
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2010, 11:27:09 PM »
Is it possible to trust God, but not humanity? I find it hard to trust in people because people can be so mean...
If you have been betrayed by people who should have cared for you, avoidance and/or distrust of others can develop, but these can be overcome.  It is important to speak with a priest about your painful experiences and resulting feelings.  Find a loving priest who can help you fully understand that God is a loving and merciful God who never wanted/condoned your painful experiences.  God wants you to experience peace and love.  A loving priest can also help you learn to let go of any bitterness you might have.  He can help you begin to forgive those who might have hurt you.

Hugs to you.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 11:28:55 PM by ms.hoorah »