Author Topic: Make God's path straight by being born again  (Read 191846 times)

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1035 on: October 19, 2010, 04:54:55 AM »

You repent, believe Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God, confess that publicly, and selling all you own...to follow Him, that is ingesting Christ.


For the sake of your gospel I certainly hope that you are accessing these forums from a public computer (i.e. one that you do not own).

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1036 on: October 19, 2010, 07:23:46 AM »

Hence salvation occurs when we believe...theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.


Alfred, here's why I asked you earlier to clarify your definition of "salvation". From this post, it appears that you equate salvation with conversion. Our use of the word "salvation" includes conversion, but continues well beyond that. Someone earlier, I believe, posted a whole list of uses of the word "save/salvation/etc" in the New Testament. Take a look at that - or go to your concordance - and you will see what I mean.

As for theosis (your word "predestining" can be loaded  :), let's not go there!), have you read as a minimum http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theosis?

In general, Orthodox terminology is more inclusive and expansive than Western terminology. (Yes, I know we can nitpick over a single letter, but we do it to avoid being misunderstood, as opposed to trying to be understood, probably connected to our apophatic theology.) I pointed out in an earlier post that to the Western mind, Orthodoxy seems rather chaotic. It's like living in a very foreign country - nothing seems to make any sense and you wonder how anything ever gets done, but somehow it works, and in time you see that it has its own patterns and rationales, and eventually you will suddenly realize with a bit of shock that it seems quite natural and sensible.

So Alfred, will you please help conversation on this thread continue effectively by defining words for us when we ask? There's probably more common ground that you realize, but if we aren't speaking the same language, we won't find that common ground.

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1037 on: October 19, 2010, 07:39:59 AM »

You repent, believe Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God, confess that publicly, and selling all you own...to follow Him, that is ingesting Christ.


For the sake of your gospel I certainly hope that you are accessing these forums from a public computer (i.e. one that you do not own).

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. (Mat 19:29 NKJ)

My computer is part of the hundredfold I was given back after I sold all I owned, to follow Christ. Fact is, I was given back much more than a hundredfold.

And when selling all at the swap meet, some vendors distracted me while others stole what they could, behind my back. Not very street smart at the time.

I didn't sell the car I needed for work, I dedicated it to the Lord's service however.

One can  "sell it in their heart" to God and use it for the kingdom:

Then Peter said, "See, we have left all and followed You." (Luk 18:28 NKJ)

Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. (Joh 21:3 NKJ)

Peter still had his boat, so his "selling it" was dedicating it to God, to be used for His Kingdom.

And they still had their swords, so one sells what they own responsibly:

And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. (Mat 26:51 NKJ)

As Christ's ethical and moral teachings must reign in the heart, a rich man can sell all he owns in his heart, dedicating it all to Christ, but intelligently so that his wealth grows "for the LORD" and as a good Steward of what is God's, he uses that wealth responsibly to advance the Kingdom as well as care for his family:

And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? (Luk 12:42 NKJ)


Ananias and Sapphira lied to God holding back a part of what they had dedicated to Him...THAT was their sin, not that they only sold "a possession" and not "all they owned." Its clear the apostles allowed them to make the choice how much they would dedicate to the Kingdom. BUT wanting the praise of men more than praise from God, they promised more than they were willing to part with, and held some back.

Make very sure you don't vow to God and then fail to pay:

NKJ  Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
 4 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."
 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
 (Act 5:1-5 NKJ)


In context, Christ told only this rich ruler he had to sell all he owned, He didn't repeat that to everyone.  This implies something unique about the "young man." Evidently Christ knew he had a problem with materialism, counting his wealth more important than God, although he probably didn't realize that until Christ demanded he sell all:

 20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
 21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
 24 "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
 25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
 (Mat 19:20-26 NKJ)


It was a way of revealing to him his sin, and its possible he did eventually follow Christ. Christ's point, all idolatry is forbidden, nothing can be valued more than God in one's heart, or you aren't worthy of Him:

37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
 39 "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

 (Mat 10:37-39 NKJ)

You must sell all you own in your heart, God will reveal to everyone precisely what that entails. It NEVER means forsaking one's family:


But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1Ti 5:8 NKJ)

Clearly this is a matter of the heart, one puts God above all, and it does not require one literally sell all, and never does it mean failing to provide materially for one's family God has entrusted to the stewardship of the believer. As these are God's, we must treat them accordingly in service to Him.



« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:11:46 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1038 on: October 19, 2010, 07:45:38 AM »
My tone in this thread lapsed into anger and I ask forgiveness.
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1039 on: October 19, 2010, 08:26:58 AM »

Hence salvation occurs when we believe...theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.


Alfred, here's why I asked you earlier to clarify your definition of "salvation". From this post, it appears that you equate salvation with conversion. Our use of the word "salvation" includes conversion, but continues well beyond that. Someone earlier, I believe, posted a whole list of uses of the word "save/salvation/etc" in the New Testament. Take a look at that - or go to your concordance - and you will see what I mean.

As for theosis (your word "predestining" can be loaded  :), let's not go there!), have you read as a minimum http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theosis?

In general, Orthodox terminology is more inclusive and expansive than Western terminology. (Yes, I know we can nitpick over a single letter, but we do it to avoid being misunderstood, as opposed to trying to be understood, probably connected to our apophatic theology.) I pointed out in an earlier post that to the Western mind, Orthodoxy seems rather chaotic. It's like living in a very foreign country - nothing seems to make any sense and you wonder how anything ever gets done, but somehow it works, and in time you see that it has its own patterns and rationales, and eventually you will suddenly realize with a bit of shock that it seems quite natural and sensible.

So Alfred, will you please help conversation on this thread continue effectively by defining words for us when we ask? There's probably more common ground that you realize, but if we aren't speaking the same language, we won't find that common ground.

Thanks for referring me to the theosis article, I will carefully review it.

Semantics are a problem, to be clear, salvation to me is an event, not a process. An event in time that happens "when one believes," because it is then one receives the Holy Spirit:

he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"  (Act 19:2 NKJ)

The process of sanctification isn't salvation.

When the Holy Spirit regenerates a soul so that it becomes "a new creature" that could be considered the start of theosis which is consummated in the resurrection of the body.

But its not salvation...that is a judicial act where we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb...redemption is an event in history, not a process.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Eph 1:7 KJV)

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
 (Rom 5:9 NKJ)

As for election, its every clear God elected all who are saved, unto salvation. It does not follow the non elect are thereby predestined to be lost, all have the opportunity to repent and be enabled by God to succeed.

The lost simply don't want to be saved, they are children of the devil, and like him, hate God without cause.

God knew all who were His, before He created, and lest the Devil's work remain, God predestined these would be saved, not one of them lost.

So I believe a majority of mankind will be saved, so many they can't be counted:

 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
 (Rev 7:9-10 KJV)

The Devil and all who are His go off into eternal punishment.

It would appear what I believe about Hades, its the intermediate state where those who died unbelievers, are afforded their last chance to repent and believe, and be raised up into life, is purgatory for believers only, in your eschatology.

BUT its clear both elect and non elect rise up from hades, and only those not written in the book of life, are lost:

 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
 (Rev 20:11-15 KJV)



The revelation of these things in scripture is not "fuzzy" to me, its very clear. Nothing is chaotic. Although I see "through a glass darkly" there is no chaos, only a few details are obscure. Whenever I really require an answer, due diligence always uncovers the answer, in scripture. I have never found it lacking the answer to what I really need to know.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:49:23 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1040 on: October 19, 2010, 08:37:47 AM »
My tone in this thread lapsed into anger and I ask forgiveness.

Accepted, and please forgive any harshness of mine. It is part of human experience there be some heat, wherever there is light.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1041 on: October 19, 2010, 08:43:56 AM »
My tone in this thread lapsed into anger and I ask forgiveness.

Accepted, and please forgive any harshness of mine. It is part of human experience there be some heat, wherever there is light.


Yes, thank you.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1042 on: October 19, 2010, 08:56:27 AM »
Quote
theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

This, from someone who has spent many, many posts condemning iconography. Oh, the irony!  :o ;D ;D
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 09:00:23 AM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1043 on: October 19, 2010, 09:08:49 AM »
Thanks for referring me to the theosis article, I will carefully review it.

Semantics are a problem, to be clear, salvation to me is an event, not a process. An event in time that happens "when one believes," because it is then one receives the Holy Spirit:

he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"  (Act 19:2 NKJ)

The process of sanctification isn't salvation.

When the Holy Spirit regenerates a soul so that it becomes "a new creature" that could be considered the start of theosis which is consummated in the resurrection of the body.

But its not salvation...that is a judicial act where we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb...redemption is an event in history, not a process.
You gave me the answer that I was expecting. It's pretty much the one I would have used during my Protestant years. But do you understand the Orthodox use of the term? And it is only right that you keep working to grasp our definition (even if it never becomes your own), after all, this is an Orthodox forum, and Orthodox terminology should be the standard, just as when you visit a foreign country you should expect the use of their language or dialect.
Quote
As for election....
I told you I'm not going there  :D.

Quote
The revelation of these things in scripture is not "fuzzy" to me, its very clear. Nothing is chaotic. Although I see "through a glass darkly" there is no chaos, only a few details are obscure. Whenever I really require an answer, due diligence always uncovers the answer, in scripture. I have never found it lacking the answer to what I really need to know.
I hope you don't think that I (we) see things as fuzzy or chaotic. We know though that it appears that way to the non-Orthodox because it's such a different way of thinking. And quite frankly, a lot is lost in translation.

Alfred, have you ever had the experience of immersing yourself fully in a foreign culture? And I don't mean the type of tourism that is riding in an air conditioned bus from one 3/4/5 star hotel to another with occasional stops at interesting sites, but actually lived there for several months at least and made real friends with the locals?

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1044 on: October 19, 2010, 04:09:16 PM »
Thanks for referring me to the theosis article, I will carefully review it.

Semantics are a problem, to be clear, salvation to me is an event, not a process. An event in time that happens "when one believes," because it is then one receives the Holy Spirit:

he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"  (Act 19:2 NKJ)

The process of sanctification isn't salvation.

When the Holy Spirit regenerates a soul so that it becomes "a new creature" that could be considered the start of theosis which is consummated in the resurrection of the body.

But its not salvation...that is a judicial act where we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb...redemption is an event in history, not a process.
You gave me the answer that I was expecting. It's pretty much the one I would have used during my Protestant years. But do you understand the Orthodox use of the term? And it is only right that you keep working to grasp our definition (even if it never becomes your own), after all, this is an Orthodox forum, and Orthodox terminology should be the standard, just as when you visit a foreign country you should expect the use of their language or dialect.
Quote
As for election....
I told you I'm not going there  :D.

Quote
The revelation of these things in scripture is not "fuzzy" to me, its very clear. Nothing is chaotic. Although I see "through a glass darkly" there is no chaos, only a few details are obscure. Whenever I really require an answer, due diligence always uncovers the answer, in scripture. I have never found it lacking the answer to what I really need to know.
I hope you don't think that I (we) see things as fuzzy or chaotic. We know though that it appears that way to the non-Orthodox because it's such a different way of thinking. And quite frankly, a lot is lost in translation.

Alfred, have you ever had the experience of immersing yourself fully in a foreign culture? And I don't mean the type of tourism that is riding in an air conditioned bus from one 3/4/5 star hotel to another with occasional stops at interesting sites, but actually lived there for several months at least and made real friends with the locals?

Election is love before time, a wonderful doctrine that makes sense of everything. But it requires treating scripture as supreme in authority to know it.

As for immersion, when I was 16 I sailed on my first Merchant Ship, Deck Maintenance...it was total immersion on Standard Ship type C3  built,  I think in 1945. Still  had the old cargo nets like you see in Humphrey Bogart movies, probably a troop carrier in WWII.

And I was totally immersed when I believed, when I confessed Jesus publicly before my sailor buddies, despising life itself while doing so, thinking to myself, "I don't care what they think, I don't care about life itself, I want Christ as my LORD."

Later that day the Holy Spirit fell upon me, immersing me like warm oil, upon the face of my spirit, which He regenerated and is now a new creature...an inner man. He never leaves me or forsakes me, His presence is with me continually.

Are you thinking about that kind of immersion?




« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 04:15:25 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1045 on: October 19, 2010, 04:46:38 PM »
Are you thinking about that kind of immersion?
No, not that sort, Alfred. I'm trying to see if you have actually lived in a different culture where the common language is not the one you grew up with, and where customs are so different, you don't even know how to buy a loaf of bread. If you've immersed yourself into another culture like that, you'll understand what I've been trying to get at, that Orthodoxy is an entirely different culture from Western Christianity. A few things will be the same, some will be more or less equivalent, some will be entirely different.

One thing between Eastern and Western Christianity, though, is that you will experience God's love deeply. It is very clear how life-changing your conversion has been. I have known both East and West, and as I told a bit of my story a couple of days ago, have found that Orthodoxy helped connect a few more dots than Evangelical Protestantism.

I was drawn in particular to your phrase "despising life itself". That very concept is expressed in one of the prayers that we Orthodox are expected to pray before receiving Communion: "...Thou dost not desire, O Master, to destroy the works of thy hands or that they should perish, but willest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth. Wherefore I, although unworthy both of heaven and of earth and of this temporary life, even I, a wretched sinner who had given myself over to every evil desire, despair not of salvation..." Just this past Sunday morning, I found myself lingering a bit on that section. How true it is that we cannot be raised up unless we are first brought down.

Thank you for sharing that very personal experience, and for allowing me to do the same.

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1046 on: October 19, 2010, 05:36:56 PM »
Jesus' Rebuttal to Calvinist Blind Self-Assurance AKA "Once Saved Always Saved" AKA Irresistible Grace of the "Chosen"

Quote
1. his disciples came unto him:

2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 5 verse 13 refers to Judas, whom Jesus chose, but who betrayed Him.

Jesus says that someone can be the salt of the earth and "light of the world"(next verse 14) and lose its savor.

Someone who believes they cannot lose their savor has a problem. "Once saved always saved" is problematic.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 05:38:56 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1047 on: October 19, 2010, 08:34:14 PM »
Jesus' Rebuttal to Calvinist Blind Self-Assurance AKA "Once Saved Always Saved" AKA Irresistible Grace of the "Chosen"

Quote
1. his disciples came unto him:

2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 5 verse 13 refers to Judas, whom Jesus chose, but who betrayed Him.

Jesus says that someone can be the salt of the earth and "light of the world"(next verse 14) and lose its savor.

Someone who believes they cannot lose their savor has a problem. "Once saved always saved" is problematic.

Although Calvin was wrong about a few things, once saved always saved isn't one of them. I am surprised you picked such weak proofs for your argument, they both beg the question.

You want to prove God tramples on the salt that lost its flavor, but the text doesn't say that, it has men doing the trampling. Now a believer who has become worldly, and is trampled on by men, killed by them, doesn't answer the question if God would then "trample upon them also, after they died."

As for Judas, he wasn't saved. Peter is the first one saved of the apostles, when he confessed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God:

16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
 17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
 (Mat 16:16-17 NKJ)

It was this event that inspired Paul to write:

 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart " (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 (Rom 10:8-10 NKJ)

The PETRA is the Rock from whence living water flow, it is upon that "specific point of the faith" the church is built:

By extension, the entire Bible was written so you can confess this PETRA of God:

 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (Joh 20:31 NKJ)

The unchanging life giving truth prefigured by the Rock Moses was to strike, for living water to come out. And that rock is Christ, the truth about Him, that He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God:

 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (1Co 10:4 NKJ)

There are other texts that cause "OSAS" more trouble than the ones you chose...but neither do they contradict Christ's express teaching here:


 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
 (Joh 10:28-29 NKJ)

Once Christ has given you eternal life, you shall NEVER perish, neither can anyone, including yourself, snatch out of His hand, your life.

Can you "jump out," No as the text doesn't allow it: "anyone" certainly includes you.

BUT hypothetically speaking, might you choose to jump out as you have free will and God wouldn't override that? No, that would contradict an aspect of Election, that God never selected those who didn't WANT to be with Him. They would never willingly "jump out."

An analogy:

Can God "lie," sure, hypothetically speaking, but He is so impeccably  righteous God would never do that.



« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:44:16 PM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1048 on: October 19, 2010, 08:53:19 PM »
Are you thinking about that kind of immersion?
No, not that sort, Alfred. I'm trying to see if you have actually lived in a different culture where the common language is not the one you grew up with, and where customs are so different, you don't even know how to buy a loaf of bread. If you've immersed yourself into another culture like that, you'll understand what I've been trying to get at, that Orthodoxy is an entirely different culture from Western Christianity. A few things will be the same, some will be more or less equivalent, some will be entirely different.

One thing between Eastern and Western Christianity, though, is that you will experience God's love deeply. It is very clear how life-changing your conversion has been. I have known both East and West, and as I told a bit of my story a couple of days ago, have found that Orthodoxy helped connect a few more dots than Evangelical Protestantism.

I was drawn in particular to your phrase "despising life itself". That very concept is expressed in one of the prayers that we Orthodox are expected to pray before receiving Communion: "...Thou dost not desire, O Master, to destroy the works of thy hands or that they should perish, but willest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth. Wherefore I, although unworthy both of heaven and of earth and of this temporary life, even I, a wretched sinner who had given myself over to every evil desire, despair not of salvation..." Just this past Sunday morning, I found myself lingering a bit on that section. How true it is that we cannot be raised up unless we are first brought down.

Thank you for sharing that very personal experience, and for allowing me to do the same.

The real issue is why would I want to? Christ satisfies all my needs via the Holy Scripture, whenever I desire an answer, I diligently search the scriptures, and in that process of trying to figure it out, He grants I find it. His anointing grants me perception in all things:

 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (1Jo 2:27 NKJ)

As it is written:

 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
 (Heb 4:12-13 NKJ)

God ministers to me directly, through His Word. As I read, my hidden sins are uncovered, brought to my awareness, so I can repent of them. Any errors of thought, the Sword of the LORD cuts away, pruning them from me, that I might bear more fruit.

I have no desire whatsoever to leave the banquet of God, for anything else. I am completely satisfied with His provisions:

NIV  Isaiah 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
 3 Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

 (Isa 55:1-3 NIV)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1049 on: October 19, 2010, 09:21:11 PM »
Why than would someone completely sure of himself need our approval? I mean those who are sure don't need reassurances. If than you are here to preach to us. Why don't you just point us to the bible instead of pushing your agenda on us as well. If the bible has all the answers we need why not tell us to read and be it?

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1050 on: October 19, 2010, 09:24:23 PM »
Are you thinking about that kind of immersion?
No, not that sort, Alfred. I'm trying to see if you have actually lived in a different culture where the common language is not the one you grew up with, and where customs are so different, you don't even know how to buy a loaf of bread. If you've immersed yourself into another culture like that, you'll understand what I've been trying to get at, that Orthodoxy is an entirely different culture from Western Christianity. A few things will be the same, some will be more or less equivalent, some will be entirely different.

One thing between Eastern and Western Christianity, though, is that you will experience God's love deeply. It is very clear how life-changing your conversion has been. I have known both East and West, and as I told a bit of my story a couple of days ago, have found that Orthodoxy helped connect a few more dots than Evangelical Protestantism.

I was drawn in particular to your phrase "despising life itself". That very concept is expressed in one of the prayers that we Orthodox are expected to pray before receiving Communion: "...Thou dost not desire, O Master, to destroy the works of thy hands or that they should perish, but willest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth. Wherefore I, although unworthy both of heaven and of earth and of this temporary life, even I, a wretched sinner who had given myself over to every evil desire, despair not of salvation..." Just this past Sunday morning, I found myself lingering a bit on that section. How true it is that we cannot be raised up unless we are first brought down.

Thank you for sharing that very personal experience, and for allowing me to do the same.

The real issue is why would I want to?
Why would you want to do what? Is it this:
Quote
I have no desire whatsoever to leave the banquet of God, for anything else. I am completely satisfied with His provisions:
Alfred, there was nothing in my posting that would expect you to make a change. I'm really confused by your reply. Would you be kind enough to reread what I said, and please ask for clarification is something isn't clear.

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1051 on: October 19, 2010, 09:28:22 PM »
Thanks for referring me to the theosis article, I will carefully review it.

Semantics are a problem, to be clear, salvation to me is an event, not a process. An event in time that happens "when one believes," because it is then one receives the Holy Spirit:

he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?"  (Act 19:2 NKJ)

The process of sanctification isn't salvation.

When the Holy Spirit regenerates a soul so that it becomes "a new creature" that could be considered the start of theosis which is consummated in the resurrection of the body.

But its not salvation...that is a judicial act where we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb...redemption is an event in history, not a process.
You gave me the answer that I was expecting. It's pretty much the one I would have used during my Protestant years. But do you understand the Orthodox use of the term? And it is only right that you keep working to grasp our definition (even if it never becomes your own), after all, this is an Orthodox forum, and Orthodox terminology should be the standard, just as when you visit a foreign country you should expect the use of their language or dialect.
Quote
As for election....
I told you I'm not going there  :D.

Quote
The revelation of these things in scripture is not "fuzzy" to me, its very clear. Nothing is chaotic. Although I see "through a glass darkly" there is no chaos, only a few details are obscure. Whenever I really require an answer, due diligence always uncovers the answer, in scripture. I have never found it lacking the answer to what I really need to know.
I hope you don't think that I (we) see things as fuzzy or chaotic. We know though that it appears that way to the non-Orthodox because it's such a different way of thinking. And quite frankly, a lot is lost in translation.

Alfred, have you ever had the experience of immersing yourself fully in a foreign culture? And I don't mean the type of tourism that is riding in an air conditioned bus from one 3/4/5 star hotel to another with occasional stops at interesting sites, but actually lived there for several months at least and made real friends with the locals?

Election is love before time, a wonderful doctrine that makes sense of everything. But it requires treating scripture as supreme in authority to know it.

As for immersion, when I was 16 I sailed on my first Merchant Ship, Deck Maintenance...it was total immersion on Standard Ship type C3  built,  I think in 1945. Still  had the old cargo nets like you see in Humphrey Bogart movies, probably a troop carrier in WWII.

And I was totally immersed when I believed, when I confessed Jesus publicly before my sailor buddies, despising life itself while doing so, thinking to myself, "I don't care what they think, I don't care about life itself, I want Christ as my LORD."

Later that day the Holy Spirit fell upon me, immersing me like warm oil, upon the face of my spirit, which He regenerated and is now a new creature...an inner man. He never leaves me or forsakes me, His presence is with me continually.

Are you thinking about that kind of immersion?






Get ye to a Monastery
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1052 on: October 19, 2010, 09:55:53 PM »
Why than would someone completely sure of himself need our approval? I mean those who are sure don't need reassurances. If than you are here to preach to us. Why don't you just point us to the bible instead of pushing your agenda on us as well. If the bible has all the answers we need why not tell us to read and be it?

I have only one agenda:

 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness:`Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.
 5 Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth;
 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
 (Luk 3:4-6 NKJ)

Everything I've said is consistent with that goal, especially my arguments against icons, they are definitely an impediment to God.

As for everything else, I've been reacting to questions and arguments of others.

You want it all elegantly stated, here it is:

 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."
 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart,`Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
 7 or, "`Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart " (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
 (Rom 10:5-11 NKJ)

Don't ask "who will teach us the truth of God, that is bring Christ down from above, or uncover its hiding place, for the God in whom we live and move and have our being is not far from any one of us, He will reveal to you the PETRA upon which the Church is built, and put it into your heart and your mouth, just as He did His servant Peter, and if you confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus and believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, then the free gift of the Holy Spirit you will receive, and every impediment to God reigning in your heart, He will remove...and your eyes will behold the salvation of the LORD.

That's all I've been trying to say.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline LBK

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1053 on: October 19, 2010, 10:10:07 PM »
Alfred, you wrote:

Quote
Everything I've said is consistent with that goal, especially my arguments against icons, they are definitely an impediment to God.

Yet, you also wrote:

Quote
theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Care to explain this inconsistency?
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1054 on: October 20, 2010, 01:12:58 AM »
Alfred, you wrote:

Quote
Everything I've said is consistent with that goal, especially my arguments against icons, they are definitely an impediment to God.

Yet, you also wrote:

Quote
theosis is a consequence of God's predestining us to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Care to explain this inconsistency?

Making the crooked straight is consistent. Don't you agree God's predestining us to be be conformed to the image of God the Eternal Son = theosis?

Don't you believe Christ is God. Of course you do, therefore being conformed to His image = theosis.

 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom 8:29 NKJ)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1055 on: October 20, 2010, 02:02:00 AM »
Although Calvin was wrong about a few things, once saved always saved isn't one of them. I am surprised you picked such weak proofs for your argument, they both beg the question.

You want to prove God tramples on the salt that lost its flavor, but the text doesn't say that, it has men doing the trampling. Now a believer who has become worldly, and is trampled on by men, killed by them, doesn't answer the question if God would then "trample upon them also, after they died."
That's not the sense of the passage.

 
Quote
28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
 (Joh 10:28-29 NKJ)

You had me going for a bit until you pointed out:

Quote
BUT hypothetically speaking, might you choose to jump out as you have free will and God wouldn't override that?


And then your answer is some-high-sounding ideas invented by Mr. Calvin:

Quote
No, that would contradict an aspect of Election, that God never selected those who didn't WANT to be with Him. They would never willingly "jump out."

Hilarious. Maybe someone could reject God? But NO! Because that contradicts "THE ELECTION" and would mean Free Will exists.

AKA if God chooses you, you CAN'T refuse. AKA Man-made Self-satisfied self-assurance

Christianity says that Jesus is God. Jesus chose Judas. Judas said no.

The Christian churches told the faithful to be strong in their faith for 1500 years and then Calvin leads some astray with his invention of self-assurance.

Calvinism teaches that they can't fall away and that they won't commit serious sins. Calvinism is a blindfold that prevents people from seeing their own sins and seeing when they are going on the wrong path.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1056 on: October 20, 2010, 02:18:20 AM »
Mr. Persson,

I am glad to hear of your spiritual experience when you became Christian, and to hear how much you value the Word of the Christian Church.

Here is the rest of the passage, where Jesus speaks to the pharisees:

Quote
"I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,
26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[d]; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.
30I and the Father are one."


In Ezekiel and the Old Testament, the Israelites are God's sheep.

God chose them.

Then they rejected him, and Jesus does not refer to them as his sheep.

Thus, the Calvinist idea of once saved always saved is like the "Jewish Nationalist" idea that they are saved no matter what because of an IMMUTABLE characteristic. With Jewish Nationalists, it's their race, with Calvinists' it's that they realized at one point in their lives that Jesus was the Messiah.

But Jesus told them in response to the Nationalist idea of genetic specialness that God could make Abraham's sons out of stones, and he told Christians to keep their savour.

Regards.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1057 on: October 20, 2010, 02:18:37 AM »

It would appear what I believe about Hades, its the intermediate state where those who died unbelievers, are afforded their last chance to repent and believe, and be raised up into life, is purgatory for believers only, in your eschatology.
"Whoever says that the souls of Christians who repented while in the world

but failed to perform their penance go to a purgatory of fire when they

die, where there is flame and punishment, and are purified, which is simply an

ancient Greek myth... let him and all such persons be anathema." -Orthodox Synodicon

Quote
No, that would contradict an aspect of Election, that God never selected those who didn't WANT to be with Him. They would never willingly "jump out."

Hilarious. Maybe someone could reject God? But NO! Because that contradicts "THE ELECTION" and would mean Free Will exists.

This "election of the individual" idea really takes off during the enlightenment. We all know that every gentile who converted to Judaism wasn't "elect" of his own right. We know that Christ is "the true vine", the New Israel. One inherits the corporate election of the Body of Christ by being grafted onto it; to read later western-european individualism into the early church, into jewish tradition, into the gospel... this is simply revisionism.

Calvinism is a virulent form of Gnosticism. It, in my unworthy opinion, is truly worthy of the title "destroying heresy."
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 02:25:23 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline recent convert

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1058 on: October 20, 2010, 08:04:50 AM »
The legal fiction of once & always saved is that it basically puts a presumption of salvation in regards to faith whereas the word that St. Paul applies to faith is hope (in Hebrews 11, Romans 8, 1 Corinthians 13 etc.). I also think the 1 chapter of St. John's 1st epistle provides ample warning to avoid any presumptive delusions & the need to confess sins on an ongoing basis; faith must be lived unto death & not regarded as an insurance policy. The sacraments of confession & the blessed Eucharist & daily living of faith by prayer, fasting, & alms giving all given by the Lord Jesus Christ to the Church and clearly found in the Bible show us the Lord's way of salvation.
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Beware the wrath of the guardians of "love."

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1059 on: October 20, 2010, 08:22:10 AM »
Although Calvin was wrong about a few things, once saved always saved isn't one of them. I am surprised you picked such weak proofs for your argument, they both beg the question.

You want to prove God tramples on the salt that lost its flavor, but the text doesn't say that, it has men doing the trampling. Now a believer who has become worldly, and is trampled on by men, killed by them, doesn't answer the question if God would then "trample upon them also, after they died."
That's not the sense of the passage.

 
Quote
28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
 (Joh 10:28-29 NKJ)

You had me going for a bit until you pointed out:

Quote
BUT hypothetically speaking, might you choose to jump out as you have free will and God wouldn't override that?


And then your answer is some-high-sounding ideas invented by Mr. Calvin:

Quote
No, that would contradict an aspect of Election, that God never selected those who didn't WANT to be with Him. They would never willingly "jump out."

Hilarious. Maybe someone could reject God? But NO! Because that contradicts "THE ELECTION" and would mean Free Will exists.

AKA if God chooses you, you CAN'T refuse. AKA Man-made Self-satisfied self-assurance

Christianity says that Jesus is God. Jesus chose Judas. Judas said no.

The Christian churches told the faithful to be strong in their faith for 1500 years and then Calvin leads some astray with his invention of self-assurance.

Calvinism teaches that they can't fall away and that they won't commit serious sins. Calvinism is a blindfold that prevents people from seeing their own sins and seeing when they are going on the wrong path.


I'm not a Calvinist, I don't know what he taught on this, if you want to argue against his teachings, you must go to his followers to do it, they have lots of sites.

According to the post I responded to, he taught OSAS and if so, then I believe that is correct

How easily you dismiss Christ's teachings, because of a hypothetical I propose!

 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
 30 I and my Father are one.
 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
 (Joh 10:28-31 KJV)

So technically, you disagree with Christ because of me. If you were there, would you want to stone Him also?

As for my hypothetical, which you slander in an uninformed way, Its a deduction consistent with relevant texts:

Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

For whom He foreknew AND He predestined [to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.(Rom 8:29 NKJ)]

God performed two separate acts (KAI) on the chosen, He foreknew them, He predestined them.

It is assumed these acts are connected, but literally the Greek separates them, they are separate acts. It is assumed foreknowledge had something to do with predestination, modifying it in some unstated way, BUT I reject that, it is an unwarranted assumption. The Text says these are separate, but happen to the same people. Those God foreknew, He also predestined.

THAT means foreknowledge had nothing to do with election. God selected the elect BEFORE He foreknew them, BEFORE He predestined them.

How do I know this, scripture is very clear, God chose first, predestined later:

 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
 (Eph 1:4-5 NKJ)

As both the foreknowing AND predestination occur AFTER Election, its clear God's didn't choose people based upon what He foreknew about them, it was "according to the good pleasure of His will."

Paul confirms this saying God's reason for saving us is "not of yourselves, it is the gift of God":

 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 (Eph 2:8-10 NKJ)

SO why foreknowledge at all? As God already chose the elect, why did He foreknow them?

Sherlock Holmes' methodology is required to deduce from the available possibilities, what is likely. Its clear from both creation and Scripture "God reveals Himself." That is, both exist to reveal God, and as it is foreknowing something about the elect, it relevant to this somehow involving them. THAT narrows the field much.

When we read the text again we are struck with an immediate question: "was God JUST predestining these unto salvation, and not everyone?"

THAT natural question is a clue to what is the likely reason for foreknowing these: God foreknew to reveal He is Just, to any who question whether He unjustly overrode someone free will."

Hence this foreknowing was ONLY for our benefit as there never was a time God when wasn't omniscient. Therefore its meant to reveal God is just to us, that He didn't elect anyone who didn't want to be selected...NEVER did He override free will.

To illustrate, suppose I had a fleet of cars and you question my choices, whether those cars are street capable.

I propose they be road tested, so YOU can see they are, I already know why I want them in my fleet, and it isn't for the reasons you would want them in yours. You don't know why I chose them, the only thing this road test will prove, is that they are worthy of being in my fleet according to YOUR standards, and therefore you cannot question my choice of them. I'm not telling you why I chose them, that is none of your business...its only relevant my choice was not unjust, I did no harm choosing them.

So I deduce God never would select a child of the devil to be saved and I think that is a reasonable deduction....don't you. If not, why not?







« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 08:52:03 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1060 on: October 20, 2010, 09:02:03 AM »
An addition:

How do I know this, scripture is very clear, God chose first, predestined later:

 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
 (Eph 1:4-5 NKJ)

Predestined to adoption of sons =  predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.

God elected first, and then utilized predestination to make  His selection happen.


As both the foreknowing AND predestination occur AFTER Election, its clear God's didn't choose people based upon what He foreknew about them, it was "according to the good pleasure of His will."

Paul confirms this saying God's reason for saving us is "not of yourselves, it is the gift of God":

 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 (Eph 2:8-10 NKJ)


God was merciful, He showed mercy...and gifted some of mankind with salvation, but He did not override their free will when doing so. Therefore it was an act of light and love, and no part of it dark and unloving.



Hence Election does not contradict the revelation God is light, and love:

 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (1Jo 1:5 NKJ)

 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1Jo 4:8 NKJ)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 09:15:14 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1061 on: October 20, 2010, 10:30:16 AM »
Mr. Persson,

I am glad to hear of your spiritual experience when you became Christian, and to hear how much you value the Word of the Christian Church.

Here is the rest of the passage, where Jesus speaks to the pharisees:

Quote
"I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,
26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[d]; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.
30I and the Father are one."


In Ezekiel and the Old Testament, the Israelites are God's sheep.

God chose them.

Then they rejected him, and Jesus does not refer to them as his sheep.

Thus, the Calvinist idea of once saved always saved is like the "Jewish Nationalist" idea that they are saved no matter what because of an IMMUTABLE characteristic. With Jewish Nationalists, it's their race, with Calvinists' it's that they realized at one point in their lives that Jesus was the Messiah.

But Jesus told them in response to the Nationalist idea of genetic specialness that God could make Abraham's sons out of stones, and he told Christians to keep their savour.

Regards.


Paul refutes the basic premise of your argument that those rejected were Israel:

 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,
 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
 (Rom 9:6-7 NKJ)

In context, Paul is refuting your argument election wasn't unto salvation:

3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;
 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
 6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel,
 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In Isaac your seed shall be called."
 (Rom 9:3-7 NKJ)

That God created us in Christ Jesus, we didn't put ourselves there, is expressly stated:

 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 (Eph 2:8-10 NKJ)

Therefore apostolic doctrine refutes your argument completely.


 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
 (Rom 11:5-6 KJV)

Election is expressly taught, its not subject to doubt by those who believe the scriptures.

NO doubt you believe the majority of Israel is lost...on the contrary, none of them are, only Jews who are not really Israel:

 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
 (Rom 11:26-32 KJV)

Their election stands, and like the rich man in Hades, they will  rise from hell into life in the Day of Christ, ONLY those NOT written in the book of life, are lost:

 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
 (Rev 20:11-15 KJV)

How do I know the rich man in hades repented, and lived according to God in the spirit (cf 1 Pet 4:6) so that his spirit be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus? (cf. 1 Cor 5:5)

No child of the devil would respond with love and concern for others, after being denied help:

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
 (Luk 16:24-28 KJV)

Confirming this, no child of the devil calls Abraham their father, and that this was a genuine statement of belief, is confirmed by Abraham's acceptance...Also confirming this, the redeemed in heaven won't feel sorry for children of the devil being punished for their evil...they rather will rejoice. They wouldn't want to cross over unless it was to help someone who wasn't a child of the devil.

 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
 17 saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
 (Rev 11:16-18 NKJ)

Compare:

NKJ  Deuteronomy 19:13 "Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you. (Deu 19:13 NKJ)

"Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
 (Deu 19:21 NKJ)

« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 11:00:31 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1062 on: October 20, 2010, 11:07:43 AM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1063 on: October 20, 2010, 11:56:44 AM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 11:58:52 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1064 on: October 20, 2010, 01:33:52 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."

If you looked you would know I never translated the words. I'm speaking about the process of sanctification. Predestination and sanctification go hand in hand. One can't have one without the other.

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1065 on: October 20, 2010, 02:28:44 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."
How do you, who know nothing about Orthodoxy, define Orthodoxy that you are able to use this tactic to dismiss so much of what we say?
Not all who wander are lost.

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1066 on: October 20, 2010, 03:25:59 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."
How do you, who know nothing about Orthodoxy, define Orthodoxy that you are able to use this tactic to dismiss so much of what we say?

The interpretation seems odd, too odd for Orthodoxy,  BUT if you are saying it means precisely that, and others here agree...

Well then, its likely true.

So you are saying the Greek Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν means "baptized onto Christ".

Is that correct, that is the Orthodox reading here?

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1067 on: October 20, 2010, 03:27:03 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."

If you looked you would know I never translated the words. I'm speaking about the process of sanctification. Predestination and sanctification go hand in hand. One can't have one without the other.

I can't read your mind...if you cite a text, and claim it means xyz, I take you at your word.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1068 on: October 20, 2010, 03:38:34 PM »
Sherlock Holmes' methodology is required to deduce from the available possibilities, what is likely. Its clear from both creation and Scripture "God reveals Himself." That is, both exist to reveal God, and as it is foreknowing something about the elect, it relevant to this somehow involving them. THAT narrows the field much.

When we read the text again we are struck with an immediate question: "was God JUST predestining these unto salvation, and not everyone?"

THAT natural question is a clue to what is the likely reason for foreknowing these: God foreknew to reveal He is Just, to any who question whether He unjustly overrode someone free will."

Hence this foreknowing was ONLY for our benefit as there never was a time God when wasn't omniscient. Therefore its meant to reveal God is just to us, that He didn't elect anyone who didn't want to be selected...NEVER did He override free will.

Confirming foreknowledge is for apologetic purposes was Satan's argument against God:

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.  (Job 1:6-12 KJV) 

Implicit in Satan's argument is Job does not serve God out of His own free will, he has been "bought off."

Satan argues God made a mistake, job is not perfect, there are selfish motives for his serving God. In essence, Satan is arguing God fails to meet His own criteria for being God, having made a mistake about Job, He is less than perfect.

Had Satan proved God made a mistake, God would, consistent with His own principles, gave Satan a kingdom of his own where he could be God.

But Job passed the test, and Satan lost.

The full argument is about Perfect love, Satan argues it doesnt exist, that all creatures have selfish motives, that none would choose to live with God in righteousness, in love, if they had a real choice.

Therefore it would be very important God reveal His creatures will chose to be with Him, of their own free will, when their will is truly free to choose.

As for the argument against the existence of perfect love, Christ answered that when He added to Himself human nature, for the sake of His love for the Father, "selling all He owned as God in heaven," to be incarnate in human flesh, even to death on the cross.
 
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 (Phi 2:5-11 NKJ)


The incarnation so upset the satanic argument against God forever, they cannot bring themselves to say "Jesus Christ came in the flesh," they choke on the words:

 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
 (1Jo 4:2-3 NKJ)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1069 on: October 20, 2010, 10:24:06 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."

If you looked you would know I never translated the words. I'm speaking about the process of sanctification. Predestination and sanctification go hand in hand. One can't have one without the other.

I've reread your post several times, I now realize I misread it.

I still don't understand it, how God's foreknowing is connected to the the process of sanctification, KAI separates foreknowledge and predestination in the text, one is not reliant upon the other.

Or are you saying they are...and why not explain what you mean, so that those who don't know "our context" can understand...you must provide "our context" if you want me to interpret it in that context.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1070 on: October 20, 2010, 11:13:54 PM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."
How do you, who know nothing about Orthodoxy, define Orthodoxy that you are able to use this tactic to dismiss so much of what we say?

The interpretation seems odd, too odd for Orthodoxy,  BUT if you are saying it means precisely that, and others here agree...
Yes, much of Orthodox belief will seem too odd to be true to most who don't understand our love for paradox and divine revelations that don't fit your precise, logical molds. :)

The other thing you need to realize is that we Orthodox don't share the same insatiable attachment to credentials that you demonstrate here. We don't have an official, credentialed spokesperson for the Orthodox faith, such as you seek, since all Orthodox are authorized and blessed to present their faith to others by virtue of their baptism and chrismation. The real measure of whether some belief is Orthodox, then, is consensus, not the proclamations of some "official" authority. [rhetorical question]Is that which we proclaim here on this board the same faith all Orthodox around the world and through all ages proclaim?[/rhetorical question] If, then, you refuse to believe us, why should we think you would believe an "official" Orthodox "authority" if we presented one to you?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 11:22:03 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1071 on: October 21, 2010, 12:57:06 AM »
Part of the problem I'm seeing, Alfred, is you sometimes seem to think the Orthodox have the same beliefs as Roman Catholics.  For example, in an earlier post you said something about "purgatory".  Do you know that the Orthodox actually *do not* believe in purgatory?

Also, in another of your threads, you argued against St Peter being the "rock" of the Church (i.e. the Pope).  You didn't seem to know that the EO actually agree with you on that!

Don't you have any interest at all in learning what the Orthodox actually DO believe? It may surprise you!
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Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1072 on: October 21, 2010, 07:57:27 AM »
Part of the problem I'm seeing, Alfred, is you sometimes seem to think the Orthodox have the same beliefs as Roman Catholics.  For example, in an earlier post you said something about "purgatory".  Do you know that the Orthodox actually *do not* believe in purgatory?

Also, in another of your threads, you argued against St Peter being the "rock" of the Church (i.e. the Pope).  You didn't seem to know that the EO actually agree with you on that!

Don't you have any interest at all in learning what the Orthodox actually DO believe? It may surprise you!

I understood you reject the Catholic interpretation, but you do believe in something similar, albeit lacking purgatorial fire:

That said, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Kallistos Ware acknowledges several schools of thought among the Orthodox on the topic of purification after death. This divergence indicates that the Catholic interpretation of purgatory, more than the concept itself, is what is universally rejected. Also, there are Orthodox sources that indicate some sins can be forgiven after death[4];(Mt 12:32) but which also reject the notion of purgatory because of the indulgences and idea of purgatorial fire that are tied to it.

Some Eastern Orthodox sources, including the Ecumenical Patriarchate, consider Purgatory to be among "inter-correlated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church" that are not acceptable within Orthodox doctrine,[5] and hold to a "condition of waiting"[6] as a more apt description of the period after death for those not borne directly to heaven. This waiting condition does not imply purification, which they see as being linked to the idea "there is no hope of repentance or betterment after death." Prayers for the dead, then, are simply to comfort those in the waiting place.

Other Orthodox believe in the "toll gate" theory by which the dead go to successive "toll gates" where they meet up with demons who test them to determine whether they have been guilty of various sins during life and/or tempt them to further sin.[7] If they have not repented and been absolved of those sins, or if they give in to sin after death, they will be taken to Hell.

Some Church Fathers, such as St. Cyprian and St. Augustine of Hippo, seemed to believe in a purification after death. However, the character of this purification is never clarified, and especially (as St. Mark of Ephesus underlined at the Council of Florence) it seems there is no true distinction between heaven, hell and the so-called purgatory: all souls partake differently in the same mystical fire (which, according to St. Isaac of Syria, is God's Love) but because of their spiritual change they are bound to different reactions: bliss for those who are in communion with him; purification for those in the process of being deified; and remorse for those who hated God during their earthly lives. Because of this confusion and inability of the human language to understand these realities, the Church refrains from theological speculation. Instead, she affirms the unbroken Tradition of prayers for the dead, the certainty of eternal life, the rejection of reincarnation, and the communion of the Saints (those living and those who have fallen asleep in the Lord) in the same Body of Christ which is the Church. Private speculation is thus still possible as it was in the time of the Church Fathers.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Purgatory

AS for learning Orthodoxy, I am doing that, as I go along. Now that I know the above resource exists, I'll certainly learn quicker.

BUT I am not someone uncertain about truth, seeking it. Christ is the way the truth and the light. Anything that disagrees with Him I reject. If you want I believe some Orthodox tradition, then it must be proved to be what Christ and His apostles taught in scripture, or at least consistent with their teaching, not contradicting it in any way. Even the tiniest contradiction is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence the teaching isn't of God.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 07:58:58 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1073 on: October 21, 2010, 08:07:48 AM »
Quote
Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν  (Rom 8:29 BYZ)

You are again misinterpreting scripture and giving it the meaning that fills your agenda. These words in our context mean before they were baptized onto Christ and not before they were born. Just like Christ will say I never know you at the judgment. He knew them and their works and said. Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Can you cite an authority in Orthodoxy who interprets Ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν as "baptized onto Christ".

Its such an odd interpretation, I really doubt that exegesis is "Orthodox."
How do you, who know nothing about Orthodoxy, define Orthodoxy that you are able to use this tactic to dismiss so much of what we say?

The interpretation seems odd, too odd for Orthodoxy,  BUT if you are saying it means precisely that, and others here agree...
Yes, much of Orthodox belief will seem too odd to be true to most who don't understand our love for paradox and divine revelations that don't fit your precise, logical molds. :)

The other thing you need to realize is that we Orthodox don't share the same insatiable attachment to credentials that you demonstrate here. We don't have an official, credentialed spokesperson for the Orthodox faith, such as you seek, since all Orthodox are authorized and blessed to present their faith to others by virtue of their baptism and chrismation. The real measure of whether some belief is Orthodox, then, is consensus, not the proclamations of some "official" authority. [rhetorical question]Is that which we proclaim here on this board the same faith all Orthodox around the world and through all ages proclaim?[/rhetorical question] If, then, you refuse to believe us, why should we think you would believe an "official" Orthodox "authority" if we presented one to you?

I like the fact you don't have a magisterium ruling on all  things, that certainly is far better than what Catholics do. But it makes those who rail against Protestant diversity of thought somewhat hypocritical...you can hold different opinions, but we can't?

I asked for Official views meaning what is genuine views, because some of the theories proposed seemed too odd to be Orthodox. As you point out, how would I know. I don't, hence my request for "official views" which means quoting some Orthodox authority. You do have them, John of Damascus, various Popes...so don't deny there are generally accepted authorities you respect ARE Orthodox.

My request for this is reasonable, your objection is not, as you 1)realize I don't know Orthodoxy; 2)presumably want me to know it.

On apologetic boards, of various persuasions, it is frequent enough apologists argue in defense of their denomination, things it doesn't teach, because the "apologist" imagines: "if I can contradict what Alfred says here, regardless how I do it, that proves my church right."

Of course that isn't true...winning an argument proving something your Church doesn't believe is correct, only indicates  I and AND your church are wrong.

I've met that attitude very often, especially on Catholic boards.
[/color]

Therefore I don't accept "xyz is what ABC Church believes" just because a poster says they do. If I doubt the teaching, I want to see it taught in Denominationally accepted literature.

That is reasonable. Your objection is not, you should be happy to prove your opinions aren't novel, not a discovery of yours, but are what is generally accepted as correct in Orthodoxy.

While I don't claim to represent any denomination, and some of the things I say ARE a discovery of mine, wherever possible, I am only too happy to cite accepted Protestant authorities,  or admit "its what I believe, don't know if others agree."

FOR EXAMPLE, "Election", as far as I know, EVERYONE in Christendom believes its connected to foreknowledge in Rom 8:29 and predestination. I do not, Election clearly happened BEFORE foreknowing or predestination:

 21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, (1Ti 5:21 KJV)

In  Rom 8:29 (or Eph 1:4ff), Angels are not subjects of God's foreknowledge or predestination, neither text doesn't have angels being conformed to the image of Jesus or adopted as sons.

THAT pushes election back in time BEFORE the events listed in Romans 8:29ff




« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 08:39:29 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1074 on: October 21, 2010, 08:42:55 AM »
In Rom 8:29 (or Eph 1:4ff), Angels are not subjects of God's foreknowledge or predestination, neither text has angels being conformed to the image of Jesus or adopted as sons.


Ran out of edit time
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 08:43:26 AM by Alfred Persson »
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline LBK

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1075 on: October 21, 2010, 08:52:04 AM »
Quote
If I doubt the teaching, I want to see it taught in Denominationally accepted literature.

The "denominationally-accepted literature" which is beyond reproach and beyond question or argument is the hymnography of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox iconography is the pictorial equivalent of this. Both sources draw extensively from scripture, far, far more than you realise.

But then, as you have never set foot inside an Orthodox church to hear what is read, said and sung during its cycle of services (and have shown no sign at all that you have any intention to do so), and you condemn icons and their veneration as idolatry, I doubt if you would find even these sources credible or convincing.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Alfred Persson

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1076 on: October 21, 2010, 09:21:22 AM »
Quote
If I doubt the teaching, I want to see it taught in Denominationally accepted literature.

The "denominationally-accepted literature" which is beyond reproach and beyond question or argument is the hymnography of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox iconography is the pictorial equivalent of this. Both sources draw extensively from scripture, far, far more than you realise.

But then, as you have never set foot inside an Orthodox church to hear what is read, said and sung during its cycle of services (and have shown no sign at all that you have any intention to do so), and you condemn icons and their veneration as idolatry, I doubt if you would find even these sources credible or convincing.


Nonsense, you have your doctors of Orthodoxy, John of Damascus is one among many. Popes, etc you can cite as well as the OrthodoxWiki.

You want "plausible deniablility," as do many Catholic apologists. Argue anything under the sun that seems to contradict something I said, and then I waste my time refuting it...only to learn no one actually believes such nonsense.


Been there, done that. I'm not a novice at apologetics...and if you argue crap to me, and want I believe its Orthodox, be ready to prove it is.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Rom 1:18-19 NKJ)

Offline genesisone

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1077 on: October 21, 2010, 09:38:41 AM »
I like the fact you don't have a magisterium ruling on all  things, that certainly is far better than what Catholics do. But it makes those who rail against Protestant diversity of thought somewhat hypocritical...you can hold different opinions, but we can't?
Alfred, you are very right that individual Orthodox Christians do have varying opinions about many things. However, the difference is this: we try to seek consensus with each other, which means consensus with what has always been taught. In the final analysis, we know that we must submit to what the Church (by which we mean, of course, what is generally known as the Orthodox Church - though labelling it as such is a modern necessity) teaches. There will be divergence of opinion, but we don't hold to the idea that it is acceptable to have a variety of churches to meet individual whims. Yes, sometimes there are schisms, but we all find those unfortunate, rather than rejoice that everyone's needs are being met one way or another, as is the general rule in most of Protestantism.

Quote
I asked for Official views meaning what is genuine views, because some of the theories proposed seemed too odd to be Orthodox. As you point out, how would I know. I don't, hence my request for "official views" which means quoting some Orthodox authority. You do have them, John of Damascus, various Popes...so don't deny there are generally accepted authorities you respect ARE Orthodox.
We don't trust ourselves to the teaching of any one person, no matter how well respected. We even admit that many of our greatest saints have their moments of error, and all must be eventually sorted out. Consensus really is the key word. It is the example given to us from the days of the Apostles themselves. Read Acts 15. A problem was brought to the Apostles. They listened attentively to human reasoning, they studied the Scriptures, they prayed. In the letter written to deal with the problem they wrote: "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us" (v. 28, NKJV). The collective nature of this decision is important. Did everyone at that time agree? Common sense tells us that perfect agreement is very rare. But all did submit to the decision that the Church arrived at, and they did agree that they would act accordingly. Learning to submit is difficult.

Many of us have quoted Holy Scripture, the Fathers, and our hymnography to show you that we who participate here are not having secret meetings late at night in dimly lit rooms to develop novel theories  :). But we have been offended that instead of hearing you say, "That's interesting. I don't see it that way myself, but I understand that you have your reasons" we hear you say, "Unless it's something I personally agree with, it's wrong". I'm really not trying to be harsh, Alfred, but that is how you come across.

Quote
Therefore I don't accept "xyz is what ABC Church believes" just because a poster says they do. If I doubt the teaching, I want to see it taught in Denominationally accepted literature.

That is reasonable. Your objection is not, you should be happy to prove your opinions aren't novel, not a discovery of yours, but are what is generally accepted as correct in Orthodoxy.

While I don't claim to represent any denomination, and some of the things I say ARE a discovery of mine, wherever possible, I am only too happy to cite accepted Protestant authorities,  or admit "its what I believe, don't know if others agree."
I do need to ask, what authorities of ours would you accept? When we do quote respected teachers such as St John of Damascus to whom you just referred, you have brushed off their teachings saying (simplified and paraphrased) "He's wrong - this is MY interpretation of the matter." If your goal is to learn what the Orthodox teach, it is not helpful to argue, though respectful requests for clarification are quite in order.

Once you demonstrate that you are really trying to learn what Orthodox Christianity teaches, and that you show you have grasped some of those concepts, most of us here would be quite happy to explore more with you.

About coming to understanding each other, I noticed in the Epistle reading for today (Colossians 4:2-9) that the Apostle Paul wrote: "Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts...."(NKJV) The Apostle knew that what he had to say in his letter was not necessarily the final word. He needed more information and was willing to seek it out. Certainly an example for all of us.

It would be so much easier to have this conversation with just a table and a couple of cups of coffee between us instead of computer screens and uncountable miles of cyberspace. You would, I'm sure, notice the tone of my voice and my facial expressions that would tell you that I'd rather explain things to you about my faith than to argue about it.

Offline bogdan

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1078 on: October 21, 2010, 09:49:38 AM »
I like the fact you don't have a magisterium ruling on all  things, that certainly is far better than what Catholics do. But it makes those who rail against Protestant diversity of thought somewhat hypocritical...you can hold different opinions, but we can't?

No, we have the same faith in matters of dogma and salvation. The rest, such as tollhouses vs "the river of fire", are not essential to the faith and are left to the realm of theological opinion. But Protestants feel free to disagree on dogma (the Trinity, infant vs believer's baptism, true presence of Christ in the Eucharist vs symbol, etc). That is the difference.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 09:50:22 AM by bogdan »

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Make God's path straight by being born again
« Reply #1079 on: October 21, 2010, 09:50:04 AM »
Quote
If I doubt the teaching, I want to see it taught in Denominationally accepted literature.

The "denominationally-accepted literature" which is beyond reproach and beyond question or argument is the hymnography of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox iconography is the pictorial equivalent of this. Both sources draw extensively from scripture, far, far more than you realise.

But then, as you have never set foot inside an Orthodox church to hear what is read, said and sung during its cycle of services (and have shown no sign at all that you have any intention to do so), and you condemn icons and their veneration as idolatry, I doubt if you would find even these sources credible or convincing.


Nonsense, you have your doctors of Orthodoxy, John of Damascus is one among many. Popes, etc you can cite as well as the OrthodoxWiki.

You want "plausible deniablility," as do many Catholic apologists. Argue anything under the sun that seems to contradict something I said, and then I waste my time refuting it...only to learn no one actually believes such nonsense.


Been there, done that. I'm not a novice at apologetics...and if you argue crap to me, and want I believe its Orthodox, be ready to prove it is.


Who or what is it that compels you to waste your time here refuting anything?