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Author Topic: The Next Christian Response to Islam  (Read 7117 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 13, 2010, 12:47:17 PM »

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America's founding generation faced similar questions. In the article "The Founding Fathers and Islam," the Library of Congress's James Hutson tells how Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Rush, and Richard Henry Lee (who made the motion in Congress that the colonies declare independence) argued for religious freedom for "Mahomitans" to make them feel welcome in the new nation.

Not everyone in that era welcomed Islam. One preacher proclaimed that the religion "breathes nothing but arms [and] is propagated by arms." Yet the president of Yale praised Islam for its strong morality. Islam, like Christianity, taught a system of future rewards and punishments. The architects of America welcomed Muslims because they deemed belief in a carrot-and-stick afterlife essential to their experiment in liberty. If the new state were to prosper, it had to attract moral citizens who worked hard, supported their families, and sacrificed for the common good.

American Christians can adopt the Founders' pragmatism. We can admire the modesty of even the most progressive Muslim women as they resist our amoral society's immodesty. We can affirm the piety that prays five times a day, gives alms, and fasts. We can applaud Muslim efforts to build strong families.

However, Christians must move beyond both fear and mere pragmatism. We must probe our own principles and ask what they lead us to do.
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 05:18:04 PM »

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We can admire the modesty of even the most progressive Muslim women as they resist our amoral society's immodesty.
And should we also admire an acceptance of, say, stoning as a punishment for a breach of immodesty?

Quote
We can applaud Muslim efforts to build strong families.
And should we applaud a society that, concluding that sex outside of marriage is unethical, has instead implemented marriages of only several hours duration in order to avoid such immorality?

Quote
However, Christians must move beyond both fear and mere pragmatism. We must probe our own principles and ask what they lead us to do.
True.  But with tolerance now apparently being the greatest virtue, we should probe our own conscience and ask what it is we're demanding that we tolerate.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 06:07:03 PM »

The problem with Islam is not with individual Muslims but with its primary sources: the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Arabic: الله‎, Allāh), and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad's teachings and normative example (which is called the Sunnah in Arabic, and demonstrated in collections of Hadith). While having common elements with both Judaism and Christianity, Islam differs fundamentally from Christianity in the way it approaches adversity, among other factors. When Christians are asked to turn the other cheek, Islam does the opposite. Now, it is indeed true that many Christians have been as much or more barbaric as any Muslim towards enemies. However, the difference may be illustrated by the following: a Christian who kills for the propagation of the faith has sinned, while a Muslim who kills for the same reason is exalted--both conclusions are a result of applying the respective primary sources. Another problem is that Islamic primary sources make it very difficult for any Muslim to appear to criticize, however little, Islam or Prophet Mohammad. The difficulty lies in the fact that any such criticism may well be declared to be an insult or apostasy--either crime to be rectified by any Muslim with nothing but positive consequences. By the way, it really does not matter if the criticism is valid or not, or that it even took place: it only takes one of many Islamic religious leaders to so declare and there are always many devout Muslims who would happily slice off the head of the apostate or blasphemer. So, many Muslims are cowed into silence. Since silence normally means assent, it is hard for a casual observer to appreciate the "good" Muslim.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 09:36:47 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 10:02:27 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 10:10:26 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


Huzzah! I have an admirer on OC.NET! One who unfailingly goes through all my latest posts to learn any new wisdom that drops from my unworthy lips. I am sorry to say I don't reciprocate the admiration as yet, but if you have something interesting to say I'm sure you'll let me know.

You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 06:42:53 AM »

Great articles exposing the true nature and source of Islam:

http://answering-islam.org/authors/masihiyyen.html

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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 06:46:11 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

Actually, multiple blasphemies:

Islam denies Christ's divinity.
Islam denies the authenticity of the Bible.
Islam denies Christ's atoning death.
Islam denies that Christ is Alpha and Omega.
(Muhammad said that he would be married to the Theotokos in heaven!)
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 09:27:49 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   

Three times a day. The 12th benediction (in the present ordering) was inserted to curse the early Chrisitans. Gamaliel, whom the Talmud credits for inserting it, may have had a hand in diverting the Hebrew Tanakh from the LXX OT at Jamnia.  The Talmud also contains some choice things on Christ, the Theotokos and the Christians.
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 09:37:36 AM »

I had an interesting conversation with my Doctor on Friday, the 10th. The Dr. is a middle-aged naturalized American who was an emigre from Romania during the Communist era, and not from an observant Orthodox family. I do know that her family lost all of their status and most of their property under the Communists as we have talked often about survival and moving forward in life. I brought up the issue of the Cordoba Center and the Quran burning 'pastor' in Florida in the context of 9/11. Since many of the medical professionals in our town (like in most areas in this country) are of Muslim background I expected her to espouse tolerance and compromise. I was surprised as to what she said.

She said that it was true that many of her colleagues are of a Muslim background and they were her friends. However, she said that you can't equate the attitudes of the educated middle and upper classes with the masses of ignorant poor in most Muslim lands. Her friends also fear that their second and third generation American children are tiring of our culture's materialism and nihilism and might turn to Islamic radicalism. She pointedly noted that her people (i.e. Romanians), and the other south Slavs, while harshly treated by the Russian communists in the post war era, had suffered a far crueler and devastating rule under the nearly 500 years of Ottoman occupation. Then, expecting that I didn't know the answer, she commented that Americans fail to understand the significance of the name 'Cordoba' as applied to the New York 'cultural center'. Being well aware of European history I said it was designed to send a similar message as would a Greek American sponsored 'Hagia Sophia Center for Cultural Diversity and Religious Understanding' in Istanbul, but that the Turks would get that message as opposed to most of us who don't know history.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 10:04:09 AM »

The problem with Islam is that it is a fundamentally violent religion.

I'm not going to deny that there are good, decent, normal people who are adherents to Islam. But the fact is, they are the "Protestants" of their faith. They do not understand the teachings of the Koran in the way the Koran wants to be understood.

The Koran does have peaceful parts, and it also has violent parts. It's no different from the Old Testament in that respect. The difference is that the Koran was written by one man, in chronological order, allegedly under direct dictation of God. The key is this: there is a verse in the Koran (I don't recall where) that says that if any teachings contradict, the later one takes precedence. It just so happens that the violent parts are towards the end, and the peaceful parts are toward the beginning.

So as I understand it, a Muslim who truly takes his faith seriously cannot read the Koran the way we read the Bible, basing everything on its context. Everything must be taken according to the whole, and that means most of the peaceful teachings were nullified later as Islam became more violent.

The other problem is the concept of tiqbah (?), whereby Muslims can lie if it somehow furthers their religion. So, many of the violent Muslims will also say Islam is peaceful, and they will point out the earlier teachings of peace, and conveniently leave out the fact that those teachings are nullified. Or deny the fact outright, if called on it.

We should pray for the salvation of Muslims, we should respect their right to hold such beliefs in private, and we shouldn't harass them by burning Korans, but we must understand that it is an evil and parasitic religion. Misguided attempts by Christians to present it as a good religion only play into the demonic forces at work and weaken our claim to holding absolute truth.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 10:08:46 AM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


Huzzah! I have an admirer on OC.NET! One who unfailingly goes through all my latest posts to learn any new wisdom that drops from my unworthy lips. I am sorry to say I don't reciprocate the admiration as yet, but if you have something interesting to say I'm sure you'll let me know.

You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Don't flatter yourself. If you refer to me, don't be so surprised if answer.

So here is your logic as I understand it from your posts:

Christianity is the religion of Love. Love thy neighbor as thyself. The way to Love God is by loving your neighbor. Love your enemies.

You think Jews don't subscribe to that religious philosophy so therefore it's fine to hate them, have malice towards them and wink at genocide directed towards them.

So in your twisted logic, if people don't follow a Golden Rule type of religion, they are an exception for you and therefore it's okay to revile them.

How dumb is that?

Did you miss large parts of your catechism or Sunday School classes? Were you out with the flu?

And to make this even dumber. It isn't even true. The Christian religious philosophy of Love and the Golden Rule is taken directly from Judaism. The philosophy preached by Jesus Christ is completely Jewish is nature, through and through, and his philosophical teachings predate him.

Nice work.
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 10:21:51 AM »

Just as Mormons in America are not suppose to advocate polygamy, I think Muslims in America shouldn't be allowed to advocate Sharia Law.

If we make Sharia Law illegal in this country then everything should be ok.
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 11:04:54 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.

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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 11:26:55 AM »

The problem with Islam is that it is a fundamentally violent religion.

According to your interpretation! According to someone elses interpretation the exact same thing could be said of Christianity too.


Quote
I'm not going to deny that there are good, decent, normal people who are adherents to Islam. But the fact is, they are the "Protestants" of their faith. They do not understand the teachings of the Koran in the way the Koran wants to be understood.

And you understand Islam better than moderate Muslims do?


Quote
The Koran does have peaceful parts, and it also has violent parts. It's no different from the Old Testament in that respect.

And yet we accept the Old Testament. How do you reconcile our acceptance of the OT, with your belief that we are a peaceful religion? The medieval Church, both East and West certainly didn't take an understanding of Christianity being "peaceful" very seriously. Just ask our Coptic friends about that if you don't believe me.

Yes, yes...I know, you're answer will be something akin to, "yeah but those were bad Christians not following the true teachings of Christ!" While I agree with that statement, that is the same argument a moderate Muslim would use as well.



Quote
So as I understand it, a Muslim who truly takes his faith seriously cannot read the Koran the way we read the Bible, basing everything on its context.

But there are Christians, even Orthodox Christians who claim similar things. The "it's either all or nothing" approach to the Bible and for Orthodox, Church Tradition. They still exist, I encounter them every day. Granted most of these types are not Orthodox, but there are enough that are that I'm somewhat disturbed by  their presence. Fundamentalism is rampant in most religions, including ours. For now it so happens that it is stronger within Islam, and they are probably more dangerous to the world at large, however we tend to tidy up our side of the story as though we don't have anything like them. I remember as a Catechumen I was told about the EO, "oh we had nothing like the Crusades!" Well technically speaking that's true (no cross cultural warfare) but the Eastern Church was wrought full of inter Christian atrocities for several centuries. Atrocities that are quite stomach churning in fact. Even today, we see it at our Holy sites where monks (are holiest people) have literally bashed each others brains in with iron pipes over the placement of ladders.


Quote
We should pray for the salvation of Muslims, we should respect their right to hold such beliefs in private, and we shouldn't harass them by burning Korans, but we must understand that it is an evil and parasitic religion.


Evil and parasitic? Richard Dawkins would agree, but would say the same thing about our religion too.

Quote
Misguided attempts by Christians to present it as a good religion only play into the demonic forces at work and weaken our claim to holding absolute truth.

We don't hold absolute truth. God is absolute Truth. We simply follow Truth, wherever it lies. But we cannot lay hold of it, or put any claim to it for ourselves.  That's how I see it anyways. It may be a subtle difference but I think it's an important one.
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 11:31:42 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.



Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?

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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 11:33:46 AM »

And you understand Islam better than moderate Muslims do?

Christians have witnessed Christianity depart greatly from a formerly unanimous orthodoxy over the last century or so, with matters that were once universally taught -- the virgin birth, the Resurrection, the Incarnation -- all re-interpreted symbolically (and thus made meaningless). With that experience, I think it's easy for orthodox Christians to notice that many so-called moderate Muslims are doing the same thing to their religion: preserving the name "Islam", but retaining very little of what the Muslim world thought essential to the religion for the last 1400 years.
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 11:39:02 AM »

Just as Mormons in America are not suppose to advocate polygamy, I think Muslims in America shouldn't be allowed to advocate Sharia Law.

If we make Sharia Law illegal in this country then everything should be ok.

Mormons can advocate for anything they want including polygamy. They just cant marry more than one person at a time.

Muslims can advocate for any system of law they desire. It's a free country. It's one of those catch 22 things.


The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 11:50:09 AM »


You know, I bet the Muslims don't habitually talk about our Lord and Savior Christ in their services. And yet, that does not change the fact that their religion is wicked and responsible for the destruction of millions of souls.

Exactly who are you to judge that millions of souls have been destroyed because they are followers of Islam? Exactly how do you know this to be the case?

What is so ironic about your statement is that Muslims would claim the exact same thing about you as an Orthodox Christian. In which case you would claim "but they are wrong!" Well they claim "you're wrong!" And so the beginnings of religious dispute is laid down, both claiming to be on "God's side!"

Maybe we should all, both Muslim and Christian, just leave the judgment of people's souls up to God on the Last Day and worry about our own soul, as opposed to saying such things as someone's religion is "wicked" and is responsible for the destruction of millions of souls. Even if everything you say is exactly correct, how do you think a Muslim feels when they hear such things? I would assume he feels the same way you feel when you here a Muslim "blaspheme" Christ. Not very good, nor very convinced that you would want to be part of a religion which teaches such things.



Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



I would like to take a shot at that one:

Christ is God incarnate. There is only One God ( in three persons). Only God can save. The Church is the mystical Body of Christ and therefore salvation comes through the Church.

It is also True that salvation is a process. Members of his Church can't rely on some sort of automatic salvation..
God is also all powerful and can save whomever he will save inside his Church or outside. If you dont beleive that is True then you deny God is all powerful.

Finally, the surest path to salvation is to be grafted onto the body of Christ via his Church. It is the most excellent medicine. 
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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2010, 12:04:56 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!



« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 12:09:27 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2010, 12:17:27 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!





Just trying to understand why you are so quick to defend Islam.

If one believes that Salvation comes through Christ and His Church (yes, there are bad Christains that will not be saved) then why would anyone that believes this be so unwilling to tell fellow Orthodox Christains (on an Orthodox Christian forum) that Islam is false (though some of its adherants might be saved due to God's mercy).

I do not advocate hostile relations with Moslems and respect free will, but their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2010, 12:39:52 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



 

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual.



As for personal interpretations of John 14:6

I'll rely on St. John Chrysostom

Quote
Why then, when He was asked by Peter, 'Where are You going,' did He not say directly, 'I go to the Father, but you cannot come now'? Why did He put in a circuit of so many words, placing together questions and answers? With good reason He told not this to the Jews; but why not to these? He had indeed said both to these and to the Jews, that He came forth from God, and was going to God, now He says the same thing more clearly than before. Besides, to the Jews He spoke not so clearly; for had He said, You cannot come to the Father but by Me, they would straightway have deemed the matter mere boasting; but now by concealing this, He threw them into perplexity. But why, says some one, did He speak thus both to the disciples and to Peter? He knew his great forwardness, and that he would by reason of this the more press on and trouble Him; in order therefore to lead him away, He hides the matter. Having then succeeded in what He wished by the obscurity and by veiling His speech, He again discloses the matter. After saying, Where I am, no man can come, He adds, In My Father's house are many mansions; and again, No man comes to the Father but by Me. This He would not tell them at first, in order not to throw them into greater despondency, but, now that He has soothed them, He tells them. For by Peter's rebuke He cast out much of their despondency; and dreading lest they should be addressed in the same way, they were the more restrained. I am the Way. This is the proof of the, No man comes to the Father but by Me; and, the Truth, and the Life, of this, that these things shall surely be. There is then no falsehood with Me, if I am 'the Truth'; if I am 'Life' also, not even death shall be able to hinder you from coming to Me. Besides; if I am 'the Way,' you will need none to lead you by the hand; if I am also 'the Truth,' My words are no falsehoods; if I am also 'Life,' though ye die you shall obtain what I have told you. Now His being the Way, they both understood and allowed, but the rest they knew not. They did not indeed venture to say what they knew not. Still they gained great consolation from His being the Way. If, says He, I have sole authority to bring to the Father, you shall surely come there; for neither is it possible to come by any other way. But by saying before, No man can come to Me except the Father draw him; and again, If I be lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto Me John 12:32; and again, No man comes to the Father but by Me

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240173.htm

Also, the Koran clearly denies Christ as the Son of God. What does the bible and the Fathers teach about those that deny Christ?


Commentary by Blessed Theophylact

Matthew 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess in Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father Who is in heaven.

Quote
But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father Who is in heaven. He exhorts them to bear witness even unto martyrdom. For belief only within one’s soul does not suffice; He desires also the belief confessed with the tongue. He did not say, "Whosoever shall confess Me," but "in Me" (ostis omologesei en emoi). that is, in My strength. For he who confesses does so aided by the grace which is from above. But as for him who denies, Christ did not say "in Me," but "whosoever shall deny Me," showing that he denies because he does not have the aid from above. Therefore everyone who confesses that Christ is God will find Christ giving confession of him to the Father, that he is a true servant. But those who deny will hear the words "I do not know you."
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2010, 01:00:59 PM »

I'm glad that in at least some threads we can be frank about the erroneous teachings of anti-Christian faiths like Islam. I've been having trouble in another thread from politically correct types who believe its rude to attack religions that teach hatred of Christ. I would include Islam in this, because although Islam claims to honor our Lord as a prophet, it in fact blasphemes Him by denying His Divinity.

That's because Judaism doesn't teach hatred of Christ. You would not even know of such a concept as a Messiah without Judaism. It's the Christian Liturgy that continually mentions Jews, not the other way around. How many times are Jews mentioned in Orthodox Services? Multiple times, right? How many times are Christians or Jesus specifically mentioned in Jewish Services... None... Zero.. Zippo.

 Jews are merely scared of the knock on the door in the middle of the night and being dragged away .

Ya know, everyone has access to all the threads  Smiley   


You are kidding right?

Ever page through the Talmud or actually spend time around Jews, especially of an Orthodox bent, or hang around Zionists?
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2010, 01:12:36 PM »

Bottom line: Islam has more respect for Jesus, Mary, and Christians than Judaism.

Islam holds that Jesus was a major prophet.
Islam holds Jesus will return to judge the righteous and the wicked.
Islam holds the ever virginal state of Mary (something that even many Christians reject).

Judaism at best rejects Christ absolutely and at its worst mocks and reviles Him, His mother, and his followers.

However the faith of Islam gets works out in the specifics of time and place is another thing. But we only have to look at how "Christianity" in its expression throughout history has had centuries of inexcusable and downright evil consequences. Mass burnings at the stake of Saints and saints, genocide, and the recent world wide conspiracy to allow Priests to molest boys.

Probably the best Christian response to Islam would be for each Christian to deepen their own faith and for the Church(es) as a whole to do some serious house cleaning.

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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2010, 01:48:16 PM »


Do you believe Christ to be True God and that He is the only sure way to salvation?



Is this an inquisition of some sort? Am I on trial?

I take an Orthodox approach that Christ can save whomever He wants to save, and our personal interpretations of  John 14:6 have no bearing on who or how Christ will save any individual. Christ is the way to the Truth and the Life indeed.  Of course He also said "he who is not against us is for us!" He also said "I have other sheep not of this fold!" And he said that people will come to Him on the Last day claiming they did miracles and wonders in His name and He will say to them "I never knew you!" I don't determine who gets saved and who doesn't. For all I know, NO ONE will be saved. Or perhaps everyone will be saved. I don't know, and neither do you nor the Church fathers or anyone else.

Just because a person is a Christian does not mean he is assured salvation. And many in the Church (especially spiritual fathers and saints like St. Theophan the Recluse) have historically not commented on non-Christians fate, only that we put or trust and hope that Christ will do what is right and just and merciful. We put are trust in God to save whom He pleases, but our main concern is our own relationship with Christ. To live as he wants us to live, and to reflect Christ's light to those around us. That is much different than saying millions of people are lost because they are Muslim (or any other religion). Do I know they will be saved? Nope. Do I know I will be saved? Nope. But I trust in Christ for my salvation and for the salvation of others too. I don't know who's going to hell nor do I know the reasons anyone is going to hell. God's mercy is beyond all measure and He can and gets to save whomever He wants, including Judas Iscariot.

 If He so desires He can also save people who were not christian but who lived their lives in faith and in love, and according to the light they were given,  including Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Roman Catholics etc....(I'm not equating Judas with these people only saying God will do what God will do regardless of how we interprate the Bible, Tradition, or what we desire to be "just" and true)

I'm not a universalist if that's what you are asking. But I also don't think the only people who will be saved will be Orthodox Christians. Of course I don't know and neither does anyone else. But like St. Theophan instructed I try to only worry about my own spiritual life and not judge people of other religions.

edited to clarify a few points!





Just trying to understand why you are so quick to defend Islam.

If one believes that Salvation comes through Christ and His Church (yes, there are bad Christains that will not be saved) then why would anyone that believes this be so unwilling to tell fellow Orthodox Christains (on an Orthodox Christian forum) that Islam is false (though some of its adherants might be saved due to God's mercy).

I do not advocate hostile relations with Moslems and respect free will, but their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2010, 02:11:25 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2010, 02:29:16 PM »

Northern Pines has introduced an interesting question about "how do we know who is saved?"

With respect to our liability to eternal punishment, we have to remember that there are two judgments. The first judgment is of our soul alone, after it has departed from our body at our natural death. After this judgment, the soul goes to Hades or to Paradise. We can call Hades Hell, but for many that is confusing, because Hell in English also refers to Gehenna, which will only appear at the Last Day, when our bodies are resurrected. At that time, we will be judged as soul and body together, and we will either be rewarded in Heaven or condemned in Gehenna.

There is a possibility for souls who were first condemned to Hades to be delivered from it later, through the prayers of the Church. Indeed, that is part of why we pray for the dead. There will be no deliverance from Gehenna however.

All those who die outside the Church will go to Hades: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). This passage is so unambiguous as to scarcely need comment. In confirmation of this interpretation I can offer this passage from the vision of Blessed Theodora:

"Those who believe in the Holy Trinity and take as frequently as possible the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, our Saviour's body and Blood - such people can rise to heaven directly, with no hindrances, and the holy angels defend them, and the holy saints of God pray for their salvation, since they have lived righteously. No one, however, takes care of wicked and depraved heretics, who do nothing useful during their lives, and live in disbelief and heresy. The angels can say nothing in their defence... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."

So we know that those who die outside the Church will not be saved immediately, although we can hope that some may be saved later. If it possible for those who die within the Church to be saved from Hades, we can extrapolate from this that in general the condemnation to Hades is not irredeemable. This is however entirely up to God's secret judgment. The Church cannot offer prayers for those who died outside Her bounds.

The usual objection to this teaching is that those who die in ignorance of the Truth should not be condemned as those who have consciously rejected the truth. The answer is that yes if they have not consciously resisted the Truth, their lot will surely be better at the Last Day than those who consciously resisted. It is possible and indeed likely that God will have mercy on those who did not consciously resist the Truth, and we should certainly hope so. However, even those who do not know the Truth through ignorance will still go to Hades immediately after death. The passages above concerning the condemnation of heretics and unbelievers says nothing about their ignorance or lack thereof.

How do we reconcile this with God's justice? The answer is that we must distinguish between voluntary ignorance and involuntary ignorance:

"That servant who knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and he to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:47-48)

and the commentary by Blessed Theophylact:

"Here some will object, saying: 'He who knows the will of his Lord, but does not do it, is deservedly punished. But why is the ignorant punished?' Because when he might have known he did not wish to do so, but was the cause of his own ignorance through sloth."

So only involuntary ignorance is excusable, although voluntary ignorance may itself attract mercy at the end to the extent it was unconscious resistance to truth. How do we know in whose case ignorance is voluntary or involuntary? Of course, we do not when it comes to our individual brothers; only God knows that. In general, however, we can say with assurance that there is no excuse for not believing in One God the Creator:

"From the beginning God placed the knowledge of Himself in men, but the pagans awarded this knowledge to sticks and stones, doing wrong to the truth to the extent that they were able." (St John Chrysostom)

Once an individual has acknowledged the truth of One God, there is no barrier to him having the full truth revealed to him, if he is willing to accept it. That is precisely what happened to St Barbara, who was brought up in polytheism, but through contemplation of Creation came to a knowledge of the True God, and in answer to her prayers, God revealed the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation and Redemption. There is no such thing as invincible ignorance, in other words, since the Providence of God can overcome any adversity, provided the individual cooperates in his free will.
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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2010, 02:33:45 PM »

But we only have to look at how "Christianity" in its expression throughout history has had centuries of inexcusable and downright evil consequences. Mass burnings at the stake of Saints and saints, genocide, and the recent world wide conspiracy to allow Priests to molest boys.

Girls were and have also been molested as well. And as long as we keep in mind that the Orthodox Church is not, nor has ever been free from any of these expressions of "Christianity" I'll agree with you. Especially this last line:


Quote
Probably the best Christian response to Islam would be for each Christian to deepen their own faith and for the Church(es) as a whole to do some serious house cleaning.

I couldn't agree more. it's easy to look at everyone else's problems, shortcomings, but it's hard to deal with our muck. However that is what Christ ultimately teaches us, to deal with our stuff before pointing out everyone elses flaws.



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« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2010, 02:37:10 PM »

Bottom line: Islam has more respect for Jesus, Mary, and Christians than Judaism.

I hope you were not serious when you wrote the sentence above. Islam has ZERO respect for Christians. Here comes a verse from Islam's scripture:

And with those who say: "Lo! we are Christians," We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork. (Surah 5:14)

Can you show me a similar verse from the Hebrew Bible?  Roll Eyes

Islam holds that Jesus was a major prophet.

This is true, but incomplete and misleading. Islam holds that Jesus was a major Islamic prophet who preached Islam and heralded Muhammad's mission.

Islam holds Jesus will return to judge the righteous and the wicked.

Islam partly holds this traditional tenet because not all Muslims believe in Jesus' second coming. Different groups have their respective interpretations, but the significant fact is no Muslim believes that Jesus will come for judgment. Muslims who support the belief in Jesus' descent from heaven on the last day assert that Jesus' second coming will aim the destruction of synagoues and churches, extermination of the swine, the annihilation of the cross, and the murder of non-Muslims who will refuse to convert after Jesus' final invitation to Islam!!!

Islam holds the ever virginal state of Mary (something that even many Christians reject).

This is not true per se. There is nothing in the Islamic scripture to imply Mary's perpetual virginity since Joseph the carpenter is mysteriously missing from Muhammad's book. Since the Qur'an does not explicitly state Mary's marriage with Joseph and never talks of the other members of Jesus' family (relatives), we cannot know for sure if Muhammad knew or cared about Mary's perpetual virginity!

However, Islam holds that Muhammad will be married to Panaghia in heaven! Thus, Islam considers Virgin Mary as one of the virgins of Paradise. Can you consider this a sign of respect?

Judaism at best rejects Christ absolutely and at its worst mocks and reviles Him, His mother, and his followers.

Islam calls Jesus the only Messiah, but does not explain what that title means and why Jesus was called the Messiah.

Islam reviles Christians by equating them with polytheists and curses them because of their fundamental tenets. According to the Qur'an, Christ will rebuke Christians on the day of judgment because Christians worshipped Jesus and Mary as two deities in addition to one true God (Surah 5:116)

I have a question for you: Which of the following is worse and more dangerous?

a) People who deny and offend you.
b) People who welcome and introduce you as a totally different person than you really are. (They try to replace your true identity with what they claim you to be).

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« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2010, 02:38:12 PM »

Ever page through the Talmud or actually spend time around Jews, especially of an Orthodox bent, or hang around Zionists?

I've hung around a lot of Zionists, whether in Israel itself or in India (where the majority of Israelis go after military service). They are Zionists because they like their home and would hate to see a bloody end to the state of Israel, displacing themselves and their families, possibly never to return. Is that not understandable? It's the same sentiment of love of homeland that a lot of people praise in the Palestinian refugees.

But their feelings about the further existence of Israel have nothing at all to do with Christianity. These people are very secular, and much more interested in exotic Eastern religions or anarchist thought than perpetuating Judaism and some kind of struggle between it and Christianity. Ask your average young Israeli what they think about Christians, and as he or she puts down the bong and exhales, the response is likely to be "What?"

I have a question for you: Which of the following is worse and more dangerous?

a) People who deny and offend you.
b) People who welcome and introduce you as a totally different person than you really are. (They try to replace your true identity with what they claim you to be).

Hear hear. That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from. I love being told by some syncreticist who has a cheap Catholic icon on his altar that I've got Christ all wrong and I need to adopt Hinduism to really understand Him. :rolleyes:
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« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2010, 02:39:24 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

Yes, the Bible has been used by Christians to justify evil acts, mainly by drawing parallels to Old Testament events. These things must inevitably be taken out of context and then applied to the present. These are interpretations, not commands.

But the Koran directly orders faithful Muslims to carry out violent and evil acts in the present tense. The extent to the interpretation is whether a given command has been superseded by a later command.

There is a massive difference between the usage of the two religions' respective scriptures.
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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2010, 02:50:46 PM »


Hear hear. That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from. I love being told by some syncreticist who has a cheap Catholic icon on his altar that I've got Christ all wrong and I need to adopt Hinduism to really understand Him. :rolleyes:

Good to know that Islam and Hinduism have something in common.  Grin

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« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2010, 04:06:11 PM »

That's what infuriates me about Hinduism, which appropriates the gods and saints of other religions and then starts acting as if it knows more about them than the cultures they were taken from.
Where does Hinduism do this?
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« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2010, 04:44:13 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No
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« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2010, 05:09:33 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

You miss the point. Christianity has BAD followers that commit evil acts and wrongly justify it by scripture. Islam has GOOD followers when they commit evil acts sanction by the Koran.
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« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2010, 05:31:07 PM »

The best way to see what the "right" interpretation of a religion is, is to look at how its founders behaved. When I was in Istanbul, walked by some graves which, I was told, belonged to Muhammad's companions (Sahaba) who died trying to conquer Constantinople and convert it to Islam. It is a fair point to indicate the many instances of Christians justifying violence and "holy war" using the scriptures, but can we really say these concepts are as intrinsic to Christianity as to Islam? The history of Islam, beginning with Muhammad, is one of continuous wars of conquest.
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2010, 05:32:24 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

Apples and oranges. The Bible and Koran are different animals when it comes to application to one's life. This is a fundamental mistake that most Westerners make when trying to understand the Koran.

The Bible is a collection of different writings of different genres by a collection of different authors that may or may not have any direct bearing on the reader's daily life. Mostly we take principles away from the Bible, not commandments.

The Koran is one concise document, written by one man, in one context, and it consists mainly of direct commandments allegedly coming directly from God. These commands are meant to be taken literally and are meant to be applied to the reader's daily life.

The Koran is not the Bible. According to my study of the issue, the Koran is to Islam what Christ is to Christianity. The Koran is allegedly the final and ultimate revelation of God to mankind. For Muslims it is, essentially, the word of God incarnate.

So:

The Bible contains violence, but it does not tell the Christian reader to do anything violent.

The Koran directly commands the Muslim reader to do violent things.
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2010, 05:35:47 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.

And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".

I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
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« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2010, 05:36:52 PM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
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« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2010, 06:46:10 PM »

My understanding of Islam is clouded. I have perused the Koran & have a copy of it (not on me at the moment as I am abroad) but what seems most perplexing to me is that the life of the "prophet" seems somewhat reasonable to me to the point of the death of his first wife Kadija. He was 50 (i believe) at this point & the intro narrative to the Koran seems to indicate that he actually had some sound ideas that reflected a need to reform what was a lifestyle of  a rather brutal culture.

It is what follows the marriage to a second marriage to a wife named Aisha in which bizarre accounts start to be recorded & most of these seem to be based on accounts outside the Koran which are (I think) called hadith & sunnah. It is here where aggressive bloody jihad seems to emerge (jihad seemed to be previously reasonable self defence), marriage to a child, sharia (which is not even listed as a word in the index of the Koran I have as translated by Yusuf Ali), flying to heaven on a horse, etc.


I also noticed in the Koran while the 5th Sura (I believe) seeks to relegate Christ to a created being, the prophet is recorded as acknowleging the righteousnes & charity of the Ethiopian Christians who protected his small community when they fled (mecca or medina?). Towards the end of the Koran a strange footnote describes an account prior to the "prophet's" life in which divine destiny prevented an invading army of Ethiopians from attacking Arabia when they were attacked by giant flying birds who showered them with projectiles. It seems like this religion has a rational origin that was later transformed into a hideous mess by tyrants.
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« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2010, 06:51:52 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.
Actually, when the Buddha is mentioned in the Puranas (a certain class of Hindu scriptures) he is often depicted as an avatar of Vishnu who taught incorrect doctrine in order to delude the demons. So it's not as if the Buddha is depicted teaching Vedic teachings; he's actually described as a sort of "anti-avatar".

Besides, the idea of Buddha as avatar was developed by devotees of Vishnu. Hindus who worship Siva as Supreme, for instance, have nothing to do with including Buddha into their theologies.

Having said that, it is true that many modern Hindus see Buddha as an avatar like Krishna or Jesus.

Quote
And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".
I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

Quote
I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?
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« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2010, 07:17:00 PM »

I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

No, but they are preventing the Hindu masses from getting a real picture of Jesus Christ. For them, the fact that He alone is "the Way, the Truth, the Life" is drowned out by the attitude that He's cool with people worshipping however they want, whether it involves him or any of the umpteen other deities of the land.

Quote
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?

I think that his attitude towards Christ is more honest than syncretism. He at least has carefully examined what Jesus taught even though he decided to reject it, as opposed to simply assuming that Christ taught a happy, fluffy doctrine that fits in perfectly with the religion he was born into.
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« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2010, 08:55:11 PM »


their faith is historically tainted by evil acts that were justified by the teachings within the Koran.

I am in some agreement about the danger Islam poses. However, couldn't the exact same thing as above be said about Christianity?

"The Christian Faith historically has been tainted by evil acts that were justified by teachings within the Bible"

Tell me that's not accurate.

That's not accurate.

The Bible does not have teachings that justify evil acts whilst the Qur'an has. The Qur'an is post-biblical too and tries to replace the Bible.

1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

You miss the point. Christianity has BAD followers that commit evil acts and wrongly justify it by scripture. Islam has GOOD followers when they commit evil acts sanction by the Koran.

 I really don't know. My understanding of Islam is very limited. I just thought that was a very sweeping statement. That's all.



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« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2010, 09:01:27 PM »

Where does Hinduism do this?

All the time. The Hindu revival of the first millennium quenched Buddhism in India by appropriating Buddha as merely another incarnation of Vishnu. Suddenly all of Buddhism's teachings that conflicted with early Hindu thought, such as the idea that the Buddha is higher than any Vedic gods and caste distinctions are meaningless, went out the window since Hinduism demanded that the Buddha's teachings be interpreted through its own lens.
Actually, when the Buddha is mentioned in the Puranas (a certain class of Hindu scriptures) he is often depicted as an avatar of Vishnu who taught incorrect doctrine in order to delude the demons. So it's not as if the Buddha is depicted teaching Vedic teachings; he's actually described as a sort of "anti-avatar".

Besides, the idea of Buddha as avatar was developed by devotees of Vishnu. Hindus who worship Siva as Supreme, for instance, have nothing to do with including Buddha into their theologies.

Having said that, it is true that many modern Hindus see Buddha as an avatar like Krishna or Jesus.

Quote
And in more recent times, once icons of Christ ended up on Hindu altars next to idols, Christianity's claim to an exclusive truth delivered by one single Savior could no longer be voiced. Tell a Hindu that Christ alone is the incarnate Logos and the idols are false, and you'll get the usual refrain that "there are many paths to God and all are valid".
I don't see why that should get you upset. Are they preventing you from believing in traditional Christian doctrine?

Quote
I'm acquainted with a Hindutva fanatic who calls Jesus Christ a terrorist because He taught for example, "He who loves his mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me", and that contradicts the filial obedience that the guy thinks is vital to the Hindu dharma. To me it seems that rejecting Christ outright like that is nonetheless more honest than accepting Christ without really thinking about the ramifications of His teachings.
So you think a Hindutva fanatic is a more honest Hindu than, say, Mahatma Gandhi?

 I have seen Japanese Buddhists try to co-op Jesus into their religion. Often Buddhist alters have statues of local deities or Buddhist teachers on them. I knew a Buddhist Priest here in the USA who put a statue of Jesus on his Alter saying he was a "locally venerated deity".And that they could worship him in his "Good Shepherd" form, whatever that means.
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« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2010, 09:11:27 PM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
le
Fine.. But people have used the Bible to justify their acts. What is considered evil changes over time and within different cultures.

How about slavery? Evil by today's standards, not so earlier. Justified by the Bible.

 Anti-Antisemitism? Justified by the Bible, considered evil by some and not by others.

Waging any sort of War is evil in all circumstances by some ( Quakers for example) and their pacifism justified by the Bible. But waging War and killing your enemy is also justified within the Bible by others.

How about the Crusades? Now there's a sticky wicket for you. Smiley

Your evil is another mans righteous cause.
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« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2010, 09:23:43 PM »

Speaking of Orthodoxy and Islam:

Quote
The Annual North American Conference of OPF [Orthodox Peace Fellowship] will take place in Irvine, CA, October 1 through 3, 2010.  The unifying theme is “Interfaith Dialogue.”  Speakers will come from the Orthodox tradition, as well as Jewish, Muslim, and others.  The program will be a mix of talks and discussions, music, comedy, award-winning films and one-on-one conversation.  Though differences exist and need to be acknowledged, we can learn from one another and create a more peaceful world in the process. Non-members are welcome — this conference is not to be missed!
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« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2010, 09:51:25 AM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
le
Fine.. But people have used the Bible to justify their acts. What is considered evil changes over time and within different cultures.

How about slavery? Evil by today's standards, not so earlier. Justified by the Bible.

 Anti-Antisemitism? Justified by the Bible, considered evil by some and not by others.

Waging any sort of War is evil in all circumstances by some ( Quakers for example) and their pacifism justified by the Bible. But waging War and killing your enemy is also justified within the Bible by others.

How about the Crusades? Now there's a sticky wicket for you. Smiley

Your evil is another mans righteous cause.

Marc--I do not think that any one would disagree but you are arguing apples to oranges. The point that Theophilus, myself and others have made is regarding the source documents and what they say rather than their use by adherents. If you look at the New Testament, for example, you could not find any instruction to do harm to others. If you look at the Muslim source books, you would see the opposite; either in the form of actual prescription for violence, or by the implied directive to emulate the practices of the Prophet. If you insist on including the Old Testament in this comparison, surely you are aware that Orthodox Christians are supposed to look at it through the lens of the Cross.
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« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2010, 10:48:55 AM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
le
Fine.. But people have used the Bible to justify their acts. What is considered evil changes over time and within different cultures.

How about slavery? Evil by today's standards, not so earlier. Justified by the Bible.

 Anti-Antisemitism? Justified by the Bible, considered evil by some and not by others.

Waging any sort of War is evil in all circumstances by some ( Quakers for example) and their pacifism justified by the Bible. But waging War and killing your enemy is also justified within the Bible by others.

How about the Crusades? Now there's a sticky wicket for you. Smiley

Your evil is another mans righteous cause.

Marc--I do not think that any one would disagree but you are arguing apples to oranges. The point that Theophilus, myself and others have made is regarding the source documents and what they say rather than their use by adherents. If you look at the New Testament, for example, you could not find any instruction to do harm to others. If you look at the Muslim source books, you would see the opposite; either in the form of actual prescription for violence, or by the implied directive to emulate the practices of the Prophet. If you insist on including the Old Testament in this comparison, surely you are aware that Orthodox Christians are supposed to look at it through the lens of the Cross.
I think you guys are comparing apples to oranges. You can't compare the Gospels to the Qur'an, because the Qur'an, like the Torah, is a law-focused document. Or, rather, you can compare the Gospels to the Qur'an, but you would be missing the point.

If you want to compare the Gospels to a comparable, non-law-focused Muslim text, I would suggest comparing the Gospels to the Mathnawi of Rumi.

As the Torah is the Gospel, the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi:

Quote
If we see the Qur'an as the Book of Awe, then the Mathnawi is the Book of Joy. The language of the Qur'an is, more than anything, the language of fear and, when love is occasionally mentioned, it is not expanded on at great length. And the believers are those who, when they hear the names of the damned, their hearts tremble. And the Qur'an is a book that - had it been revealed to a mountain - the fear of God would have ripped the mountain asunder. Although this fear is a kind of 'lover's mortification', the mortification has the upper hand over the love, and the fear outpaces the affection. But the Mathnawi is the '(market stall?) of union' and this is a union that is born of love: "Bravo to love that so masterfully unites a hundred thousand droplets / just as the potter unites grains of dust to form a jug"
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« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2010, 12:05:42 PM »

Quote
As the Torah is the Gospel, the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi

As far as I know Rumi has no authority in Islam (not like that of the Prophet Mohammed). Sufism is a sect of Islam that often contradicts the beliefs of most Moslems.
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« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2010, 12:26:37 PM »

Quote
As the Torah is the Gospel, the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi

As far as I know Rumi has no authority in Islam (not like that of the Prophet Mohammed). Sufism is a sect of Islam that often contradicts the beliefs of most Moslems.
Likewise, the Gospel has no authority in Judaism. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism that often contradicts (so say the Jews) the beliefs of most Jews. Cool
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« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2010, 12:45:32 PM »

Quote
As the Torah is the Gospel, the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi

As far as I know Rumi has no authority in Islam (not like that of the Prophet Mohammed). Sufism is a sect of Islam that often contradicts the beliefs of most Moslems.
Likewise, the Gospel has no authority in Judaism. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism that often contradicts (so say the Jews) the beliefs of most Jews. Cool

I'm confused....I thought this was about Christianity and Islam differences. The New Testament has authority for Christianity the writing of Rumi have no athority for Islam so we can't say that the Mathnawi is to Islam as the Gospels are to Christianity.
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« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2010, 12:51:01 PM »

Quote
As the Torah is the Gospel, the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi

As far as I know Rumi has no authority in Islam (not like that of the Prophet Mohammed). Sufism is a sect of Islam that often contradicts the beliefs of most Moslems.
Likewise, the Gospel has no authority in Judaism. Christianity began as a sect of Judaism that often contradicts (so say the Jews) the beliefs of most Jews. Cool

I'm confused....I thought this was about Christianity and Islam differences. The New Testament has authority for Christianity the writing of Rumi have no athority for Islam so we can't say that the Mathnawi is to Islam as the Gospels are to Christianity.
The Torah is to the Gospels, what the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi. That is, the Torah and the Qur'an are law-focused texts, describing wars, punishments, and a pretty legally oriented culture.

On the other hand, the Gospels and the Mathnawi take the corresponding law-focused text and re-interpret it in a way that emphasizes the love, compassion, and grace of God.

You need both sorts of texts. You can't have a lawless society, but neither can you a society that ignores that which is beyond law.
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« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2010, 12:58:09 PM »


1. Have there been evil acts committed in the name of Christianity.  Yes/No

2. Were those acts justified  by the people who committed them with passages from the Bible  Yes/No

1- Yes
2- No (People only claim to have justified their atrocities with biblical passages, but what they claim is not a fact. They follow a conjecture)

Some Christians commit evil acts in the name of Christianity DESPITE what the Gospels teach.
Some Muslims commit evil acts in the name of Islam BECAUSE OF what the Qur'an teaches.
le
Fine.. But people have used the Bible to justify their acts. What is considered evil changes over time and within different cultures.

How about slavery? Evil by today's standards, not so earlier. Justified by the Bible.

 Anti-Antisemitism? Justified by the Bible, considered evil by some and not by others.

Waging any sort of War is evil in all circumstances by some ( Quakers for example) and their pacifism justified by the Bible. But waging War and killing your enemy is also justified within the Bible by others.

How about the Crusades? Now there's a sticky wicket for you. Smiley

Your evil is another mans righteous cause.

Marc--I do not think that any one would disagree but you are arguing apples to oranges. The point that Theophilus, myself and others have made is regarding the source documents and what they say rather than their use by adherents. If you look at the New Testament, for example, you could not find any instruction to do harm to others. If you look at the Muslim source books, you would see the opposite; either in the form of actual prescription for violence, or by the implied directive to emulate the practices of the Prophet. If you insist on including the Old Testament in this comparison, surely you are aware that Orthodox Christians are supposed to look at it through the lens of the Cross.

I understand. Really. Just keep in mind that the Bible, including the NT can and has been used to rationalize evil deeds and not just deeds of individuals who miss understood something, but on a Grand Scale.. I get it that this is not exactly the same as a direct command, but I would counsel caution when pointing fingers.
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« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2010, 01:10:45 PM »

The Torah is to the Gospels, what the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi. That is, the Torah and the Qur'an are law-focused texts, describing wars, punishments, and a pretty legally oriented culture.

On the other hand, the Gospels and the Mathnawi take the corresponding law-focused text and re-interpret it in a way that emphasizes the love, compassion, and grace of God.

You need both sorts of texts. You can't have a lawless society, but neither can you a society that ignores that which is beyond law.

The Torah is the scripture of Judaism.
The New Testament is the scripture of Christianity.
The Qur'an is the scripture of Islam.
The Mathnawi is the scripture of Huh

No Muslim considers the Mathnawi the scripture of Islam. This is why your parallelism is wrong.
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« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2010, 02:11:30 PM »

Islam denies Christ's atoning death.

Holy Orthodoxy also does not teach atonement theology. After all, that was developped by Anselm of Canterbury after the Great Schism...
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« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2010, 02:18:23 PM »


Holy Orthodoxy also does not teach atonement theology. After all, that was developped by Anselm of Canterbury after the Great Schism...

I may have used a wrong terminology, but what I mean is that Islam denies Christ died for our sins/gave up Himself to save us.
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« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2010, 02:24:16 PM »

It's a serious (though increasingly common) misunderstanding to think of Sufism as some kind of coherent sect, pacifistic and to place Rumi as its central figure. Sufism is in fact a very, very nebulous concept that is used to describe basically any kind of experiential religious practice in Islam. Rumi is important in popular Islam in Iran and Turkey, and similar figures like the poet Ibn al-Farid or the theosophist Ibn Arabi are popular in other sections of the Islamic world, but the writings of Rumi aren't more than just poetic writings very popular among Persian-speakers- they don't have doctrinal value for anyone as such and in their original context are not read in the new agey way that they're sometimes sold as being here. If one looks at Sufism historically, it is true that there hve been and in some places still are antinomian practices associated with popular Sufism, but varieties of Sufism have been a component of much, much more conservative and even violent movements--- during the early Turkish conquests in Asia Minor, the ghazis religious practice was quite heavily influenced by Persian-style Sufism, and basically the Byzantine-Turkish border regions were Islamified by sufis preaching jihad-- violent jihad being seen as a normal part of the private spiritual discipline of a sufi. We can see that in the modern period as well, where the Libyan war for independance from the Italians was led by a Sufi order preaching jihad, as were Sudanese uprisings against the British...another example is that Ayatollah Khomeini's intellectual formation was heavily influenced by the philosophical Sufism of the Illuminationist school---  Mullah Sadra is basically the official classical philosopher of the current regime in Iran....


If you want to look for a pacifist reform movement within Islam, you have to look at the realy marginalized pacificst groups like the Baha'i or the Ahmadiyya... in Jetavan's understanding fo religion, the writings of Baha'ullah might be to the Quran what the Gospel is to the Torah, band so Baha'ism might be to Islam what Christianity is to Judaism, but that does little to help one understand Islam, because these kinds of pacificst reforms are very, very marginal......
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« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2010, 02:25:06 PM »


Holy Orthodoxy also does not teach atonement theology. After all, that was developped by Anselm of Canterbury after the Great Schism...

I may have used a wrong terminology, but what I mean is that Islam denies Christ died for our sins/gave up Himself to save us.

They deny he died on the cross at a minimum or even at all.
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« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2010, 02:28:16 PM »

Ugh more cant about how the Orthodox do not believe that Christ atoned for our sins on the Cross. Let me just submit two quotations from the Fathers:

“Since the Lord offered Himself up for us in
sacrifice to the Father, having propitiated Him by His death as High Priest
and then, after the destruction of sin and cessation of enmity, sent unto us the
Spirit, He says: ‘I will beseech the Father and will give you a Comforter, that
is, I will propitiate the Father for you and reconcile Him with you, who were
at enmity with Him because of sin, and He, having been propitiated by My
death for you and been reconciled with you, will send you the Spirit.”

This is from Blessed Theophylact, who lived at the same time as the alleged inventor of "atonement theory", Anselm of Canterbury (Explanation of the Gospel of John, 14:16).

And from the great opponent of scholasticism, St Gregory Palamas:

“Man was led into his captivity when he
experienced God’s wrath, this wrath being the good God’s just abandonment
of man. God had to be reconciled with the human race, for otherwise
mankind could not be set free from the servitude. A sacrifice was needed to
reconcile the Father on high with us and to sanctify us, since we had been
soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both
cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest…. God overturned the
devil through suffering and His Flesh which He offered as a sacrifice to God
the Father, as a pure and altogether holy victim – how great is His gift! – and
reconciled God to the human race…” (Homily 16:21, 24, 31)
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« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2010, 02:31:28 PM »


Holy Orthodoxy also does not teach atonement theology. After all, that was developped by Anselm of Canterbury after the Great Schism...

Swinburne believes atonement to be compatible with Orthodoxy, and there are elements of the liturgy that would be hard to interpret any way but through a doctrine of atonement. What Orthodoxy rejects is only a strict legalistic understanding. The death on the cross includes atonement but transcends it.
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« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2010, 04:15:26 PM »

The Torah is to the Gospels, what the Qur'an is to the Mathnawi. That is, the Torah and the Qur'an are law-focused texts, describing wars, punishments, and a pretty legally oriented culture.

On the other hand, the Gospels and the Mathnawi take the corresponding law-focused text and re-interpret it in a way that emphasizes the love, compassion, and grace of God.

You need both sorts of texts. You can't have a lawless society, but neither can you a society that ignores that which is beyond law.

The Torah is the scripture of Judaism.
The New Testament is the scripture of Christianity.
The Qur'an is the scripture of Islam.
The Mathnawi is the scripture of Huh

No Muslim considers the Mathnawi the scripture of Islam. This is why your parallelism is wrong.

That depends upon how you define "scripture". For Orthodox Jews, the Torah is Scripture, but you can't understand the Torah with the commentary. So, in effect, the commentary serves an irreplaceable function for Orthodox Jews.

Likewise, for those Sufis who consider Rumi part of their lineage, the Mathnawi explicates what is hidden in the Qur'an.

It's not necessary for all Muslims, or all Sufis, to hold the Mathnawi valuable. Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable. The fact remains that there are Muslims for whom the Mathnawi explains what the Qur'an may not so explicitly state.
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« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2010, 04:30:55 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
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« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2010, 05:34:07 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)
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« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2010, 05:38:36 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)

Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.
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« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2010, 05:48:34 PM »

Really?  What does James 1:27 say is the true religion? Wink
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« Reply #65 on: September 15, 2010, 06:03:54 PM »

Really?  What does James 1:27 say is the true religion? ;)

Well, caring for widows and orphans, i.e. our neighbors, whoever they may be, is Christian. If we're talking about Rabbinical Judaism, they teach that mercy should only be shown to other Jews:

N. You Shall not Avenge or Bear a Grudge -- And You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

 

It is written in the Torah (Leviticus 19:18): "You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord" -- here also the verse yells out "the children of your people." In Torat Cohanim on the portion of Kedoshim, chapter 4, halacha 12: "You shall not avenge nor bear a grudge against the children of your people -- but you can avenge and bear a grudge against others" (that is, against Gentiles -- explanation of the Ra'avad). In the words of Maimonides in The Laws of Mental States, chapter 7, halacha 10 (in the printed edition, halacha 7): "One who avenges against his fellow transgresses a negative commandment, as it says: 'You shall not avenge'." And there in halacha 11 (in the printed edition, the continuation of halacha 7): "What is considered vengeance? If one's fellow said to him 'lend me your ax' and he answered 'I will not lend it to you.' The next day he needed to borrow an ax from his friend. He said to him 'lend me your ax' and the other answered, 'I will not lend it to you, as you did not lend it to me when I requested.' This is vengeance." And there, halacha 12 (in the printed edition, halacha 8): "Also, anyone who bears a grudge against a Jew transgresses a negative commandment, as it says: 'You shall not bear a grudge against the children of your people.' How is this? Reuven said to Shimon 'rent me this house' or 'lend me this ox' and Shimon refused. Later, Shimon needed to borrow or to rent and Reuven said: 'See? I will lend it to you, for I am not like you and I will not pay you back for your actions.' One who does so transgresses the commandment 'You shall not bear a grudge'…"

 

With regards to the second half of the verse, Maimonides wrote in Sefer HaMitzvot positive commandment 206 (according to Rav Kapach's edition): "We were commanded to love one another…and my compassion and love to my brother in faith and religion shall be as my love and compassion to myself…" In chapter 6 of The Laws of Mental States, halacha 4 (in the printed edition, halacha 3): "It is a commandment for every person to love each and every Jew as he loves himself, as it says: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'."

- Rabbi David Bar Chaim, full article available at http://www.daatemet.org/articles/article.cfm?article_id=119&lang=en

In any case, you must also be baptized and believe in the Resurrection and other dogmas of the Christian faith (Mark 16:16). True religion is not something you can cherry-pick at your own desire. You must accept the whole truth as it is given.
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« Reply #66 on: September 15, 2010, 07:19:15 PM »

That's just wrong.  The OT speaks many times about caring for widows and orphans, and "not  oppressing the stranger among you". 
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« Reply #67 on: September 15, 2010, 07:29:07 PM »

That's just wrong.  The OT speaks many times about caring for widows and orphans, and "not  oppressing the stranger among you". 

Yes, and which religion is the true successor to the faith of the Old Testament? Orthodoxy, not Rabbinical Judaism.
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« Reply #68 on: September 15, 2010, 07:32:38 PM »

That doesn't mean Judaism is false, just incomplete.
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« Reply #69 on: September 15, 2010, 07:39:04 PM »

That doesn't mean Judaism is false, just incomplete.

Given that only the complete Truth is saving, then anything that is "incomplete" is also false. In any case, as I demonstrated Rabbinical Judaism does not just leave some things out, but it directly contradicts both OT and NT teaching.
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« Reply #70 on: September 15, 2010, 07:43:37 PM »

That doesn't mean Judaism is false, just incomplete.

Judaism of the Second Temple was incomplete. Modern Judaism is false.
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« Reply #71 on: September 15, 2010, 07:50:45 PM »

That doesn't mean Judaism is false, just incomplete.

Judaism of the Second Temple was incomplete. Modern Judaism is false.

Well put. I was wrong to equate "incomplete" with "false". However, even the OT faith, although true as far as it went, was not saving. Only the truth of Christianity is saving.
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« Reply #72 on: September 15, 2010, 08:20:52 PM »

OK, if this is going to be yet another anti-Jewish thread, I'M OUT.
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« Reply #73 on: September 15, 2010, 08:28:46 PM »

Unless you're a syncretist who believes there is no one true faith, it is not possible to escape from the conclusion that, if Orthodox Christianity is true, religions that deny one or more of Orthodoxy's dogmas are false. If you honestly think that is "racist" then I don't know what to tell you. Some people insist on seeing racism everywhere, even where race is not even mentioned.
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« Reply #74 on: September 15, 2010, 08:40:44 PM »

Some people insist on seeing racism everywhere, even where race is not even mentioned.

And some people insist on mentioning the evils of Judaism everywhere, even where the thread isn't about Judaism.
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« Reply #75 on: September 15, 2010, 08:42:22 PM »

Really?  What does James 1:27 say is the true religion? Wink
I had to look up that verse, and since I like the letter of James:  "Pure and undefiled in the sight of God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
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« Reply #76 on: September 15, 2010, 08:43:14 PM »

I did not say "racist" - I said "anti-Jewish".  Judaism is a religion - not everyone who follows it is of the same race.
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« Reply #77 on: September 15, 2010, 08:43:23 PM »

Some people insist on seeing racism everywhere, even where race is not even mentioned.

And some people insist on mentioning the evils of Judaism everywhere, even where the thread isn't about Judaism.

Is there some reason that, out of all the posts that could be easily considered off-topic on a given thread, you always single out mine? I can't think what that reason might be…
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« Reply #78 on: September 15, 2010, 08:45:31 PM »

Again - I said NOTHING about racism!   I very specifically said "anti-Jewish", *not* "anti-Semitic".
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« Reply #79 on: September 15, 2010, 08:47:56 PM »

I did not say "racist" - I said "anti-Jewish".  Judaism is a religion - not everyone who follows it is of the same race.

Well, if we're only talking about the religion Judaism, you can definitely count me as anti-Judaist, as well as anti-Islamic, anti-Hinduist and so forth. And it surprises me that anyone would consider it wrong to oppose false religions. In fact, I would have thought it is one of a Christian's duties to oppose false religions. Isn't that more or less what this thread is about? Islam is evil first and foremost because it is false, and those who believe in Islam are drawn away from the truth and from salvation. It is the same with Judaism and other false faiths.
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« Reply #80 on: September 15, 2010, 09:12:50 PM »

Oy vey.
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« Reply #81 on: September 15, 2010, 09:34:03 PM »

Oy vey.

You don't believe it is a Christian's duty to oppose false faiths? So if you know someone who has false beliefs you don't try to persuade him or her of the truth? How will you answer before God if that person dies and goes to hades because you didn't do anything to save him? I'm not just aiming at you, personally, but I'm addressing others reading this. I think one reason that ecumenism and syncretism have become so popular is people don't take seriously what our Lord said in the Gospel:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

If you die outside the Church, you WILL go to hades. It is possible that God will not throw you into Gehenna at the Last Day, if He determines that you were not willingly ignorant of the truth, but do you really want to take that chance, either for yourself or for others?
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« Reply #82 on: September 15, 2010, 10:05:02 PM »

Mazel tov. Smiley
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« Reply #83 on: September 15, 2010, 10:30:44 PM »

John 10:16

 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.


John 4:22 (King James Version)

 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.


 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #84 on: September 15, 2010, 10:54:05 PM »

I agree with Jonathan. There is only ONE true religion. Christianity, Orthodox Christianity.  And before Christianity there was Judaism. After the death of Jesus, the Old Testament was fulfilled and the New Testament began. As we see in Matthew 27:52-53, we are told that the saints of the old testament were raised and went into the holy city (the heavenly Jerusalem). From that point in time until the time of Jesus's return we will all be judged according to the New Testament.
 There is one way to the father, and that is through the Son Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #85 on: September 15, 2010, 10:59:34 PM »

John 10:16

 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.


John 4:22 (King James Version)

 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.


 Roll Eyes

If you think the "other sheep" in the first passage refer to the Jews, you are mistaken. Blessed Theophylact explains that they refer to the Gentiles, who were still not yet called and were outside the Covenant. Christ is looking forward prophetically to the incalling of the Gentiles to the Church.

Similarly, when our Lord says "salvation is of the Jews", He is speaking still as a Jew. First He went to His own people, since it was fitting that as they were the first to be called to God through Abraham and then Moses, so now they should be the first to hear the Gospel. Only later, after most of the Jews had rejected the Gospel, was it fitting for Christ to send His Apostles to baptize all nations. This passage does NOT mean the Jews who reject Christ will be saved. Again, Mark 16:16 makes it clear that faith in Christ is absolutely necessary for salvation.
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« Reply #86 on: September 15, 2010, 11:21:32 PM »

I did not say "racist" - I said "anti-Jewish".  Judaism is a religion - not everyone who follows it is of the same race.

Well, if we're only talking about the religion Judaism, you can definitely count me as anti-Judaist, as well as anti-Islamic, anti-Hinduist and so forth. And it surprises me that anyone would consider it wrong to oppose false religions. In fact, I would have thought it is one of a Christian's duties to oppose false religions. Isn't that more or less what this thread is about? Islam is evil first and foremost because it is false, and those who believe in Islam are drawn away from the truth and from salvation. It is the same with Judaism and other false faiths.

I agree Here I oppose All that you Mentioned ,Plus Im Including Roman Catholics and Eastern Catholic To Boot...All False False.............
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« Reply #87 on: September 15, 2010, 11:38:00 PM »

Am I the only one who sees a difference between "false" and "mistaken"?

And stashko, you forgot Quakers. Grin
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« Reply #88 on: September 15, 2010, 11:40:29 PM »

Am I the only one who sees a difference between "false" and "mistaken"?

And stashko, you forgot Quakers. Grin

The non-Orthodox Christian religions are false, the people who follow them are mistaken. That's the difference I think you're getting at.
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« Reply #89 on: September 15, 2010, 11:42:42 PM »

Am I the only one who sees a difference between "false" and "mistaken"?

And stashko, you forgot Quakers. Grin


I really don't have anything against any form of protestantisim,they don't know any better....... Grin
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« Reply #90 on: September 15, 2010, 11:59:15 PM »

So it's just us Catholics you dislike.  Good to know.
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« Reply #91 on: September 16, 2010, 12:03:43 AM »

Am I the only one who sees a difference between "false" and "mistaken"?

And stashko, you forgot Quakers. Grin

The non-Orthodox Christian religions are false, the people who follow them are mistaken. That's the difference I think you're getting at.

I agree. I don't think anyone here is berating adherents to Judaism as human beings. That would be bigotry. However we are saying that their religion is false. Same with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Calvinism for that matter.

I don't understand why anyone would be uncomfortable with that prospect. Christianity is the fulfillment of Second Temple Judaism and what came before it, it's true. That doesn't make modern Rabbinical Judaism any more salvific than Islam, Hinduism, et al.

Even pre-Christian Judaism, as Jonathan noted, was only salvific by virtue of Christ. One of the Fathers writes eloquently about how Christ's blood was typologically in the Jewish temple sacrifices, and that is why the sacrifices could atone for their sins. The scapegoat was a type of Christ, and the sins were taken away. Moses' staff was a type of the Cross, and the waters parted. None of this occurred by its own virtue, but only because of what they pointed to. Modern Judaism points to nothing.

If people want to be saved, they must come to the Father by Christ, and that's the end of it. I mean no offense by that, I'm just stating facts. Jews are no more saved by Judaism than Muslims are by Islam or Zoroastrians by Zoroastrianism.
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« Reply #92 on: September 16, 2010, 12:12:41 AM »

So it's just us Catholics you dislike.  Good to know.


Catholic Don't even Worship the same Holy Trinity as we do....They Honor a Mary they elevated to Goddess Status mostly based on the questionable  apparitions.....They elevated a Fallable man to Infallable ,whats to like about it where not the same.... Grin
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« Reply #93 on: September 16, 2010, 12:16:29 AM »

That is just untrue, stashko, and HIGHLY insulting - we do NOT worship Mary as a Goddess.   Please retract that falsehood.
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« Reply #94 on: September 16, 2010, 12:21:17 AM »

That is just untrue, stashko, and HIGHLY insulting - we do NOT worship Mary as a Goddess.   Please retract that falsehood.

I Said Elevated not worship,Who Knows that may be in your furture yet.....It hard to tell, things are in Flux in the Catholic Church Grin
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« Reply #95 on: September 16, 2010, 12:25:57 AM »

We do NOT consider Mary, the Theotokos, as a "Goddess", stashko, and that is NOT "in flux".

Must you lie about other religions in order to promote your own?  Can't Holy Orthodoxy stand on its own merits, rather than simply as an alternative to the hated RC's?
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« Reply #96 on: September 16, 2010, 12:37:00 AM »

"And the plot thins." -- David Addison   Embarrassed

I think I came in at the door, then.  Sad
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« Reply #97 on: September 16, 2010, 12:44:43 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.
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« Reply #98 on: September 16, 2010, 12:58:11 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.

You would be right to rebuke us if we were judging them for their personal sins. God forbid we should do such a thing! But we have a duty to our Lord to defend Him and His Gospel from the lies of the devil, which are manifested in the false beliefs of the Catholics, Jews and other unbelievers.

In these last days, the defense of the truth has been sadly left to unworthy and wretched sinners like myself, who lack all love and piety. I pray that there will be true saints who can take up the fight for Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #99 on: September 16, 2010, 01:01:10 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.


If we  Are seeing our Brothers heading into a abyss ,Don't we have the right to tell them what we think the cause is.....Plus if your under His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch I can understand where your coming from ..After all He is Courting The Latins at the moment.... Grin
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« Reply #100 on: September 16, 2010, 01:15:46 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.

You would be right to rebuke us if we were judging them for their personal sins. God forbid we should do such a thing! But we have a duty to our Lord to defend Him and His Gospel from the lies of the devil, which are manifested in the false beliefs of the Catholics, Jews and other unbelievers.

In these last days, the defense of the truth has been sadly left to unworthy and wretched sinners like myself, who lack all love and piety. I pray that there will be true saints who can take up the fight for Orthodoxy.

In my considered opinion a person who lacks all love and piety should not be trying, and indeed is quite incapable of discerning the truth or of defending the truth.    The soul without love and without piety is a dark nest which delights the evil one. I earnestly recommend you to seek spiritual guidance.
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« Reply #101 on: September 16, 2010, 01:17:47 AM »

  The thing is, I have listened in person to my priest and over the Internet I have listened to priests and even bishops speak the truth, and I have read scholarly works.  All of the speakers and authors were willing to state the truth, but they had enough of an element of humility that they left judgment in the hands of the LORD.
    When I was a protestant and visited Liturgy, I did not convert to Orthodoxy because of some clever protestant bashing in a homily or because of other parishoners bashing protestants during conversation after Liturgy.  My little Church let Orthodoxy speak for itself.  Speak the truth, but do not judge others.  Bend a little. Give the LORD room to work.
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« Reply #102 on: September 16, 2010, 02:38:10 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.

You would be right to rebuke us if we were judging them for their personal sins. God forbid we should do such a thing! But we have a duty to our Lord to defend Him and His Gospel from the lies of the devil, which are manifested in the false beliefs of the Catholics, Jews and other unbelievers.

In these last days, the defense of the truth has been sadly left to unworthy and wretched sinners like myself, who lack all love and piety. I pray that there will be true saints who can take up the fight for Orthodoxy.

In my considered opinion a person who lacks all love and piety should not be trying, and indeed is quite incapable of discerning the truth or of defending the truth.    The soul without love and without piety is a dark nest which delights the evil one. I earnestly recommend you to seek spiritual guidance.


Thank you, Fr Ambrose. I will indeed seek guidance. But, I humbly submit that if it is impossible to know true dogma without being perfected in love and piety, then no one can know the truth, because there is only One who is All-loving and All-good.
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« Reply #103 on: September 16, 2010, 03:55:31 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.

You would be right to rebuke us if we were judging them for their personal sins. God forbid we should do such a thing! But we have a duty to our Lord to defend Him and His Gospel from the lies of the devil, which are manifested in the false beliefs of the Catholics, Jews and other unbelievers.

In these last days, the defense of the truth has been sadly left to unworthy and wretched sinners like myself, who lack all love and piety. I pray that there will be true saints who can take up the fight for Orthodoxy.

In my considered opinion a person who lacks all love and piety should not be trying, and indeed is quite incapable of discerning the truth or of defending the truth.    The soul without love and without piety is a dark nest which delights the evil one. I earnestly recommend you to seek spiritual guidance.


Thank you, Fr Ambrose. I will indeed seek guidance. But, I humbly submit that if it is impossible to know true dogma without being perfected in love and piety, then no one can know the truth, because there is only One who is All-loving and All-good.

I am glad that you will seek help.  You must realise that nobody will turn for guidance in the faith to a man who says himself that he has no love in his heart nor any piety.  They will run away, and quite rightly.

(Corinthians 13): "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and I have not love, I am as sounding as brass or a tingling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge - and though I have all faith so that I could move mountains, and I have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have no love, it profiteth me nothing."
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« Reply #104 on: September 16, 2010, 07:33:22 AM »

Good for you Jonathan and Stashko. Continue preaching the truth (Orthodox Christianity). I commend both of you for having the courage to speak the truth about false religions as well.
  We must all understand that Orthodox Christianity is the original Christian religion, all other churches (united church, protestant, and especially roman catholic etc etc) came later and are false religions. I am new to this site and i'm not sure how "sensitive" people are, but in the coming days/weeks i will post my true thoughts and opinions about the roman catholic church as well as the other so called Christian non Orthodox churches.
  As far as Judaism is concerned, after Jesus died on the cross, the old testament was fulfilled and the saints of the old testament were taken away, therefore the only true religion after that point until now and until Jesus returns is Orthodox Christianity and the New Testament.
  Once again, i don't know how "sensitive" people are yet on this site, but religions like islam, hinduism, sikhism,  etc are no different than scientology, false and made up.
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« Reply #105 on: September 16, 2010, 09:06:42 AM »

Christ is love. Where is the love of some super-dogmatic people here?
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« Reply #106 on: September 16, 2010, 11:10:04 AM »

Yo! people!  You who are judging the Catholics and the Jews.  You are assuming the place of the LORD.  It is the LORD who judges.

You would be right to rebuke us if we were judging them for their personal sins. God forbid we should do such a thing! But we have a duty to our Lord to defend Him and His Gospel from the lies of the devil, which are manifested in the false beliefs of the Catholics, Jews and other unbelievers.

In these last days, the defense of the truth has been sadly left to unworthy and wretched sinners like myself, who lack all love and piety. I pray that there will be true saints who can take up the fight for Orthodoxy.

In my considered opinion a person who lacks all love and piety should not be trying, and indeed is quite incapable of discerning the truth or of defending the truth.    The soul without love and without piety is a dark nest which delights the evil one. I earnestly recommend you to seek spiritual guidance.


Thank you, Fr Ambrose. I will indeed seek guidance. But, I humbly submit that if it is impossible to know true dogma without being perfected in love and piety, then no one can know the truth, because there is only One who is All-loving and All-good.

I am glad that you will seek help.  You must realise that nobody will turn for guidance in the faith to a man who says himself that he has no love in his heart nor any piety.  They will run away, and quite rightly.

(Corinthians 13): "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and I have not love, I am as sounding as brass or a tingling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge - and though I have all faith so that I could move mountains, and I have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have no love, it profiteth me nothing."

So I should boast about my love and piety if I want to persuade people? Is that what you are saying?
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« Reply #107 on: September 16, 2010, 11:28:33 AM »

Thans for that warning, spartan, being super-sensitive, I will make a note to avoid any threads you start. Wink
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« Reply #108 on: September 16, 2010, 12:06:40 PM »

Thans for that warning, spartan, being super-sensitive, I will make a note to avoid any threads you start. Wink

His post seemed foreboding, like he's shortly to become the anti-Alfred Persson. :-)
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« Reply #109 on: September 16, 2010, 12:17:21 PM »

Thans for that warning, spartan, being super-sensitive, I will make a note to avoid any threads you start. Wink

His post seemed foreboding, like he's shortly to become the anti-Alfred Persson. :-)

I'm sure they'd be an entertaining pair in a thread together.  angel
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« Reply #110 on: September 16, 2010, 12:59:05 PM »

Christ is love. Where is the love of some super-dogmatic people here?

Saying that non-Christian religious systems are false is super-dogmatic and unloving? It's a fact. To say that is no more cruel than to tell someone they have a growth on the back of their head that needs to be looked at.

This is from Fr. Stephen Damick's Ancient Faith Radio podcast "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy". He puts it eloquently:

- - - - - - - - - -

In most areas of life, we are concerned with the truth. A cashier has to know how much change she is given. A nurse has to apply just the right amount of medication to a patient. A mathematician checks and double-checks his proofs. A jury listens to all the facts to sort out the truth in a trial. A history teacher has to get the names and dates right. A scientist publishes her work for peer review to ensure everyone gets the same results. In all of these cases and more, what’s important is not opinion; rather, it is truth.

Yet, it seems that when it comes to questions of religion and spirituality and the accompanying moral questions, we become relativists. Instead of asking who God really is, we ask, “Who is God to me?” Instead of asking what it means for God to become a man, we suggest, “That’s okay for some people to believe if they want.” Instead of asking whether God expects something of us, we judge religious expectations by what we ourselves want. The pursuit of objectivity goes out the window, and subjectivity reigns. . . .

It has become unfashionable in our time to speak as though a particular belief is true  and another is false. And yet even within my lifetime, I recall quite clearly how many religious groups in our culture used to think of their own beliefs as true, and then logically conclude that any other beliefs were therefore false.

Today however, this conclusion—and especially speaking publicly about it—is seen as not being loving (a word now used to mean nice). Indeed, in our time a public disagreement about religion is sometimes considered offensive. Living in an age of political correctness, we are given new pieces of cultural theology to profess:

All religions are basically the same.
What matters is living a good life.
We all worship the same God.
Religion is a private matter.
Don’t impose your beliefs on others.
No religion has everything right.
We’ll find out what’s true when we get to heaven.


These kinds of statements have one common assumption behind them: that beliefs about God and the ultimate nature of reality are not very important. That is why they should not be discussed publicly. That is why their details do not really matter. That is why we should not try to win people over to our faith. There is no such thing as truth. Everything is relative—except, perhaps, that everything is relative.

Yet for nearly everything else in life—whether it is politics, healthcare, or even the scoring records of your favorite football team—we demand seriousness, detail, and accuracy. Distracted by such transient things as these, our culture has successfully ignored a basic syllogism:

If there really is a God, then who he is and what he might want from us are more important than anything else in the universe.

As believers, we are not in the nice business. We are in the truth business. The purpose of this series is to examine the differences between the faith of the Orthodox Christian Church and the faiths of other Christian communions and of non-Christians.

Obviously, as an Orthodox priest, it is my belief that the Orthodox Christian faith is uniquely true. I would not be Orthodox if I did not believe it was the truth revealed by God in his son Jesus Christ. My faith is such that, if I encountered a part of the Orthodox faith that made no sense to me or struck me as incorrect, then it is I who needs to be reformed, not the Orthodox Church.

Indeed, this is the view of all classical, traditional religions, rather than the modern consumer-style understanding of faith which is popular in our culture—that each person is the arbiter of what is true and false, that he can pick and choose what bits of spirituality and belief he likes from a sort of religious buffet.

The nature of truth, however, is that it is true, no matter what anyone says about it. In the face of truth, there is no opinion. Most people already believe this, but do not often apply it to the question that matters most: who is God and what does he want from me?

There is good and there is evil. There is truth and there is falsehood. These basic assumptions, based on our own everyday experience, should inform all of our thoughts and actions regarding what is ultimately true. . . .

Here is a fundamental truth about all religious practice: what you believe and what you do make a difference. If this is true, then we must also accept that if you change what you believe and what you do, you will get different results.

This is true of everything in life. My brother is a chemical engineer. My sister is a biologist. (You may wonder what happened to me.) They know this to be true. If you do not believe them, ask a doctor. Ask a physicist, ask a psychologist, ask a brick layer, ask a janitor. They will all tell you that what you believe and what you do make a difference. If you change those things, you will get different results.

What concerns me is that we often do not apply this basic principle to what matters most in human life. In a religious context, this fundamental truth means different religions—because they believe differently and practice differently—will yield different results.

Sometimes those different results are all put under one label like salvation. But what does it mean to be saved? To a Hindu practicing yoga, salvation means release from the physical body and being absorbed into the oblivion of the universe; the annihilation of individual personhood in Nirvana. I guarantee that is not what salvation means to a Baptist. But what a Baptist means by salvation and what an Orthodox Christian means by it are not the same thing either. As such, the members of those different faiths have different methods of trying to get where they want to go.

Furthermore, because there exists truth and falsehood, and because most religions have traditionally claimed that their faith was true and that others are at least somewhat false, that means that some religious believers are fundamentally mistaken about their beliefs and practices. This means they are not going to get the results that they think they will. . . .

Some false doctrines about [God] can cause unimaginable spiritual destruction. Others are of lesser effect. But all of them, to one degree or another, take us away from a true, pure knowledge of the only true God. That will affect how and whether we receive his glory, and how we experience him in the next life.

Living a moral life according to the law of God is indeed critical for life in Christ, but it is not enough. Religion is not just ethics. We must know God for who he truly is. This is why doctrine matters.

- - - - - - - - - -

How loving is it to say, "Your religion has truth in it; anyway, don't think about it"? Yes, we must be kind and decent people, not cruel or mean, but to imply as some here have that calling the religions themselves (not the adherents) false is somehow unchristian is very strange to me. Christianity is not a pluralist religion.

We cannot say any individual adherent to a false religion will not be saved (in spite of their religion), however, and I don't think anybody here has. But it's hardly unloving to say a non-Christian religion is false.
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« Reply #111 on: September 16, 2010, 01:26:48 PM »

Actually, I have listened to the whole podcast series before and it sounded much more friendly than this discussion.
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« Reply #112 on: September 16, 2010, 01:50:10 PM »

Yes, non-Christian religions are false. Christian confessions outside of Orthodoxy are gravely mistaken. But effective missionizing requires calling non-Christians to recognize the prefigurements of Christ in their own spiritual reflection as much as it requires denouncing heresies. Look at St Paul's speech on Mars Hill, where he could have simply gone on about how the Greek deities are demons, but instead said that so far the Greeks were only getting one side of the story, but now he'll proclaim the glory of Christ that was hidden to them.
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« Reply #113 on: September 16, 2010, 02:24:58 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)


Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .

Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.
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« Reply #114 on: September 16, 2010, 02:48:46 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)


Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .

Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.


The Jews who ACCEPTED Christ were following the true religion, because the TRUE Judaism of the Old Testament DEPENDED on the FAITH and HOPE in the MESSIAH (Hebrew for CHRIST) and the RESURRECTION. THEREFORE those who accepted the Messiah/Christ WHEN HE CAME IN REALITY and WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN REALITY, were continuing the true faith of their fathers, because they ACCEPTED the Messiah and ACCEPTED the Resurrection. Those who DENIED Christ DENIED the Messiah, DENIED the Resurrection, and therefore DENIED their own faith!

Take home message: THERE IS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN TRUE AND FALSE JUDAISM!!! The Judaism YOU are promoting, the Judaism of the rabbis and Jews who rejected Christ, is FALSE. The Judaism I am promoting, the Judaism of the Prophets, which our Lord came to fulfill, and which now exists in its fullness as ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, is the TRUE Judaism.

I'm sorry for shouting, but sometimes I think you're hard of hearing.
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« Reply #115 on: September 16, 2010, 03:00:15 PM »

Hi Marc1152,

You wrote:

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .
Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.[/color]



After Jesus was killed, the old testemant was fulfilled and the saints of the old testament were saved. Then came Christianity. And yes, the Messiah was part of the Jewish religion, but unfortunately he was rejected by many and ultimately killed.
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« Reply #116 on: September 16, 2010, 03:31:24 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)


Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .

Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.


The Jews who ACCEPTED Christ were following the true religion, because the TRUE Judaism of the Old Testament DEPENDED on the FAITH and HOPE in the MESSIAH (Hebrew for CHRIST) and the RESURRECTION. THEREFORE those who accepted the Messiah/Christ WHEN HE CAME IN REALITY and WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN REALITY, were continuing the true faith of their fathers, because they ACCEPTED the Messiah and ACCEPTED the Resurrection. Those who DENIED Christ DENIED the Messiah, DENIED the Resurrection, and therefore DENIED their own faith!

Take home message: THERE IS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN TRUE AND FALSE JUDAISM!!! The Judaism YOU are promoting, the Judaism of the rabbis and Jews who rejected Christ, is FALSE. The Judaism I am promoting, the Judaism of the Prophets, which our Lord came to fulfill, and which now exists in its fullness as ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, is the TRUE Judaism.

I'm sorry for shouting, but sometimes I think you're hard of hearing.

I think you  need to learn how to read for content. Didn't I just say the disagreement is over the identity of the Messiah?   Yes/No


That is the pivotal question. The rest of your formulation is ignorant. You cant label ALL Jewish beliefs false with a broad brush because Christianity shares most of them. Which part of this do you still not understand ?

If Judaism was wholly false, why was there any debate among the apostles about remaining a Jewish Sect vs converting Gentiles?

Think it over.   
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« Reply #117 on: September 16, 2010, 03:34:09 PM »

Yes, non-Christian religions are false. Christian confessions outside of Orthodoxy are gravely mistaken. But effective missionizing requires calling non-Christians to recognize the prefigurements of Christ in their own spiritual reflection as much as it requires denouncing heresies. Look at St Paul's speech on Mars Hill, where he could have simply gone on about how the Greek deities are demons, but instead said that so far the Greeks were only getting one side of the story, but now he'll proclaim the glory of Christ that was hidden to them.

I was not aware that we were missionizing here in this thread. I thought this was internal family shop talk. I agree that it would be wrong to walk up to a Jew and say "You follow a false religion". Perhaps we're coming from different contexts.

My greater concern is those who seem to have difficulty saying any religion is false, despite the fact that both religions are aware of, and actively reject, the only God there actually is.  

And I am not so sure it's the same thing, in any case. Both modern Judaism and Islam are aware of Christianity's existence, and dispute it. This is because they both came into play after Christianity. The Greeks of St Paul's day did not know of Christianity. Obviously that's not an excuse for us not to missionize, but it does change things a bit from the example.  
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« Reply #118 on: September 16, 2010, 03:41:06 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)


Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .

Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.


The Jews who ACCEPTED Christ were following the true religion, because the TRUE Judaism of the Old Testament DEPENDED on the FAITH and HOPE in the MESSIAH (Hebrew for CHRIST) and the RESURRECTION. THEREFORE those who accepted the Messiah/Christ WHEN HE CAME IN REALITY and WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN REALITY, were continuing the true faith of their fathers, because they ACCEPTED the Messiah and ACCEPTED the Resurrection. Those who DENIED Christ DENIED the Messiah, DENIED the Resurrection, and therefore DENIED their own faith!

Take home message: THERE IS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN TRUE AND FALSE JUDAISM!!! The Judaism YOU are promoting, the Judaism of the rabbis and Jews who rejected Christ, is FALSE. The Judaism I am promoting, the Judaism of the Prophets, which our Lord came to fulfill, and which now exists in its fullness as ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, is the TRUE Judaism.

I'm sorry for shouting, but sometimes I think you're hard of hearing.

I think you  need to learn how to read for content. Didn't I just say the disagreement is over the identity of the Messiah?   Yes/No


That is the pivotal question. The rest of your formulation is ignorant. You cant label ALL Jewish beliefs false with a broad brush because Christianity shares most of them. Which part of this do you still not understand ?

If Judaism was wholly false, why was there any debate among the apostles about remaining a Jewish Sect vs converting Gentiles?

Think it over.   

Judaism is not wholly false by itself. But next to the fullness of Christ it is false. When Judaism was all
God had revealed, it was the truth, but when Christ came it passed away.

And inany case, Judaism as Christ knew it ceased to exist. Modern Judaism is a farcical making-do with the destruction of the Temple and the scattering of the Jews throught the world-- which God allowed because his temple was now the Church and Israel was now Christians.
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« Reply #119 on: September 16, 2010, 04:04:03 PM »

There's nothing wrong with saying another religion is false.  There IS, however, something wrong with saying false things about those other religions in order to bolster your own religion.  For example:  saying that Roman Catholics worship Mary as a Goddess and place her on the same level as the HolyTrinity.

 If you're going to criticize my church, at least criticize what it *actually teaches*!!
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« Reply #120 on: September 16, 2010, 05:20:46 PM »

There's nothing wrong with saying another religion is false.  There IS, however, something wrong with saying false things about those other religions in order to bolster your own religion.  For example:  saying that Roman Catholics worship Mary as a Goddess and place her on the same level as the HolyTrinity.

 If you're going to criticize my church, at least criticize what it *actually teaches*!!



It was said here First and i believe it  Grin  The Marian Apparitions: Divine Intervention or Delusion?.....http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/marian_apparitions.aspx
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« Reply #121 on: September 16, 2010, 06:21:06 PM »

There's nothing wrong with saying another religion is false.  There IS, however, something wrong with saying false things about those other religions in order to bolster your own religion.  For example:  saying that Roman Catholics worship Mary as a Goddess and place her on the same level as the HolyTrinity.

 If you're going to criticize my church, at least criticize what it *actually teaches*!!

This I agree with. Such talk, even if hyperbole, is not helpful.
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« Reply #122 on: September 16, 2010, 07:02:32 PM »

stashko, seriously, your witness here pushes me away from, *not* towards, Orthodoxy.  If that's your intention, congratulations.
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« Reply #123 on: September 16, 2010, 07:16:52 PM »

stashko, seriously, your witness here pushes me away from, *not* towards, Orthodoxy.  If that's your intention, congratulations.

Regardless of Stachko's tact, or lack thereof, if your heart is truly open to the Truth then it will lead you to Orthodoxy. As a former Byzantine Catholic myself, I know it is hard to hear bad caricatures of Catholics, but Orthodoxy is where I found true Catholicism
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« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2010, 08:56:19 PM »

Yes, non-Christian religions are false. Christian confessions outside of Orthodoxy are gravely mistaken. But effective missionizing requires calling non-Christians to recognize the prefigurements of Christ in their own spiritual reflection as much as it requires denouncing heresies. Look at St Paul's speech on Mars Hill, where he could have simply gone on about how the Greek deities are demons, but instead said that so far the Greeks were only getting one side of the story, but now he'll proclaim the glory of Christ that was hidden to them.

I was not aware that we were missionizing here in this thread. I thought this was internal family shop talk. I agree that it would be wrong to walk up to a Jew and say "You follow a false religion". Perhaps we're coming from different contexts.

My greater concern is those who seem to have difficulty saying any religion is false, despite the fact that both religions are aware of, and actively reject, the only God there actually is.  

And I am not so sure it's the same thing, in any case. Both modern Judaism and Islam are aware of Christianity's existence, and dispute it. This is because they both came into play after Christianity. The Greeks of St Paul's day did not know of Christianity. Obviously that's not an excuse for us not to missionize, but it does change things a bit from the example.  

I am pretty certain that Judaism pre-dates Christianity..Just an FYI Smiley

And the Judaism beleived during the time of Jesus is the same religion as it is now. It's just that many of the factions and sects were killed off and we were left only with one or two forms. So no, there are no Sadducees or Essines left, But there are Pharisees left of the type that Jesus made common cause with and others that his strongly opposed. It's complicated just like Christianity has been complicated by the rise and fall of various factions, sects and heresies. 

There is a pretty good book put out by the Karaites ( a Jewish Sect) called :   
 
"The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus" by Nehemia Gordon
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« Reply #125 on: September 16, 2010, 09:10:32 PM »

stashko, seriously, your witness here pushes me away from, *not* towards, Orthodoxy.  If that's your intention, congratulations.

Regardless of Stachko's tact, or lack thereof, if your heart is truly open to the Truth then it will lead you to Orthodoxy. As a former Byzantine Catholic myself, I know it is hard to hear bad caricatures of Catholics, but Orthodoxy is where I found true Catholicism

I  agree ,,If she is truly Interested in Holy Orthodoxy Nothing i say or what Orthers say would sway her ......A discusson forum is just that , one Reads all kinds of opinions......She just happen to not like mine...... Grin
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« Reply #126 on: September 16, 2010, 09:24:44 PM »


There is a pretty good book put out by the Karaites ( a Jewish Sect) called :   
 
"The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus" by Nehemia Gordon
Nehemia speaks:

Quote
I had been invited to speak at a Christian conference when the organizer received a dire warning from a local Christian pastor. The pastor proclaimed that as a "non-believing Jew" I was operating under the control of the "spirit of Antichrist". When I heard this I thought the pastor meant it metaphorically, but it turns out he meant there was a literal demonic spirit that was influencing my every move. He explained that it was nothing against me personally but all "non-believing Jews" are under the spirit of Antichrist. Boasting against the root is one thing, but this amounts to cursing the root.

Some of my fellow Jews reading this are probably thinking: "So why bother, Nehemia! Let the goyim languish in their ignorance." My answer is that there are countless Christians out there who want to understand their faith in its original historical, cultural, and linguistic context. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew who spoke Hebrew and lived as a Jew among Jews. It just so happens that God has blessed me with a knowledge of ancient Judaism and ancient Hebrew and I feel compelled to share this information with those with those who need it, even if I disagree with them on important matters of faith. The Torah teaches us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves which means to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated. I know that if I lacked vital knowledge I would want someone who had this knowledge to share it with me. I must, therefore, share the knowledge I have with those who need it. I am not saying I know everything or that I have all the answers.
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« Reply #127 on: September 16, 2010, 09:25:43 PM »

There are two ways of looking at Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, etc.

1.  The first one is to start from the verse of the Psalms "All the gods of the pagans are demons."

2.  The second is to understand that it is God Himself who has planted in man the need to worship Him.   In the places outside the countries of divine revelation (first Israel, and now the Christian countries) this God-given urge took many forms.  Some of the religions which were formed were mild and benevolent (Buddhism) and some were militant (Islam) and some (thank God, now extinct) required such ghastly things as human sacrifice.  And in the last example we can see the demons at work, perverting the human need to worship.


Man is created to worship God, and man will find for himself the ways to satisfy the need God has put so deep in his heart.  He can no more help worshipping than he can eating.  Without divine revelation he is not able to create true and pure religion and so he gets parts of it wrong.
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« Reply #128 on: September 16, 2010, 09:28:31 PM »


After Jesus was killed, the old testemant was fulfilled and the saints of the old testament were saved.
 

Just the saints of the Old Testament?  Not ALL those who had died before Christ?

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« Reply #129 on: September 16, 2010, 09:56:09 PM »

There are two ways of looking at Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, etc.

1.  The first one is to start from the verse of the Psalms "All the gods of the pagans are demons."

2.  The second is to understand that it is God Himself who has planted in man the need to worship Him.   In the places outside the countries of divine revelation (first Israel, and now the Christian countries) this God-given urge took many forms.  Some of the religions which were formed were mild and benevolent (Buddhism) and some were militant (Islam) and some (thank God, now extinct) required such ghastly things as human sacrifice.  And in the last example we can see the demons at work, perverting the human need to worship.


Man is created to worship God, and man will find for himself the ways to satisfy the need God has put so deep in his heart.  He can no more help worshipping than he can eating.  Without divine revelation he is not able to create true and pure religion and so he gets parts of it wrong.

A critique of Dawkins noted that God is as much as a creation of man's psychological needs as food is the creation of man's hunger to eat.
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« Reply #130 on: September 16, 2010, 10:10:02 PM »

Neither was it necessary for all Jews to hold the Gospel valuable.

Huh
That is, some Jews rejected Jesus; other Jesus accepted Jesus (and, a bit later, the Gospels).

It's not the case that one religion totally replaces its predecessor. We can still have reptiles even after birds evolve from reptiles. (By the way, I'm not comparing any religion to either reptiles or birds. Roll Eyes)


Well, there has only ever been and only ever will be one TRUE religion. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ were following the true religion; the Jews who rejected Him, the false.

If Judaism is false then much of Christianity is false to. The disagreement is over the spiritual identity of Jesus as the Messiah. But the very idea of a "Messiah" is part of the Jewish religion, which apparently you share, like it or not .

Is the idea of One God false too? How about how we were created ( Genesis), false too???  Etc.


The Jews who ACCEPTED Christ were following the true religion, because the TRUE Judaism of the Old Testament DEPENDED on the FAITH and HOPE in the MESSIAH (Hebrew for CHRIST) and the RESURRECTION. THEREFORE those who accepted the Messiah/Christ WHEN HE CAME IN REALITY and WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN REALITY, were continuing the true faith of their fathers, because they ACCEPTED the Messiah and ACCEPTED the Resurrection. Those who DENIED Christ DENIED the Messiah, DENIED the Resurrection, and therefore DENIED their own faith!

Take home message: THERE IS A DISTINCTION BETWEEN TRUE AND FALSE JUDAISM!!! The Judaism YOU are promoting, the Judaism of the rabbis and Jews who rejected Christ, is FALSE. The Judaism I am promoting, the Judaism of the Prophets, which our Lord came to fulfill, and which now exists in its fullness as ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, is the TRUE Judaism.

I'm sorry for shouting, but sometimes I think you're hard of hearing.

I think you  need to learn how to read for content. Didn't I just say the disagreement is over the identity of the Messiah?   Yes/No


That is the pivotal question. The rest of your formulation is ignorant. You cant label ALL Jewish beliefs false with a broad brush because Christianity shares most of them. Which part of this do you still not understand ?

If Judaism was wholly false, why was there any debate among the apostles about remaining a Jewish Sect vs converting Gentiles?

Think it over.  

I'm sure there's a lot of the teachings of true Judaism that the rabbis didn't manage to screw up in their Talmudic tradition. But that's beside the point. The point is that the most important purpose of Old Testament Judaism, the expectation of the Messiah, has been fulfilled. True Judaism has now been subsumed in Orthodox Christianity, and no longer exists on its own. There is no true Judaism outside the Orthodox Church.

A religion is either true or false, when we are talking in terms of salvation. If a religion is 99% true, but has one false dogma, it is still insufficient for salvation. If you didn't learn that in catechesis I would suggest doing it over again.
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« Reply #131 on: September 16, 2010, 10:22:13 PM »

I can admire the good praticed by people of any religion but not the religion itself. Islam denies the essential orthodox doctrines, thus I do not respect the religion. A person of any religion should only respect their own religion. This plurilism that alot of people want in this time annoys me.
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« Reply #132 on: September 16, 2010, 11:01:19 PM »

Yes, non-Christian religions are false. Christian confessions outside of Orthodoxy are gravely mistaken. But effective missionizing requires calling non-Christians to recognize the prefigurements of Christ in their own spiritual reflection as much as it requires denouncing heresies. Look at St Paul's speech on Mars Hill, where he could have simply gone on about how the Greek deities are demons, but instead said that so far the Greeks were only getting one side of the story, but now he'll proclaim the glory of Christ that was hidden to them.

I was not aware that we were missionizing here in this thread. I thought this was internal family shop talk. I agree that it would be wrong to walk up to a Jew and say "You follow a false religion". Perhaps we're coming from different contexts.

My greater concern is those who seem to have difficulty saying any religion is false, despite the fact that both religions are aware of, and actively reject, the only God there actually is. 

And I am not so sure it's the same thing, in any case. Both modern Judaism and Islam are aware of Christianity's existence, and dispute it. This is because they both came into play after Christianity. The Greeks of St Paul's day did not know of Christianity. Obviously that's not an excuse for us not to missionize, but it does change things a bit from the example. 

I am pretty certain that Judaism pre-dates Christianity..Just an FYI Smiley

And the Judaism beleived during the time of Jesus is the same religion as it is now. It's just that many of the factions and sects were killed off and we were left only with one or two forms. So no, there are no Sadducees or Essines left, But there are Pharisees left of the type that Jesus made common cause with and others that his strongly opposed. It's complicated just like Christianity has been complicated by the rise and fall of various factions, sects and heresies. 

There is a pretty good book put out by the Karaites ( a Jewish Sect) called :   
 
"The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus" by Nehemia Gordon

Oh believe me, I know. I was heavily into Judaizing forms of Christianity in my formative years. And I've heard more conjecturous teachings about "our Rabbi Jesus" in my life than I care to think about.

Modern Rabbinical Judaism is completely different from Second Temple Judaism. I posit it is, for all intents and purposes, a different religion, in the same way that Mormonism and Orthodoxy are different religions.

Yes, the modern Jewish religion can be traced back to Pharisees and all, I know that. It's not entirely reconstructionist, but where is the Temple? Judaism has been centered on the temple and the sacrificial system since Moses—nay, Cain and Abel. If the Jews claim to be the same religion as the people in the Old Testament, where is the worship of the Old Testament? How are they atoning for their sins if God told them to do it via blood sacrifice? Where is the scapegoat?

I can tell you where the Jewish sacrifice is today: it's sitting on the altar of my parish church, and yours.

The Judaism the Apostles knew was destroyed with the Temple, and those Jews who rejected their Messiah cobbled together a new religion altogether, which reinterprets scripture radically different from those they claim to be spiritually descended from. I do empathize for them; I can't imagine seeing what they considered the dwelling of God destroyed. But the fact is that God had walked among them and they killed him; he came to live within the hearts of his people, and they ignored him.

I'm not saying Jews are bad people, or that they do ugly or evil things. But I am saying that Orthodoxy is Supercessionist, and that the one and only Israel is the Orthodox Church, and the only true "Jews" are Orthodox Christians. I'm not being trimphalistic, I'm merely stating facts. Judaism was entirely superseded by the Church, and there is no truth in Judaism beside the fully-revealed truth in the Church, who is Christ.
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« Reply #133 on: September 17, 2010, 08:20:20 AM »

First, I will state clearly and concisely as Orthodox Christians we ALL chant near the conclusion of the Liturgy that 'We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, we adore the undivided Holy Trinity, Who has saved us!'

That being said, we are living in the world among the majority of God's people who do not accept our Faith. Father Ambrose is spot on and I would add that the distinction between being thankful for our having received the Light and espousing pharisaic arrogance in our attitudes and expressions of Faith can often be blurred by good intentions and the sin of pride.

A few weeks ago, my brother, an ACROD priest, received a DVD of a Local Faith Communities initiative
that has been operative in the lower East side of New York City for some time before the current controversy that has dominated the news in recent days. For those of you not familiar with the City, the lower East side neighborhood is near Ground Zero.
 
It was sent to him by a former altar boy at our parish who is a deacon at the  the Holy Protection of the Virgin Orthodox Cathedral on Second Street. (Bishop Michael of New York is also a former altar boy from our parish.) The video is about an hour long and the section from the Cathedral is in the first half hour.
 
If you have time, take a look at it.  You can find it at http://www.localfaithcommunities.org/
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« Reply #134 on: September 17, 2010, 09:27:03 AM »


A religion is either true or false, when we are talking in terms of salvation. If a religion is 99% true, but has one false dogma, it is still insufficient for salvation. If you didn't learn that in catechesis I would suggest doing it over again.


You appear to be saying that such as Roman Catholics are not eligible for salvation.  In fact you appear to be saying that the entire world population, apart from the Orthodox who have it 100% right, are ineligible for salvation.  Am I understanding you correctly?

And the next question would be..... IF I am understanding you correctly, then who on earth was in charge of *your* catechesis?
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« Reply #135 on: September 17, 2010, 09:55:13 AM »

Father, if that's what he means, I would disagree as well. But the angle I see in it is that only Orthodoxy is salvific of itself, by its own merits. No religion besides Orthodoxy leads to theosis; it's impossible (not that all Orthodox will reach that either). That does not mean that God will not save other people too—I believe he will, though none of us can possibly know whether that's one person or all but one person.

There is certainly a danger in being too hard-nosed about "the one true Church." But there is an equal danger, more pressing in today's pluralistic world I think, of losing our saltiness and telling everyone to just believe whatever they want because surely God will see their intentions. Well, maybe he will, maybe he won't. The ark of salvation is Orthodoxy, not other religions. They may be clinging to the side of the ark unbeknownst to us, but it's not exactly a safe position to be in.
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« Reply #136 on: September 17, 2010, 10:09:39 AM »


There is certainly a danger in being too hard-nosed about "the one true Church." But there is an equal danger, more pressing in today's pluralistic world I think, of losing our saltiness and telling everyone to just believe whatever they want because surely God will see their intentions. Well, maybe he will, maybe he won't. The ark of salvation is Orthodoxy, not other religions. They may be clinging to the side of the ark unbeknownst to us, but it's not exactly a safe position to be in.

I think there are several factors...

1.  I am sure there is no doubt from my many messages here that I believe with all my being that the Orthodox Church is the one and only Church of Jesus Christ

and

2. That the whole world should belong to her.

But

3.  I do not believe that those outside the Orthodox Church are damned.

and

4.  Because it is always better to know the truth rather than not to know it,  all these things should be affirmed and explained in conversations with outsiders making enquiries.

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« Reply #137 on: September 17, 2010, 11:30:51 AM »

Fr Ambrose, I have written an earlier post on this subject that sets out what we know about who will be saved and who will not be, but I'll repeat the details here.

Firstly, Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”. This passage proves that you have to know the true faith to be saved.

Secondly, John 3:5: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Unless a man is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”. This passage proves that you have to receive true baptism to be saved. So you need BOTH Baptism AND the True Faith to be saved.

Thirdly, John 6:53: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Unless ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you”. This passage proves that apart from true doctrine and Baptism, you need the Divine Eucharist to be saved.

True faith, of course, is the Orthodox faith. All dogmatic deviations from the Orthodox faith are, as I'm sure you would agree, incompatible with this necessary criterion of salvation. What is Orthodox and what is not can be known from the Creed and from the dogmatic decrees of the Church Councils and Fathers.

We also know that true Baptism and the true Eucharist do not exist outside the Orthodox Church. Thus, the 46th Apostolic Canon:“We order that a bishop or presbyter that recognized the baptism or sacrifice of heretics be defrocked. For ‘what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?’” And the second canon of St Cyprian of Carthage: “We declare that no one can possibly be baptized outside the Catholic (i.e. the Orthodox) Church, there being but one baptism, and this existing only in the Catholic Church.”

Being saved in this context means being delivered from Hades after death. We do not know that everyone condemned to Hades will also be condemned to Gehenna, i.e. the eternal fire, at the Last Judgment, because we have testimonies of some souls being saved from Hades by the prayers of the Church. From this evidence we know that condemnation to Hades is not necessarily eternal and hence we can hope that God will have mercy on the souls of unbelievers at the final judgment.

But that those outside the Church will certainly go to Hades after death is proved by the following passage from the vision of Blessed Theodora:

"Those who believe in the Holy Trinity and take as frequently as possible the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, our Saviour's body and Blood - such people can rise to heaven directly, with no hindrances, and the holy angels defend them, and the holy saints of God pray for their salvation, since they have lived righteously. No one, however, takes care of wicked and depraved heretics, who do nothing useful during their lives, and live in disbelief and heresy. The angels can say nothing in their defence... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."

As to the likelihood that those condemned to Hades for lack of true faith and baptism will also be condemned to Gehenna, that depends on whether or not they consciously resisted the truth. Metropolitan Philaret of New York's famous essay "Will the heterodox be saved?" deals with this question in detail. His conclusion was that it will go worse in the end for those who consciously resisted the truth than for those who did not, i.e. who acted out of ignorance. Only God knows the heart of man in this matter.

The other question to consider is the ignorance of unbelievers, and whether it is voluntary or involuntary ignorance. Ignorance can be voluntary if the individual does not take the necessary steps to discover the truth.

Thus, Luke 12:47-8 "That servant who knew his master's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and he to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more".

Blessed Theophylact comments: "Here some will object, saying: 'He who knows the will of his Lord, but does not do it, is deservedly punished. But why is the ignorant punished?' Because when he might have known he did not wish to do so, but was the cause of his own ignorance through sloth."

And St Cyril of Alexandria: "How can he who did not know it be guilty? The reason is, because he did not want to know it, although it was in his power to learn."

And Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich: "Are the people at fault if godless elders and false prophets lead them onto foreign paths? The people are not at fault to as great an extent as their elders and the false prophets, but they are at fault to some extent. For God gave to the people also to know the right path, both through their conscience and through the preaching of the word of God, so that people should not blindly have followed their blind guides, who led them by false paths that alienated them from God and His Laws."

We know there is no excuse for ignorance of One God the Creator. Thus, St Jerome: "Ours and every other race of men knows God naturally. There are no peoples who do not recognise their Creator naturally.”

And St John Chrysostom: "From the beginning God placed the knowledge of Himself in men, but the pagans awarded this knowledge to sticks and stones, doing wrong to the truth to the extent that they were able."

And again: "One way of coming to the knowledge of God is that which is provided by the whole of creation; and another, no less significant, is that which is offered by conscience, the whole of which we have expounded upon at greater length, showing how you have a self-taught knowledge of what is good and what is not so good, and how conscience urges all this upon you from within. Two teachers, then, are given you from the beginning: creation and conscience. Neither of them has a voice to speak out; yet they teach men in silence."

And finally, the story of St Barbara, who was brought up in polytheism, but came to know the One God through the evidence of Creation and her own conscience, and through her prayers to God the true saving doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity were revealed.

Therefore, where there can be involuntary ignorance, there is no such thing as invincible ignorance, since the Providence of God overcomes everything, provided that the will of the individual cooperates. As St John Cassian says: "When God sees in us some beginnings of good will, He at once enlightens it, urging it on towards salvation."

This is what the Church teaches about the necessity of true faith and sacraments for salvation. As you can see, I am quite right to insist that no one can be saved outside the Church, provided we understand salvation in this case to mean salvation of the soul immediately after death. As to salvation at the Last Judgment, when we are judged in both soul and body, that is up to God alone. But I'm sure you can agree that those condemned to Hades are much more likely to be condemned to Gehenna at the last day than those who are not.
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« Reply #138 on: September 17, 2010, 01:16:25 PM »

On the one hand I would quote a Japanese saying: "Even one speck of dung spoils the entire bowl of rice"

On the other hand yelling at people about how wrong they are does not bring them closer to Christ, it only affirms their worst fears about Christians.

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

It is also true that when the Apostles met in Jerusalem they not not divide themselves from Judaism on such a black and white basis. We are True and they are False. In fact, it was argued that they could well live as Christian Jews and not seek out Gentiles at all. When they did decide to seek out Gentiles it was not done so after a declaration of how false Judaism was.

Christianity is a reinterpretation of Judaism based on the Risen Lord. Each Tradition has changed over 2000 years to make the overlap of beliefs more narrow, but the basis of Christianity is Judaism viewed through the lens of Christ's incarnation and saving death...etc.

And once again, the Pharisees survived in the Diaspora after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem because of their system of worship. They were not Temple dependent and taught that one could practice in ones own home. It made Judaism portable.
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« Reply #139 on: September 17, 2010, 01:55:47 PM »

On the one hand I would quote a Japanese saying: "Even one speck of dung spoils the entire bowl of rice"

On the other hand yelling at people about how wrong they are does not bring them closer to Christ, it only affirms their worst fears about Christians.

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

It is also true that when the Apostles met in Jerusalem they not not divide themselves from Judaism on such a black and white basis. We are True and they are False. In fact, it was argued that they could well live as Christian Jews and not seek out Gentiles at all. When they did decide to seek out Gentiles it was not done so after a declaration of how false Judaism was.

Christianity is a reinterpretation of Judaism based on the Risen Lord. Each Tradition has changed over 2000 years to make the overlap of beliefs more narrow, but the basis of Christianity is Judaism viewed through the lens of Christ's incarnation and saving death...etc.

And once again, the Pharisees survived in the Diaspora after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem because of their system of worship. They were not Temple dependent and taught that one could practice in ones own home. It made Judaism portable.
Christianity is not a reinterpretation of Judaism. Judaism is founded on the Talmud which postdates the NT by centuries, and the Masorectic Text of the OT, which postdates the LXX by a millenium.

The Apostles did tell the Pharisees and Judaizers that they were wrong, but the Apostles didn't renounce their Hebrew roots. As saint Paul clearly states, the Hebrews were still his people, Christians or Jewish.

As for the Pharisees, temple or no temple, a lot of their law revolves around the temple cult (hence why many ultraorthodox Jews want to revive it).

Why anyone who claims to have been baptized into Christ would hate His people (the kin of His Mother and all the Apostles) in the name of the Gospel makes no sense. It isn't Chrsitian.
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« Reply #140 on: September 17, 2010, 02:59:32 PM »

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

Hey Marc, Basic story line? is that what Christianity is, a story or a fairy tale?  And let me tell you what some jews that i know think about Christianity and i'm sure your jew friends feel the same only behing your back and not to your face. The running joke is that Easter is a time when Jesus comes out of a hole in the ground and gives chocolates to little kids. So the jews you know most likely don't care to know or understand anything about the truth/Christianity because they are convinced their religion is the true religion and that they are the chosen ones. Sorry to break the news to you and to your jew friends, but they "missed the boat". Actually, their boat sailed a little over 2000 years ago. The next boat is due to dock shortly, and i'm pretty sure their names will not be on the passenger list, neither will anyone else who follows "false" religions as well.


THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO THE FATHER, AND THAT IS THROUGH THE SON, JESUS CHRIST.

WE MUST REPENT, BE BAPTIZED AND WE MUST TAKE COMMUNION (EATING BREAD AND DRINKING WINE REPRESENTING JESUS'S BODY AND BLOOD) WHICH ARE POSSIBLE IN AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH.




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« Reply #141 on: September 17, 2010, 03:29:41 PM »

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

Hey Marc, Basic story line? is that what Christianity is, a story or a fairy tale?  And let me tell you what some jews that i know think about Christianity and i'm sure your jew friends feel the same only behing your back and not to your face. The running joke is that Easter is a time when Jesus comes out of a hole in the ground and gives chocolates to little kids. So the jews you know most likely don't care to know or understand anything about the truth/Christianity because they are convinced their religion is the true religion and that they are the chosen ones. Sorry to break the news to you and to your jew friends, but they "missed the boat". Actually, their boat sailed a little over 2000 years ago. The next boat is due to dock shortly, and i'm pretty sure their names will not be on the passenger list, neither will anyone else who follows "false" religions as well.


THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO THE FATHER, AND THAT IS THROUGH THE SON, JESUS CHRIST.

WE MUST REPENT, BE BAPTIZED AND WE MUST TAKE COMMUNION (EATING BREAD AND DRINKING WINE REPRESENTING JESUS'S BODY AND BLOOD) WHICH ARE POSSIBLE IN AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH.






My "Jew Friends" ?  LOL.. Nice.

Remember, excorism is always an option..
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« Reply #142 on: September 17, 2010, 03:38:26 PM »

You must know some pretty nasty people. Most of the religious Jews I know are quite respectful towards our Christian beliefs and customs, even if they don't believe them.

And FWIW, I'm awfully glad it's Jesus Christ who will be our judge, and not some of my fellow Christians! lol!
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« Reply #143 on: September 17, 2010, 03:45:28 PM »

On the one hand I would quote a Japanese saying: "Even one speck of dung spoils the entire bowl of rice"

On the other hand yelling at people about how wrong they are does not bring them closer to Christ, it only affirms their worst fears about Christians.

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

It is also true that when the Apostles met in Jerusalem they not not divide themselves from Judaism on such a black and white basis. We are True and they are False. In fact, it was argued that they could well live as Christian Jews and not seek out Gentiles at all. When they did decide to seek out Gentiles it was not done so after a declaration of how false Judaism was.

Christianity is a reinterpretation of Judaism based on the Risen Lord. Each Tradition has changed over 2000 years to make the overlap of beliefs more narrow, but the basis of Christianity is Judaism viewed through the lens of Christ's incarnation and saving death...etc.

And once again, the Pharisees survived in the Diaspora after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem because of their system of worship. They were not Temple dependent and taught that one could practice in ones own home. It made Judaism portable.
Christianity is not a reinterpretation of Judaism. Judaism is founded on the Talmud which postdates the NT by centuries, and the Masorectic Text of the OT, which postdates the LXX by a millenium.

The Apostles did tell the Pharisees and Judaizers that they were wrong, but the Apostles didn't renounce their Hebrew roots. As saint Paul clearly states, the Hebrews were still his people, Christians or Jewish.

As for the Pharisees, temple or no temple, a lot of their law revolves around the temple cult (hence why many ultraorthodox Jews want to revive it).

Why anyone who claims to have been baptized into Christ would hate His people (the kin of His Mother and all the Apostles) in the name of the Gospel makes no sense. It isn't Chrsitian.


I never said they didn't think the Pharisees were wrong, they were. They were certainly wrong about the identity of Jesus. But were they wrong about one God? Were the wrong about Genisis and creation?.. Were they wrong to love your neighbor etc etc. Those things remain True. We just add insight to all those matters via the Gospel.

I also recognize that there is no single form of Judaism. Some long for a New Temple, some don't care one bit.

I just object to the broad brush, black and white proclamations by people with an Antisemitic agenda masquerading as something else.The proclamation of Falsehood from the mouth of a bigot rubs me the wrong way. Cogent analysis coming to a similar conclusion is fine. I'm here to learn too.

The level of hatred and venom on these couple of threads that discuss Jews or Judaism or "Jewish plots" is rather shocking to me. Are Protestanets this Antisemitic? Are Catholics?
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« Reply #144 on: September 17, 2010, 03:53:46 PM »

Most Jews I know understand almost nothing about Christianity. Believe me, they don't even have that basic story line. All they know is that Christians hate them. That is hardly a damnable offense IMHO.

Hey Marc, Basic story line? is that what Christianity is, a story or a fairy tale?  And let me tell you what some jews that i know think about Christianity and i'm sure your jew friends feel the same only behing your back and not to your face. The running joke is that Easter is a time when Jesus comes out of a hole in the ground and gives chocolates to little kids. So the jews you know most likely don't care to know or understand anything about the truth/Christianity because they are convinced their religion is the true religion and that they are the chosen ones. Sorry to break the news to you and to your jew friends, but they "missed the boat". Actually, their boat sailed a little over 2000 years ago. The next boat is due to dock shortly, and i'm pretty sure their names will not be on the passenger list, neither will anyone else who follows "false" religions as well.


THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO THE FATHER, AND THAT IS THROUGH THE SON, JESUS CHRIST.

WE MUST REPENT, BE BAPTIZED AND WE MUST TAKE COMMUNION (EATING BREAD AND DRINKING WINE REPRESENTING JESUS'S BODY AND BLOOD) WHICH ARE POSSIBLE IN AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH.






Romans 11:16-26
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« Reply #145 on: September 17, 2010, 04:15:17 PM »

While I don't condone every word said here, and ialmisry's scripture quote above is worth remembering, it's grossly unfair to default to the quite worn-out charge of antisemitism simply because someone is skeptical about the salvific qualities of the Jewish religion. (Not that there aren't antisemitic Orthodox, even here on OCN, but it's still a worn-out response.)

Besides, how can Orthodox people be antisemitic? Many of our churches are full of Semites. I am personally very pro-semitic. It's the Jewish religion I have difficulty with. Actually, not even that really, but the tendency Christians have to hold Judaism—Modern Judaism—up as practically a second covenant.
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« Reply #146 on: September 17, 2010, 07:07:50 PM »

What does anti-Semitism have to do with our response to Islam? Huh  Haven't we already been talking about this on another thread?  Why do we need to let the discussion on the other thread overflow into and derail this one?
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« Reply #147 on: September 17, 2010, 08:28:09 PM »


Fr Ambrose, I have written an earlier post on this subject that sets out what we know about who will be saved and who will not be, but I'll repeat the details here.


I suppose it is good for my humility to have a whippersnapper outside the Church think he can give me correction and instruction in the faith.

But, there are holy men in the Church who are more advanced in wisdom and knowledge than Jonathan and they do not agree with him.....  Their voices ought to be heard as the authentic voice of the Orthodox Church.

We have things such as....

Saint Paul who has already given the apostolic teaching quite cogently and told us how it occurs that the non-Christians may be saved:

Romans 2 - the salvation of non-believers:

  "...for when Gentiles, who do not have the law,
  by nature do the things in the law, these, although
  not having the law, are a law to themselves, who
  show the work of the law written in their hearts,
  their conscience also bearing witness, and between
  themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing
  them in the day when God will judge the secrets of men
  by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."
 
~ Romans 2:14-16


... and there are the words of the holy Metropolitan Philaret who was the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad when I was a young man and a very conservative theologian.  He is here speaking of heterodox Christians but I would think he would say the same about Jews and others:


  It is self evident, however, that sincere Christians who are Roman
Catholics, or Lutherans, or members, of other non-Orthodox
confessions, cannot be termed renegades or heretics—i.e. those who
knowingly pervert the truth... They have been born and raised and are
living according to the creed which they have inherited, just as do
the majority of you who are Orthodox; in their lives there has not
been a moment of personal and conscious renunciation of Orthodoxy. The
Lord, "Who will have all men to be saved" (I Tim. 2:4) and "Who
enlightens every man born into the world" (Jn. 1.43), undoubtedly is
leading them also towards salvation In His own way."


N.B:  "The Lord...undoubtedly is leading them also towards salvation
In His own way."

....and we have the words of St. Theophan the Recluse to guide us into a correct Orthodox understanding:

  "You ask, will the heterodox be saved... Why do you worry about them?
They have a Saviour Who desires the salvation of every human being.
He will take care of them. You and I should not be burdened with such
concern. Study yourself and your own sins... I will tell you one thing, however:
should you, being Orthodox and possessing the Truth in its fullness, betray
Orthodoxy, and enter a different faith, you will lose your soul forever."

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« Reply #148 on: September 17, 2010, 08:36:23 PM »


But that those outside the Church will certainly go to Hades after death is proved by the following passage from the vision of Blessed Theodora:

"Those who believe in the Holy Trinity and take as frequently as possible the Holy Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, our Saviour's body and Blood - such people can rise to heaven directly, with no hindrances, and the holy angels defend them, and the holy saints of God pray for their salvation, since they have lived righteously. No one, however, takes care of wicked and depraved heretics, who do nothing useful during their lives, and live in disbelief and heresy. The angels can say nothing in their defence... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."


Much of what is found in Saint Basil the New's writing and visions is nonsense and some of it is outright heretical.  The Byzantines rejected it and when it made its way into Russia it was bowlderised of all the heretical elements.




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« Reply #149 on: September 17, 2010, 09:41:22 PM »


But that those outside the Church will certainly go to Hades after death is proved by the following passage from the vision of Blessed Theodora:

"... [Only those] enlightened by the faith and holy baptism can rise and be tested in the stations of torment [that is, the toll-houses]. The unbelievers do not come here. Their souls belong to hell even before they part from their bodies. When they die, the devils take their souls with no need to test them. Such souls are their proper prey, and they take them down to the abyss."
.

The text reads differently in many phrases and the differences are important...

Знай  также,  что  таким  путем  испытываются  только  души  тех,  кто
просвещен святым крещением.  Неверующие же во Христа, идолослужители и
вообще все не ведающие истинного Бога этим путем не  восходят,  потому
что во время земной жизни живы только телом,  а душой уже погребены во
аде.  И когда они умирают,  бесы без всякого испытания берут их души и
низводят в геенну и пропасть."


Quote

But I'm sure you can agree that those condemned to Hades are much more likely to be condemned to Gehenna at the last day than those who are not.


You will note that the text says these souls, all those not baptized,  are taken to Gehenna immediately at their time of death.
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« Reply #150 on: September 17, 2010, 10:43:18 PM »

What does anti-Semitism have to do with our response to Islam? Huh  Haven't we already been talking about this on another thread?  Why do we need to let the discussion on the other thread overflow into and derail this one?

It happened because we discussed the nature of a false religion. However, i am going to start a new thread to discuss what the Pharisees taught. I have revisited Nehamia Gordon's  work and found a lecture by him on this topic that should help us all. I will post a new thread for anyone interested.

Thanks for your patience with me.
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« Reply #151 on: September 17, 2010, 11:58:02 PM »

Father Ambrose, just wanted to thank you for your much-needed voice in this thread!
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« Reply #152 on: September 18, 2010, 12:01:06 AM »

Fr Ambrose, first of all, although I am a great sinner and most probably a whippersnapper to boot, I am most definitely in the Church, whereas I do not believe you are, since you are in communion with the ecumenist apostasy. But we have already argued about that elsewhere.

St Paul's words do not contradict mine, because he is obviously speaking of the Last Day, when we will be judged according to our conscience. I have a feeling you didn't read my post very carefully (I know it was quite long), since I made a careful distinction between salvation with respect to the immediate destiny of our soul after death (Hades or Paradise), where membership of the True Church is absolutely necessary, and with respect to our destiny after the Final Judgment, where we will be judged according to our consciences.

I myself cited Metropolitan St Philaret, and your failure to acknowledge this more or less confirms my suspicion that you didn't read my post all the way through, if at all. Again, St Philaret was speaking of the conviction of our consciences, again clearly referring to our destiny after the Last Judgment.

St Theophan's words are very apt, and I'm glad you cited him. Both he and St Philaret and St Paul are all speaking of the fact that the ultimate destiny of all of us is known to God alone, because only God knows our consciences and how they will convict or exonerate us at the last day. I tried to make it very clear in my post, but obviously not clear enough. I have no knowledge of any individual's destiny at the final judgment, and as to who lives in Paradise now and who in Hades, I only know those whom the Church has publicly glorified (who are in Paradise), or those who died outside the Church (who are in Hades).

The point is, you have to consider also the other passages I cited, which say without a hint of doubt that Baptism, the Holy Eucharist and the Orthodox faith are all necessary for salvation. You must admit that we must understand how to integrate that knowledge with the other knowledge we have, about how our final destiny depends on how we obey our God-given consciences. When we witness to those outside the Church, we have to be clear about what the Church teaches about their destiny. Will they be able to go to Paradise if they choose to remain outside the Church, for example?

I have shown that they will not, and that they will definitely go to Hades after death if they do not accept Orthodoxy and Holy Baptism in the True Church. How they will fare at the Last Judgment, on the other hand, is indeed something that will be between them, their consciences and God, although you can agree that it will be less easy for them if they consciously resist the Truth, as the passage from St Luke's Gospel makes clear.
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« Reply #153 on: September 18, 2010, 12:37:25 AM »


I have a feeling you didn't read my post very carefully (I know it was quite long), since I made a careful distinction between salvation with respect to the immediate destiny of our soul after death (Hades or Paradise), where membership of the True Church is absolutely necessary, and with respect to our destiny after the Final Judgment, where we will be judged according to our consciences.

I have shown that they will not, and that they will definitely go to Hades after death if they do not accept Orthodoxy and Holy Baptism in the True Church. How they will fare at the Last Judgment, on the other hand, is indeed something that will be between them, their consciences and God, although you can agree that it will be less easy for them if they consciously resist the Truth, as the passage from St Luke's Gospel makes clear.

You quote Saint Theodora's claimed vision to Paul of Thebes in a dream and she is claiming to have received her knowledge directly from the angels, and the event was written down by Saint Basil the New in the heretical writings unfortunately attributed to him. It would be worth your while to obtain an unexpurgated version of his writings and see how shocking they are!   Absolutely shocking but let's go with it for the moment.

Now I *have* read your message and I have already addressed your point in message 149.

The English text you quote is corrupt, so I gave you the Russian.  It is crystal clear - the angelic (i.e., divine) revelation is that the unbaptized do not pass through the toll houses but are taken immediately they die into GEHENNA and NOT into Hades (which you seem to believe.)

Given that you do not accept the baptism of the ancient Patriarchates and Autocephalies, that means that I am going to Gehenna and so are all the other Orthodox on this forum (apart from Fr. Anastasios who is also a member of the GOC/HOTCA.)
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« Reply #154 on: September 18, 2010, 12:55:47 AM »

Sorry, I missed those other messages. You are obviously correct that the Russian text contains the word 'geenna'. But you also say the Russian version was expurgated of heretical elements, and this Orthodox version was used obviously with approval by St Theophan, as you can see here:

http://www.orthodox.net/articles/life-after-death-john-maximovitch.html (scroll down to footnote 4, on the toll-houses)

So I'm afraid I'm going to have to take the Russian Church's word on the authority of the vision of St Theodora.

While admitting that the Russian version of St Theodora explicitly uses the word 'geenna' here, the fact that she is speaking of the fate of souls only, and of the toll-houses, makes it even more clear that in fact she was seeing a vision of the judgment of souls, Hades and Paradise, NOT the terrible Last Judgment. The most economical explanation is that the Russian translators were not making a rigid distinction between 'hades' and 'gehenna', which is unfortunately confusing but remedied by reading in the context.

And I'm sure you're aware that, given the Russian Church has approved the genuineness of this vision, it is obviously much worse for you and others outside the Church if the unbaptized and the heretics are doomed to Gehenna from the moment of death, something which I do not believe but you seem curiously insistent upon. I certainly hope you will not go to Gehenna, although in the end the choice is yours.
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« Reply #155 on: September 18, 2010, 01:03:59 AM »

I am reminded of the traditionalist RC's on other forums who insist that only baptized RC's be saved.  And they use quite a few of the same arguments and prooftexts -substitute "Catholic" for "Orthodox" and you wouldn't know if you were on CAF or OC.net.

It's funny and sad at the same time.
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« Reply #156 on: September 18, 2010, 01:13:19 AM »

And I'm sure you're aware that, given the Russian Church has approved the genuineness of this vision, it is obviously much worse for you and others outside the Church if the unbaptized and the heretics are doomed to Gehenna from the moment of death, something which I do not believe but you seem curiously insistent upon. I certainly hope you will not go to Gehenna, although in the end the choice is yours.

You are not being straightforward, Mr Gress.

You have written before that you do not accept the baptism or the Eucharist of the canonical Orthodox Churches.

You have written that those not baptized cannot be saved.

I am doomed and so are all on this list (excepting Fr Anastasios and yourself.)

It is a little unpleasant to the soul to have contact with a man who believes salvation is possible for only a few dozen people.  But I wish you well and pray for you.
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« Reply #157 on: September 18, 2010, 01:19:26 AM »

Wait, we're talking about a vision?  Didn't stashko make fun of RC's earlier in this thread for (supposedly) basing their beliefs on visions of Mary?  Why is that wrong for RC's but perfectly OK for Russian Orthodox?
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« Reply #158 on: September 18, 2010, 04:27:47 AM »

Wait, we're talking about a vision?  Didn't stashko make fun of RC's earlier in this thread for (supposedly) basing their beliefs on visions of Mary?  Why is that wrong for RC's but perfectly OK for Russian Orthodox?


We run away as fast as we can from Talking visions apparition ..and don't accept what they have to say.........we only accept the faith once delivered unto salvation from the Holy Fathers........no quickies or short cut or magic words for umteenth times  or certain days set aside to guarantee salvation like catholic have from their talking ones which are questionable........  I didn't bash anything ,i gave a link where it was said first....Some of the Holy orthodox saints where Almost decieved By talking Visions of jesus and Mary ....and they warn us not to trust or put our faith in any of them....This i read on this forum.....
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« Reply #159 on: September 18, 2010, 09:57:37 AM »

Father Ambrose, just wanted to thank you for your much-needed voice in this thread!

I agree! Thank you Father.
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« Reply #160 on: September 18, 2010, 10:32:21 AM »

So, stashko, just to clarify, do you then disagree with Jonathan about the vision approved by the Russian Church?
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« Reply #161 on: September 18, 2010, 10:49:13 AM »

Brothers and Sisters,

Should we leave this thread to the topic of Christianity and Islam and move the discussion on Saint Basil the New and the vision of the afterlife to an existing thread?

Thoughts on "The Life of St. Basil the New"

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6952.0.html
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« Reply #162 on: September 18, 2010, 12:22:28 PM »

So, stashko, just to clarify, do you then disagree with Jonathan about the vision approved by the Russian Church?

Ill have to read about it,then ill throw in my 2 centavos worth... Grin Gotta work,, sunday night will be back....
Talking apparitions aren't preached in the Holy Orthodox churches ,..Where warned by the saints, when we
pray not to visualize be it Jesus or Mary Or any of the saints or angels....

Thou we srbs celabrate vidov dan ,the day of seeing...
Tsar Lazar was visited by a Angel and given a book sent From the Blessed Theotokos......But none of these give alternative ways to salvation
or short cuts to it....
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« Reply #163 on: September 18, 2010, 12:28:35 PM »

Yes. Fr Ambrpse, I will  check out the other thread.  Sorry for the derail. Smiley

And thanks for your response, stashko.
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« Reply #164 on: September 18, 2010, 01:09:30 PM »

And I'm sure you're aware that, given the Russian Church has approved the genuineness of this vision, it is obviously much worse for you and others outside the Church if the unbaptized and the heretics are doomed to Gehenna from the moment of death, something which I do not believe but you seem curiously insistent upon. I certainly hope you will not go to Gehenna, although in the end the choice is yours.

You are not being straightforward, Mr Gress.

You have written before that you do not accept the baptism or the Eucharist of the canonical Orthodox Churches.

You have written that those not baptized cannot be saved.

I am doomed and so are all on this list (excepting Fr Anastasios and yourself.)

It is a little unpleasant to the soul to have contact with a man who believes salvation is possible for only a few dozen people.  But I wish you well and pray for you.

Fr Ambrose, I have explained with excruciating clarity in what manner we can say in all surety that only those who have been baptized and hold the true faith unerringly can be saved, and in what manner we can not say in surety that they will be saved. You can certainly continue to misrepresent my argument in order to win this little online debate, but you might want to ask yourself at some point whether it's worth it to you in the long run.
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« Reply #165 on: September 18, 2010, 02:35:19 PM »

I meant to say that in one sense we can say in surety that only those who are baptized and hold the true faith can be saved, but in another sense we cannot say in surety that only they can be saved.
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« Reply #166 on: September 18, 2010, 03:14:21 PM »

Here is a story I once heard:

The was a Samurai Warrior in Japan who had been evengelized by the Jesuits. He was soon to be baptized but had a question for the Priest. He asked:

"What happens to people who are have already died but were never baptized?"

The Priest Answered: "They are in Hell"

"For how long?"  asked the Samurai.

"Forever" answered the Priest

The Samurai was silent for a moment or two and then asked:

"Both my Mother and Father are dead. They were not baptized. Are they in Hell forever"?

The Priest answered: "Yes, I am afraid they are"

The Samurai paused again for a minute to reflect and then said:

"Then I can not be Baptized. It is my duty to be with my parents in the afterlife. Anything else would be dishonorable"
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