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Author Topic: Problems with the faith  (Read 9675 times) Average Rating: 0
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2010, 02:29:18 AM »

What JC taught the Apostles on what to interprete in the OT?
The doctrinal grid necessary for Orthodox interpretation, yes.
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« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2010, 02:29:59 AM »

What JC taught the Apostles on what to interprete in the OT?
You can see in the NT.
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« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2010, 02:32:59 AM »

But what about the Genesis account, Book of Job, Jonah, all of that how can we interpret those books? I don't understand what you mean by in the NT?
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« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2010, 02:33:21 AM »

Trying to Convert:

Maybe you could benefit from watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpmHZzURwZY&
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2010, 02:33:44 AM »

But what about the Genesis account, Book of Job, Jonah, all of that how can we interpret those books? I don't understand what you mean by in the NT?
NT means the New Testament. The books you are referring to are in the Old Testament.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2010, 02:36:50 AM »

No I mean how are we supposed to interprete the books of the OT?
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« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2010, 02:38:06 AM »

No I mean how are we supposed to interprete the books of the OT?
We use the New Testament as a "lens" with which to interpret the Old. I think you are giving the old testament undue weight over the new.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 02:39:32 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2010, 02:40:37 AM »

No I mean how are we supposed to interprete the books of the OT?

Not sure who "we" is here.   The Holy Spirit gives, the Holy Spirit interprets, as Christ promised, the Spirit shall lead you into all truth. 
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« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2010, 02:42:02 AM »

...and the "you" in the last part is in the plural, Christ speaking first and foremost to the Apostles
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« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2010, 02:42:12 AM »

What it ultimately comes down to is this: Do you trust that the successors of the Apostles preserved the faith, or not?


We believe that the successors to the Apostles did indeed preserve the faith, including an "orthodox doctrinal grid": in other words, correct doctrine leads to correct (I.E. not heretical) interpretations.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2010, 02:42:51 AM »

No I mean how are we supposed to interprete the books of the OT?
We use the New Testament as a "lens" with which to interpret the Old. I think you are giving the old testament undue weight over the new.

I guess I have to ask how do we know what is literal and allegorical then, because look at the book of Genesis does Christ even mention it? So how do we make of the Genesis account? Did an Ark really happen, it seems scientifically absurd. It would be much better seen as allegory.
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« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2010, 02:43:14 AM »

But what about the Genesis account, Book of Job, Jonah, all of that how can we interpret those books? I don't understand what you mean by in the NT?
For one, Christ cites Genesis and Jonah, and His (step) brother St. James cites Job as well.
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« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2010, 02:45:12 AM »

I could always say that the Church Jesus Christ supposably started was the Roman Catholic church, not your Orthodox church; thus your entire point on the Orthodox church coming first and knowing how to interpret the Bible being false.
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« Reply #58 on: November 27, 2010, 02:46:09 AM »

No I mean how are we supposed to interprete the books of the OT?
We use the New Testament as a "lens" with which to interpret the Old. I think you are giving the old testament undue weight over the new.

I guess I have to ask how do we know what is literal and allegorical then, because look at the book of Genesis does Christ even mention it?

He cites from it several times.

Quote
So how do we make of the Genesis account?

Who is "we"?

Quote
Did an Ark really happen, it seems scientifically absurd.

You don't believe in floods?

Quote
It would be much better seen as allegory.
Better for what?
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« Reply #59 on: November 27, 2010, 02:47:18 AM »

We as in humans, sure floods happen but on a global level with no proof? Come on.

Allegory because of the church (ark) going through difficult times and still surviving and the waters representing a baptism effect.
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« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2010, 02:47:57 AM »


I guess I have to ask how do we know what is literal and allegorical then, because look at the book of Genesis does Christ even mention it? So how do we make of the Genesis account? Did an Ark really happen, it seems scientifically absurd. It would be much better seen as allegory.

I think I see the issue here.

If the bible alone is what you base your entire faith on, TryingtoConvert, then it is important what things are literal and which are figurative-- they determine your entire faith.

However, if instead, you base your faith on the teachings of the Church, upon a living tradition that includes, interprets and transcends and fulfills the scriptures, these questions are not so pressing. In the Orthodox Church you can believe that the Ark is an allegory and/or 100% literal. The spiritual truth, the ontological truth that persists even today-- this is what is crucial.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 02:49:36 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2010, 02:48:16 AM »

I could always say that the Church Jesus Christ supposably started was the Roman Catholic church, not your Orthodox church;

And you can always say that the Sun rises in the West, but I'm still expecting it 6 hours hence rising in my East Window.

Quote
thus your entire point on the Orthodox church coming first and knowing how to interpret the Bible being false.

Because you say so?
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« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2010, 02:48:54 AM »

I could always say that the Church Jesus Christ supposably started was the Roman Catholic church, not your Orthodox church; thus your entire point on the Orthodox church coming first and knowing how to interpret the Bible being false.
Whether or not the roman catholics or the Orthodox are the True church is another debate, my friend!
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« Reply #63 on: November 27, 2010, 02:54:11 AM »

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any kind of source outside of your own heart and mind being an influence on what you believe.

Whether or not God is real, He is supposed to stem from your heart. He is supposed to be something you feel every day and something you look up to and love for bringing you and the Universe life. What religion does to the idea of God, I can never come to terms with. I will never accept a religious view of God, because I do not believe there should be one. God should be something very personal to you and something that you hold most dear, not something influenced by a collection of books.
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« Reply #64 on: November 27, 2010, 02:54:43 AM »

I could always say that the Church Jesus Christ supposably started was the Roman Catholic church, not your Orthodox church; thus your entire point on the Orthodox church coming first and knowing how to interpret the Bible being false.

Ok, well if you said that, then it is ultimately either the RCC or the Orthodox Church that is the true Church.   So look into it more.  Is everyone else responsible for you being where you need to be or are you?  
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« Reply #65 on: November 27, 2010, 02:57:21 AM »

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any kind of source outside of your own heart and mind being an influence on what you believe.

Whether or not God is real, He is supposed to stem from your heart. He is supposed to be something you feel every day and something you look up to and love for bringing you and the Universe life. What religion does to the idea of God, I can never come to terms with. I will never accept a religious view of God, because I do not believe there should be one. God should be something very personal to you and something that you hold most dear, not something influenced by a collection of books.

God is not an idea, nor does He stem for your heart.  Your heart stems from God.   If you are looking for the "idea" of God, go to philosophy classes at Harvard.   If you are the center of your universe and God stems from you, it is the wrong god. 
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« Reply #66 on: November 27, 2010, 02:58:18 AM »

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any kind of source outside of your own heart and mind being an influence on what you believe.

Whether or not God is real, He is supposed to stem from your heart. He is supposed to be something you feel every day and something you look up to and love for bringing you and the Universe life. What religion does to the idea of God, I can never come to terms with. I will never accept a religious view of God, because I do not believe there should be one. God should be something very personal to you and something that you hold most dear, not something influenced by a collection of books.
We believe that communion with others and communing with our God go hand-in-hand. Once you realize that your very being receives its personhood only from communion, from loving others, then the whole "all I need is myself" outlook changes.
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« Reply #67 on: November 27, 2010, 02:59:22 AM »

We as in humans, sure floods happen but on a global level with no proof? Come on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatsunami#Prehistoric



Quote
Allegory because of the church (ark) going through difficult times and still surviving and the waters representing a baptism effect.
While that is a good (and correct) allegorical interpretation, it doesn't rule out the literal meaning.
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« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2010, 03:03:32 AM »

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any kind of source outside of your own heart and mind being an influence on what you believe.
Heil Hitler.
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

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« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2010, 03:07:41 AM »

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any kind of source outside of your own heart and mind being an influence on what you believe.


Quote
Whether or not God is real, He is supposed to stem from your heart.

Says who? God doesn't originate in man. Man originates in God.

Quote
He is supposed to be something you feel every day and something you look up to and love for bringing you and the Universe life.

Says who?

Quote
What religion does to the idea of God, I can never come to terms with.

What religions? Chrisitianity? Islam? Buddhism? Because they are all religions but they don't have the same idea of God.

Quote
I will never accept a religious view of God, because I do not believe there should be one.

So you not trying, because you have made your mind up. Aong with your god.

Quote
God should be something very personal to you and something that you hold most dear, not something influenced by a collection of books.
He certainly shouldn't be a figment of your imagination.
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« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2010, 03:35:26 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."

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« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2010, 04:04:01 AM »

That is fantastic Sleeper; the word of God is Christ!
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« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2010, 04:55:58 AM »

That is fantastic Sleeper; the word of God is Christ!
Seconded!
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« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2010, 06:36:28 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."


You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about. You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.
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« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2010, 06:51:39 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."


You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about. You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.
Knowing the truth of it isn't the same as knowing who wrote the Old Testament books.

The truth can be known, my friend.
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« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2010, 09:49:12 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."


You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about.

We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard. Acts 4:20.



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You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.
said the brain in the vat.
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« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2010, 09:53:08 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."


You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about. You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.
Knowing the truth of it isn't the same as knowing who wrote the Old Testament books.

The truth can be known, my friend.
"Trying to convert" can't handle the Truth, so he denies its existence.
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« Reply #77 on: November 27, 2010, 11:30:27 AM »

Perhaps someone can enlighten me but unless you interpret the Bible literally, there is no validation to anything in the text. The Bible is supposed to be a historical relic, depicting various trials and tribulations of men and angels alike, and the possibilities of our foreseeable future. Unless we interpret this literally, all the Bible is are metaphors, memes and themes that were written in order to inspire and preach a certain moral code.

If I read that Moses heard the voice of God through a Burning Bush, I am not seeing that as an accurate testament to something that REALLY happened. I am seeing that as something symbolic and metaphoric. An allegory if you will. And THAT is where the argument comes from. You cannot argue half and half. You cannot take the middle road with the Bible. You cannot claim that some of it is metaphor, some of it is fact, some of it is this or that, because, honestly, who are you or who is anyone else on this planet to truly know how to interpret this book with any kind of accuracy? The only glimpse of an idea we have on how to read it, is in the book itself, which requires a literal interpretation.

It is all confusing and contradicting. Everything associated with religion in general only leads to a giant circular, never-ending argument.

In short, you cannot say the bible is as factually solid as 2+2=4, and then say, except for this that and the other thing.



The Bible is about reality, and reality in different cultures. You are pushing your culture onto the Bible and you seem upset in trying to make sense of it from your own cultural lens.

Why not read and understand the Bible through the tradition of both Judaism and Christianity? If you did this then you would understand that within these cultures, the Bible has more than just one sense.

To say that the Bible can only have one interpretation and one interpretation only is the product of the protestant reformation and probably the Renaissance movement before it.




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« Reply #78 on: November 27, 2010, 11:40:28 AM »

You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about. You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.

My point though is that it doesn't matter.  Nothing within Orthodoxy is based upon the truth or validity of the Bible.  Nothing is riding on the authenticity of the Bible.  It's not the source or foundation of our Faith.

We love the Bible, and treasure it and read from it daily but it does not need to stand up to outside scrutiny at the risk of everything crumbling apart.  And the reason for this is because the Church is the living witness that goes all the way back to Jesus Christ Himself.

I understand your frustration (or whatever you'd like to call it) with the Bible, but you're truly fighting a Strawman here.  Let's leave the Bible out of it and talk about what really matters...
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« Reply #79 on: November 27, 2010, 11:44:20 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."


You can't definitively say who wrote what, it's a 2000 year old tale that no one knows the truth about. You can believe what ever you want, but the fact is you will never know the real truth behind it.

Saying that is like saying that the Constitution of the United States is nothing but a 200 year old tale that no one knows the truth about.

Also, how can you talk about FACTS?

You have no facts! All you have is a personal assertion. A chronic case of skepticism and cynicism.

The Real Truth behind it is a synergistic relationship between God and man. And the only way to get around that is to deny the history as well as the people of Judaism and Christianity.


You seem very dogmatic in your ignorance and error.

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« Reply #80 on: November 27, 2010, 11:59:57 AM »

It's not about the Bible, it's about the Life Jesus brought people into.  Jesus did not write something, hand it to His disciples and tell them to pass it along with the correct interpretation.

To put it bluntly (and perhaps some might disagree with this, but I think it's accurate):

If the Bible were to have never existed, Christianity would've progressed in its mission and message unhindered and completely intact.

This is what we mean when we say Christ founded a Church, not a book.  The book, the Bible, is a product of the Church; the fruit of her communal life, and as such it is an invaluable treasure trove of wisdom and guidance.  But the Bible is not the foundation of anything, it is not the source of our beliefs or practices (though it gives witness to both).

This is quite a different approach than evangelical Protestantism.

In the words of noted Orthodox theologian Fr. Thomas Hopko:

"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible. The Orthodox Church is the living Body of Christ - the living experience in history of the union of mankind with God in the divine-human Person of the Only-Begotten. The Word of God is not a book, but a Person. The Prophets, both those of the Old Covenant and those of the New, are those who have seen and heard and touched the Word of Life. The Divine Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are the written witness to this experience, but they are not the source of this experience."



This is good!
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« Reply #81 on: November 27, 2010, 05:39:03 PM »


If your god is perfect, then it follows that his words are perfect. And if his words are perfect, and the bible is a collection of his words, then it follows that the bible is PERFECT.

Who says that every word of the bible is directly from the mouth of God? That is a protestant inference upon which sola scriptura is based (ironically enough this assumption is not even found in the bible itself). Orthodox maintain that the men who wrote the scriptures were inspired to convey divine truths, but this does necessarily mean that what they wrote was literally/necessarily the direct/spoken word of God. Even if it was, who says that God can't directly convey to them an allegory? Some divine truth is most aptly revealed in allegory. Christ preferred to use this mode all the time in the New Testament.
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« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2010, 05:44:30 PM »

LOL, really? Desperate? You can save your subtle condescension. I'm not "looking" for answers. The answers, to my life, are found everyday in my friends, my family, my girlfriend, and my future with them. I don't need to look for answers in a fairy tell book.


Your name, 'tryingtoconvert' betrays your words here. What are you trying to convert to, exactly?
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« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2010, 05:59:21 PM »

The Orthodox faith is not just something you can learn out of a book. If you want to see what it's like, you may want to visit a church. Search for your zip code on the site below, and you can locate the nearest parish. Go there, see what the place is like, talk to people, attend a service. If you're not up for that, at least see where there's a church and contact the priest (most parish sites have e-mail and phone listings). It's fine if you have questions. Why not see where they lead?

http://orthodoxyinamerica.org/
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« Reply #84 on: November 27, 2010, 06:00:56 PM »

Quote
God should be something very personal to you and something that you hold most dear, not something influenced by a collection of books.
He certainly shouldn't be a figment of your imagination.

New Age is true because it's on the internet. Books are the devil.
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« Reply #85 on: November 27, 2010, 06:38:18 PM »

A couple of thoughts that I hope are helpful:

The Bible is not to be confused with the Quran, which claims to be the exact word of God. The Bible is a collection of writings that was inspired--not dictated--by God. Consequently, it is a record of gradual illumination, culminating in God's full revelation of Himself. Even that, however, is filtered through the imperfect lens of the apostles;  Christ didn't write anything down Himself.  No claim of perfection can be made about the Bible: it's imperfect. That doesn't make its ideas any less beautiful.

Historically, the New Testament isn't codified until the second century; Christians worshipped passionately for a century without the NT. Christianity is not based on a book; its history is recorded in a book. The Bible's canonical interpretation--which parts are literal and which metaphorical--was determined in the first 500 years of the church. A standard understanding existed before the Protestants started interpreting it for themselves (sola scriptura). No, the Bible doesn't mean anything we want it to mean. You can justify all kinds of evil interpreting the Bible incorrectly. That doesn't make its ideas any less true, however.

Although created by God, we are not creatures of God; that is, we possess free will. God could so easily have saved Himself a lot of headaches by making us automatons. He didn't.

Belief is not based on argument; belief is a gift. Very little of what anyone says here is going to convince you of anything. you have a lot of misconceptions to overcome and a lot of studying to do.

Saint Paul exhorts us not to argue. So I won't.
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« Reply #86 on: November 27, 2010, 08:20:18 PM »

But It does not follow that the word of god would be IMPERFECT, if your God IS PERFECT right? It does not that your PERFECT GOD would divinely inspire MORTAL MEN to be his AUTHORS, his biographers, if you will, and they get it WRONG, producing an IMPERFECT document

If your god is perfect, then it follows that his words are perfect. And if his words are perfect, and the bible is a collection of his words, then it follows that the bible is PERFECT.

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In Orthodox we do venerate the Scriptures, but not in the typically Protestant way.  Firstly, we equally venerate the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition as two halves of the same coin, so we do not rely solely on "the Bible" for our guidance, and we do not only define our worship and our Church by the Bible, but we combine a unison approach to both the Bible and the Tradition.  Both illuminate each other, and you can not understand either without the other.  The Bible without the Light of the Tradition is a Mystery, and the Tradition aside from the Bible is only theater.  Together, they are the Divine works of God in our midst.  But you cannot separate either, just as you cannot separate Christ's Humanity or His Divinity.

This Bible is not literally the words of God, as Islam interprets the Koran to be, but rather is the divinely inspired words of God, as given through the mechanisms of human beings and the Tradition is the same.  We do not base our interpretations and understandings of these texts and Traditions solely on the literalism or historicity, rather we prefer to rely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  We turn to God directly on these matters, and in Orthodox the Church defines the Bible according to the active and powerful Will of God in our lives, we do not search for the Will of God in the Scriptures, rather we use the Will of God to understand them.  God determines the Scriptures meanings, the Scriptures do not literally interpret the meaning of God.  This is why Jesus said, "Search the Scriptures supposing to find eternal life, but only if you would just turn directly to Me, who they refer to." (paraphrasing)

Most importantly, while in the Protestant background the Word of God is considered to be the Bible, this is not the case in the Church.  The Scriptures are the word of God (not uppercase), where as only Christ Himself, in the Eternal Flesh and Blood is the true Word of God.  The Word of God is not a book, it is a living Man and God!  We do not search for words written down to find, know and experience Jesus Christ, rather we come to Him directly, in person, here and now!  It is a fundamentally different approach and understanding.  Having been raised a fundamentalist Baptist, I can understand and have experienced both concepts, but truly the Orthodox is real and Divine, whereas the Protestant literalists are similarly confused at times as the Pharisees or the Gnostics, who spent more time reading books and scriptures to find God then actually searching for Him in the active life of worship.  This is not to discredit the faith of Protestants, or to say the God does not operate in them, but it is my analysis that the Protestant tradition makes it a bit harder to find God, as it is often looking in the wrong places. 

stay blessed,
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« Reply #87 on: November 27, 2010, 08:46:43 PM »

Wait wait wait, did you actually say that his religion is the ONLY "correct" one? Such beautiful, stunning arrogance. I'm reminded again of the late great Sagan.

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From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
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« Reply #88 on: November 27, 2010, 08:51:10 PM »

You say Holy Tradition, what does that even mean?
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« Reply #89 on: November 27, 2010, 08:57:13 PM »

Your problem seems to be the with Bible and yet we've made it quite clear that we do not believe about the Bible what you think we do.  So what is your issue really with?
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