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Author Topic: The Japan Earthquake begs the question...  (Read 3755 times) Average Rating: 0
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podkarpatska
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« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2011, 09:32:18 AM »

I strongly object NP. We know HOW it happens but we do not know the WHY.

Our planet is alive, that is why.

Interesting point and one that is not in conflict with Faith.

I think that asking 'why' is a pointless question for the most part. The sky is blue -why? Well, I know the scientific answer about the refraction of light, do we need to know 'why'? Would you feel better if you 'knew' that God perhaps preferred blue over red? It is what it is. 

We have learned that the universe itself is 'alive' in that it is not static in its orientation and composition. To have faith do you have to know 'why' this is so? I don't think so.

If you have faith St. Paul's words should put to rest the need to know the 'why'. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."1 Corinthians 13:12

Concentrate on the now and the things that you have the ability to confront and make for the better. To much emphasis on the 'why' will only lead you to despair.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 09:34:27 AM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2011, 10:06:11 AM »

If nothing else, it's given the "Green Patriarch" a reason to issue a bunch of  "No Nukes" announcements (for which there has been almost no discussion here).

Every death or disaster is a reminder of our own mortality. That's usually the "lesson" I get out of these events.
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« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2011, 10:35:55 AM »

Therefore, for this disaster, go do the works of God.  That's all you need to know.  Looking for reasons is a petty discussion as Christ refuted his disciples.
I totally agree. I meant same thing actually: Things happen to us in order for us to wake up and draw closer to The Almighty. This is all we have to know as you said.

Well, yes and no.  The result is that we wake up and draw closer to God.  But God isn't behind the disaster.  The world and natural laws are.  The idea behind the passage I quoted is that whatever happens, we have to make the best out of them.  To look for reasons why something happened like this I wanted to stress would actually be an insult to the people it happened to.
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« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2011, 11:21:42 AM »

Do you think this disaster happened for a reason?

Yes, specifically plate tectonics.
That's right. But why did those plates move at a specific time and place?

And most importantly as orthodox christians this tragedy should teach us something, shouldn't it? For one we need to learn to have compassion for those involved and to pray for them (alive or dead). But is this most important thing we (and especially Japanese people) should learn from the tragedy? To me this questions beg the answers.

What could be more important to the answer of "why?" The thing is unlike people 200 years ago we DO know why!

If you want to learn about earthquakes go become a geologist! If you want to learn "why it rains" go become a meteorologist. If you want to know "why the sun comes up every morning" go become an astronomer. This is  not the year 1355, when such things were a mystery. (despite the fact that some talk show hosts don't know why the tides go in and out) This is 2011 and we KNOW why these things happen. If you or I don't know it is merely out of our own personal ignorance just as it was 4000 years ago when people thought earthquakes were caused because of the Titans stomping around in Tartarus.

If we are to learn anything at all it is probably to recognize our own ignorance and to encourage us to study how the world works even more than we did before. The seeking of "why" is how we know that tiny invisible animals caused the the black death and not God's wrath. It how we know tiny invisible creatures cause people to catch colds etc. If there is something to learn from this I'd say it is for us to see how quickly we as human beings want to divide up humanity into the "saved and the damned" or how egocentric we really are to think everything that happens is God's way of telling us "something". It's a natural part of our thought process and our senses; but then so is thinking the earth is flat.

Can the spiritual world and nature be so divided as this?

No, we don't go around like the Westboro people, saying every disaster is specific punishment inflicted on someone who made him mad. Nor do we say that God smites people with disease for some reason.

But, we also don't say that destruction (even of trees in the forest) is divorced from human sinfulness. That isn't to say that everything is a specific "Repent!" message from God, but neither are these things random events that have nothing to do with the state of the world. The Fall has consequences for the natural world. The Fathers wrote about how nature was different before the Fall.
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« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2011, 03:32:17 PM »

Well, yes and no.  The result is that we wake up and draw closer to God.  But God isn't behind the disaster.  The world and natural laws are.  The idea behind the passage I quoted is that whatever happens, we have to make the best out of them.  To look for reasons why something happened like this I wanted to stress would actually be an insult to the people it happened to.
I can't say what OO Church teaches on that but EO Church definitely does not teach that. The idea God is not behind the disaster is not part of Eastern Orthodox faith. God "who is everywhere and fills everything" is behind everything and anything. The world and natural laws are not spontaneous creations. Almighty is the Creator and Supporter (from instant to instant) of all things visible and invisible. What do you think, was God not behind great flood or destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

P.S. When I believe that the disaster was a consequence of human fall I never mean I'm somehow any better than those people who suffered. I'm sure out of multitude sufferers many of them were much better people in all regards than my sinful self.
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« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2011, 05:08:13 PM »

Well, yes and no.  The result is that we wake up and draw closer to God.  But God isn't behind the disaster.  The world and natural laws are.  The idea behind the passage I quoted is that whatever happens, we have to make the best out of them.  To look for reasons why something happened like this I wanted to stress would actually be an insult to the people it happened to.
I can't say what OO Church teaches on that but EO Church definitely does not teach that. The idea God is not behind the disaster is not part of Eastern Orthodox faith. God "who is everywhere and fills everything" is behind everything and anything. The world and natural laws are not spontaneous creations. Almighty is the Creator and Supporter (from instant to instant) of all things visible and invisible. What do you think, was God not behind great flood or destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

P.S. When I believe that the disaster was a consequence of human fall I never mean I'm somehow any better than those people who suffered. I'm sure out of multitude sufferers many of them were much better people in all regards than my sinful self.

Old Testament stories are filled with disasters that are a result of God's punishment on people's wrong-doings, and successes as a result of God's reward on people's righteousness.  In the New Testament, we have righteous people now being persecuted.  Therefore, we don't look for Sodom and Gomorrahs of today, we look for ways where we can live the life of God today.  Christ became crucified and ended this curse of punishment for sins.

Second of all, if you believe this world's disasters and random chaos is a result of the Fall of man, are you saying that the Fall of man is God's doing?

I'm sure many EO's disagree with you.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 05:10:22 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2011, 07:33:26 PM »

“There were some present at that very time who told Him of the Galilaeans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered then, ‘Do you think that these Galilaeans were worse sinners than all the other Galilaeans, because they suffered thus? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwell in Jerusalem? I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13.1-5)
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« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2011, 12:37:24 AM »

Second of all, if you believe this world's disasters and random chaos is a result of the Fall of man, are you saying that the Fall of man is God's doing?
No, I'm not saying that: our fall is our choice based on free will (as long as we have the ability to make choices and we are not suffering from certain diseases affecting our decision-making)

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I'm sure many EO's disagree with you.
I'm sure about that too. But if we all listened to our Saints (departed and living ones) we would all agree on this.

 
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« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2011, 01:07:28 AM »

our fall is our choice based on free will
No it isn't. I wasn't in the Garden of Eden when my first parents disobeyed God, so how could it be my choice to be born into the conditions of the Fall? Even Christ and the Theotokos were born into the conditions of the Fall- was the Fall their choice too?
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« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2011, 01:36:36 AM »

Second of all, if you believe this world's disasters and random chaos is a result of the Fall of man, are you saying that the Fall of man is God's doing?
No, I'm not saying that

But you said:

Quote
EO Church definitely does not teach that. The idea God is not behind the disaster is not part of Eastern Orthodox faith.

Which is it?  Did God cause the tsunami to kill the Japanese, or did the tsunami happen due to a fallen world's laws?  What quotes from Church fathers can you provide?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 01:37:19 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2011, 02:22:46 AM »

our fall is our choice based on free will
No it isn't. I wasn't in the Garden of Eden when my first parents disobeyed God, so how could it be my choice to be born into the conditions of the Fall? Even Christ and the Theotokos were born into the conditions of the Fall- was the Fall their choice too?
If minasoliman meant what you just said, then I concede. I meant different thing. I said we have a choice to go with God or against God. Whether I was born with a fallen state or without it, those types of theological intricacies are of much less importance to me. One of the reason is one can argue endlessly about it and argue in any direction. What I value in Orhtodoxy is the practical way of living (recognizing one's pride, repenting and asking to God forgiveness constantly and so on). In Orthodox practice punishment is not a bad thing at all. Contrary is true. Saints say unfortunate is a man who has sinned but was not punished in this world. Things like this is what counts for me. I know that I would probably feel miserable and complain (maybe even fall in disparate state) if that tragedy happened to me, but I pray to the Lord to give me spiritual strength to go through such a calamity or any kind of personal disaster and then try me.

Glory to God

minasoliman
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EO Church definitely does not teach that. The idea God is not behind the disaster is not part of Eastern Orthodox faith.

Which is it?  Did God cause the tsunami to kill the Japanese, or did the tsunami happen due to a fallen world's laws?  What quotes from Church fathers can you provide?
This question of yours is not consistent. God could be the ultimate cause of the disaster and at the same time He could have brought this disaster because of us sinning, not repenting and blaspheming and so on. Now I want to point one thing as it appears (based on ozgeorge's response to me) we use the world "fall" differently. When I used that word I meant our own sins in this world and not Adam's and Eve's fall.

About quotes, I can quote from one of the Great saint of 20th century (who's not been canonized yet) or great leaving Saint from who's very mouth Holy Spirit has talked. Will you take those quotes?
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« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2011, 08:29:01 AM »

I strongly object NP. We know HOW it happens but we do not know the WHY.

Our planet is alive, that is why.
Not what I'm saying here. We know how this earthquake happened, as you said our planet is alive. That doesn't answer the question as to why. Why an earthquake at that part of Japan? What is the meaning of this quake?

You could say "Stuff happens" but I personally am not satisfied with that answer. I want to explore it, what's it meaning and what is this earthquake saying?
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