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Author Topic: Individual & Collective Defilment Through Weakness of Conscience  (Read 842 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cudgel
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« on: June 01, 2009, 08:48:54 PM »

This principle in St. Paul's writings explains how something could be right for one person (living within one culture/time), wrong for another (living in another culture/time) and yet the goal of action (love of God/neighbor) remain unchanged.

As one who is in the Lord Jesus, *I* am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean." (Romans 14:14)

"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.  But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do. Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Cor. 8:4-7, 9)

This perspective allows us to affirm without hesitation the God-inspired nature of certain canons that may appear quite offensive and/or incredibly outdated to us now.  Because when the Church exists in a society that cannot stomach certain things that freedom in Christ permits them to do, then it must proclaim with St. Paul:

"Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. (Romans 8:13)

Perhaps "meat" here is uncovered women's hair, remarriage of widowed priests, etc.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 08:52:29 PM by Cudgel » Logged
SolEX01
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 09:15:51 PM »

The Orthodox Study Bible does not have the passage you cited for Romans 8:13.  The passage is typed verbatim below:

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you live.

In choosing the way of the Holy Spirit, we put to death sinful passions expressed through our thoughts, words and deeds (Page 1536, Orthodox Study Bible).

However, Romans 8:15 strikes a different tone:

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."

If you want to be a master and enforce uncovered women's hair and remarried widowed Priests, that is surely your prerogative or am I misunderstanding you once again?   Wink
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Cudgel
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2009, 09:21:50 PM »

SolEX01,

I meant 1 Corinthians 8:13.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 09:22:14 PM by Cudgel » Logged
SolEX01
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 09:29:23 PM »

SolEX01,

I meant 1 Corinthians 8:13.

Cool, either correct the original thread or post a correction.   Wink
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Father H
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 09:35:56 PM »


This perspective allows us to affirm without hesitation the God-inspired nature of certain canons that may appear quite offensive and/or incredibly outdated to us now. 

Very good point.  Many people get "stuck" on the canons being guided by the Spirit.  Your example in Scripture shows this, as well as showing that, with regard to such pragmatics, there is still complete essential continuity.  Good post
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 11:02:29 PM »


"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:

Hmmm...I always took that literally.

When my Muslim friend offered me meat of a lamb that was slaughtered for Eid, I did not eat it.
1/3 of the lamb the family keeps, 1/3 goes to friends, 1/3 goes to the poor.

Sounds good, however, it was "sacrificed" to Allah, and therefore, I couldn't bring myself to eat it.

But, who knows...maybe it is a reference to women's "hair".     Wink

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Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2009, 11:12:23 PM »

"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:

Hmmm...I always took that literally.
I believe that St. Paul intended it literally, as it was in the context that the Corinthians were being offered food that had been sacrificed for the pagan festivals that would occur occasionally; some would refuse it on those grounds, and others would eat, knowing that the pagan gods were not real anyway, and more importantly, not wanting to offend their hosts.

However, the principle does apply to other areas. If a similar situation arises, we should deal with it as the Corinthians were instructed to deal with their situation.

I find it especially interesting that this passage is prescribed just before Lent begins.
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"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
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