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Daedelus1138
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« Reply #270 on: May 18, 2011, 10:35:18 PM »

Is it right to blame one's sinfulness and temptations to sin on a disability such as Asperger's syndrome?

  Re-read my post carefully and you will realize I was not trying to justify sin, I was trying to discuss in what sense God creates human beings and their dispositions.

  Avoiding eating chocolate a major spiritual struggle?  Are you serious?     I almost laughed at that one...   
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« Reply #271 on: May 18, 2011, 10:45:38 PM »

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Are you calling neanderthals deformed Homo sapiens?

 No..  I minored in anthropology and know for a fact that there were neanderthals and "cave men" that had broken bones and deformities.    
Oh, I see what you meant.
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« Reply #272 on: May 18, 2011, 10:49:52 PM »

Is it right to blame one's sinfulness and temptations to sin on a disability such as Asperger's syndrome?

  Re-read my post carefully and you will realize I was not trying to justify sin, I was trying to discuss in what sense God creates human beings and their dispositions.

  Avoiding eating chocolate a major spiritual struggle?  Are you serious?     I almost laughed at that one...  

Yes, I am highly addicted to chocolate. I cannot eat it because it causes hives, major stomach upsets, and tachycardia. I also have allergies that can cause anaphylaxis, and chocolate might be one of them if I were to eat it often. For example, grasses, codeine and that family of drugs will cause anaphylaxis. The last time I went to the dentist and had an injection of Novocaine, my throat started to swell and I had to have emergency intervention. Whenever my neighbors cut their lawn, I must stay inside with all the windows closed and in spite of those measures, I have had asthma attacks.

I am living in God's time, and taking one day at a time.

Want to trade afflictions? j/k My cross would be too much for you.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 10:54:28 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #273 on: May 18, 2011, 10:50:30 PM »

You're being intellectually dishonest.  There are dozens of Orthodox bodies in the US, or bodies all claiming to be the Orthodox Church, several with impaired, and not full, communion with each other.  I "choose" one to go to, and you most certainly decided for yourself which was the true church.  Why avoid responsibility?

Huh?  Huh I don't know what this is about. Only one of the "Orthodox Churches" has all four marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

There were deformed neanderthals living in caves, I know that for sure.   We need to keep that in mind.  Adam and eve are mythical stories, time to face up to that.  Our religion must interact with the world of science or we are sticking our heads in the sand and retreating into a spiritual disneyland.

So mankind never fell, is that what you're saying? Mankind never existed in a state of innocense or grace before our present condition? (Notice I'm not arguing for a literal Creationist Garden 6000 years ago, but for a spiritual reality.)

I am not a calvinist no but I would want to believe that God uses my imperfections for greater goods, than simply allowing evil to happen in the world beyond his control.

He allows our imperfections so we can struggle against them, to His glory and our own.

What you are suggesting is that I somehow deny that God isn't providentially caring for the world, but is instead "just letting things happen" beyond his control.

Is that how it worked with Job? God lets these things happen so we can overcome them. We aren't born into some pure, floaty, happy state. Ancestral sin took that away from us. So now we have to work hard to get back to that state, and beyond. God will help us, but we have to cooperate with Him.

The God you are talking about that just lets evil enter the world against his will, is not a God I can worship.

It was not God's will that man would fall. But we are able to rebel against his will. God gave us the freedom to choose. If you want a God who forces us to be robots, then you will have to look elsewhere, I guess. This belief in man's freedom is shared by pretty much all Christians, Orthodox or not.

I am a person with asperger's and disabilities, its part of who I am.   You are basicly saying God didn't create significant aspects of who I am?  I'm confused.  I'm in the process of being made every moment of my life by thigs that happen, good or bad.  I may not like the bad things but they ultimately create who I am.  It is nihilistic for me to not accept the bad with the good.

God did not create your disabilities, he allowed them. He wants you to overcome whatever issues or passions they may cause in you, because it will cause you to grow in holiness and bring you closer to union with him. It will also be a testament to others of God's power working in your life.

God does not abandon us. He loves us enough to become one of us and die for us. He wants us to be perfect, and he has given us guides to help us travel down that narrow road to salvation. But we have to first let go of all the burdens we hang on to. He cannot do it for us. He cannot perfect us unless we want to be perfect and cooperate with him.

Have you ever read Pilgrim's Progress? That book explains it very well. Salvation is a journey—a long and difficult journey. But the more of our sin and junk that we throw off, the easier the journey becomes. But again, if we hang onto our sins for dear life, then we will get bogged down, tired out, and eventually die. God doesn't want that for us.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 10:54:59 PM by bogdan » Logged
Daedelus1138
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« Reply #274 on: May 18, 2011, 10:52:12 PM »

So what did your Priest say about all of this?

  I'm going to try to meet with him and we will talk about some of these issues.  I've been told by my therapist i need to be asking these questions to somebody that can be a spiritual mentor who also has alot of intellectual capability.  I think my priest isn't equipped to answer some of them adequately, and am careful not to want to burden him too much.
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Maria
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« Reply #275 on: May 18, 2011, 10:58:35 PM »

So what did your Priest say about all of this?

  I'm going to try to meet with him and we will talk about some of these issues.  I've been told by my therapist i need to be asking these questions to somebody that can be a spiritual mentor who also has alot of intellectual capability.  I think my priest isn't equipped to answer some of them adequately, and am careful not to want to burden him too much.

Priests usually have their Masters in Divinity or perhaps even two Master's degrees. Some even have a Ph.D or Doctor in Theology.
Many posters here also have their Masters or Doctorate. I studied Asperger's Syndrome while working for my Master's degree.

If you approach your priest like he is an idiot, that approach will go over like a lead balloon.

Please do some role playing with your therapist before seeing your priest. That might help.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:00:18 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #276 on: May 18, 2011, 11:34:50 PM »

Quote
 I think my priest isn't equipped to answer some of them adequately, and am careful not to want to burden him too much.
Let me translate this quote for everyone:
Quote
I don't want to talk to my priest about this because he will tell me exactly what I don't want to hear, and absolutely refuse to accept. The TRUTH!
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Daedelus1138
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« Reply #277 on: May 18, 2011, 11:38:28 PM »

Huh?  Huh I don't know what this is about. Only one of the "Orthodox Churches" has all four marks of the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.  

  Well, they can't agree they are one.  If they are one, it is in a spiritual sense, not an organic, institutional sense.  And who is to say the Lutherans and Anglicans are'nt also one then?  You'ld think with all the doctrinal similarities would make unification obvious... if it were not for sin being present in their members.  And that's my point exactly, the Church is full of imperfect sinners, why would it be greater than its members?  I'm not a metaphysical Platonist.  the Church being the body of Christ is true but at the same time it doesn't mean that the Church perfectly incarnates Christ into the world in every way.  Certainly not enough for me to shut off my critical thinking and just accept some authority.

So mankind never fell, is that what you're saying? Mankind never existed in a state of perfection or grace before our present condition? (Notice I'm not arguing for a literal Creationist Garden 6000 years ago, but for a spiritual reality.)  
 
  If that is required to be believed as a Christian, then I don't want to be one.  I don't think beeing a follower of Jesus Christ requires me to take any stand on human origins contrary to science.

  No, I don't think a human man and a woman literally were living in idealic existence and then the universe went to helll because they ate a fruit, with death somehow being imposed upon our world due to the actions of the first humans.   Not at all.  I think as evolution shows, death has been there for a long, long time.  I don't think understanding Jesus Christ necessarily has to involve a literal Adam and Eve who fell from grace with God imposing a real curse on the world. I think its more like, Jesus Christ's resurrection shows that death is a new beginning not a final end (perhaps this is a more western than eastern understanding).  St. Paul seems to hint at this, when he talks about the body planted in corruption like a seed giving birth to incorruption.  Rather than death being an end, its more like a metamorphosis.  "We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having human experiences"-  Fr. Pierre Teillhard de Chardin's words sum it up I think.   I also think Jesus resurrection is a victory over political power and corrupt religion and is God rebuking these things, and by extension it is an attack on the ambition, greed, and pride that motivates them (sexuality is just a very minor part of what I see as "sin" in the world)- God showing us what true humanity and divinity is, because the power that raised Jesus from the dead is love, and that is what God ultimately is.

  I'm open to hearing other perspectives how science reconciles with faith but that is my own understanding.

Quote
I am not a calvinist no but I would want to believe that God uses my imperfections for greater goods, than simply allowing evil to happen in the world beyond his control.

He allows our imperfections so we can struggle against them, to His glory and our own.  

 I  don't believe so, I think that God allows diversity into the world because if we were all the same it would be very boring and ugly- God doesn't create according to a single pattern or ideal and the world falls away from that ideal.  He allows some things into the world we perceive as unfortunate or ugly because ultimately greater good comes from them.  There is nothing to "struggle against" in the case of asperger's, just something to accept and a challenge for other people to see the image of God in people who have this.   Extreme asceticism is misguided in this perspective, bcause the real asceticism is acceptance, accepting ourselves and other people as God made them to be.  I agree we are all in a process of growth in life but life is not meant to be marked only by denial or rejection of life.  Its finding the strength to change the things in us we can that we don't like, accepting the things we cannot change that we dislike and finding the wisdom to distinguish the two.   That is Reinhold Neihbhur's famous prayer but its been echoed by pople like Albert Ellis (who was an agnostic until he died recently), etc.   In short what Jesus is teaching in the heart of the Gospel is wisdom over arbitrary rules, where ever we are at in life, God has something to say to us.  Loving relationships change us, not rules imposed by people that cannot know you.  God doesn't have problems working with the worst sinners and bringing good out of evil, that's people who have the moralistic objections, the same people who think that either God must punish somebody or somehow God cannot save everybody.

Quote
God did not create your disabilities, he allowed them. He wants you to overcome whatever issues or passions they may cause in you  

  allow, create what's the difference? It did not happen against his will.  Certain things about myself, i may want to struggle against if I want to have certain goals in life, but honestly I don't think God's purposes for me are defeated by my choices.  Self-acceptance is very important to me, you do not have the right to take that away from me, just when i'm struggling to find it finally.  My life as it is, disabilities and all, is something I am struggling to accept as having beauty, and here you come and tell me, "no, you have to struggle against it, to measure up to some kind of ideal, be like something else".  Why?  
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:40:29 PM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
Daedelus1138
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« Reply #278 on: May 18, 2011, 11:49:24 PM »

Priests usually have their Masters in Divinity or perhaps even two Master's degrees. Some even have a Ph.D or Doctor in Theology.
Many posters here also have their Masters or Doctorate. I studied Asperger's Syndrome while working for my Master's degree.

If you approach your priest like he is an idiot, that approach will go over like a lead balloon.

 I do not treat my priest with disrespect and he is somebody i personally respect alot.  He is a very sincere person and his heart is in the right place.  Even if I'm not sure we agree always, I do not view him as an idiot.  Please understand though I've stumped some people with masters degrees before with my questions, and I have a deep interest in the past in philosophy and interests in science.

 And FWIW I do not need to roleplay.  For somebody with Asperger's I have decent social skills and empathy, i get along socially OK in these encounters.  I  just find socializing draining and I have sensory integration issues, and of course it has left me with painful memories of being bullied and rejected, and facing alot of grief. 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 11:52:56 PM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
Maria
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« Reply #279 on: May 19, 2011, 12:05:23 AM »

Priests usually have their Masters in Divinity or perhaps even two Master's degrees. Some even have a Ph.D or Doctor in Theology.
Many posters here also have their Masters or Doctorate. I studied Asperger's Syndrome while working for my Master's degree.

If you approach your priest like he is an idiot, that approach will go over like a lead balloon.

 I do not treat my priest with disrespect and he is somebody i personally respect alot.  He is a very sincere person and his heart is in the right place.  Even if I'm not sure we agree always, I do not view him as an idiot.  Please understand though I've stumped some people with masters degrees before with my questions, and I have a deep interest in the past in philosophy and interests in science.

Thanks for sharing that information. Yes, many with Asperger's Syndrome are highly intelligent, have doctorate degrees, and even teach at the collegiate level. One person with AS owns a successful body shop here in the valley. Although he has a doctorate in physics, he would rather work with cars than teach in a classroom. He has good social skills when dealing with his customers. It is just painful for him to be in front of students as he was previously ridiculed and rejected while he was a student.

Quote
And FWIW I do not need to roleplay.  For somebody with Asperger's I have decent social skills and empathy, i get along socially OK in these encounters.  I  just find socializing draining and I have sensory integration issues, and of course it has left me with painful memories of being bullied and rejected, and facing alot of grief.  

I hope the therapist has helped you with your grief and feelings of being rejected.

Furthermore, I hope you can accept that God does love you, and wants you to grow in theosis, but this takes a lot of self-denial and spiritual war fare. Yes, we are engaged in a spiritual battle that will take all our energy, and will last the rest of our lives. We must struggle until the day we die, but we will gain the crown of victory. It will be worth all the effort and energy we can muster.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 12:07:14 AM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #280 on: May 19, 2011, 12:41:31 AM »

 No, I don't think a human man and a woman literally were living in idealic existence and then the universe went to helll because they ate a fruit, with death somehow being imposed upon our world due to the actions of the first humans.   Not at all.  I think as evolution shows, death has been there for a long, long time.  I don't think understanding Jesus Christ necessarily has to involve a literal Adam and Eve who fell from grace with God imposing a real curse on the world.
The strawman you just attacked is not the Orthodox position on the Fall.
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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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Daedelus1138
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« Reply #281 on: May 19, 2011, 12:57:34 AM »

Thanks for sharing that information. Yes, many with Asperger's Syndrome are highly intelligent, have doctorate degrees, and even teach at the collegiate level.

  I have a high IQ but last time I worked I was a teenager I cannot get hired by anybody when i have tried.  I do not have an advanced degree at all I only have a 2 year degree, my knowledge is self-taught.

   At this point in my life sometimes I just want to be alone, being around people trying to feel normal is sometimes imposible now, even going to church and trying to be part of a community like that is a burden  (I am thinking of asking my priest what can be done- if i want to be accepted into the church but don't want to attend often, just pray at home?).  I struggle with ugly things, the ugliest things in my life have nothing to do with sex, they have everything to do with being hurt by people who didn't understand me, and a desire in turn not to live a good life at all, but to become bent on dstruction and anger/justice. I don't need a religion to tell me that's wrong, it is painful enough in my exprience to dwel in that.   

  If anything I think I have a tendency to be a "calvinist", I believe people are basicly totally depraved, seriously. I  do not think the human being is a naturally good creature, its only when we face our ugliness in the mirror we are redeemable.  Many people won't ever do that, so I don't think human beings are good.

Quote
I hope the therapist has helped you with your grief and feelings of being rejected.  

   Well, it starts with self-acceptance and for my therapist it has been alot of cautions about religion, she doesn't understand why I am religious, most people with asperger's are irreligious, and she doesn't agree being gay is immoral or wrong.   The only reason i returned to church was because I like the Lenten season and I was hoping to approach my priest again trying for a new start and so far it has worked, we agreed to try a different tone dealing with each other, I was scared in the past because I came out as bisexual around the same time I was dealing with a whole lot of other issues.

Quote
Furthermore, I hope you can accept that God does love you, and wants you to grow in theosis, but this takes a lot of self-denial and spiritual war fare.

  I don't even know what self-denial means at this point.  If it means not accepting myself the way I am, I can't do that, my therapist has been pushing me to just accept myself and other people, "radical acceptance" as she calls it.  Its so hard, esp. when somebody like me wants things to be different than the way they are so badly.   Spiritual warfare makes sense I try to pray now when i am overwhelmed with stuff.  It does help sometimes.  For many months I did not pray at all because I figured God didn't want to hear from me I had rejected the church and all, but then i started to pray once and a while again, and finally a friend asked me to pray for them and I had a prayer answered, I prayed for a friend who had a gravely ill sister and it surprised me because I am basicly lving outside the church, so I started to think maybe this is a wrong idea about God.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 12:59:45 AM by Daedelus1138 » Logged
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« Reply #282 on: May 19, 2011, 01:09:37 AM »

The strawman you just attacked is not the Orthodox position on the Fall.

 What is it?  I wish my priest spent alot more time talking about the Orthodox view of the fall and things like that during my catechumen classes but he did not.  My understanding is that its basicly the same as western christianity except you do not view human beings as having guilt imputed through Adam's disobedience?

  From my reading of Augustine, I believe he said that doctrines in Christianity should not be such that they conflicte with science to hold up the faith to ridicule.  In his scheme of how the Creation worked, it was entirely possible that Adam was a mortal.    If we make the teleology and purpose of things totally inaccesible to science, then we are no longer talking about real people that live in a physical world with evolutionary impulses, we are talking about unreal ideals being imposed over the real world... why not just accept the world as it is and say "our religious impulse and  desires are disordered, we need to conform our desires and religious impulses to the way the world actually is, according to the best scientific understanding we have?"  why impose these unreal ideals on it?  In which case Christianity doesn't bring clarity to our condition, it brings obscurantism.
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« Reply #283 on: May 19, 2011, 01:13:51 AM »

 I don't even know what self-denial means at this point.  If it means not accepting myself the way I am, I can't do that, my therapist has been pushing me to just accept myself and other people, "radical acceptance" as she calls it.  Its so hard, esp. when somebody like me wants things to be different than the way they are so badly.   Spiritual warfare makes sense I try to pray now when i am overwhelmed with stuff.  It does help sometimes.  For many months I did not pray at all because I figured God didn't want to hear from me I had rejected the church and all, but then i started to pray once and a while again, and finally a friend asked me to pray for them and I had a prayer answered, I prayed for a friend who had a gravely ill sister and it surprised me because I am basicly lving outside the church, so I started to think maybe this is a wrong idea about God.
You bear the image of God. Nobody would ask you to reject who you really are.

Self-denial means dening passions-- that is, fallen sufferings. Greed, obsession, selfishness. Your emotions and feelings aren't bad just because they can be misused as passions, you shouldn't interpret the teaching that way.

I think Christianity takes a radical self-acceptance. You have to accept where you are, no matter where that is. That's a major part of humility; accepting that you are where you are, you've done what you've done, and you've arrived at whatever state you've arrived at.

Where you go from there is Theosis.
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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.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #284 on: May 19, 2011, 01:23:25 AM »

From my reading of Augustine, I believe he said that doctrines in Christianity should not be such that they conflicte with science to hold up the faith to ridicule.
I know what you're referring to. At his time, there were some Gnostics who were attempting to project a specific out-dated Greek cosmology onto the Christian worldview and history. Everyone knew it was bad science, and so it made Christians look quite bad. Things like Creation Science, Intelligent Design, the "vapor canopy", and other Protestant junk science do the same thing today.

By contrast, Orthodoxy is not saying that we must create junk science systems to defend the Fall. Orthodoxy is stating a truth: Man is in a state of disobedience to God, and is corrupted. Christ came to save us from that corruption. So let us think; on one hand, we have human evolution, the old earth, the accretion disk, and all that modern science has shown us; These things are True. And for us who have met Christ and believe that He has saved us from corruption and death, Orthodoxy's truth is also true.

So, we have two Truths. Science and Christian Revelation. Daedelus, you don't know exactly how to reconcile the two at their cores, do you? Do you reject Quantum Physics or Newtonian Physics because we don't yet understand why they contradict sometimes? No. It is perfectly scientific to accept apparently contradictory Truths if you have reason to believe in both of them, and simply have not yet discovered how to reconcile the two.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 01:30:04 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.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #285 on: May 19, 2011, 01:28:52 AM »

I wish my priest spent alot more time talking about the Orthodox view of the fall and things like that during my catechumen classes but he did not.  My understanding is that its basicly the same as western christianity except you do not view human beings as having guilt imputed through Adam's disobedience?
The entire notion of what Death is may be different than how you understand it. To the Fathers, Death was not merely the termination of biological processes. Death was an ontological corruption that affected all parts of Humanity, darkening the perception of the Nous. Thus, you could be physically "alive" but Dead, as St. Paul says, "Dead in your sins."

That is why St. Irenaeus believed that God allows us to experience physical death because of his Mercy, not his Judgment. The Fall is seen as the corruption of the created, by the created; free agents, both human and non-human, turning away from the source of Life. God allows us the freedom to love him, he doesn't deterministically and fatalistically force all things to happen the way they do. If that were the case, creation would be "sound and fury, signifying nothing" as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth.

And Adam and Eve didn't Fall just because they broke a rule. They Fell because they kinked their IV's, so to speak.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 01:31:51 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.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #286 on: May 19, 2011, 03:18:21 AM »

The entire notion of what Death is may be different than how you understand it. To the Fathers, Death was not merely the termination of biological processes. Death was an ontological corruption that affected all parts of Humanity, darkening the perception of the Nous. Thus, you could be physically "alive" but Dead, as St. Paul says, "Dead in your sins."  

  That's not entirely differnt, no.  Most western Christians talk about "spiritual death" as "seperation from God".

Quote
That is why St. Irenaeus believed that God allows us to experience physical death because of his Mercy, not his Judgment. The Fall is seen as the corruption of the created, by the created; free agents, both human and non-human, turning away from the source of Life. God allows us the freedom to love him, he doesn't deterministically and fatalistically force all things to happen the way they do. If that were the case, creation would be "sound and fury, signifying nothing" as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth.  

  Wel, you ask earlier  Ithink if i was a Calvinist.  No, I have not.  I practiced Buddhism for several years, then returned to dabled in the Episcopalian/Anglican world.  I have studied some Stoicism however and it seems to me a good philosophy to explain some things in the world.  Both Buddhism and Stoicism do not believe libertarian free will is real, neither one is focused on human responsibility, instead both emphasize understanding the reasons and motivations for behavior and this will lead to compassion rather than a desire to blame or judge.

   I understand Orthodoxy has this concept of the passions but its very different in some ways from Stoicism (BTW, the founder of Stoicism, Zeno, was basicly in modern terms gay).  In Stoicism the passions are not thought of at all moralisticly- Stoicism is not a  guide to how one "should" live in an absolute sense, its merely a guide to human happiness/inner peace (eudaimonia).  It was practice by people that had no desire to give up a worldly life or renounce the world.  "Self help" is more apt.   One thing that stuck with me,  I guess, is a desire to see everything that happens as working towards an ultimate good, this is essentially what Stoicism says, everything that happens is being directed by the Logos, Reason, to a good end providentially.  And as Marcus Aurelius says, since nobody willing chooses to do evil except out of ignorance, its foolish to hold their bad behavior against them.  And at any rate, aspects of this philosophy have influenced me alot, particularly thinking about good and bad as illusory labels and the importance of trying to have understanding and compassion rather than judgementalism.    Carl Rogers' and Albert Ellis' views of human nature seem rather similar - human freedom isn't that important, people are basicly good or at least, igonrant of goodness and blaming them is counterproductive   I realize though these ideas sound cotradictory with Christianity so at some point I'll have to really let one view become part of me and discard the other. I guess I feel the Christian community is prone to being judgemental, the Christian worldview requires blame to fall some place, if we insist that humans have freedom and are responsible for their behavior and there's this idea that the world isn't really as it is suppossed to be, that there's not this providence in control of it that is good (you seem to be suggesting that?).  Maybe its an error in the worldview, or an error in my understanding.

  BTW, people with Asperger's tend to prefer mechanistic thinking if possible, maybe that's why I like Stoicism or Buddhism's view of human motivation/will and i'm not uncomfortable with the idea of predestination/fate.  "Choice" is problematic because rarely do I feel my choices are at all free, usually i feel presusred by many things at once.  I've gone through periods in my life where I do not at all identify a "chooser" making choices, just as observing watching things unfolding.
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« Reply #287 on: May 19, 2011, 03:45:56 AM »

there's this idea that the world isn't really as it is suppossed to be, that there's not this providence in control of it that is good (you seem to be suggesting that?).  Maybe its an error in the worldview, or an error in my understanding.
God is in control of everything, but does not force everything. God allows us creatures to have the freedom to love him by allowing us a certain degree of freedom.

So you want God to fatalistically decide your choices for you? Well, I can see how that's quite a safe of perceiving things.

I've shared a lot of your ideas in the past. I used to be a philosophical Taoist. I've read some of the Meditations.

 BTW, people with Asperger's tend to prefer mechanistic thinking if possible, maybe that's why I like Stoicism or Buddhism's view of human motivation/will and i'm not uncomfortable with the idea of predestination/fate.  "Choice" is problematic because rarely do I feel my choices are at all free, usually i feel presusred by many things at once.  I've gone through periods in my life where I do not at all identify a "chooser" making choices, just as observing watching things unfolding.

What sect of Buddhism were you part of?

If you cannot identify a "chooser" then you are either identifying another free agent or choosing not to choose, which is itself a choice.  Wink

Is there is a lot of pressure from the Aspergers community to view the syndrome as a self-identification?
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« Reply #288 on: May 19, 2011, 03:52:35 AM »

 That's not entirely differnt, no.  Most western Christians talk about "spiritual death" as "seperation from God".
But in Western Christianity, Sin causes Death. In Eastern Christianity, Death causes Sin.
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« Reply #289 on: May 19, 2011, 09:43:24 AM »

Well, they can't agree they are one.  If they are one, it is in a spiritual sense, not an organic, institutional sense.  And who is to say the Lutherans and Anglicans are'nt also one then?  You'ld think with all the doctrinal similarities would make unification obvious... if it were not for sin being present in their members.

Oneness is defined by physical communion, nothing less. How can those who do not share communion possibly be part of the same Body? The Church is a physical organism, not a mental construct.

And that's my point exactly, the Church is full of imperfect sinners, why would it be greater than its members?

Because it's the Body of Christ, not merely some human organization.

the Church being the body of Christ is true but at the same time it doesn't mean that the Church perfectly incarnates Christ into the world in every way.  Certainly not enough for me to shut off my critical thinking and just accept some authority.

The Incarnation requires that the Church be a physical organism. As does the Creed, which says the Church is One. The Nicene Fathers meant it was One physically, not conceptually. You can't change the meaning of the Creed.

I'm open to hearing other perspectives how science reconciles with faith but that is my own understanding.

The discussion about the Fall is worthy but I really think it deserves its own thread so it can be focused on better.

I  don't believe so, I think that God allows diversity into the world because if we were all the same it would be very boring and ugly- God doesn't create according to a single pattern or ideal and the world falls away from that ideal.

He doesn't, but sinful tendencies don't count as "diversity".

He allows some things into the world we perceive as unfortunate or ugly because ultimately greater good comes from them.

Yes. Fighting against the ugly things helps us towards salvation.

There is nothing to "struggle against" in the case of asperger's, just something to accept and a challenge for other people to see the image of God in people who have this.

I agree with this. (I was speaking to SSA with those comments.)

Extreme asceticism is misguided in this perspective, bcause the real asceticism is acceptance, accepting ourselves and other people as God made them to be.

It depends. In the case of asperger's, that may very well be true. And in fact, Orthodoxy does not teach that the inclination towards SSA is itself sinful. That, like asperger's, or an addictive nature, is a product of our fallen humanity. But to lust after fellow men, or to do sexual activities with them, would be sinful.

But I would also say that asceticism is a main cornerstone of Orthodox theology and praxis. The exact formula is different for each person, but we do not believe we are saved by simply living however we want and feeding every hunger that we have.

God doesn't have problems working with the worst sinners and bringing good out of evil, that's people who have the moralistic objections, the same people who think that either God must punish somebody or somehow God cannot save everybody.

I never said anything to the contrary.

The rules are not arbitrary. They are signposts directing us toward God. They are the proven roadmap to salvation, proven by millions and millions of saints. On the other hand, we do not have a single saint who reached salvation by giving in to their passions and doing it their own way.

God can bring good out of evil. God can save an evil person who does evil things and repents. But someone who wants to remain evil will not be saved, because God will not save someone who doesn't want to be saved—he's not a tyrant, after all.

I don't think God's purposes for me are defeated by my choices.

They are. If you give God nothing to work with, then nothing will change. Orthodoxy believes in Synergy. We cannot do it ourselves, and God does not do it himself. We must work in concert with God.

Self-acceptance is very important to me, you do not have the right to take that away from me, just when i'm struggling to find it finally.

We indeed must accept ourselves. But we cannot accept our sinful tendencies. You are painting with far too wide a brush. Not everything that comes naturally is good, or from God.

To save your life, you have to lose it. That is what Christ said. That means you cannot be saved if you hang on to everything and give God no room to work.

My life as it is, disabilities and all, is something I am struggling to accept as having beauty, and here you come and tell me, "no, you have to struggle against it, to measure up to some kind of ideal, be like something else".  Why?   

Nobody ever said your life wasn't beautiful. You do not have to struggle against what is good or morally neutral (such as a disability). But we do have to struggle against sinful tendencies, and same-sex attraction and extramarital sex are examples of that.

A disability is morally neutral, but it can give rise to sinful tendencies, and those must be struggled against.

We measure ourselves against Christ because He told us to be perfect. We measure ourselves against the Saints because they reached salvation. So we know they reached the destination.

Why would anyone, traveling through a thick forest, wander off the road without a map? (I actually did this once. I was lost in a swamp for an entire day. It was hellish and frightening.) The Saints have already cut a clear path through the brush, and so that is the path we travel, because it is sure.
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« Reply #290 on: May 19, 2011, 01:47:49 PM »

So you want God to fatalistically decide your choices for you? Well, I can see how that's quite a safe of perceiving things.   

   I think sometimes I am aware of this feeling of choice but it doesn't mean my choice is a free one.

Quote
What sect of Buddhism were you part of? 

  Humanistic Buddhism, the lineage of Thitch Nhat Hanh.  I also read and studied some Tibetan Buddhism.

Quote
  Is there is a lot of pressure from the Aspergers community to view the syndrome as a self-identification? 

     Yes,  I am not as extreme as some, some people do not regard it as a disability at all, do not want any kind of treatment, and view it purely as a civil rights issue.     I self-identify because frankly it would be wrong of me not to do so, its an issue that is in need of justice.
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« Reply #291 on: May 19, 2011, 06:38:24 PM »

  Humanistic Buddhism, the lineage of Thitch Nhat Hanh.  I also read and studied some Tibetan Buddhism.
Interesting. Last summer I went through Tibet and saw many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries; some scholars believe their mural tradition was influenced by the Church of the East, and I must say after seeing many buddhas and boddhisatvas and "protector god" paintings, it's very possible.

I think sometimes I am aware of this feeling of choice but it doesn't mean my choice is a free one.
Well, there's a difference between a choice free from compulsion and a choice free from influence. We certainly don't have the latter.

Yes,  I am not as extreme as some, some people do not regard it as a disability at all, do not want any kind of treatment, and view it purely as a civil rights issue. I self-identify because frankly it would be wrong of me not to do so, its an issue that is in need of justice.
What kind of justice?
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« Reply #292 on: May 19, 2011, 09:06:40 PM »

Interesting. Last summer I went through Tibet and saw many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries; some scholars believe their mural tradition was influenced by the Church of the East, and I must say after seeing many buddhas and boddhisatvas and "protector god" paintings, it's very possible.  

   Tibetan thangka painting is similar to iconography.  I have also seen Taoist art that is in a similar style.  I think this is due more to the reality that many peoples at one time emphasized representational art over realism.  I have some east Asian Buddhist art that is more modern and this style is a combination of traditional Asian representationalism with modern realism (I have one print whose original is from a hospital in Taiwan, intentionally meant to look similar to Catholic depictions of the Mother of God).   I never got into statuary, just had a picture, a votive light, incense and a gong bowl.

  Thitch Nhat Hanh's tradition is part of humanistic buddhism, its widespread in east Asia.  Its not very moralistic at all, people wre suppossed to live by certain moral precepts but they were not defined in an absolute way, it was expected people would think for themselves alot and be reponsible for their choices.  Lots of people in my group were recovering alcoholics or dealing with anger.  There was some ritual (mostly bowing and dedication of merit), once in a while one of the older women in the group would sing gathas (hymns).   I really did love the Buddha and the Dharma, but after a while I started to feel that I was not being authentic to my culture and myself, because deep down I had trouble internalizing the mythos of the Buddhist world.  I grew up with Christian myths, not Buddhist ones.

Quote
Yes,  I am not as extreme as some, some people do not regard it as a disability at all, do not want any kind of treatment, and view it purely as a civil rights issue. I self-identify because frankly it would be wrong of me not to do so, its an issue that is in need of justice.
What kind of justice?

     In school children with Asperger's experience ever more bullying and ostracism than gays.   A widely quoted figure is around 90 percent in fact, experiuncing some form of bullying.  Depression is common in Asperger's as well, many believe its due to the rejection and bulying almost all people with Asperger's face.  There's little inherent in Asperger's itself that should lead to the higher rates of depression- its possible but rare to grow up with Asperger's and not be depressed, especially with the right support structure around the individual.  It is not just a matter of Asperger's being a disabiility, its also a civil rights issue. The current chair of the President's Council on Disabilities, Ari Ne'eman, who himself has asperger's, agrees.
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« Reply #293 on: May 20, 2011, 02:22:59 AM »

I really did love the Buddha and the Dharma, but after a while I started to feel that I was not being authentic to my culture and myself, because deep down I had trouble internalizing the mythos of the Buddhist world.  I grew up with Christian myths, not Buddhist ones.
Ever heard of this before? The scholarship's a bit shakey, but it's intriguing:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1436370/posts

    In school children with Asperger's experience ever more bullying and ostracism than gays.   A widely quoted figure is around 90 percent in fact, experiuncing some form of bullying.  Depression is common in Asperger's as well, many believe its due to the rejection and bulying almost all people with Asperger's face.  There's little inherent in Asperger's itself that should lead to the higher rates of depression- its possible but rare to grow up with Asperger's and not be depressed, especially with the right support structure around the individual.  It is not just a matter of Asperger's being a disabiility, its also a civil rights issue. The current chair of the President's Council on Disabilities, Ari Ne'eman, who himself has asperger's, agrees.
From what I recall in my high-school days, Aspergers kids were often ignored or ostracized rather than directly bullied; but that's really a form of passive bullying anyway. I certainly hope things improve.
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« Reply #294 on: May 20, 2011, 02:31:12 AM »

Daedelus,

Much respect for hanging in there with some good, sincere questions. And respect for those sincerely answering them.
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« Reply #295 on: May 20, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »

I really did love the Buddha and the Dharma, but after a while I started to feel that I was not being authentic to my culture and myself, because deep down I had trouble internalizing the mythos of the Buddhist world.  I grew up with Christian myths, not Buddhist ones.
Ever heard of this before? The scholarship's a bit shakey, but it's intriguing:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1436370/posts

    In school children with Asperger's experience ever more bullying and ostracism than gays.   A widely quoted figure is around 90 percent in fact, experiuncing some form of bullying.  Depression is common in Asperger's as well, many believe its due to the rejection and bulying almost all people with Asperger's face.  There's little inherent in Asperger's itself that should lead to the higher rates of depression- its possible but rare to grow up with Asperger's and not be depressed, especially with the right support structure around the individual.  It is not just a matter of Asperger's being a disabiility, its also a civil rights issue. The current chair of the President's Council on Disabilities, Ari Ne'eman, who himself has asperger's, agrees.
From what I recall in my high-school days, Aspergers kids were often ignored or ostracized rather than directly bullied; but that's really a form of passive bullying anyway. I certainly hope things improve.

I remember being bullied when I was in the fifth grade. The wise teacher nipped this in the bud and kept both of us in detention with permission of our parents. The teacher had both of us talking and kept up the dialogue until the situation was resolved. That red headed girl and I became best friends because we had a lot in common. Yes, my hair was a beautiful reddish brown at that time.
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« Reply #296 on: May 20, 2011, 02:45:45 PM »

Oneness is defined by physical communion, nothing less. How can those who do not share communion possibly be part of the same Body? The Church is a physical organism, not a mental construct.

  We should start a new thread on this topic, but in my brief research, there are multiple ecclessiologies within the tradition of the Orthodox Church.   Your view may be dominant, but it how does it interact with views that say the Church has existed since the beginning of time, or that the Church is defined primarily by the presence of certain sacraments properly administered (St. Augustine's view- the power of the Church in his mind extends beyond those that are strictly orthodox in physical communion), views closer to what some Protestants believe about the nature of the Church?

Quote
The Incarnation requires that the Church be a physical organism. As does the Creed, which says the Church is One. The Nicene Fathers meant it was One physically, not conceptually. You can't change the meaning of the Creed.  

 I don't understanding why you emphasize the physicality against the conceptualization.

Quote
And in fact, Orthodoxy does not teach that the inclination towards SSA is itself sinful. That, like asperger's, or an addictive nature, is a product of our fallen humanity....  

 This is not specific to SSA but I think a certain amount of "lust" is normal in life.  Wheather or not the Church calls it a sin.  Being heavy-handed and obsessive about this issue leads to unneeded scrupulosity and is psychologically damaging.  The fact is its normal to feel "lust" at a certain age.  If there were no lust, nobody would procreate.

Quote
 But I would also say that asceticism is a main cornerstone of Orthodox theology and praxis. The exact formula is different for each person, but we do not believe we are saved by simply living however we want and feeding every hunger that we have.  

 I believe this is true also, while I question alot of the traditional understanding of homosexuality and same-sex attraction in the Christian tradition, when dealing with some people who are "gay-affirming" and Christian, I sometimes feel they do not respect this aspect of the tradition.  

Quote
 The rules are not arbitrary. They are signposts directing us toward God. They are the proven roadmap to salvation, proven by millions and millions of saints. On the other hand, we do not have a single saint who reached salvation by giving in to their passions and doing it their own way.

  There aren't many married saints either in Orthodoxy.  I don't see how that proves wheather being openly gay or not, in itself, is good or bad in terms of ones final salvation.

 I'm wary of putting saints on too high a pedestal to the point a saint's works are emphasized at the expense of God's grace.  In Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats, religious works are what the goats boast about, but the Lord looks at the sheep's corporal works of mercy... these are within the power of anybody to do.  I simply don't see why Christianity should be dominated only by the opinions of monastics, concerning what holiness should look like.   I respect monasticism for those who feel called to it but simply being a monastic makes one no better than anybody else ultimately.  

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God can bring good out of evil. God can save an evil person who does evil things and repents. But someone who wants to remain evil will not be saved, because God will not save someone who doesn't want to be saved—he's not a tyrant, after all.  

    The trouble is when other people go about judging another person's repentence by looking at how they live, ignoring their innate dispositions.  

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We indeed must accept ourselves. But we cannot accept our sinful tendencies. You are painting with far too wide a brush. Not everything that comes naturally is good, or from God.

  "Hate the sin love the sinner" simply doesn't work.  You can't seperate what people do from what they are.  This doesn't deny that people can grow, but it does mean that how we view their behavior is a statement about how we view them as a person.


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« Reply #297 on: May 20, 2011, 03:03:37 PM »

The trouble is when other people go about judging another person's repentence by looking at how they live, ignoring their innate dispositions.  
Period.

 There aren't many married saints either in Orthodoxy.  I don't see how that proves wheather being openly gay or not, in itself, is good or bad in terms of ones final salvation.

 I'm wary of putting saints on too high a pedestal to the point a saint's works are emphasized at the expense of God's grace.  In Jesus' parable of the sheep and the goats, religious works are what the goats boast about, but the Lord looks at the sheep's corporal works of mercy... these are within the power of anybody to do.  I simply don't see why Christianity should be dominated only by the opinions of monastics, concerning what holiness should look like.   I respect monasticism for those who feel called to it but simply being a monastic makes one no better than anybody else ultimately.  
There are quite a few married saints or widow/er saints. Nobody's saying that monastics are better than everyone else.

Plus, saints are not venerated at the expense of God's grace. In fact, it's the exact opposite.
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« Reply #298 on: May 20, 2011, 03:19:54 PM »

Ever heard of this before? The scholarship's a bit shakey, but it's intriguing:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1436370/posts

 

  Yes,  it seems fairly clear that Christians adopted an Arab story that is about the Buddha's life.  I don't think the scholarship is shakey at all.

   Another area where Christianity and Buddhism may have traded ideas- in East Asia the Bodhisattva of compassion,Avalokiteshvara, is portrayed as a woman, but in the original sutras from India he is male (his name means "the one who listens (to the world)".  Some scholars speculate this change of gender was due to the spread of Christianity to China in the early medieval period.  I think this is more speculative than concluding that St. Josaphat is drawn from the historical Siddartha Gauthama.

From what I recall in my high-school days, Aspergers kids were often ignored or ostracized rather than directly bullied; but that's really a form of passive bullying anyway. I certainly hope things improve.

 I knew nobody else with asperger's so I really cannot compare myself to others.  I didn't even know what I "had", I knew in a vague way I was different from other people, though.    I was not physically bullied alot but, with Asperger's I don't think it requires alot of bullying to hurt a person severly, because people with Aspereger's often have less social support to deal with this sort of thing.  My religious life as a Methodist was nominalist and honestly I found very little help in it, dealing with the pain I was feeling, I went to relatively liberal Methodist churches whre the sermons were about worldly matters and politics etc.   God was a distant moralist who was irrelevent.    I think I would have done better as an Episcopalian or Catholic or something.  Buddhism was the first religion I really made my own, that I could actually practice beyond intellectualize about it.
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« Reply #299 on: May 20, 2011, 05:56:48 PM »

I knew nobody else with asperger's so I really cannot compare myself to others.

http://www.aspergersyndrome.org/Local.aspx

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere and have to drive 6 hours each way to the nearest city....

I didn't even know what I "had", I knew in a vague way I was different from other people, though.    I was not physically bullied alot but, with Asperger's I don't think it requires alot of bullying to hurt a person severly, because people with Aspereger's often have less social support to deal with this sort of thing.  My religious life as a Methodist was nominalist and honestly I found very little help in it, dealing with the pain I was feeling, I went to relatively liberal Methodist churches whre the sermons were about worldly matters and politics etc.   God was a distant moralist who was irrelevent.    I think I would have done better as an Episcopalian or Catholic or something.  Buddhism was the first religion I really made my own, that I could actually practice beyond intellectualize about it.

And here you are on an Orthodox Christian forum using Premarital sex as a straw man for communicating your loneliness at having to live with Asperger's.  That is your cross to bear and I don't see how Buddhism helps you besides helping you separate your spiritual needs from your physical reality.
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« Reply #300 on: May 20, 2011, 10:11:57 PM »

And here you are on an Orthodox Christian forum using Premarital sex as a straw man for communicating your loneliness at having to live with Asperger's.  That is your cross to bear and I don't see how Buddhism helps you besides helping you separate your spiritual needs from your physical reality.
That's totally untrue and unfair.
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« Reply #301 on: May 21, 2011, 12:31:10 AM »

And here you are on an Orthodox Christian forum using Premarital sex as a straw man for communicating your loneliness at having to live with Asperger's.  That is your cross to bear and I don't see how Buddhism helps you besides helping you separate your spiritual needs from your physical reality.
That's totally untrue and unfair.

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"Hate the sin love the sinner" simply doesn't work.

It works although there's no apparent logic in that.  The Orthodox Church is ONE.  While we all live in sin and separate ourselves constantly from the ONE, the Church helps bring us back to ONE.  If we have premarital sex, homosexual sex, and/or marry in a civil ceremony (using these 3 significant examples in this thread), we separate ourselves from the ONE, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  For our own protection, the Church does not permit such individuals to partake of Communion as a consequence of our self-imposed separated state.  Even if one confessed to any of these 3 significant sins to one's Priest, only the Priest can permit us to take Holy Communion for the remission of sins and for live everlasting at his discretion.  If one is not an Orthodox Christian, then one remains outside of the ONE even as the Church welcomes sinners into the Church and prevents them (for their own protection) from receiving Holy Communion until being unified with Christ via Baptism and/or Chrismation. 

Hence, the Church loves the sinner and hates the sin because the wages of sin are death as the Apostle Paul eloquently stated in Romans 6:23.  Christ shattered death through His death on the Cross - opening Heaven to us; however, we have a lot of hard work to do (e.g. carrying the crosses to resist sins like masturbation, premarital sex, homosexual sex and marrying (gay or straight) in a civil ceremony to name just a few sins) to even have a chance to stand before Him on Judgment Day and be counted with the sheep rather than with the goats.

I tend to be terse with what I say so forgive me for my earlier comments.   angel

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« Reply #302 on: May 21, 2011, 12:58:21 PM »

Daedelus, do you think Christ had relations outside of marriage? Do you think it would have been appropriate for Him to have these relations?

this question understand not I  laugh  being the eternal God,Christ became a man but why would he have these relations? we r all his children
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« Reply #303 on: May 21, 2011, 03:24:03 PM »

We should start a new thread on this topic, but in my brief research, there are multiple ecclessiologies within the tradition of the Orthodox Church.   Your view may be dominant, but it how does it interact with views that say the Church has existed since the beginning of time, or that the Church is defined primarily by the presence of certain sacraments properly administered (St. Augustine's view- the power of the Church in his mind extends beyond those that are strictly orthodox in physical communion), views closer to what some Protestants believe about the nature of the Church?

All of these are true.

The Church has indeed existed since the beginning of time, in an embryonic form, continuing with Israel, and finding fulfillment on Pentecost.

The Church does indeed exist by the presence of properly-administered sacraments. And since in Orthodoxy the priesthood is contingent upon membership in the Visible Church, it also works. (We have no "valid but illicit" sacraments in Orthodoxy; it's either in the Church or it is not.)

I don't understanding why you emphasize the physicality against the conceptualization.

Because Jesus Christ was a physical being, not a mental construct. If the Church is His Body, then the Church must be physical as well. (Its more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it.)

This is not specific to SSA but I think a certain amount of "lust" is normal in life.  Wheather or not the Church calls it a sin.  Being heavy-handed and obsessive about this issue leads to unneeded scrupulosity and is psychologically damaging.  The fact is its normal to feel "lust" at a certain age.  If there were no lust, nobody would procreate.

Lust is different from the procreative inclination. Christ and the Apostles say lust is a sin, so it's a sin unquestionably. Scrupulosity is also a sin, but lust is recognized as one of the more dangerous and harmful sins.

I can't remember where I read this, but it was one of the Fathers. The gist of it was that we should be willing to subject ourselves to some low level of temptation in our sins so we are able to grow and overcome them. But lust was explicitly excluded from this, because it is so much more powerful than almost all other passions. So, when it comes to lust, the threshold of scrupulosity is much higher than other sins.

In short, fleeing from lust is not scrupulous.

I believe this is true also, while I question alot of the traditional understanding of homosexuality and same-sex attraction in the Christian tradition, when dealing with some people who are "gay-affirming" and Christian, I sometimes feel they do not respect this aspect of the tradition. 

No, they often don't. Honoring Holy Tradition has disappeared among Protestants, and many Catholics and Orthodox as well. But that does not change the standards, it just means the number of Faithful has dramatically shrunk.

There aren't many married saints either in Orthodoxy.  I don't see how that proves wheather being openly gay or not, in itself, is good or bad in terms of ones final salvation.

There are plenty of married saints in Orthodoxy. It's just that monks and clergy interact with more people, so their reputations for holiness grow a lot more. There are many more people in heaven than the saints who are painted on the walls of our churches.

Being openly gay is different from engaging in male-male sexual activity. Though I would say it is a gray area and a potentially slippery slope. To me, it's as nonsensical as being an "open alcoholic" or an "open glutton". And it could potentially lead weaker persons astray. But identifying oneself as gay is not itself a sin per se.

I'm wary of putting saints on too high a pedestal to the point a saint's works are emphasized at the expense of God's grace.

A saint can only do good works in synergy with God's grace. You introduce a false dichotomy.

The trouble is when other people go about judging another person's repentence by looking at how they live, ignoring their innate dispositions. 

Nobody should be judging others' sins, except for priests during confession.

However, it is possible to know one's own repentance by our own actions. Repentance literally means to turn around. So if I am not repentant, then I will continue to commit the same sins. This is a question to ask oneself, not someone else.

"Hate the sin love the sinner" simply doesn't work.  You can't seperate what people do from what they are.

Um, yes you can. It is imperative. A person is not their sin.

If a person cannot separate their essence from their sins, then they are hanging onto their sins and repentance will be impossible.

For instance: if having sex with men (or outside of marriage), or the desire to do so, is something that defines me as a person, in the sense that my passions and my personhood are inseparable, then I will be incapable of overcoming that passion. Because I will view that passion as part of my personhood, and will come to view that brokenness as an integral part of my humanity which God must have created me with.

This is wrong. Our sinful inclinations are not part of our God-given nature. When we come to realize this, it becomes a lot easier to repent and eventually overcome our passions.
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« Reply #304 on: May 21, 2011, 03:30:15 PM »

A better example would be a serial killer. If a serial killer can't separate the urge to kill (and the identity of being a killer) from their personhood then they can't ever exist properly in society, let alone be forgiven of their sins.
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« Reply #305 on: May 24, 2011, 06:40:02 PM »

Yaiyai will disagree with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmD-wDEeOds&feature=relmfu
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« Reply #306 on: June 06, 2011, 04:15:27 PM »

   I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.
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« Reply #307 on: June 06, 2011, 04:55:35 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.
Take it slow, my friend. I'm sure God sees your struggle to believe and I'm also sure it is much better that you refuse to pretend to believe at this time. Fr. Thomas Hopko said that even when we are in doubt about God himself, we should still pray "to whom it may concern" and ask for a true answer that is not just a construct of our own egos.

We'll be here for you if you want to keep working through these issues with Orthodoxy and/or anything else.

But might I recommend that you work through these issues at a... human pace, and not an internet pace? I've become quite convinced that a healthy human pace and the internet pace of things have become quite dissonant.  Wink
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 04:56:50 PM 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 #308 on: June 08, 2011, 11:43:12 AM »

I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.

There is noting "new" about the experiences that you describe, which is why the Church doesn't need to reconsider them endlessly until it acts less like a rudder that guides one but as a weather vane that blows whichever way the most recent wind points it.

It sounds as if the Episcopalians would be a good fit for you. You'll be able to see where being open to "new experiences" can lead a church.
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« Reply #309 on: June 08, 2011, 02:51:19 PM »

   Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.

Think about it when you receive the Eucharist from a many times divorced and remarried openly lesbian Anglican * Bishop and ask yourself is this what Christ wanted for His Church to become?

* I use the terms Anglican and Episcopalian interchangeably.
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« Reply #310 on: June 08, 2011, 04:11:21 PM »

Daedelus1138,

You honesty, openness, and candor are strengths. I've enjoyed many of the posts you have written here. I hope you stick around the forum and keep asking the tough questions and not accepting easy answers.
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« Reply #311 on: June 10, 2011, 04:37:43 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
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« Reply #312 on: June 10, 2011, 05:28:03 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
So you take Fr. Paul Evdokimov as representative of the Orthodox faith?
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« Reply #313 on: June 10, 2011, 05:43:09 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
So you take Fr. Paul Evdokimov as representative of the Orthodox faith?
PetertheAleut, you know very well that there is no representative of the Orthodox faith (which Orthodox are you talking about BTW?)  However, Fr. Paul Evdokimov is a well-known and well-respected Eastern Orthodox Christian and teacher of the Eastern Orthodox faith.  His diagnosis of today's Western Christian (and Western influenced EOxy) is spot on.  He and Fr. Philotheos Faras should be read when it comes to understanding the differences between Eastern and Western Christianity. 
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« Reply #314 on: June 10, 2011, 05:54:43 PM »

  I thought it over, talked to my priest, and I decided I will not become an Orthodox Christian at this time.  I have too many differences with the priests in the church, and wth fellow Orthodox Christians.  I have not attended Liturgy in a few weeks, I probably won't for some time, if ever.  I still pray every day but... honestly  don't know what to think about the organized religious aspects.

  Several Anglicans I know have suggested I become Episcopalian.  I am considering this but alot of my heart is n Orthodoxy, the style of worship and the theology appeals to me. I just don't agree with your church's views of human sexuality and gender.  I would not say it is "wrong", but many people are not open to new experiences or listening to the experiences of others.   This s a sad thing and makes the religion less relevent to my life, or to the lives of many people in general.

please note that the Orthodox church does not have a mainstream teaching of human sexuality and gender and if it does,it is not the one which is  mainly presented here... like fr paul evdokimov said

please,do find this book

The sacrament of love: the nuptial mystery in the light of the Orthodox ...
 By Paul Evdokimov, Anthony P. Gythiel

and now from the same author.... an article called-to the Church of Christ ... only 1 part

the christians have emerged the gospel into a certain fluid which made it neutral-they sterilizsed it.... after 2 millennia of christianity,the horrifying judgment which can be proclaimed by the world, a judgment of the world for the Church is that the Church became a mirror of the same world in which the Church sees the word as its own heresy,the body of Her body.The christians of today are heretics in their existantion and being and their theology is that of an eunuch(can eunichs talk about giving birth-asked st.Atanasios) .Even when it is correct,the theology of christians living today is shocking us with the absence of life...

think about this... and believe me,whatever you do-God will find you-there is no alternative  Grin
So you take Fr. Paul Evdokimov as representative of the Orthodox faith?
PetertheAleut, you know very well that there is no representative of the Orthodox faith (which Orthodox are you talking about BTW?)  However, Fr. Paul Evdokimov is a well-known and well-respected Eastern Orthodox Christian and teacher of the Eastern Orthodox faith.  His diagnosis of today's Western Christian (and Western influenced EOxy) is spot on.  He and Fr. Philotheos Faras should be read when it comes to understanding the differences between Eastern and Western Christianity. 
I thought Pavel Evdokimov was just a layman?

In Christ,
Andrew
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