Author Topic: If Mary is sinless...  (Read 30165 times)

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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #180 on: October 10, 2011, 07:51:24 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I was meditating further about the concept of God questioning over the weekend.

Again, surely God knows all things, and therefore only asks questions in the Socratic way, to get us to ask ourselves the question.  So when God asks Adam, "Where are you" that is not a question for God, it is one for Adam to ask himself.  God surely knew where Adam was physically, but did Adam know where he had fallen to spiritually?

When Jesus stops and asks, "Who touched me?" surely He knew exactly who had touched Him.  However, we see that in asking the question, the woman came out directly to Him to repent and confess, if He hadn't asked, would she still have come to this same sincere repentance?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #181 on: October 10, 2011, 07:52:36 PM »
I dont see the relevance to the topic, sorry...

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #182 on: October 10, 2011, 08:04:51 PM »
greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!
I dont see the relevance to the topic, sorry...

We were talking about God asking questions a few pages back on this thread..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #183 on: October 10, 2011, 08:27:14 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!






To me it is very remarkable that someone like Mary could be so righteous and godly that she would be chosen by God to be the bearer of His Son.  It's amazing actually, and shows how much holier she is than any other woman of the Old Testament.  On the other hand, if she was "created" for that purpose, than that would not be to her credit at all.

Well its not that simple, it is both.  God chose Mary's family from the beginning of time, indeed from Adam, to be predestined to become the body of Our Savior as the egg within that blessed woman's womb.  That was sacred DNA, a perfect lineage.  All the imperfections we read of in the Old Testament are precisely there to explain the sheer miracle of God that a young woman named Mary, living in a Hebrew society in a colonial Roman civilization, could have been the product of so much history and dram to culminate with Her.  Could God have skipped Mary as He did in David's generation with his brothers, yes.  This is where both God's chose and Mary's merits combine in synergy.  It is not Mary's earthly life as a blessed child and young woman of virtue that God chose Her, God knows the hearts and souls, it is because of Her inner spiritual nature and character that God chose Her to become the Ark.  So it is both.  Mary was predistened by geneology, by the mechanisms of the Holy Spirit merging with a historical family and lineage and yet it is because of some inherent beauty to Her true character that God found Her indeed worthy of this Honor to become Full of Grace.  She is not the inherent source of Grace, but by the Her virtue and combined sacred lineage God makes to become such in the literal sense of a font, which is a channel to dispense, not the origin or creator.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from now in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 08:35:03 PM by peteprint »

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #184 on: October 10, 2011, 08:42:24 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from know in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.

You propose a very correct argument which I can only respond to say that it is an article of Ethiopian Orthodox faith to believe that Mary was chosen as part of a sacred genealogy.  Again as I explained before, it was both.  God chose Mary from Adam who is Her direct ancestor, however true, Mary also had to accept God's choice, which we see that She did.  This is synergy.  God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her.  She accepted God's choice, it became mutual.  God could have respected Her rejection and moved on down the line, but God had chosen Her in Her being part of that particular line in the first place, and each generation before Her made their synergetic contribution towards this purpose.  Further, we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation.  After all, this is the very premise of sexual reproduction in the first place, that it must in some way or another be mutual, as it takes two to tango as they say. Mary accepted the Will of God, but it was indeed the Will of God, and not simply Her own that brought about God in the Flesh.

Of course, this is also part of the Ethiopian epic/epochal national narrative, the Kebra Negast ("Glory/Honor/Reverence of the Kings/Monarchy")

Quote
"And again, there shall be unto thee a sign that the Saviour shall come from thy seed, and that He shall deliver thee with thy fathers and thy seed after thee by His coming. Your salvation was created in the belly of ADAM in the form of a Pearl before EVE. And when He created EVE out of the rib He brought her to ADAM, and said unto them, 'Multiply you from the belly of ADAM.' The Pearl did not go out into CAIN or ABEL, but into the third that went forth from the belly of ADAM, and it entered into the belly of SETH. And then passing from him that Pearl went into those who p. 111 were the firstborn, and came to ABRAHAM. And it did not go from ABRAHAM into his firstborn ISHMAEL, but it tarried and came into ISAAC the pure. And it did not go into his firstborn, the arrogant ESAU, but it went into JACOB the lowly one. And it did not enter from him into his firstborn, the erring REUBEN, but into JUDAH, the innocent one. And it did not go forth from JUDAH until four sinners had been born, but it came to FÂRÊS (PEREZ), the patient one, And from him this Pearl went to the firstborn until it came into the belly of JESSE, the father of thy father. And then it waited until six men of wrath had been born, and after that it came to the seventh, DAVID,1 thy innocent and humble father; for God hateth the arrogant and proud, and loveth the innocent and humble. And then it waited in the loins of thy father until five erring fools had been born, when it came into thy loins because of thy wisdom and understanding. And then the Pearl waited, and it did not go forth into thy firstborn. For those good men of his country neither denied Him nor crucified Him, like ISRAEL thy people; when they saw Him Who wrought miracles, Who was to be born from the Pearl, they believed on Him when they heard the report of Him. And the Pearl did not go forth into thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. For those good men neither crucified Him nor denied Him when they saw the working of miracles, and wonders by Him that was to be born from the Pearl, and afterwards they believed in Him through His disciples.

   "Now the Pearl, which is to be your salvation, went forth from thy belly and entered into the belly of ‛ÎYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, because of the wickedness of ISRAEL thy people, who in their denial and in their wickedness crucified Him. But if He had not been crucified He could not have been your salvation. For p. 112 He was crucified without sin, and He rose [again] without corruption. And for the sake of this He went down to you into SHEÔL, and tore down its walls, that He might deliver you and bring you out, and show mercy upon all of you. Ye in whose bellies the Pearl shall be carried shall be saved with your wives, and none of you shall be destroyed, from your father ADAM unto him that shall come, thy kinsman ‘ÊYÂḲÊM (JOACHIM), and from EVE thy mother, the wife of ADAM, to NOAH and his wife TARMÎZÂ, to TÂRÂ (TERAH) and his wife ’AMÎNYÂ, and to ABRAHAM and his wife SÂRÂ (SARAH), and to ISAAC and his wife RĔBḲÂ (REBECCA), and to JACOB and his wife LĔYÂ (LEAH), and to YAHÛDÂ and his bride TĔ‛EMÂR (TAMAR), and to thy father and his wife BÊRSÂBÊḤ (BATHSHEBA), and to thyself and TARBÂNÂ thy wife, and to REHOBOAM thy son and his wife ’AMÎSÂ, and to ÎYÔ‛AḲÊM (JOACHIM) thy kinsman, who is to come, and his wife ḤANNÂ.

   "None of you who shall have carried the Pearl shall be destroyed, and whether it be your men or your women, those who shall have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed. For the Pearl shall be carried by the men who shall be righteous, and the women who have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed, for they shall become pure through that Pearl, for it is holy and pure, and by it they shall be made holy and pure; and for its sake and for the sake of ZION He hath created the whole world. ZION hath taken up her abode with thy firstborn and she shall be the salvation of the people of ETHIOPIA for ever; and the Pearl shall be carried in the belly of ’AYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, and shall be the saviour of all the world. And when the appointed time hath come this Pearl shall be born of thy seed, for it is exceedingly pure, seven times purer than the sun. And the Redeemer shall come from the seat of His Godhead, and shall dwell upon her, and shall put on her flesh, and straightway thou p. 113 thyself shalt announce to her what my Lord and thy Lord speaketh to me.

  "I am GABRIEL the Angel, the protector of those who shall carry the Pearl from the body of ADAM even to the belly of ḤANNÂ, so that I may keep from servitude and pollution you wherein the Pearl shall dwell. And MICHAEL hath been commanded to direct and keep ZION wheresoever she goeth, and URIEL shall direct and keep the wood of the thicket1 which shall be the Cross of the Saviour. And when thy people in their envy have crucified Him, they shall rush upon His Cross because of the multitude of miracles that shall take place through it, and they shall be put to shame when they see its wonders. And in the last times a descendant of thy son ’ADRÂMÎS shall take the wood of the Cross, the third [means of] salvation that shall be sent upon the earth. The Angel MICHAEL is with ZION, with DAVID thy firstborn, who hath taken the throne of DAVID thy father. And I am with the pure Pearl for him that shall reign for ever, with REHOBOAM thy second son; and the Angel URIEL is with thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. This have I told thee, and thou shalt not make thy heart to be sad because of thine own salvation and that of thy son."


 
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/kn068.htm

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 08:47:54 PM by HabteSelassie »
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #185 on: October 10, 2011, 08:58:02 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I understand what you are saying Brother, but I am not sure that God chose Mary back in Adam's time.  That would get us into a discussion about time and space, and God's foreknowledge of events.  A very difficult subject to discuss, let alone understand.  

Once the subject of time and space enters the picture it could be argued that God "chose" Judas to betray Christ, or that the Crucifixion had already taken place before the Fall (if we were to argue that time and space are not relevant to God).  

It is a very complex subject, i.e. God knows millions of years before a person is born if they will choose Christ or not, though He allows the person free will, in fact it could be argued that He already knows how Christ will judge and what we will be doing 200 million years from know in Heaven or Hell.  

A very hard subject to comprehend, and, if He chose Mary at Adam's time, where was her freedom to accept God's will or reject it?  Even if He knew in advance that she would say yes, that is not the same as saying He chose her in advance.  That makes no sense.  Her becoming the Mother of God was contingent on her saying yes to God's will.

You propose a very correct argument which I can only respond to say that it is an article of Ethiopian Orthodox faith to believe that Mary was chosen as part of a sacred genealogy.  Again as I explained before, it was both.  God chose Mary from Adam who is Her direct ancestor, however true, Mary also had to accept God's choice, which we see that She did.  This is synergy.  God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her.  She accepted God's choice, it became mutual.  God could have respected Her rejection and moved on down the line, but God had chosen Her in Her being part of that particular line in the first place, and each generation before Her made their synergetic contribution towards this purpose.  Further, we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation.  After all, this is the very premise of sexual reproduction in the first place, that it must in some way or another be mutual, as it takes two to tango as they say. Mary accepted the Will of God, but it was indeed the Will of God, and not simply Her own that brought about God in the Flesh.


Of course, this is also part of the Ethiopian epic/epochal national narrative, the Kebra Negast ("Glory/Honor/Reverence of the Kings/Monarchy")

Quote
"And again, there shall be unto thee a sign that the Saviour shall come from thy seed, and that He shall deliver thee with thy fathers and thy seed after thee by His coming. Your salvation was created in the belly of ADAM in the form of a Pearl before EVE. And when He created EVE out of the rib He brought her to ADAM, and said unto them, 'Multiply you from the belly of ADAM.' The Pearl did not go out into CAIN or ABEL, but into the third that went forth from the belly of ADAM, and it entered into the belly of SETH. And then passing from him that Pearl went into those who p. 111 were the firstborn, and came to ABRAHAM. And it did not go from ABRAHAM into his firstborn ISHMAEL, but it tarried and came into ISAAC the pure. And it did not go into his firstborn, the arrogant ESAU, but it went into JACOB the lowly one. And it did not enter from him into his firstborn, the erring REUBEN, but into JUDAH, the innocent one. And it did not go forth from JUDAH until four sinners had been born, but it came to FÂRÊS (PEREZ), the patient one, And from him this Pearl went to the firstborn until it came into the belly of JESSE, the father of thy father. And then it waited until six men of wrath had been born, and after that it came to the seventh, DAVID,1 thy innocent and humble father; for God hateth the arrogant and proud, and loveth the innocent and humble. And then it waited in the loins of thy father until five erring fools had been born, when it came into thy loins because of thy wisdom and understanding. And then the Pearl waited, and it did not go forth into thy firstborn. For those good men of his country neither denied Him nor crucified Him, like ISRAEL thy people; when they saw Him Who wrought miracles, Who was to be born from the Pearl, they believed on Him when they heard the report of Him. And the Pearl did not go forth into thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. For those good men neither crucified Him nor denied Him when they saw the working of miracles, and wonders by Him that was to be born from the Pearl, and afterwards they believed in Him through His disciples.

   "Now the Pearl, which is to be your salvation, went forth from thy belly and entered into the belly of ‛ÎYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, because of the wickedness of ISRAEL thy people, who in their denial and in their wickedness crucified Him. But if He had not been crucified He could not have been your salvation. For p. 112 He was crucified without sin, and He rose [again] without corruption. And for the sake of this He went down to you into SHEÔL, and tore down its walls, that He might deliver you and bring you out, and show mercy upon all of you. Ye in whose bellies the Pearl shall be carried shall be saved with your wives, and none of you shall be destroyed, from your father ADAM unto him that shall come, thy kinsman ‘ÊYÂḲÊM (JOACHIM), and from EVE thy mother, the wife of ADAM, to NOAH and his wife TARMÎZÂ, to TÂRÂ (TERAH) and his wife ’AMÎNYÂ, and to ABRAHAM and his wife SÂRÂ (SARAH), and to ISAAC and his wife RĔBḲÂ (REBECCA), and to JACOB and his wife LĔYÂ (LEAH), and to YAHÛDÂ and his bride TĔ‛EMÂR (TAMAR), and to thy father and his wife BÊRSÂBÊḤ (BATHSHEBA), and to thyself and TARBÂNÂ thy wife, and to REHOBOAM thy son and his wife ’AMÎSÂ, and to ÎYÔ‛AḲÊM (JOACHIM) thy kinsman, who is to come, and his wife ḤANNÂ.

   "None of you who shall have carried the Pearl shall be destroyed, and whether it be your men or your women, those who shall have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed. For the Pearl shall be carried by the men who shall be righteous, and the women who have carried the Pearl shall not be destroyed, for they shall become pure through that Pearl, for it is holy and pure, and by it they shall be made holy and pure; and for its sake and for the sake of ZION He hath created the whole world. ZION hath taken up her abode with thy firstborn and she shall be the salvation of the people of ETHIOPIA for ever; and the Pearl shall be carried in the belly of ’AYÔRBĔ‛ÂM (REHOBOAM) thy son, and shall be the saviour of all the world. And when the appointed time hath come this Pearl shall be born of thy seed, for it is exceedingly pure, seven times purer than the sun. And the Redeemer shall come from the seat of His Godhead, and shall dwell upon her, and shall put on her flesh, and straightway thou p. 113 thyself shalt announce to her what my Lord and thy Lord speaketh to me.

  "I am GABRIEL the Angel, the protector of those who shall carry the Pearl from the body of ADAM even to the belly of ḤANNÂ, so that I may keep from servitude and pollution you wherein the Pearl shall dwell. And MICHAEL hath been commanded to direct and keep ZION wheresoever she goeth, and URIEL shall direct and keep the wood of the thicket1 which shall be the Cross of the Saviour. And when thy people in their envy have crucified Him, they shall rush upon His Cross because of the multitude of miracles that shall take place through it, and they shall be put to shame when they see its wonders. And in the last times a descendant of thy son ’ADRÂMÎS shall take the wood of the Cross, the third [means of] salvation that shall be sent upon the earth. The Angel MICHAEL is with ZION, with DAVID thy firstborn, who hath taken the throne of DAVID thy father. And I am with the pure Pearl for him that shall reign for ever, with REHOBOAM thy second son; and the Angel URIEL is with thy youngest son ’ADRÂMÎ. This have I told thee, and thou shalt not make thy heart to be sad because of thine own salvation and that of thy son."


 
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/kn068.htm

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I like where you say:

"God willed the circumstances of history and society so that particular woman could be born in that particular time for that particular purpose, and had She rejected it or not been found worthy, then it would have been passed down to some other woman as it had been passed down before Her,"

but where you say:

"we also can't suppose that the Incarnation in the Virgin Mary was solely the result of Her decision/will, because this effectively takes God out of the equation"

I would have the question, does God then make someone accept Christ and become a Christian?  That reminds me of predestination, and takes the individual's choice out of the equation. 

As you stated in the first quote, she could have refused and He would have found someone else.  Of course there is a synergy involved, but God doesn't force us to follow Christ or to bear His Son (in Mary's case).  It does take two to tango, but if she had said no, then the incarnation would not have happened (with her as the mother).

Thank you!

 

Offline Timon

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #186 on: October 10, 2011, 11:41:34 PM »
this thread is now making my head hurt....

i hate to be so passive, but im starting to take the "it doesnt really matter that much" route.

but please, continue. ill try to keep up. just dont have much to add. ha.
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #187 on: October 10, 2011, 11:59:13 PM »
this thread is now making my head hurt....

i hate to be so passive, but im starting to take the "it doesnt really matter that much" route.

but please, continue. ill try to keep up. just dont have much to add. ha.

Hello Timon,

We Orthodox love to debate theology.  More than we should I suppose.  But these are important questions for many of us.  We don't have a Magisterium to define every point of doctrine as the Roman Catholics do, so we have a lot of room to argue about things.

You are right to a degree; 90% of what we debate about on Orthodox forums have nothing to do with being a member of the Church in good standing.  Whether or not I believe in Toll-houses, Mary's never sinning, Creationism, whether the OO are fully Orthodox, and a number of other issues won't prevent me from taking Holy Communion and participating in the other sacraments (mysteries) of the Church.

What concerns me is when some on the web state that the position of the Church is such-and-such, which may not be true and mislead some people.

A good example is Freemasonry.  The Russian Church and the Greek State Church (not the EP), have issued condemnations of Freemasonry.  However, the Church of Serbia, the EP, and the Antiochians (among others), have never done so to my knowledge.

I am a Freemason and my priest is well aware of it.  It is a non-issue in my Church.  No Autocephelous Church, no Patriarch, no Bishop, no priest, no theologian, no Saint or Elder speaks for The Orthodox Church.  We have a tremendous amount of freedom in the realm of Theologumena.

As is very apparent on this forum, there are many different views on many different subjects, and each side quotes Fathers and Saints to back up their positions, with no ultimate resolution.  The Church has told us what we need to be "saved" and what we need to believe (and practice) as Orthodox Christians.  
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 12:00:23 AM by peteprint »

Offline Timon

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #188 on: October 11, 2011, 12:03:37 AM »
I totally understand Pete.  I love to debate theology too.  Sometimes I feel like I cant hang with you guys because I dont know enough about the church.  But I debate with my protestant buds all the time.  I do it with love of course.  I believe its very important to not be even more divisive.  As a priest told me... if they are growing in their faith, leave em alone.  Dont try to convert other Christians. 
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

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Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #189 on: October 11, 2011, 12:26:16 AM »
I totally understand Pete.  I love to debate theology too.  Sometimes I feel like I cant hang with you guys because I dont know enough about the church.  But I debate with my protestant buds all the time.  I do it with love of course.  I believe its very important to not be even more divisive.  As a priest told me... if they are growing in their faith, leave em alone.  Dont try to convert other Christians.  

Thanks Timon,

Believe me, no matter how many books you read about Orthodoxy, no matter what your priest or anyone else imparts to you, once you have formed an opinion, someone will come along and disagree.  I am convinced that the majority of forum members here love God and are trying their best to live an Orthodox life as they understand it. We are all sinners in the same boat.  I do hope that your search leads you to the Church, but for each of us, though we are members of the body of Christ, in a sense we each have our own personal path (praxis) as well.  I am accountable to God for my choices; He won't ask me what others have said or done.

Peter  
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 12:27:06 AM by peteprint »

Offline W.A.Mozart

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #190 on: October 11, 2011, 05:35:33 PM »
Thinking  about Mary the virgin,Theotokos being sinless is a http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Cacodoxy

this kind of thinking artificially separates the mother of God from her ancestors,Adam and Eve (and after all-her parents) and from the mankind and she is ontologically intertwined with them-that is why she is the GENUINE REPRESENATIVE OF THE MANKIND.

By talking about the immaculate conception and sinless of theotokos,we degrade the real value and the personal freedom of mother of God to be holy.Above all,by talking about her being sinless,people undermine the reality of our salvation-on one hand,by denying the unity of the mankind and one the other by a possibility that Christ did not take his body from a GENUINE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FALLEN MANKIND.

Saint John of Damascus says that Christ saved entire mankind because he became 1 with us so nothing outside this can be saved.This hypostatization which is made possible by Christ is the eternal token for us,giving the eternal unity of God and mankind i.e. every1 of us

And 1 more thing,maybe some1 mentioned but I didnt read.... if Mary is sinless and her conception is immaculate-why did she die...

Romans 5:12  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

of course,1 will never get the answer to this from roman-catholic Mariology because there is no answer  ;D



if some1 can speak Serbian

http://www.verujem.org/pdf/atanasije_damaskin_o_bogorodici.pdf
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 05:37:58 PM by W.A.Mozart »
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #191 on: October 11, 2011, 11:26:51 PM »
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."

"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

“Till we can become divine, we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for change we sink to something lower.” -Anthony Trollope

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #192 on: October 11, 2011, 11:38:14 PM »
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."



Hello Ionnis,

The reason that the question of whether or not Mary ever sinned is important theologically is because she is the only human being other than Christ that some in the Church claim never sinned.  No one questions whether or not St. Paul, St. John the Forerunner, St. John Chrysostom, St. Joseph, St. Basil the Great, St. Theophan the Recluse, etc. ever sinned; everyone acknowledges that they did.

She is a real person, as you state; some of us think that the ideas advocated by some in the Church exceed the bounds of what is proper, as one of the earlier postings cites one of the Saints addressing.

We don't bother talking about sin in reference to all the other saints precisely because it is a non-issue.  Those that advocate the sinlessness of Mary cause it to be an issue that is questioned by thoughtful people.  I don't think we need to be in "fear and awe" of the Theotokos' "incomprehensible excellence".  We love the saints and don't fear or tremble before them.


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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #193 on: October 11, 2011, 11:39:40 PM »
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."


To me there is a difference between right veneration and Mary worshiping you seam to like to tiptoe that line if I'm wrong then forgive me but that is how your coming off in most of your post

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #194 on: October 11, 2011, 11:40:24 PM »
The only reason we are talking about it is because some claim to have knowledge regarding the subject. If no one in the Church ever said that they knew she didn't sin, we wouldn't be having this conversation. .

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #195 on: October 11, 2011, 11:42:17 PM »
The one thing I hate about these sorts of discussions is how the Theotokos is spoken of almost as an abstraction.  She isn't a theological concept.  She isn't a doctrinal device put in place to protect our Christology.  She is a REAL PERSON!  I find it unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the sins of God's own mother!  Even if she did sin, which I firmly reject, what business do we have in speaking of it?  We should be ashamed of our own sinfulness and be silent and in complete fear and awe of our Lady's purity and incomprehensible excellence.  I will leave you with the words of our divine Father, St. Gregory Palamas:

"Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy."



Hello Ionnis,

The reason that the question of whether or not Mary ever sinned is important theologically is because she is the only human being other than Christ that some in the Church claim never sinned.  No one questions whether or not St. Paul, St. John the Forerunner, St. John Chrysostom, St. Joseph, St. Basil the Great, St. Theophan the Recluse, etc. ever sinned; everyone acknowledges that they did.

She is a real person, as you state; some of us think that the ideas advocated by some in the Church exceed the bounds of what is proper, as one of the earlier postings cites one of the Saints addressing.

We don't bother talking about sin in reference to all the other saints precisely because it is a non-issue.  Those that advocate the sinlessness of Mary cause it to be an issue that is questioned by thoughtful people.  I don't think we need to be in "fear and awe" of the Theotokos' "incomprehensible excellence".  We love the saints and don't fear or tremble before them.



I think some Orthodox claim that JTB never sinned, but i dont think the belief is near as pervasive as the one that the MOG never sinned.

Offline Ionnis

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #196 on: October 11, 2011, 11:51:18 PM »
BTW, to be completely honest about my intentions, I'm not at all interested in a conversation on this topic anymore.  I thought I could carry on a conversation on this topic, but I was wrong. The topic of our Mother is far too personal for me.  Far, far too personal.  God sent His Mother to me in my early 20s and she saved me from myself.  My debt to her, and of course to the Son who sent her, is far too great.  I cannot tolerate anything that I perceive is an attempt to take away the glory that rightfully belongs to her.  I am grateful to God that I have never struggled with the Mother of God, never, not for an instant in my life.  I wish I could empathize, or at the very least sympathize, with those who struggle with her, but I can't and it isn't due to a lack of trying.  I wish you all well though and pray that Christ reveals His Mother to you.  My love for the Mother of God is what led me to Christ and His Church, so please don't fall prey to the mistaken belief that the honor I show to Our Lady lessens my love for God, it is the opposite.   

And no worries jewish voice.  You're not the first to suggest that.  I get it.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 11:54:55 PM by Ionnis »
"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #197 on: October 12, 2011, 12:17:33 AM »
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...

Offline jewish voice

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #198 on: October 12, 2011, 12:30:55 AM »
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...
I'm still trying to find that as well. I see Mary as the flesh and blood ark of the covenant and just like the ark of the past that was made by mans hands if you were to touch or wrong it so to say you would die. I honor Mary as the new ark but to me you have to be carful not to worship the ark but the spirit that dwells with in who is Christ

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #199 on: October 12, 2011, 01:13:15 AM »
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...
I'm still trying to find that as well. I see Mary as the flesh and blood ark of the covenant and just like the ark of the past that was made by mans hands if you were to touch or wrong it so to say you would die. I honor Mary as the new ark but to me you have to be carful not to worship the ark but the spirit that dwells with in who is Christ

and then again i dont really understand what the key difference is between worship and venerate is. Is it an intellectual distinction?  Is it a state of mind?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 01:14:48 AM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Pikhristos Aftonf

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #200 on: October 12, 2011, 02:20:03 AM »
Worship is reserved for God, its when we subject ourselves to him and place our lives under his guidance.
veneration is showing a great respect towards a saint due to the closeness they achieved with God,
asking for intercessions is requesting that a close saint Pray to the lord on our behalf, due to the high mantle they have in regards to the Divine throne. praying is for God, intercessions are for Saints.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #201 on: October 12, 2011, 03:21:15 AM »
Worship is reserved for God, its when we subject ourselves to him and place our lives under his guidance.
veneration is showing a great respect towards a saint due to the closeness they achieved with God,
asking for intercessions is requesting that a close saint Pray to the lord on our behalf, due to the high mantle they have in regards to the Divine throne. praying is for God, intercessions are for Saints.

Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically? if you look at some of the hymns to the MOG, you will find things which imply subjection to her and asking her for guidance. We also pray to the saints.

Offline Pikhristos Aftonf

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #202 on: October 12, 2011, 03:33:22 AM »
we don't say : forgive us our sins o mother of god,
we say interceed on our behalf so that god may forgive us our sins...

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #203 on: October 12, 2011, 03:42:39 AM »
I'm still searching for that balance that St. Epiphanius speaks of with regards to venerating the Virgin, i'm just not quite sure where it is...

 I dont want to preach but I think that the balance u r talking about can only be achieved through the living experience of Church and through prayer because,like Dostoyevsky once said-Prayer is the education we recieve from God

p.s. this sounds like a cliche but it isnt
completely new, especially not yet used

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #204 on: October 12, 2011, 03:53:31 AM »
we don't say : forgive us our sins o mother of god,
we say interceed on our behalf so that god may forgive us our sins...

i've seen hymns to the Theotokos which say "you know my sins absolve them as you see fit" or something along those lines...
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:56:56 AM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Pikhristos Aftonf

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #205 on: October 12, 2011, 04:26:01 AM »
if they are not actual church hymns, like the trisagion,  but more popularised modern hymns intended for use outside the church, i wouldn't be surprised, most of the modern hymns are very heretical if taken the wrong way, and just plain wrong in all other instances. for example the most we ask from the Theotokos in the coptic church is to ask from her son to forgive us our sin, because he won't any supplication made in her name. i am incredibly interested in some of those hymn you mention, can you please link me?
God bless,
PA

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #206 on: October 12, 2011, 11:23:43 AM »
I can't locate the email I had saved in which a priest criticizes some parts of the Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon.  Obviously this is not an ancient hymn, since the Port Arthur battle occurred in 1905 (though elements of the hymn would have been borrowed from older models).  Much of the Akathist is perfectly traditional and Orthodox, but these parts are questionable (as the priest said in the email I received):

Rejoice, unfading luminary, Who doth enlighten us by the light of the true knowledge of God;
Rejoice, defense that opens the gate of paradise to the faithful.
Rejoice, inexhaustible spring of holiness;
Rejoice, flowing river of God's grace.
Rejoice, cleansing of our sins;
Rejoice, reconciliation for repentant people with God.  (isn't this Christ's role?)

Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy.
Rejoice, Thou Who dost save perishing sinners;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost forbid us to love the godless world;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost cleanse our hearts of every partiality for temporary riches;
Rejoice, because Thou dost grant salvation to all the people who seek refuge under Thy protecting veil.
Rejoice, deliverance for those who are held captive;  (again, isn't Christ the deliverer of captives?)

Rejoice, salvation from famine and infirmities
Rejoice, Thou Who art truly arrayed in Sunlight;
Rejoice, Thou, Who art a crown adorned with stars.
Rejoice, Thou Who art arrayed in gold and a robe of many hues;
Rejoice, Thou Who art wondrous in beauty.
Rejoice, Thou Who art the most kind warmth of the sun.
Rejoice, Thou Who art the light of angels and of godly men;
Rejoice, Thou Who dost drive away many a multitude of demons.
Rejoice, Thou Who dost disperse the darkness of unbelief.

Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy.
Rejoice, Thou Who art, after God, our first refuge and consolation
Rejoice, passage to the Heavenly Kingdom for those who love Thee;
Rejoice, deliverance from the power of the prince of this world for those who put their trust in Thee.
Rejoice, deliverance from the suffering of sinful souls after death for those who praise Thee.
Rejoice, opening of the gates of paradise to us.
Rejoice, O Queen from ages praised Whose prayers cover the breadth of our land with mercy

These are sections of the Akathist, which can be seen in its entirety here:
http://www.orthodox.cn/liturgical/akathist/akathistportarthuricon_en.htm

Some would argue that there are ways to interpret some of these correctly, or that they are examples of poetic license, but much of this hyperbole would be perfectly at home in Roman Catholicism and, in my personal opinion, borders on Mariolatry.  This sort of thing is why many in the RCC consider St.Mary a Co-Redeemer.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:34:18 AM by peteprint »

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #207 on: October 12, 2011, 11:48:20 AM »
I finally located that email:


"Without any intent of disparaging the pious motives of those who
recently posted to the Internet the Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon
of the Mother of God, I would like make some comments on Akathists to
various icons of the Mother of God in general.

The Church, historically, uses the ancient Akathist with the refrain:
"Rejoice Thou, O Bride Unwedded," as the "standard" Akathist to the
Mother of God.

In the nineteenth century, many new Akathists to various Icons of the
Mother of God and to various Saints of the Church were written. This
has continued into the twentieth century and up to our times.

Many of these newly-created Akathists are written very poorly, and
contain serious theological errors.

Usually, the author is unspecified or unknown, and the Akathists are
distributed without the sanction or blessing of any ecclesiastical
authority (even though some may be marked "With the Blessing of His
Holiness, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia" that is no guarantee
that this Akathist was reviewed or blessed for Church use by the
Patriarch).

Unfortunately, there are theological errors in the recently posted
Akathist to the Port Arthur Icon of the Mother of God, as well as
impracticalities in the text which would make it difficult to use.

An example of the latter is that the Akathist contains multiple
instances of requiring the chanters to replace boilerplate text with the name of
one's country or one's continent.

How are you going to achieve harmony iwhile singing this Akathist if some
of the singers are putting in "The United States" and others are
putting in "America"?

Akathists should not have text that must be substituted on the fly.

Now as far as theological errors found therein -- here are a couple.

In this Akathist we read:

"The Creator of angels hath chosen Thee, Our Lady, for the gracious
salvation of the nations,"

This is an error. It is Our Savior alone who grants salvation. The
Mother of God is an Intercessor and Solicitor for our salvation, but
not the grantor of it.

"Rejoice, Thou Who dost expose every heresy;"

Does the Mother of God actually expose every heresy?

"Rejoice, our Deliverance from everlasting death."

Is the Mother of God our deliverance from everlasting death or is it
Our Saviour?

Same with:

"Rejoice, defense that opens the gate of paradise to the faithful."

The Gate of Paradise was opened by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Rejoice, Thou Who hast given us a pledge of salvation by Thy icon."

Can an icon be a pledge of salvation?

The following Kontakion makes no sense:

O Theotokos, a certain Russian officer desiring to fulfill the will of
God bore the icon of Port Arthur to the fortress besieged by the
enemy. But when he got to the city of Dalian he did not find that the
military leaders had faith in the help of the Theotokos, and he cried
out to the Lord with tears: Alleluia.

"Alleluia" means "Glory to Thee, O God." It is proclaimed at the time
that God shows His mercy on us--not in time of calamity.

For example, the previous Kontakion uses "Alleluia" correctly:

"The holy Church of Thy Son speaks of Thy wonders, O Lady, and the ends
of the earth cannot fathom the depth of God's strength, in the
deliverance, salvation, enlightenment and healing of His people, for
from Thy holy icons have come wonders, reflecting the unending mercy
and generosity of the Lord to the impoverished human race. Therefore
we glorify Thine icon and sing to Your Son and our Lord: Alleluia."

Here is another verse that shows incorrect theology:

"Rejoice, because Thou dost grant salvation to all the people who seek
refuge under Thy protecting veil."

The Mother of God grants salvation to no one. Only Her Son, Our Lord
and Saviours does that.

People must remember that the often repeated appeal to the Mother of
God: "O Most Holy Mother of God, save us!" does NOT mean "save our
souls," but rather "save us from all sorrows and tribulations."

The correct teaching is expressing in the following verse from the
Akathist:

"Rejoice, salvation from famine and infirmities" -- not eternal
salvation of our souls.

The following verses of the Akathist are all troublesome:

"Rejoice, foundation of holy life to the faithful.
Rejoice, passage to the Heavenly Kingdom for those who love Thee;
Rejoice, deliverance from the power of the prince of this world for those who put their trust in Thee.
Rejoice, deliverance from the suffering of sinful souls after death for those who praise Thee.
Rejoice, opening of the gates of paradise to us."

The Mother of God is our Helper, our Intercessor, but not a guarantor
of our entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.


In conclusion, I would like to state that I support the opinion of the
ever-memorable First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia, who was opposed to the proliferation of Akathists written
by theologically and grammatically (in Slavonic) unschooled people,
and who suggested that only the ancient Akathist to the Mother of
God, found in the Church Services (see the Services for the 5th
Saturday of Great Lent in the Lenten Triodion) be used in prayer
before ALL Icons of the Mother of God.

With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff"

I think Father Lebedeff's words are wise. 

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #208 on: October 12, 2011, 12:54:18 PM »
Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically?

It's certainly a bit confusing.  The idea that most are capable of easily distinguishing worship from glorification, or magnification, or veneration, or praise is a bit far fetched. Or, for that matter, between solid theological teachings and rhetorical flowery language contained in prayers/hymns.

People I know, primarily Roman Catholics, readily admit that there is no difference in how they pray to Christ or the Theotokos.  While we may try to distinguish and clarify a bit further, I'm sure this exists in Orthodoxy as well.
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #209 on: October 12, 2011, 01:10:05 PM »
Ya i know the definitions, but how does this play out practically?

It's certainly a bit confusing.  The idea that most are capable of easily distinguishing worship from glorification, or magnification, or veneration, or praise is a bit far fetched. Or, for that matter, between solid theological teachings and rhetorical flowery language contained in prayers/hymns.

People I know, primarily Roman Catholics, readily admit that there is no difference in how they pray to Christ or the Theotokos.  While we may try to distinguish and clarify a bit further, I'm sure this exists in Orthodoxy as well.

Addressing God in prayer involves speaking to the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty, while addressing a Saint involves speaking to another human being, a fellow Christian from whom we are asking for intercessory prayer.  Speaking to a Saint is easier for that reason, whereas speaking to God is more difficult for me, since I cannot conceive of God in His essence.  Of course when we pray to Christ we know that He is completely human as well as completely Divine.

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #210 on: October 12, 2011, 01:15:07 PM »
When I am venerating a saint I remember that he/she can do nothing outside of God's will, and any power the Saint may have, such as when the Apostles healed people, is given him/her by God.  When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.  A Saint does not possess these qualities.

One quality that I see in the life of every Saint is extreme humility and self-effacement.  I don't think they desire that praise be heaped upon them; they certainly would have rejected it in life.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 01:17:47 PM by peteprint »

Offline bogdan

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #211 on: October 12, 2011, 01:51:06 PM »
All due respect to Fr. Lebedeff, but his analysis is mostly wrong. Has he never read the original Akathist written by St Romanos? Here is a sample:

"Hail, thou oblation of all the world"

"Hail, opener of the gates of Paradise"

"Hail, thou firm foundation of the faith"

"Hail, thou through whom Hades was laid bare"

"Hail, thou who castest out the inhuman tyrant of old"

"Hail, thou downfall of demons"

"Hail, thou forgiveness for many who stumble"

"Hail, thou through whom transgression is annulled"

"Hail, thou through whom Paradise was opened"

"Hail, Raft for those who wish to be saved"

"Hail, Gate of salvation"

"Hail, for thou didst regenerate those conceived in sin"

"Hail, thou who joinest the faithful to the Lord"

"Hail, thou through whom enemies are cast down"

"Hail, thou through whom Creation is renewed"


These phrases are all perfectly fine if they are understood properly.

Remember that Orthodoxy teaches Theosis. Every bit of power and authority the Theotokos possesses is by virtue of Her perfect cooperation with God. The Theotokos is all these things by virtue of Christ's work in Her.

If the Theotokos is the most deified creature in all creation, then She partakes of the Trinity's divine life. If She partakes in the Trinity's divine life and has joined Herself to the Trinity's divine will, then we can ascribe all of these things to Her and more.

(That does not mean She is a mere conduit or vessel; rather She has been deified and changed. She has no will except to do God's will, and God grants power and authority to those who do His will. Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 02:07:27 PM by bogdan »

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #212 on: October 12, 2011, 02:14:56 PM »
Thank you Bogdan.

The Akathist is certainly one of the great hymns of the Church.  In reading it I noticed:

"On hearing the Angels praising the incarnate presence of Christ, the shepherds hastened as to a Shepherd, and beholding Him as a spotless Lamb, pastured in Mary's womb, her they hymned, and said:

Rejoice, Mother of the Lamb and Shepherd. Rejoice, Fold of the rational sheep.
Rejoice, O Defense against invisible foes. Rejoice, Opener of the gates of Paradise.
Rejoice, for the things of Heaven rejoice with the earth. Rejoice, the things of earth join chorus with the Heavens.
Rejoice, never-silent Voice of the Apostles. Rejoice, never-conquered Courage of the Martyrs.
Rejoice, firm Support of the Faith. Rejoice, shining Token of grace.
Rejoice, you through whom Hades was laid bare. Rejoice, you through whom we are clothed with glory.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin."

Aside from any theological considerations, to what extent is the Akathist Hymn a poetical work?  Did the shepherds actually  say these words?  Unlikely.  The words of the Hymn are put into the mouths of the shepherds, the Angels, even the infant John the Baptist while still in the womb:

"Carrying God in her womb, the Virgin hastened to Elizabeth, whose unborn babe forthwith recognizing Mary's salutation rejoiced, and with leaps as it were with songs, he cried out to the Theotokos:

Rejoice, O branch of the unwithering Vine. Rejoice, O Land yielding the untainted Fruit.
Rejoice, O Husbandry of the merciful Husbandman. Rejoice, O birthgiver to the Planter of our life.
Rejoice, O Field bearing abundant compassion. Rejoice, O Table laden with an abundance of mercies.
Rejoice, for you make the meadow produce contentment. Rejoice, for you prepare a haven for souls.
Rejoice, acceptable Incense of intercession. Rejoice, Oblation for all the world.
Rejoice, Favour of God to mortals. Rejoice, Access of mortals to God.
Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin."

This is not anything that happened historically, but is a dramatic way of expressing the author's feelings.  No one knows for certain who wrote it, but whether it was St. Roman the Melodist in the 6th century or not, it contains much allegory and symbolism (not that such things are bad).

I am not criticizing the Hymn, it is beautiful, but simply pointing out certain things.  The Church accepts it, therefore so must I.  Father Lebedeff does point out the problems associated with using the original to create new akathists, which can suffer from poor theology.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #213 on: October 12, 2011, 02:16:39 PM »
So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 02:18:25 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Cognomen

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #214 on: October 12, 2011, 02:41:20 PM »
Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)

Point taken, and I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on the Theotokos within scripture (belongs in another thread), but scripture describes the analogy you write above, but with the Son being granted authority from the Father.  To me, the further step (giving governing authority to Mary) seems like excessive delegation.  In that case, the Son only governs for a few years?  My criticism of this is, admittedly, from a very human perspective; don't let the literal example detract.

On one hand, Ionnis presents his understanding that while glorious and certainly worthy of our devotion, Mary remains, on some level, a human.  On the other hand, you present an understanding where the Theotokos has assumed a different role, one of governance (through the culmination of theosis).  I'm not saying either is right/wrong, that both can't be accomplished, or that I understand correctly.  Still, it seems as if there is a slight divergence of understanding.
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #215 on: October 12, 2011, 02:45:01 PM »
Thanks for your response, peteprint.

When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Indeed, but shouldn't God becoming Man alleviate a great deal of that overwhelming incomprehension?
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #216 on: October 12, 2011, 02:47:16 PM »
Thanks for your response, peteprint.

When I am worshiping God I know that I am dealing with a person/being beyond my human comprehension who is omniscient,omnipotent, and omnipresent.

Indeed, but shouldn't God becoming Man alleviate a great deal of that overwhelming incomprehension?

Yes, Very much so.   :)

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #217 on: October 12, 2011, 02:53:30 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

That is needlessly antagonistic and outright silly :)



The Virgin is in synergy with God, she is the Gates of Salvation because Jesus Christ is Salvation Himself, and He entered the physicality of the world by Her womb as the Sun must necessarily rise in the Eastern Horizon.  She is the Oblation because from Her very own sacrifice to God's Will, God Himself took Her flesh and made it His own and gave Himself on the Cross.  She is the Gates of Paradise because it is from Her womb that God entered our world, and through His Incarnate Physicality we receive entrance to Paradise which had previously been barred shut by Sin.  She is the foundation of faith, being a Daughter of Adam, of Abraham, of Judah, and is therefore the firm foundation of sacred genealogy which God Himself preserved on the Earth across history. Christ came in the Flesh through Her own flesh, and so as He laid bare Hades and Death, it was accomplished in the flesh which He received from Her. In Her being a true human, that God chose Her to bring about the Savior cast out that inhuman tyrant, subjugating his tyranny by the Lawfulness of Salvation.  That the power of God came in the Flesh, cast down the powers of demons against us in our weakened fleshly condition.  Through Him who came from Her, forgiveness is found, particularly in the reception of the Holy Communion which is His Flesh and Blood taken from Her own.  Transgression was annulled when human flesh and blood were renewed by the Incarnation in Her womb.  It is because Her own flesh and blood were renewed by Jesus Christ in His Incarnation, that all of Creation was subsequently renewed by God becoming a physical being, inherently renewing all of physical Creation in taking on its form.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #218 on: October 12, 2011, 03:01:15 PM »
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:04:38 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline bogdan

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #219 on: October 12, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »
So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

She is not part of the Trinity. I did not say that. She is living the life of the Trinity, and voluntarily has taken on the Trinity's will, which is part of theosis. This is true for all saints, but the Theotokos is the highest and therefore does these things par excellence.

It's Theosis. "Ye are gods," and all that. That's why saints (living and departed) can heal, raise the dead, dissolve storms, bring rain, divert floods, etc. They are partaking in God's power because they have become god by grace.

^ Very well put, HabteSelassie.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:15:29 PM by bogdan »

Offline bogdan

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #220 on: October 12, 2011, 03:05:51 PM »
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, so does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)

Yes. She does not possess them of her own right; they are gifts and a natural outgrowth of theosis. God is alive in her to such an extent that she can wield God's power to accomplish His will. (It's still all God, ultimately, of course. Thus she could not act selfishly with God's power because her will is to do God's will.)

I don't know about forgiving sins, since that is a power specially delegated to the priesthood in the context of repentance. Some of our prayers do seem to indicate she can do this, but that is above my pay grade.

But she is omniscient, through partaking of God's omniscience. We can pray to her without speaking, in other words.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:06:44 PM by bogdan »

Offline bogdan

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #221 on: October 12, 2011, 03:13:05 PM »
Think of it like a king who gives governing authority to a person: yes, the authority is derived from the king, but the king has bestowed his authority on the governor, to have for his own, to carry out the king's will. That's the best analogy I can think of offhand.)

Point taken, and I don't want this to devolve into a discussion on the Theotokos within scripture (belongs in another thread), but scripture describes the analogy you write above, but with the Son being granted authority from the Father.  To me, the further step (giving governing authority to Mary) seems like excessive delegation.  In that case, the Son only governs for a few years?  My criticism of this is, admittedly, from a very human perspective; don't let the literal example detract.

On one hand, Ionnis presents his understanding that while glorious and certainly worthy of our devotion, Mary remains, on some level, a human.  On the other hand, you present an understanding where the Theotokos has assumed a different role, one of governance (through the culmination of theosis).  I'm not saying either is right/wrong, that both can't be accomplished, or that I understand correctly.  Still, it seems as if there is a slight divergence of understanding.

I didn't mean to say that the Theotokos is literally our governor. I don't know if that would be correct to say or not. That was simply an analogy of how the supreme authority can delegate his power to others.

Of course, Christ is our supreme governor, head of the Church, and everything else, because He is one of the Trinity. But all the saints share in the Trinity's life through theosis, and since the Theotokos is the chief of the saints, she has more of this than anyone else.

I don't know what governing authority the Theotokos as Queen might possess. Queen Bathsheba with King Solomon is probably a good indication. And in the Gospel she was able to seemingly make Christ change his mind about when to begin his ministry at the wedding at Cana. I could not tell you precisely what that means in practical terms though.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 03:14:02 PM by bogdan »

Offline peteprint

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #222 on: October 12, 2011, 03:14:08 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So the Theotokos can aquire all the qualities of God now that she is part of the Trinity? This is the impression I got from reading Bogdan's post.

That is needlessly antagonistic and outright silly :)



The Virgin is in synergy with God, she is the Gates of Salvation because Jesus Christ is Salvation Himself, and He entered the physicality of the world by Her womb as the Sun must necessarily rise in the Eastern Horizon.  She is the Oblation because from Her very own sacrifice to God's Will, God Himself took Her flesh and made it His own and gave Himself on the Cross.  She is the Gates of Paradise because it is from Her womb that God entered our world, and through His Incarnate Physicality we receive entrance to Paradise which had previously been barred shut by Sin.  She is the foundation of faith, being a Daughter of Adam, of Abraham, of Judah, and is therefore the firm foundation of sacred genealogy which God Himself preserved on the Earth across history. Christ came in the Flesh through Her own flesh, and so as He laid bare Hades and Death, it was accomplished in the flesh which He received from Her. In Her being a true human, that God chose Her to bring about the Savior cast out that inhuman tyrant, subjugating his tyranny by the Lawfulness of Salvation.  That the power of God came in the Flesh, cast down the powers of demons against us in our weakened fleshly condition.  Through Him who came from Her, forgiveness is found, particularly in the reception of the Holy Communion which is His Flesh and Blood taken from Her own.  Transgression was annulled when human flesh and blood were renewed by the Incarnation in Her womb.  It is because Her own flesh and blood were renewed by Jesus Christ in His Incarnation, that all of Creation was subsequently renewed by God becoming a physical being, inherently renewing all of physical Creation in taking on its form.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Hello Habte,

I appreciate much of what you have said, though I would like to remark on a few things.  Where you stated that, "the power of God came in the Flesh," seems to me to minimize the personhood of the Son.  He (Christ) is not simply one of God's energies.  God the Son came in the flesh.

Also, I can understand St. Mary being the Gates of Paradise, but she opened them?  I guess, in the sense of her saying yes to God.

Christ did lay bare Death and Hades in flesh that He received from the Theotokos, but she did not lay them bare as the hymns say.  So much of what some hymns and prayers say require so much interpretation to make them sensible.  You are (correctly, in my opinion) saying that Christ did such-and-such through his being incarnated via the Theotokos.  The hymns however clearly state that she did these things.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If Mary is sinless...
« Reply #223 on: October 12, 2011, 03:25:59 PM »
ya these hymns always seem to have qualifiers that go along with them, "it says this, but it really means..."

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: If mary is sinless...
« Reply #224 on: October 12, 2011, 03:31:16 PM »
I didn't mean it to be antagonistic, really. I was just trying to sum it up. Since she has become God by grace, so does she not have all the capabilities of God? (i.e. forgiving sins, omniscience, etc.)

Yes. She does not possess them of her own right; they are gifts and a natural outgrowth of theosis. God is alive in her to such an extent that she can wield God's power to accomplish His will. (It's still all God, ultimately, of course. Thus she could not act selfishly with God's power because her will is to do God's will.)

I don't know about forgiving sins, since that is a power specially delegated to the priesthood in the context of repentance. Some of our prayers do seem to indicate she can do this, but that is above my pay grade.

But she is omniscient, through partaking of God's omniscience. We can pray to her without speaking, in other words.

So then, would it be accurate to say that she brings about our salvation as well? when we save most holy Theotokos save us, perhaps we are referring to our salvation in Christ? I know people say "oh it means she is saving us from peril, danger, etc." but perhaps this is just something that we say to quiet down the minds of those who are uncomfortable with it?