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Author Topic: Age of reason/baptism/chrismation/etc....  (Read 3759 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2011, 06:44:12 PM »

The responses and thoughts are very interesting to read, as this topic was recently covered in our own family by those outside of the Orthodox Church.  While I believe it is important to be prepared to give reason for this and other "practices" of the OC, I have to wonder if it isn't also important to dig a bit deeper into the mindset of the questioner.  To question this, that or the other in such a manner stems from a Protestant mindset of debatable, opinion-based, constantly changing beliefs.  IMO, Orthodoxy cannot be approached in this manner.  We believe what we believe because it has been taught and understood in this manner since Apostolic time.  It seems to me that we should always point to that history and turn the question back upon our questioner.  "Why did YOU change?"  It should not be our responsibility to explain why we have not changed...but it is always proper to provide a loving answer for the sake of their understanding.  I think it is equally important to point out the "protestant mindset" in their questions, however.  Our truths are not relative.  They are unchanged and historical.  Certainly, my thoughts are oversimplified and there are many on this board who are much more qualified than I to express this thought more eloquently.  I am still an infant in Orthodoxy but, just as I was 100% human as an infant I think of myself as 100% Orthodox.  I simply have much yet to learn.
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« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2011, 06:50:11 PM »

Christ said to bring the little ones to him. The apostles tried to turn away the people who were bringing babies to Christ for blessings, yet Christ rebuked them and said bring them to me while using them as a model for the Christian faith.
Above anything else, this is what clinches it for me. Once baptism is more than an "mere symbol," then it inevitably follows for me that babies should be baptized.
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« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2011, 06:56:28 PM »

Christ said to bring the little ones to him. The apostles tried to turn away the people who were bringing babies to Christ for blessings, yet Christ rebuked them and said bring them to me while using them as a model for the Christian faith.
Above anything else, this is what clinches it for me. Once baptism is more than an "mere symbol," then it inevitably follows for me that babies should be baptized.

and by the same token, communed.
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« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2011, 06:57:58 PM »

John the Baptist recognized his savior while still in the womb. Did he achieve the age of reason? Christ said to bring the little ones to him. The apostles tried to turn away the people who were bringing babies to Christ for blessings, yet Christ rebuked them and said bring them to me while using them as a model for the Christian faith.

Good points.
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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2011, 07:03:37 PM »

Christ said to bring the little ones to him. The apostles tried to turn away the people who were bringing babies to Christ for blessings, yet Christ rebuked them and said bring them to me while using them as a model for the Christian faith.
Above anything else, this is what clinches it for me. Once baptism is more than an "mere symbol," then it inevitably follows for me that babies should be baptized.

and by the same token, communed.
Mhmm!
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« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2011, 08:04:01 PM »

When something is the ONLY option on the table (do this or you won't be with us in Heaven), how the **** is it a choice?!?! This is maddening to me!

Same here, though I think it can be applied more broadly than you are doing here Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2011, 11:52:02 PM »

Same here, though I think it can be applied more broadly than you are doing here Smiley

Then do be so kind as to tease out the implications for us who can't see that we're all doing the same thing.
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« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2011, 03:47:37 AM »

So my question is kind of confusing.  Im trying to get my wife to convert with me, but she has plenty of questions too.  So, I need some help.

Her question involves the Protestant view of the "age of reason" and that being the time that they make their confession of faith.  If an Orthodox child is baptized as an infant, then obviously they dont understand what is happening.  So at some point, dont they reach a time where they make sense of their faith and decide that a living a life for God is truly what they want?  When they reach that point, do they make another confession or announcement? 

Her example is when we went to Church camp and made the decision there to follow Christ as young people who were at the age of reason.  Thats when we were baptized.  When is this time of Orthodox kids?

I was raised with this kind of thinking before converting to Orthodoxy in my early 20s. I have since raised two 'cradle orthodox'. So from that perspective let me affirm what some others have already mentioned, that this POV starts with some presuppositions that just don't match up with the understanding and experience of Orthodoxy.

First, by its very name, the 'age of reason' assumes that Faith is primarily a thing of the intellect. A set of axioms and their related reasonings that the rational mind either accepts or rejects. Orthodoxy, however, understands that Faith is not the rational acceptance of axioms, but relationship. Specifically it is relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ. As an adult, the rational faculty plays a part in our relationships--you reason out that your father acts a certain way because that's what his father did, you figure out that your wife is mad because you forgot the anniversary, etc. And by the same token, Orthodoxy happily embraces reason as one part of our relationship with God. But even as an adult, no strong relationship is based purely or even primarily with the intellect. And that is even more true for children. Infants have a relationship with their mother that has nothing to do with the ability to 'comprehend' that relationship. And for a child raised in the Church, the same is true of their relationship with God. My daughters' 3rd word, after 'Mommy' and 'Daddy' was 'Jesus' from when we brought them to kiss the icon of Christ every night before bed. They might not have understood that word and that relationship in the same way I did (in fact, at the time *I* didn't understand that word and that relationship in the same way that I do now 20 years later), but they certainly knew there was a relationship.

Secondly, this understanding tries to privilege one 'moment of decision' over every other. But in fact, the Christian life is made up of an endless number of moments of decision--of deciding that "living a life for God is truly what they want". When I was 12, I asked to be baptized in my Protestant Church because I wanted to be united with Christ. At 14, I decided I just couldn't believe any of this religous stuff. At 15, I realized I was wrong and begged Christ to take me back. At 18, I was reading existentialism and looking askance at God because I couldn't make sense of the problem of suffering. At 21, I decided the Orthodox Church had all the answers I wasn't getting out of Sola Scriptura. I could (obviously) continue. Which of those decisions was the 'moment of decision' that actually counted? Personally, I'd argue that they *all* counted, that they were all parts of the ongoing relationship/dialogue I've been in with my Creator since before I can remember. Every time temptation comes along, I'm called upon to make that decision again--sometimes I make it wrong, sometimes I make it right. I don't expect that struggle to end until the end. And in the exact same way, I've seen my girls go through the same stages. There have been times/ages when I've had to drag them to Church. And other times when they're reminding me, "Dad, I need you to take me to confession this Saturday."
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« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2011, 12:58:05 PM »

"do this or you won't be with us in Heaven"
"the doors of hell are locked from the inside"
"God doesn't send people to hell, people choose to go there"

And so forth...
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« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2011, 02:42:32 PM »

Quote
Infants have a relationship with their mother that has nothing to do with the ability to 'comprehend' that relationship.

this is also a good point.  

i guess if kids should wait till they "understand" before they receive something that they genuinely need, should we also wait until kids understand why they need food before we give it to them? Certainly not. That analogy may be stupid, but it seems to make sense to me.

I feel like I can better defend this topic now, which ive found myself needing to do when I am explaining Orthodoxy.  These topics always come up.  
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« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2011, 02:45:32 PM »

"do this or you won't be with us in Heaven"
"the doors of hell are locked from the inside"
"God doesn't send people to hell, people choose to go there"

And so forth...

I choose not to go... Wink
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« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2011, 03:48:21 PM »

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

It seems to me that we should always point to that history and turn the question back upon our questioner.  "Why did YOU change?"  It should not be our responsibility to explain why we have not changed...but it is always proper to provide a loving answer for the sake of their understanding.  I think it is equally important to point out the "protestant mindset" in their questions, however.  Our truths are not relative. 

Amen Amen.  This is the best suggestion on this thread!

Is this so-called "age of accountability" even in the Bible?

Yes, yes it is.

Quote
18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” John 9:20-23

Remember, at least in our Ethiopian Tradition, this age does not exclude children from Confession, from Holy Communion, from participating fully in worship life, however, it is the threshold where children are now expected within the community to fast and to attend Divine Liturgy.  Children are now considered morally and spiritually responsible for themselves, and are thus held accountable if they chose to forgo fasting or Liturgy, whereas before their parents would hold the sole responsibility.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2011, 10:11:03 AM »

But that's not really an age of accountability as defined or understood by Baptists and evangelicals, is it? Aside from which, we don't know how old he was. It's just as likely that his parents meant that he was an adult and could speak for himself. (that's one of my favorite passages of Scripture, btw)
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« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2011, 03:37:08 PM »

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

But that's not really an age of accountability as defined or understood by Baptists and evangelicals, is it? Aside from which, we don't know how old he was. It's just as likely that his parents meant that he was an adult and could speak for himself. (that's one of my favorite passages of Scripture, btw)

I wasn't talking about the Baptists, I was referring to my own Ethiopian Orthodox tradition, and we know by inference that the lad must have been older than 13 because by the Jewish customs that was the age of accountability, and this was even a legal definition for that time Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2011, 03:52:33 PM »

A better analogy would be the eight day old males who were circumcised into God's people, who aren't the eternal existing divine Word of God.
In his fully human nature, which was limited and not omniscient, as a human he did not personally come to an age of reason and then make an official decision to become religiously Jewish. He was brought up in the faith; it was his from birth, so my example stands. A kind of condescension happened at the incarnation where the eternal Word limited himself, so I was noting that a lot of the human factors were basically out of his control and it was the job of the parents to give him his place in the covenant. Also, at the Annunciation the archangel did not say to let the child get to a certain age and decide if he wanted to follow the Jewish faith.

My point was simply that when God became man, it wasn't through a random woman in a random culture at a random point in human history. The Gospels never really show Christ as not being in control of anything, with the exception of accepting the freedom of will of others and not overriding that.

But no, Mary and Joseph did not ask "would you like to commit yourself to God?" before having Jesus circumcised with the sign of the covenant of God's people at eight days old. This decision of being circumcised wasn't made by Him during His life as a human.

You sure on that? Aside from Alveus' points. Here is where we have the onotological / providential & ontic divide.

But there is one passage in the Gospels that I simply love that demonstrates Christ was not the crypto-gnostic God EOs get close to.

But of course, I already know the apologies, which stand up to nil.

Want to guess the passage? It is in my favorite Gospel.
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« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2011, 09:38:48 PM »

The Gospels never really show Christ as not being in control of anything, with the exception of accepting the freedom of will of others and not overriding that.
You sure on that? Aside from Alveus' points. Here is where we have the onotological / providential & ontic divide.

But there is one passage in the Gospels that I simply love that demonstrates Christ was not the crypto-gnostic God EOs get close to.

But of course, I already know the apologies, which stand up to nil.

Want to guess the passage? It is in my favorite Gospel.[/quote]

I'm curious.
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« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2011, 09:55:32 PM »

Want to guess the passage?

I'm thinking there's the passage where he states that he doesn't know when the judgment will be, but I have a hard time believing that's anyone's favorite passage.

Actually I was thinking about this whole thing again the other day, how most Christians are Apollinarians and don't even know it. It's really standard fare in Christianity to teach that during the incarnation he could totally read everyone's thoughts and could have built a freight train, speak Japanese automatically and whatever else. Jesus could have spoken Japanese, but he would have had to learn it like the rest of us.

I was thinking about how this relates to that story of the talking baby saint, Rumwold of Buckingham. I'm not sure that we can really accept this story because it would mean that the baby was somehow not fully human. Even the Christ child had to learn to talk like all of us. If he would have leapt from the womb talking and preaching then he would have been something else, but he wouldn't have taken on our nature fully. So I'm not sure that the story about the baby saint can really be believed in good faith, as the saint would have been somehow more miraculous than Jesus himself.

But then again the Bible is full of talking snakes and donkeys and stuff, so who knows? Maybe this is all some great cosmic joke!
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« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2011, 11:19:07 PM »

I'm thinking the story of St. Rumwold is embellished. Who knows what really happened.

But anyway, my question is, how does God lose His knowledge and keep being God? I can understand trying to avoid Apolinarianism, but how do we keep from running so far in the other direction we run into a form of Adoptionism?
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« Reply #63 on: October 07, 2011, 01:37:28 AM »

Well. Ask her to explain to you why until 1700's thats 200 years in proetstant history all children were baptized and then to delay paying taxes , some people started to be baptized late. Later they found a interpretation that seem to give them some cloud for doing this practice.

So why for 1700+ years everyone baptized their children.

Then ask her to read John 3:3 and John 3:5 where basically in my understanding it means that without baptism children can not see Heaven. So why does she believe that children should die after certain age to get to Heaven ?

A former sorceres turned christian that spoke with devil said that nothing was most pleasing to sick angel than unbaptized children.

If baptizing would be wrong, the sick angel would not be happy for unbaptized protestant children that may not be able to enter Heaven until maturity because of SOLA IMAGINATION.



So my question is kind of confusing.  Im trying to get my wife to convert with me, but she has plenty of questions too.  So, I need some help.

Her question involves the Protestant view of the "age of reason" and that being the time that they make their confession of faith.  If an Orthodox child is baptized as an infant, then obviously they dont understand what is happening.  So at some point, dont they reach a time where they make sense of their faith and decide that a living a life for God is truly what they want?  When they reach that point, do they make another confession or announcement? 

Her example is when we went to Church camp and made the decision there to follow Christ as young people who were at the age of reason.  Thats when we were baptized.  When is this time of Orthodox kids?

Selam to you dear pasadi
I was reading this thread and came across what you wrote about the judgement of our Lord on the little ones that die before baptism, you quoted John3:3-5. and I got genuinely troubled that you would believe this of Our Lord, He that is Love, of Him who raises the Sun over the sinners and the righteous alike, the sustainer and animator of all, the one who loved us unto death. my dear, I am chief among sinners and yet even I hope for His Mercy! let alone the little ones who are pure. when we read scriptures it is wise to keep the context in mind with all that has been said before and after and during. for instance concerning the little ones, our Lord has said many things,Matthew 18:1-6''1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
,

 Matthew 19:13-15,'13Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.

14Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.



 Mark10:13-16,"13People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. "

 Luke 18:15-17."15People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  "
you see how he honors them most? how he loves them most? how he sees their purity and declares the kingdom to be theirs? which is why the Orthodox Church brings the little ones to Him, because the kingdom belongs to them, they are the most honored family members of the Lord, it is their right, their gift, their privilege to come to the Lord and it is our duty to bring them and not forbid them. He loves them He will bless them, and protects them, even  as we are warned not to do harm to even one of them because though they may not defend themselves their angels will speak on their behalf and their defendor is the Lord Himself! as He will reward our care , our charity, our compassion, our service,etc., towards them even if it is to give a cup of water to them in His name will not be forgoten by Him. so my dear me and you if we have to believe in One thing, and  proclaim  this One thing about the Lord to others , let it be HIS UNFAILING LOVE!
please forgive me if I have misunderstood you.

The peace of the Lord be with us all.
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« Reply #64 on: October 07, 2011, 01:38:48 AM »

I'd like to go more into depth with the idea that God in Christ still had to learn. This fascinates me.
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« Reply #65 on: October 07, 2011, 03:36:43 AM »

I don't understand how Jesus could be fully God at birth if his knowledge and understanding was limited by normal human cognitive development?  Huh
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« Reply #66 on: October 07, 2011, 04:27:54 AM »

The Gospels never really show Christ as not being in control of anything, with the exception of accepting the freedom of will of others and not overriding that.
You sure on that? Aside from Alveus' points. Here is where we have the onotological / providential & ontic divide.

But there is one passage in the Gospels that I simply love that demonstrates Christ was not the crypto-gnostic God EOs get close to.

But of course, I already know the apologies, which stand up to nil.

Want to guess the passage? It is in my favorite Gospel.

I'm curious.
[/quote]

The woman who had the whole blood problem and touched Christ's robe. His power was drained from Him and she was healed and He didn't know who had done it, he simply felt it happen. He did not with intent heal nor control the healing of the woman.

Of course, one could toss out that all purpose apologetic: it was didactic.
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« Reply #67 on: October 07, 2011, 04:52:14 AM »

I'd like to go more into depth with the idea that God in Christ still had to learn. This fascinates me.

He would have had to learn in the sense that, that's how we all grow as humans. In part this is being human and having flesh limitations which would have been new to Jesus 'the man' just as it is to all of us. The way his divine nature Philippians 2:6 and his human nature John 1:14 worked together, is a mystery that's fascinating i agree.
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« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2011, 05:11:23 AM »

THE ABOVE QUOTES GOT MIXED UP


The Gospels never really show Christ as not being in control of anything, with the exception of accepting the freedom of will of others and not overriding that.
You sure on that? Aside from Alveus' points. Here is where we have the onotological / providential & ontic divide.

But there is one passage in the Gospels that I simply love that demonstrates Christ was not the crypto-gnostic God EOs get close to.

But of course, I already know the apologies, which stand up to nil.

Want to guess the passage? It is in my favorite Gospel.


Quote from: melodist
I'm curious.

The woman who had the whole blood problem and touched Christ's robe. His power was drained from Him and she was healed and He didn't know who had done it, he simply felt it happen. He did not with intent heal nor control the healing of the woman.

Of course, one could toss out that all purpose apologetic: it was didactic.
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« Reply #69 on: October 07, 2011, 05:22:34 AM »

St. John Chrysostom wasn't baptised as a baby.
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« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2011, 05:29:32 AM »

Of course, one could toss out that all purpose apologetic: it was didactic.

Works for me. But then, I have some pretty ingrained (neo-)Platonist leanings.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #71 on: October 07, 2011, 05:38:58 AM »

The Gospels never really show Christ as not being in control of anything, with the exception of accepting the freedom of will of others and not overriding that.
You sure on that? Aside from Alveus' points. Here is where we have the onotological / providential & ontic divide.

But there is one passage in the Gospels that I simply love that demonstrates Christ was not the crypto-gnostic God EOs get close to.

But of course, I already know the apologies, which stand up to nil.

Want to guess the passage? It is in my favorite Gospel.

I'm curious.

The woman who had the whole blood problem and touched Christ's robe. His power was drained from Him and she was healed and He didn't know who had done it, he simply felt it happen. He did not with intent heal nor control the healing of the woman.

Of course, one could toss out that all purpose apologetic: it was didactic.
[/quote]


I admire your commitment to the text but without a crypto-Nestorian, "He was only ignorant in His human nature"-type explanation, I'm not sure what options we have that maintain His divinity other than it being rhetorical/didactic.
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« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2011, 10:40:13 AM »

The woman who had the whole blood problem and touched Christ's robe. His power was drained from Him and she was healed and He didn't know who had done it, he simply felt it happen. He did not with intent heal nor control the healing of the woman.

Of course, one could toss out that all purpose apologetic: it was didactic.

I was thinking about Christ not being able to perform mighty works because of unbelief on my way to work last night. Thought that might have been it.

Interesting.
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« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2011, 11:11:04 AM »

The topic of Christ having to learn like the rest of us even though he was fully God is an interesting one.  However, can we really understand this regardless of how much we discuss?  This is another heavenly mystery of our faith.  We cant truly understand Christ's nature.  We cant truly understand the Eucharist.  And we cant truly understand the resurrection.  I guess this is another one of those things we cant make sense of with earthly logic.
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« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2011, 11:13:36 AM »

True. I'm glad for the Church's mercy, because if we had to wait until we 'fully' understood the things of God, we'd be waiting forever.  Smiley
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« Reply #75 on: October 07, 2011, 11:49:56 AM »

True. I'm glad for the Church's mercy, because if we had to wait until we 'fully' understood the things of God, we'd be waiting forever.  Smiley

Exactly!
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« Reply #76 on: October 07, 2011, 12:05:13 PM »

No time to fix the quotes will reply to the non-replies later.

When I fix a messed up quote, please use the correction or fix the quote tags.

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« Reply #77 on: October 07, 2011, 12:12:44 PM »

St. John Chrysostom wasn't baptised as a baby.

Alas, many weren't. Does that mean infant baptism was a new tradition, or just that some of the greatest saints the Church has ever produced (St. John, St. Gregory, etc.) weren't part of that tradition?


No time to fix the quotes will reply to the non-replies later.

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No time to fix the quotes will reply to the non-replies later.

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What?
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« Reply #78 on: October 07, 2011, 01:14:33 PM »

Quote
Quote
St. John Chrysostom wasn't baptised as a baby.

Alas, many weren't. Does that mean infant baptism was a new tradition, or just that some of the greatest saints the Church has ever produced (St. John, St. Gregory, etc.) weren't part of that tradition?

Was it possible that some of these saints were converts?
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« Reply #79 on: October 07, 2011, 01:20:55 PM »

selam to you all
I thought I would share  few things here off tangent to what is the main topic here but still.... police Smiley

Consider this, before Incarnation the Lord God has been known to ask questions from humans when he knew full well the answers to. In the Garden of Eden, after the fall, Adam got this idea of hiding from the Lord God into his head, and the Lord God most compassionately indulged Adam's silly notion and called out to Adam asking Where are you?’  Genesis 3:9 then later on the first born of Adam Cain after killing his brother Abel thought he could hide it from the Lord so again the Lord asks the human Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ Genesis 4:9This same Lord asks coming to the tent of Abraham Genesis 18:9-15 where is Sarah, your wife?’ and later on when Sarah laughed within herself the Lord asks Abraham, “ why  did Sarah laugh, saying Shall I certainly bear a child, who am old?’’ He also asks is anything too hard for the LORD?’ even when she being afraid denied laughing, He confirmed it gently saying “no; but you did laugh’ 1 kings 19:9-13 the lord asks the Prophet Elijah while in the cave, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah? Again He repeats the question to the Prophet, ’What are you doing here, Elijah?’ these are the few examples of the All-knowing God appearing unknowing before the incarnation. so obviously it is not being united to flesh that makes Him question.

After the Incarnation we see that same God who came to Bethany to raise Lazarus asking  “Where have you laid him?” John 11:34 but in the case of the woman who suffered from the blood condition, He asks as a great testament of her faith He wants to honor, this woman who have lived in shame He wants to elevate, this woman who was had great faith He heals her of her physical malady and comforts her heart by letting her know that although she might have been insignificant and unknown by men, she is precious and known by the Lord of mankind.

Luke 8:42-48  As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”



This story as I understand it is in fact a great testament of his all-knowingness,  even as the Evangeline starts by mentioning how the crowd was almost crushing him, he stops and asks ‘ who touched me? And all denied, isn't that ironic? They were multitude who were surrounding him and pressing against him and they deny touching him, to which Peter logically points out that truth, in effect saying, are you serious? Look you are in the middle of a near stampede and you are asking for who touched you? this of course is my paraphrasing lol of course the Lord knows they were pressing on him, they were crowding him, however none of them but one touched him in great faith so he persists, the question we need to ask here is , why does he do so?, what is to him that he exposes the identity of the person who touched him? Is it to simply say hey nice to meet you, you snuck up on me and stole something I was not willing to give? Of course NOT! There was a purpose why he puts her in a spot light so to speak, and presses on and says ‘somebody has touched me: for I perceive that power has gone out of me.’ Okay if I were that woman, I would imagine I would feel torn, and shocked, one reason is because the malady I have requires I stay away from the crowd let alone touch the him the holy one, the second with the realization that he is not a prophet whom the all knowing God works in ( in this case I get healed by God, and we keep it between us and I go unnoticed)but the All knowing God Himself who knew who I am and what I have just done, and the gratitude of my restoration. So the Lord waits for her to respond and she comes forth, trembling and fell at his feet. IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL THE PEOPLE, she told why she had touched him and how she has been instantly healed. And the Lord Jesus goes on not only healing but comforting  this woman the outcast, shamed and humiliated daughter of Israel, he calls her ‘ DAUGHTER, , Be of GOOD COMFORT: your faith has made you whole; go in peace.’ For this reason he stopped the crowd, for this reason he asked who touched me. For this reason he went against logic and reason, and insisted that she comes forth, and when she did he comforted her heart made her memory immortal! Her story encourages us today to not just walk along with the crowd but to touch him in faith for he knows and cares about each one of us, even while he sustains the multitudes in all their needs. He not only heals us, but also comforts us, and honors us. So the point I was trying to make is not once did he not know, not once did he do something that he did not intend, all that is , Is because of Him. The Incarnation is a perfect Union, a Hypostatic Union, the Logos Incarnate who heals is the same One who called out to Adam “ where are you ?” in Paradise, the same One who said who touched me to the crowd. There is no separation of the Divine and the Human after the Union no, not even for the twinkling of an eye!

selam hunu Smiley
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« Reply #80 on: October 07, 2011, 01:47:39 PM »

Quote
Quote
St. John Chrysostom wasn't baptised as a baby.

Alas, many weren't. Does that mean infant baptism was a new tradition, or just that some of the greatest saints the Church has ever produced (St. John, St. Gregory, etc.) weren't part of that tradition?

Was it possible that some of these saints were converts?

Probably... St. Constantine comes to mind, for one. On the other hand, consider St. Gregory the Theologian: his father was a bishop, and yet he didn't get baptized till he was in his mid-20's, when he almost died at sea and promised God he'd get baptized if he survived. (Though St. Gregory later preached--in his 40th Oration--that people should not put baptism off, and baptize even infants).
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« Reply #81 on: October 07, 2011, 01:57:26 PM »

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

Lets get it all straight to avoid these cryptic Nestorian and Apollarian misunderstandings.  God is God.  God is Omniscient and Omnipotent.  There is nothing Jesus Christ did not know, there is nothing the Father does not know.  When Jesus Christ asked, "Who touched me?" it was not because He did not know, but to prove a point.  When I teach in the classroom, I often ask many questions to my students, and obviously I know the answer, but these are teaching moments.  The questions are for the benefit of the learning of the students (not to say I don't learn in the process Wink ) and this is the "Socratic method"

When Jesus Christ asks people questions, it is never because He didn't know the answer, it was to prove a Socratic point to the people He was asking.  When God the Father ask a question of Adam, or of Abraham, or of Jacob, or of Moses, or of Jeremiah, it is not because God the Father didn't know the answer, it is because He was teaching these men and making a Socratic point.  God knows all things, we are those with the limited perspective and understanding.

In regards to Jesus Christ "growing in stature and wisdom" which both the Gospels and the Fathers affirm, perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves in interpreting this as some kind of ignorance or lack of knowledge on the part of Jesus Christ.  When we say Jesus Christ is perfectly human, we do not imply that He lost or forwent the knowledge of His Omniscience from His being perfectly God.  Rather, His physical body was subject to the growth, maturation, and development that all of our physical bodies undergo.  His teeth feel out, He got sick, His bones and muscles grew and took changing form, just as our own children's bodies do.  This is what it means to be fully human in the Incarnation, that the unlimited God, who in His Hypostasis as the Divine Word is perfect, hypostatically united with the imperfection and limits of the human body to grow in the process of maturation that human bodies experience.  However, we can not suppose that He somehow forgot His Divinity, and that somehow He did not know certain things and therefore had to ask others. We know He is God Almighty, and knows all things, however whenever He seems to condescend to our level to humbly ask a question, it is Socratic example of a teachable moment, just as He stooped down to wash the Apostles feet with His own hands and garments, as if in His Divinity He couldn't have supernaturally just made their feet instantly clean.  Rather, He taught them the true humility of His Love, that we should learn by His perfect example to attempt the same, that is, as God Himself does not rashly adjust the entire rules of the Universe just for selfish purposes, we too shouldn't suppose we can provoke God's Divinity to accomplish our own selfish wills which was demonstrated in the Gospel instance where James and John ask for divine Fire to come down and burn a crowd of hecklers, and Jesus instead responded, "The Son of Man came to save, not to sacrifice and destroy." God does not want to give into His own impulses to destroy Sin, rather in His Grace and Love He tolerates our sin to allow us to in the scheme of Eternity draw to repentance.  Just as His own human body cooperated in synergy with His Divinity, we too learn by His example to commend our own bodies to His Divine power and synergy of His Grace.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #82 on: October 07, 2011, 08:55:10 PM »

In Bread & Water, Wine & Oil, by Archimandrite Meletios Webber, there is a chapter on this topic. Among other things he mentions that baptism is an enlightenment, an awareness brought to the level of the heart, not the mind, that even adults don't understand what is happening to them in participation of the Holy Mysteries. In the scriptures, children were part of the households brought for baptism. He also writes that belonging to the Church is not a matter of intellectual understanding but God Himself gathering His people.
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« Reply #83 on: October 07, 2011, 10:06:41 PM »

Quote
Quote
St. John Chrysostom wasn't baptised as a baby.

Alas, many weren't. Does that mean infant baptism was a new tradition, or just that some of the greatest saints the Church has ever produced (St. John, St. Gregory, etc.) weren't part of that tradition?

Was it possible that some of these saints were converts?

Probably... St. Constantine comes to mind, for one. On the other hand, consider St. Gregory the Theologian: his father was a bishop, and yet he didn't get baptized till he was in his mid-20's, when he almost died at sea and promised God he'd get baptized if he survived. (Though St. Gregory later preached--in his 40th Oration--that people should not put baptism off, and baptize even infants).
I read that one possible reason St. Constantine delayed his baptism was because it was a popular idea at the time that serious sins after baptism were very difficult to repent of, perhaps St. Gregory's father was of a similar mind and Gregory changed his mind about the idea in his older age.
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« Reply #84 on: October 07, 2011, 10:21:24 PM »

All this is certainly news to me.  I have always defended infant baptism by saying thats how it was always done.  But apparently, that isnt the case. 

What about these writings:

Irenaeus: For he came to save all by means of himself -- all, I say, who by him are born again to God -- infants, children, adolescents, young men, and old men. (Against Heresies II.22.4)

Hippolytus: And they shall baptize the little children first. And if they can answer for themselves, let them answer. But if they cannot, let their parents answer or someone from their family. And next they shall baptism the grown men; and last the women. (Apostolic Tradition 21.3-5)

And what about Tertullian?  Didnt he oppose it?  It seems there has been a lot of discussion on this even from the earliest of times...

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« Reply #85 on: October 07, 2011, 10:27:00 PM »

I have always defended infant baptism by saying thats how it was always done.  But apparently, that isnt the case.

It wasn't always done by everyone, but it was always done, and eventually became the universal standard throughout all of Christendom. In some locales it has always been done, for example I believe in Egypt it has always been practiced by everyone.
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« Reply #86 on: October 07, 2011, 10:34:48 PM »

I have always defended infant baptism by saying thats how it was always done.  But apparently, that isnt the case.

It wasn't always done by everyone, but it was always done, and eventually became the universal standard throughout all of Christendom. In some locales it has always been done, for example I believe in Egypt it has always been practiced by everyone.

One thing that certainly blows peoples minds is when I tell them that even Luther and Calvin supported infant baptism.  I have lots of friends who are self proclaimed Calvinist, so i always say... "Lovely! So you believe in the ever-virginity of Mary and youre gonna baptize your infants??"  Usually, they just agree with TULIP.  Then, you tell them that Calvin didnt come up with TULIP...

I sound like a jerk.  And I really dont think Im that smart. (because im not) But sometimes its funny to mess with my friends.  Especially the ones who have questioned me for wanting to become Orthodox...

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« Reply #87 on: October 07, 2011, 10:49:27 PM »

I can't tell you how frustrating "Reformed Baptists" are to me! They are the most ahistorical and selective/relativistic bunch of fundamentalists that I've ever seen.

Go ahead and pitch me the quick history on TULIP though as I haven't really looked into it. Something of Dort I think, but it was postmortem for Calvin? Is that the gist of it?
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« Reply #88 on: October 07, 2011, 10:56:46 PM »

My understanding after brief google search is that TULIP wasnt articulated until nearly 50 years after he died.  Sure, I guess they were based on some of his teachings or beliefs.  I havent read too much on it myself, as I have never found too much reason to pay it close attention.  Even as a protestant, my tradition was not Calvinist.  The discussions ive had with my friends never really go anywhere.  They say that God predestined everyone.  I say, no he didnt.  If the decision was already made, what was the purpose of Christ's work on the cross?  It usually just kind of fizzles after that.  Not because I presented some profound piece of information, (again, im not that smart) but because I think they arent really as Calvinist as they think.  Its just what your supposed to say of your southern baptist or presbyterian.  Sometimes, it seems like we actually agree somewhat but its the wording that gets in the way.

Maybe someone with more insight can help out.
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« Reply #89 on: October 07, 2011, 10:58:33 PM »

I think the "predestination" is another mystery of the faith.  I dont really like that word though.  Sure, God knows what the out come will be.  How could he not?  But I dont understand their argument of how that prevents us from having free will.  I think an omniscient God can grant us free will, but know us well enough to know what our choice will be...

who knows.
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