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Author Topic: The co-dependency of the Christian God  (Read 3158 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: October 26, 2011, 02:33:11 PM »

I apologize for the hyperbole and of course, I can't prove this to be so anymore than I can prove that there is a God.  But it's something I've been thinking about the past few weeks.

I'm not a psychologist or relationship counselor so I admit my use of these terms may be off, but have any of you wondered why in the Old Testament God announces that he/she is a jealous God and cannot tolerate us talking to other Gods.  Jealousy, from my understanding, is the mark of immaturity. It's not an aspect of real love.  At least if we're to believe what we read about love in Corinthians.  Thousands of years later, in the New Testament, we have Jesus the Christ telling those of us with a recalcitrant attitude to depart from him because he didn't know us.  Is this is yet another aspect of jealousy/immaturity?  "Since you didn't love me when you had the chance, I refuse to have anything whatsoever to do with you now."  Or maybe rather than being co-dependent, the better word would be narcissist?   

Believe me friends, I'm open to differing explanations.  In fact, I hope I'm way off.
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 02:43:15 PM »

Hello, My Name is *all of humanity dies* and I AM a grateful member of Al-Anon.

*silence*

I hate when this happens . . .
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 02:58:11 PM »

...have any of you wondered why in the Old Testament God announces that he/she is a jealous God and cannot tolerate us talking to other Gods.  Jealousy, from my understanding, is the mark of immaturity. It's not an aspect of real love.
...

Believe me friends, I'm open to differing explanations.  In fact, I hope I'm way off.
I did a bit of checking on the word "jealous" and found this. It appears that "jealous" has not always had a negative connotation - in fact, quite the opposite. With that understanding, we might say that God declares Himself to be full of zeal and single-minded. It seems to me that we are called to be the same towards Him.

Not a complete answer, of course, but a quick one. Perhaps one of our Greek or Hebrew scholars can add more.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 03:04:37 PM »

Ask you priest. LMAOROF!
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 03:14:01 PM »


This goes also from the 10 Commandments - "I am the Lord thy God, ... Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

However, no other "gods" exist...unless we make them.  They are all false gods, and they will all lead to our self destruction.

For example, a pagan god....people will pray, beg, sacrifice....and get nothing in return, and have wasted so much of their life fruitlessly.
An addiction is also a type of god.  One dedicates their life to it....they think about it, spend money on it and obsess over it.   All these are not healthy for your body and even less so for your soul.

Therefore, God, in his all-loving kindness, instructs us to avoid these things, not because of our understanding of "jealousy" or "egotism" but, in order to protect us from harm.

When years later, Christ states: in Matthew 7:21-23
   
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Read the whole thing.  He will not turn His back on those who are good, only the lawless.

By now, everyone has heard of Christ, His message, His miracles, etc...and everyone has a choice to make.  Either choose to follow Him, or not.  It's a clear choice.

Of those who choose not to....may the Lord have mercy and enlighten them before it is too late.

Of those who choose to follow Him....may the Lord have mercy and enlighten them, as well.

For not everyone who thinks they are saved, is saved.  Those who never took the time to cloth the poor, visit the sick, etc.  Those who talked the talk, but, didn't walk the walk.  The Pharisees who stand up front in church, who fast, and know the Bible inside and out, who can quote verses,...and yet, their heart is hardened towards their fellow man....who are selfish, uncaring and unhelpful....they may think they are saved, but, they are not.

Nobody is guaranteed a free ticket.  We may be running the race, we may slow down and let others pass us, we may actually fall down, take a rest....but, we need to get back up and keep going.  The race isn't over, until it's over. 
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 03:18:00 PM »

I think it's an anthropromophism. Using human language and ideas to help us understand Divine things. God is not "jealous" in the vicious sense of the term. Rather, as the infinite, aboslute, supreme reality, that is the source of existence and redemption, he deserves every bit of our attention and devotion. It is only just that he receives such. However, it's not as if he is "needy" as he needs nothing from us at all. He is completely content and perfect in himself.
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 03:33:11 PM »

I think it's an anthropromophism. Using human language and ideas to help us understand Divine things. God is not "jealous" in the vicious sense of the term. Rather, as the infinite, aboslute, supreme reality, that is the source of existence and redemption, he deserves every bit of our attention and devotion. It is only just that he receives such. However, it's not as if he is "needy" as he needs nothing from us at all. He is completely content and perfect in himself.

But of course . . .

If you want to know God read Proclus, not the Bible.

Many EOs agree with our RC friend here. They really don't realize how much they have in common.

And I am out.
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 03:34:14 PM »

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

This is a great question well worth asking.

Lets look at the etymology.

In the Scriptures, the Hebrew for "jealous" is

 קַנָּא  qa'nna  

which stems from a primitive root which implies "jealous" but not in the vindictive sense of the English, but rather more according to the concept of "zealous" which is an emotion which causes one to action.  God's jealousy is not primal or selfish like our own, because we know that God is not selfish.  Rather, God's jealousy is like what our own jealousy should look like, it is a reflection on the contemporary circumstances and an inward call for decisive action as a consequence.  

This is better elaborated by the Greek which was used in the Septuagint.

ζηλόω  zay-loo

This more correctly implies the call to action, as this verb is itself rooted in the Greek ζέω (zeo) which literally means to bubble up, to boil like water for cooking. Now, is it morally wrong or psychologically immature for water to boil? No, quite the opposite, when water is being boiled it is usually for an explicit purpose or function.  We boil water to cook, or clean, or to make tea/coffee.  Likewise, we should use the zeolos Jealousy to boil within us towards action.  It does not have to be "bad" in the moral sense, as neither is boiling water good or bad in any moral sense.  The boiling water becomes "bad" if it is misused, or scalds someone, but even then, it is not necessarily good or bad, as the boiling of the water had not good or bad intentions.  Neither does God's jealousy have good or bad intentions, rather, God's jealousy causes Him to boil over and act decisively.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 03:34:57 PM »

Hello, My Name is *all of humanity dies* and I AM a grateful member of Al-Anon.

*silence*

I hate when this happens . . .

POTM
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 03:41:29 PM »

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

This is a great question well worth asking.

Lets look at the etymology.

In the Scriptures, the Hebrew for "jealous" is

 קַנָּא  qa'nna  

which stems from a primitive root which implies "jealous" but not in the vindictive sense of the English, but rather more according to the concept of "zealous" which is an emotion which causes one to action.  God's jealousy is not primal or selfish like our own, because we know that God is not selfish.  Rather, God's jealousy is like what our own jealousy should look like, it is a reflection on the contemporary circumstances and an inward call for decisive action as a consequence.  

This is better elaborated by the Greek which was used in the Septuagint.

ζηλόω  zay-loo

This more correctly implies the call to action, as this verb is itself rooted in the Greek ζέω (zeo) which literally means to bubble up, to boil like water for cooking. Now, is it morally wrong or psychologically immature for water to boil? No, quite the opposite, when water is being boiled it is usually for an explicit purpose or function.  We boil water to cook, or clean, or to make tea/coffee.  Likewise, we should use the zeolos Jealousy to boil within us towards action.  It does not have to be "bad" in the moral sense, as neither is boiling water good or bad in any moral sense.  The boiling water becomes "bad" if it is misused, or scalds someone, but even then, it is not necessarily good or bad, as the boiling of the water had not good or bad intentions.  Neither does God's jealousy have good or bad intentions, rather, God's jealousy causes Him to boil over and act decisively.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Good for you. This is the sorta think Nick was alluding to about we being more inline at times it seems Christologically and regarding the "nature" of God in general than with others here.

Nice stuff. I love etymological arguments and going through both roots is a bit of the top nerd, but I like it.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 04:26:27 PM »

I think it's an anthropromophism. Using human language and ideas to help us understand Divine things. God is not "jealous" in the vicious sense of the term. Rather, as the infinite, aboslute, supreme reality, that is the source of existence and redemption, he deserves every bit of our attention and devotion. It is only just that he receives such. However, it's not as if he is "needy" as he needs nothing from us at all. He is completely content and perfect in himself.

But of course . . .

If you want to know God read Proclus, not the Bible.

I can never tell if you're being serious or not.  If not, what's the take-away lesson you're wanting to impart?  If so, why Proclus?  I mean the usual response seems to be to pray more and then the ubiquitous fall-back "Ask your priest."  Not that asking a priest is a bad thing at all, it's just that they're required to tow the party line whereas sometimes it's good to know how us everyday folks cope.

BTW, I didn't get your first joke response.  Can you give a brother a hand?

Regarding your assertion that EO's have more in common with RC's than they know/care to acknowledge- I'd say you're right on.  For example, I've always gotten more from "The Imitation of Christ" than "Unseen Warfare" and for the longest time that bothered me because I held the erroneous opinion that EO's shouldn't read anything else, spiritually speaking, other than EO books.  That type of thinking was causing some major cognitive dissonance.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 05:58:54 PM »

I think it's an anthropromophism. Using human language and ideas to help us understand Divine things. God is not "jealous" in the vicious sense of the term. Rather, as the infinite, aboslute, supreme reality, that is the source of existence and redemption, he deserves every bit of our attention and devotion. It is only just that he receives such. However, it's not as if he is "needy" as he needs nothing from us at all. He is completely content and perfect in himself.

But of course . . .

If you want to know God read Proclus, not the Bible.

I can never tell if you're being serious or not.  If not, what's the take-away lesson you're wanting to impart?  If so, why Proclus?  I mean the usual response seems to be to pray more and then the ubiquitous fall-back "Ask your priest."  Not that asking a priest is a bad thing at all, it's just that they're required to tow the party line whereas sometimes it's good to know how us everyday folks cope.

BTW, I didn't get your first joke response.  Can you give a brother a hand?

Regarding your assertion that EO's have more in common with RC's than they know/care to acknowledge- I'd say you're right on.  For example, I've always gotten more from "The Imitation of Christ" than "Unseen Warfare" and for the longest time that bothered me because I held the erroneous opinion that EO's shouldn't read anything else, spiritually speaking, other than EO books.  That type of thinking was causing some major cognitive dissonance.


I dunno if you really want an answer or how much good it would do.

But consider yourself blessed that you didn't get the joke. I am glad some people haven't had to deal with "recovery" in some form on this planet.

I'll PM you. And we can talk.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 08:29:09 PM »

I think it's an anthropromophism. Using human language and ideas to help us understand Divine things. God is not "jealous" in the vicious sense of the term. Rather, as the infinite, aboslute, supreme reality, that is the source of existence and redemption, he deserves every bit of our attention and devotion. It is only just that he receives such. However, it's not as if he is "needy" as he needs nothing from us at all. He is completely content and perfect in himself.

But of course . . .

If you want to know God read Proclus, not the Bible.

I can never tell if you're being serious or not.  If not, what's the take-away lesson you're wanting to impart?  If so, why Proclus?  I mean the usual response seems to be to pray more and then the ubiquitous fall-back "Ask your priest."  Not that asking a priest is a bad thing at all, it's just that they're required to tow the party line whereas sometimes it's good to know how us everyday folks cope.

BTW, I didn't get your first joke response.  Can you give a brother a hand?

Regarding your assertion that EO's have more in common with RC's than they know/care to acknowledge- I'd say you're right on.  For example, I've always gotten more from "The Imitation of Christ" than "Unseen Warfare" and for the longest time that bothered me because I held the erroneous opinion that EO's shouldn't read anything else, spiritually speaking, other than EO books.  That type of thinking was causing some major cognitive dissonance.


I dunno if you really want an answer or how much good it would do.

But consider yourself blessed that you didn't get the joke. I am glad some people haven't had to deal with "recovery" in some form on this planet.

I'll PM you. And we can talk.

Cool.  I look forward to that.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 09:03:28 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah. But our Orthodox Christian God is relatable, and He condescends to us through natural and special revelation. I think the apophatic approach keeps us from making God in our image, without reducing God to the auterity of Islam's Allah. When we read that our God is a "jealous" God, the apophatic approach helps us. We ask ourselves if we can affirm that God is jealous in the same sense that we are jealous, and the answer is most definitely "no."

Anyway, I don't really have an answer for you. The more we try to make sense of these things, the more we may become frustrated and confused. Not that it's wrong to seek understanding. In the end, I guess it really comes down to those experiences of God that transcend explanation- e.g. the beauty of that sunset which moves you to tears and reveals more truth than all the theological texts ever written. We have to remember those moments and experiences wherein we felt the touch and presence of God in our lives. Why are they so few and far between? I don't know. But in the midst of the darkness, we have to remember that we have bathed in the Light. Those profound moments of spiritual awareness that were all too fleeting nevertheless revealed the reality and love of God. We cling to the remembrance those moments, choosing to believe that they provide glimpses of the eternal peace that Our Lord ultimately has in store for us.

Forgive my insignificant ramblings.


Selam
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 09:36:18 PM »

The Church reveals to us who God is through her prayers, through her services, through her scriptures, and through her sacraments.
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2011, 10:08:24 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah. But our Orthodox Christian God is relatable, and He condescends to us through natural and special revelation. I think the apophatic approach keeps us from making God in our image, without reducing God to the auterity of Islam's Allah. When we read that our God is a "jealous" God, the apophatic approach helps us. We ask ourselves if we can affirm that God is jealous in the same sense that we are jealous, and the answer is most definitely "no."

You raise a good point about the EOs being able to approach becoming crypto-Muslims in their understanding of God. I was saying this tonight to a few folks at Vespers.

But I have to say that the apophatic approach to a Jealous God does not lead necessarily lead to a God that is not jealous as we are. The apophatic approach to understanding can go many places and really this is where people better have read Plotinus and Proclus and contemporary thinking on the no.

The more interesting question becomes for most us, can we become jealous as God is?

As Christians we are called to be perfect like our Father is in virtue of Christ.

What is perfect jealousy? And how does it look when incarnate. Well this is why the perfect humanity of Christ is so important to stress; He is often where we can turn to find such examples. The example of perfect anger for instance.

And to the Saints to the degree they obtained perfection in various ways and moods of being in light of grace in their humanity.

Again props to be Habte for some ruminations on the subject already.
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2011, 10:10:45 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah.
Hang out with some Sufis. Wink
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2011, 08:44:51 AM »

I apologize for the hyperbole and of course, I can't prove this to be so anymore than I can prove that there is a God.  But it's something I've been thinking about the past few weeks.

I'm not a psychologist or relationship counselor so I admit my use of these terms may be off, but have any of you wondered why in the Old Testament God announces that he/she is a jealous God and cannot tolerate us talking to other Gods.  Jealousy, from my understanding, is the mark of immaturity. It's not an aspect of real love.  At least if we're to believe what we read about love in Corinthians.  Thousands of years later, in the New Testament, we have Jesus the Christ telling those of us with a recalcitrant attitude to depart from him because he didn't know us.  Is this is yet another aspect of jealousy/immaturity?  "Since you didn't love me when you had the chance, I refuse to have anything whatsoever to do with you now."  Or maybe rather than being co-dependent, the better word would be narcissist?    

Believe me friends, I'm open to differing explanations.  In fact, I hope I'm way off.

Good morning, Gabriel,

This is such a good question . . .I think it is a question I hear from a lot of people who begin to understand what co-dependency is - especially if that person is a co-dependent.  One of the most significant traits of a co-dependent is that they are abnormally loyal to their addict. . . to the point of harming themselves and destroying their lives.  

This is just one of the huge differences between God and a co-dependent.  God CAN be absolutely loyal to us without having harming himself or having really ANY effect on His life.  So He is the ONLY ONE . . . who can afford to be truly loyal through OUR addictions, or self destructive behaviors - our narcissism. . .and our many many other isms. . .you see. . . after the fall we ALL became addicts. . .we're addicted to this world in one way or another or completely engulfed.  

He does not lose His identity in us: In HIS addicts - losing the identity is the true mark of a co-dependent. . .they are no longer themselves, they lose their identity, but they are a consistent reactive spout at the whim of the addiction. . .constantly reacting to the actions of someone else - never 'responding' to that someone and living their OWN lives in the process of all the crisis, problems and denials the addiction brings to the household.

Please keep in mind the true co-dependent is addicted to the addict.  There are many many people out there that truly love their addict and are loyal to their addict, but they are NOT addicted to their addict, they do NOT 'enable.'  I've never read or seen any instance where God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit - where the Holy Trinity ENABLED someone or ENABLES us - He always sets very clear boundaries.  "If you do THIS. . .THAT will happen. . .THAT is the consequence."  In every example He's ever presented in the Bible I see this and I'm awed. . .I want to be like Him when I grow up. 

His boundaries are based in LOVE for the person He is dealing with.  He is basically saying each and every time, "If you do this, the consequence is - you will die."  If we hang ourselves in a noose, we will die.  If we jump off a cliff onto the rocks below, we will die.  If we hate our brother and commit murder, we will die.  

We often look at the result of sin as a judgment call on God's part. . . as if we are in court and the lawyer is trying to defend by stating that we weren't wrong. . . but the prosecutor has a set case. . .and the judge sentences death.  

This is not a death 'sentence' . . .this is a death 'consequence'.  Just as in hanging yourself - death is the result. . . if you do this to yourself, the result is:  You will kill yourself.  

So each and every judgement of the Old and New Testament is the above.  

The statement you talk about where those who come up to Him and say "Lord Lord, didn't we do this for you or that for you?" And He says - depart from me, you lawless, I never knew you:  Is the direct result of their PRIDE.  The action they decided to take at the end after all their 'good works' that they NEVER consulted Him about.  They never asked.  They never sought after Him. . .hence - He never 'knew' them.  To know Jesus is to know the Father, to know the Father is to have eternity.  If you don't KNOW Him, you can't HAVE Him.  Consequence.  

The other part of this statement is the pride of "I deserve".  None of us deserve anything.  Not one thing.  We were paid for by the price of His blood.  We cannot do ANYTHING in and of ourselves.  If the Holy Spirit withdraws from us, wow... we won't pray. . .we won't seek. . .we will die. . .spiritually.  There's nothing worse than that spiritual death.  It's dead.  There is no life in it. . there is no care in it. . . when it happens to me - and I hope it NEVER happens again. . .it's more than I can bear . . . truly the worst loss.. . worse than all the other losses in my life - I might as well be a psycho or socio path. . .because I don't care what the consequences are and have no aptitude or capacity for love.  None.  I'm dead.

So they are basically going up to the Throne of the King, standing before Him - the King who became NOTHING so that we might live. . .the King who made Himself naked and weak and the bottom of the dregs so that we might live - and they are saying. . ."heh. . .YOU didn't do jack and not only did you not do jack - but I didn't NEED you to do jack.  Look what I did. . . and I did it in YOUR name - so you can't argue with THAT either, can you?  I did this in your name, and that in your name. . .and it wouldn't have happened unless YOU THOUGHT I WAS IN GOOD STEAD WITH YOU. - - SO LET ME IN, I DESERVE IT."

Heh. . . but the consequences of sin is death. . .and pride is a huge sin. . . a sneaky pious posing  . . . sin.  

Pride kills us. . .and He has to kill the pride in most of us . . .so that we might live.  The thing is, killing that pride is uber painful.  It breaks us.  But he'd rather us be in pain. . .than dead.  

So, no. . .the Christian God is not co-dependent.  He present the healthiest love I've ever seen in my life.  Good sound boundaries, pure selfless love. . .and a good healthy identity.  

Hope this helps.  Smiley  Peace to you!  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God - eternal, have mercy on Gabriel with all that he does in every moment of his life that he might love fully and have life and have it in abundance.

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« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2011, 09:56:17 AM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah.
Hang out with some Sufis. Wink

Or, some Bektashis over some mezes and raki. OTH, I would say that the Sufis are distinctly in the minority and that Gebre's statement holds true for the vast majority of past and present Muslims.
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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2011, 12:39:39 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah.
Hang out with some Sufis. Wink

Or, some Bektashis over some mezes and raki. OTH, I would say that the Sufis are distinctly in the minority and that Gebre's statement holds true for the vast majority of past and present Muslims.
Perhaps, but distinct minorities are often the vibrant heart of a culture. Cool
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2011, 12:54:14 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah. But our Orthodox Christian God is relatable, and He condescends to us through natural and special revelation. I think the apophatic approach keeps us from making God in our image, without reducing God to the auterity of Islam's Allah. When we read that our God is a "jealous" God, the apophatic approach helps us. We ask ourselves if we can affirm that God is jealous in the same sense that we are jealous, and the answer is most definitely "no."

You raise a good point about the EOs being able to approach becoming crypto-Muslims in their understanding of God. I was saying this tonight to a few folks at Vespers.

But I have to say that the apophatic approach to a Jealous God does not lead necessarily lead to a God that is not jealous as we are. The apophatic approach to understanding can go many places and really this is where people better have read Plotinus and Proclus and contemporary thinking on the no.

The more interesting question becomes for most us, can we become jealous as God is?

As Christians we are called to be perfect like our Father is in virtue of Christ.

What is perfect jealousy? And how does it look when incarnate. Well this is why the perfect humanity of Christ is so important to stress; He is often where we can turn to find such examples. The example of perfect anger for instance.

And to the Saints to the degree they obtained perfection in various ways and moods of being in light of grace in their humanity.

Again props to be Habte for some ruminations on the subject already.

There was a thread on here about anger once. I remember everyone saying there was no such thing as holy or perfect anger, and that Jesus didn't really experience anger (even though the Gospel says He did)...
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2011, 01:08:35 PM »

But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah.

You're absolutely right.  In fact, in all the names Muslims have for Allah (I think there are 99), love is not one of them. Hard to have joy when there is no love.
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« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2011, 01:16:48 PM »

But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah.

You're absolutely right.  In fact, in all the names Muslims have for Allah (I think there are 99), love is not one of them. Hard to have joy when there is no love.
Al-Rahman and al-Raheem (the Compassionate and the Merciful), the second and third names of the 99 Names, certainly are essential components of "love".
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« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2011, 01:18:07 PM »

^I would suggest that those may be expressions of love (energies, if you will  Grin), but not synonymous. 
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« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2011, 01:20:26 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah. But our Orthodox Christian God is relatable, and He condescends to us through natural and special revelation. I think the apophatic approach keeps us from making God in our image, without reducing God to the auterity of Islam's Allah. When we read that our God is a "jealous" God, the apophatic approach helps us. We ask ourselves if we can affirm that God is jealous in the same sense that we are jealous, and the answer is most definitely "no."

You raise a good point about the EOs being able to approach becoming crypto-Muslims in their understanding of God. I was saying this tonight to a few folks at Vespers.

But I have to say that the apophatic approach to a Jealous God does not lead necessarily lead to a God that is not jealous as we are. The apophatic approach to understanding can go many places and really this is where people better have read Plotinus and Proclus and contemporary thinking on the no.

The more interesting question becomes for most us, can we become jealous as God is?

As Christians we are called to be perfect like our Father is in virtue of Christ.

What is perfect jealousy? And how does it look when incarnate. Well this is why the perfect humanity of Christ is so important to stress; He is often where we can turn to find such examples. The example of perfect anger for instance.

And to the Saints to the degree they obtained perfection in various ways and moods of being in light of grace in their humanity.

Again props to be Habte for some ruminations on the subject already.

There was a thread on here about anger once. I remember everyone saying there was no such thing as holy or perfect anger, and that Jesus didn't really experience anger (even though the Gospel says He did)...

Of course, because the Bible is completely wrong usually and needed to be fixed by a buncha pseudo-philosophers arguing and occasionally letting the word Christ slip in.

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« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2011, 01:57:30 PM »

^I would suggest that those may be expressions of love (energies, if you will  Grin), but not synonymous. 

 That makes zero sense.  How can one be void of love, yet have an expression of it?
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« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2011, 01:58:45 PM »

I think Liza, Papist, and HabteSelassie offered some very good comments. As you well know, Islam is extremely careful not to anthropomorphize God in any way. But the God of Islam seems impersonal, cold, and austere. There is no joy in the god Allah. But our Orthodox Christian God is relatable, and He condescends to us through natural and special revelation. I think the apophatic approach keeps us from making God in our image, without reducing God to the auterity of Islam's Allah. When we read that our God is a "jealous" God, the apophatic approach helps us. We ask ourselves if we can affirm that God is jealous in the same sense that we are jealous, and the answer is most definitely "no."

You raise a good point about the EOs being able to approach becoming crypto-Muslims in their understanding of God. I was saying this tonight to a few folks at Vespers.

But I have to say that the apophatic approach to a Jealous God does not lead necessarily lead to a God that is not jealous as we are. The apophatic approach to understanding can go many places and really this is where people better have read Plotinus and Proclus and contemporary thinking on the no.

The more interesting question becomes for most us, can we become jealous as God is?

As Christians we are called to be perfect like our Father is in virtue of Christ.

What is perfect jealousy? And how does it look when incarnate. Well this is why the perfect humanity of Christ is so important to stress; He is often where we can turn to find such examples. The example of perfect anger for instance.

And to the Saints to the degree they obtained perfection in various ways and moods of being in light of grace in their humanity.

Again props to be Habte for some ruminations on the subject already.

There was a thread on here about anger once. I remember everyone saying there was no such thing as holy or perfect anger, and that Jesus didn't really experience anger (even though the Gospel says He did)...

Of course, because the Bible is completely wrong usually and needed to be fixed by a buncha pseudo-philosophers arguing and occasionally letting the word Christ slip in.



 Seeing how we can't even agree on a Bible, let alone what it says, who the heck knows?
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« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2011, 02:04:08 PM »

Seeing how we can't even agree on a Bible, let alone what it says, who the heck knows?
I think this is where faith comes in, because as long as humans are involved, no one is going to agree...
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« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2011, 02:12:15 PM »

Seeing how we can't even agree on a Bible, let alone what it says, who the heck knows?
I think this is where faith comes in, because as long as humans are involved, no one is going to agree...

I would completely agree with you, but then this doesn't really solve anything because everyone has faith that their understanding is the truth.  But this discussion is for another thread.
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2011, 02:26:37 PM »

Thanks for all the replies.  There have been a few responses that I have learned from.  Though I've always been somewhat successful at holding these types of thoughts at bay with prayer and faith, it feels as though I'm plugging the Hoover Dam with all my fingers and toes; not a very successful endeavor, you can imagine. 

In all sincerity though, I thought I would create a few threads where I would play the Devil's advocate in high hopes that my doubts would be met with something far stronger.  As I type these words though, I find that in all honesty, I just don't care at this point.  Really.  It's such an enormous weight on me because I'm just not the type to "let go and let God."  If God truly exists and loves me and wants me to hang out with him, well, He knows where I live.

Ceau ceau si la revedere!  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2011, 02:38:58 PM »

Gabriel,

Have you spoken to your priest about these concerns?

It's killing me to see you throw in the towel, like this.

I'd like to refer you to a post from a while back.  Perhaps it will help you decide why you are no longer convinced that God exists and Orthodoxy is His Church.



http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11758.msg159140.html#msg159140

 Hi All,

 Being a convert myself, I can identify with a lot of the thoughts and ideas presented here. Here's my 2 cents worth. I think the answer lies in the two differing world outlooks; Western vs. Eastern. Westerners are fiercely individualists, ex. 'the Bible means what I say it means'. The East is about community, ex. 'the Bible means what the Church says it means'. Westerners want things quickly, and we tend to over focus on 'the bottom line' rather than appreciating 'the journey' to said bottom line. The West is famous for outlining and making lists such as "Five Easy Steps Towards (fill in the need or want), whereas the East, while having a well worn path, warns you from the outset that while the goal is achievable, it is at the same time, difficult. Western attention spans are terribly short- we want what we want when we want it and everything must be presented to us in easily digestable bits or we lose interest. In other words, boil it down to a bumper sticker.
 
 In EO, the goal is all about Theosis. To achieve that means to slowly give up a lot of our creature comforts. It's not naval gazing like some of the other Eastern religions, but there is a great deal of interior work. Also, genuine repentance does not come easy for anybody, Westerners are famous for playing victims (Well, I only did it because...). We hate admitting we messed up. And we sure as heck don't want someone else (eg a priest) knowing we messed up. I could go on, but y'all get the picture. And I'm speaking of the 'Big Picture' here.

 There's any number a person may leave anything; too hard, too bored, too much pressure from family, etc etc. The charge has been put forward that EO simply doesn't do anything for people (as far as social programs go). As a whole, in the West, this is true. But here and there you see many parishes with outreach and other community programs. Obviously the larger, and thus, more wealthy parishes, will be able to do much more than a smaller parish can. And as EO continues to grow and become more visible, this will eventually need to change (To whom much is given, much will be required...)

 A lot more could be said, and in a much better way than I can say it, but these are a few examples/reasons that come to my mind...

 Gabriel




Whatever, your reason, look to the "bigger picture" as you stated above.

I wish you all the best.

May God always bless you.


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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2011, 02:45:41 PM »

Whatever, your reason, look to the "bigger picture" as you stated above.

I wish you all the best.

May God always bless you.




This. I truly sympathize.
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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2011, 02:46:18 PM »

^I would suggest that those may be expressions of love (energies, if you will  Grin), but not synonymous. 

 That makes zero sense.  How can one be void of love, yet have an expression of it?

Let me rephrase then:  Mercy and compassion may be similar to love, but they are, in fact, not love.  I know plenty of generous people but with hardened hearts.  Their generosity is more the result of a cultural programming in what you have to do, observing a moral law, rather than being generous because they love the person.
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« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2011, 03:17:41 PM »

^I would suggest that those may be expressions of love (energies, if you will  Grin), but not synonymous. 

 That makes zero sense.  How can one be void of love, yet have an expression of it?

Let me rephrase then:  Mercy and compassion may be similar to love, but they are, in fact, not love.  I know plenty of generous people but with hardened hearts.
But do you know any compassionate people with hardened hearts?
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