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Author Topic: Being Confident of this...  (Read 3686 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthonorm
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« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2011, 08:35:44 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.

This is where one ought to take a detour and demonstrate the typical understanding of mercy here ain't very accurate.

You might find you both are in more accord than not after that.
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« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2011, 08:36:27 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2011, 08:39:10 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?

Go ask your priest.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2011, 08:39:40 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?

Go ask your priest.
I already know what he would probably say. I'm asking you, missy.  Wink
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2011, 08:46:48 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?

Go ask your priest.

lol!

EDIT: And you say you are not Orthodox!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 08:47:13 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2011, 08:51:00 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?

Go ask your priest.
I already know what he would probably say. I'm asking you, missy.  Wink
Why, what's your point? There are many random questions in the world begging to be answered.

Will i ever get to drive a ferrari? How far east can you travel before you're heading west? Did Noah have woodpeckers on the ark?

What makes this one so pressing?
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« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2011, 08:54:05 PM »

What happened to demas? surely it is not God's promise to him that was broken, 2 Timothy 4:10 "for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica."

What does it mean to have confidence then? could it be, that we are to say yes to God constantly, so salvation is not forced upon us but while it is offered freely we still have to say yes and accept it? and that yes is not a one time deal,as we have seen with the case of demas who began but never finished, it is until we finish the race.... that there is a race by itself tells us that we must run and not sit and say someone has our crown waiting for us. we must cross the finish line to accept it, and that is the place of grace, to help us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.
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Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2011, 09:07:47 PM »

Let me ask you something. If a good trusted friend who came int o some money told you they had put aside a certain amount to pay for your schooling for the next three or four years however long you needed it. Would you be confident that if they said they were going to pay....they would? And yes, before you try and think of loopholes, they have the funds protected. (#laughs) Even if you can say that you would be mostly confident, how much moreso can we be confident in almighty God and our heavenly Father when He says He will complete a work in us?

But it will profit you nothing if you fail every course.

For the Lord said: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."

If i good friend tells you they will do something, you can pretty much trust they will do it. That's what the analogy was about.

Of course much will be required. God entrusts all kinds of gifts and callings in varying degrees which is why you have those weak in the faith, those strong, those who are babes and those who are wise and experienced in the faith.

Does God ultimately have mercy on absolutely everyone?

Romans 9:15
"For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

I can't believe you had to ask that.
I am aware of the verse. I am asking you, do you believe that God has mercy on absolutely everyone?
I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
What if, "on whom He will have mercy"= everyone?

What if it does?

Is the sky going to fall in?
Nope. Just trying to clarify what Nicholas was getting at.
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« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2011, 09:08:42 PM »

I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
So you think he won't have mercy on some, or might not?

You have the same words in front of you as i do.

I don't presuppose to know the mind of God.
The verse was in the context of justifying to the Hebrews why not all Jews would continue in the faith despite the Old Covenant.

Does God have mercy on those in hell?

Go ask your priest.
I already know what he would probably say. I'm asking you, missy.  Wink
Why, what's your point? There are many random questions in the world begging to be answered.

Will i ever get to drive a ferrari? How far east can you travel before you're heading west? Did Noah have woodpeckers on the ark?

What makes this one so pressing?
Because if you don't have faith in the mercy of God, then there's no point in having faith in your salvation or anyone else's.

Upon it stands and falls everything. And if anything can overcome it, then there is no hope.

"Oti eis ton aiona to eleos aftou"
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 09:11:15 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2011, 09:11:31 PM »

I absolutely did answer your question.
I beg to differ. You're like a Christian quoting Bible verses at an atheist. You can't even say for certain you believe in God and you want to jump right to, "I am saved."

We don't have infallible access to our own minds.

Of course my belief is going to be based on Holy Scripture -- why would it not be? Why would i have to start right from the existence of a God and the origins of the universe?

You and i are one Christian discussing with another about belief. Let's not turn this into a game of philosophical ping pong because i've neither the desire nor the inclination to flex my intellectual muscles, especially at this time of night.
Scripture must be read, understood, and believed. It is in how we do these things that the philosophy comes in to play.

"Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life," that is a statement that applies to a specific group of people, the believers. No belief, no salvation.

So, do you believe?
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« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2011, 09:18:08 PM »

I absolutely did answer your question.
I beg to differ. You're like a Christian quoting Bible verses at an atheist. You can't even say for certain you believe in God and you want to jump right to, "I am saved."

We don't have infallible access to our own minds.

May I use this?  Grin

It's not mine, just a common philosophy phrase, so go ahead Smiley
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« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2011, 09:26:08 PM »

Many of us have a fairly good "working knowledge" of protestantism, as many of us have been raised in it for a good part of our lives.
And to those who do i capitulate.

I haven't been to a service, no. I have no desire to and if i did, the one near me isn't in English it's a Greek onlyist church not a native seeker-friendly one "...and for that reason, i'm out." #laughs

how are you sure its a greek onlyist church if you've never been?
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« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2011, 09:28:21 PM »

This ain't working out.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #58 on: December 27, 2011, 09:32:00 PM »

This ain't working out.

Did you expect it to?  Wink
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« Reply #59 on: December 27, 2011, 09:33:12 PM »

This ain't working out.

Did you expect it to?  Wink

no expectations...that's how i roll.
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« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2011, 09:34:09 PM »

This ain't working out.

Did you expect it to?  Wink
I guess not.  Tongue Fountainpen is like Alfred with some sense.
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
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« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2011, 07:41:13 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

Philippians 1:6
"..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy. I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people not a liberating freedom which causes people to rejoice in the work of the cross.
Perhaps that is because you are looking at Orthodox Christianity from the outside rather than from the inside.
That exactly what a woman at work told me concerning Scientology, i wasn't about to open myself up to that without checking it out first either. Good job i didn't listen to her i'd say.

Confidence is indeed appropriate insofar as we are partakers of grace, as Paul says in rest of his sentence:  "...even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart inasmuch as both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel ye are partakers of my grace" (Phil. 1: 7). Paul's confidence was not confidence in a vacuum; it is confidence "because..." and "inasmuch as..." There is no doubt that God will finish His work in those who continue to partake of His grace.
Therein lies the reason for our confidence.

If someone is not really made new, then they won't be doing the will of the Father in heaven. Their main concern is not going to be the Father's will, it's going to be socialising at church or fitting in with others maybe. For those whose main concern is wanting to follow Christ and to be made more Christ-like, they will take seriously feeding and clothing the needy, giving generously and treating people with love even when it hurts them to do so - prefering others to yourself.

That's where the rubber hits the road, when you have to lay your own goals and desires aside for the sake of another.
+1  -though I don't see this as something Orthodox don't practice.
Neither do i.

Primuspilus, when we are so focused on ourselves and how we're doing, we can easily become self-obsessed. Feeling constantly unworthy causes depression and can also be quite debilitating.
Despair, fear, lack of confidence in Christ's ability to complete His work etc. which you describe is unorthodox. This was certainly Luther's experience as a Roman Catholic monk, however Luther was reacting emotionally to the demands of a paradigm of merit which had developed in the medieval period which was not a part of the faith of the first Christian millennium (nor is it a part of Orthodoxy) or even the NT Judaizers who Paul opposed.http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/did-luther-get-it-wrong-most-major-contemporary-pauline-scholars-say-yes/  Luther's solution to his psychological distress of ever-failing to meet the demands of the medieval paradigm of attaining sufficient merit, rather than returning to the therapeutic model which was never fixated on merit, was to transfer it from the merit of works, storehouses of superabundant merit of the saints (these also being medieval developments) to Christ. This was the historical germ of a controversy which would develop within trajectories of Protestantism wrestling with the issue of "legalism vs. license," which is a never ending debate e.g. between Calvinists, Arminians, Lutherans, Dispensationalists etc. (and also re. the medieval Roman Catholic model) with the same characteristic twists; from an Orthodox perspective the whole manner in which the debate is framed in the West has the wrong focus, in part because it is focused on the question of what one can or cannot merit (guilt/merit), whereas the Orthodox therapeutic tradition places focus on our sins in order to heal them rather than to condemn (sickness/healing/transfiguration/theosis; Christ came to heal and transfigure us rather than to condemn).
It's not uncommon to find that the official line is very different from the experience of the average person living it.

Being focused on God however, and doing his will means we let go of that self-consciousness that can, in some people, cause them to feel like they will never be able to overcome their sin. The strength of sin is the law, the bible tells us and whenever we apply rules or "law" to a situation, we are bound (in more ways than one) to repeat the action - hence, strengthening sin.
This again is the medieval paradigm of what the problem of the law was/is which was assumed in the argument between the Reformation and the Latin Catholic West, which model has been massively critiqued and abandoned among major contemporary scholars.

Part of our healing involves introspection/self-examination; to simply dispense with self-examination in your sense of "we let go of that self-consciousness" is unbiblical: "Examine yourselves... test yourselves" (2 Cor 13:5). It is not one's confession which is examined, but one's self. We also are conscious of ourselves when we confess our sins to be cleansed of all unrighteousness (1 Jn 1:9) which cleansing in many Protestant trajectories is viewed as transpiring at one Grand Moment in the past (not to deny that it begins, and has a past dimension, but cleansing of unrighteousness also has a continual dimension in scripture, as does Christ's ministry of intersession continue in the present -because it is something still needful for us).
There is a great difference between being overly conscious of ourselves, our sin and subsequent worth in relation to others and a healthy examination and private petition to God in full repentance.

Self examination has a *therapeutic* purpose in Orthodoxy rather than having a legal function. Orthodox soteriology and praxis is often described, in fact, as the classical/patristic "Therapeutic Model." The purpose of the Orthodox Church and her practices is *not* to condemn us, but to heal us. A praxis of penance under the guidance of one's spiritual father, for example, not to merit anything to balance out one's sin (as if God has some sort of celestial cash register he is checking for the proper balance), but -if/when it is deemed prudent- to suggest a manner of behavior which specifically is the opposite of the sin one may have a serious problem with (else penance might not be prescribed) -as an aid to developing better habits. We will not be as likely to genuinely grow and become transfigured if we refuse to examine ourselves honestly. But the purpose of such a process rightly understood should lead to healing, not despair. A spirit of fear is not from Christ.
Yes, you said as much earlier on.

God's way (as illustrated in the prodigal son account), is to allow a person to sin, to let them go and do what their desire is to do.
Sometimes God's way is to say directly "...go, and sin no more" -John 8:11. But you may be tempted to react to such a passage as a counter-prooftext through the lens of Calvinist/Arminian/Dispensationalist style debates about perfectionism and the fear that not stressing the demands of holiness will open the door to license. Patristic theology moved beyond this issue as a problem in the third century when the perfectionism of the Novationists was deemed heretical while at the same time Christ's demands to pursue holiness without which no one will see the Lord were also equally stressed. Not either/or, but both/and.[1]
It's interesting that you should respond with John 8:11 and set up the very issue that Orthodoxy has apparently "moved beyond".

if our trust is completely in all that Christ has done..."
Yes, but we also trust in what Christ is doing now; he is still interceding for us; he is still cleansing us from unrighteousness in the present tense (1 Jn 1:9). In Orthodoxy it is not just Christ's work in the past that is emphasized. That is why we continue to come before Christ in confession and are introspective about our sin. Not because we despair -to the contrary!- but because we live in the grace of Christ's present and continual work of intercession. Heb 7:25: "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come (προσερχομένους: Gk present/continual action participle) to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."
Yes absolutely. We should be confident in what He has done, is doing and promises to do -- you're quite right.

Quote from: FountainPen
nothing whatsoever that we have accomplished within ourself through striving to be worthy
This much is absolutely correct insofar as we are saved by God alone. When the Spirit of God accomplishes something this however does not negate the involvement of the self (not as a Savior!), for example the fruit of the Spirit is self-control (Gal 5); our worthiness is wrought in God (Jn 3:19-21).
It doesn't negate our involvement, no.

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Quote
This returns to my former question, how many of us will repent at all times? "Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect." Isn't that what it takes to be saved? How do you repent and obey 51% (or even 99%) of the time?
God saves repentant sinners. He does not parse us mathematically, to ask "how much is repentant and how much is sinner?" It is not the one who fails a mathematical equation that will be lost, but the soul who refuses to repent is in danger of being lost. Not "fails to repent X amount of the time," but refuses to repent.
I'm not entirely sure i understand you here. Repentance isn't about specific sins per se, i would say it's more about a general heart attitude of repentance that continually desires to follow Christ and demonstrates this desire through obedience and humility.

Heb 12:25:  "See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?"

We are made perfect on a relational basis as we abide in the mercy of the Perfector, partake of His flesh and blood, find mercy through the prayers of intercession which are offered continually, and the intercessions offered by the Holy Spirit when we do not know how to pray which are beyond expression in human words:

Rom 8:26: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Christ Himself continues to intercede for us also, as we are told in Hebrews. This should make it plain that our forgiveness is not a "done deal" finished in a single Grand Moment of uttering the Sinners Prayer; if all the future sins were expiated a single instant in the past, what on earth would there be left to intercede for?

ORTHODOX PRAYER OF REPENTANCE
"O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended thee, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray the O Lord; of thy mercy forgive me of all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen."

We need absolution "for all things wherein in word, or deed, or thought, and with all... senses, whether voluntary or involuntary; whether through knowledge or ignorance... may all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted..." (The Prayer of Absolution).
Hmm...flesh and blood....absolution.... i think i'll leave that for another thread.

Now you might say, how can we admit we sin every day of our lives and resolve to sin no more?
No, not really.

Jaroslav Pelikan has remarked that most major heresies in Christian history emphasize one pole of a dialectical dogma. We are not big enough to look at the call to repent and "pursue ...holiness without which no man will see the Lord" (Heb 12:14) and the reality that there is no man who lives continually and never sins, and conclude we must only preach one side and pitch the other: EITHER human moral perfection as St. Cyril rebuked the heretic Novatus for doing,[1] OR scrap the notion that we should take seriously the call to pursue holiness, or repent continually (repent in the NT is frequently in the Gk. continual present -not a Grand Moment, but a lifestyle of repentance is in view there), die to the self, etc. Like the mystery of the incarnation we Orthodox say yes to all of it -no half Gospel or truncated Gospel for us!- and we pray to live it until our last breath.
I think we might part company on the 'imputed righteousness' issue.

"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." —St. John Chrysostom

God saves repentant sinners "in Him" who abide in the Vine. That relational basis is dialectical: we come to Christ praying "Lord have mercy!" and "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" We are not lost because we cannot repent enough seconds of the day, but if we refuse to repent, and thus unto the ages of ages (cf. Heb 10:26ff.).
____________________
[1]"What answer then will those make to this, who embrace the new tenets of Novatus, and say of themselves that they are pure? Whose prayer do they praise? That of the Pharisee, who acquitted himself, or that of the Publican, who accused himself? If they say that of the Pharisee, they resist the divine sentence; for he was condemned as being boastful: but if that of the Publican, why do they refuse to acknowledge their own impurity? Certainly God justifies those who know well their transgressions, and are willing to confess them: but these men will have the portion of the Pharisee. We then say, that in many things we "all of us offend," and that no man is pure from uncleanness, even though his life upon earth be but one day. Let us ask then of God mercy; which if we do, Christ will justify us: by Whom and with Whom, to God the Father, be praise and dominion, with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen." -Cyril of Alexandria, Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, Sermon 120

"If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." -1 John 1:8

“Imitate the Publican and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water." -Sayings of the Desert Fathers

"...anybody who thinks he is something great, even before God, is rightly abandoned by God, as one who thinks that he does not need His help." -St. Gregory Palamas, Discourse on the Publican and the Pharisee

"When the foolish thought of counting up any of your good works enters into your head, immediately correct your fault and rather count up your sins, your continual and innumerable offenses against the All-Merciful and Righteous Master, and you will find that their number is as the sand of the sea, whilst your virtues in comparison with them are as nothing." - St. John of Kronstadt

"The Pharisee went up to the temple with a proud and empty heart; the Publican bowed himself in repentance. They both stood before you, O Master: the one, through boasting, lost his reward, But the other, with tears and sighs, won your blessing: Strengthen me, O Christ our God, as I weep in Your presence, since You are the lover of mankind!" -Lenten Triodion

Thanks for the patristic quotes. I've made note of them so i can look them up and read them in the context they were written  Wink
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 07:47:02 AM by FountainPen » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2011, 07:54:32 AM »

This ain't working out.

Did you expect it to?  Wink
I guess not.  Tongue Fountainpen is like Alfred with some sense.

That's what we call a backhanded compliment #jaw drop
Pearson? I've read some of the long-winded threads, i don't think so.

Quote
Because if you don't have faith in the mercy of God, then there's no point in having faith in your salvation or anyone else's.

Upon it stands and falls everything. And if anything can overcome it, then there is no hope.

"Oti eis ton aiona to eleos aftou"
I don't necessarily disagree with what you've said here.

Forever in His mercy -- amen!
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« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2011, 07:57:10 AM »

Philippians 1:6
"..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy. I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people not a liberating freedom which causes people to rejoice in the work of the cross.

Do you see a Reformed understanding of this verse in the Early Church? You seem to be interpreting the Scriptures through the prism of Calvin, whereas Orthodox christianity interprets through the prism of the Fathers and Councils. Do you believe in OSAS?

Please direct me to the extra-Biblical sources (e.g. Fathers, Councils, historians) that shows that the Early Church understood this verse in a "Reformed" or Calvinistic way. Thanks.

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« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2011, 08:02:41 AM »

Many of us have a fairly good "working knowledge" of protestantism, as many of us have been raised in it for a good part of our lives.
And to those who do i capitulate.

I haven't been to a service, no. I have no desire to and if i did, the one near me isn't in English it's a Greek onlyist church not a native seeker-friendly one "...and for that reason, i'm out." #laughs

how are you sure its a greek onlyist church if you've never been?

Because it's not in English when it could easily be so. I'm pretty sure that the Greeks who live and work in Britain can and do speak English very well. There's no earthly reason why the service couldn't be in English and therefore be more inclusive to the natives who are providing the hospitality.

I don't know, you come over here, use our churches... #laughs
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« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2011, 08:09:48 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation, you seem to have misunderstood me. Only the Serbians seem to have much of a "theology" of infrequent communion as you're alluding to. The Romanians who don't do it are superstitious hicks who don't know theology worth beans (or lukewarm Greeks) who never give Church a second thought and just do it that way because they only go to Church on major feast days anyhow.* The Russians and Arabs have always been big on frequent communion AFAICT.

*And no, before someone gets angry, I don't think all Romanians and Greeks are lukewarm.
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« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2011, 08:10:30 AM »

I absolutely did answer your question.
I beg to differ. You're like a Christian quoting Bible verses at an atheist. You can't even say for certain you believe in God and you want to jump right to, "I am saved."

We don't have infallible access to our own minds.

Of course my belief is going to be based on Holy Scripture -- why would it not be? Why would i have to start right from the existence of a God and the origins of the universe?

You and i are one Christian discussing with another about belief. Let's not turn this into a game of philosophical ping pong because i've neither the desire nor the inclination to flex my intellectual muscles, especially at this time of night.
Scripture must be read, understood, and believed. It is in how we do these things that the philosophy comes in to play.

"Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life," that is a statement that applies to a specific group of people, the believers. No belief, no salvation.

So, do you believe?
Yes
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« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2011, 08:16:05 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
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« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2011, 08:19:39 AM »

I absolutely did answer your question.
I beg to differ. You're like a Christian quoting Bible verses at an atheist. You can't even say for certain you believe in God and you want to jump right to, "I am saved."

We don't have infallible access to our own minds.

Of course my belief is going to be based on Holy Scripture -- why would it not be? Why would i have to start right from the existence of a God and the origins of the universe?

You and i are one Christian discussing with another about belief. Let's not turn this into a game of philosophical ping pong because i've neither the desire nor the inclination to flex my intellectual muscles, especially at this time of night.
Scripture must be read, understood, and believed. It is in how we do these things that the philosophy comes in to play.

"Whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life," that is a statement that applies to a specific group of people, the believers. No belief, no salvation.

So, do you believe?
Yes
You sure? How do you know you aren't just saying that for some unconscious reason like fear of death? You'll never be able to plumb the depths of your mind to a degree that you can say with one hundred percent certainty that you believe something. We're really good at fooling ourselves, all of us.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with relative certainty. For all everyday intents and purposes, we can say we really believe and that consequently God will keep us in His grace so we don't fall away. Orthodox believe this, Protestants believe this as well at their best. But the absolute, mathematical style certainly you're trying to beat up Orthodoxy for not having is an impossibility.
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« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2011, 08:24:55 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?
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« Reply #70 on: December 28, 2011, 08:41:09 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?

I'm sure Orthodoxy can stand on its own merit without having to direct the focus to Protestantism for ridicule just to even the score #rolls eyes
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« Reply #71 on: December 28, 2011, 09:12:41 AM »

This isn't about ridicule, this is about what's sauce for the goose being sauce for the gander. You want to throw some rocks at Orthodoxy, you best pick ones that don't put you in a glass house.

And that's my cliche quota for the rest of the year, I reckon.
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« Reply #72 on: December 28, 2011, 09:18:31 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?


I see it more of a way of expressing a belief that God is so awesome and wonderful that we can never, on our own, come close.   That God will have us enter into communion with Him is a very great gift, indeed.   We do all need to reflect and atone, and not just give lip service to God's incredible power and truth and beauty and love.  We all know we sin, we fall short, we have moments where we do not turn the other cheek, or offer a coat or food to people in need, where we at times might want to draw admiration from others instead of practicing humility.  Even if people say they feel unworthy, they still go up to receive the precious gifts.  If they really did feel unworthy in the sense being portrayed here in this strawman debate, I doubt they would go up.   St. Paul admonishes to not receive the Eucharist unworthily or risk damnation.

I Cor. 11, 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.





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« Reply #73 on: December 28, 2011, 09:40:03 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?


I see it more of a way of expressing a belief that God is so awesome and wonderful that we can never, on our own, come close.   That God will have us enter into communion with Him is a very great gift, indeed.   We do all need to reflect and atone, and not just give lip service to God's incredible power and truth and beauty and love.  We all know we sin, we fall short, we have moments where we do not turn the other cheek, or offer a coat or food to people in need, where we at times might want to draw admiration from others instead of practicing humility.  Even if people say they feel unworthy, they still go up to receive the precious gifts.  If they really did feel unworthy in the sense being portrayed here in this strawman debate, I doubt they would go up.   St. Paul admonishes to not receive the Eucharist unworthily or risk damnation.

I Cor. 11, 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.






We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion, but abstaining just to abstain as though you're a more vile sinner than others is a slap to God's face and indicative of some spiritual problem.

The context of 1 Cor. 11:29 is primarily people who don't give a care about the Eucharist, it's important to keep that in mind.
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« Reply #74 on: December 28, 2011, 09:45:58 AM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?


I see it more of a way of expressing a belief that God is so awesome and wonderful that we can never, on our own, come close.   That God will have us enter into communion with Him is a very great gift, indeed.   We do all need to reflect and atone, and not just give lip service to God's incredible power and truth and beauty and love.  We all know we sin, we fall short, we have moments where we do not turn the other cheek, or offer a coat or food to people in need, where we at times might want to draw admiration from others instead of practicing humility.  Even if people say they feel unworthy, they still go up to receive the precious gifts.  If they really did feel unworthy in the sense being portrayed here in this strawman debate, I doubt they would go up.   St. Paul admonishes to not receive the Eucharist unworthily or risk damnation.

I Cor. 11, 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.






We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion, but abstaining just to abstain as though you're a more vile sinner than others is a slap to God's face and indicative of some spiritual problem.

The context of 1 Cor. 11:29 is primarily people who don't give a care about the Eucharist, it's important to keep that in mind.


Yes, this is very true.... I was more reacting to the premise that Orthodox feel more unworthy than their Protestant brethren.  I have never seen any evidence of the sort. 
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« Reply #75 on: December 28, 2011, 11:04:32 AM »

In Orthodox church we are supremely confident of our Lord's saving act for us.  On an individual level however, it is better for us to not be overly confident of our ability to enter into that salvation (let not your right hand know what your left does), but rather to strive towards Christ through acts of love and mercy (imitation).  One thought that comes to mind is that orthodoxy stresses cooperation between the human and the divine that we witness in the person of our Lord.  At no time does God "save" us against our will.  This being the case we must strive to draw near to Him.  In general I think protestants ask the question "how is one saved"? whereas Orthodox say "how can I draw closer to Christ?  The first is formulaic and often reduced to one act.  The second is fluid, alive, like a relationship, and involves a continual renewal (repentance) and drawing closer, like in a marriage.  As I like to remind myself and occasionally others, there are no rules in the church, only expressions of fidelity.  This relationship can grow cold, like what happens in some marriages, but this has no bearing on  the profound realities available to us in the church and expressed in Her dogma, but rather is the outcome of some type of ontological denial or rejection in an individual person.  We see this drama played out in the Garden and throughout history; the coming of Christ does not abolish this profound mystery of human freedom, but rather fulfills prophecy and makes it a binding reality for us by virtue of what has been revealed to us.
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« Reply #76 on: December 28, 2011, 11:44:34 AM »

Quote
I believe... that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.
That line will get you into trouble with other Protestants, especially the evangelicals....however, I believe you're absolutely right on this point.

PP
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« Reply #77 on: December 28, 2011, 03:23:17 PM »

As far as "I don't see this confidence in Orthodoxy.  I see guilt, unworthiness and a burden that crushes people", may I ask what has led you to that conclusion?  Is it from a local parish?  Books you've been reading?  Or from discussions on this board?  I think it would help us (me) to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
It doesn't matter what's led me to that conclusion, suffice to say that it's what i think.
I think you are inventing rather than discovering this problem. It doesn't matter whether your impression is based on something?
Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

If you're basing this on our conversation,

No not entirely, i've read it on here from various posters and also in a podcast which briefly touched on the Eucharist.
Ok.

Even if it is more widespread than that, so what if a lot of Orthodox have a terrible view of the Eucharist? A lot of Protestants are Easter-Christmas-if-that cultural Christians anyway and many of the ones who aren't get swept up into nutcase faith-healing movements. Does this mean Protestant theology itself encourages a merely nominal or ridiculous faith?


I see it more of a way of expressing a belief that God is so awesome and wonderful that we can never, on our own, come close.   That God will have us enter into communion with Him is a very great gift, indeed.   We do all need to reflect and atone, and not just give lip service to God's incredible power and truth and beauty and love.  We all know we sin, we fall short, we have moments where we do not turn the other cheek, or offer a coat or food to people in need, where we at times might want to draw admiration from others instead of practicing humility.  Even if people say they feel unworthy, they still go up to receive the precious gifts.  If they really did feel unworthy in the sense being portrayed here in this strawman debate, I doubt they would go up.   St. Paul admonishes to not receive the Eucharist unworthily or risk damnation.

I Cor. 11, 29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.






We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion, but abstaining just to abstain as though you're a more vile sinner than others is a slap to God's face and indicative of some spiritual problem.

The context of 1 Cor. 11:29 is primarily people who don't give a care about the Eucharist, it's important to keep that in mind.


Yes, this is very true.... I was more reacting to the premise that Orthodox feel more unworthy than their Protestant brethren.  I have never seen any evidence of the sort. 
Ok. Understood.
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« Reply #78 on: December 28, 2011, 03:37:35 PM »

We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion
The ones who abstain most of the time typically do not go to confession or say the prayers of communion, which is a widespread practice thanks to the Turkokratia, Communism, weird old-world babushka piety, inexcusable chillin' and probably werewolves and vampires.

Ask Augustin how many of these "serial abstainers" are saying all the prayers before communion and going to confession but still won't receive because of "unworthiness".
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« Reply #79 on: December 28, 2011, 03:39:43 PM »

Well put in a less bitter and sleep deprived manner than I  laugh
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« Reply #80 on: December 28, 2011, 08:22:44 PM »

We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion
The ones who abstain most of the time typically do not go to confession or say the prayers of communion, which is a widespread practice thanks to the Turkokratia, Communism, weird old-world babushka piety, inexcusable chillin' and probably werewolves and vampires.

Ask Augustin how many of these "serial abstainers" are saying all the prayers before communion and going to confession but still won't receive because of "unworthiness".

Nicholas, i didn't say that, Vol did  Grin
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« Reply #81 on: December 28, 2011, 11:46:19 PM »

The tangential discussion of Immanual Kant and the Categorical Imperative has been split off and moved to Religious Topics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=41966.0
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« Reply #82 on: December 29, 2011, 03:02:32 AM »

We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion
The ones who abstain most of the time typically do not go to confession or say the prayers of communion, which is a widespread practice thanks to the Turkokratia, Communism, weird old-world babushka piety, inexcusable chillin' and probably werewolves and vampires.

Ask Augustin how many of these "serial abstainers" are saying all the prayers before communion and going to confession but still won't receive because of "unworthiness".

Nicholas, i didn't say that, Vol did  Grin
Sorry, t'was a struggle to disentangle that quote mess.
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« Reply #83 on: December 29, 2011, 05:01:51 AM »

We are all unworthy. I can understand abstaining if you haven't been to confession in a while or if you didn't say the prayers before communion
The ones who abstain most of the time typically do not go to confession or say the prayers of communion, which is a widespread practice thanks to the Turkokratia, Communism, weird old-world babushka piety, inexcusable chillin' and probably werewolves and vampires.

Ask Augustin how many of these "serial abstainers" are saying all the prayers before communion and going to confession but still won't receive because of "unworthiness".

Nicholas, i didn't say that, Vol did  Grin
Sorry, t'was a struggle to disentangle that quote mess.

That's okay.
Feel free to do it again but make sure it's one of those times he posts something erudite and profound.
(Oh and that i agree with)
 Wink
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« Reply #84 on: December 29, 2011, 06:27:24 AM »

I'm eruditely erroneous and profoundly pedestrian  laugh
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« Reply #85 on: December 29, 2011, 09:13:09 AM »

I haven't been to a service, no. I have no desire to and if i did, the one near me isn't in English it's a Greek onlyist church not a native seeker-friendly one "...and for that reason, i'm out." #laughs

I would have done the same thing in your postion having never been to a liturgy before.
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« Reply #86 on: December 29, 2011, 10:03:16 AM »

Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

A few points on this.

I know I recently abstained from Communion until being able to go to confession, I hope my example didn't come across as being over critical of myself or my personal worthiness. I promise you I have a number of personal faults that i fall to on a daily basis that I confess periodocally, constantly struggle against, pray for healing, and seek union with Christ in Communion as a source of strength in fighting them. If you ever get a chance to read the precommunion prayers that are typically found in an Orthodox prayer book, there is great faith and confidence placed in Christ as being our victory over sin, Communion to be necessary in overcoming sin, and Christ's great love for mankind to accept us in our sinful state as long as we are repentent and seeking Him. That and after receiving communion, we sing a hymn of thanksgiving,

Let our mouths be fuilled with Thy praise O Lord, for Thou hast made us worthy to partake of Thy holy, immortal, and life creating Mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that all the day we may meditate upon thy righteousness.

That being said, I can't say I know for sure everyone's reasons for abstaining from the Eucharist. Maybe from feelings of personal unworthiness, maybe it's just what they were taught to do by their parents (I'm not saying this makes it right).

What about those who have so much confidence that they ignore Paul's instructions to examine oneself? Or when the pastor mentions this instruction, but immediately before distributing whatever their particular denomination serves denying those present the time for self examination and preparation? Or the invitation is given in such a manner that if one abstains, it becomes similar to denying the Christian faith altogether, even if one finds themself in a postition where they should abstain? I don't mean to Protestant-bash here, but these situations should be taken into account when comparing different reasons for receiving or abstaining from Communion.

And there's always the possibility that Orthodox Christians can recieve Communion in a casual manner that is irreverent and possibly disrepectful.
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« Reply #87 on: December 29, 2011, 11:48:26 AM »

Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

A few points on this.

I know I recently abstained from Communion until being able to go to confession, I hope my example didn't come across as being over critical of myself or my personal worthiness. I promise you I have a number of personal faults that i fall to on a daily basis that I confess periodocally, constantly struggle against, pray for healing, and seek union with Christ in Communion as a source of strength in fighting them. If you ever get a chance to read the precommunion prayers that are typically found in an Orthodox prayer book, there is great faith and confidence placed in Christ as being our victory over sin, Communion to be necessary in overcoming sin, and Christ's great love for mankind to accept us in our sinful state as long as we are repentent and seeking Him. That and after receiving communion, we sing a hymn of thanksgiving,

Let our mouths be fuilled with Thy praise O Lord, for Thou hast made us worthy to partake of Thy holy, immortal, and life creating Mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that all the day we may meditate upon thy righteousness.

That being said, I can't say I know for sure everyone's reasons for abstaining from the Eucharist. Maybe from feelings of personal unworthiness, maybe it's just what they were taught to do by their parents (I'm not saying this makes it right).

What about those who have so much confidence that they ignore Paul's instructions to examine oneself? Or when the pastor mentions this instruction, but immediately before distributing whatever their particular denomination serves denying those present the time for self examination and preparation? Or the invitation is given in such a manner that if one abstains, it becomes similar to denying the Christian faith altogether, even if one finds themself in a postition where they should abstain? I don't mean to Protestant-bash here, but these situations should be taken into account when comparing different reasons for receiving or abstaining from Communion.

And there's always the possibility that Orthodox Christians can recieve Communion in a casual manner that is irreverent and possibly disrepectful.

I've noticed several people swinging too far in the opposite direction when trying to explain the reasons and in an effort to avoid overconfidence is not an adequate defense. The confidence we have is in Christ CHRIST, not our own ability to abstain from whatever sin that challenges us, we all have them. Messengers from Satan, thorns in our side, weaknesses, struggles, whatever you want to call them, they are common to man in our human condition and that's why Christ made provision for us on our behalf, because we could not. You can't be overconfident in Christ.
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« Reply #88 on: December 29, 2011, 06:26:55 PM »

Do you dispute that people feel that they are not worthy enough to participate in the Eucharist on many occasions and that feeling this way actually prevents them from receiving so much so that they only end up taking it as little as once a year?

A few points on this.

I know I recently abstained from Communion until being able to go to confession, I hope my example didn't come across as being over critical of myself or my personal worthiness. I promise you I have a number of personal faults that i fall to on a daily basis that I confess periodocally, constantly struggle against, pray for healing, and seek union with Christ in Communion as a source of strength in fighting them. If you ever get a chance to read the precommunion prayers that are typically found in an Orthodox prayer book, there is great faith and confidence placed in Christ as being our victory over sin, Communion to be necessary in overcoming sin, and Christ's great love for mankind to accept us in our sinful state as long as we are repentent and seeking Him. That and after receiving communion, we sing a hymn of thanksgiving,

Let our mouths be fuilled with Thy praise O Lord, for Thou hast made us worthy to partake of Thy holy, immortal, and life creating Mysteries. Keep us in Thy holiness, that all the day we may meditate upon thy righteousness.

That being said, I can't say I know for sure everyone's reasons for abstaining from the Eucharist. Maybe from feelings of personal unworthiness, maybe it's just what they were taught to do by their parents (I'm not saying this makes it right).

What about those who have so much confidence that they ignore Paul's instructions to examine oneself? Or when the pastor mentions this instruction, but immediately before distributing whatever their particular denomination serves denying those present the time for self examination and preparation? Or the invitation is given in such a manner that if one abstains, it becomes similar to denying the Christian faith altogether, even if one finds themself in a postition where they should abstain? I don't mean to Protestant-bash here, but these situations should be taken into account when comparing different reasons for receiving or abstaining from Communion.

And there's always the possibility that Orthodox Christians can recieve Communion in a casual manner that is irreverent and possibly disrepectful.

I've noticed several people swinging too far in the opposite direction when trying to explain the reasons and in an effort to avoid overconfidence is not an adequate defense. The confidence we have is in Christ CHRIST, not our own ability to abstain from whatever sin that challenges us, we all have them. Messengers from Satan, thorns in our side, weaknesses, struggles, whatever you want to call them, they are common to man in our human condition and that's why Christ made provision for us on our behalf, because we could not. You can't be overconfident in Christ.

You seem very confident, Fountainpen, in your interpretation of Scripture. In fact, you are brimming with confidence.

Can you show that your interpretation of Scripture is consonant with history, that it is grounded in the ancient Church? Because if not, you are just innovating.
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« Reply #89 on: December 29, 2011, 08:22:46 PM »

I've noticed several people swinging too far in the opposite direction when trying to explain the reasons and in an effort to avoid overconfidence is not an adequate defense.

To quote my priest, we nelieve in frequent Communion, not casual Communion.

Quote
The confidence we have is in Christ CHRIST, not our own ability to abstain from whatever sin that challenges us, we all have them. Messengers from Satan, thorns in our side, weaknesses, struggles, whatever you want to call them, they are common to man in our human condition and that's why Christ made provision for us on our behalf, because we could not.

I don't consider these things to be a reason for abstaining from Communion. In fact these things can only be overcome in Christ, Who we partake of in Communion.

Quote
You can't be overconfident in Christ.

Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord...
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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