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Author Topic: How accurate is this article?  (Read 8836 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robb
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« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2010, 02:30:32 AM »

I have absolutly no idea on whether or not to beleive in Toll Houses.  No Orthodox Christian is required to beleive in this as a dogma of the faith.  The Greeks (and Syrians, I think) certainly don't.

Here is a link to some great articles which give a questionable view of Toll Houses.


http://constans_wright.tripod.com/notolls.html

The "Tollhouse Account" presents the gnostic concept that demons sit in judgment over souls, usurping Christ's place, and involves the legalistic notion that one's sins must be "balanced" by an equal number of good deeds (or extrameritous prayers of one's spiritual father) else he will not attain heaven. There are 20 such "tollbooths" at each of which a different kind of sin is judged by the demons. If an insufficient amount of good works is found for the soul... off to hell with it! (And the un-Baptized non-Orthodox go straight to hell; they do not pass through the toll-houses.) This is found in the Theodora Vision, the foundational document for the tollhouse story.

The "Toll-House Story" stands in opposition to the clear and joyful true teaching of the Orthodox Church. From a Catechism of the Greek Orthodox Faith:

With death comes the separation of the soul from the body. The body returns to the earth from which it was taken. It decomposes but it is not lost. The time will come when it will be resurrected, spiritualized and made incorruptible, at the time of the just judgement. And then it will be united with the soul to be judged along with the soul. In the meantime, the soul which was separated, through death, from the body, lives in a middle state. It undergoes the particular judgement. "It is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes the judgement"(Hebrews 9:27). This means that immediately after death the soul is judged individually. It remains after this particular judgement until the final judgement, at the second Coming of Christ, having a foretaste of paradise or of hell.

At the final judgement, which will take place at the Second Coming of Christ, all people will be presented before Him to be judged. The evangelist Matthew tells us the following: "Before Him will be gathered all nations"(Matthew 25:32). At the final judgement, the souls will not be the only ones to be presented. We will be presented wholly, with our body and soul--with all our personhood. Body and soul will be judged. St. Paul tells us: "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body" (2 Corinthians 5:10).

At the final judgement everyone will be judged according to their faith and their works. Christ will then separate the just from the unjust or sinners. "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34), and to the sinners He will say: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). Then "they [sinners] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life"(Matthew 25:46). This will be the final judgement. After the final judgement, there will either be eternal life or hell--eternal punishment. There will be no changes after the final judgement. The just will be grounded in their righteousness and will always be righteous, and will live eternally. The sinners will be stabilized in their sin. They will not be able to change. They will live in hell. They too will live. They will not vanish, as some fools say. The above verse makes that vividly clear.

This will occur to man after death. In order for this to happen, two things must come first: the resurrection of the dead by which the soul will be reunited with the body, and the Second Coming of Christ.

With death, the soul is separated from the body. It receives a particular judgement and remains separated until the Second Coming of Christ and the final judgement. At the final judgement, man will be presented before Christ as a full person, with a body and soul. For man to be presented like this, his body must be resurrected and be united with the soul. This will happen immediately before the final judgement. Holy Scripture absolutely assures us of this.



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« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2010, 02:38:57 PM »

I don't know what to think about tollhouses, but it seems clear to me that the labels of "heresy" and "Gnostic" are extreme. Clearly some great saints subscribed to some version of the toll house theory, and it can be found in widely acceptable books like the Jordanville Prayer Book. The accusation of Gnosticism is an empty rhetorical flourish that does little to illuminate the question at hand.
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« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2010, 01:13:28 AM »

Why do many Greeks seem to be really against the Toll House theology?

I'm just curious since most of the really passionate writtings against this belief that I've come across have been authored by Greeks.
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« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2010, 02:04:52 AM »

I have absolutly no idea on whether or not to beleive in Toll Houses.  No Orthodox Christian is required to beleive in this as a dogma of the faith.  The Greeks (and Syrians, I think) certainly don't.

I was received into Orthodoxy via the OCA. I've never even heard of tollhouses outside of the internet.
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« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2010, 02:27:38 AM »

The Orthodox Church is very ethnically diverse. The guy probably either had a bad experience in an ethnic parish or has no real experience and was basing this statement off of something he read somewhere on the internet.

He admits in the very beginning of the article: "One practical hurdle was that in the South, where I grew up, there weren’t many Orthodox around."

He also says "The other practical hurdle was a lack of theological resources. There have been more books published since, and much information is available on the Internet (which wasn’t commercially available then), but at the time I was limited to a few books on Orthodoxy by Jaroslav Pelikan and Timothy (now Bishop Kallistos) Ware." I think this is a fair point to make. I wonder how his journey would have turned out if he were starting it today.
Wasn't he writing for a major catholic site?if so I find it strange that the roman catholic church let this guy write so inaccurately about the Orthodox church, in a major roman catholic site.

I don't. They have a love-hate relationship with us. When they love us they adore us and respect us more than we do them, and when they hate us they revile us as if scum more than we do them. And what mode they choose to subsist in "coincidentally" depends on how receptive we are to their courtship.

(noting of course that this is a generalization of my experience of them and does not apply to all)
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« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2010, 02:34:53 AM »


Being in a multi-racial marriage tends to make this kind of thing more apparent in my family. My wife really doesn't like that fact that about half of the Orthodox Parishioners are Russian and 'all' are white... It makes her feel a bit out of place. At our Catholic Parish, there are lots of African Americans and Latinos so she feels more at home.

This is particularly reinforced by the fact that many EO & OO churches refuse to not use foreign or even archaic languages in their liturgy and also refuse to stop dedicating themselves to their preservation and furtherance of their ethnicity as part of their mission as a church.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2010, 10:34:54 AM »

Why do many Greeks seem to be really against the Toll House theology?

I'm just curious since most of the really passionate writtings against this belief that I've come across have been authored by Greeks.

I think the critique comes generally from liberal academic theologians in general, and not just Greeks. Forgive me if I overgeneralize. I don't know why they are so vehemently opposed to it. There are also Greeks who support the "toll house theology." These include Dr. Constantine Cavarnos and Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos).

Here is a paper on the subject, with many quotes from the Fathers, co-authored by Dr. Harry Boosalis. www.sthermanoca.org/documents/frjohn_papers/Toll_Houses.pdf
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« Reply #52 on: February 29, 2012, 10:30:45 PM »

Why do many Greeks seem to be really against the Toll House theology?

I'm just curious since most of the really passionate writtings against this belief that I've come across have been authored by Greeks.

I think the critique comes generally from liberal academic theologians in general, and not just Greeks. Forgive me if I overgeneralize. I don't know why they are so vehemently opposed to it. There are also Greeks who support the "toll house theology." These include Dr. Constantine Cavarnos and Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos).

Here is a paper on the subject, with many quotes from the Fathers, co-authored by Dr. Harry Boosalis. www.sthermanoca.org/documents/frjohn_papers/Toll_Houses.pdf

just to clarify -- this paper was not co-authored by Dr. Harry, but was written for his class on Eschatology.
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« Reply #53 on: February 29, 2012, 10:46:15 PM »

I've been on the CAF forum before.  90% of those people are completely crazy, overzealous, and fanatical ideologues.  You'd have a better chance moving a brick wall with your bare hands then converting (or even just getting them to think) about Orthodoxy.

The funny thing was that I used to belong to the infamous Traditional Catholic forum "Fish Eaters", and they were around a hundred times more tolerant of visitors of a different religious persuasion then the supposedly "mainstream" Catholic people at CAF.  Those people live on another plain of existence that I care not to tread on ever again.
I completely disagree with your statement
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« Reply #54 on: February 29, 2012, 10:48:28 PM »

I have absolutly no idea on whether or not to beleive in Toll Houses.  No Orthodox Christian is required to beleive in this as a dogma of the faith.  The Greeks (and Syrians, I think) certainly don't.

I was received into Orthodoxy via the OCA. I've never even heard of tollhouses outside of the internet.
I haven't either until my priest told me about it but when I asked him why do we pray for the dead, he really didn't give me an answer. So why pray for the dead if most OC doesn't follow tollhouse teaching? I guess I am confused Huh
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« Reply #55 on: February 29, 2012, 11:17:42 PM »

Victoria, praying for the dead has been part of both Orthodox and Jewish teaching since the year dot. Tollhouse "theory" (more accurately, a theologoumenon, and one not accepted by many Orthodox, be they saints, clergy or laymen) is a rather recent phenomenon by comparison.
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« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2012, 02:18:49 AM »

What I meant was -why pray for the dead if there is no tollhouses or purgatory? If they are in heaven, they don't need prayers, and if they are in hell, you cant bring them back, right? So far I haven't gotten an answer from my priest about it because some jurisdictions seem to believe it and some don't and he left it at that
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« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2012, 03:07:30 AM »

What I meant was -why pray for the dead if there is no tollhouses or purgatory? If they are in heaven, they don't need prayers, and if they are in hell, you cant bring them back, right? So far I haven't gotten an answer from my priest about it because some jurisdictions seem to believe it and some don't and he left it at that

why do we pray for our friends who are living?
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« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2012, 03:12:34 AM »

We pray for the living so that they might have mercy, life, health, peace, salvation, visitation, pardon and forgiveness of sins.

Most of these still apply in the next life, so why not continue to pray for them on the behalf of others?
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« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2012, 04:37:07 AM »

What I meant was -why pray for the dead if there is no tollhouses or purgatory? If they are in heaven, they don't need prayers, and if they are in hell, you cant bring them back, right? So far I haven't gotten an answer from my priest about it because some jurisdictions seem to believe it and some don't and he left it at that

We have not been vouchsafed many details about the afterlife. Prayer for the dead is a practice commended in the Old Testament "on account of the Resurrection" and passed directly into the practice of the Church (that is, practice precedes any detailed explanation). We can however say two things: first, the afterlife is not 'static'--until the Last Judgment, there is hope of salvation; and second, salvation is never static--to use St. Gregory the Theologian's phrase, the saved pass 'from glory to glory' eternally increasing in their knowledge and union of our Infinite Creator. Our prayers may in some small way help those who have reposed in their progression, just as they can help with that progression in this life.
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« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2012, 08:35:28 AM »

Hi all. Interesting thread -- didn't see it the first time 'round.

The Orthodox Church is very ethnically diverse. The guy probably either had a bad experience in an ethnic parish or has no real experience and was basing this statement off of something he read somewhere on the internet.

He admits in the very beginning of the article: "One practical hurdle was that in the South, where I grew up, there weren’t many Orthodox around."

He also says "The other practical hurdle was a lack of theological resources. There have been more books published since, and much information is available on the Internet (which wasn’t commercially available then), but at the time I was limited to a few books on Orthodoxy by Jaroslav Pelikan and Timothy (now Bishop Kallistos) Ware." I think this is a fair point to make. I wonder how his journey would have turned out if he were starting it today.
Wasn't he writing for a major catholic site?

and/or magazine.

if so I find it strange that the roman catholic church let this guy write so inaccurately about the Orthodox church, in a major roman catholic site.

 Huh The RCC does tell it's members what to post on their websites.
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« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2012, 08:38:27 AM »

I've been on the CAF forum before.  90% of those people are completely crazy, overzealous, and fanatical ideologues.  You'd have a better chance moving a brick wall with your bare hands then converting (or even just getting them to think) about Orthodoxy.

The funny thing was that I used to belong to the infamous Traditional Catholic forum "Fish Eaters", and they were around a hundred times more tolerant of visitors of a different religious persuasion then the supposedly "mainstream" Catholic people at CAF.  Those people live on another plain of existence that I care not to tread on ever again.

Hey now, several OC.net regulars (including myself) were once part of the CAF horde. It can be done!

Good luck doing it.  You certainly have my prayers and admiration if you can bring any converts over from that place.

What I really want to know is, why are the people at CAF the way they are?  I mean their are some Traditional Catholic sites which are more friendly to outsiders then these people (who all claim to be mainstream Catholics).  What makes them tick the way they do?  Is it the fact that they are run by and heavily influenced by converts (Who tend to be somewhat more overzealous then the average cradle is)?

Confuses me.
I find it interesting that so many people are offended by the Catholics at CAF, when a large portion of the people over there think that the Eastern Orthodox are part of the Catholic Church (branch theory, ewwwww),

I recently adopted a new signature-quote for that forum. I think you might like it:

"And you know what they say, 'But that would be completely different. I'd have to change everything.' I say, 'Wait a second. You just told me there's no difference and now you tell me it'd be completely different.' "
- Janet Smith
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« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2012, 08:43:49 AM »

I've been on the CAF forum before.  90% of those people are completely crazy, overzealous, and fanatical ideologues.  You'd have a better chance moving a brick wall with your bare hands then converting (or even just getting them to think) about Orthodoxy.

The funny thing was that I used to belong to the infamous Traditional Catholic forum "Fish Eaters", and they were around a hundred times more tolerant of visitors of a different religious persuasion then the supposedly "mainstream" Catholic people at CAF.  Those people live on another plain of existence that I care not to tread on ever again.

Hey now, several OC.net regulars (including myself) were once part of the CAF horde. It can be done!

Good luck doing it.  You certainly have my prayers and admiration if you can bring any converts over from that place.

What I really want to know is, why are the people at CAF the way they are?  I mean their are some Traditional Catholic sites which are more friendly to outsiders then these people (who all claim to be mainstream Catholics).  What makes them tick the way they do?  Is it the fact that they are run by and heavily influenced by converts (Who tend to be somewhat more overzealous then the average cradle is)?

Confuses me.
I find it interesting that so many people are offended by the Catholics at CAF, when a large portion of the people over there think that the Eastern Orthodox are part of the Catholic Church (branch theory, ewwwww),

I recently adopted a new signature-quote for that forum. I think you might like it:

"And you know what they say, 'But that would be completely different. I'd have to change everything.' I say, 'Wait a second. You just told me there's no difference and now you tell me it'd be completely different.' "
- Janet Smith

Pithy it is not.
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« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2012, 09:54:27 AM »

I find it interesting that so many people are offended by the Catholics at CAF, when a large portion of the people over there think that the Eastern Orthodox are part of the Catholic Church (branch theory, ewwwww), and at times the old moderator of the Eastern Christianity subforums allowed threads celebrating a persons defection from the Catholic Church to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Yes but they eventually put an end to that with a vengeance. A number of us here were among the casualties.  Wink

They're trying to be an Equal Opportunity Offender.

Complaints from traditionalists and complaints from Easterners cancel each other out, right?  Grin
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« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2012, 08:26:20 AM »

I know that I have critiqued this article elsewhere here.  And a similar one:

Quote
Thoughts from an Eastern Orthodox Priest

By Rev. Chrysostom Frank ....


Rev. Chrysostom Frank, Department of Church History, University of South Africa.
(This message, which has been edited for space, appeared in the Catholic Information Network's Eastern Catholic Internet mailing list (CINEAST). CIN can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.cin.org/cin.)

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9601fea2sb2.asp

They don't mention that Rev. Frank submitted to the Vatican.  He is now with some "Russian Catholic"(!) parish in Colorado.

I finally read this ^^ article. It is very interesting. Are you sure Rev. Chrysostom Frank swam the Tiber before he wrote it? He certainly speaks in it as though he's an Orthodox, albeit a self-hating one.
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