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Author Topic: Christianity doesn`t make sense to me anymore  (Read 6471 times) Average Rating: 0
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Azul
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« on: June 03, 2012, 12:08:09 PM »

Please explain Christianity to me.
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 12:59:47 PM »

Here's the shorthand version:

The Nicene Creed
 

I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of
heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, begotten of the Father before all ages;

Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,
not created, of one essence with the Father
through Whom all things were made.

Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate
of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried;

And He rose on the third day,
according to the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;

And He will come again with glory to judge the living
and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life,
Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the
Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who
spoke through the prophets.

In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the age to come.

Amen.
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 02:28:42 PM »

Please explain Christianity to me.

God became man so man could become god.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 02:46:24 PM »

Please explain Christianity to me.

God became man so man could become god.

how?why?
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 02:55:56 PM »

Are there any particular issues you are having trouble with? Because it strikes me that no real religion makes sense...if they did, they wouldn't be very good religions, since the whole enterprise of reconnecting man with God (which is what the word "religion" means: reconnection) will necessarily involve some steps or processes that we cannot intuitively understand, since the two halves of the equation (the man half and the God half) are not on equal footing:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV)

You will never be able to "make sense" of God, and any religion that claims to be sensible or logical in this way is lying.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012, 02:59:34 PM »

Please explain Christianity to me.

God became man so man could become god.

how?why?

Why? Because He loves us and does not want us to be lost.


How? (here)

John 1:1-20

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.

4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him.

8 He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light.

9 That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.

13 Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.

16 And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 03:00:41 PM »

'God became man so that man could become God' is a quote from here:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.html

which is very long but worth looking at.
any of his works are very good explanations of Christian faith.

in romanian, he is called 'Sfant Atanasie din Alexandria' and he lived at the end of the '300s AD.
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 03:05:30 PM »

Are there any particular issues you are having trouble with? Because it strikes me that no real religion makes sense...if they did, they wouldn't be very good religions, since the whole enterprise of reconnecting man with God (which is what the word "religion" means: reconnection) will necessarily involve some steps or processes that we cannot intuitively understand, since the two halves of the equation (the man half and the God half) are not on equal footing:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV)

You will never be able to "make sense" of God, and any religion that claims to be sensible or logical in this way is lying.

Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 03:17:14 PM »

As far as I understand it (fellow posters, please correct me if I'm wrong), Eastern Orthodox Christians do not believe in "Original Sin", but have some related idea of "Ancestral Sin". I'm not entirely sure what it entails, but I'm sure one of your fellow EO posters can explain it or point you to resources that explain it.

Concerning Christ's coming, it is really not anything less than what Biro has posted, and the Bible likewise explains it quite clearly in one of its most famous verses, John 3:16, which reads: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

From this we can see three reasons:

(1) God loves us,

(therefore)

(2) He does not want us to perish,

(instead)

(3) He wants us to have eternal life

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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 03:20:32 PM »

As far as I understand it (fellow posters, please correct me if I'm wrong), Eastern Orthodox Christians do not believe in "Original Sin", but have some related idea of "Ancestral Sin". I'm not entirely sure what it entails, but I'm sure one of your fellow EO posters can explain it or point you to resources that explain it.

Concerning Christ's coming, it is really not anything less than what Biro has posted, and the Bible likewise explains it quite clearly in one of its most famous verses, John 3:16, which reads: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

From this we can see three reasons:

(1) God loves us,

(therefore)

(2) He does not want us to perish,

(instead)

(3) He wants us to have eternal life



I don`t see any sense in the coming of Jesus.

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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 03:26:34 PM »

Death has a stranglehold on nature. The only way to kill death is to fill it with life. Only an incarnate God could be killed yet alive, because God is life. Ergo, Jesus.

Now death is dead and we can retake the eternal life we had in the beginning.
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 03:28:09 PM »

Death has a stranglehold on nature. The only way to kill death is to fill it with life. Only an incarnate God could be killed yet alive, because God is life. Ergo, Jesus.

Now death is dead and we can retake the eternal life we had in the beginning.

1.Why do we still die than?

2.The Bible recalls many other people resurrecting before Christ's resurrection.

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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2012, 03:57:36 PM »

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

Please explain Christianity to me.

Something is clearly not right in the world.  That is because we view the world through the lenses of the human experience, and human beings are fractured and broken.  We are looking at the world through broken glasses.  Sin is that break.  How do we find out what sin is? God showed us the Law through Moses.  Can we inherently complete the totality of the Law by the force of our efforts or merits? Not likely.  So what to do?  Grace!

Jesus Christ came to establish His Church, which is spiritual hospital for the spiritual recovery from the lethal affects of Sin.  What heals us from Sin? The Seven Divine Mysteries: Baptism, Christmation, Confession, Holy Communion, Holy Ordination, Holy Matrimony, Unction of the Sick.  God cooperates with humanity through the Mysteries, and through our experience with the Mysteries, we are healed gradually and reconciled closer with God. In other words, Christianity is about establishing a direct relationship with God.  Sin breaks our relationship, the Divine Mysteries, and ONLY the Mysteries, reconcile the break. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2012, 04:47:03 PM »

yes, sin is us turning away from God.
when adam and eve cut themselves off from God, they brought death (mortality) into the world.
so we are mortal, not immortal, like God, and we have the tendency to sin.
we orthodox Christians do not believe we inherit sin. this ('original sin') is a catholic/protestant misunderstanding.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took on our human nature and purified it by living without sin.
He defeated death by taking that nature to the place of the dead and by bringing life and healing even to the dead.
the dead can't raise by themselves. only God can raise them.
so when He rose from the dead, He brought the human nature together with His divine nature (they did not separate) back from the place of the dead (sheol/hades) and so showed us humans the way to restore our relationship with God.

it is God's will that we become immortal like Him.
sin is when we try to do this (become like God) without the help of God.
that is crazy, it's like trying to drive a monster truck without ever having a single driving lesson!
adam and eve sinned by trying to find a shortcut to being like God, to be like God by doing something God had forbidden.
the devil and the demons sinned by being proud and trying to be equal to God. they were cast out of heaven for this reason.
so when we follow Jesus Christ; living like Him until the end of our lives, then we truly become like God and the relationship is restored.

there is more, but i think others may explain it better.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2012, 04:52:03 PM »

'God became man so that man could become God' is a quote from here:
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.html

which is very long but worth looking at.
any of his works are very good explanations of Christian faith.

in romanian, he is called 'Sfant Atanasie din Alexandria' and he lived at the end of the '300s AD.

This reading helps a little.
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2012, 05:53:00 PM »

Theosis is the true purpose of man:
http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

EDIT: The above link is a fairly easy read and I hope that helps a little bit.
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2012, 06:04:48 PM »

Death has a stranglehold on nature. The only way to kill death is to fill it with life. Only an incarnate God could be killed yet alive, because God is life. Ergo, Jesus.

Now death is dead and we can retake the eternal life we had in the beginning.

1.Why do we still die than?

2.The Bible recalls many other people resurrecting before Christ's resurrection.



1. Because of the ancestral curse, our flesh is still joined to Adam and our flesh still dies because of his (and our) disobedience. It is also a mercy from God, so that evil would not be immortal. See this prayer from the funeral service:

O Lord our God, Who by Your unutterable wisdom have fashioned man out of the dust and transformed him into comeliness and beauty; and have adorned him, as a precious and heavenly creature, for doxology and magnificence of Your glory and Kingdom, in that You brought him into existence as a being fashioned according to Your image and likeness; and Who, when he had transgressed the commandment of Your ordinance, and kept it not, although he participated in Your image, gave command for this reason, as God of our fathers, to prevent evil from becoming immortal, decreeing that his composite and mixture, this bond which You made for joining body and soul unbreakably, should be sundered by Your divine Will, and be dissolved; so that the soul would withdraw where it had required existence, and there abide until the general Resurrection; whereas the body would  break up into the elements out of which it had first been compounded... - http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/funeral2

2. Indeed, because Christ's life overflowed into the dead who were there. But the life of the spirit continues after bodily death regardless.
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2012, 07:11:15 PM »

Are there any particular issues you are having trouble with? Because it strikes me that no real religion makes sense...if they did, they wouldn't be very good religions, since the whole enterprise of reconnecting man with God (which is what the word "religion" means: reconnection) will necessarily involve some steps or processes that we cannot intuitively understand, since the two halves of the equation (the man half and the God half) are not on equal footing:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV)

You will never be able to "make sense" of God, and any religion that claims to be sensible or logical in this way is lying.

Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?

Ancestral Sin...
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2012, 08:29:19 PM »

Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?
Ancestral Sin...

Seriously dude?
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 08:39:29 PM »

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


Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?


Ancestral Sin...



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2012, 08:45:40 PM »

Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?

Here are some passages from a few of my blog posts that talk about the nature of sin in general, original sin, and personal sin. I hope it helps. I apologize for the long post.


Sin in general.
So what is our mark, or rather "Who" is our mark? Our mark is nothing short of God Himself as the source of our life and very existence. God said in creation "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" and it says "male and female created he them". This makes God our model for who and what we are intended to be, and this applies to all human beings without exception. It is also written that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" bearing witness to God as the cause of our existence and that not only did He bring us into existence, but sustains our existence, which is "in Him". The farther we stray from being in God's likeness, the more we seperate ourselves form what we are intended to be and lose our life, movement, and our very existence. This is why "the wages of sin is death".

Before the coming of Christ, mankind was given two ways of recognizing our standard for living. First, all mankind is given a law written in their hearts with their conscience bearing witness. There was also the law that was delivered to the Jews by Moses, of which Paul wrote "for by the law is the knowledge of sin". Because  the law was given to help recognize God, and not just a checklist of things to do and not do, as our standard of living, James writes "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.". This is why we are told that we are given the choice to yield ourselves as servents "whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness".

With the coming of Christ, mankind received two things. First, we received the full revelation of the One who is our standard of living. Christ Himself said "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father". Paul calls Christ "the image of God" and says that we recieve "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". Not only does Christ, who is "the image of the invisible God", show us what we are meant to be as humans, but  being the Word by which God created all that exists, also has the power to restore us to the image in which we were created but had strayed from through sin. This is why we are "to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren". This is why we are to "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" in baptism.

Original sin.
Quote
When God made Adam, Adam was made in God's own image and likeness and God placed him inside the garden of Eden and formed Eve from Adam's rib. It was man's place to be the caretaker over the garden and the animals and to live in communion with God as the source of life. God told Adam to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and warned him "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". Being deceived by the lie from the serpent that "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil", Adam and Eve ate from the tree. They went from looking to God as their source of life and identity to looking to the created things of this world to give them life and to make them like God. Their first reaction was to see themselves as naked and, being ashamed of what they had done, to hide from God. God told Adam "cursed is the ground for thy sake" and "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" as the consequences of his actions and placed Adam and Eve outside of the garden. But hope for the future of mankind was given in what God told the serpent "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel", in reference to the Messiah as it is written "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage".

So now mankind, originally created for life in union with God taking care of God's creation, is seperated from God, subject to death, and looking to the created things of the world for life. This disordered nature that was brought about by the fall was transmitted to the entire human race, as it is written that Adam "begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth" and "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned".

The physical effects of the fall include being subject to corruption and death and having bodily desires disordered. There are lines in the Psalms reflecting this in our bodies such as "I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up" and "My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass". And Paul writes "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members". And not just the human race, but also the creation that mankind was intended to be the head of as Paul writes "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body". We await the undoing of this at the return of Christ when "the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" and "we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth" accomplished by the power of His own resurrection from the dead. This is why Jesus said "I am the resurrection, and the life" and it is written "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory", that Christ "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself", and "Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him". Jesus, as the author and source of life, had to be crucified and raised from the dead in order to restore us to life because we are unable to do it ourselves as the Psalms say "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?".

While we await the resurrection of the body, we are given the opportunity in this lifetime to have our spirit renewed in Christ by being baptized into His death and raised up in newness of life, and to repent of our sins and be conformed to Christ. It is in Christ that we are united with God as He Himself said "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" and "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me". It is in baptism that we are born from above after being buried in the likeness of Christ's death. This is why it is written  "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ", "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all", and "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ". It is in baptism that we are received into God's covenant as His people as it is written "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead". But baptism is not the end of Christian life, but the beginning, where we are introduced to having a right relationship with God that must be continued in through daily self examination and repentence, walking in the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and struggling against the lusts of the flesh in order to grow and mature in becoming conformed to Christ. We are to do this in this life because it is written that all "shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" and "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting".

Personal sin.
Quote
The apostle John defines sin as "the transgression of the law" and James writes "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill.". We are also told that "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" and that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin". Our sins are described as "an heavy burden", wounds that "stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness", and "a loathsome disease". We are told that our sins harden our hearts, have dominion over us, give us "disquietness of heart", make us "not able to look up", cause our hearts and strength to fail, and cause affliction and pain. David asks the Lord to "heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee". We are told that "every man shall be put to death for his own sin", "transgressors shall be destroyed together", "workers of iniquity shall be scattered", and that the wicked will "perish at the presence of God".

We know that we cannot hide our sins from God becuase it is written "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.". It is also written "If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." and "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.". How is it that having injured ourselves with our sins, we are able to find healing simply by not causing further injury? It is only because Christ "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people" as it is written "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." and that Christ "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification". When asked how to respond to the message of Christ's death and resurrection, Peter told the people to "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins". Paul writes that we are "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" and it is written in Isaiah "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.". And when we fall to temptation after having been baptized into Christ and His Church, we are to seek his forgiveness from Him in His Church. We are to follow the example of David who while seeking forgiveness from the Lord also confessed his sin to the prophet Nathan. James tells us to confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another, that we may be healed. Christ told His apostles that "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained" which we see exercised by the apostle Paul  when he writes to the Corinthians "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ".

How are we to act in response to the forgiveness we receive in Christ? We are told to "walk in newness of life" and to "not serve sin". We are to yeild our "members as instruments of righteousness unto God". We are told "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.". We are to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We are told to give thanks in all things and to pray without ceasing. We are to "have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." It is only fitting that we should love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself. Christ tells us not to judge because we will be judged by how we judge others and that we must forgive others in order to be forgiven.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2012, 10:53:43 PM »

Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?
Ancestral Sin...

Seriously dude?

Seriously...dude.  Wink

From the Orthodox Wiki article:
 In the Orthodox Church the term ancestral sin (Gr. προπατορικό αμάρτημα) is preferred and is used to define the doctrine of man's "inclination towards sin, a heritage from the sin of our progenitors" and that this is removed through baptism. St. Gregory Palamas taught that man's image was tarnished, disfigured, as a consequence of Adam's disobedience.

 We get to learn sump'n new every day, bubba.
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« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2012, 11:38:21 PM »

Please explain Christianity to me.

 The Patristic consensus explains that Christianity is more like a science than a religion and it's raison d'etre is to cure mankind from the psychosomatic ills brought upon us from the Fall.  And just as one visits a hospital for a broken arm or the like, the ekklesia is a hospital for the soul.  The scientific aspect comes from the three stages of the cure of the Christian soul; 1. Catharsis (purification) 2. Theoria (Illumination) and finally 3. Theosis (deification). 

Curious for more detail?  Either purchase or check out from your library a well-loved book called "The Mountain of Silence" by Dr. Kyriacos Markides.  Dr. Markides travels to Mt. Athos and befriends a monastic named Fr. Maximos (Now Archbishop Athanasios of Limasol, Cyprus) and learns authentic Orthodox spirituality as it's been kept in it's pristine form and presented to the reader page after page.  You will not be disappointed.   
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« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 11:23:07 AM »

Azul, I commend to you Paul Evdokimov's book The Struggle with God.

When I find myself hitting bottom and wondering whether Christianity is true or not, I always return to the works of C. S. Lewis.  My favorites:  The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Space Trilogy.  Lewis speaks to my mind, heart, and imagination in a way that few other writers do.  Also see Lewis's letters to Sheldon Vanauken.  I am particularly moved by Lewis's response to the question, What if I believe and it turns out Christianity is false?

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But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could. that be? How could. an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?

In the end, I refuse to accept the despair of atheism.  I must stake my life on the gospel. 

   
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 11:29:36 AM »

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I must stake my life on the gospel
Fantastic. I love it Father. Wonderful.

PP
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2012, 05:46:40 PM »

You will never be able to "make sense" of God, and any religion that claims to be sensible or logical in this way is lying.

  Oh..  I agree.  Religion makes no sense... which is why it really isn't worth pursuing.  That is my belief.  2 years after deconversion from Orthodoxy.  If it doesn't make sense, can't be taken apart and critiqued- don't do it.  Find out the truth for yourself, you have all the tools you'll ever need in this life in your own mind.

  All Jesus of Nazareth really said is treat other people the way you would like to be treated.  His message is all about compassion and love, despite our hurt feelings and insecurities- that is salvation.  No church can bring that to you, nor can some emotional conversion experience.  Just acceptance and an open heart .Which is why I consider myself a humanistic Buddhist now and a meditator, because honestly that helps me live out the Sermon the Mount better than trying to fit into some institutional church that was suppossedly ancient and unchanging.
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2012, 05:48:56 PM »

You will never be able to "make sense" of God, and any religion that claims to be sensible or logical in this way is lying.

  Oh..  I agree.  Religion makes no sense... which is why it really isn't worth pursuing.  That is my belief.  2 years after deconversion from Orthodoxy.

  All Jesus of Nazareth really said is treat other people the way you would like to be treated.  His message is all about compassion and love, despite our hurt feelings and insecurities- that is salvation.  No church can bring that to you, nor can some emotional conversion experience.  Just acceptance and an open heart .Which is why I consider myself a humanistic Buddhist now and a meditator, because honestly that helps me live out the Sermon the Mount better than trying to fit into some institutional church that was suppossedly ancient and unchanging.

This is the same Jesus who talked more about hell and eternal torment than any other person in the Bible?
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2012, 05:51:32 PM »

This is the same Jesus who talked more about hell and eternal torment than any other person in the Bible?

  If Jesus taught through skillfull means, as he seemed to through parables, then what he was talking about was not some neverending divine concentration camp, but a metaphor for a state of consciousness.  As such, I see no issue here.  Life is heaven or hell it's really about our perspective.     There is a saying, in Heaven people feed each other, in Hell people feed themselves... I believe this is how Jesus viewed it.  Taking care of people, being hospitable to the outcast is what Jesus message is about, these are the genuinely life-affirming values that characterize the "Kingdom of God" that Jesus taught through his parables.
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2012, 05:54:19 PM »

Ah...I don't think you're in agreement with me nearly as much as you think you are, Daedelus. In fact, I find myself shaking my head in disagreement with everything in your reply after "Oh...", but hey...we wouldn't have free will if we couldn't end up in different places, right?
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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2012, 06:00:08 PM »

Ah...I don't think you're in agreement with me nearly as much as you think you are, Daedelus. In fact, I find myself shaking my head in disagreement with everything in your reply after "Oh...", but hey...we wouldn't have free will if we couldn't end up in different places, right?

No.
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2012, 06:19:21 PM »

Yes? Daedelus and I do not in fact agree?
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2012, 06:31:23 PM »

Yes? Daedelus and I do not in fact agree?

Yes. But that was not your question.

The answer to it is no, in fact the whole thing rings of a certain Calvinism.

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« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2012, 02:27:14 AM »

...Which is why I consider myself a humanistic Buddhist now and a meditator, because honestly that helps me live out the Sermon the Mount better than trying to fit into some institutional church that was suppossedly ancient and unchanging.
As a humanist do you also consider yourself a secular materialist? If so, it is likely that your criticisms leveled against Christianity will also undermine your new secular ideologies. I recommend reading philosophy of science works from the likes of Nagel, Popper, and Feser to see the shortcomings of materialism.
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« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2012, 02:33:29 AM »

Yes? Daedelus and I do not in fact agree?

Yes. But that was not your question.

The answer to it is no, in fact the whole thing rings of a certain Calvinism.

I'm not sure that I follow your logic here. Daedelus' being a Buddhist and my being an Orthodox Christian are not examples of our respective exercises of free will?
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« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2012, 02:52:37 AM »

Yes? Daedelus and I do not in fact agree?

Yes. But that was not your question.

The answer to it is no, in fact the whole thing rings of a certain Calvinism.

I'm not sure that I follow your logic here. Daedelus' being a Buddhist and my being an Orthodox Christian are not examples of our respective exercises of free will?

Yes. No. I dunno. Forget it. My point is obviously lost and I now realize less transparent than I thought and not worth the effort of making it so. I thought it was an obvious stupid point about . . .
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« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2012, 11:42:15 PM »

As a humanist do you also consider yourself a secular materialist? If so, it is likely that your criticisms leveled against Christianity will also undermine your new secular ideologies. I recommend reading philosophy of science works from the likes of Nagel, Popper, and Feser to see the shortcomings of materialism.

  No, I'm not a secular materialist.  I am however non-Christian.    I value western science for its non-dogmatic, anti-authoritarian approach, and this is also the approach I tend to favor, as much as possible, when it comes to spirituality.  Open-mindedness and curiosity go hand in hand with a open heart.  My experiences in the Orthodox Church taught me Orthodox praxis doesn't square with this.
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« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2012, 12:05:38 AM »

Death has a stranglehold on nature. The only way to kill death is to fill it with life. Only an incarnate God could be killed yet alive, because God is life. Ergo, Jesus.

Now death is dead and we can retake the eternal life we had in the beginning.

1.Why do we still die than?

2.The Bible recalls many other people resurrecting before Christ's resurrection.
Life forever on imperfect Earth does not fit the description of eternal life. Death on Earth for those who achieve theosis is simply a transition to the real, genuine joy of the Kingdom of God, where all struggling is over. I hear magical stories about elderly people who, when it is their time, go without hesitation. In only this does death lose it's scariness...at least for me.
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« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2012, 03:55:58 AM »

 No, I'm not a secular materialist.  I am however non-Christian.    I value western science for its non-dogmatic, anti-authoritarian approach, and this is also the approach I tend to favor, as much as possible, when it comes to spirituality.  Open-mindedness and curiosity go hand in hand with a open heart.  My experiences in the Orthodox Church taught me Orthodox praxis doesn't square with this.
The history if scientific development is neither non-dogmatic or anti-authoritarian. The various schools of science most often take a very conservative approach to progress, as perhaps they should. The theories of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein are, and were, all adhered to pretty dogmatically.

In the 19th century, astronomers realized that the irregular movement of Mercury did not fit the Newtonian model of physics. Rather than questioning Newtonian Physics they instead posited that there must be another planetary body closer to the sun that causes these irregular movements. Thus the planet Vulcan was born. However, as we now know due to more advanced viewing techniques, and the adoption of Einstein's model, there is no such planet. This type of story is not all that uncommon in the sciences. Unfortunately, most students never hear about it because scientists get to write textbooks and make the often contentious and rocky path of science appear gradual and conflict-free.

All this being said, I have a great respect and awe of the sciences, and there is no doubt that science has yielded great results.
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« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2012, 04:33:06 AM »

Theosis is the true purpose of man:
http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

EDIT: The above link is a fairly easy read and I hope that helps a little bit.

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« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2012, 04:33:06 AM »

More of the answer, adding on to Achronos' post:

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theosis
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« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2012, 11:59:37 AM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?
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« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2012, 01:57:00 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

What happened to the souls of the righteous prophets before Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus destroyed his power over it and destroyed death. It is through him that we find the open path to salvation.
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« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2012, 02:09:38 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

What happened to the souls of the righteous prophets before Jesus?

That is not precisely what I asked.I asked if theosis was unattainable before Jesus, people here have said this is the purpose of Jesus' coming theosis.. And i was adding to that answer the questions : "how" "why" "when" "how come" .. See the bottom part..

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus destroyed his power over it and destroyed death. It is through him that we find the open path to salvation.
[/quote]

And I said details.Back at your seat ... F!
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« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2012, 02:13:50 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

What happened to the souls of the righteous prophets before Jesus?

That is not precisely what I asked.I asked if theosis was unattainable before Jesus, people here have said this is the purpose of Jesus' coming theosis.. And i was adding to that answer the questions : "how" "why" "when" "how come" .. See the bottom part..

Answering that question will give you your answer...

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus destroyed his power over it and destroyed death. It is through him that we find the open path to salvation.

And I said details.

You need to be more specific, no matter how you demand....

Back at your seat ... F!

WTF?
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« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2012, 02:18:21 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

What happened to the souls of the righteous prophets before Jesus?

That is not precisely what I asked.I asked if theosis was unattainable before Jesus, people here have said this is the purpose of Jesus' coming theosis.. And i was adding to that answer the questions : "how" "why" "when" "how come" .. See the bottom part..

Answering that question will give you your answer...

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus destroyed his power over it and destroyed death. It is through him that we find the open path to salvation.

And I said details.

You need to be more specific, no matter how you demand....

Back at your seat ... F!

WTF?

giving an unargumentated answer will not make one understand the answer. the concern of the topic is about understanding christianity not plain naked answers, of whom i have well awareness, but getting in the most deep details of things..

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« Reply #45 on: June 19, 2012, 02:25:04 PM »

giving an unargumentated answer will not make one understand the answer. the concern of the topic is about understanding christianity not plain naked answers, of whom i have well awareness, but getting in the most deep details of things..

Instead of getting defensive, you could just state your objections and reservations with my responses.

The 'naked answers', by the way, are intended to make you think yourself through the problem, not for me to spoon feed you and play dance.
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« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »

giving an unargumentated answer will not make one understand the answer. the concern of the topic is about understanding christianity not plain naked answers, of whom i have well awareness, but getting in the most deep details of things..

Instead of getting defensive, you could just state your objections and reservations with my responses.

The 'naked answers', by the way, are intended to make you think yourself through the problem, not for me to spoon feed you and play dance.

Or i can just ignore you, which i am going to do for now.
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« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2012, 02:49:04 PM »

Nice. Good luck!
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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2012, 06:34:58 PM »

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

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Yes.  Until God became Man, men could not become God.  That is basic Orthodox Soteriology 101.  The Incarnation Christ becomes our true kinsman in rational body, mind and soul, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  If the Divine Word can subsist through a human hypostasis, than so to can the Grace of God, hence theosis.  The why part is none of our business.  The how part is all we can concern ourselves with. However Azul, I can understand your frustrations.  Sometimes when "reasoning" with our fellow humans, be they Christian or otherwise,  we get discouraged, disillusioned even.  However, let is remember to stay in dialogue with God, and not get caught up in the details of other humans.  Further, always remember that even on OC.net, the internet is a human cesspool filled with all the garbage that preoccupies the human mind.  We can't judge God by the hubris of the human experience, that is our own fault.  In all actuality, the wrongs of our world are more evidence to the mercy and love of God than the rights. 

stay blessed,
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« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2012, 08:00:51 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

These are all the wrong questions.  Theologians can and do, of course, reflect and argue about questions like these; but they are irrelevant to the life of faith.

The good news is very simple:  God has raised Jesus from the dead.  All Christian preaching is but a proclamation on why this is good news for sinners, on why this is good news for you and for me. 

If the Christian faith truly no longer makes sense to you, then you must go back to the beginning--you must re-read the New Testament, paying particular attention to all the references to the resurrection of Jesus, you must see how the resurrection of Jesus underlies everything that is said in the New Testament.  If Christianity still doesn't make sense, if you cannot truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, then that is as it is.  But don't worry yourself about the questions you have posed.  They are secondary.  Even if a brilliant theologian were to give you compelling answers, you would not find them compelling if you are not already convinced in the resurrection of Christ and understand why it is the best and most wondrous news ever spoken in the history of the human race. 

Jesus Christ is risen! 
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« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2012, 11:31:48 AM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

These are all the wrong questions.  Theologians can and do, of course, reflect and argue about questions like these; but they are irrelevant to the life of faith.

The good news is very simple:  God has raised Jesus from the dead.  All Christian preaching is but a proclamation on why this is good news for sinners, on why this is good news for you and for me. 

If the Christian faith truly no longer makes sense to you, then you must go back to the beginning--you must re-read the New Testament, paying particular attention to all the references to the resurrection of Jesus, you must see how the resurrection of Jesus underlies everything that is said in the New Testament.  If Christianity still doesn't make sense, if you cannot truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, then that is as it is.  But don't worry yourself about the questions you have posed.  They are secondary.  Even if a brilliant theologian were to give you compelling answers, you would not find them compelling if you are not already convinced in the resurrection of Christ and understand why it is the best and most wondrous news ever spoken in the history of the human race. 

Jesus Christ is risen! 

On the contrary this kind of question are very important to the life of faith.They are very important to those who want to consciensly believe.. Those who never asked this kind of questions are not that preocupated with what they believe.. I can even swear that Christianity in your form does not make sense to any reasonable person on the face of the planet.I think that if we figure out christianity consciensly and reasonable we find the real purpose of man and the relationship of God and man.The real Christological problem is how can God be a man and why, how did he save us and how does his salvation corresponds with others?Than how was Jesus man and God at the same time?And other questions like that.

God raised Jesus from the death is the good news.. Great according to the same book the bible God raised the son of the widower through Elijah, and the dead man through the bones of Elias and others and others and other deads before Jesus.. What`s so great to that?..If Jesus' salvation was our salvation from Hades and eternal hell than we have a not so benelovent God after all.. You see this kind of questions are crucial for the life of faith and the most important.. They are very important to know what kind of God we are serving..

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« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2012, 11:36:01 AM »

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

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

Yes.  Until God became Man, men could not become God.  That is basic Orthodox Soteriology 101.  The Incarnation Christ becomes our true kinsman in rational body, mind and soul, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  If the Divine Word can subsist through a human hypostasis, than so to can the Grace of God, hence theosis.  The why part is none of our business.  The how part is all we can concern ourselves with. However Azul, I can understand your frustrations.  Sometimes when "reasoning" with our fellow humans, be they Christian or otherwise,  we get discouraged, disillusioned even.  However, let is remember to stay in dialogue with God, and not get caught up in the details of other humans.  Further, always remember that even on OC.net, the internet is a human cesspool filled with all the garbage that preoccupies the human mind.  We can't judge God by the hubris of the human experience, that is our own fault.  In all actuality, the wrongs of our world are more evidence to the mercy and love of God than the rights. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

yeth you realize that even in this is a logical fallacy... Jesus had only one human body and this human body he had glorified and in this he resurrected.This body in which he was born he made it theosis, the question is how do we and the rest that came after him become theosis.. this ecuation is a logical fallacy like many unrumegated christian ecuations.

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« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2012, 11:59:21 AM »

Um, beg pardon, but what is an "unrumegated ecuation"?

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« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2012, 12:08:56 PM »

Um, beg pardon, but what is an "unrumegated ecuation"?

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Youse got gaps inyer edgimucashon?  Grin  Ain't theys got dentists fer that??
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« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2012, 12:38:30 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

These are all the wrong questions.  Theologians can and do, of course, reflect and argue about questions like these; but they are irrelevant to the life of faith.

The good news is very simple:  God has raised Jesus from the dead.  All Christian preaching is but a proclamation on why this is good news for sinners, on why this is good news for you and for me. 

If the Christian faith truly no longer makes sense to you, then you must go back to the beginning--you must re-read the New Testament, paying particular attention to all the references to the resurrection of Jesus, you must see how the resurrection of Jesus underlies everything that is said in the New Testament.  If Christianity still doesn't make sense, if you cannot truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, then that is as it is.  But don't worry yourself about the questions you have posed.  They are secondary.  Even if a brilliant theologian were to give you compelling answers, you would not find them compelling if you are not already convinced in the resurrection of Christ and understand why it is the best and most wondrous news ever spoken in the history of the human race. 

Jesus Christ is risen! 

On the contrary this kind of question are very important to the life of faith.They are very important to those who want to consciensly believe.. Those who never asked this kind of questions are not that preocupated with what they believe.. I can even swear that Christianity in your form does not make sense to any reasonable person on the face of the planet.I think that if we figure out christianity consciensly and reasonable we find the real purpose of man and the relationship of God and man.The real Christological problem is how can God be a man and why, how did he save us and how does his salvation corresponds with others?Than how was Jesus man and God at the same time?And other questions like that.

With all respect, Azul, you are coming at this completely wrong.  I do not doubt that you think that if only you could get a convincing answer to these two questions (and to all the others that you have) perhaps the Christian faith would begin to make sense.  But that is not the case.  You have already stepped outside the hermeneutical circle of faith and assumed a rationalistic perspective.

Do you think that the apostolic believers even asked these kinds of questions? And even if they did, do you think they actually had answers for them?  No and no.

As I said, you must begin with the apostolic proclamation:  Christ is risen!

Quote
God raised Jesus from the death is the good news.. Great according to the same book the bible God raised the son of the widower through Elijah, and the dead man through the bones of Elias and others and others and other deads before Jesus.. What`s so great to that?..If Jesus' salvation was our salvation from Hades and eternal hell than we have a not so benelovent God after all.. You see this kind of questions are crucial for the life of faith and the most important.. They are very important to know what kind of God we are serving..

Knowing the difference between the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the raising of Jesus is of course the whole point.  Theories of theosis, atonement, the fall, the union of human and divine nature in one divine hypostasis, etc., etc.--these are all second-order reflections grounded upon the primary confession of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is the gospel that converts and transforms the lives of broken sinners, not theological theories. 

Who is the God we serve?  Precisely the God who raised Jesus from the dead! 
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« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2012, 03:07:10 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

These are all the wrong questions.  Theologians can and do, of course, reflect and argue about questions like these; but they are irrelevant to the life of faith.

The good news is very simple:  God has raised Jesus from the dead.  All Christian preaching is but a proclamation on why this is good news for sinners, on why this is good news for you and for me. 

If the Christian faith truly no longer makes sense to you, then you must go back to the beginning--you must re-read the New Testament, paying particular attention to all the references to the resurrection of Jesus, you must see how the resurrection of Jesus underlies everything that is said in the New Testament.  If Christianity still doesn't make sense, if you cannot truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, then that is as it is.  But don't worry yourself about the questions you have posed.  They are secondary.  Even if a brilliant theologian were to give you compelling answers, you would not find them compelling if you are not already convinced in the resurrection of Christ and understand why it is the best and most wondrous news ever spoken in the history of the human race. 

Jesus Christ is risen! 

On the contrary this kind of question are very important to the life of faith.They are very important to those who want to consciensly believe.. Those who never asked this kind of questions are not that preocupated with what they believe.. I can even swear that Christianity in your form does not make sense to any reasonable person on the face of the planet.I think that if we figure out christianity consciensly and reasonable we find the real purpose of man and the relationship of God and man.The real Christological problem is how can God be a man and why, how did he save us and how does his salvation corresponds with others?Than how was Jesus man and God at the same time?And other questions like that.

With all respect, Azul, you are coming at this completely wrong.  I do not doubt that you think that if only you could get a convincing answer to these two questions (and to all the others that you have) perhaps the Christian faith would begin to make sense.  But that is not the case.  You have already stepped outside the hermeneutical circle of faith and assumed a rationalistic perspective.

Do you think that the apostolic believers even asked these kinds of questions? And even if they did, do you think they actually had answers for them?  No and no.

As I said, you must begin with the apostolic proclamation:  Christ is risen!

Quote
God raised Jesus from the death is the good news.. Great according to the same book the bible God raised the son of the widower through Elijah, and the dead man through the bones of Elias and others and others and other deads before Jesus.. What`s so great to that?..If Jesus' salvation was our salvation from Hades and eternal hell than we have a not so benelovent God after all.. You see this kind of questions are crucial for the life of faith and the most important.. They are very important to know what kind of God we are serving..

Knowing the difference between the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the raising of Jesus is of course the whole point.  Theories of theosis, atonement, the fall, the union of human and divine nature in one divine hypostasis, etc., etc.--these are all second-order reflections grounded upon the primary confession of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is the gospel that converts and transforms the lives of broken sinners, not theological theories. 

Who is the God we serve?  Precisely the God who raised Jesus from the dead! 


the god who made everyone a sinner and bound them to hades till the coming of Christ.. a vain narcisistic God to say the least?

yes i do believe the apostles have these kind of questions themselves.

no, you are coming at it wrong... blind faith is not faith at all if you ask me.. 

the resurrection of Jesus means nothing.. the christian mythology is not the first nor the last to have a resurrected god, god-man, so  what makes it so special?If the christian God is as antropomorphic and passionate as other pagans gods what makes us say that the christian god is not pagan itself?
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« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2012, 03:10:20 PM »

Um, beg pardon, but what is an "unrumegated ecuation"?

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unrumegated = as not thought upon much or reasoned enough..

ecuation = ecuation..
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« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2012, 03:17:17 PM »

Um, beg pardon, but what is an "unrumegated ecuation"?

 Embarrassed

unrumegated = as not thought upon much or reasoned enough..

ecuation = ecuation..

Yeah, but in what language?  I did a Google search for those words and nothing came up in English.  Care to enlighten us?  Closest I could find to "ecuation" was "equation".  Somehow I don't think that's what you mean.
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« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2012, 03:34:35 PM »

the real questions are :

1)Was theosis unnatainable before the Incarnation of Jesus?

the truth is in the details:

1)How did Jesus really did it for us, why, etc?

These are all the wrong questions.  Theologians can and do, of course, reflect and argue about questions like these; but they are irrelevant to the life of faith.

The good news is very simple:  God has raised Jesus from the dead.  All Christian preaching is but a proclamation on why this is good news for sinners, on why this is good news for you and for me. 

If the Christian faith truly no longer makes sense to you, then you must go back to the beginning--you must re-read the New Testament, paying particular attention to all the references to the resurrection of Jesus, you must see how the resurrection of Jesus underlies everything that is said in the New Testament.  If Christianity still doesn't make sense, if you cannot truly believe in the resurrection of Christ, then that is as it is.  But don't worry yourself about the questions you have posed.  They are secondary.  Even if a brilliant theologian were to give you compelling answers, you would not find them compelling if you are not already convinced in the resurrection of Christ and understand why it is the best and most wondrous news ever spoken in the history of the human race. 

Jesus Christ is risen! 

On the contrary this kind of question are very important to the life of faith.They are very important to those who want to consciensly believe.. Those who never asked this kind of questions are not that preocupated with what they believe.. I can even swear that Christianity in your form does not make sense to any reasonable person on the face of the planet.I think that if we figure out christianity consciensly and reasonable we find the real purpose of man and the relationship of God and man.The real Christological problem is how can God be a man and why, how did he save us and how does his salvation corresponds with others?Than how was Jesus man and God at the same time?And other questions like that.

With all respect, Azul, you are coming at this completely wrong.  I do not doubt that you think that if only you could get a convincing answer to these two questions (and to all the others that you have) perhaps the Christian faith would begin to make sense.  But that is not the case.  You have already stepped outside the hermeneutical circle of faith and assumed a rationalistic perspective.

Do you think that the apostolic believers even asked these kinds of questions? And even if they did, do you think they actually had answers for them?  No and no.

As I said, you must begin with the apostolic proclamation:  Christ is risen!

Quote
God raised Jesus from the death is the good news.. Great according to the same book the bible God raised the son of the widower through Elijah, and the dead man through the bones of Elias and others and others and other deads before Jesus.. What`s so great to that?..If Jesus' salvation was our salvation from Hades and eternal hell than we have a not so benelovent God after all.. You see this kind of questions are crucial for the life of faith and the most important.. They are very important to know what kind of God we are serving..

Knowing the difference between the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the raising of Jesus is of course the whole point.  Theories of theosis, atonement, the fall, the union of human and divine nature in one divine hypostasis, etc., etc.--these are all second-order reflections grounded upon the primary confession of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  It is the gospel that converts and transforms the lives of broken sinners, not theological theories. 

Who is the God we serve?  Precisely the God who raised Jesus from the dead! 


the god who made everyone a sinner and bound them to hades till the coming of Christ.. a vain narcisistic God to say the least?

yes i do believe the apostles have these kind of questions themselves.

no, you are coming at it wrong... blind faith is not faith at all if you ask me.. 

the resurrection of Jesus means nothing.. the christian mythology is not the first nor the last to have a resurrected god, god-man, so  what makes it so special?If the christian God is as antropomorphic and passionate as other pagans gods what makes us say that the christian god is not pagan itself?

Wow.  I've argued with priests before about a number of things but rarely if ever have I had the temerity to tell them "you are coming at it wrong..."  But that's just me.

At least twice that I know of you've referred to "blind faith" and it not being faith at all--so, I ask you once again,  who said anything at all about "blind" faith?



But maybe you're referring to *this* Blind Faith:

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« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2012, 05:22:46 PM »

the resurrection of Jesus means nothing.. the christian mythology is not the first nor the last to have a resurrected god, god-man, so  what makes it so special?If the christian God is as antropomorphic and passionate as other pagans gods what makes us say that the christian god is not pagan itself?

And that is why the Orthodox faith, or indeed any Christian faith, does not make sense to you. 

I honestly do not know if you are even willing to re-examine the claims for the truth of the resurrection, but the book with which to begin is N. T. Wright's magisterial opus The Resurrection of the Son of God

There is no point for me or any one else on this forum to try to engage all of your other "questions."  They are, as I said, beside the point.  The resurrection of Christ, which has both temporal and transcendent dimensions, is the entry point into the Christian faith.  Strong historical evidence can be offered to support this claim, but ultimately it can only be received in faith.  As the great Reformed theologian Thomas F. Torrance writes:
Quote
It is essentially in this way that the incarnation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ came to be accepted by the early Church and classical Christian theology: they forced themselves upon the minds of Christians from their own empirical and theoretical ground in sharp antithesis to what they had believed about God and in genuine conflict with the framework of secular thought or the world view of their age. That God himself had become man was an offence to the Jew and folly to the Greek; that Jesus Christ rose from the dead was deemed to be utterly incredible. Yet the incarnation and resurrection forced themselves upon the mind of the Church against the grain of people's convictions, as ultimate events bearing their own intrinsic but shattering claims in the self-evidencing reality and transcendent rationality of God himself, and they took root within the Church only through a seismic restructuring of religious and intellectual belief. In the life of Jesus Christ an objective self-disclosure of God in Word and Act had taken place within the structure of the world which was discerned to be of a final and decisive nature, commanding commitment in the response of faith, in which Jesus Christ himself constituted the central point of focus in an exclusive relation with God the Father. (Space, Time and Resurrection, pp. 17-18)

If this sounds irrational, then that is only because you are presently operating within a empiricist worldview.  Even science operates on axioms and preconceived beliefs that cannot be proven.  See Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge.   Interestingly, I participated in a discussion thread over at Monachos  on "Belief" that touches on many of these epistemological issues.  I probably do not have much more to offer than what I stated there.

The bottomline:  The bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is everything.  As the Apostle declares, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins (1 Cor 15:17).
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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2012, 07:31:24 PM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.
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« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2012, 09:46:27 AM »

the resurrection of Jesus means nothing.. the christian mythology is not the first nor the last to have a resurrected god, god-man, so  what makes it so special?If the christian God is as antropomorphic and passionate as other pagans gods what makes us say that the christian god is not pagan itself?

And that is why the Orthodox faith, or indeed any Christian faith, does not make sense to you. 

I honestly do not know if you are even willing to re-examine the claims for the truth of the resurrection, but the book with which to begin is N. T. Wright's magisterial opus The Resurrection of the Son of God

There is no point for me or any one else on this forum to try to engage all of your other "questions."  They are, as I said, beside the point.  The resurrection of Christ, which has both temporal and transcendent dimensions, is the entry point into the Christian faith.  Strong historical evidence can be offered to support this claim, but ultimately it can only be received in faith.  As the great Reformed theologian Thomas F. Torrance writes:
Quote
It is essentially in this way that the incarnation and the resurrection of Jesus Christ came to be accepted by the early Church and classical Christian theology: they forced themselves upon the minds of Christians from their own empirical and theoretical ground in sharp antithesis to what they had believed about God and in genuine conflict with the framework of secular thought or the world view of their age. That God himself had become man was an offence to the Jew and folly to the Greek; that Jesus Christ rose from the dead was deemed to be utterly incredible. Yet the incarnation and resurrection forced themselves upon the mind of the Church against the grain of people's convictions, as ultimate events bearing their own intrinsic but shattering claims in the self-evidencing reality and transcendent rationality of God himself, and they took root within the Church only through a seismic restructuring of religious and intellectual belief. In the life of Jesus Christ an objective self-disclosure of God in Word and Act had taken place within the structure of the world which was discerned to be of a final and decisive nature, commanding commitment in the response of faith, in which Jesus Christ himself constituted the central point of focus in an exclusive relation with God the Father. (Space, Time and Resurrection, pp. 17-18)

If this sounds irrational, then that is only because you are presently operating within a empiricist worldview.  Even science operates on axioms and preconceived beliefs that cannot be proven.  See Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge.   Interestingly, I participated in a discussion thread over at Monachos  on "Belief" that touches on many of these epistemological issues.  I probably do not have much more to offer than what I stated there.

The bottomline:  The bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is everything.  As the Apostle declares, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins (1 Cor 15:17).

a simple 'i don`t know' would have done it instead of wasting my time.
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« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2012, 09:49:40 AM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

When you're right, your right. To wit--

a simple 'i don`t know' would have done it instead of wasting my time.
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« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2012, 09:55:56 AM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

Yes he is.The ignorant arrogance of the priests in this forum is outstanding and impious.. They show themselves unworthy of this call.In this old Orthodox country where i am at we snip this type of priests miles away.The sad news is the majority of priests are like this.
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« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2012, 10:28:34 AM »

If priests must be morally, or, as you seem to have it, epistemologically spotless in order to be "worthy" of the call, then we are all screwed, quite frankly. Thanks be to the true God, however, He calls not the worthy, but the unworthy. Remember Moses and his whole "God, I am not eloquent" bit? Yeah...that.
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« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2012, 10:44:43 AM »

If priests must be morally, or, as you seem to have it, epistemologically spotless in order to be "worthy" of the call, then we are all screwed, quite frankly. Thanks be to the true God, however, He calls not the worthy, but the unworthy. Remember Moses and his whole "God, I am not eloquent" bit? Yeah...that.

A priest should not troll.One must prepare his butt to get kicked a lot and suffer a lot of judgements if he wants to become a priest.They are not made for this, if they don`t.Priesthood is not a job is a vocation.

A priest who claims to have the all ultimate truth must show it through actions (concrete things) not empty fruitless words.A priest must always be practical, if he can`t face a situation than admit his impotence.

A priest who claims to be better than an "atheist" or an "hindus" must show it through actions (concrete things) and not empty and bickering words.Actions speak louder than words..

Yes you clergy are the least of people as saint Paul said...



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« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2012, 10:56:19 AM »

If priests must be morally, or, as you seem to have it, epistemologically spotless in order to be "worthy" of the call, then we are all screwed, quite frankly. Thanks be to the true God, however, He calls not the worthy, but the unworthy. Remember Moses and his whole "God, I am not eloquent" bit? Yeah...that.

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« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2012, 11:00:56 AM »

If priests must be morally, or, as you seem to have it, epistemologically spotless in order to be "worthy" of the call, then we are all screwed, quite frankly. Thanks be to the true God, however, He calls not the worthy, but the unworthy. Remember Moses and his whole "God, I am not eloquent" bit? Yeah...that.

A priest should not troll.One must prepare his ass to get kicked a lot and suffer a lot of judgements if he wants to become a priest.They are not made for this, if they don`t.Priesthood is not a job is a vocation.

A priest who claims to have the all ultimate truth must show it through actions (concrete things) not empty fruitless words.A priest must always be practical, if he can`t face a situation than admit his impotence.

A priest who claims to be better than an "atheist" or an "hindus" must show it through actions (concrete things) and not empty and bickering words.Actions speak louder than words..

Yes you clergy are the least of people as saint Paul said...

Oh no you didn't!
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« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2012, 11:09:36 AM »

If priests must be morally, or, as you seem to have it, epistemologically spotless in order to be "worthy" of the call, then we are all screwed, quite frankly. Thanks be to the true God, however, He calls not the worthy, but the unworthy. Remember Moses and his whole "God, I am not eloquent" bit? Yeah...that.

A priest should not troll.One must prepare his ass to get kicked a lot and suffer a lot of judgements if he wants to become a priest.They are not made for this, if they don`t.Priesthood is not a job is a vocation.

A priest who claims to have the all ultimate truth must show it through actions (concrete things) not empty fruitless words.A priest must always be practical, if he can`t face a situation than admit his impotence.

A priest who claims to be better than an "atheist" or an "hindus" must show it through actions (concrete things) and not empty and bickering words.Actions speak louder than words..

Yes you clergy are the least of people as saint Paul said...

And I guess you're just the guy to kick some priest ass and pronounce judgment upon them, eh? 

Where on this board (cite examples, please) are priests "trolling" and claiming to be better than atheists or hindus?
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« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2012, 11:14:21 AM »

Forgive me.  I appear to have offended Azul and others.  That was not my intent.  Nor was it my intent to come off as someone who has all the answers.  Quite the contrary.  I have very few answers.  I have studied theology long enough and deeply enough to know that theologians have very few real answers.

All I know is this:  the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything begins with this claim, everything flows from this claim, everything ends in this claim.  If someone is inquiring about the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone is trying to hold on to the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone has lost the Christian faith and says he no longer understands it, I point them to the resurrection.  

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the absolute heart of the Church.  If it is not true, then we may as well be atheists, for I have no interest in any other god.  I do not say it is easy to believe in the resurrection.  I know I cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ultimately, I believe it because all the other alternatives lead only to despair and death.  Believe me when I say this.

I will now withdraw from the conversation.  God bless you all.
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« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2012, 11:55:52 AM »

Forgive me.  I appear to have offended Azul and others.  That was not my intent.  Nor was it my intent to come off as someone who has all the answers.  Quite the contrary.  I have very few answers.  I have studied theology long enough and deeply enough to know that theologians have very few real answers.

All I know is this:  the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything begins with this claim, everything flows from this claim, everything ends in this claim.  If someone is inquiring about the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone is trying to hold on to the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone has lost the Christian faith and says he no longer understands it, I point them to the resurrection.  

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the absolute heart of the Church.  If it is not true, then we may as well be atheists, for I have no interest in any other god.  I do not say it is easy to believe in the resurrection.  I know I cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ultimately, I believe it because all the other alternatives lead only to despair and death.  Believe me when I say this.

I will now withdraw from the conversation.  God bless you all.

Sorry to see you bow out from this conversation, Father, and thank you for your blessing.  I don't, however, think you "offended" anyone, not even Azul.  Azul seems to have it in for priests and as dzeremhi pointed out seems to need to be "right" rather than anything else.  I have a feeling that no matter what you said in response to him you were always going to be "wrong" in his (?)  eyes.  Nothing you could have said would have satisfied him or answered his questions because, imo, he doesn't *want* satisfaction and doesn't *want* sincere answers to his questions.  If there was any "trolling" going on, it was from him.

May God bless you, too, Father.

JM
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« Reply #71 on: June 21, 2012, 02:18:45 PM »

Forgive me.  I appear to have offended Azul and others.  That was not my intent.  Nor was it my intent to come off as someone who has all the answers.  Quite the contrary.  I have very few answers.  I have studied theology long enough and deeply enough to know that theologians have very few real answers.

All I know is this:  the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything begins with this claim, everything flows from this claim, everything ends in this claim.  If someone is inquiring about the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone is trying to hold on to the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone has lost the Christian faith and says he no longer understands it, I point them to the resurrection.  

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the absolute heart of the Church.  If it is not true, then we may as well be atheists, for I have no interest in any other god.  I do not say it is easy to believe in the resurrection.  I know I cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ultimately, I believe it because all the other alternatives lead only to despair and death.  Believe me when I say this.

I will now withdraw from the conversation.  God bless you all.

And still you haven`t provided anything I asked.You did not adress any one of the questions that were adressed to you.I am not interested in your preaching and prosyletism or anyone's else for that matter.Just answer direct questions directly.

I have a reminder for all those grumbling in this forum "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. [Peter 3:15] "

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« Reply #72 on: June 21, 2012, 02:37:02 PM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

Yes he is.The ignorant arrogance of the priests in this forum is outstanding and impious.. They show themselves unworthy of this call.In this old Orthodox country where i am at we snip this type of priests miles away.The sad news is the majority of priests are like this.

From my reading of this thread, Fr. Al gave you at least three sources to actually read and digest.  Have you done any of that?  Do you really, truly think someone is going to be able to explain Christianity to you on a messageboard?

If you insist on your own arrogant, lazy behavior, you're not going to learn anything at all in life, let alone from an internet messageboard.

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« Reply #73 on: June 21, 2012, 02:43:08 PM »

Forgive me.  I appear to have offended Azul and others.  That was not my intent.  Nor was it my intent to come off as someone who has all the answers.  Quite the contrary.  I have very few answers.  I have studied theology long enough and deeply enough to know that theologians have very few real answers.

All I know is this:  the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything begins with this claim, everything flows from this claim, everything ends in this claim.  If someone is inquiring about the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone is trying to hold on to the Christian faith, I point them to the resurrection.  If someone has lost the Christian faith and says he no longer understands it, I point them to the resurrection.  

The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the absolute heart of the Church.  If it is not true, then we may as well be atheists, for I have no interest in any other god.  I do not say it is easy to believe in the resurrection.  I know I cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.  Ultimately, I believe it because all the other alternatives lead only to despair and death.  Believe me when I say this.

I will now withdraw from the conversation.  God bless you all.

And still you haven`t provided anything I asked.You did not adress any one of the questions that were adressed to you.I am not interested in your preaching and prosyletism or anyone's else for that matter.Just answer direct questions directly.

I have a reminder for all those grumbling in this forum "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. [Peter 3:15] "



Fr. Al gave you answers and sources for further research.  I have a reminder for *you*--don't ask questions if you're not prepared to hear the answers.  Just because you don't like what he said or how he answered your questions does *not* mean he didn't address them. 

And it seems to me that there have been questions asked of you here that you have completely ignored.  Somewhere off in the distance I hear a pot calling a kettle "black".  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #74 on: June 21, 2012, 02:48:10 PM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

Yes he is.The ignorant arrogance of the priests in this forum is outstanding and impious.. They show themselves unworthy of this call.In this old Orthodox country where i am at we snip this type of priests miles away.The sad news is the majority of priests are like this.

 Do you really, truly think someone is going to be able to explain Christianity to you on a messageboard?





ABSOLUTELY everyone that understands it.And anyone who professes himself to be a Christian should be able "always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. [Peter 3:15] "
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« Reply #75 on: June 21, 2012, 02:51:16 PM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

Yes he is.The ignorant arrogance of the priests in this forum is outstanding and impious.. They show themselves unworthy of this call.In this old Orthodox country where i am at we snip this type of priests miles away.The sad news is the majority of priests are like this.

 Do you really, truly think someone is going to be able to explain Christianity to you on a messageboard?





ABSOLUTELY everyone that understands it.And anyone who professes himself to be a Christian should be able "always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. [Peter 3:15] "

So we're bad Christians.  Sue us.  Which one of us has said we're paragons of virtue?  None of us (well, hopefully none of us). 

I once read a story about a monk who, while walking through a town, was accosted by the local atheist who berated the monk with questions such as yours.  The monk, knowing that his interlocutor wasn't really interested in learning about the Faith, merely said, "No," and walked away.

So. 

"No."
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« Reply #76 on: June 21, 2012, 02:56:09 PM »

Something tells me, Father, that he will ignore you soon, as he cares more about his pride and 'being right' than understanding, or even entertaining answers.

Yes he is.The ignorant arrogance of the priests in this forum is outstanding and impious.. They show themselves unworthy of this call.In this old Orthodox country where i am at we snip this type of priests miles away.The sad news is the majority of priests are like this.

 Do you really, truly think someone is going to be able to explain Christianity to you on a messageboard?





ABSOLUTELY everyone that understands it.And anyone who professes himself to be a Christian should be able "always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. [Peter 3:15] "

So we're bad Christians.  Sue us.  Which one of us has said we're paragons of virtue?  None of us (well, hopefully none of us). 

I once read a story about a monk who, while walking through a town, was accosted by the local atheist who berated the monk with questions such as yours.  The monk, knowing that his interlocutor wasn't really interested in learning about the Faith, merely said, "No," and walked away.

So. 

"No."

Than stop acting like it.

Stories are just... stories.
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« Reply #77 on: June 21, 2012, 02:58:42 PM »

P.S You(pl) are no more of a Christian than an "Atheists" .. At least this Atheists(Agnostics,etc) are sincere with whom they are..
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« Reply #78 on: June 21, 2012, 03:06:36 PM »

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


Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?


Ancestral Sin...



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« Reply #79 on: June 21, 2012, 03:08:38 PM »

Azul, I commend to you Paul Evdokimov's book The Struggle with God.

Bless, Fr.  Thanks so much for this link!
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« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2012, 03:15:01 PM »

P.S You(pl) are no more of a Christian than an "Atheists" .. At least this Atheists(Agnostics,etc) are sincere with whom they are..

What are you talking about?

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« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2012, 03:19:23 PM »

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



Yes.. Original Sin, why did Jesus came?


Ancestral Sin...





stay blessed,
habte selassie
Neither Christianity nor Ancestral Sin is "gangsta", dumb dumb.  Find a more appropriate picture to scold me.



That was so obvious a light hearted joke, about you're crossing out Original Sin, that I am quite sorry you didn't get it Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2012, 03:21:59 PM »

P.S You(pl) are no more of a Christian than an "Atheists" .. At least this Atheists(Agnostics,etc) are sincere with whom they are..

What are you talking about?



He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities.  You know what "they" say:
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« Reply #83 on: June 21, 2012, 03:26:23 PM »

He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities. 

If true, there are better options than using the forum. For example...  angel

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« Reply #84 on: June 21, 2012, 03:30:26 PM »

He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities. 

If true, there are better options than using the forum. For example...  angel



(Can't view youtube on this computer  Sad Sad)

You're right, but....he's *here*, and the more he gets fed, the more poop there is to clean up. 
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« Reply #85 on: June 21, 2012, 03:50:55 PM »

i`m saying enough with this off-topics and let's get back to the subject.

1.How can God be, become a man?What does Jesus' Incarnation entail.. What precisely did it got Incarnated?The wholeness of God?His entire Being?

2.Why did Jesus came?If theosis was unattainable before his coming and if heaven was unattainable before his coming than we have a God that deprived us of something.And if an constient abode of the dead existed and all people went into Hades, than we have an angry, narcissistic , not so just and not so loving God.. What kind of God is so angry on humanity that makes us all to suffer for the sin of one?And if he was not angry than he was vain and narcisistic emprisoning souls into hades just to show Himself mercifull and a great redeemer.. But maybe it's not that maybe heaven was attainable even before the coming of Jesus.So the question than is what is the point of his coming, if heaven was attainable?How really does his coming makes people more heavenlike?

3.How really does Jesus save us?Save us from what exactly?! What does his Salvation entail?What does it mean?How does he save all men, taking in consideration that he became and was only one man.One man died on the cross, one man resurrected and one man ascended into glory.How does all this pass to us?It is still God's doing no?So all this infliction of Jesus was unecessary than.Because it is God who makes all these things to us because of Jesus.But Jesus was not a necessity God could always do those things to us.. Jesus was not a necessity unless He needed to appease God's something.. God's offended justice, God's anger, etc.. But what if there is something else to it?

For all those arguing against reason remmeber that God is Logos(Reason in Greek) and Jesus is Logos per John 1.And this thread is not for you.Adress my points dirrectly or be ignored.


You are being warned for 99 days for violating the rule on respecting other posters. It is one thing to disagree, it is another to resorting to foul language (in Reply 65), to use ad hominem (Reply 77) and now demanding your responders to answer your questions precisely as you wish them answered: "Adress my points dirrectly or be ignored." All of these instances betray a deep disrespect of your respondents. This forum is not your soap box and if you continue on your present path, I will have no choice but to put you on moderation. Second Chance
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« Reply #86 on: June 21, 2012, 03:52:40 PM »

He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities. 

If true, there are better options than using the forum. For example...  angel



don`t get your perception of reality from the fountain of illusion, cyborgs and gossip.
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« Reply #87 on: June 21, 2012, 04:38:41 PM »

He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities.  

If true, there are better options than using the forum. For example...  angel



don`t get your perception of reality from the fountain of illusion, cyborgs and gossip.

Azul,

Let's take this up in an unsystematic manner later. I don't blame your response given the comments here.

You'll either be further confused in your conviction or further convicted in your confusion when we are finished.

Either way. It is win.

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« Reply #88 on: June 21, 2012, 04:46:08 PM »

He's just spewing, er...venting.  I'm sure he really has no idea what he's talking about.  Almost every time anyone asks for clarification they are either ignored or get an answer which only compounds the confusion.  He just wants to spew, er...vent and we've given him lots of opportunities.  

If true, there are better options than using the forum. For example...  angel



don`t get your perception of reality from the fountain of illusion, cyborgs and gossip.

Azul,

Let's take this up in an unsystematic manner later. I don't blame your response given the comments here.

You'll either be further confused in your conviction or further convicted in your confusion when we are finished.

Either way. It is win.






Or, if you prefer:

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« Reply #89 on: June 21, 2012, 05:05:31 PM »

At least this Atheists(Agnostics,etc) are sincere with whom they are..

Well, most are sincere and honest, except for the ones that deceptively list their faith as orthodox. 
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« Reply #90 on: June 21, 2012, 05:22:41 PM »

dear azul, you remind me of friends and acquaintances i have met from this part of europe.
i will try again to respond.
God wanted a free will relationship with humans.
so we had to be given the chance to walk away from God as well as the chance to walk towards him.
when adam and eve preferred to get to be 'like God' on their own terms, without doing it God's way, they walked away from Him. when our relationship with God is damaged, we no longer find pleasure in being with Him.
the relationship needs to be repaired before we can come back to enjoying God's presence.

so God wanted to show us exactly how we could become 'like God' on God's terms. this involves humility (for God is humble despite His glory) and a change of our rebellious character to a loving one.
so God, in the person of God the Son, took on human nature and lived exactly as a human to show us how it should be done.
because the human nature was mortal (this is the curse of disobedience), God had to go as far as submitting to death, and God the Son went down to the place of the dead (hades).
but, being God, He did not die exactly as mortals die. He defeated sin and death and rose from the dead; thus raising human nature together with Him.
because of this event, all humans have the possibility to accept His gift of eternal life, and great peace in this life.
if the humans choose to refuse this gift, they are allowed to do so.

if i throw a free party and tell everyone who comes that they must wear a free scarf that i give them in order to come in, and then some people say 'i don't like the colour of the scarf, i won't wear it', is it me who punishes them by not allowing them entry?
(rhetorical question)
there is more in answer to your questions, but i hope this answers some of them.

there are some people in this forum who take care and attention to answer you, and i hope you can appreciate their efforts because they are educated people, including priests, who make an effort to explain very complex concepts in simple English on the internet.
i am personally impressed by their writing, especially father akimel.
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« Reply #91 on: June 21, 2012, 05:44:03 PM »

At least this Atheists(Agnostics,etc) are sincere with whom they are..

Well, most are sincere and honest, except for the ones that deceptively list their faith as orthodox. 

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« Reply #92 on: June 22, 2012, 10:13:30 AM »

dear azul, you remind me of friends and acquaintances i have met from this part of europe.
i will try again to respond.
God wanted a free will relationship with humans.
so we had to be given the chance to walk away from God as well as the chance to walk towards him.
when adam and eve preferred to get to be 'like God' on their own terms, without doing it God's way, they walked away from Him. when our relationship with God is damaged, we no longer find pleasure in being with Him.
the relationship needs to be repaired before we can come back to enjoying God's presence.

so God wanted to show us exactly how we could become 'like God' on God's terms. this involves humility (for God is humble despite His glory) and a change of our rebellious character to a loving one.
so God, in the person of God the Son, took on human nature and lived exactly as a human to show us how it should be done.
because the human nature was mortal (this is the curse of disobedience), God had to go as far as submitting to death, and God the Son went down to the place of the dead (hades).
but, being God, He did not die exactly as mortals die. He defeated sin and death and rose from the dead; thus raising human nature together with Him.
because of this event, all humans have the possibility to accept His gift of eternal life, and great peace in this life.
if the humans choose to refuse this gift, they are allowed to do so.

if i throw a free party and tell everyone who comes that they must wear a free scarf that i give them in order to come in, and then some people say 'i don't like the colour of the scarf, i won't wear it', is it me who punishes them by not allowing them entry?
(rhetorical question)
there is more in answer to your questions, but i hope this answers some of them.

there are some people in this forum who take care and attention to answer you, and i hope you can appreciate their efforts because they are educated people, including priests, who make an effort to explain very complex concepts in simple English on the internet.
i am personally impressed by their writing, especially father akimel.

God did not "have to" anything.. He is God he is not limited by anything.

What was this monstruos act that offended God so much as to punish the entire future humanity for it?

The Bible recalls other people defeating death and sin..

You said that because of Jesus(and his resurrection) we all have the capacity to accept his gift and eternal life, presuming that we did not have this capacity before.. This automatically interfears with another one of your sayings that God gave us free-will..

About the "free" party.. Yes, it is your fault.When something is conditional it is no longer free.And sometimes the cheapest and freest things cost us the most, as a certain saying goes.. And when a gift is conditional it ceases to be a gift.


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« Reply #93 on: June 22, 2012, 11:23:07 AM »

Quote
God did not "have to" anything.. He is God he is not limited by anything.

Yes! Now you're getting somewhere. This is an answer to your earlier question about the incarnation. Good.

Quote
What was this monstruos act that offended God so much as to punish the entire future humanity for it?

I don't know if that's the right way to look at it. Our sin causes us to become distant from God by our own acts, and we inherited a propensity towards sin by virtue of being born into a humanity that is affected by the fall, but it's not like God is sitting up in heaven, stewing and being mad and plotting how to send us all to hell for being naughty. We're not Calvinists. Wink So we do need a savior, but from the wages of our sin (the wages of sin being death, you'll recall), not from "angry dad" God.

Quote
The Bible recalls other people defeating death and sin.

No, no...not "defeating". Like we believe that St. Mary was personally sinless (or at least that is my understanding of the topic; I am new to Orthodoxy), but she did not herself defeat sin and death. Sin and death were still a problem, and she could not save anyone from them. Only God can, and only God (Jesus Christ, the Son) did.

Quote
You said that because of Jesus(and his resurrection) we all have the capacity to accept his gift and eternal life, presuming that we did not have this capacity before.. This automatically interfears with another one of your sayings that God gave us free-will.


How can these conflict when before Christ and His glorious resurrection, we didn't have eternal life? "...that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life", right? The gift was not even there yet. I thought that was the whole point of Christ's descent into Hades, because it is recognized that there are those who died before the coming of Christ who likewise need His gift.

Quote
About the "free" party.. Yes, it is your fault.When something is conditional it is no longer free.And sometimes the cheapest and freest things cost us the most, as a certain saying goes.. And when a gift is conditional it ceases to be a gift.

Maybe I am the one who is confused here, but it doesn't seem that you've understood Mabsoota's example. To put conditions on something does not make it no longer free. Something is only free when you don't have to PAY for it (that's what "free" means, in this sense; think about the difference between the words "gratuit" and "liber"*), not because there are no conditions. It is maybe a bit like receiving a rebate in the mail after buying a particular product. Generally to get those, you have to mail in the "proof of purchase". Nobody would consider this an unreasonable condition relative to the return, and I would hope that any Christian would see the parallel with Christianity here: You certainly can't just do NOTHING ("Once Saved, Always Saved"/"Eternal Security" is not a correct doctrine), but if you do what is asked of you as a follower of Christ, then your reward is great (in fact, my analogy is pretty poor because it's so very great; it'd be like mailing in a rebate for $5 and receiving more wealth than can ever be imagined in return).

* - I do not speak Romanian, but these are the Google translations of the two Spanish words (a language I do speak) I was thinking of, "gratis" and "libre".
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« Reply #94 on: June 22, 2012, 12:52:56 PM »

Quote
God did not "have to" anything.. He is God he is not limited by anything.

Yes! Now you're getting somewhere. This is an answer to your earlier question about the incarnation. Good.

Why did he became incarnated than if he didn`t have to do it?

Quote
What was this monstruos act that offended God so much as to punish the entire future humanity for it?

I don't know if that's the right way to look at it. Our sin causes us to become distant from God by our own acts, and we inherited a propensity towards sin by virtue of being born into a humanity that is affected by the fall, but it's not like God is sitting up in heaven, stewing and being mad and plotting how to send us all to hell for being naughty. We're not Calvinists. Wink So we do need a savior, but from the wages of our sin (the wages of sin being death, you'll recall), not from "angry dad" God.

How are we saved from the wages of sin = death?

Quote
The Bible recalls other people defeating death and sin.

No, no...not "defeating". Like we believe that St. Mary was personally sinless (or at least that is my understanding of the topic; I am new to Orthodoxy), but she did not herself defeat sin and death. Sin and death were still a problem, and she could not save anyone from them. Only God can, and only God (Jesus Christ, the Son) did.

Jesus was one man, he died one man, resurrected one man and was glorified one man.How does that afftect us?

Quote
You said that because of Jesus(and his resurrection) we all have the capacity to accept his gift and eternal life, presuming that we did not have this capacity before.. This automatically interfears with another one of your sayings that God gave us free-will.


How can these conflict when before Christ and His glorious resurrection, we didn't have eternal life? "...that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life", right? The gift was not even there yet. I thought that was the whole point of Christ's descent into Hades, because it is recognized that there are those who died before the coming of Christ who likewise need His gift.

Eihter we had this capacity to receive eternal life before Jesus or we didn`t have it.. Unless you look at Salvation as a judicial act.If we in our beings were incapable to perceive or to receive the eternal life than we didn`t have the free-will to do so.
Quote
About the "free" party.. Yes, it is your fault.When something is conditional it is no longer free.And sometimes the cheapest and freest things cost us the most, as a certain saying goes.. And when a gift is conditional it ceases to be a gift.

Maybe I am the one who is confused here, but it doesn't seem that you've understood Mabsoota's example. To put conditions on something does not make it no longer free. Something is only free when you don't have to PAY for it (that's what "free" means, in this sense; think about the difference between the words "gratuit" and "liber"*), not because there are no conditions. It is maybe a bit like receiving a rebate in the mail after buying a particular product. Generally to get those, you have to mail in the "proof of purchase". Nobody would consider this an unreasonable condition relative to the return, and I would hope that any Christian would see the parallel with Christianity here: You certainly can't just do NOTHING ("Once Saved, Always Saved"/"Eternal Security" is not a correct doctrine), but if you do what is asked of you as a follower of Christ, then your reward is great (in fact, my analogy is pretty poor because it's so very great; it'd be like mailing in a rebate for $5 and receiving more wealth than can ever be imagined in return).

* - I do not speak Romanian, but these are the Google translations of the two Spanish words (a language I do speak) I was thinking of, "gratis" and "libre".

When you put conditions on something it is no longer free.A gift by definitions is something spontaneous with no streams attached.It is no longer free if it has conditions, the price = the conditions..
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« Reply #95 on: August 31, 2012, 06:26:22 PM »

Azul, I commend to you Paul Evdokimov's book The Struggle with God.

When I find myself hitting bottom and wondering whether Christianity is true or not, I always return to the works of C. S. Lewis.  My favorites:  The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Space Trilogy.  Lewis speaks to my mind, heart, and imagination in a way that few other writers do.  Also see Lewis's letters to Sheldon Vanauken.  I am particularly moved by Lewis's response to the question, What if I believe and it turns out Christianity is false?

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But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could. that be? How could. an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?

In the end, I refuse to accept the despair of atheism.  I must stake my life on the gospel. 

   

Beautifully said.  Lewis is an INCREDIBLE writer for those of us who get caught up in the "what ifs". 
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« Reply #96 on: December 25, 2012, 12:38:32 AM »

  I think "the Meaning of Jesus" by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright would explain alot more than any amount of Orthodox theology to somebody who doesn't "Get" the "big deal" about Christianity.     Frankly, Orthodox theology really is gibberish to the average non-Christian, and its not necessarily even the essence of the Gospel, which Jesus proclaimed as the "Reign of God" in opposition to oppression and evil.
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« Reply #97 on: December 25, 2012, 03:06:43 AM »

 I think "the Meaning of Jesus" by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright would explain alot more than any amount of Orthodox theology to somebody who doesn't "Get" the "big deal" about Christianity.     Frankly, Orthodox theology really is gibberish to the average non-Christian,

Welcome back.  Merry Christmas! What happened to losing your "triumphantalism?"
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« Reply #98 on: December 25, 2012, 10:31:20 AM »

Welcome back.  Merry Christmas! What happened to losing your "triumphantalism?"

  Merry Christmas.

   The triumphalism went hand in hand with losing a real, living faith in God, and trading it in for a religious ideology.  When I eventually lost the religious ideology, I lost the triumphalism.
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« Reply #99 on: December 25, 2012, 11:26:52 AM »

I've trodden the path of atheism and lost faith more than once so I'm not going to preach to you, Daedelus1138. Don't stop where you are now; keep looking for the Truth. Since Christ IS Truth, I believe you will find Him eventually, if that's what you're really looking for.
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« Reply #100 on: December 25, 2012, 11:54:18 AM »

 I think "the Meaning of Jesus" by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright would explain alot more than any amount of Orthodox theology to somebody who doesn't "Get" the "big deal" about Christianity.     Frankly, Orthodox theology really is gibberish to the average non-Christian, and its not necessarily even the essence of the Gospel, which Jesus proclaimed as the "Reign of God" in opposition to oppression and evil.

Oh boy.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #101 on: December 25, 2012, 11:11:14 PM »

Welcome back.  Merry Christmas! What happened to losing your "triumphantalism?"

  Merry Christmas.

   The triumphalism went hand in hand with losing a real, living faith in God, and trading it in for a religious ideology.  When I eventually lost the religious ideology, I lost the triumphalism.

How are Anglicans different from Orthodox and you can't say that Anglicans are more supportive of LGBTs?
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« Reply #102 on: December 26, 2012, 12:17:58 AM »

evil.
What's evil?
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« Reply #103 on: December 26, 2012, 10:51:04 AM »

How are Anglicans different from Orthodox and you can't say that Anglicans are more supportive of LGBTs?

   Anglicans are more theologically diverse, although I suppose their attitude is closet to the Eastern Orthodox of any Protestant group.  Anglicans have a great of respect for individualism.  Most of the sermons I hear at Episcopalian Churches are about sharing God's love with others and examining a persons behaviors and relationships to look for a deeper spiritual life and healing. It's actually not that different from what I heard at OCA churches, but perhaps the emphasis is more on the beauty of a spiritual life rather than some kind of metaphysics of theosis.  The Christmas Eve service at the Orlando cathedral was actually  mystical in tone.

   Anglicanism is undergoing a "listening process" regarding LGBT/gay individuals and their experiences, while officially, they support the traditional teachings of Christians on homosexuality.   Unofficially, there are a variety of views on homosexuality, but they do oppose bigotry and affirm the dignity of gays.    You will not often hear the "culture war" rhetoric of the Religious Right in that Church, because my impression is that Anglicans do not consider moralism to be the sine qua none of being a Christian.   

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« Reply #104 on: December 26, 2012, 07:32:32 PM »

How are Anglicans different from Orthodox and you can't say that Anglicans are more supportive of LGBTs?

   Anglicans are more theologically diverse, although I suppose their attitude is closet to the Eastern Orthodox of any Protestant group.  Anglicans have a great of respect for individualism.

Individualism is religion of the self.  Why need another religion?

  Most of the sermons I hear at Episcopalian Churches are about sharing God's love with others and examining a persons behaviors and relationships to look for a deeper spiritual life and healing. It's actually not that different from what I heard at OCA churches, but perhaps the emphasis is more on the beauty of a spiritual life rather than some kind of metaphysics of theosis.  The Christmas Eve service at the Orlando cathedral was actually  mystical in tone.

In what way?

   Anglicanism is undergoing a "listening process" regarding LGBT/gay individuals and their experiences, while officially, they support the traditional teachings of Christians on homosexuality.   Unofficially, there are a variety of views on homosexuality, but they do oppose bigotry and affirm the dignity of gays.    You will not often hear the "culture war" rhetoric of the Religious Right in that Church, because my impression is that Anglicans do not consider moralism to be the sine qua none of being a Christian.
   

If there are no morals, what will exist?
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« Reply #105 on: December 26, 2012, 08:33:26 PM »


Individualism is religion of the self.  Why need another religion?  

  Experience in the West has taught us that authoritarianism isn't spiritually healthy and that human autonomy is something good that needs to be respected.   I don't see a religion of self-denial as healthy (I do not mean asceticism, but rather pretending that a naive egolessness is desireable), rather it leads to distortions in the subconscious Jungian shadow, where we project all that is "evil" in us onto others, avoiding spiritual growth.


In what way?  

  The priest preached about the Incarnation as something quiet, subtle, and mysterious, and how we encounter God is in that ineffability that the liturgy and worship in the cathedral points to.

If there are no morals, what will exist?

  Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God are the most important rules in the Bible, everything else depends on them.  I really think an ethic based around religious ideology, divorced from love, which in my mind includes authentic openness and vulnerability, is not a morality at all.  I've read reviews and recommendations of "Freedom of Morality" by Christos Yannaras, and had it commended to me in the past when I discussed here the complexity of having a morality that respects the individual's unique personhood.   I've also been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters in Prison" and many places he places a higher value on courage as a moral in itself, having the courage to do what we feel is right knowing we risk being wrong and knowing we will be forgiven.    I see this as a higher way to live, maybe the way of the holy fools, rather than trying to reduce morality to a fear of breaking rules.

What is healthy for me is to see the self in relationship to others, not apart from others, and to recognize my common life with others in God, and always aware of my own feelings and thoughts as my own feelings and thoughts, and not ignoring them.  It is something I have just started praying about when I feel the pull of too much darkness in my life.  But I no longer try to feel unlovable, unholy, wretched because I have this side of me.  I have given up on theosis a long time ago, it is a selfish idea anyways, the idea that I can, through my own power, be holier than others is a delusion.  The same streak of evil runs through all of us, so what is an ascetic trying to prove?  I really do believe in "total depravity", life is just a continual blundering about.   It would seem overwhelmingly sad, but the answer to this is a gentle heart, not moralism.

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« Reply #106 on: December 26, 2012, 08:48:44 PM »

the idea that I can, through my own power, be holier than others

That's not theosis.

Quote
what is an ascetic trying to prove?

Asceticism isn't about proving anything.
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« Reply #107 on: December 26, 2012, 09:51:08 PM »


Individualism is religion of the self.  Why need another religion?  

  Experience in the West has taught us that authoritarianism isn't spiritually healthy and that human autonomy is something good that needs to be respected.   I don't see a religion of self-denial as healthy (I do not mean asceticism, but rather pretending that a naive egolessness is desireable), rather it leads to distortions in the subconscious Jungian shadow, where we project all that is "evil" in us onto others, avoiding spiritual growth.


In what way?  

  The priest preached about the Incarnation as something quiet, subtle, and mysterious, and how we encounter God is in that ineffability that the liturgy and worship in the cathedral points to.

If there are no morals, what will exist?

  Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God are the most important rules in the Bible, everything else depends on them.  I really think an ethic based around religious ideology, divorced from love, which in my mind includes authentic openness and vulnerability, is not a morality at all.  I've read reviews and recommendations of "Freedom of Morality" by Christos Yannaras, and had it commended to me in the past when I discussed here the complexity of having a morality that respects the individual's unique personhood.   I've also been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters in Prison" and many places he places a higher value on courage as a moral in itself, having the courage to do what we feel is right knowing we risk being wrong and knowing we will be forgiven.    I see this as a higher way to live, maybe the way of the holy fools, rather than trying to reduce morality to a fear of breaking rules.

What is healthy for me is to see the self in relationship to others, not apart from others, and to recognize my common life with others in God, and always aware of my own feelings and thoughts as my own feelings and thoughts, and not ignoring them.  It is something I have just started praying about when I feel the pull of too much darkness in my life.  But I no longer try to feel unlovable, unholy, wretched because I have this side of me.  I have given up on theosis a long time ago, it is a selfish idea anyways, the idea that I can, through my own power, be holier than others is a delusion.  The same streak of evil runs through all of us, so what is an ascetic trying to prove?  I really do believe in "total depravity", life is just a continual blundering about.   It would seem overwhelmingly sad, but the answer to this is a gentle heart, not moralism.



Is this really the gospel? I don't mean that in a smart ass way I'm just not sure what your trying to say
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« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2012, 12:52:58 AM »


Is this really the gospel? I don't mean that in a smart ass way I'm just not sure what your trying to say

  Jesus went into the synagogue and read from the Isaiah scroll, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me.." ... that is the Gospel.  The rest, the salvation about getting into heaven or theosis, is religious interpretation filtered through a good dose of politically convenient ideology.  It is always politically convenient and reactionary to make sin and reform an individual issue and privatize suffering and human misery.    Its one reason I now feel critical of Buddhism for instance, for instance...  it's too often a philosophy of passivity in the face of evil.  This is the perfect ideology for exploitation, either of the consumerist, or tyrranical authoritarian kind
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« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2012, 12:59:39 AM »


Is this really the gospel? I don't mean that in a smart ass way I'm just not sure what your trying to say

  Jesus went into the synagogue and read from the Isaiah scroll, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me.." ... that is the Gospel.

The Gospel is more than 13 words.

The rest, the salvation about getting into heaven or theosis,

No, theosis isn't about getting into heaven.

is religious interpretation filtered through a good dose of politically convenient ideology.  It is always politically convenient and reactionary to make sin and reform an individual issue and privatize suffering and human misery.

I'm not familiar with the works you mentioned; however, I don't see where you're getting the idea of privatized suffering and human misery.

Its one reason I now feel critical of Buddhism for instance, for instance...  it's too often a philosophy of passivity in the face of evil.  This is the perfect ideology for exploitation, either of the consumerist, or tyrranical authoritarian kind

Who's doing the exploiting that you mention?   Huh
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« Reply #110 on: December 27, 2012, 01:43:47 AM »

Experience in the West has taught us that authoritarianism isn't spiritually healthy and that human autonomy is something good that needs to be respected.

I do what I want when I want - how is that autonomy?

I don't see a religion of self-denial as healthy (I do not mean asceticism, but rather pretending that a naive egolessness is desireable), rather it leads to distortions in the subconscious Jungian shadow, where we project all that is "evil" in us onto others, avoiding spiritual growth.

You've really sunk yourself into the abyss of modern psychotherapy.

The priest preached about the Incarnation as something quiet, subtle, and mysterious, and how we encounter God is in that ineffability that the liturgy and worship in the cathedral points to.

The first part is not mysticism.  The Orthodox believe in the Incarnation of Christ as a great mystery.

Jesus said loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God are the most important rules in the Bible, everything else depends on them.  I really think an ethic based around religious ideology, divorced from love, which in my mind includes authentic openness and vulnerability, is not a morality at all.  I've read reviews and recommendations of "Freedom of Morality" by Christos Yannaras, and had it commended to me in the past when I discussed here the complexity of having a morality that respects the individual's unique personhood.   I've also been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters in Prison" and many places he places a higher value on courage as a moral in itself, having the courage to do what we feel is right knowing we risk being wrong and knowing we will be forgiven.    I see this as a higher way to live, maybe the way of the holy fools, rather than trying to reduce morality to a fear of breaking rules.

If you don't break the rule, you're OK.  Otherwise, there are consequences for breaking rules.  There were consequences for Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God.

What is healthy for me is to see the self in relationship to others, not apart from others, and to recognize my common life with others in God, and always aware of my own feelings and thoughts as my own feelings and thoughts, and not ignoring them.  It is something I have just started praying about when I feel the pull of too much darkness in my life.  But I no longer try to feel unlovable, unholy, wretched because I have this side of me.

You can support LGBTs and not feel unlovable, unholy and wretched.  In Orthodoxy, one can't be an actively sexual LGB (some people can't help being T; however, they can't be both male and female).

I have given up on theosis a long time ago, it is a selfish idea anyways, the idea that I can, through my own power, be holier than others is a delusion.  The same streak of evil runs through all of us, so what is an ascetic trying to prove?  I really do believe in "total depravity", life is just a continual blundering about.   It would seem overwhelmingly sad, but the answer to this is a gentle heart, not moralism.

You just worship the constructs of man and found a place in the Episcopal Church where worshiping the constructs of man is perfectly acceptable.
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« Reply #111 on: December 27, 2012, 02:12:27 AM »

Quote
distortions in the subconscious Jungian shadow, where we project all that is "evil" in us onto others, avoiding spiritual growth.

What does Jungian "psychology" have to do with Orthodox Christianity??  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #112 on: December 27, 2012, 02:58:27 AM »

Jungian Shadow.  laugh
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« Reply #113 on: December 27, 2012, 05:01:04 AM »


Is this really the gospel? I don't mean that in a smart ass way I'm just not sure what your trying to say

  Jesus went into the synagogue and read from the Isaiah scroll, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me.." ... that is the Gospel.  The rest, the salvation about getting into heaven or theosis, is religious interpretation filtered through a good dose of politically convenient ideology.  It is always politically convenient and reactionary to make sin and reform an individual issue and privatize suffering and human misery.    Its one reason I now feel critical of Buddhism for instance, for instance...  it's too often a philosophy of passivity in the face of evil.  This is the perfect ideology for exploitation, either of the consumerist, or tyrranical authoritarian kind


Good for you. (This is not ironic nor patronizing. It's orthonormish for saying, well I don't know cause I would say something else.)
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« Reply #114 on: December 27, 2012, 05:04:09 AM »

You can support LGBTs and not feel unlovable, unholy and wretched.  In Orthodoxy, one can't be an actively sexual LGB (some people can't help being T; however, they can't be both male and female).

Nearly everyone I've met is both "male" and "female". I say nearly only in case of a faulty memory.
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« Reply #115 on: December 27, 2012, 02:53:27 PM »

You can support LGBTs and not feel unlovable, unholy and wretched.  In Orthodoxy, one can't be an actively sexual LGB (some people can't help being T; however, they can't be both male and female).

Nearly everyone I've met is both "male" and "female". I say nearly only in case of a faulty memory.

There are issues if a "male" tries to use the ladies' room.  There are not enough family restrooms which would satisfy both.
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