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Author Topic: Christianity doesn`t make sense to me anymore  (Read 5426 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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Azul
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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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