Author Topic: war for a saint?  (Read 437 times)

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Offline isaelie

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war for a saint?
« on: July 13, 2012, 10:07:24 PM »
I was reading about Sergius of Radonezh. He gave his blessing for a war?
I dont know... i get so uneasy about this.. my faith staggers when i hear these things (because he has been glorified as a saint by the church).
I say to myself but how? Love your enemy only sometimes?
What makes me uneasy is that the people who glorify him, usually say rich and poor people came to see him, almost as if he is greater than the other saints because rich people and people in 'high' position came to see him. Here in Australia with one of the local parish priests, they glorify those people in high positions, as if they please God more than the ordinary 'lay' man who they probably consider a worthless peasant.

Can war ever be justifiable for a Christian? Does anyone feel the same?

defending the Christians? is what people say or defending the land. But a real Christian is to flee to a safe spot, not hold their ground because of their pride or because their comfortable lifestyle is going to be interrupted. How much more of a Christian is one who is a martyr than one grabs a weapon and decides to kill their enemy. 
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 10:11:33 PM by isaelie »

Offline Basil 320

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2012, 10:12:44 PM »
There is a theological debate among those Christians who argue in support of "just war," and those who oppose war, no matter the circumstances.

It's not a problem for me because I understand the need for war in this fallen world in which we live.
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Offline isaelie

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 10:26:17 PM »
I'd like to close up this discussion quickly.

Can i still be considered Orthodox, if i do not like the way a saint is glorified because of what he did, as previously mentioned. And if i don't support war under any circumstances?

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 10:32:05 PM »
I'd like to close up this discussion quickly.

Can i still be considered Orthodox, if i do not like the way a saint is glorified because of what he did, as previously mentioned. And if i don't support war under any circumstances?

You can disagree with a saint about certain ways he does things. Remember, saints aren't infallible. However, he's still a saint.

I think it's a Christian position to oppose war under all circumstances. It's also a Christian one to support it on certain occasions. As long as you recognize that it's a legitimate disagreement between Christians.
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Offline witega

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 10:43:18 PM »
I'd like to close up this discussion quickly.

Can i still be considered Orthodox, if i do not like the way a saint is glorified because of what he did, as previously mentioned. And if i don't support war under any circumstances?

Our faith is in Christ Jesus, not in any one saint. Saints are not perfect, only Christ is. One can definitely be Orthodox and not agree with the particular actions or individual opinions of any particular saint.
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For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great

Offline Basil 320

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 11:23:03 PM »
I'd like to close up this discussion quickly.

Can i still be considered Orthodox, if i do not like the way a saint is glorified because of what he did, as previously mentioned. And if i don't support war under any circumstances?

The dogma of the church, such as belief in the theology stated in the "Symbol of Faith"--the Creed, is considered necessary for salvation.  

Saints are "recognized" by the church for particular reasons, as stated in the synopsis of their lives provided by the church, not necessarily for the entirety of the life they, as human beings, led on Earth.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 11:25:04 PM by Basil 320 »
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 04:45:29 PM »
Read the whole life of St. Sergius, rather than stopping at that one little point. And consider the context, please. Faith has to be applied in context. Life is not a set of abstract principles.
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 05:14:38 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I was reading about Sergius of Radonezh. He gave his blessing for a war?
I dont know... i get so uneasy about this.. my faith staggers when i hear these things (because he has been glorified as a saint by the church).
I say to myself but how? Love your enemy only sometimes?
What makes me uneasy is that the people who glorify him, usually say rich and poor people came to see him, almost as if he is greater than the other saints because rich people and people in 'high' position came to see him. Here in Australia with one of the local parish priests, they glorify those people in high positions, as if they please God more than the ordinary 'lay' man who they probably consider a worthless peasant.

Can war ever be justifiable for a Christian? Does anyone feel the same?

defending the Christians? is what people say or defending the land. But a real Christian is to flee to a safe spot, not hold their ground because of their pride or because their comfortable lifestyle is going to be interrupted. How much more of a Christian is one who is a martyr than one grabs a weapon and decides to kill their enemy.  

This ties into the Guns threads.  We have the equestrian saints, such as Saint George and Saint Theodore, who were brave warriors and venerable examples of faith and piety in action.  However, they become symbols in the Church for fighting the spiritual battles against the devil and against the weakness of our own selves.  Still, this does not negate their intrinsic nature as warrior-saints, as armed men on God's behalf.  I would say this, as a devout pacifist, that war should always be a necessary evil, in the most literal sense, that while it is clear that it will in many instances be necessary and unavoidable, we should also consider it necessarily evil and thus constantly try to avoid it.  We do not necessarily glorify war in Saint George, though we also don't vilify those Orthodox among us who serve in the armed forces or the police forces.  To those who lead in this capacity, surely they need the Saints all the more.  Its not that we glorify or romanticise the physical warfare, its just that we are also legitimizing the function of the warrior-class in our Church life, and we are sanctifying their efforts.  If war is fought solely on human terms, then it is duty bound to fail because human interests are inherently self-seeking and therefore contradictory.  Sometimes God calls in the cavalry, but we should always emphasize God, and we should always emphasize consulting God in prayer about warfare and violence, rather then blindly examining canons, councils, or the histories of Saints.  If we and they focus continually on prayer, we will know when it is appropriate to carry the sword into the battle, and when its appropriate to sheath the blade and take out our prayer beads.  I will add this lovely anecdote from Medieval France:

Quote
A knight both courteous and wise, and brave and bold in enterpise.  No better knight was ever seen, grealty loved the Virgin Queen.  Onceto contest the Tourney's prize, and keep his strength in exercise, He rode out to the listed field armed at all points with lance and shield.  But it pleased God that when the day of Tourney came, and on his way He pressed his charger's speed apace, to reach before his friends the place..

He saw a Church hard by the road and heard the church bells sounding loud, to celebrate Holy Mass.  Without a thought the church to pass, the knight drew rein, and entered there to seek the aid of God in prayer.  High and clear they chanted then a solemn Mass to Mary Queen.


Then afresh began again.  Lost in his prayers the good knight stayed, with all his heart to Mary prayed, and when the second one was done, straightway the third Mass was begun, right there upon that selfsame place.  'Sire, for mercy of God's grace!' Whispered his squire in his ear, 'The hour of the Tournament is near, why do you want to linger here? Is it a hermit to become, or a hypocrite, or a priest of Rome? Come at on, at once! Dispatch your prayer! Let us be off to our affair!'

'Friend!' said to him the chevalier, 'He tourneys very nobly too, who only hears God's service through!'[/b]
quoted from Mont Saint Michel and Chartres by Henry Adams

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habte selassie

« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 05:16:01 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Offline Punch

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Re: war for a saint?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 06:42:33 PM »
Read the whole life of St. Sergius, rather than stopping at that one little point. And consider the context, please. Faith has to be applied in context. Life is not a set of abstract principles.

True
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.