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Author Topic: "Hark, The Harold Angel's Sing" a Christological Heresy?  (Read 1270 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 17, 2012, 09:46:29 PM »

Is the classic Christmas hymn a Christological heresy because of the following line, "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,"? This line--'VEILED in flesh'--seems to undermine the Divinity of Jesus' human nature. It makes it appear as if God only wore human flesh/looked like a human, but that He wasn't truly human. What's the name of this heresy again?
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 10:09:20 PM »

Do you mean "Herald Angels"?


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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 10:37:14 PM »

I think the heresy you are thinking of is docetism, which taught that Christ only seemed to be human; I believe certain forms of Gnosticism taught this also.

Although the line you quote could be taken that way if considered in isolation, I think that if you consider the following lines along with it, you get a different impression.  In the version I learned, after "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see" comes:

"Hail the incarnate deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel."

There is a clear indication that Jesus is God "incarnate", and that He is a man.  So, whatever one may think of Christmas carols, or western hymns in general, I think we can absolve this particular carol of the docetist heresy.

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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 10:58:54 PM »

Do you mean "Herald Angels"?

I think the heresy you are thinking of is docetism, which taught that Christ only seemed to be human; I believe certain forms of Gnosticism taught this also.

Although the line you quote could be taken that way if considered in isolation, I think that if you consider the following lines along with it, you get a different impression.  In the version I learned, after "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see" comes:

"Hail the incarnate deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel."

There is a clear indication that Jesus is God "incarnate", and that He is a man.  So, whatever one may think of Christmas carols, or western hymns in general, I think we can absolve this particular carol of the docetist heresy.

You have to admire his persistence . . .

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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 11:02:47 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 11:12:02 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2012, 11:17:54 PM »

There is an angel named Harold?

I must know more!
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2012, 11:19:17 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Yes, because JamesR is well known to be a member of the Augustine hating club.
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2012, 11:20:33 PM »

There is an angel named Harold?

I must know more!

Well, the angel in It's a Wonderful Life was called Clarence. Close enough?   laugh
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2012, 11:27:56 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Yes, because JamesR is well known to be a member of the Augustine hating club.

I would know. I'm the one who inducted him.
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2012, 11:58:37 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

 Cheesy

Westernism... Like modernism, only worse. And way more geographic.

What are you talking about? All the cool kids know that Westernism and Modernism are the same thing. You can't have the Enlightenment without Scholasticism.  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 06:46:50 AM »

Quote
There is an angel named Harold?

I must know more!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMWn2oDAUVc   laugh
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 06:51:16 AM »

On a slightly different note:

Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to listen and sing western Christmas carols?
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2012, 06:55:15 AM »

Is the classic Christmas hymn a Christological heresy because of the following line, "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,"? This line--'VEILED in flesh'--seems to undermine the Divinity of Jesus' human nature. It makes it appear as if God only wore human flesh/looked like a human, but that He wasn't truly human. What's the name of this heresy again?
It is not necessarily heretical, but one could misconstrue it as Doceticism if they really wanted to.

"[Christ] who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." -Phillipians 2:6-8

Here, St. Paul says that Christ appeared as a man, but it is quite clear in context what he means by "appeared."
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 06:59:03 AM »

Is the classic Christmas hymn a Christological heresy because of the following line, "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,"? This line--'VEILED in flesh'--seems to undermine the Divinity of Jesus' human nature. It makes it appear as if God only wore human flesh/looked like a human, but that He wasn't truly human. What's the name of this heresy again?
It is not necessarily heretical, but one could misconstrue it as Doceticism if they really wanted to.

"[Christ] who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." -Phillipians 2:6-8

Here, St. Paul says that Christ appeared as a man, but it is quite clear in context what he means by "appeared."

Appearance only gets a bad rap if you let the bigotries of Greeks bother you.
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 06:59:29 AM »

On a slightly different note:

Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to listen and sing western Christmas carols?

Tell me you are joking?
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2012, 07:00:32 AM »

On a slightly different note:

Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to listen and sing western Christmas carols?

Tell me you are joking?
Is your face joking?
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2012, 07:10:57 AM »

On a slightly different note:

Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to listen and sing western Christmas carols?

A good number of traditional western Christmas carols, especially those which pre-date the Reformation, are completely compatible with Orthodox teaching. O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing are good examples. They shouldn't be sung during Orthodox services as a liturgical replacement for hymns appointed for those services, but, otherwise, if there's no heresy or distortion in a carol, why not enjoy them?  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2012, 07:12:29 AM »

On a slightly different note:

Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to listen and sing western Christmas carols?

A good number of traditional western Christmas carols, especially those which pre-date the Reformation, are completely compatible with Orthodox teaching. O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angels Sing are good examples. They shouldn't be sung during Orthodox services as a liturgical replacement for hymns appointed for those services, but, otherwise, if there's no heresy or distortion in a carol, why not enjoy them?  Smiley
Thank you for your input, LBK. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2012, 07:23:34 AM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Don't you forget that blasted Tertullian, him writing in Latin and living in the west is even worse than him becoming a montanist!
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2012, 01:42:10 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Don't you forget that blasted Tertullian, him writing in Latin and living in the west is even worse than him becoming a montanist!

Tertullian lived in Montana?
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2012, 01:46:47 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Don't you forget that blasted Tertullian, him writing in Latin and living in the west is even worse than him becoming a montanist!

Tertullian lived in Montana?

Yes, terrible huh?
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2012, 01:47:38 PM »

Ah yes, the old heresy of being written by Western Christians, a particularly pernicious heresy prevalent since the time of Augustine, the first Western Christian who dared to write extensively.

Don't you forget that blasted Tertullian, him writing in Latin and living in the west is even worse than him becoming a montanist!

Tertullian lived in Montana?

Yes, terrible huh?
It explains quite a bit.
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2012, 01:58:14 PM »

JamesR

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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2012, 03:51:08 PM »

Is the classic Christmas hymn a Christological heresy because of the following line, "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,"? This line--'VEILED in flesh'--seems to undermine the Divinity of Jesus' human nature. It makes it appear as if God only wore human flesh/looked like a human...

"You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews..." -Job 10

So to be clothed with flesh means to have flesh.
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« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2012, 04:01:10 PM »

Is the classic Christmas hymn a Christological heresy because of the following line, "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,"? This line--'VEILED in flesh'--seems to undermine the Divinity of Jesus' human nature. It makes it appear as if God only wore human flesh/looked like a human, but that He wasn't truly human. What's the name of this heresy again?
This hymn was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement. I have never heard anyone question their understanding of the Incarnation. I think you're taking a single word out of context here and making too much of it. It's a bit poetic, that's all.
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2012, 06:03:38 PM »

The only problematic Christmas carol I can think of is that one that identifies the star of Bethlehem, which tradition says was an appearance of the Christ Child in the heavens (in other words, it looked like a baby) with a comet, of all things. It has those lines, "Do you see what I see? A star, a star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite."

While not heretical, it is clearly contrary to Orthodox Tradition. The song came out about a month before I was born.

I don't see any heresy in "veiled in flesh the Godhead see," but I think that if a person looks under every rock for heresy, they are probably distracted from their divine calling.
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2012, 06:35:28 PM »

The only problematic Christmas carol I can think of is that one that identifies the star of Bethlehem, which tradition says was an appearance of the Christ Child in the heavens (in other words, it looked like a baby) with a comet, of all things. It has those lines, "Do you see what I see? A star, a star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite."

While not heretical, it is clearly contrary to Orthodox Tradition. The song came out about a month before I was born.

I don't see any heresy in "veiled in flesh the Godhead see," but I think that if a person looks under every rock for heresy, they are probably distracted from their divine calling.
Father, I haven't come across that tradition before. How is it referenced in hymnography or perhaps the Infancy Gospels? (Not disputing you, please understand - just curious.)
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2012, 07:10:37 PM »

I am pretty sure St. John Chrysostom mentions it, and the Prologue From Ochrid based on earlier sources, of course. I don't have a detailed answer, unfortunately. Help!
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2012, 09:30:25 PM »

That would be the new show "Harold Angels Sing" ,A combination of Charlies Angels and Touched by an Angel,About three beautiful Girls who save souls and solve murders While working on the set of The new American Idol. angel laugh police
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« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2012, 10:03:26 PM »

The only problematic Christmas carol I can think of is that one that identifies the star of Bethlehem, which tradition says was an appearance of the Christ Child in the heavens (in other words, it looked like a baby) with a comet, of all things. It has those lines, "Do you see what I see? A star, a star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite."

While not heretical, it is clearly contrary to Orthodox Tradition. The song came out about a month before I was born.

I don't see any heresy in "veiled in flesh the Godhead see," but I think that if a person looks under every rock for heresy, they are probably distracted from their divine calling.
Father, I haven't come across that tradition before. How is it referenced in hymnography or perhaps the Infancy Gospels? (Not disputing you, please understand - just curious.)

There is nothing at all in the Nativity and pre-Nativity hymnography which describes the star which led the Magi to Bethlehem as looking like a child or babe. Any such imagery, even if written of by a saint, can only be regarded as speculation, or, perhaps, a mistranslation from the original language, or a misunderstanding of what the saint actually wrote.
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« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2012, 10:51:08 PM »

Do you mean "Herald Angels"?

I think the heresy you are thinking of is docetism, which taught that Christ only seemed to be human; I believe certain forms of Gnosticism taught this also.

Although the line you quote could be taken that way if considered in isolation, I think that if you consider the following lines along with it, you get a different impression.  In the version I learned, after "Veiled in flesh the Godhead see" comes:

"Hail the incarnate deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel."

There is a clear indication that Jesus is God "incarnate", and that He is a man.  So, whatever one may think of Christmas carols, or western hymns in general, I think we can absolve this particular carol of the docetist heresy.

You have to admire his persistence . . .

James gives good internetz.

You are not kidding.  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2012, 10:56:32 PM »

The only problematic Christmas carol I can think of is that one that identifies the star of Bethlehem, which tradition says was an appearance of the Christ Child in the heavens (in other words, it looked like a baby) with a comet, of all things. It has those lines, "Do you see what I see? A star, a star dancing in the night with a tail as big as a kite, with a tail as big as a kite."

While not heretical, it is clearly contrary to Orthodox Tradition. The song came out about a month before I was born.

I don't see any heresy in "veiled in flesh the Godhead see," but I think that if a person looks under every rock for heresy, they are probably distracted from their divine calling.

You bring up a good point.  I honestly never thought of that.

Replacing a comet with a star....
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