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Author Topic: Gospel  (Read 3639 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ansgar
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« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2013, 11:27:22 AM »

FlickFlack, I am very sorry if we have offended you, but you must understand, there are some of us who are also getting a little frustrated. I looked back on some of the earlier posts and it is clear that there are several people, who have, in fact, tried to give a reasonable answer, even though they may not look as such to you. We have  But it seems that no matter what we say, you are not satisfied. Don't take it personally, but sometimes, it seems as if you have already made up your mind as too what kind of answer you want and when we are not giving it to you, you become offended.

Since we appearently are not able to give you the answer you seek, I suggest that you find some good books on orthodox theology and read those, because in matters like these, the Church is always the best source of answers.
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2013, 01:33:50 PM »

Flick Flack-

This will be the last time that I reply to one of your posts, so please hear me out. Perhaps I am foolish for thinking that you will listen, as you have betrayed scant evidence of listening to anyone else here. However, I boldly pray for your enlightenment and salvation, even though I do not know you or exactly what you are going through.

I have replied in earnest to you twice already, strongly suggesting that these questions are best addressed through more direct avenues, especially since your profile suggests that you belong to the body of Christ, His Church, and since you seem to be tormented by many doubts. I did not see a response to either of my previous messages, so I will re-iterate my suggestion once more: You should speak with a priest and completely bare your soul, along with all of these questions and doubts, in confession before Christ. This will help a great deal. I still believe it may also be advisable for you to visit with a monastic Elder with a reputation for great humility and holiness, who can help you with your questions, teach you about prayer and intercede for you in a powerful way before the Lord. Rest assured, all of your interrogations here will remain fruitless outside of an active faith and life in Christ, and will only serve to agitate you further.

The good news is this: All of your questions have been answered! The Lord Himself is the Truth, 'in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' (Col. 2:3), and the Church is '[...] the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.' (1 Timothy 3:15)

The problem, as far as I can tell, is that you come across here as very impatient and almost defiant in many places. This is part of why you are not getting the answers that you ask for, because others sense this and become frustrated by it. We get what we give. These are signs of an abundance of pride, which you must pray about and learn to struggle against if you are to receive the answers to the questions you seek. Please do not interpret this as self-righteous judgment on my part, for I speak out of brotherly concern, as one who suffers from the same weaknesses. Above all, remember the importance of faith in the asking of these questions and that 'blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.' (Jn 20:29)

There are many books you could also read to help address all of your questions which I would gladly help direct you to, but it is paramount that you first get right with God and His Church, or it will all be to no avail, 'For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?' (Mt. 16:26)

I am not proud I just respond to people's pride in here , you know what it says I know that I am stupid but when I look around me I get courage! No offence but a lot of people that have replied to my threads have low iqs and have responded disrespectful and rudely. My threads are honest strives for a peaceful and decent conversation and debate. But as you see some just don't have that decency. I don't understand why some need to discuss people and not ideas. To me that only shows how narrow-minded they are. Discussing persons is what small minds and spiritually immature do. If you want to service your neighbour give him what he asks. If your neighbour comes to your door to ask you salt and you give him sugar how did that help him?

Why I address this questions on an internet and on this site is because someone told me that there are really interesting and smart Orthodox Christians in here, even priests and bishops. The reason I bring this to internet discussion is because there is a far more greater amount of resources for a more qualitative discussion in this ground than face to face.. The persons have more time to think, to write down their ideas and correct them and have a lot of exact resources to bring into discussion, not just talking from the mind/remmembrance but actually bringing more accurate and exact arguments, with citations, sources, etc. You said something about consulting a priest/bishop/monk etc, I am working on that also, but have to find the right person.

Thank you for your earnest reply. I am willing to devote some time to your queries personally. Feel free to PM me; It will be easier for me to devote the time to your questions that way. I am glad to hear you are looking for someone within the Church personally to take your concerns and questions to, but please don't let it wait too long! God truly does speak through his servants, especially those of the ordained Priesthood and the monastic estate. I trust God will guide you. Just pray for your spiritual senses to be open to his guidance.

In Christ's love,
Symeon
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« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2013, 10:45:04 AM »

You quote others whom you know not what they say(mean). Nevertheless good. The question remains which you would know not what to answer. What CONCRETELY was the first sin(the sin of Adam and Eve) ?

I'm not sure the answer is as simple as you think.  A whole lot of what Adam and Eve did was sinful, even at that first moment.  They wanted to be like God, yet apart from the grace God had given them to become exactly that.  They questioned whether God really said what He said about the tree.  They rejected the grace God had given to pursue their own selfish desires.  I don't think it's a "this or that" answer.  There was a lot going on in the Fall.

Some or another Orthodox theologian has said "the first sin was a breaking of the fast."  So there is that element too.  God told them "not yet" as pertains to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and yet they partook anyway.

It's more complex than you seem to want it to be.  That's okay -- we all prefer simple answers.  But please be patient when the answer given is not what you expected, or perhaps think it should be.

Regarding what the Gospel is, Melodist gave a quite good answer.  You responded asking about evil in the world and why we still die.  I think the problem of evil has been sorted out by much greater philosophical minds than mine, so I would refer you to those sources on a philosophical level (Plantinga is a good starting point).  Ultimately, from an Orthodox Christian standpoint, your response seems to put free will aside and assume that if Christ "fixed" everything, then you and I should no longer struggle with sin.  This also seems to imply a mono-energism that would be foreign to Orthodox theology.  Regarding death, I think you misunderstand how it was "fixed."  Death is not eliminated in salvation.  Rather, death is transformed, such that through death we gain life.  I also think some contemplation on the resurrection of Christ as pertains to the resurrection on the day of judgment is in order.

I hope you can see that you are asking for very simple answers to what you think is a very simple question, but in fact, your question and follow ups beg so many other questions, a simple answer is impossible.  You have some presuppositions, whether you realize it or not, that are going to be problematic in sorting this stuff out. 
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« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2013, 11:38:50 AM »

You quote others whom you know not what they say(mean). Nevertheless good. The question remains which you would know not what to answer. What CONCRETELY was the first sin(the sin of Adam and Eve) ?

I'm not sure the answer is as simple as you think.  A whole lot of what Adam and Eve did was sinful, even at that first moment.  They wanted to be like God, yet apart from the grace God had given them to become exactly that.  They questioned whether God really said what He said about the tree.  They rejected the grace God had given to pursue their own selfish desires.  I don't think it's a "this or that" answer.  There was a lot going on in the Fall.

Some or another Orthodox theologian has said "the first sin was a breaking of the fast."  So there is that element too.  God told them "not yet" as pertains to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and yet they partook anyway.

It's more complex than you seem to want it to be.  That's okay -- we all prefer simple answers.  But please be patient when the answer given is not what you expected, or perhaps think it should be.

Regarding what the Gospel is, Melodist gave a quite good answer.  You responded asking about evil in the world and why we still die.  I think the problem of evil has been sorted out by much greater philosophical minds than mine, so I would refer you to those sources on a philosophical level (Plantinga is a good starting point).  Ultimately, from an Orthodox Christian standpoint, your response seems to put free will aside and assume that if Christ "fixed" everything, then you and I should no longer struggle with sin.  This also seems to imply a mono-energism that would be foreign to Orthodox theology.  Regarding death, I think you misunderstand how it was "fixed."  Death is not eliminated in salvation.  Rather, death is transformed, such that through death we gain life.  I also think some contemplation on the resurrection of Christ as pertains to the resurrection on the day of judgment is in order.

I hope you can see that you are asking for very simple answers to what you think is a very simple question, but in fact, your question and follow ups beg so many other questions, a simple answer is impossible.  You have some presuppositions, whether you realize it or not, that are going to be problematic in sorting this stuff out. 

First, thank you for your answer.

Second, I don't see the idea of a temporarly restriction to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Bible but I have no problem with that interpretation. I have a problem with why was it bad for the first humans to do that, and why God got so infinitely offended as in to punish the entire Universe because of that, and all the future human generations? Didn't God made Adam and Eve? Didn't he made them with the way they were with this predisposition and attraction towards temptation? He did make them the way they were or do you disagree? And who planted that tree there? Who gave the commandment? Who had foreknowledge? Who is responsible for this? Don't worry I am expecting this to be complex, and I openly wait complex answers.

If Christ fixed those things why are they still taking place? Things like corruption, sickness, sin, death and etc?Feel free to tie everything you want to your answer/s.

I never implied this is a very simple question that has a simple answer. Though I am expecting an extremely reasonable answer to the uttermost to lets say on the same measurement of the effect of cosmological cataclysm that followed right after it. Or do you think that was not the case? I am opened to absolutely all kinds of interpretations and pov concerning this.
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« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2013, 11:51:15 AM »

First, thank you for your answer.

You are most welcome.

Quote
Second, I don't see the idea of a temporarly restriction to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Bible but I have no problem with that interpretation. I have a problem with why was it bad for the first humans to do that, and why God got so infinitely offended as in to punish the entire Universe because of that, and all the future human generations? Didn't God made Adam and Eve? Didn't he made them with the way they were with this predisposition and attraction towards temptation? He did make them the way they were or do you disagree? And who planted that tree there? Who gave the commandment? Who had foreknowledge? Who is responsible for this? Don't worry I am expecting this to be complex, and I openly wait complex answers.

This is another begged question, though I acknowledge it is likely unintentional.  Orthodox theology does not see the ramifications of the Fall being that God is infinitely offended and now must punish the entire universe.  Rather, we see the ramifications of the Fall being consequences of a broken communion with the divine energies.  So for us, it isn't a legalistic matter of offense and punishment, but an existential matter of cause and consequence.  I like to use this analogy -- when my daughter was very young, her mother was baking in the kitchen.  My daughter kept approaching the stove, and my wife kept telling her "stop -- it's hot, you'll burn yourself!"  Yet in a second of inattention, my daughter grabbed an oven rack and badly burned her hand.  Now, one could say that my child was punished for her disobedience, and that is in a sense true.  But what one would not say is that my wife burned my daughter for disobeying her. 

In the same way, we can rightly say that Adam and Eve, and as a result, all of mankind, has been punished with death due to Adam and Eve's disobedience.  But we would not say that God has killed them.  And note, in Genesis, God says "in the day you eat of it, you will surely die."  He does NOT say "in the day you eat of it, I will kill you."  In their disobedience, Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of being separated from God, a choice they made using their own free will.  That does not mean that God caused the consequences, at least not in a sense of God being morally responsible for their choice.

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If Christ fixed those things why are they still taking place? Things like corruption, sickness, sin, death and etc?Feel free to tie everything you want to your answer/s.

Because we are still subject to mortality in this life, and we have free will.  The determinist position is that we do not really have free will, and our actions are determined.  This is in line with Calvinism.  For us, however, we actually have free will -- we can choose between competing actions.  That free will in human persons is darkened in the fall, for reasons it would take too long to get into here (but please research the Orthodox concept of the gnomic will), but the natural will is still essentially free.  That is why we still have evil and sin in the world -- because man, after the Fall, has a deliberative will that forces us to make choices.  The use of the will is marred by this deliberative aspect, so we sometimes choose to sin because we are inwardly focused, narcissistic, vainglorious, etc.  We think of ourselves first, and this is primarily due to mortality.  It is a more animalistic condition than was intended by our Creator.  In communion with Christ, we begin to break free of this in this life, as we live the Sacramental life and are brought into communion with the Holy Trinity.  Our will is conformed to God's will.  But this is a process, not an event, and so as we struggle, we grow.  Much as someone learning to walk will stumble a lot when they are 1 year old, but when they are an adult, they stumble less (but still stumble nonetheless).

Corruption, sickness, death, etc. are still consequences of the Fall, but in that suffering and death, God now saves us.  Rather than being in eternal separation from Him, He brings us into communion with Him through Christ.  So while we suffer corruption, sickness and death, we are, through those things, also being healed.
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« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2013, 01:06:00 PM »

Quote
If Christ fixed those things why are they still taking place? Things like corruption, sickness, sin, death and etc?Feel free to tie everything you want to your answer/s
Just because you are forgiven, does not absolve anyone of the effects. If I am forgiven for burning down a building, or killing someone, it does not reverse what happened. In the same token, death and sin have been defeated; humanity still suffers the effect or their rebellion against God even though He, through Christ, forgives us.
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« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2013, 01:43:45 PM »

We will fully participate in this at the second coming.
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« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2013, 06:14:52 PM »

Quote
If Christ fixed those things why are they still taking place? Things like corruption, sickness, sin, death and etc?Feel free to tie everything you want to your answer/s
Just because you are forgiven, does not absolve anyone of the effects. If I am forgiven for burning down a building, or killing someone, it does not reverse what happened. In the same token, death and sin have been defeated; humanity still suffers the effect or their rebellion against God even though He, through Christ, forgives us.

So if I punished you because you did something to me, and I tell you I forgive and keep punishing you how would you feel?
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« Reply #53 on: March 26, 2013, 02:57:05 AM »

Quote
If Christ fixed those things why are they still taking place? Things like corruption, sickness, sin, death and etc?Feel free to tie everything you want to your answer/s
Just because you are forgiven, does not absolve anyone of the effects. If I am forgiven for burning down a building, or killing someone, it does not reverse what happened. In the same token, death and sin have been defeated; humanity still suffers the effect or their rebellion against God even though He, through Christ, forgives us.

So if I punished you because you did something to me, and I tell you I forgive and keep punishing you how would you feel?
FlickFlack,

Is death a punishment for sin or the natural consequence of sin?
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« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2013, 11:57:15 AM »

Nobody gave this definition of the gospel:

Quote
1 Cor. 15:
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
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