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Romaios
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« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2013, 11:35:09 AM »

I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

Hey, if it's bad to be Romanian, I'm no better than you.  Wink
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2013, 11:41:21 AM »

I am willing to show my Orthodox Certificate of Baptism provided that you two do it before me

My low IQ allows me to conceive that anyone is able to post anyone else's Baptism Certificate as his own.

Anyways, in Orthodox countries you don't get one unless you ask for it. 
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FlickFlack
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« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2013, 11:52:07 AM »

I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

Hey, if it's bad to be Romanian, I'm no better than you.  Wink

Do you know me from somewhere?
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« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2013, 11:55:16 AM »

Hey, if it's bad to be Romanian, I'm no better than you.  Wink

Do you know me from somewhere?

Like from a previous life or something? No.

I have no idea who you are, except for the fact that you are Romanian. That's all.  Smiley
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« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2013, 11:56:16 AM »

Oy vey.  Roll Eyes

What's "going on" is that you're asking all these questions and then attacking anyone who dares to respond to you.

What is going on is that that idiot brainwashed all your puny heads into believing and doing what he wants. I am only asking certain and further clarifications and never attacked first without being attacked by the likes of those like Romaios and his pack of trolls.
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« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2013, 11:56:44 AM »

Hey, if it's bad to be Romanian, I'm no better than you.  Wink

Do you know me from somewhere?

Like from a previous life or something? No.

I have no idea who you are, except for the fact that you are Romanian. That's all.  Smiley

Than why are you spreading all this lies and rumours about me?
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2013, 11:57:19 AM »

Than why did the Apostles as the Scriptures actually and faptically relate -not as you would like- say that? Why did they ask if the guy's personal sin was that which caused him to be born blind?

Ok, in case people are wondering about FlickFlack's IP (not IQ), I can officially attest to his being Romanian or (less likely) Sardinian. Latin ct>pt only in these languages. That's forensic linguistics for you.

PS There's a chance he might be writing from a different country, but his mother tongue is Romanian, for sure.    

You beat me to it. The way he's been in various threads I've been wondering if he hasn't been evangelised by Romanian baptists or the like (he could even be one - wouldn't be the first time I've seen them claiming to be Orthodox as a ploy - but I'd prefer to take his claim to be Orthodox at face value for the moment).

James

I am not a Baptist and I am willing to show my Orthodox Certificate of Baptism provided that you two do it before me and that you two get permanently banned on this forum if I am Orthodox. I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

I said you're sounding like people who have been evangelised by Baptists and the like in Romania (I know quite a few of those - I'm Romanian Orthodox myself and have lived and worked in Romania, it's got absolutely nothing to do with Romaios who I've never even shared a PM with). I quite specifically said that I preferred to assume that you are telling the truth when you say you are Orthodox, so your offer is unnecessary. The reason you sound the way you do to me is that your questions and dilemmas seem to be couched in a Protestant world view - the sorts of questions the various Protestant sects use when they're trying to get Orthodox to question their faith - and your use of language sounds Romanian. Nobody has been slandering you. I'm more than happy to believe that you are an entirely innocent victim of such evangelism and that this has given you doubts, it just makes me wonder why you won't accept perfectly Orthodox answers when you are given them.

James
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We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2013, 12:04:54 PM »

Than why did the Apostles as the Scriptures actually and faptically relate -not as you would like- say that? Why did they ask if the guy's personal sin was that which caused him to be born blind?

Ok, in case people are wondering about FlickFlack's IP (not IQ), I can officially attest to his being Romanian or (less likely) Sardinian. Latin ct>pt only in these languages. That's forensic linguistics for you.

PS There's a chance he might be writing from a different country, but his mother tongue is Romanian, for sure.    

You beat me to it. The way he's been in various threads I've been wondering if he hasn't been evangelised by Romanian baptists or the like (he could even be one - wouldn't be the first time I've seen them claiming to be Orthodox as a ploy - but I'd prefer to take his claim to be Orthodox at face value for the moment).

James

I am not a Baptist and I am willing to show my Orthodox Certificate of Baptism provided that you two do it before me and that you two get permanently banned on this forum if I am Orthodox. I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

I said you're sounding like people who have been evangelised by Baptists and the like in Romania (I know quite a few of those - I'm Romanian Orthodox myself and have lived and worked in Romania, it's got absolutely nothing to do with Romaios who I've never even shared a PM with). I quite specifically said that I preferred to assume that you are telling the truth when you say you are Orthodox, so your offer is unnecessary. The reason you sound the way you do to me is that your questions and dilemmas seem to be couched in a Protestant world view - the sorts of questions the various Protestant sects use when they're trying to get Orthodox to question their faith - and your use of language sounds Romanian. Nobody has been slandering you. I'm more than happy to believe that you are an entirely innocent victim of such evangelism and that this has given you doubts, it just makes me wonder why you won't accept perfectly Orthodox answers when you are given them.

James

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.
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« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2013, 12:09:02 PM »

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.

Please, at least get your insults right.
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« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2013, 12:11:20 PM »

Now, when do you speak the truth? When you say:

I have respect for the Orthodox Church and faith as being a faith of prestige and the faith that I was brought into, but I am trying to draw the mud out of it, and I am doing all this things because I want to be a full Orthodox Christian in the fullness of my Conscience, unlike other impersonators in here.

or:

I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all.

 Huh  police

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« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2013, 12:15:05 PM »

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.

Please, at least get your insults right.

Isn't that how Bugs Bunny used to say it?  Grin
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« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2013, 12:16:24 PM »

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.

Please, at least get your insults right.

Isn't that how Bugs Bunny used to say it?  Grin

He sure did!  laugh
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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2013, 12:19:00 PM »

Than why did the Apostles as the Scriptures actually and faptically relate -not as you would like- say that? Why did they ask if the guy's personal sin was that which caused him to be born blind?

Ok, in case people are wondering about FlickFlack's IP (not IQ), I can officially attest to his being Romanian or (less likely) Sardinian. Latin ct>pt only in these languages. That's forensic linguistics for you.

PS There's a chance he might be writing from a different country, but his mother tongue is Romanian, for sure.    

You beat me to it. The way he's been in various threads I've been wondering if he hasn't been evangelised by Romanian baptists or the like (he could even be one - wouldn't be the first time I've seen them claiming to be Orthodox as a ploy - but I'd prefer to take his claim to be Orthodox at face value for the moment).

James

I am not a Baptist and I am willing to show my Orthodox Certificate of Baptism provided that you two do it before me and that you two get permanently banned on this forum if I am Orthodox. I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

I said you're sounding like people who have been evangelised by Baptists and the like in Romania (I know quite a few of those - I'm Romanian Orthodox myself and have lived and worked in Romania, it's got absolutely nothing to do with Romaios who I've never even shared a PM with). I quite specifically said that I preferred to assume that you are telling the truth when you say you are Orthodox, so your offer is unnecessary. The reason you sound the way you do to me is that your questions and dilemmas seem to be couched in a Protestant world view - the sorts of questions the various Protestant sects use when they're trying to get Orthodox to question their faith - and your use of language sounds Romanian. Nobody has been slandering you. I'm more than happy to believe that you are an entirely innocent victim of such evangelism and that this has given you doubts, it just makes me wonder why you won't accept perfectly Orthodox answers when you are given them.

James

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.


I think that the attempt at personal insults, however comedically they might misfire, could be more fairly characterised as mud slinging than my wondering whether some heterodox missionary has been poisoning your ear, but it seems that you come here wishing to be offended and finding attacks upon yourself where there are none. I do not believe that I've done anything requiring moderation though if I have it is unintentional and I will certainly apologise for it. You on the other hand, in resorting to personal attacks, would appear to at the least be rather close to crossing the line.

James
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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2013, 12:19:40 PM »

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.

Please, at least get your insults right.

Isn't that how Bugs Bunny used to say it?  Grin

He sure did!  laugh

'Ain't I a stinker?' incoming in 5...4... Cheesy
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« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2013, 12:26:41 PM »

@FlickFlack: control your insults unless you want to get warned.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:26:53 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged
FlickFlack
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« Reply #60 on: January 29, 2013, 12:27:42 PM »

Than why did the Apostles as the Scriptures actually and faptically relate -not as you would like- say that? Why did they ask if the guy's personal sin was that which caused him to be born blind?

Ok, in case people are wondering about FlickFlack's IP (not IQ), I can officially attest to his being Romanian or (less likely) Sardinian. Latin ct>pt only in these languages. That's forensic linguistics for you.

PS There's a chance he might be writing from a different country, but his mother tongue is Romanian, for sure.    

You beat me to it. The way he's been in various threads I've been wondering if he hasn't been evangelised by Romanian baptists or the like (he could even be one - wouldn't be the first time I've seen them claiming to be Orthodox as a ploy - but I'd prefer to take his claim to be Orthodox at face value for the moment).

James

I am not a Baptist and I am willing to show my Orthodox Certificate of Baptism provided that you two do it before me and that you two get permanently banned on this forum if I am Orthodox. I don't know what is going on, but I have the impression this scrupulous person Romaios keeps telling people bad stuff about me, although he never met me, nor does he know who I am.

I said you're sounding like people who have been evangelised by Baptists and the like in Romania (I know quite a few of those - I'm Romanian Orthodox myself and have lived and worked in Romania, it's got absolutely nothing to do with Romaios who I've never even shared a PM with). I quite specifically said that I preferred to assume that you are telling the truth when you say you are Orthodox, so your offer is unnecessary. The reason you sound the way you do to me is that your questions and dilemmas seem to be couched in a Protestant world view - the sorts of questions the various Protestant sects use when they're trying to get Orthodox to question their faith - and your use of language sounds Romanian. Nobody has been slandering you. I'm more than happy to believe that you are an entirely innocent victim of such evangelism and that this has given you doubts, it just makes me wonder why you won't accept perfectly Orthodox answers when you are given them.

James

I have not been evangelised by Baptists you maroon. Think before you trow mud at someone. Most of the dilemmas I bring into discussion are unchristian and unbiblical. I am not attached to any dogma and doctrine, and I don't come from any dogma or doctrine. I am not influenced by any dogma, belief and school of thought as I cling to none and to all. Now that you know next time you try to accuse me of something think 100 times before. Also some apologies won't hurt and some moderation.


I think that the attempt at personal insults, however comedically they might misfire, could be more fairly characterised as mud slinging than my wondering whether some heterodox missionary has been poisoning your ear, but it seems that you come here wishing to be offended and finding attacks upon yourself where there are none. I do not believe that I've done anything requiring moderation though if I have it is unintentional and I will certainly apologise for it. You on the other hand, in resorting to personal attacks, would appear to at the least be rather close to crossing the line.

James

You, Romaios and some of your pack look like you have been poisoned by Satanists. Yet you don't see me calling you Satanists. If all the Orthodox would be like you the rest of the Cosmos will be heterodox.
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« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2013, 12:29:00 PM »

Locking that for 24 hours.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 12:29:19 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2013, 08:40:35 PM »

I'm reopening it. I hope everyone has calmed down.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 08:40:46 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2013, 09:01:20 AM »

I feel like the guy who left the party to go get some ice and when I came back I found the house trashed and the cops had arrived. Maybe James can straighten this thread out

Only God is immortal. All creation is dependent on God for existence, whether it be a stone or a soul.

I agree and this is what St Iranaeus and other Fathers contend. That also means that all creation has conditional immortality.

Quote
I'm not sure communion (though I don't quite know what you mean by that in the context) has any bearing on it. 

Communion in the sense that Father Florovsky uses it in his article--basically theosis. It has every bearing on it--will God actively sustain and grant immortality to those who reject Him? See below.

Quote
If everything that exists only exists contingently on God then for God to cease to sustain something would be exactly equivalent to God destroying it, surely?

Well, not exactly. If everything only exists contingently on God, which it does, than my body exists contingently on God. If I choose to jump off a tall building, God may choose to intervene miraculously to save me. If he does not, my body dies. Would one say, if I jumped and died, that God "destroyed" me? No, one would probably say that I destroyed me and God allowed me to do what I wanted. That's an important distinction.

Quote
I can't see how the idea of the annihilation of the soul can even be seen as a possibility within Orthodoxy.

I have't used that term so you may be arguing against a straw man. A number of Orthodox do, however, argue for the mortality of the soul apart from God, including Fr. Florovsky, Fr. Thomas Hopko, and others.

Quote
Even if we find ourselves in hell through rejecting God it doesn't mean that He has rejected us.

Just as God's not always intervening to sustain us does not mean that God has "destroyed" us, so His not always intervening to sustain us does not mean that God has "rejected us". If I jump off a building and my body dies, I wouldn't blame God or think that He "rejected" me, "destroyed" me or "annihilated" me. True, He did not intervene to sustain me, but it would be presumptuous and sinful to assume that He would. I am at fault.

Likewise, if I reject the one immortal, sustainer of life--if I metaphorically jump into the Lake of Fire--and as a consequence my soul ceases to exist, would you say that "He has rejected me"? Hasn't He rather just allowed me libertarian free will? Since only God is immortal, if I by my own free will reject God, haven't I myself actually rejected immortality?

In sum, I think we agree on a number of things: (1) Only God is immortal (2) all creation has contingent/conditional immortality. Where I suspect I disagree with you is the insistence that God will actively intervene to sustain suffering souls in hell for eternity when they reject immortality. I don't see why we must believe this--logically, Scripturally or patristically. 
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« Reply #64 on: January 31, 2013, 10:23:06 AM »

I feel like the guy who left the party to go get some ice and when I came back I found the house trashed and the cops had arrived. Maybe James can straighten this thread out
Doubt it, but I'll try to respond to what you've written. I don't think you understood what I meant, though.

Quote
Only God is immortal. All creation is dependent on God for existence, whether it be a stone or a soul.

I agree and this is what St Iranaeus and other Fathers contend. That also means that all creation has conditional immortality.
I can't say that I exactly disagree, but all creation isn't necessarily alive so how could it be said to have immortality, conditional or otherwise? It's certain that all creation only has conditional existence, but that's not quite the same as immortality.

Quote
Quote
I'm not sure communion (though I don't quite know what you mean by that in the context) has any bearing on it.  

Communion in the sense that Father Florovsky uses it in his article--basically theosis. It has every bearing on it--will God actively sustain and grant immortality to those who reject Him? See below.

I still don't really see what you're getting at with communion. If you mean some active response to God, well it's hard to see how a stone could have such a response and its existence is every bit as conditional as mine. As to sustaining those who reject Him, I'd have to answer yes. Orthodoxy seems to predicate such an answer. We don't believe in annihilationism. We do believe in the general Resurrection of all. I'm with St. Isaac the Syrian on this one - even in hell we would be in the inescapable presence of God.

Quote
Quote
If everything that exists only exists contingently on God then for God to cease to sustain something would be exactly equivalent to God destroying it, surely?

Well, not exactly. If everything only exists contingently on God, which it does, than my body exists contingently on God. If I choose to jump off a tall building, God may choose to intervene miraculously to save me. If he does not, my body dies. Would one say, if I jumped and died, that God "destroyed" me? No, one would probably say that I destroyed me and God allowed me to do what I wanted. That's an important distinction.
That would be a distinction if we were discussing free will but we're not. We're talking about existence. If you throw yourself off the building, you don't cease to exist (at least in Orthodox belief). Your body ceases to be alive, but even it continues to exist. Your soul, what I'd argue is really you, hasn't even ceased to live. You're still being sustained by God. You're still immortal, it's just that your immortality is conditional upon God, not inherent. That doesn't mean 'God can make you immortal if He wants', it means that you are immortal, but not of your own nature, but by God's grace. Not sure if that makes any sense, but there is a subtle difference between I'm saying and what I think that you're saying, though I could be wrong about that.

Quote
Quote
I can't see how the idea of the annihilation of the soul can even be seen as a possibility within Orthodoxy.

I have't used that term so you may be arguing against a straw man. A number of Orthodox do, however, argue for the mortality of the soul apart from God, including Fr. Florovsky, Fr. Thomas Hopko, and others.
I know. I agree with them entirely, but that doesn't mean that I believe that any soul will ever die. That's what I was trying to say but doesn't seem to have been coming across. To say the soul is by nature mortal does not mean the soul will die. It means were it not for God, it would die. God could cease to sustain us and all of creation, but we believe that He will not. He created us for immortality, as Romaios' quote earlier showed clearly.

Quote
Quote
Even if we find ourselves in hell through rejecting God it doesn't mean that He has rejected us.

Just as God's not always intervening to sustain us does not mean that God has "destroyed" us, so His not always intervening to sustain us does not mean that God has "rejected us". If I jump off a building and my body dies, I wouldn't blame God or think that He "rejected" me, "destroyed" me or "annihilated" me. True, He did not intervene to sustain me, but it would be presumptuous and sinful to assume that He would. I am at fault.

I'm not talking here of active intervention in that way, as I would hope my earlier comment on this shows. We have no inherent existence. Only God does. This is not a matter of God saving us from ourselves, but rather of all created things being dependent on God for their very existence.

Quote
Likewise, if I reject the one immortal, sustainer of life--if I metaphorically jump into the Lake of Fire--and as a consequence my soul ceases to exist, would you say that "He has rejected me"? Hasn't He rather just allowed me libertarian free will? Since only God is immortal, if I by my own free will reject God, haven't I myself actually rejected immortality?
You've tried. I just believe that you can succeed. God loves all men, wills all men to be saved, created us for immortality. God is in everything, even in hell. Those in hell are scourged by God's love (all the preceding are hopefully recognisable as paraphrases from scripture or the saints). And God is eternal so if we reject him, it leads not annihilation but eternal torment.
Quote
In sum, I think we agree on a number of things: (1) Only God is immortal (2) all creation has contingent/conditional immortality. Where I suspect I disagree with you is the insistence that God will actively intervene to sustain suffering souls in hell for eternity when they reject immortality. I don't see why we must believe this--logically, Scripturally or patristically.  
I see no way to fit annihilationism into Orthodoxy, so I can't see how it is an option. Conditional immortality of the soul (indeed the conditional existence of all that is not God) need not lead one to the acceptance of annihilationism. God is present everywhere and He sustains all creation. I can see why you might prefer to rejection leads to annihilation rather than eternal torment, much as I prefer to hope and pray that all might eventually be reconciled with God, but I simply can't reconcile annihilationism with our faith.

James
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We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2013, 10:24:28 AM »

nothing; you die and that is all...
 Duplicate account. Ban requested - MK.
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« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2013, 10:31:56 AM »

nothing; you die and that is all...
Sadduceeism?
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« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2013, 10:40:54 AM »

nothing; you die and that is all...
Duplicate account. Ban requested - MK.

To be frank, one of 8 accounts of this person.
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« Reply #68 on: February 01, 2013, 08:10:13 AM »

I am not sure if I should even post on this thread anymore.

James, You seem keen to argue against annihilationism,
We don't believe in annihilationism. We do believe in the general Resurrection of all. I'm with St. Isaac the Syrian on this one - even in hell we would be in the inescapable presence of God.

I see no way to fit annihilationism into Orthodoxy, so I can't see how it is an option. Conditional immortality of the soul (indeed the conditional existence of all that is not God) need not lead one to the acceptance of annihilationism. God is present everywhere and He sustains all creation. I can see why you might prefer to rejection leads to annihilation rather than eternal torment, much as I prefer to hope and pray that all might eventually be reconciled with God, but I simply can't reconcile annihilationism with our faith.

And God is eternal so if we reject him, it leads not annihilation but eternal torment.
yet I have nowhere here advanced that idea.

You have reduced the possibilities for the soul in hell to either God sustaining souls for an eternity of suffering or God annihilating souls. I think I could make a case for either from patristics, but I think you are leaving out another logical possibility: unrepentant souls in hell, those who rather than being in communion with God have rejected Him and thus have not received the gift of immortality, just simply cease to exist (a belief that is typically called “Conditional Immortality”). St. Iranaeus wrote, "But, being ignorant of Him who from the Virgin is Emmanuel, they are deprived of His gift, which is eternal life; and not receiving the incorruptible Word, they remain in mortal flesh, and are debtors to death, not obtaining the antidote of life".

Perhaps God simply allows people who reject immortality to get what they want (which is why the issue of free will is relevant). Of course, as Thomas Hopko notes, we know very little of what will actually happen after death; someday we shall find out if St. Isaac the Syrian is right. Faced with mortality of bodies in this life, we do know that God may act in one of three ways: (1) actively intervene to save them, to prevent them from dying, as He did for example with Lazarus; (2) actively intervene to annihilate them, as he did with the wicked in Sodom and Gomorrah; or (3) passively allow them to die, which is the normal case.

Men, we agree, are mortal, both body and soul, and without God’s intervention, people die. So why is it inconceivable that God would simply not intervene and allow mortal souls to cease to exist, as he does with bodies?

A number of Orthodox saints have claimed that heaven and hell are not two different places but rather just two different, indeed polar opposite experiences, depending on the state of the soul. Just as the uncreated light of Christ is both "an all-consuming fire and an illuminating light” as St. John of the Ladder wrote, so, it seems at least plausible that to one person, God could be mortality and to another, immortality. This would not be because God seeks to actively destroy or annihilate the unsaved soul, but rather a natural result of its own internal condition (a soul lacking the gift of immortality that accompanies union with God). This seems consonant with St. Iranaeus's understanding of 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10. "Who shall be punished with everlasting death from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in those who believe in Him" (IV, On Heresies, 33.11).
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« Reply #69 on: February 01, 2013, 09:50:49 AM »

I am not sure if I should even post on this thread anymore.

James, You seem keen to argue against annihilationism,
We don't believe in annihilationism. We do believe in the general Resurrection of all. I'm with St. Isaac the Syrian on this one - even in hell we would be in the inescapable presence of God.

I see no way to fit annihilationism into Orthodoxy, so I can't see how it is an option. Conditional immortality of the soul (indeed the conditional existence of all that is not God) need not lead one to the acceptance of annihilationism. God is present everywhere and He sustains all creation. I can see why you might prefer to rejection leads to annihilation rather than eternal torment, much as I prefer to hope and pray that all might eventually be reconciled with God, but I simply can't reconcile annihilationism with our faith.

And God is eternal so if we reject him, it leads not annihilation but eternal torment.
yet I have nowhere here advanced that idea.

You think that you haven't but in fact have, and now I see why:

Quote
You have reduced the possibilities for the soul in hell to either God sustaining souls for an eternity of suffering or God annihilating souls. I think I could make a case for either from patristics, but I think you are leaving out another logical possibility: unrepentant souls in hell, those who rather than being in communion with God have rejected Him and thus have not received the gift of immortality, just simply cease to exist (a belief that is typically called “Conditional Immortality”).St. Iranaeus wrote, "But, being ignorant of Him who from the Virgin is Emmanuel, they are deprived of His gift, which is eternal life; and not receiving the incorruptible Word, they remain in mortal flesh, and are debtors to death, not obtaining the antidote of life".

And this is the problem. Conditional Immortality does not mean what you appear to think it means. Annihilationism is the name for the belief that those who are damned cease to exist rather than suffering eternal torment, so not only have you advanced it several times but you've advanced it in this post whilst telling me you never have. Conditional Immortality means nothing more than that our immortality is not inherent in us but dependent upon God. Annihilationism is a possible consequence of belief in Conditional Immortality, and the two are often paired and, hence, confused, but the former does not necessarily flow from the latter. Conditional Immortality is entirely unaffected by whether God will or will not in fact allow and/or cause the damned to cease to exist, all it says is that we are inherently mortal and any immortality we might experience is solely dependent upon God - it is not natural to the soul.

Quote
Perhaps God simply allows people who reject immortality to get what they want (which is why the issue of free will is relevant). Of course, as Thomas Hopko notes, we know very little of what will actually happen after death; someday we shall find out if St. Isaac the Syrian is right. Faced with mortality of bodies in this life, we do know that God may act in one of three ways: (1) actively intervene to save them, to prevent them from dying, as He did for example with Lazarus; (2) actively intervene to annihilate them, as he did with the wicked in Sodom and Gomorrah; or (3) passively allow them to die, which is the normal case.
And yet we know that those who die in the body are not dead at all. To deny this would be to go outside the pale of Orthodox belief. What happens with the body is not directly relevant to the soul, but I note that if we were to rewrite your paragraph to refer to the soul rather than the body, both 2 and 3 would be variations on annihilationism. The idea of annihilationsim does not require that God actively destroy us, passively allowing us to be destroyed fits the bill just the same.

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Men, we agree, are mortal, both body and soul, and without God’s intervention, people die. So why is it inconceivable that God would simply not intervene and allow mortal souls to cease to exist, as he does with bodies?
I simply don't believe that the idea that the souls of the damned are annihilated (whether actively or passively) is consistent with the Orthodox faith. It seems to contradict Scripture and the overwhelming majority of the Fathers. One of the anathemas of Justinian against Origen even expressly condemns the idea of a temporary hell, though it was aimed at apocatastasis rather than annihilationism and is not included in the anathemas of the 5th Ecumenical Council. There's no doubt at all that it fails the Vincentian Canon, so what makes you think it an acceptable view to adhere to?

Quote
A number of Orthodox saints have claimed that heaven and hell are not two different places but rather just two different, indeed polar opposite experiences, depending on the state of the soul. Just as the uncreated light of Christ is both "an all-consuming fire and an illuminating light” as St. John of the Ladder wrote, so, it seems at least plausible that to one person, God could be mortality and to another, immortality.
I'd point out that our experiencing something requires our existence every bit as much as our being in a specific place would (and I don't believe in the idea of heaven and hell as places - I happen to agree with those who see them as experience). To experience something eternally would, certainly, require us to exist forever.
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This would not be because God seeks to actively destroy or annihilate the unsaved soul, but rather a natural result of its own internal condition (a soul lacking the gift of immortality that accompanies union with God).
But as I pointed out above, this is still annihilationism, active or not.

Quote
This seems consonant with St. Iranaeus's understanding of 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10. "Who shall be punished with everlasting death from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in those who believe in Him" (IV, On Heresies, 33.11).
Yes, this can be interpreted that way (it depends on what you think 'everlasting death' means) and he certainly appears to have believed in conditional immortality. Other passages seem to preclude annihilationism, though:

'...thus also the punishment of those who do not believe the Word of God, and despise His advent, and are turned away backwards, is increased; being not merely temporal, but rendered also eternal. For to whomsoever the Lord shall say, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, these shall be damned for ever; and to whomsoever He shall say, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you for eternity, these do receive the kingdom for ever, and make constant advance in it...' - Against Heresies, 4:28:2

Even if St. Irenaeus was an annihilationist, though, one Father (or even all of the handful of them I've seen advanced as suggesting the idea, not altogether convincingly) does not a consensus make.

James
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 09:52:00 AM by jmbejdl » Logged

We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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« Reply #70 on: February 01, 2013, 11:32:21 AM »

Quote
And this is the problem. Conditional Immortality does not mean what you appear to think it means. Annihilationism is the name for the belief that those who are damned cease to exist rather than suffering eternal torment, so not only have you advanced it several times but you've advanced it in this post whilst telling me you never have. Conditional Immortality means nothing more than that our immortality is not inherent in us but dependent upon God. Annihilationism is a possible consequence of belief in Conditional Immortality, and the two are often paired and, hence, confused, but the former does not necessarily flow from the latter. Conditional Immortality is entirely unaffected by whether God will or will not in fact allow and/or cause the damned to cease to exist, all it says is that we are inherently mortal and any immortality we might experience is solely dependent upon God - it is not natural to the soul.

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« Reply #71 on: February 01, 2013, 12:08:46 PM »

James,

OK, I see where the confusion lies. You are calling "active annihilationism" what most call "Annihilationism" and "passive annihilationism" what most call "Conditional Immortality". That is fine--you can call it what you want--but your definitions are somewhat confusing and contrary to convention:

"While annihilationism places emphasis on the active destruction of a person, conditionalism [or Conditional Immortality] places emphasis on a person's dependence upon God for life; the extinction of the person is thus a passive consequence of separation from God, much like natural death is a consequence of prolonged separation from food, water, and air."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_conditionalism

No problem. Neither of us is right or wrong based on the nomenclature we use.

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I simply don't believe that the idea that the souls of the damned are annihilated (whether actively or passively) is consistent with the Orthodox faith. It seems to contradict Scripture and the overwhelming majority of the Fathers. One of the anathemas of Justinian against Origen even expressly condemns the idea of a temporary hell, though it was aimed at apocatastasis rather than annihilationism and is not included in the anathemas of the 5th Ecumenical Council. There's no doubt at all that it fails the Vincentian Canon, so what makes you think it an acceptable view to adhere to?

Where in the 5th Ecumenical Council does it condemn what I call Conditional Immortality (your "passive Annihilationism")? I am not saying hell is temporary. I see it rather challenging your rationale for belief in the immortality of the unsaved souls, which you propose here:

Quote
I prefer to hope and pray that all might eventually be reconciled with God

The Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian Against Origen said this:

"If anyone says or thinks that the punishment of demons and of impious men is only temporary, and will one day have an end, and that a restoration will take place of demons and of impious men, let him be anathema." http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xii.x.html

Regarding whether it "fails the Vincentian Canon"--that is, whether it is the belief that has been accepted "everywhere, always, by everyone", your asserting this does not make it true. A case can be made, I think, that Conditional Immortality (my definition) was the prevalent view during the Ante-Nicene period of the Fathers. In any case, your view of souls in immortality--souls eternally suffering, sustained by God, until perhaps they are reconciled with God--also fails the Vincential Canon, so, by your reasoning, what makes you think it is an acceptable view to adhere to?

Quote
Other passages seem to preclude annihilationism, though:

'...thus also the punishment of those who do not believe the Word of God, and despise His advent, and are turned away backwards, is increased; being not merely temporal, but rendered also eternal. For to whomsoever the Lord shall say, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, these shall be damned for ever; and to whomsoever He shall say, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you for eternity, these do receive the kingdom for ever, and make constant advance in it...' - Against Heresies, 4:28:2

The punishment of unbelief and the everlasting fire is final and eternal, according to St. Iranaeus, but that does not mean that God sustains unbelieving souls for eternity. On the contrary:

And again, He thus speaks respecting the salvation of man: He asked life of You, and You gave him length of days for ever and ever; indicating that it is the Father of all who imparts continuance for ever and ever on those who are saved. For life does not arise from us, nor from our own nature; but it is bestowed according to the grace of God. And therefore he who shall preserve the life bestowed upon him, and give thanks to Him who imparted it, shall receive also length of days for ever and ever. But he who shall reject it, and prove himself ungrateful to his Maker, inasmuch as he has been created, and has not recognised Him who bestowed [the gift upon him], deprives himself of [the privilege of] continuance for ever and ever.Against Heresies (Book II, Chapter 34)

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Even if St. Irenaeus was an annihilationist, though, one Father (or even all of the handful of them I've seen advanced as suggesting the idea, not altogether convincingly) does not a consensus make.
True, but I don't see a consensus for your view either, since most of the Fathers pre-Clement I of Alexandria seem to be Conditionalists. I am agnostic, but given that the Fathers are all over the map, I don't think we can speak of consensus.
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« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2013, 07:36:44 PM »

I would highly recommend the book "Life After Death" by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos.

I was just about to start a new thread asking about this book. I already have The Future Life According to Orthodox Teaching by Constantine Cavarnos, The Soul After Death by Fr. Seraphim Rose, and The Soul the Body and Death by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo. How does the Metropolitan's book differ from these three in terms of content? Would I be right in assuming that it's most similar to the first book? It's quite expensive and I can't see any reviews online, so any information or opinions would be appreciated.
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