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Author Topic: Sin promoted in the Ladder of Divine Ascent?  (Read 2249 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 04, 2013, 01:30:36 PM »

I have a copy of the Message.  I can only say that its "interpretations" of various passages leave me scratching my head.  I would say it is more of a commentary on Scripture from a post-modern perspective than an actual copy of Scripture.

For the 87th time. The Message is a translation. Not a paraphrase. It is certainly not "post-modern" in any sense a lay person would use the term.

It is humorous at times given its voice, but revelatory at times as well.

Highly recommended.

Eugene Peterson who did this version in English translation is a remarkable fellow. I've heard a couple interviews with him over the years and he always across as an extremely earnest, humble, and good humored fellow.

He has a trait which I cannot help find endearing in anyone. When asked any question, it is as if he is being asked it for the first time. He responds to questions with a childlike spontaneity and generosity.

I don't come from the evo background that thumped this version of the Bible. I first heard about it here from people mocking it. Hoping to find some humor, which I did, I also found more than a few interesting and helpful renderings into English of Scripture.

The Orthodox Jewish Bible is not recommended. The occasional googling of a verse or using it as your Bible for internet quoting gets 99% of the joy of that paraphrase.


I don't think I ever said it was a paraphrase, did I?  Anyone who is translating has to "interpret" whatever they are translating, particularly if it is 2000 years later.

I can do this too, I didn't say you said it was a paraphrase. You are not the only person being addressed on the board within a post.

And as far as every translation is an interpretation, well I am your man.

All is interpretation. There are no facts as such. Nietzsche was correct in a manner.

So we agree. Fantastic.

Cute.  Except for the fact that you did quote me and respond to what I wrote.  I don’t really care how your best buddy Peterson is such a nice guy, his translation is sub-par.  That isn’t something I had to read on this forum to figure out.   Not quite sure what the point is on the rest of your post, but it sounds astute.
Angry much?

Relax.

Your right. I'm sorry.  That was a stupid reactionary response.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #46 on: April 04, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »

Perhaps he means that it is better not to upset a virtuos priest/abbot found so after judging his ways and that you should listen to him more than your conscience of God, in that that he being more spiritually advanced knows God better than you? I don't know I am just saying , I did not read anything about the context.

In the passage from the Ladder I referenced above, the disciple (Akakios) was clearly more "spiritually advanced" than his Elder, yet he persevered in obedience to him. Doing otherwise would have meant spiritual death for him. As a matter of fact, indulging in the thought that one is "more spiritually advanced" than anyone else means spiritual death for anybody.

Than what is the teaching of this? Care e morala?

If the disciple is more spiritually advanced than the elder why listen to the elder esspecially in circumstances when you know the elder is wrong?
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« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2013, 10:47:13 PM »

Romaios,

I am glad to know that others benefit from your effort, cause YiM might never.

My hunch is that YiM understands these things, but he's just seeking for "Biblical" grounds (excuses) to justify his separation from the Church. Which I find absurd. 

You are incorrect, I'm approaching this in Orthodox understanding.   This book would not justify any separation from the church, as it does not speak for the church.  I was thrown off from what I would think would be erroneous understanding to Orthodox.

I would never in my life think it is better to sin against god than a man.  P-E-R-I-O-D   There is no explanation that could justify this statement.    I believe that Orthodox Christians pretty much would agree. Book issue, not church issue.

To continue on my separation: Honestly I've only listed a few issues I have with the church itself.  These are ones that I think people can answer, (other than ecumenism that started all of this).   I do not want to harm other's faith.  By the actions of so many clergy I have known, including bishops, I have very good reasons to be gone.   (I do not wish to list these scandals, as many go back for years) My love still exists for the church, and I have numerous times tried to answer questions and help people in the Orthodox church.   

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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 10:59:02 PM »

^ I didn't have an issue with the passage in question.
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« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2013, 11:58:18 PM »

If the disciple is more spiritually advanced than the elder why listen to the elder especially in circumstances when you know the elder is wrong?

Because of the intrinsic value of obedience and humility. We are not discussing the case when the Elder expressly asks or expects his disciple to do something sinful - then he can and should be disobeyed.   
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« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2013, 12:18:02 AM »

You are incorrect, I'm approaching this in Orthodox understanding.   This book would not justify any separation from the church, as it does not speak for the church.

It does. Forgive me, but you do not have an Orthodox understanding.

To continue on my separation: Honestly I've only listed a few issues I have with the church itself.  These are ones that I think people can answer, (other than ecumenism that started all of this).   I do not want to harm other's faith.  By the actions of so many clergy I have known, including bishops, I have very good reasons to be gone.   (I do not wish to list these scandals, as many go back for years) My love still exists for the church, and I have numerous times tried to answer questions and help people in the Orthodox church.

You obviously have a problem with leadership in the Church and obedience to the clergy. Most of us do. I don't know nor do I care to learn how the priests or bishops you have known have wronged you or others - they are human, they can sin, much worse than a layman. But judging them and being scandalized by their sins is NEVER a good reason to leave the Church - it's just a pretext people use very often.

What you say about loving the Church is meaningless - you may love an idea you have of the (Orthodox) Church, but to love the real Church would have meant to love those people in it who hurt you and to abide despite their mistakes. This is not always humanly possible, but with God nothing is impossible.

Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus! You cannot be a Christian in good standing with God outside of the Church and the bond of charity because He would never want it that way. 

Once again, forgive me for daring to write this - I don't know you personally and I'm not passing judgement. This is just what I can gather from your posts.         
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 12:41:52 AM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2013, 01:46:46 AM »

While once again reading through The Ladder of Divine Ascent.....  my blood began to boil.

4:121, "It is better to sin against God than against our father"

Though a monk owes loyalty to his abbot, this seems like completely disastrous advice. This seems like idolatry, as one would hold a man more important than God.   

As we were commanded "Thou shalt have no God before me".   

I can't imagine anything worse than sinning against God.... How on Earth could this book/text be read aloud and given so much credence promoting that a sin against a man is worse than a sin against God? 

Is this book not promoting a sin itself, in placing the importance of man in front of God - thus breaking the first commandment?





A lot of clear, thorough responses have been provided for the original poster's question, and without intending to judge anyone, I'm surprised that this is still an issue.  It seems fairly clear to me.  All sin, whether directly aimed at God or at someone else, offends God.  Other posters have quoted St John Climacus as saying as much in the same Ladder.  So why is it better to sin against God than against our father? 

I'd like to suggest looking at this from a very simplistic angle: God's a big boy.  It's not like when I sin against him, he starts to cry and pout and sit in a corner and not come out to play because I'm a big meanie.  He doesn't have self-esteem issues in heaven because my sins make him feel like he's not good enough.  We do speak of sin as offending God, but I think the bigger issue is what it does to me in relation to him.  Sin darkens my mind, prevents me from seeing truth and right, distracts me from God, pulls me away from him and toward anything and everything else but God.  It's a downward spiral that I continue with each sin, it's a hole into which I dig myself deeper.  God doesn't want that for me, he doesn't enjoy watching me do that to myself, he doesn't enjoy watching me destroy his rational creature, created in his image and likeness.  If anything about sin offends an immutable and dispassionate God, I'd guess this is pretty high up on the list.  This is bad enough. 

But when I sin against my father, not only do I suffer all the negative consequences above, and not only is God sinned against, but now I've spread the evil around to another human being.  Unlike God, he is subject to change and passion; I can offend and hurt him.  I can cause him to sin, or at least hurt his own self-esteem, make him feel less worthy, be abusive towards him, etc.  Not only have I used my freedom to offend God and hurt myself, but now I'm bringing someone else down with me, someone also created in God's image and likeness.  That person is not as much a "big boy" as God is, and so I ought to tread more carefully.  Contrary to Cain, I am in fact responsible for my brother in a way that I'm not responsible *for* God.  In this sense, the burden of sin is greater when we sin against our father/brother than it is when we sin against God, because it "affects" more people: God, me, and whomever else. 

Just my opinion; it's not high theology or anything, but I don't think I've drifted into heresy.  Not about this anyway.   Tongue

Also, I believe it is important to note that the Ladder is monastic literature.  While I believe that non-monastics can gain a lot from monastic literature (I own my fair share of books!), we need to understand the "culture" in which it developed and within which it makes perfect sense.  Others, I think, have spoken about the importance of the spiritual father in the life of the monk and how this may shed light on the question, and I defer to them on that.  Laypeople typically don't have the same relationship with their spiritual fathers that monks have with theirs, so a lot of this is not immediately applicable; the application of a certain ascetic principle may need to be tweaked to accommodate the differing lifestyle and conditions of monks vs. laypeople.  And some things may not be able to be tweaked, they may be proper to one or the other mode of life.  That's not a bad thing or a heretical thing, it's just a thing. 

I think Fr Thomas Hopko once talked in an AFR podcast about how he'd read something in a book, not understand it at the time, and then, reading the same thing many years later, it would suddenly make perfect sense.  Rather than editing the Ladder by crossing out parts we don't understand, it might be better to just pass over it and take from it what we can for now.  Maybe we'll get more out of it later, but even if we don't, it's OK.  There's a lot more out there that we may find useful and appropriate for ourselves and our own spiritual development. 

Finally, I'm puzzled at how an utterly literal interpretation of the quote in question seems to have prevailed in the original poster's mind, no matter how many people have tried to delve deeper.  No offense to him or her, but I'm guessing s/he has sinned with the eyes, hands, and feet, and yet, despite our Savior's unambiguous language, I doubt s/he looks like Monty Python's Black Knight.  Smiley

               
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« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2013, 10:19:48 PM »

While once again reading through The Ladder of Divine Ascent.....  my blood began to boil.

4:121, "It is better to sin against God than against our father"

Though a monk owes loyalty to his abbot, this seems like completely disastrous advice. This seems like idolatry, as one would hold a man more important than God.   

As we were commanded "Thou shalt have no God before me".   

I can't imagine anything worse than sinning against God.... How on Earth could this book/text be read aloud and given so much credence promoting that a sin against a man is worse than a sin against God? 

Is this book not promoting a sin itself, in placing the importance of man in front of God - thus breaking the first commandment?





A lot of clear, thorough responses have been provided for the original poster's question, and without intending to judge anyone, I'm surprised that this is still an issue.  It seems fairly clear to me.  All sin, whether directly aimed at God or at someone else, offends God.  Other posters have quoted St John Climacus as saying as much in the same Ladder.  So why is it better to sin against God than against our father? 

I'd like to suggest looking at this from a very simplistic angle: God's a big boy.  It's not like when I sin against him, he starts to cry and pout and sit in a corner and not come out to play because I'm a big meanie.  He doesn't have self-esteem issues in heaven because my sins make him feel like he's not good enough.  We do speak of sin as offending God, but I think the bigger issue is what it does to me in relation to him.  Sin darkens my mind, prevents me from seeing truth and right, distracts me from God, pulls me away from him and toward anything and everything else but God.  It's a downward spiral that I continue with each sin, it's a hole into which I dig myself deeper.  God doesn't want that for me, he doesn't enjoy watching me do that to myself, he doesn't enjoy watching me destroy his rational creature, created in his image and likeness.  If anything about sin offends an immutable and dispassionate God, I'd guess this is pretty high up on the list.  This is bad enough. 

But when I sin against my father, not only do I suffer all the negative consequences above, and not only is God sinned against, but now I've spread the evil around to another human being.  Unlike God, he is subject to change and passion; I can offend and hurt him.  I can cause him to sin, or at least hurt his own self-esteem, make him feel less worthy, be abusive towards him, etc.  Not only have I used my freedom to offend God and hurt myself, but now I'm bringing someone else down with me, someone also created in God's image and likeness.  That person is not as much a "big boy" as God is, and so I ought to tread more carefully.  Contrary to Cain, I am in fact responsible for my brother in a way that I'm not responsible *for* God.  In this sense, the burden of sin is greater when we sin against our father/brother than it is when we sin against God, because it "affects" more people: God, me, and whomever else. 

Just my opinion; it's not high theology or anything, but I don't think I've drifted into heresy.  Not about this anyway.   Tongue

Also, I believe it is important to note that the Ladder is monastic literature.  While I believe that non-monastics can gain a lot from monastic literature (I own my fair share of books!), we need to understand the "culture" in which it developed and within which it makes perfect sense.  Others, I think, have spoken about the importance of the spiritual father in the life of the monk and how this may shed light on the question, and I defer to them on that.  Laypeople typically don't have the same relationship with their spiritual fathers that monks have with theirs, so a lot of this is not immediately applicable; the application of a certain ascetic principle may need to be tweaked to accommodate the differing lifestyle and conditions of monks vs. laypeople.  And some things may not be able to be tweaked, they may be proper to one or the other mode of life.  That's not a bad thing or a heretical thing, it's just a thing. 

I think Fr Thomas Hopko once talked in an AFR podcast about how he'd read something in a book, not understand it at the time, and then, reading the same thing many years later, it would suddenly make perfect sense.  Rather than editing the Ladder by crossing out parts we don't understand, it might be better to just pass over it and take from it what we can for now.  Maybe we'll get more out of it later, but even if we don't, it's OK.  There's a lot more out there that we may find useful and appropriate for ourselves and our own spiritual development. 

Finally, I'm puzzled at how an utterly literal interpretation of the quote in question seems to have prevailed in the original poster's mind, no matter how many people have tried to delve deeper.  No offense to him or her, but I'm guessing s/he has sinned with the eyes, hands, and feet, and yet, despite our Savior's unambiguous language, I doubt s/he looks like Monty Python's Black Knight.  Smiley

               

It boils down to this.

Who is your God?  What is God to you? What is the most important thing in your life - the absolute #1 top of everything?   If you are a Christian, it is God. Period.

To sin against God, is always worse than to sin against man.   I don't agree with THIS passage from the book. 

The explanations given toil with the explanation given in the book itself.   They are not decent explanations, given, which stick God in a box.  I don't believe that is appropriate.   Anyway, it's just a line in a book...  I thought more EO Christians would agree that it is strange at the least.  Guess I was wrong.
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« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2013, 10:45:31 PM »

You are incorrect, I'm approaching this in Orthodox understanding.   This book would not justify any separation from the church, as it does not speak for the church.

It does. Forgive me, but you do not have an Orthodox understanding.

To continue on my separation: Honestly I've only listed a few issues I have with the church itself.  These are ones that I think people can answer, (other than ecumenism that started all of this).   I do not want to harm other's faith.  By the actions of so many clergy I have known, including bishops, I have very good reasons to be gone.   (I do not wish to list these scandals, as many go back for years) My love still exists for the church, and I have numerous times tried to answer questions and help people in the Orthodox church.

You obviously have a problem with leadership in the Church and obedience to the clergy. Most of us do. I don't know nor do I care to learn how the priests or bishops you have known have wronged you or others - they are human, they can sin, much worse than a layman. But judging them and being scandalized by their sins is NEVER a good reason to leave the Church - it's just a pretext people use very often.

What you say about loving the Church is meaningless - you may love an idea you have of the (Orthodox) Church, but to love the real Church would have meant to love those people in it who hurt you and to abide despite their mistakes. This is not always humanly possible, but with God nothing is impossible.

Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus! You cannot be a Christian in good standing with God outside of the Church and the bond of charity because He would never want it that way.  

Once again, forgive me for daring to write this - I don't know you personally and I'm not passing judgement. This is just what I can gather from your posts.        

I would disagree that this book speaks for the church.  It's speaks of the church, and has a lot of great input for the church (very much including the monastic life).  Do I have an Orthodox understanding....? Sure.  Been EO longer than many on this forum have been alive.  Though I disagree with some of that understanding today, I fully know what the understanding is.  

Look, I say I love the church, and I really do.  Since I have been away from the church, and under the thumb of "Orthodox only" mentality, I've learned not to think in such dictatorship lines.  

You said:
Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus! You cannot be a Christian in good standing with God outside of the Church and the bond of charity because He would never want it that way.

I say: God never said that.

Because the definition to an Orthodox Christian of "church" is "Orthodox only" and everybody else is in Schism or Heretic.   This is the understanding that I had (at one time), and the understanding of the Canon.  Then I was introduced to ecumenism, which basically slaps that in the face.  Because the "bishops do it" then it's okay.   When a bishop holds services and gives chalices to the Lutherans, fine... Because that's the bishop.  Anybody who sees the paradox gets a "how dare you!".  

Now, in light of what you said, I find that "putting God in a box" again.  People do it all the time.  They say "God wants this", or "God wants that", but they never even consider that they probably know nothing of God.   A Christian not in good standing.....  I went to a funeral four weeks ago.  This lady was 82 years old, had 11 children.  She was married for 64 years.   She loved God, prayed every day to God.  She embroidered scriptures on wall hangings.  She was very dedicated to Jesus Christ and quoted him every time I saw her.... She would share anything with you, bake pies....   When I was first married to my wife, we went to her home and she was in her front yard.  She said "I was just counting my blessings, and now I I'll count another".... Just the kindest sweetest person....

But I guess by your quote, she was not a Christian in good standing with God.  You know, the evil Mennonite she was.   Perhaps she's rotting in hell right now.  The worms must be eating her flesh, and eternal fire burn her for eternity... because the damnation of the wicked Mennonite faith.  (all sarcasm aside, if this woman is in hell, most of us (especially me) are doomed)

It's a wicked narrow box that God is placed in by that quote.  Just like the book assumes that sinning against the priest/abbot is WORSE than sinning against God.... Because the Abbot/Priest can stick up for you to God.  LOL.   As if God needs somebody to stick up for you.   Just like only Christians who are EO, are in good standing.   So which is it?  Old calendar, new calendar, beards, non-ecumensim, ecumenism, EO, OO, or the ones who hide a ritzy patriarch's watch in a photo?  Lot's of schims there, in and out of communion.
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« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2013, 12:15:03 AM »

A Christian not in good standing.....  I went to a funeral four weeks ago.  This lady was 82 years old, had 11 children.  She was married for 64 years.   She loved God, prayed every day to God.  She embroidered scriptures on wall hangings.  She was very dedicated to Jesus Christ and quoted him every time I saw her.... She would share anything with you, bake pies....   When I was first married to my wife, we went to her home and she was in her front yard.  She said "I was just counting my blessings, and now I I'll count another".... Just the kindest sweetest person....

But I guess by your quote, she was not a Christian in good standing with God.  You know, the evil Mennonite she was.   Perhaps she's rotting in hell right now.  The worms must be eating her flesh, and eternal fire burn her for eternity... because the damnation of the wicked Mennonite faith.  (all sarcasm aside, if this woman is in hell, most of us (especially me) are doomed)

She doesn't have your history.

Btw, was St. John "putting God in a box" when he wrote in his Epistle:

Quote from: 1John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued (abided) with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 12:33:39 AM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2013, 01:20:53 AM »

It boils down to this.

Who is your God?  What is God to you? What is the most important thing in your life - the absolute #1 top of everything?   If you are a Christian, it is God. Period.

To sin against God, is always worse than to sin against man.   I don't agree with THIS passage from the book. 

The explanations given toil with the explanation given in the book itself.   They are not decent explanations, given, which stick God in a box.  I don't believe that is appropriate.   Anyway, it's just a line in a book...  I thought more EO Christians would agree that it is strange at the least.  Guess I was wrong.

Well, I don't think I'm putting God in a box.  Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I don't put limits on how God can be God, whether in general or specifically in the life of this or that person.  Even when this leads to rather unconventional possibilities (unconventional from the perspective of "religion"), I'm more likely nowadays to shrug my shoulders and pray for my darkness to become just a little brighter.  But I digress. 

I don't think it boils down to what God means to me.  I might agree with you that it's always worse to sin against God than to sin against man, but such a black and white statement presumes that sins against man have nothing whatsoever to do with God. 

For instance, is it the case that, when God forbids me to bear false witness against my neighbor, he does so only because he thinks it's a good thing if we can all just get along down here on earth?  Does it really not have anything to do with the idea that God is Truth, hates falsehood, and is offended by lies and the gradual destruction we bring to others and ourselves by lying?  If he doesn't really care what bad things we do to each other (if they have no effect on him one way or another) as long as we don't directly tick him off, then I can agree with you. 

But if our sins against our brother are simultaneously sins against God (and I think the Scriptures would agree with this), then I think we need to cut St John Climacus a bit of slack and not insist on black and white declarations about sinning against God always being worse than sinning against man.  Talk about putting God in a box...as if he has no right to care about us or the people we're harming. 

Anyway, just my thoughts.  May God teach us.           
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« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2013, 09:57:40 AM »

Romaios which one is it? Test what the priests says before obeying it, or obey it even though you know he is wrong? You seem to be changing opinions like socks.
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« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2013, 07:47:52 PM »

Fundamentally and at the root, Orthodox Christians worship God, hold God as the most important "everything" of the church.  To sin against God would be the worst thing you can do...   To sin against a director/abbot being worse, I can't imagine that.   

"Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much." (Luke 16:10)

"One who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)

Paraphrase: One who does not obey his Father ... (biological parents also function as antiprosopoi of God, hence the commandment to honour them - Our Lord is disgusted with those who use God as a pretext to not help their parents, cf. the korban issue in Mark 7:10).

Moral: There is no such thing as important and less important when it comes to the commandments of God and one's salvation.

Just like venerating an Icon is venerating its Prototype, honouring God's antiprosopoi (spiritual and physical parents, one's neighbour, etc.) means honouring God. Refusing to do so is twice the offence to God (you dishonour Him and his antiprosopos with whom he identifies). It's absurd to fear exalting him above God. An Icon can have slight imperfections, but it still represents the Prototype it depicts (if canonical) and can never exalted "above it".   

What is this "antiprosopoi" concept, since apparently it is not important enough that anyone has ever discussed it in English. It is in no dictionary, encyclopedia, books or anything.
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« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2013, 08:00:44 PM »

Who says no one has discussed it, just because you are not familiar with it?
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« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2013, 08:20:13 PM »

Who says no one has discussed it, just because you are not familiar with it?

Where did I say that? I searched several million digitized books, journals and other writings.
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« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2013, 09:10:44 PM »

Yeshuaisiam--We are talking about this aren't we?

 "It is better to sin against God than against our father; for when we anger God, our director can reconcile us; but when he is incensed against us, there is no one to propitiate him for us. But it seems to me that both cases amount to the same thing."

Nothing in that passage rises to the level of dogma for Orthodox Christians. We do not substitute the above passage for the Orthodox approach to asking for the Lord's forgiveness and our reconciliation to Him and His Body, with which you must be familiar. Therefore, I just fail to see why it is that important to you.

Besides that, there is the last sentence, which provides explanation to the first sentence of the quotation.
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« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2013, 09:14:05 PM »

I have a copy of the Message.  I can only say that its "interpretations" of various passages leave me scratching my head.  I would say it is more of a commentary on Scripture from a post-modern perspective than an actual copy of Scripture.

Insightful.
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« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2013, 09:20:19 PM »

Perhaps he means that it is better not to upset a virtuos priest/abbot found so after judging his ways and that you should listen to him more than your conscience of God, in that that he being more spiritually advanced knows God better than you? I don't know I am just saying , I did not read anything about the context.

In the passage from the Ladder I referenced above, the disciple (Akakios) was clearly more "spiritually advanced" than his Elder, yet he persevered in obedience to him. Doing otherwise would have meant spiritual death for him. As a matter of fact, indulging in the thought that one is "more spiritually advanced" than anyone else means spiritual death for anybody.

Than what is the teaching of this? Care e morala?

If the disciple is more spiritually advanced than the elder why listen to the elder esspecially in circumstances when you know the elder is wrong?

Humility to oppose pride, the chief sin.
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« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2013, 10:06:34 PM »

Who says no one has discussed it, just because you are not familiar with it?

Where did I say that? I searched several million digitized books, journals and other writings.

You read several million books?

What you probably did was a quick scan on Google.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2013, 10:12:40 PM »

A Christian not in good standing.....  I went to a funeral four weeks ago.  This lady was 82 years old, had 11 children.  She was married for 64 years.   She loved God, prayed every day to God.  She embroidered scriptures on wall hangings.  She was very dedicated to Jesus Christ and quoted him every time I saw her.... She would share anything with you, bake pies....   When I was first married to my wife, we went to her home and she was in her front yard.  She said "I was just counting my blessings, and now I I'll count another".... Just the kindest sweetest person....

But I guess by your quote, she was not a Christian in good standing with God.  You know, the evil Mennonite she was.   Perhaps she's rotting in hell right now.  The worms must be eating her flesh, and eternal fire burn her for eternity... because the damnation of the wicked Mennonite faith.  (all sarcasm aside, if this woman is in hell, most of us (especially me) are doomed)

She doesn't have your history.

Btw, was St. John "putting God in a box" when he wrote in his Epistle:

Quote from: 1John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued (abided) with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

That's right she doesn't.   That quote is not a reflection of your post.
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« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2013, 10:16:41 PM »

I have a copy of the Message.  I can only say that its "interpretations" of various passages leave me scratching my head.  I would say it is more of a commentary on Scripture from a post-modern perspective than an actual copy of Scripture.

Insightful.

This is how I must view it.  Though I disagree with the author in the context he wrote it, it is not scripture, nor do I believe an Orthodox Christian really believes it is worse to sin against God than man.  So I too am left scratching my head.
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« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2013, 10:22:13 PM »

Who says no one has discussed it, just because you are not familiar with it?

Where did I say that? I searched several million digitized books, journals and other writings.

You read several million books?

What you probably did was a quick scan on Google.  Roll Eyes

Uh, why are you being such a jerk for no reason at all? Universities and scholars have access to databases where you can search entire libraries of text in seconds, which I'm sure you know (they've been around at least since I was in high school a decade ago), so there's no point in acting dumb.

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« Reply #67 on: April 07, 2013, 06:35:55 AM »

Romaios which one is it? Test what the priests says before obeying it, or obey it even though you know he is wrong? You seem to be changing opinions like socks.

The answer is in the passage from the Ladder I quoted here.

You test the priest (Elder) before you decide to become his spiritual son/daughter, but once you've taken that decision, you don't start disobeying him because you notice minor faults in his conduct, don't like what he's saying, find him too harsh/too lax, etc. It's like choosing a doctor or a sea-captain: once you decide you can entrust ypur life to him and hop on board, there's no going back. Of course, all this provided he doesn't teach heresy or ask you to do something sinful.

Quite simple and straightforward, don't you think?
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« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2013, 07:07:40 AM »

What is this "antiprosopoi" concept, since apparently it is not important enough that anyone has ever discussed it in English. It is in no dictionary, encyclopedia, books or anything.

Antiprosopos usually means adversary - with this meaning (coming face to face in battle) it appears in the Septuagint. But it can also mean vicar, or locum-tenens ("in stead of face"). For instance, the Latins say that the priest acts in persona Christi at Mass. That would also be a sort of antiprosopos. Of course, this is an ambivalent concept (i.e. the Pope is the "vicar of Christ" for some and the "Anti-christ" for others).

A search in the TLG database came up with 249 instances for antiprosopos.   
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