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Author Topic: Why is God so Absent?  (Read 2552 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 23, 2013, 03:16:01 AM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?

I mean, if the gate is really that narrow and it is so important to God what we believe and whether or not we belong to His Orthodox Church, why isn't it blatantly obvious? Why doesn't He at least show us definitively if it's the proper gate or not? Can you really blame someone for choosing a different religion or being godless instead of becoming Orthodox? God hasn't done anything to prove that Orthodoxy is the truth or to make Himself known in the world.

All it takes is for one grand miracle like raining donuts or a big thundering voice in the sky to say that "Orthodoxy is the true religion and oh, I'm real in case you were wondering" and everyone would know definitively what He wants them to do and could choose from there if they want to worship Him or not.

As heathen as this sounds, it appears to me like He really doesn't care about our religion--otherwise He'd make His will blatantly obvious for us--but more so about how we live our lives and what we make of this time on Earth. Great, and now I'm starting to sound like an Episcopal.
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 03:51:14 AM »

God was incarnate and taught us directly to eat His flesh and drink His blood and plenty of people freaked out and refused to believe it (many still don't). What makes you think that a booming voice from the clouds announcing Orthodoxy to be the true religion would fair any better in our modern, post-everything age?

God is not absent from the world. People refuse to listen to Him.
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 04:50:55 AM »


"Your fountain, Lord, is hidden from the person who does not thirst for You." -Ephrem the Syrian (Faith 32:2-3)

“Why is the truth, it would seem, revealed to some and not to others? Is there a special organ for receiving revelation from God? Yes, though usually we close it and do not let it open up: God’s revelation is given to something called a loving heart.” -Seraphim Rose, God's Revelation to the Human Heart

“‘Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts’ (Rom 1:24). Generally, atheists and agnostics are talking about themselves when they talk about the absence of God. They simply express their personal subjective truth (that their souls are empty) in an objective way and try to generalize their experience. In other words, there is no theology, or even philosophy here, it is just their own ill or deficient psychology, which is what atheism is… In the Scriptures Christ says clearly that only the pure in heart will see God. In other words, intellectuals, examiners and professors will never understand God, if their minds are not pure… How do we know if someone has a pure heart? The pure heart is evidenced by the way we live. As Peter says, a person devoted to the Lord “does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2); “Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior” (Ps 24:3-5).” +Fr. Andrew Anglorus
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 05:09:58 AM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?
 

Because people don’t want Him present.  They like to pretend there is no God.  The Lord once did exactly as you question and was still rejected.

I mean, if the gate is really that narrow and it is so important to God what we believe and whether or not we belong to His Orthodox Church, why isn't it blatantly obvious? Why doesn't He at least show us definitively if it's the proper gate or not? Can you really blame someone for choosing a different religion or being godless instead of becoming Orthodox? God hasn't done anything to prove that Orthodoxy is the truth or to make Himself known in the world.
 

It is blatantly obvious.  Thousands of years of experience and teaching are at our very finger tips.  People want the blissful ignorance.  Yes, I can blame them because of what I just mentioned.  It is obvious.  How can you say He hasn’t done anything?  He has given us the Church, He came in the flesh, taught us face to face and promised to return.  God provides miracles all the time.  The world KNOWS there is God, they just reject Him in the same way Satan knows God, but rejects Him.

All it takes is for one grand miracle like raining donuts or a big thundering voice in the sky to say that "Orthodoxy is the true religion and oh, I'm real in case you were wondering" and everyone would know definitively what He wants them to do and could choose from there if they want to worship Him or not.
 

You seem to have forgotten about the child-like faith He wants from us.  Also, He did speak with a booming voice from the sky, and a lot of other things, and was still rejected.  He probably got tired of being ignored.

As heathen as this sounds, it appears to me like He really doesn't care about our religion

He doesn’t.  God cares nothing about religion.  Religion does a lot of stupid things.  He cares about us and the Church He created.

otherwise He'd make His will blatantly obvious for us--but more so about how we live our lives and what we make of this time on Earth. Great, and now I'm starting to sound like an Episcopal.

He did make it obvious.  Do you not know how to live a Christian life?  Do you not know where to get answers?  Do you not know how to pray?  The problem with today’s world is it has embraced so much of what Satan has placed in front of us, we are too busy to do as God wants.  Satan is much more clever than people give him credit.
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2013, 07:48:23 AM »

As said, He actually did appear and said things clearly. Look what we did to Him.

Also:

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.
In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.

So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' "But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.

And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.'

"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.'

"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.'

"'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31
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« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 12:19:30 PM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?

I mean, if the gate is really that narrow and it is so important to God what we believe and whether or not we belong to His Orthodox Church, why isn't it blatantly obvious? Why doesn't He at least show us definitively if it's the proper gate or not? Can you really blame someone for choosing a different religion or being godless instead of becoming Orthodox? God hasn't done anything to prove that Orthodoxy is the truth or to make Himself known in the world.

All it takes is for one grand miracle like raining donuts or a big thundering voice in the sky to say that "Orthodoxy is the true religion and oh, I'm real in case you were wondering" and everyone would know definitively what He wants them to do and could choose from there if they want to worship Him or not.

As heathen as this sounds, it appears to me like He really doesn't care about our religion--otherwise He'd make His will blatantly obvious for us--but more so about how we live our lives and what we make of this time on Earth. Great, and now I'm starting to sound like an Episcopal.
I can definitely relate. I too often wonder why God seems so hidden, and I don't know if it is as simple as saying those with a loving heart will believe and those who don't will not. I can personally think of many instances where I choose myself or the world over God, but then I have met many people who are selfless, loving Christians who still lose faith. I am often left wondering if God is truly an impersonal force, a force that doesn't care much for humans, or a God that plays favorites. Maybe he has chosen an elect few like the Calvinists claim, and there is nothing we can do about it.

It is easy for me to see the work of the Aristotelian god or the god of deists in the world around me, but I often struggle to see the Christian God in the world.

At the end of the day I am left hoping that maybe someday God will show me the way. The tough part is figuring out what to do until then.
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 12:34:01 PM »

God was incarnate and taught us directly to eat His flesh and drink His blood and plenty of people freaked out and refused to believe it (many still don't). What makes you think that a booming voice from the clouds announcing Orthodoxy to be the true religion would fair any better in our modern, post-everything age?

God is not absent from the world. People refuse to listen to Him.

These are terrible apologetics.
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 12:36:55 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 12:49:30 PM »

They'd believe something more than materialism, that's for sure. And that would be far worse than materialism, for the spiritual world is not made of God and angels only.

I don't remember which elder said it, but he reminded us that the demons know about God as well as the angels, they see His Light (even though they flee from It). And yet, they hate him.

God was seen by the multitudes once and the multitudes chose to kill him. People who say the truth, and therefore are manifesting Him, more commonly are persecuted or marginalized. Beauty and justice are paid lip-service and usually they are scorned and spitted at (just like when true Beauty and true Justice was incarnated). *That* would be the treatment we would give to any sign of God that strong. It's not the signs or their absence, it's how we relate to God.

If one wants to see God, just follow the evangelical instruction: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." St. Mt 5:8. That is what the ascetics do, and some of them do see His Light. And what was the reaction to that? They were accused, slandered and even today people doubt. The thing is even empirical. Purify your heart according to these orientations and you *will* see. Many have done it and confirmed it. We should do the same.

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 12:50:43 PM »

People can be very irrational, even when the truth about something is clear.  Many young people still take up smoking even though it is well known that it is very bad for your health.  Why?  Because its pleasant effects are immediate, and its harmful effects are generally years away.  Not to mention peer pressure and corporate greed.
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2013, 12:52:57 PM »

People can be very irrational, even when the truth about something is clear.  Many young people still take up smoking even though it is well known that it is very bad for your health.  Why?  Because its pleasant effects are immediate, and its harmful effects are generally years away.  Not to mention peer pressure and corporate greed.

And it is really cool. Why leave out the most important part?

But this analogy makes zero sense.
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2013, 01:25:04 PM »

The thing is that you guys all talk about it being "so obvious" that God is real and Orthodoxy is the truth--even though every single religion known to man claims the same thing about their deity and religion, yet, neither of them--Orthodoxy included--can present any good reason to back up their claim and distinguish themselves from the others. You talk about "listening" but that's bull. Thousands of people listen every day and pray for God to do something, but He doesn't talk to them or do anything.

If God worked one more miracle in the world right now--in an age where we could carefully document it and record it and everything--then most of the world would be willing to believe something and I don't care what anyone says. All the world wants is a reason beyond what a bunch of people from 2,000 years ago claimed in an age where no one could record it or anything to definitively prove that it happened.
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2013, 01:26:17 PM »

Jesus did many miracles while He was alive. So did the saints. People saw them at the time; some believed, others did not.

They say there is a miracle every Sunday, i.e. the Eucharist.
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 01:30:08 PM »

Jesus did many miracles while He was alive. So did the saints. People saw them at the time; some believed, others did not.

Well I never got to see any. Wouldn't it be fairer if God did one grand amazing miracle in the presence of every person at least once in their life time? That way they could choose from there what they want to do?

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They say there is a miracle every Sunday, i.e. the Eucharist.

Yeah but we have no way of knowing for sure
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 01:36:24 PM »

"Religion" is often used synonymously with "faith" because we recognize that not everything we believe is scientifically verifiable. In fact, I was under the impression that this is what a miracle is -- essentially, an act that occurs outside of the confines of the natural world and its observable/quantifiable aspects (note: not outside of the natural world itself, but something beyond what we can make sense of in it). So I don't really understand what God doing a miracle for every person in their lifetime would do, if it's supposed to provide them with faith they would not otherwise have once they verify it (since that's not possible without it not being a miracle).
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 01:37:32 PM »

That little thing called faith.
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2013, 01:44:26 PM »

I think your question is really a Christological problem that you, and many others, are struggling to understand. At the Incarnation, the Son of God became man: God entered "man's place" - "man's place" is creation. Jesus Christ as first born of creation is fully creation/man and fully God. But at the Ascension, man (i.e. Jesus Christ) enters "God's place" - this "same Jesus Christ" being fully man enters "God's place" completely: body, soul and mind. If Christ did not Ascend to the Father (again physically) then the act of redemption would be incomplete.

So, by necessity, Christ (who is fully God) is both absent and present. Absent because He is now in God's place which is not limited to time and space. He is present, however, (and certainly physically) in the eschaton (i.e. now but not yet).

Our experience of absence will end at the Second Coming. Remember, the Apostle's first reaction to Christ's Ascension was the feeling of absense.

If we try to feel/understand God's presence outside of the Person of Jesus Christ, then we have serious theological problems.

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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 02:04:25 PM »

God is not absent, but our state is confused, fallen. Don't stress yourself so much as to why He is not making it clear what He wants. In our fallen state, we are actually obsessed by what one wants, but God is love and He does not force people. He prefers to deal with things as they are, even if they are not very impressive. In the end, He knows He will get what He wants for us. We can only move so fast and accomplish so much given the circumstances.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 02:45:39 PM »

Jesus did many miracles while He was alive. So did the saints. People saw them at the time; some believed, others did not.

Well I never got to see any. Wouldn't it be fairer if God did one grand amazing miracle in the presence of every person at least once in their life time? That way they could choose from there what they want to do?

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They say there is a miracle every Sunday, i.e. the Eucharist.

Yeah but we have no way of knowing for sure

Sure, because it all comes down to you and the quality of your judgement. I guess there are no other planets, because you've never been there.
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 02:52:34 PM »

If there was one great miracle done for every person, people would still doubt.  People will always try to find an excuse for why some miraculous event can be explained away.  If my mind was dead set against miracles, my grandmother could show up to me from the dead, smack me upside the head and tell me to go get her a banana.  I would be stunned, but a week from then, I would be thinking, "I must have eaten some strange food that day to cause such a hallucination."
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 02:55:00 PM »

James, I can't blame you for sometimes having doubts. I think there are few people who don't. It's hard to have faith sometimes. All I can say is don't give up.
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2013, 04:00:12 PM »

Repent, pray, fast, love, repeat until your heart is pure. Don't try to boss God around, don't envy those who see Him with less or no effort and you will see Him.

Reality is such that obvious things require some experimentation of our part to see it. The very nature of air was discussed for a lot of time until some agreement was reached on it. The lack of consensus on something or someone does not mean it's not there everywhere. We have to be in the proper angle to see most of the things that are pillars of reality, even materially. Spiritually is no different.
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2013, 06:26:07 PM »

God was incarnate and taught us directly to eat His flesh and drink His blood and plenty of people freaked out and refused to believe it (many still don't). What makes you think that a booming voice from the clouds announcing Orthodoxy to be the true religion would fair any better in our modern, post-everything age?

God is not absent from the world. People refuse to listen to Him.

God was here for some 33 years and folks STILL did not believe.....What makes us think that people would change simply by Christ showing up on the streets today?  No, human nature, the fallen nature, wont change that's why we have Faith to lean on.
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2013, 06:26:32 PM »

The thing is that you guys all talk about it being "so obvious" that God is real and Orthodoxy is the truth--even though every single religion known to man claims the same thing about their deity and religion, yet, neither of them--Orthodoxy included--can present any good reason to back up their claim and distinguish themselves from the others.
"Obvious" is exactly what we, following scripture, should refuse to say that others will perceive even if we perceive it thus. "If this religion boasted of having a clear vision of God, and of possessing Him plain and unveiled, then to say that nothing we see in the world reveals Him with this degree of clarity would indeed be to attack it. But it says, on the contrary, that man is in darkness and far from God, that He has hidden Himself from man’s knowledge, and that the name He has given Himself in the Scriptures is in fact The Hidden God (Is 45:15). Therefore if it seeks to establish these two facts: that God has in the church erected visible signs by which those who sincerely seek Him may recognize Him, and that he has nevertheless so concealed them that He will only be perceived by those who seek Him with all their hearts, what advantage can the attackers gain when, while admitting that they neglect to seek for the truth, they yet cry that nothing reveals it? For the very darkness in which they lie, and for which they blame the Church, establishes one of her two claims, without invalidating the other, and also, far from destroying her doctrine, confirms it” (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 335).

“To obtain anything from God, the outward must be joined to the inward; that is to say we must kneel and pray alone, etc. so that proud man, who would not submit to God, may now be subject to the body. To expect any help from this outward act is superstition; a refusal to join it to our inward acts is pride. For we must not misunderstand ourselves; we are as much machines as mind. And hence the means by which a man is persuaded are not demonstration alone. How few things are demonstrated! Proofs convince only the mind. It is habit that produces our strongest and most accepted proofs; it guides the machine, which carries the mind with it unconsciously. Who has proved that there will be a morrow and that we will die?” -Blaise Pascal

Christ understood how the Father might be known -He alone knows the Father and He alone reveals Him. He did not leave us with a syllogism, or a philosophical treatise, but with men who knew Him, a Gospel, and a path. "Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes." -John 12:35    “FIRE: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. God of Jesus Christ… He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospel… He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.” -Pascal

John 3:19-21:  "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." It is ourselves we must examine wholeheartedly if our perception of God is dimmed. The OT never presents an argument for God's existence. Christ of the Gospels presents no burden of proof, but only a burden of wholehearted seeking, receiving, and giving; in a word it is grace: Kyrie eleison!
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2013, 06:47:38 PM »

Seek and you will find JamesR.

Follow his will.  I have found that by following his will (and I stink at it), that I get beat down as well as lifted up.  It's tough to try to carry the cross down the narrow path.  I stray off that path a lot.
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2013, 06:58:48 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

Maybe.

My generation seems much more concerned with conspiracy theories. You can bet, no matter how well controlled or under close scrutiny, there will be plenty of conspiracy theories to go around and deniers.

Seeing isn't believing.
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2013, 08:06:51 PM »

The problem is never with God, but fully with us humans. As I once heard from a lecture, Whatever God reveals or communicates to us, if we don´t get it OUR way then we won´t get the message at all. I´ve been into the same struggle as you may be in JamesR, my dear and loving brother.

What I found out was though that the root problem was not that God didn´t show a marvelous instant miracle. No, God did and is showing tons of miracles every day. But as soon as our eyes don´t see it, or our ears hear it, it didn´t exist.

For example. One may say that raining days are something very boring that makes your mood go down a bit. Each drop of rain represents a certain heat degree that was released from earth to cool it down. If God would save 1 drop of rain each day, in every country, I guess the reducing of all these drops in 10 days would make the earth boil up by the sun.

The sun for example. 1 more inch closer to earth and we would boil up. These are small things, no worth before God. But rather...

...How about when his loving children turns into prayer and open the hearts with, Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, your unprofitable servant.

What worth doesn´t that have before God our Father, even if you believe or not, He will sustain all things for you whether you see it or not.


The problem is not God nor miracles. But rather that we humans want it our way. And the donut was a good example of that Tongue If donuts would be flying all over the world, would you then think this had something to do with Jesus or with a donut God? For every 1 requirement God would fulfill, we would make up 2 new.

If we can´t see, believe and trust how Gods grace works through our daily lives in million different ways. How will we trust or believe him when marvelous things happen with more grace?

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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2013, 08:18:01 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

I doubt it.
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2013, 08:19:47 PM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2013, 08:19:55 PM »

"A sinful and adulterous generation asks for a sign."

"But when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?"
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« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2013, 08:21:41 PM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.

Didn't work for Judas, Caiaphas, and indeed most of the people who actually met God Incarnate and saw the works He did and heard the things he said, speaking as one with authority, and doing what no one else did.
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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2013, 08:22:22 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

I doubt it.

Doesn't this happen occasionally in hospitals?
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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2013, 08:27:06 PM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.

Didn't work for Judas, Caiaphas, and indeed most of the people who actually met God Incarnate and saw the works He did and heard the things he said, speaking as one with authority, and doing what no one else did.

Well I'm not them. In fact, I'd bet the welfare of my own soul that if God spoke to me once, I'd go on to live a life like the most devout Saints and never do anything evil again no matter how tempting.
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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2013, 08:47:31 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

I doubt it.

Doesn't this happen occasionally in hospitals?

After three days?
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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 08:49:31 PM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.

Didn't work for Judas, Caiaphas, and indeed most of the people who actually met God Incarnate and saw the works He did and heard the things he said, speaking as one with authority, and doing what no one else did.

Well I'm not them. In fact, I'd bet the welfare of my own soul that if God spoke to me once, I'd go on to live a life like the most devout Saints and never do anything evil again no matter how tempting.

Why not do that now? Nothing is stopping you but yourself.
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2013, 08:56:33 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

I doubt it.

Doesn't this happen occasionally in hospitals?

After three days?

Here is one after 6 days.  Unfortunately, there was no mass conversion to Christianity following it despite all the many promises from people like JamesR.  Wink

the bummer for her is they burnt all her stuff.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/zombie-gran-95-year-old-chinese-woman-746295
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2013, 09:05:31 PM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.
It is common these days to suppose that if God would reveal Himself our way rather than His Way we would respond perfectly and with open arms. But we do not know ourselves -our hearts- as well as God does. Our hearts ever deceive us; God is not deceived and knows what we need before we ask.

"To know oneself is a miracle greater than raising the dead." -St. Isaac the Syrian
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2013, 09:10:18 PM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?
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« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2013, 09:44:38 PM »

Well I'm not them. In fact, I'd bet the welfare of my own soul that if God spoke to me once, I'd go on to live a life like the most devout Saints and never do anything evil again no matter how tempting.

Psalm 39: Unto the end, a psalm for James himself.

Before God spoke to them, the most devout Saints did this sort of things:

Seraphim spent 1,000 successive nights on a rock in continuous prayer with his arms raised to the sky.

(After a bunch of thugs left him half-dead and God had apparently done "nothing" to help him.)
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« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2013, 10:22:14 PM »

"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
St. Lk 16:19-31

OK Fabio, let's be honest . . .

What would the reaction be today, if someone routinely under carefully controlled and observed conditions routine came back to life after dying or returned life to others who were dead?

I think all hell would break loose . . . A lot of folks certainly would be believing something. Why coming back from the dead would connect to the Law of Moses, I dunno, but a lot of folks might be willing to believe given such circumstances.

I doubt it.

Doesn't this happen occasionally in hospitals?

No.

When they bring back a moldering corpse, link me.
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« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2013, 10:22:35 PM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?

I don't understand why you'd lump ecumenism with universalism, or why you think people would "become ecumenist" because they don't feel God's presence in the world. You do understand that ecumenism is just an attitude towards other groups, whereas universalism is a specific heretical teaching?

If anything, those who struggled with God's apparent "absence" would probably embrace skepticism or some non-theistic/deistic religion.

Regarding your question, God is definitely not absent. But he also doesn't push himself on anyone; we have to be receptive to his presence. And for some, that might mean a lifetime of repentance. I wouldn't want God to show Himself to me right now; I'm such a sinner that I'd probably just be burned up by His glory.

I heard a parable once. The king summoned a rabbi to his court and demanded that the rabbi show him God. The rabbi took the king outside and asked him to stare at the sun. Within a few seconds, the king could no longer look at the sun. "I can't bare to look at it any longer!" he told the rabbi. The rabbi replied, "If we cannot even gaze upon God's servant, how can we gaze upon God Himself?"
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« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2013, 12:23:49 AM »

I just don't get this whole "seeking" and "trusting" thing. I don't see how you can trust someone who won't talk to you and seek someone who is invisible. I've lived the life of the Church just like everyone here told me and nothing is happening. I don't know what the world would do if God performed another big grand miracle, but I know that I would be 100% fully convinced and never sin again if God just spoke to me once.
I feel for you brother, if only it could be so. I've seen numerous examples of what I would consider the miraculous in my life, and probably a few that the rest of you would consider miraculous as well. Moreover, not only in my own life but in the lives of others, real you can see the scars kinda stuff. Some people I know, some that I don't. Ever read the lives of the Saints? The church is full the miraculous and of people who hear directly from God. Those Saint's stories aren't just made up you know.

 But despite all I've seen I still struggle. Despite all many people know they still struggle. Even in a world that is full of the miraculous and people hearing directly from God, Orthodoxy understands (better than anyone else?) the importance of perseverance. Even if you get a miracle, and I wish for you that you do, the excitement will fade, the specialness will loose it's bloom old familiar temptations will raise their heads in times of weakness and you will want to sin and you wont care about the miracle you had. That my brother is when you need to persevere not because you want to but because it is right and Godly to do so.

Perhaps that is what is special about Orthodoxy. Or perhaps not, what do I know?
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« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2013, 02:54:19 AM »

This is something I've been wondering for quite a while, and I can very well see why many people may be drawn to ecumenism or universalism because of it. Why is God so absent from the world? Why doesn't He talk to anyone or make it blatantly obvious what He wants humanity to do?

I don't understand why you'd lump ecumenism with universalism, or why you think people would "become ecumenist" because they don't feel God's presence in the world. You do understand that ecumenism is just an attitude towards other groups, whereas universalism is a specific heretical teaching?

It is said "ecumenism OR universalism" not "and", hardly lumping together. But anyway, ecumenism at least in the modern sense of doing it is obviously not just an attitude, it is an idea that "heresy" is not too bad after all, and that it is worth even attempting to create union even if it means ignoring anathemas from ecumenical councils.

It can be argued that if one does not have complete faith in the orthodox church, they would be more likely to be ecumenist seeing as they are seeking others and are willing to ignore their own dogma in that seeking. Then again, it can be argued if one has complete faith that they might become ecumenist to make everyone else Orthodox just be acting nice and talking... but that makes no sense so...
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« Reply #43 on: May 24, 2013, 03:28:21 AM »

JamerR, God has already spoken to you, or else all your questions and doubts wouldn´t have any value.

Remember that Gods message can be, and has been for me many times, just absence. If that´s one way for God the speak to you and other humans, then that God a message for itself. if you don´t like it, please don´t take that on God, but rather yourself. Ask yourself why God has to speak to you directly when you in the end might once again doubt if he actually did speak to you.

How come that many of our beloved Saints received some form of miracle when they actually expected it the least.
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« Reply #44 on: May 24, 2013, 06:59:20 AM »

God is here with us and always has been. But man and woman is too concerned about their daily things, about the routines, about the careers, about their need and about themselves (as a general term). This corrupts their bond to God.

How can you listen to Him when you never have time to?
How are you able to understand God when you perhaps do not (really want) to?

To listen to God means taking time to pray (morning/eve, Jesusprayer) and reading the scripture every day.
When I was a catechumen, my priest told us this and people around the table began mumbling and arguing (just like we do in this forum daily).
One of those ten people finished classes. Yes, hello!

Taking time and listening to what God try telling us is important. I wish that more of us could understand that and not use (oh..he is just Hyperdox-nerd-foolish thingie for an excuse).
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