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Author Topic: Why is God so Absent?  (Read 2183 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 24, 2013, 10:00:59 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 to speak to you and other humans, then that is 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 #46 on: May 24, 2013, 10:49:04 AM »

Wise counsel.


OBSTACLES ON THE PATH TO THE GOSPEL
Archpriest Sergius Chetverikov
Quote
...We should stop and listen to this inner life of the world, and look attentively at what is happening within us and around us. Then we would learn to see God, Who, according to the words of the Apostle Paul, Be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:27-28).

Try to look over your life attentively and in it you will see many circumstances, meetings and discussions, which are usually perceived by us as accidental or unimportant, but under more profound analysis reveal, that some unseen but caring Hand, without forcing us, constantly points our life toward the path of goodness, saves and helps us. Try to remember all these events, write them down, develop your ability to observe them, and you will possess great factual material, which will give you the ability to be convinced both in the existence of God and in His Providence by experience. This experimental way is the best and maybe the only means of knowing God, as St. Basil the Great said, who asserted that when we see the influence of Divine Providence in our life and the lives of others, then we begin to know God and to love Him. We should not be convinced of God’s existence through logical conclusions. Knowledge of God is gained only through personal religious experience. The Divine Existence cannot be proved; it must be only inwardly felt. If this does not happen, then there exists some obstacle which prevents one from feeling the Divine Existence. The blind person does not see the stars not because they do not exist, but because his eyes are damaged.
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/61224.htm
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« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2013, 11:08:00 AM »

Wise counsel.


OBSTACLES ON THE PATH TO THE GOSPEL
Archpriest Sergius Chetverikov
Quote
...We should stop and listen to this inner life of the world, and look attentively at what is happening within us and around us. Then we would learn to see God, Who, according to the words of the Apostle Paul, Be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:27-28).

Try to look over your life attentively and in it you will see many circumstances, meetings and discussions, which are usually perceived by us as accidental or unimportant, but under more profound analysis reveal, that some unseen but caring Hand, without forcing us, constantly points our life toward the path of goodness, saves and helps us. Try to remember all these events, write them down, develop your ability to observe them, and you will possess great factual material, which will give you the ability to be convinced both in the existence of God and in His Providence by experience. This experimental way is the best and maybe the only means of knowing God, as St. Basil the Great said, who asserted that when we see the influence of Divine Providence in our life and the lives of others, then we begin to know God and to love Him. We should not be convinced of God’s existence through logical conclusions. Knowledge of God is gained only through personal religious experience. The Divine Existence cannot be proved; it must be only inwardly felt. If this does not happen, then there exists some obstacle which prevents one from feeling the Divine Existence. The blind person does not see the stars not because they do not exist, but because his eyes are damaged.
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/61224.htm
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« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2013, 11:24:37 AM »

Wise counsel.


OBSTACLES ON THE PATH TO THE GOSPEL
Archpriest Sergius Chetverikov
Quote
...We should stop and listen to this inner life of the world, and look attentively at what is happening within us and around us. Then we would learn to see God, Who, according to the words of the Apostle Paul, Be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17:27-28).

Try to look over your life attentively and in it you will see many circumstances, meetings and discussions, which are usually perceived by us as accidental or unimportant, but under more profound analysis reveal, that some unseen but caring Hand, without forcing us, constantly points our life toward the path of goodness, saves and helps us. Try to remember all these events, write them down, develop your ability to observe them, and you will possess great factual material, which will give you the ability to be convinced both in the existence of God and in His Providence by experience. This experimental way is the best and maybe the only means of knowing God, as St. Basil the Great said, who asserted that when we see the influence of Divine Providence in our life and the lives of others, then we begin to know God and to love Him. We should not be convinced of God’s existence through logical conclusions. Knowledge of God is gained only through personal religious experience. The Divine Existence cannot be proved; it must be only inwardly felt. If this does not happen, then there exists some obstacle which prevents one from feeling the Divine Existence. The blind person does not see the stars not because they do not exist, but because his eyes are damaged.
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/61224.htm
+1

Agree, beautiful response, may God bless you!

+10
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« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2013, 12:17:17 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.

Please, please don't say such things lightly, James.  If my own experience is any indication, the very moment you start talking about how you'd definitely not do a certain thing or could not possibly be a certain way, you're only a few moments away from a great fall.  You really don't want to go there. 

There's no really satisfying answer to the questions you've raised, at least not for me.  Many times I feel a lot of the things you've expressed, and hearing people say "Keep at it" or something like that really sucks.  But that's the only real answer anyone can give: we need to keep doing what we're supposed to do, and eventually God is able to break through to us because we soften and break up enough for him to get in.  That can take a moment for some and a lifetime for others, but "keep at it" is really all you can do..."keep at it", with faith and with hope when it seems foolish to have faith and hope.  The alternative is to just give up, and when you do that, you're already dead on arrival. 
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« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2013, 12:32:58 PM »

St. Peter thought he would never deny the Lord, but he did. Even the most well-intentioned people go astray.
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« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2013, 12:34:41 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.

Hey God showed up in person to get a few things straight and so we killed him.

If you have the feeling that he is absent then you may need to practice harder. More Church, more prayer more fasting. Maybe a week at a monastery.

God reveals himself within his Church early and often. Your antenna may need fine tuning. Have you ever been to see a streaming Icon?    
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« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2013, 12:38:54 PM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
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« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2013, 01:35:45 PM »

Christ is in our midst.
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« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2013, 08:20:25 PM »

St. Peter thought he would never deny the Lord, but he did. Even the most well-intentioned people go astray.
Very true.  To quote Spock, we are "only human".
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« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2013, 08:22:02 PM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
I don't know much about him, but he seems like he was a wise man. I will have to read up on him a bit.
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« Reply #56 on: May 25, 2013, 06:10:47 AM »

I've lived the life of the Church

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« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2013, 07:23:28 AM »

If there was one great miracle done for every person, people would still doaubt.  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."

Not to mention the " your miracle was waaay cooler than mine...." reaction.
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« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2013, 11:28:10 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.

What did you expect to happen?

As for your original post, I think it's more accurate to say that God is sometimes "hidden" from us, but He is never absent.
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« Reply #59 on: May 25, 2013, 11:37:21 AM »

There are still many Grande Miracles within the Orthodox Church, it's just that the Church is rather circumspect about talking them up to outsiders.

One that comes to mind was just last year. The Myrah streaming Iveron Icon ( HI) was in a Church in PA. A young blind boy regained his eyesight as he venerated it. Many witnesses. Many people knew the boy had been truly blind...Yada yada
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« Reply #60 on: May 25, 2013, 12:04:43 PM »

There are still many Grande Miracles within the Orthodox Church, it's just that the Church is rather circumspect about talking them up to outsiders.

One that comes to mind was just last year. The Myrah streaming Iveron Icon ( HI) was in a Church in PA. A young blind boy regained his eyesight as he venerated it. Many witnesses. Many people knew the boy had been truly blind...Yada yada

The problem is that testimony doesn't count as proof.  For skeptics it doesn't even count as evidence for some reason.  The OP seems to want proofs, which usually means someone wants a miracle to happen to them personally.

On that note, there is an interesting verse in 1 Kingdoms 3:1 (or 1 Sam 3:1) "And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; [there was] no open vision.

The commentary in the Orthodox Study Bible says "God's word had become very precious because of the absence of a clear, concise, and distinct vision from Him." 

This could shed some light on things, as it appears that the things that have been revealed are made more precious because they are so scarce. 
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« Reply #61 on: May 25, 2013, 12:22:46 PM »

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.

This should be engraved in gold.

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« Reply #62 on: May 25, 2013, 12:28:29 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.
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« Reply #63 on: May 25, 2013, 12:46:43 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.
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« Reply #64 on: May 25, 2013, 12:52:26 PM »

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If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Would you admit that one of these miracles could be that you stopped asking for them? Tongue  That you instead opened your heart before God and said, it is miraculous that any of us sinners here on earth are still alive O´Lord.

With great love and respect dear brother!
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« Reply #65 on: May 25, 2013, 12:57:17 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

I actually appreciate some of his concern.  I just think that he's side-stepping possible reasons/advantages that God doesn't generally force himself on people.  This is a good thing to consider.

It is clear that God is not absent, but is present in a small way:

1Ki 19:11-13    And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was [so], when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, [there came] a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?


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If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Seeking a sign are we?  Did you think that becoming Orthodox would transform you into a saint with relative ease?  I don't mean to mock you.  I'm just trying to find out what you had in mind.


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« Reply #66 on: May 25, 2013, 01:59:22 PM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
I don't know much about him, but he seems like he was a wise man. I will have to read up on him a bit.

Probably one of the single greatest reasons anyone who is not OO should become one.

I like to hate as much as the next . . . well I actually I don't know anyone who likes to hate as much me, but good luck trying not want to figure out how to become like this man.
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« Reply #67 on: May 25, 2013, 02:00:36 PM »

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.
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« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2013, 02:03:49 PM »

Reactionary? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means
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« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2013, 02:48:45 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...
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« Reply #70 on: May 25, 2013, 02:56:57 PM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
I don't know much about him, but he seems like he was a wise man. I will have to read up on him a bit.

Probably one of the single greatest reasons anyone who is not OO should become one.
...



Then you go on to say this:

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.

I really don't get why you like one statement putting the blame on the patient and not the next.
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« Reply #71 on: May 25, 2013, 02:58:58 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

There's "God, if you are there, please show me"

Then there is "God, you better perform me a miracle, or we're done!"
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« Reply #72 on: May 25, 2013, 03:56:21 PM »

I kind of think it is to allow people to be free, to make a choice on whether to accept, work and cooperate with God. If God's omnipresence was physically bearing on us we would not act as free creatures.
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« Reply #73 on: May 25, 2013, 04:09:53 PM »

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.

What? How you get blame out of that is beyond me. I'm not meaning to blame anyone for anything. I merely wrote why I don't think this would make a difference. I don't think it's right to blame people for not seeing miracles (as though they should be self-evident), but at the same time that doesn't mean they're not happening. St. Pishoy saw Christ in the flesh many times even in the presence of others who did not see Him. That doesn't mean that the others who did not see Him are bad or blameworthy, only that St. Pishoy saw Him while they did not.
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« Reply #74 on: May 25, 2013, 05:19:43 PM »

I must say that while reading the lives of the saints and something like the acts of the apostles, is moving

I do feel that in my own Christian spiritual life there's is a absence of that sense of power which seems so prevelant in those readings.

It is a great hardship and source of disbelief for me, I wonder if the story's are over exaggerated.
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« Reply #75 on: May 25, 2013, 09:00:02 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

Well, if it offends Him, then He could do some cool amazing miracle like turn my fingers into snakes or strike me with lightning and then I'll get my wish to see something amazing.
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« Reply #76 on: May 25, 2013, 09:05:05 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

Well, if it offends Him, then He could do some cool amazing miracle like turn my fingers into snakes or strike me with lightning and then I'll get my wish to see something amazing.

Yeah.  Hell.
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« Reply #77 on: May 25, 2013, 09:15:20 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...
No kidding!  Not to mention we should be prepared to see the action of God, no matter how small.  I remember years ago I was on the beach at night, it was a time in my life I had a lot of concerns, questions and worries.  I asked God to somehow let me know He was listening.  Nothing spectacular, just something I would not miss.  As soon as I opened my eyes I saw a shooting star right in front of me.  There were none before or after and no one else saw it.  Very small, but it was enough.
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Kerdy
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« Reply #78 on: May 25, 2013, 09:18:16 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

Well, if it offends Him, then He could do some cool amazing miracle like turn my fingers into snakes or strike me with lightning and then I'll get my wish to see something amazing.
True, but He could also create a situation where you watch your fingers get cut off of your hands, feel the pain, see the blood, go fingerless the rest of your life, just to prove He is there.  Be careful what you ask for.  Be careful of the tests you demand from God.  Trust me on this.

I have said and done some pretty stupid things in my life.  Some have come full circle.  I am hoping they all dont.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 09:19:27 PM by Kerdy » Logged
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« Reply #79 on: May 25, 2013, 09:19:53 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

Well, if it offends Him, then He could do some cool amazing miracle like turn my fingers into snakes or strike me with lightning and then I'll get my wish to see something amazing.

Even if that happened, that would harden your resolve.  If the Resurrection isn't "amazing" enough, nothing will ever come close.
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Kerdy
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« Reply #80 on: May 25, 2013, 09:29:30 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

Testing God is as sin...

Well, if it offends Him, then He could do some cool amazing miracle like turn my fingers into snakes or strike me with lightning and then I'll get my wish to see something amazing.

Even if that happened, that would harden your resolve.  If the Resurrection isn't "amazing" enough, nothing will ever come close.
I’m reminded of Moses and Pharaoh.
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« Reply #81 on: May 26, 2013, 01:17:10 AM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
I don't know much about him, but he seems like he was a wise man. I will have to read up on him a bit.

Probably one of the single greatest reasons anyone who is not OO should become one.
...



Then you go on to say this:

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.

I really don't get why you like one statement putting the blame on the patient and not the next.

What are you talking about?

Who am I blaming in the first post you quoted? I know it is the pile on norm season around here again, especially from less than capable noobs and the usual out classed OGs, but please don't waste your time making zero sense.

This place is becoming insufferable.
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« Reply #82 on: May 26, 2013, 01:18:37 AM »

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.

What? How you get blame out of that is beyond me. I'm not meaning to blame anyone for anything. I merely wrote why I don't think this would make a difference.

See bolded.
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« Reply #83 on: May 26, 2013, 08:13:57 AM »

The late great Pope Shenouda III once said something to the effect that when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent.
I don't know much about him, but he seems like he was a wise man. I will have to read up on him a bit.

Probably one of the single greatest reasons anyone who is not OO should become one.
...



Then you go on to say this:

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.

This should be engraved in gold.



Not really, it is a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness.

Quite trite.

I really don't get why you like one statement putting the blame on the patient and not the next.

What are you talking about?

Who am I blaming in the first post you quoted? I know it is the pile on norm season around here again, especially from less than capable noobs and the usual out classed OGs, but please don't waste your time making zero sense.

This place is becoming insufferable.

What am I talking about?  Perhaps I'm wrong, but you seemed like this quote: "when we see the Lord, He will not ask us why we sinned; He will ask us why we did not repent. " and then in your next post got upset over this quote: "God is not absent from the world. People refuse to listen to Him."  Of the second quote you said that it is "a simplistic reactionary statement that blames the patient for the illness".   All I'm saying is that I don't see a great deal of difference between the two.
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« Reply #84 on: May 26, 2013, 10:51:18 AM »

Orthonorm doesn't like anything I post, John. I'm used to it. It's part of him being too clever for this board and plebeians like me. Meh.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that saying "people refuse to listen" is not the same as "people are the reason why God is absent" (the actual question of the OP). My whole point is that God is not absent in the first place, but that He seems so because, like the OP, many people presume that if He were really there, XYZ would happen/not happen, making it clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that He exists. Where is blame in any of this if He is truly there whether or not people recognize Him? It is a chicken and egg paradox if I've ever seen one: "God doesn't exist unless He appears to me like I want Him to, but He doesn't do that, so He doesn't exist." I guess people could be blamed, but only for expecting that God should work as they want Him to. It's a matter of faulty/circular logic, not illness/sin. After all, I definitely wouldn't say that it's wrong to want to see miracles happen in your life for some reason, though it certainly can be if that's what you base your faith on, so that if they don't happen as you want them to, your faith is destroyed.
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« Reply #85 on: May 26, 2013, 12:17:25 PM »

Orthonorm doesn't like anything I post, John. I'm used to it. It's part of him being too clever for this board and plebeians like me. Meh.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that saying "people refuse to listen" is not the same as "people are the reason why God is absent" (the actual question of the OP). My whole point is that God is not absent in the first place, but that He seems so because, like the OP, many people presume that if He were really there, XYZ would happen/not happen, making it clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that He exists. Where is blame in any of this if He is truly there whether or not people recognize Him? It is a chicken and egg paradox if I've ever seen one: "God doesn't exist unless He appears to me like I want Him to, but He doesn't do that, so He doesn't exist." I guess people could be blamed, but only for expecting that God should work as they want Him to. It's a matter of faulty/circular logic, not illness/sin. After all, I definitely wouldn't say that it's wrong to want to see miracles happen in your life for some reason, though it certainly can be if that's what you base your faith on, so that if they don't happen as you want them to, your faith is destroyed.


Ah, I see.  Maybe you are too much of a "noob"?  Grin

I agree with you.  My understanding is that God's "existence" is a bit of a misnomer, since existence is more of a category for created things.  God is real, however, but it's a reality that is known through prayer and revelation.  

On the other hand, did God ever exist in such a way that we could witness his physical presence?  So why isn't the incarnation and resurrection enough? We have a strong historical account of a person who claimed to be the Son of God and who rose from the dead. I suppose it's difficult for some to believe simply because, again, they didn't personally witness it.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 12:19:04 PM by john_mo » Logged
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« Reply #86 on: May 26, 2013, 12:51:33 PM »

Perhaps the OP should put aside a travel fund so next time there is word of a miracle he can immediately catch the next plane to check it out for himself.

If I visit Mt. Athos someday, I'm not going to leave until something amazing and miraculous happens--even if the Greek police have to arrest and deport me.

""Unless you people see signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe." John 4:48 NIV
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« Reply #87 on: May 28, 2013, 03:47:51 PM »

I must say that while reading the lives of the saints and something like the acts of the apostles, is moving

I do feel that in my own Christian spiritual life there's is a absence of that sense of power which seems so prevelant in those readings.

It is a great hardship and source of disbelief for me, I wonder if the story's are over exaggerated.

It's like someone without a girl/boy friend.. Once you stop looking you find one.

God fully knows what you need, even better than you do. Your job is to apply yourself to your practice and ask nothing for yourself. In due time you will get your reward.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 03:48:22 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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« Reply #88 on: May 28, 2013, 09:05:08 PM »

“When God recedes in order to educate us, this brings great sadness, humility and even some measure of despair to the soul. The purpose of this is to humble the soul’s tendency to vanity and self-glory, for the heart at once is filled with fear of God, tears of thankfulness, and great longing for the beauty of silence. But the receding due to God’s complete withdrawal fills the soul with despair, unbelief, anger and pride. We who have experienced both kinds of receding should approach God in each case in the appropriate way. In the first case we should offer Him thanks as we plead in our own defense, understanding that He is disciplining our unruly character by concealing His presence, so as to teach us, like a good father, the difference between virtue and vice. In the second case, we should offer Him ceaseless confession of our sins and incessant tears, and practice a greater seclusion from the world, so that by adding to our labors we may eventually induce Him to reveal His presence in our hearts as before. Yet we must realize that when there is a direct struggle between Satan and the soul -and I am speaking here of the struggle that takes place when God recedes in order to educate us- then grace conceals itself a little, as I have said, but nevertheless supports the soul in a hidden way, so that in the eyes of its enemies the victory appears to be due to the soul alone.” St. Diadochos of Photiki, On Spiritual Knowledge and Discernment (AD 451)
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« Reply #89 on: May 28, 2013, 09:46:21 PM »

What if a person doesn't actually believe, not in the scriptures, not in the soul or even God....

Is it worse to lie and try to convince oneself, almost manicly, that this is real, and just go through the motions

Or is it better to be honest and simply let it all go and let what will be, be
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