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Author Topic: "My God, My God, Why Have you Forsaken Me?"  (Read 2565 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 02, 2013, 12:50:43 PM »

I was reading the Gospel last night and I came upon this famous passage where Christ says "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and it got me wondering, how would we as Orthodox Christians understand this passage and how does our understanding differ from how say an Evangelical Protestant would understand it?

The reason I ask is because I remember being a child growing up in a Protestant Church, and saying something to the extent of "Jesus doubted/suffered because He asked God why He forsook Him" and then being sternly condemned by Pastors for some reason, and then them telling me that Jesus was merely quoting Psalm 22 and didn't really doubt/suffer. I always thought this was weird.

I know this relates to the whole Nestorian Christology thing that some folks here accuse Protestantism of, but, admittedly, I know very little about Christology other than Christ being fully God and fully man.
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 01:13:21 PM »

What's weird about it? Jesus was always mentioning prophecies about His coming, the way He would die and His resurrection.

At the cross, he mentioned the one single Psalm that describes the event that was happening before everybody's eyes. People give advice at their death beds, they say goodbye, they declare their love, sometimes they even give consolation to those of us staying behind in this world of troubles. God was just giving consolation, remembering people that the Cross too had been foreseen, everything was still under God's control.
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 01:17:29 PM »

Fwiw...

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For Christ also likewise, when it was possible for him to abide in His own honour and deity, not only so far emptied Himself as to take the form of a slave, (Phil. 2:7) but also endured the cross, despising the shame, (Heb. 12:2) that he might by His own sufferings destroy sin, and by death slay death.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 12.4

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We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly, (Dan. 9:5) for we have forgotten Thy commandments and walked after our own evil thought, (Is. 65:2) for we have behaved ourselves unworthily of the calling and gospel of Thy Christ, and of His holy sufferings and humiliation for us; we have become a reproach to Thy beloved, priest and people, we have erred together, we have all gone out of the way, we have together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth judgment and justice, no not one.

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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 02:00:44 PM »

In the hymns we mention that the sun hid its rays, and the earth quaked, creation feeling the pain of its Creator.  In quoting the Psalm the Creator was feeling the pain of His creation.
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 06:09:38 PM »

Did it ever occur to anyone to try interpreting it along the lines of what it actually says?
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 06:31:44 PM »

I was reading the Gospel last night and I came upon this famous passage where Christ says "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and it got me wondering, how would we as Orthodox Christians understand this passage and how does our understanding differ from how say an Evangelical Protestant would understand it?

The reason I ask is because I remember being a child growing up in a Protestant Church, and saying something to the extent of "Jesus doubted/suffered because He asked God why He forsook Him" and then being sternly condemned by Pastors for some reason, and then them telling me that Jesus was merely quoting Psalm 22 and didn't really doubt/suffer. I always thought this was weird.

I know this relates to the whole Nestorian Christology thing that some folks here accuse Protestantism of, but, admittedly, I know very little about Christology other than Christ being fully God and fully man.

The advice you were given sounds like the heresy of docetism, probably unwittingly so.  Read about it and you'll see what I mean.  Of course Christ suffered unspeakable agony.  How otherwise could he redeem our existence, even death? 
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 06:49:08 PM »

Did it ever occur to anyone to try interpreting it along the lines of what it actually says?

Well that's a novel idea, what exactly does is mean for someone to be forsaken?
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 06:51:23 PM »

Did it ever occur to anyone to try interpreting it along the lines of what it actually says?

Well that's a novel idea, what exactly does is mean for someone to be forsaken?
To be abandoned.   
"A God-forsaken place," such as a remote desert
"Do not forsake me, O my darlin"   An old cowboy song pleading for his love not to leave him. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 06:55:30 PM »

Did it ever occur to anyone to try interpreting it along the lines of what it actually says?

Is there any way to see "forsaken" as "abandoned" without separating the Father from the Son? I imagine this is part of why people don't.
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 07:02:04 PM »

Did it ever occur to anyone to try interpreting it along the lines of what it actually says?

Is there any way to see "forsaken" as "abandoned" without separating the Father from the Son? I imagine this is part of why people don't.

Maybe someone else knows more but to me it is as mysterious as the Trinity.  I do know it speaks if the most unbearable suffering imaginable. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 09:26:20 PM »

What's weird about it? Jesus was always mentioning prophecies about His coming, the way He would die and His resurrection.

At the cross, he mentioned the one single Psalm that describes the event that was happening before everybody's eyes. People give advice at their death beds, they say goodbye, they declare their love, sometimes they even give consolation to those of us staying behind in this world of troubles. God was just giving consolation, remembering people that the Cross too had been foreseen, everything was still under God's control.

If He was just giving consolation, it's no more a prophecy than if I say "In two days, I shall scream 'I know you!' at some stranger, while I'm driving," and then proceed to do it.
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 09:33:26 PM »

Forsake is not necessarily the same thing as separate.

I've read somewhere that Christ said that because God the Father really did forsake Christ in the narrow sense that He did not save Christ from the Cross.  He did not send angels down to rescue Him, but rather allowed Him to suffer.
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 09:36:17 PM »

Forsake is not necessarily the same thing as separate.

I've read somewhere that Christ said that because God the Father really did forsake Christ in the narrow sense that He did not save Christ from the Cross.  He did not send angels down to rescue Him, but rather allowed Him to suffer.

That is a pretty obvious way to look at it that I hadn't considered. I'm around Reformed that equate "forsake" with "separate," which is probably why I made the equation as well.
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 09:47:46 PM »

Forsake is not necessarily the same thing as separate.

I've read somewhere that Christ said that because God the Father really did forsake Christ in the narrow sense that He did not save Christ from the Cross.  He did not send angels down to rescue Him, but rather allowed Him to suffer.

This sounds very plausible, and it's along the lines of what i was thinking.

If you are on a cross, it's hard to argue that you aren't forsaken in some sense.

Although I'm sure that when he shouted it, it wasn't intended as a mere enlightening statement of fact.
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 11:44:22 PM »

In the synagogue, the psalms used to be distributed for prayer among the worshippers. The person distributing the psalms would begin by reciting the first few words such as "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," and the worshipper would continue reciting it inaudibly. In this case, had they continued reciting the psalm just as Christ intended, they would have recalled the inexplicable references to what was going on right before their eyes.

If we continue the psalm:

"Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me."
They divide my clothes among them
 and cast lots for my garment.
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 07:17:13 AM »

Here is what St. John Chrysostom has to say on the subject in one of his homilies on the Gospel of Matthew, courtesy of New Advent:

"And for this reason, even after this He speaks, that they might learn that He was still alive, and that He Himself did this, and that they might become by this also more gentle, and He says,  Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?  that unto His last breath they might see that He honors His Father, and is no adversary of God. Wherefore also He uttered a certain cry from the prophet, even to His last hour bearing witness to the Old Testament, and not simply a cry from the prophet, but also in Hebrew, so as to be plain and intelligible to them, and by all things He shows how He is of one mind with Him that begot Him."
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 07:19:08 AM »

And this meditation on the passage from ACROD helpfully treats this mystery and regards it as an evidence of Jesus' humanity, which did not curse God:

http://www.acrod.org/organizations/seminary/reflection/passion-mastroberte

Note its quotation of St. Ambrose's thinking on the matter.
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 08:01:40 AM »

Because I can.
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 08:28:49 AM »

This sentence was a signal given by Jesus to God the Father that now the supernatural incidents related to the crucifixion may start.

I guess this statement sounded a bit problematic to some Western Christians in the medieval period. The author of the Gospel of Barnabas included this sentence into his forged passion narrative to convince people that it was Judas Iscariot rather than Jesus who was crucified.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2013, 08:37:17 AM »

This commentary from the Greek Church states that we should not look to it in terms of literal abandonment, but as an exemplification of the suffering of Christ, in which God was *silently* present.

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/suffering
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2013, 09:04:37 AM »

He's affirming that God is still under control even though everything seems to be out of track.

It seems odd for us because we don't know the Psalms by heart. Even today we have people who really memorize them and it seems that was more common in ancient times. Plus, the fact that this saying appears in Mark and Matthew the Gospels that were directed to a more Jewish audience, suggests that the authors knew it was clear for any common Jew of the time what was happening.

Even today, in Liturgy, entire hymns are pointed out with just their first words. I'm no specialist, but I suppose this tradition must come from those times, for even in the OT we have songs thrown here and there. In the context of the Church, it's beyond doubt that it is a conscious quotation of the Psalm prophecizing the crucifiction itself. The only thing that is my interpretation alone is that it is consoling.

What's weird about it? Jesus was always mentioning prophecies about His coming, the way He would die and His resurrection.

At the cross, he mentioned the one single Psalm that describes the event that was happening before everybody's eyes. People give advice at their death beds, they say goodbye, they declare their love, sometimes they even give consolation to those of us staying behind in this world of troubles. God was just giving consolation, remembering people that the Cross too had been foreseen, everything was still under God's control.

If He was just giving consolation, it's no more a prophecy than if I say "In two days, I shall scream 'I know you!' at some stranger, while I'm driving," and then proceed to do it.
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2013, 09:07:11 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2013, 09:17:09 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.
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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2013, 09:39:41 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.

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« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2013, 10:00:03 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



Our hymns and prayers express what the Church teaches. This is just one hymn which speaks of the mystery of the Son remaining with the Father, while lying dead and buried in the tomb:

All things above the world and all below the earth quaked with fear at Your death, as they saw You on the throne above and below in a tomb; for beyond understanding You appeared as one dead, You the source of life. (from the canon, matins of Holy Saturday)

And here is an icon which expresses the same teaching:


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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2013, 10:06:29 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



Our hymns and prayers express what the Church teaches. This is just one hymn which speaks of the mystery of the Son remaining with the Father, while lying dead and buried in the tomb:

All things above the world and all below the earth quaked with fear at Your death, as they saw You on the throne above and below in a tomb; for beyond understanding You appeared as one dead, You the source of life. (from the canon, matins of Holy Saturday)

And here is an icon which expresses the same teaching:




You didn't answer my questions, though.
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« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2013, 10:16:13 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



Our hymns and prayers express what the Church teaches. This is just one hymn which speaks of the mystery of the Son remaining with the Father, while lying dead and buried in the tomb:

All things above the world and all below the earth quaked with fear at Your death, as they saw You on the throne above and below in a tomb; for beyond understanding You appeared as one dead, You the source of life. (from the canon, matins of Holy Saturday)

And here is an icon which expresses the same teaching:




You didn't answer my questions, though.

Can you explain how Christ, the giver of life, can die? Can you explain how He could be at once with His Father, and entombed below the ground? Can you explain how the infinite, indescribable, invisible God could take on human flesh and human nature, and live among men on earth? Or how bread and wine can become His body and blood?

There are some things, lovetzatziki, which are divine mysteries, far beyond what mere human minds can possibly comprehend or quantify. And, we, simply and humbly, have to accept that such things are so.

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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2013, 10:30:36 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



Our hymns and prayers express what the Church teaches. This is just one hymn which speaks of the mystery of the Son remaining with the Father, while lying dead and buried in the tomb:

All things above the world and all below the earth quaked with fear at Your death, as they saw You on the throne above and below in a tomb; for beyond understanding You appeared as one dead, You the source of life. (from the canon, matins of Holy Saturday)

And here is an icon which expresses the same teaching:




You didn't answer my questions, though.

Can you explain how Christ, the giver of life, can die? Can you explain how He could be at once with His Father, and entombed below the ground? Can you explain how the infinite, indescribable, invisible God could take on human flesh and human nature, and live among men on earth? Or how bread and wine can become His body and blood?

There are some things, lovetzatziki, which are divine mysteries, far beyond what mere human minds can possibly comprehend or quantify. And, we, simply and humbly, have to accept that such things are so.



The question I was asking was if Jesus really suffered.
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« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2013, 10:33:13 AM »

That's because he did not assume our spiritual pains, which are fruit of our sins. He assumed the natural pains and limitations of human nature - which does not include sin. Fallen human nature has sin, but not human nature in itself. We love Him as our Savior, for in Him all our pains and sufferings were destroyed.

This is very much related with what I said on the dating thread. I think it's very psychologically and even spiritually unhealthy all the talk about sympathizing with our flaws (the cause of our pains and sufferings) in the sense that we should accept them as part of human nature. They are not by all means. Human nature in its truly natural state is seen in Jesus Christ only, and, among the fallen, completely filled with Grace in the Theotokos only. With her we can sympathize in the full sense, for she suffered literally like us, out of her fallen human nature, although  she never actualized her fallen state, she never sinned. And we have thousands of saints who sinned like us and thus suffered agonies of real separation like us. We can sympathize with them as well.

Jesus suffered the physical pains of the Crucifiction, in His human nature, He did not want that so much pain would happen. But He never ever suffered the agony of despair. Quoting the Psalm on the Cross is a complement to what He said to Pilates: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."(Jo 19:11) . For us, and specially for His relatives and close friends, it surely seemed things were all out of control, that things had gone horribly wrong. But Jesus is always remembering people, even His tormentors that things were *not* out of control, that God was pretty much controlling everything, and that everything was going accord to plan. "Fear not" He is saying all the time, by different means.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.


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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2013, 10:53:34 AM »

That's because he did not assume our spiritual pains, which are fruit of our sins. He assumed the natural pains and limitations of human nature - which does not include sin. Fallen human nature has sin, but not human nature in itself. We love Him as our Savior, for in Him all our pains and sufferings were destroyed.

This is very much related with what I said on the dating thread. I think it's very psychologically and even spiritually unhealthy all the talk about sympathizing with our flaws (the cause of our pains and sufferings) in the sense that we should accept them as part of human nature. They are not by all means. Human nature in its truly natural state is seen in Jesus Christ only, and, among the fallen, completely filled with Grace in the Theotokos only. With her we can sympathize in the full sense, for she suffered literally like us, out of her fallen human nature, although  she never actualized her fallen state, she never sinned. And we have thousands of saints who sinned like us and thus suffered agonies of real separation like us. We can sympathize with them as well.

Jesus suffered the physical pains of the Crucifiction, in His human nature, He did not want that so much pain would happen. But He never ever suffered the agony of despair. Quoting the Psalm on the Cross is a complement to what He said to Pilates: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."(Jo 19:11) . For us, and specially for His relatives and close friends, it surely seemed things were all out of control, that things had gone horribly wrong. But Jesus is always remembering people, even His tormentors that things were *not* out of control, that God was pretty much controlling everything, and that everything was going accord to plan. "Fear not" He is saying all the time, by different means.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



He does not suffer with us when we suffer spiritual affliction ? Did he came only to be the Savior of the flesh? Didn't St Gregory the Great say "what is not assumed is not redeemed" ?  Doesn't that devalorise the Incarnation? To me it seems that suffering is a spiritual condition rather than carnal.

What comfort can we have than when we suffer spiritual pains?
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« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2013, 11:17:58 AM »

What's a spiritual pain??? Have you had one can you describe it?
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« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2013, 11:26:42 AM »

What's a spiritual pain??? Have you had one can you describe it?

An ukrainian should know Smiley.. pains of the soul.
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« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2013, 11:29:27 AM »

It's really difficult to describe it. It's agony over the *false* perception that God is missing in something. It happens "mildly" when you doubt and accutely when you're sure He is there but you dwell in the devil's lie that He has abandoned you. It happens when you believe the world has really gone off-track and there are things not under His control. Specially if you believe that *you* have gone off-track and not the whole world, that you have put yourself completely out of reach. It happens when you think of your sins apart from His infinite capacity to forgive, or when you get afraid that you love your sins more than God.

What's a spiritual pain??? Have you had one can you describe it?
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« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2013, 11:33:42 AM »

It's really difficult to describe it. It's agony over the *false* perception that God is missing in something. It happens "mildly" when you doubt and accutely when you're sure He is there but you dwell in the devil's lie that He has abandoned you. It happens when you believe the world has really gone off-track and there are things not under His control. Specially if you believe that *you* have gone off-track and not the whole world, that you have put yourself completely out of reach. It happens when you think of your sins apart of His infinite capacity to forgive, or when you get afraid that you love your sins more than God.

What's a spiritual pain??? Have you had one can you describe it?

Or out of nothing.
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« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2013, 11:43:50 AM »

lovetzatziki,

It's like heat and cold. When heat "enters" an oven to warm it, "cold" ceases to exist. There is no meaning in thinking or saying that "heat" has to enter "cold" in order to warm it.

Redemption (heat) is the healing of human nature (the oven) from spiritual pain (coldness).

The confort we have in spiritual pain is: "God is with us", precisely in the sense that we are the oven and in time He will warm our heart. We cannot and even should not desire that God suffer to feel conforted. Imagine that for another person: "I'm suffering here, but since he is also suffering over there, hey, it's ok!". If it's evil to wish consolation from someone else's pain, imagine that for God.

Jesus Christ suffered only in the *natural* limitations of human nature. And that is not only physical. We see how He feels psychological pain in anticipation of the Cross. That's because human nature does not wish pain or death. That is natural. Even perfect human nature, like in Jesus, feels that. But He did not suffer from pains caused by broken human nature, like doubting there is a God or that God is in control even in the worst situations. That lack of faith does not belong to human nature at all, it's an aberration and a spiritual disease, a kind of "coldness", that was extirpated by the union of our nature with God's.

There is absolutely no cold in heat.

That's because he did not assume our spiritual pains, which are fruit of our sins. He assumed the natural pains and limitations of human nature - which does not include sin. Fallen human nature has sin, but not human nature in itself. We love Him as our Savior, for in Him all our pains and sufferings were destroyed.

This is very much related with what I said on the dating thread. I think it's very psychologically and even spiritually unhealthy all the talk about sympathizing with our flaws (the cause of our pains and sufferings) in the sense that we should accept them as part of human nature. They are not by all means. Human nature in its truly natural state is seen in Jesus Christ only, and, among the fallen, completely filled with Grace in the Theotokos only. With her we can sympathize in the full sense, for she suffered literally like us, out of her fallen human nature, although  she never actualized her fallen state, she never sinned. And we have thousands of saints who sinned like us and thus suffered agonies of real separation like us. We can sympathize with them as well.

Jesus suffered the physical pains of the Crucifiction, in His human nature, He did not want that so much pain would happen. But He never ever suffered the agony of despair. Quoting the Psalm on the Cross is a complement to what He said to Pilates: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."(Jo 19:11) . For us, and specially for His relatives and close friends, it surely seemed things were all out of control, that things had gone horribly wrong. But Jesus is always remembering people, even His tormentors that things were *not* out of control, that God was pretty much controlling everything, and that everything was going accord to plan. "Fear not" He is saying all the time, by different means.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



He does not suffer with us when we suffer spiritual affliction ? Did he came only to be the Savior of the flesh? Didn't St Gregory the Great say "what is not assumed is not redeemed" ?  Doesn't that devalorise the Incarnation? To me it seems that suffering is a spiritual condition rather than carnal.

What comfort can we have than when we suffer spiritual pains?
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« Reply #35 on: July 03, 2013, 12:15:54 PM »

lovetzatziki,

It's like heat and cold. When heat "enters" an oven to warm it, "cold" ceases to exist. There is no meaning in thinking or saying that "heat" has to enter "cold" in order to warm it.

Redemption (heat) is the healing of human nature (the oven) from spiritual pain (coldness).

The confort we have in spiritual pain is: "God is with us", precisely in the sense that we are the oven and in time He will warm our heart. We cannot and even should not desire that God suffer to feel conforted. Imagine that for another person: "I'm suffering here, but since he is also suffering over there, hey, it's ok!". If it's evil to wish consolation from someone else's pain, imagine that for God.


Jesus Christ suffered only in the *natural* limitations of human nature. And that is not only physical. We see how He feels psychological pain in anticipation of the Cross. That's because human nature does not wish pain or death. That is natural. Even perfect human nature, like in Jesus, feels that. But He did not suffer from pains caused by broken human nature, like doubting there is a God or that God is in control even in the worst situations. That lack of faith does not belong to human nature at all, it's an aberration and a spiritual disease, a kind of "coldness", that was extirpated by the union of our nature with God's.

There is absolutely no cold in heat.

That's because he did not assume our spiritual pains, which are fruit of our sins. He assumed the natural pains and limitations of human nature - which does not include sin. Fallen human nature has sin, but not human nature in itself. We love Him as our Savior, for in Him all our pains and sufferings were destroyed.

This is very much related with what I said on the dating thread. I think it's very psychologically and even spiritually unhealthy all the talk about sympathizing with our flaws (the cause of our pains and sufferings) in the sense that we should accept them as part of human nature. They are not by all means. Human nature in its truly natural state is seen in Jesus Christ only, and, among the fallen, completely filled with Grace in the Theotokos only. With her we can sympathize in the full sense, for she suffered literally like us, out of her fallen human nature, although  she never actualized her fallen state, she never sinned. And we have thousands of saints who sinned like us and thus suffered agonies of real separation like us. We can sympathize with them as well.

Jesus suffered the physical pains of the Crucifiction, in His human nature, He did not want that so much pain would happen. But He never ever suffered the agony of despair. Quoting the Psalm on the Cross is a complement to what He said to Pilates: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."(Jo 19:11) . For us, and specially for His relatives and close friends, it surely seemed things were all out of control, that things had gone horribly wrong. But Jesus is always remembering people, even His tormentors that things were *not* out of control, that God was pretty much controlling everything, and that everything was going accord to plan. "Fear not" He is saying all the time, by different means.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise and be consider solidar with those who do, and with those who are in bad condition in life? If he did not assume and experienced our spiritual pains than why should we compare our suffering with His? The real suffering in life is spiritual not physical.



He does not suffer with us when we suffer spiritual affliction ? Did he came only to be the Savior of the flesh? Didn't St Gregory the Great say "what is not assumed is not redeemed" ?  Doesn't that devalorise the Incarnation? To me it seems that suffering is a spiritual condition rather than carnal.

What comfort can we have than when we suffer spiritual pains?


God is with us but not in an solidarian way. When you are in great pain sometimes your only confort is that of someone who is solidar with you and your pain and has actually been through that pain. It seems to me that you are saying the Christ did not go till there.

If Christ did not suffer the feelings of doubt, that God is in control, the feelings of sin and all the feelings of every spiritual agony and pain, at least in substance, than we don't have a God that was solidar with us. We don't have a God who shared in everything with us, a God who recapitulated the whole of humanity in his Incarnation, and that joined the whole humanity in his Incarnation, esspecially the one that was needed to, who was down, distressed, agonised, heart-broken, etc.. He did not thus pervade this whole human conditions with his Incarnation.. He did not infused his divine grace and his divine personhood in this human conditions, hypostatically. He did not join with his divinity this humanity. He did not fill all the holes of humanity in his divinity. What was the value of His incarnation than and of his death if it does not result into healing and virtue and inspire virtue and healing? Was it a form of self-aggrandisement, of narcissism, of showing off ? How could we find spiritual comfort and inspiration in this Christ if he was not solidar with us? What is it to be looked upon at him? The history of religions is full with vain gods and man gods... but seemingly none seem to be so severe in punishment as Christ. Was Christ just one of them?

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« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2013, 01:05:50 PM »

So when I see a persons foot being eating away by some microscopic creature that God brought into existance, and I doubt, that's a spiritual pain?
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« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2013, 01:47:34 PM »

So what exactly is the problem that Evangelical Protestants have with this passage? AFAIK, and from my own personal experience, this is a controversial passage for them, and most of them seem to not think that He really suffered or was questioning His Father.
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« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2013, 01:51:47 PM »

So what exactly is the problem that Evangelical Protestants have with this passage? AFAIK, and from my own personal experience, this is a controversial passage for them, and most of them seem to not think that He really suffered or was questioning His Father.

Evangelicals specifically? Not sure. Most Protestants I've seen interpret this passage to be reflective of Christ bearing the punishment of the Father, and thus a sense of separation of Christ from the Father. In fact, a Reformed professor in a recent course I had described it exactly so, but he realized something was wrong with that picture when it was pointed out that it breaks the Trinity to actually separate the Son from the Father.
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« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2013, 02:25:57 PM »

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sometimes your only confort is that of someone who is solidar with you and your pain and has actually been through that pain

Which is very mean of us, I think. I try to avoid feeling less bad because someone has suffered before what I suffer. Other people's suffering should not cause any positive feelings, even of consolation. Much less God's suffering.

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we don't have...a God who recapitulated the whole of humanity in his Incarnation

That's the point lovetzatziki. Spiritual pain and separation from God are *not* part of humanity in it's natural state. To recapitulate the whole of humanity does not require going through them. When you assume they are an inherent part of our nature, you're saying they cannot be taken away *ever*. How can someone take consolation fom the "fact" that spiritual pain and separation from God are parts of their very own nature?

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« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2013, 02:59:43 PM »

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sometimes your only confort is that of someone who is solidar with you and your pain and has actually been through that pain

Which is very mean of us, I think. I try to avoid feeling less bad because someone has suffered before what I suffer. Other people's suffering should not cause any positive feelings, even of consolation. Much less God's suffering.

Quote
we don't have...a God who recapitulated the whole of humanity in his Incarnation

That's the point lovetzatziki. Spiritual pain and separation from God are *not* part of humanity in it's natural state. To recapitulate the whole of humanity does not require going through them. When you assume they are an inherent part of our nature, you're saying they cannot be taken away *ever*. How can someone take consolation fom the "fact" that spiritual pain and separation from God are parts of their very own nature?



A solidar person is one who puts himself in your position and understands your conditions or better has been through what you are going through. Only the comfort of such a person is comforting.

You forget that our nature is not the one Adam initially had but the one he lost. So this things are natural to humanity at least since the fall of Adam. Since the fall of Adam all man have gone through sorrows and pangs, and heart-breaking moments, moments of despair, doubts , disbelief, anxiety, agony. Are you saying to me that God chose only to redeem in its Incarnation only a certain human condition , leaving aside the redemption of some human conditions? Are you saying the Redemption is not for all people of all times, in all conditions? What Salvation does one who is psychologically and spiritually fit and good really needs? How is that Salvation if God only chose to redeem in the Incarnation only the best conditions of humanity? We need Salvation from our worst conditions, feelings and senses, not from our best. What did Christ save us from? Did he not bring to rest all the human conditions in his humanity? Did he not deified the entire human conditions ? Did he only deified parts of it?

Please tell me more about your soteriology , I am really curious what is your intepretation of salvation in the framework of this subject.
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« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2013, 03:18:24 PM »

A solidar person is one who puts himself in your position and understands your conditions or better has been through what you are going through. Only the comfort of such a person is comforting.

If the person still cultivates that small inner sadistic, yes.

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You forget that our nature is not the one Adam initially had but the one he lost.
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Tell me more about your soteriology , I am really curious what is your intepretation of salvation in the framework of this subject.

Here is where we diverge. The difference between Adam and us is not one of nature, or we would be different beings altogether. We have the same nature, healthy in pre-fall Adam, sick in post-fall Adam and us. The spiritual pain is one of the symptons of the disease, which Jesus never had.

Jesus did not come to satisfy that little sadistisc in us who feels some compensation in knowing the fact that we are not alone in hell. He came healthy to destroy all sickness and its symptoms.

The concept that spiritual pain would be part of what we are would imply that: we are not even the same category of being that Adam is, like a human and a monkey. Saving us would have nothing to do with saving Adam. Also it would imply that once saved, spiritual pain would have to still exist.

Do you really only accept medical adivce from doctors who have suffered the same disease you did? You really feel more consolatin on the fact that the person healing you also had your disease than in the fact that he *is* healing you? I feel consolation inknowing that before me is someone who knows better than I, who knows a different path, I am even glad for this person. How can I hear the person suffered and feel anything but sorrow about that?
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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2013, 03:46:32 PM »

And here is my understanding of soteriology.
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« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2013, 04:14:49 PM »

A solidar person is one who puts himself in your position and understands your conditions or better has been through what you are going through. Only the comfort of such a person is comforting.

If the person still cultivates that small inner sadistic, yes.

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You forget that our nature is not the one Adam initially had but the one he lost.
Quote
Tell me more about your soteriology , I am really curious what is your intepretation of salvation in the framework of this subject.

Here is where we diverge. The difference between Adam and us is not one of nature, or we would be different beings altogether. We have the same nature, healthy in pre-fall Adam, sick in post-fall Adam and us. The spiritual pain is one of the symptons of the disease, which Jesus never had.

Jesus did not come to satisfy that little sadistisc in us who feels some compensation in knowing the fact that we are not alone in hell. He came healthy to destroy all sickness and its symptoms.

The concept that spiritual pain would be part of what we are would imply that: we are not even the same category of being that Adam is, like a human and a monkey. Saving us would have nothing to do with saving Adam. Also it would imply that once saved, spiritual pain would have to still exist.

Do you really only accept medical adivce from doctors who have suffered the same disease you did? You really feel more consolatin on the fact that the person healing you also had your disease than in the fact that he *is* healing you? I feel consolation inknowing that before me is someone who knows better than I, who knows a different path, I am even glad for this person. How can I hear the person suffered and feel anything but sorrow about that?

How did Jesus destroy all "sickness" and its symptoms ? Did he do it in his human hypostasis if so how could he if his human hypostasis has nothing of "sickness" ?

(Could any doctor care anything about any cure and healing without first sympathising and being solidar with the ones who suffer of different sicknessess ? Isn't this the reason why cures were invented in the first place? Nevertheless the comparision is not right, because you cannot compare things of the soul with medicine, there is no exact fit. This is an whole other domain. There is no physical drug, medication , etc that you can give to the heart to heal it. The heart is only healed by the heart. The heart is only healed by love. Love descends to the lowest most dangerous , most miserable and most humiliating conditions. Love has no limits. There can be no healing in a broken heart except by a heart that fits the broken space of another broken heart , or that molds itself in the form of a missing piece of the heart.

The understanding is that of the heart, of the sentiments. The world is full with people whose advices count for nothing. Only the one who reaches with his heart in your broken heart, whose heart finds a match with your heart, can heal your heart. It is not "the small inner sadistic" . Only the one who assumes your condition can heal it. And this is love. And assuming ones condition means having descended into his condition. It is not about sadism, but about understanding, connection of hearts. The advice of someone who has been there is more powerful than any theory, because it is verifiable and empiric. )

Closing the parenthesis.

I still haven't seen your soteriology and your views on the Incarnation , Life, Human Hypostasis and the Death of Jesus and how are those effected in our Salvation.

Do you not think Jesus' human hypostasis is a prototype of all humanity and directly and indirectly contains all humanity in itself? Do you not believe in Recapitulation Atonement?

Do you think all this affections of the heart are a sin, a disorder? What about getting your heart crushed because of love, or being abandoned and left , or sad because a close relative died?

Do you think Jesus did not experienced any negative feelings?

What is your view on Jesus' humanity? Was it fallible to sin , distress, pains of the heart, etc, or was it all infallible? Do you believe his humanity was absorbed by his divinity?
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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2013, 04:46:36 PM »

Lovetzatziki,

Your compassionate doctor would get the disease to heal the patient in a solidary way? Or would he take all the care possible *not* to get sick in order to better help?

Jesus destroys the sickness by having *in Him* perfect human nature, and since we are "hypostasis" of human nature, we may accept this union already actualized in our nature or live forever struggling against Him who is already with us.

Let me show you some sufferings Jesus did not have:
Jesus did not lust for a woman. Jesus never felt "teen angst". Jesus also never had a daugther raped. Jesus was never burned alive or got old with a degenerative disease. Jesus doesn't know from first experience the pains an autist has to go through. Jesus was betrayed by a friend, but not by His own mother like some people are. The meaning of Jesus being with us and having a human nature is *not* that He went through every single human experience possible.  And, an entire category of human experience that He did not go through was sin and its consequences.

Despair is sin, putting it simply and objectively. It's lack of faith. Now, we sing that Jesus is the only one pure and sinless. How do you reconcile that with the concept that Jesus would feel the spiritual pain that comes with the sin of despair?

A solidar person is one who puts himself in your position and understands your conditions or better has been through what you are going through. Only the comfort of such a person is comforting.

If the person still cultivates that small inner sadistic, yes.

Quote
You forget that our nature is not the one Adam initially had but the one he lost.
Quote
Tell me more about your soteriology , I am really curious what is your intepretation of salvation in the framework of this subject.

Here is where we diverge. The difference between Adam and us is not one of nature, or we would be different beings altogether. We have the same nature, healthy in pre-fall Adam, sick in post-fall Adam and us. The spiritual pain is one of the symptons of the disease, which Jesus never had.

Jesus did not come to satisfy that little sadistisc in us who feels some compensation in knowing the fact that we are not alone in hell. He came healthy to destroy all sickness and its symptoms.

The concept that spiritual pain would be part of what we are would imply that: we are not even the same category of being that Adam is, like a human and a monkey. Saving us would have nothing to do with saving Adam. Also it would imply that once saved, spiritual pain would have to still exist.

Do you really only accept medical adivce from doctors who have suffered the same disease you did? You really feel more consolatin on the fact that the person healing you also had your disease than in the fact that he *is* healing you? I feel consolation inknowing that before me is someone who knows better than I, who knows a different path, I am even glad for this person. How can I hear the person suffered and feel anything but sorrow about that?

How did Jesus destroy all "sickness" and its symptoms ? Did he do it in his human hypostasis if so how could he if his human hypostasis has nothing of "sickness" ?

(Could any doctor care anything about any cure and healing without first sympathising and being solidar with the ones who suffer of different sicknessess ? Isn't this the reason why cures were invented in the first place? Nevertheless the comparision is not right, because you cannot compare things of the soul with medicine, there is no exact fit. This is an whole other domain. There is no physical drug, medication , etc that you can give to the heart to heal it. The heart is only healed by the heart. The heart is only healed by love. Love descends to the lowest most dangerous , most miserable and most humiliating conditions. Love has no limits. There can be no healing in a broken heart except by a heart that fits the broken space of another broken heart , or that molds itself in the form of a missing piece of the heart.

The understanding is that of the heart, of the sentiments. The world is full with people whose advices count for nothing. Only the one who reaches with his heart in your broken heart, whose heart finds a match with your heart, can heal your heart. It is not "the small inner sadistic" . Only the one who assumes your condition can heal it. And this is love. And assuming ones condition means having descended into his condition. It is not about sadism, but about understanding, connection of hearts. The advice of someone who has been there is more powerful than any theory, because it is verifiable and empiric. )

Closing the parenthesis.

I still haven't seen your soteriology and your views on the Incarnation , Life, Human Hypostasis and the Death of Jesus and how are those effected in our Salvation.

Do you not think Jesus' human hypostasis is a prototype of all humanity and directly and indirectly contains all humanity in itself? Do you not believe in Recapitulation Atonement?

Do you think all this affections of the heart are a sin, a disorder? What about getting your heart crushed because of love, or being abandoned and left , or sad because a close relative died?

Do you think Jesus did not experienced any negative feelings?

What is your view on Jesus' humanity? Was it fallible to sin , distress, pains of the heart, etc, or was it all infallible? Do you believe his humanity was absorbed by his divinity?
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« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2013, 04:58:39 PM »

Also, I'm curious...

do you see the difference between "limitations" and "deffects"?

And between "fallen nature" and "different natures"?
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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2013, 05:05:19 PM »

Lovetzatziki,

Your compassionate doctor would get the disease to heal the patient in a solidary way? Or would he take all the care possible *not* to get sick in order to better help?

Jesus destroys the sickness by having *in Him* perfect human nature, and since we are "hypostasis" of human nature, we may accept this union already actulized in our nature or live forever struggling against Him who is already with us.

Let me show you some sufferings Jesus did not have:
Jesus did not lust for a woman. Jesus never felt "teen angst". Jesus also never had a daugther raped. Jesus was never burned alive or got old with a degenerative disease. Jesus doesn't know from first experience the pains an autist has to go through. Jesus was betrayed by a friend, but not by His own mother like some people are. The meaning of Jesus being with us and having a human nature is *not* that He went through every single human experience possible.  And, an entire category of human experience that He did not go through was sin and its consequences.

Despair is sin, putting it simply and objectively. It's lack of faith. Now, we sing that Jesus is the only one pure and sinless. How do you reconcile that with the concept that Jesus would feel the spiritual pain that comes with the sin of despair?

A solidar person is one who puts himself in your position and understands your conditions or better has been through what you are going through. Only the comfort of such a person is comforting.

If the person still cultivates that small inner sadistic, yes.

Quote
You forget that our nature is not the one Adam initially had but the one he lost.
Quote
Tell me more about your soteriology , I am really curious what is your intepretation of salvation in the framework of this subject.

Here is where we diverge. The difference between Adam and us is not one of nature, or we would be different beings altogether. We have the same nature, healthy in pre-fall Adam, sick in post-fall Adam and us. The spiritual pain is one of the symptons of the disease, which Jesus never had.

Jesus did not come to satisfy that little sadistisc in us who feels some compensation in knowing the fact that we are not alone in hell. He came healthy to destroy all sickness and its symptoms.

The concept that spiritual pain would be part of what we are would imply that: we are not even the same category of being that Adam is, like a human and a monkey. Saving us would have nothing to do with saving Adam. Also it would imply that once saved, spiritual pain would have to still exist.

Do you really only accept medical adivce from doctors who have suffered the same disease you did? You really feel more consolatin on the fact that the person healing you also had your disease than in the fact that he *is* healing you? I feel consolation inknowing that before me is someone who knows better than I, who knows a different path, I am even glad for this person. How can I hear the person suffered and feel anything but sorrow about that?

How did Jesus destroy all "sickness" and its symptoms ? Did he do it in his human hypostasis if so how could he if his human hypostasis has nothing of "sickness" ?

(Could any doctor care anything about any cure and healing without first sympathising and being solidar with the ones who suffer of different sicknessess ? Isn't this the reason why cures were invented in the first place? Nevertheless the comparision is not right, because you cannot compare things of the soul with medicine, there is no exact fit. This is an whole other domain. There is no physical drug, medication , etc that you can give to the heart to heal it. The heart is only healed by the heart. The heart is only healed by love. Love descends to the lowest most dangerous , most miserable and most humiliating conditions. Love has no limits. There can be no healing in a broken heart except by a heart that fits the broken space of another broken heart , or that molds itself in the form of a missing piece of the heart.

The understanding is that of the heart, of the sentiments. The world is full with people whose advices count for nothing. Only the one who reaches with his heart in your broken heart, whose heart finds a match with your heart, can heal your heart. It is not "the small inner sadistic" . Only the one who assumes your condition can heal it. And this is love. And assuming ones condition means having descended into his condition. It is not about sadism, but about understanding, connection of hearts. The advice of someone who has been there is more powerful than any theory, because it is verifiable and empiric. )

Closing the parenthesis.

I still haven't seen your soteriology and your views on the Incarnation , Life, Human Hypostasis and the Death of Jesus and how are those effected in our Salvation.

Do you not think Jesus' human hypostasis is a prototype of all humanity and directly and indirectly contains all humanity in itself? Do you not believe in Recapitulation Atonement?

Do you think all this affections of the heart are a sin, a disorder? What about getting your heart crushed because of love, or being abandoned and left , or sad because a close relative died?

Do you think Jesus did not experienced any negative feelings?

What is your view on Jesus' humanity? Was it fallible to sin , distress, pains of the heart, etc, or was it all infallible? Do you believe his humanity was absorbed by his divinity?

We were talking of what kind of negative feelings did Jesus experienced if any, not of what kind of negative feelings he didn't experienced.

Do you believe in Recapitulation theory? Do you think he had no share in our humanity and that his humanity was  different than ours?

What is your view on the Incarnation,Christology and Jesus' humanity? Do you believe that he as a human was not passible to sin, corruption, decay, etc? Do you think he was infaillible all along as regarding sin, or anything negative and corruptible? What is your view on Salvation?
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2013, 05:09:09 PM »

Also, I'm curious...

do you see the difference between "limitations" and "deffects"?

And between "fallen nature" and "different natures"?

Yes I see the difference between limitations and deffects. When I said we have a different nature than Adam initially had, i meant the fallen nature, that was also Adam's nature, meaning the same but in a different condition.
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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2013, 08:09:27 PM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

But did He experience separation?
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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2013, 08:53:09 PM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.
I think you're cutting off part of those proclamations.
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« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2013, 02:10:01 AM »

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?
No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.
The notion of absolute ontological separation from an omnipresent God is, of course, something of an oxymoron. “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

The forsaking of Christ by the Father is not to be understood in the absolute sense of the Father "not being there"; to the contrary: the omnipresent God is everywhere ("one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" -Eph 4:6; He is "present in all places and filling all things" -Divine Liturgy).

Rather the question at hand is why the Father left Him on a cross. "Forsaken" can have the meaning of being left in a given condition or situation (2 Chron 24:25; Ezek 23:29; Josh 8:17); in this case the meaning would simply be that Christ was left to be crucified.

But Christ is not simply asking a random or isolated question: He is -very pointedly- quoting from the 22nd Psalm. He is referring to a question to which an answer was added, and extended narrative appended. It was, in fact, a common rabbinic method to refer the disciple to whole portions of scripture by shorthand reference to the first verse.

Why, in the words of the Psalm, was the victim for whose garments lots were cast, forsaken?

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to YHWH, and all the families of the nations/Gentiles shall worship before You" (Ps 22:27). Here as many other times in the OT we are told that people in every nation of the world would worship the God of the tiny kingdom Israel with the added proviso that this would occur when they remembered something. Remember what?! The deliverance of a single victim who cried "they pierced my hands and my feet..." (vs. 16), who though brought "to the dust of death" (vs. 15) would nevertheless *be delivered* (!) and *praise the name of God in the "assembly"* (vs. 22; cf. LXX: ekklesia/"church"). A full three centuries before crucifixion was invented by the Persians, we have, in Psalm 22, as the specific spark igniting the flame of worldwide Gentile worship of tiny Israel's YHWH the remembrance of a crucifixion victim who would also be delivered from the dust of death and remembered specifically for this.

That is why Christ was forsaken by the Father -not in the absolute sense of the Father "not being there," but in the sense of Christ having been left in the hands of sinful men to be crucified. That we of every nation would be able to know and worship God in spirit and truth.
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« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2013, 03:19:57 AM »

As another person said.. Why not take the text for what it says :"My God , my God why have you forsaken me?" .
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« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2013, 01:15:58 PM »

As another person said.. Why not take the text for what it says :"My God , my God why have you forsaken me?" .
That is precisely what is being suggested. In the compound ἐγκαταλείπω, λείπω simply means to leave. Christ was left on a cross to suffer and die. The Heb. עָזַב also. according to the standard lexicons, often carries the meaning of being left in a given condition or situation, as mentioned above -it does not specifically denote "separation" in the sense you are suggesting. A person might, for example, change his political allegiance to a candidate and be accused of having "forsaken him" even by the candidate himself, standing in his presence. There is no reason from the text to complicate the matter beyond this to suppose something like "Jesus was ontologically separate from the Father." and there are decisive reasons against it.

The text never "says" anything so grand as "Jesus was ontologically separate from the Father." As it so happens, that particular assumption is not only lexically unnecessary, it is also regarded as heretical by the Church as a denial of Trinitarian perichoresis, and further supposes a formal logical contradition: absolute ontological separation from an omnipresent God.

If anyone really "wants" this sort of meaning from the text they should start by explaining how  absolute ontological separation from an omnipresent God makes any kind of sense whatsoever. It seems to me that such a preference is more a matter of psychology or extra-textual assumptions than exegesis; certainly it has nothing to do with the traditional understanding of the Orthodox Church other than being an explicit rejection of it.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer...
No one here is saying Jesus did not suffer. "Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" -Is 53:4

or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise
He can sympathize with our suffering. But He doesn't need to sympathize with our separation from God because we are not separated from God: "For in him we live and move and have our being." -Acts 17:28

It makes no sense to speak of ontological separation from an omnipresent God, "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" -Eph 4:6  “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

To suppose you are separated from God is a grave error which will hinder theosis. If anyone supposes they are separated from God they are not in a condition with which Christ should be able to sympathize by going through the same condition, but in prelest or spiritual delusion: Rom 8:38 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"The Fathers of the 'Christological centuries,' though they formulated a dogma of Christ the God-Man, never lost sight of the question concerning our union with God. The usual arguments they bring up against unorthodox doctrines refer particularly to the fullness of our union, our deification, which becomes impossible if one separates the two natures of Christ, as Nestorius did, or if one only ascribes to Him one divine nature, like the Monophysites, or if one curtails one part of human nature, like Apollinarius, or if one only sees in Him a single divine will and operation, like the Monothelites" (Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church), p. 154).

Lossky points out that the great dogmatic battles were considered first of all to be safeguarding this central aspect of Christian spirituality. If Christ is not truly God per Arius our partaking of the divine nature in Christ is impossible. Ala Nestorius there was a middle wall of partition whereby God is separate from man in the person of Christ Himself. Contra the Apollinarians and Monophysites, since the fullness of human nature was assumed by the Word, it is our whole humanity that is to partake of the divine nature. If salvation comes to us through the Holy Trinity, the incarnation, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Logos who revealed the Father, and only by the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart, salvation is itself Trinitarian. The issue was important according to the fathers because what aspect of Trinitarian theology is deemed impossible ipso facto makes humanity's union with God ontologically impossible as well. As Lossky affirms, "The main preoccupation, the issue at stake, in the questions that successively arise respecting the Holy Spirit, grace and the Church herself -this last great dogmatic question of our time- is always the possibility, manner, or the means of our union with God. All the history of Christian dogma unfolds itself about this mystical centre, guarded by different weapons against its many and diverse assailants in the course of successive ages" (cf. Lossky, ibid, pp. 9-10)

We were talking of what kind of negative feelings did Jesus experienced if any
The main question facing early Christianity, and the question (and answer) alluded to here was not "how did Jesus feel about God when He was being crucified," but "how could the Father, and why would the Father, abandon His own Messiah, the Blessed One, to suffering and accursed death upon a cross?" The question has an answer, in the Psalm Christ very pointedly quoted, as described in the previous post. You are supposing Christ was a confused; the Church supposes He was alluding to the answer to a mystery.
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« Reply #53 on: July 04, 2013, 02:53:41 PM »

Sin is separation from God.

If the quote means Jesus was somehow separated from God, it means Jesus sinned.

The Church teaches that Jesus was absolutely sinless, without even the potential to sin, which means, without even the potential to be separated from God.

To interpret the passage in accordance with the teaching of the Church, the one interpretation that is not possible is that Jesus somehow was felling the pain that sin (separation from God) causes.
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« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2013, 02:58:09 PM »

Sin is separation from God.

If the quote means Jesus was somehow separated from God, it means Jesus sinned.

The Church teaches that Jesus was absolutely sinless, without even the potential to sin, which means, without even the potential to be separated from God.

To interpret the passage in accordance with the teaching of the Church, the one interpretation that is not possible is that Jesus somehow was felling the pain that sin (separation from God) causes.

Adam and Eve were separated from God before they sinned, which is why some Fathers took the bold step of speculating that, since a chasm between the divine and human needed to be bridged, Jesus would have become man whether humans had sinned or not.
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« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2013, 03:20:14 PM »

My understanding is that they say so not because Adam and Eve were separated from God, but because they were not deified yet.

What had not happened yet is the union of human and God's nature in Jesus Christ. They were immersed in God's energies, but since both natures were not united, deification could not be completed.

Today we live the opposite situation. Human nature and divine nature are united in Christ, but we little hypostasis have blocked the energies of God out of our hearts.

In that cosmological approach that's the "timeline":

1) Perfect human nature (aware of God, immersed as much as possible in God's energies as an object under an exterior light) ->

2) Broken Human Nature (apart from all light, no potential, doomed to spiritual death) >

3) Healed Human Nature after the Incarnation (the state of all the unbaptized - healed in Jesus Christ, individual persons may or may not actualize that in this world through a life of Orthodox sacraments, prayer, ascesis, repentance and love); >

4)Deified Human Nature (for some it may start to be actualized even on this life, it was fully actualized while still here in the Theotokos, and for all the rest will be manifest on the Last Judgement )


Sin is separation from God.

If the quote means Jesus was somehow separated from God, it means Jesus sinned.

The Church teaches that Jesus was absolutely sinless, without even the potential to sin, which means, without even the potential to be separated from God.

To interpret the passage in accordance with the teaching of the Church, the one interpretation that is not possible is that Jesus somehow was felling the pain that sin (separation from God) causes.

Adam and Eve were separated from God before they sinned, which is why some Fathers took the bold step of speculating that, since a chasm between the divine and human needed to be bridged, Jesus would have become man whether humans had sinned or not.
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« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2013, 03:41:51 PM »

As another person said.. Why not take the text for what it says :"My God , my God why have you forsaken me?" .
That is precisely what is being suggested. In the compound ἐγκαταλείπω, λείπω simply means to leave. Christ was left on a cross to suffer and die. The Heb. עָזַב also. according to the standard lexicons, often carries the meaning of being left in a given condition or situation, as mentioned above -it does not specifically denote "separation" in the sense you are suggesting. A person might, for example, change his political allegiance to a candidate and be accused of having "forsaken him" even by the candidate himself, standing in his presence. There is no reason from the text to complicate the matter beyond this to suppose something like "Jesus was ontologically separate from the Father." and there are decisive reasons against it.

The text never "says" anything so grand as "Jesus was ontologically separate from the Father." As it so happens, that particular assumption is not only lexically unnecessary, it is also regarded as heretical by the Church as a denial of Trinitarian perichoresis, and further supposes a formal logical contradition: absolute ontological separation from an omnipresent God.

If anyone really "wants" this sort of meaning from the text they should start by explaining how  absolute ontological separation from an omnipresent God makes any kind of sense whatsoever. It seems to me that such a preference is more a matter of psychology or extra-textual assumptions than exegesis; certainly it has nothing to do with the traditional understanding of the Orthodox Church other than being an explicit rejection of it.

Did Jesus actually experience separation from God?

No. Orthodox hymns consistently proclaim that He was never separated from His Father.

And if Jesus did not actually suffer...
No one here is saying Jesus did not suffer. "Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" -Is 53:4

or experience separation from God than how can he sympathise
He can sympathize with our suffering. But He doesn't need to sympathize with our separation from God because we are not separated from God: "For in him we live and move and have our being." -Acts 17:28

It makes no sense to speak of ontological separation from an omnipresent God, "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" -Eph 4:6  “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

To suppose you are separated from God is a grave error which will hinder theosis. If anyone supposes they are separated from God they are not in a condition with which Christ should be able to sympathize by going through the same condition, but in prelest or spiritual delusion: Rom 8:38 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"The Fathers of the 'Christological centuries,' though they formulated a dogma of Christ the God-Man, never lost sight of the question concerning our union with God. The usual arguments they bring up against unorthodox doctrines refer particularly to the fullness of our union, our deification, which becomes impossible if one separates the two natures of Christ, as Nestorius did, or if one only ascribes to Him one divine nature, like the Monophysites, or if one curtails one part of human nature, like Apollinarius, or if one only sees in Him a single divine will and operation, like the Monothelites" (Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church), p. 154).

Lossky points out that the great dogmatic battles were considered first of all to be safeguarding this central aspect of Christian spirituality. If Christ is not truly God per Arius our partaking of the divine nature in Christ is impossible. Ala Nestorius there was a middle wall of partition whereby God is separate from man in the person of Christ Himself. Contra the Apollinarians and Monophysites, since the fullness of human nature was assumed by the Word, it is our whole humanity that is to partake of the divine nature. If salvation comes to us through the Holy Trinity, the incarnation, life, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Logos who revealed the Father, and only by the work of the Holy Spirit upon the human heart, salvation is itself Trinitarian. The issue was important according to the fathers because what aspect of Trinitarian theology is deemed impossible ipso facto makes humanity's union with God ontologically impossible as well. As Lossky affirms, "The main preoccupation, the issue at stake, in the questions that successively arise respecting the Holy Spirit, grace and the Church herself -this last great dogmatic question of our time- is always the possibility, manner, or the means of our union with God. All the history of Christian dogma unfolds itself about this mystical centre, guarded by different weapons against its many and diverse assailants in the course of successive ages" (cf. Lossky, ibid, pp. 9-10)

We were talking of what kind of negative feelings did Jesus experienced if any
The main question facing early Christianity, and the question (and answer) alluded to here was not "how did Jesus feel about God when He was being crucified," but "how could the Father, and why would the Father, abandon His own Messiah, the Blessed One, to suffering and accursed death upon a cross?" The question has an answer, in the Psalm Christ very pointedly quoted, as described in the previous post. You are supposing Christ was a confused; the Church supposes He was alluding to the answer to a mystery.


I was not suggesting that Christ was ontologically separated from God on the cross or that we are, of that I don't know. What I was suggesting is that Christ felt the agony of being forsaken by God on the cross when he said the words "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" .. If you follow the Psalms it suggests the same thing : "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. " Ps 22:1-2 .. What mystery would he be alluding to?

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings because those are usually the result of sin, but here is what the Scripture says..

2Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

You don't believe in Recapitulation Chrystology, either? 


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« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2013, 03:45:42 PM »

Just to highlight that 3 can be subdivided into

3a) Human Persons that did not actualize healed human nature (Generic, undistinguishable from 2 and the state of all the unbaptized)

3b) Human Persons in process of actualizing healed human nature (All Orthodox who live a life of prayer, sacraments, ascesis and love)

3c) Healed Human Persons (Orthodox Saints)

The non-orthodox who took all the work of actualization except participating in the Church will be miraculously healed and deified (skip to step 4) in the Last Judgment. Party for the prodigal son and all that.


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« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2013, 03:46:03 PM »

Sin is separation from God.
This too must be understood dialectically in relation to God's Spirit as “everywhere present and filling all things.”

While we separate ourselves "from the sight of God's countenance" the omnipresent God is nevertheless not separate from us, "for in him we live and move and have our being." -Acts 17:28. Though ontological separation from an omnipresent God is an oxymoron, phenomenological separation through sin, is not[1] -our spiritual perception can become darkened.

This dialectical truth of omnipresence and separation is also a reality of the present age. Man can exist in a state of opposition to the "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6). C. S. Lewis opined that hell was "...the last refuge for the sinner, since this is where the sinner will feel most at home -in the isolation of his self-love" and yet there is nowhere we can truly flee from His ontological presence, as the Psalmist said (“Whither shall I flee from Thy presence? …If I make my bed in sheol, Thou art there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

We understand 2 Thess 1:9 as referring to a separation from man's side but not from God's side. Man shuts himself off from the salvation of the Lord and from the glory of his might, but he cannot escape from this glory (Phil 2:9-11); cf. Revelation 14:10 which speaks of sinners in hell being tormented "in the presence of the Lamb."

The demarcation between phenomenological or psychological separation and absolute ontological separation from the omnipresent God also is suggestive of a Christian view of atheism, as Fr. Andrew Anglorus explains:

“‘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

Though Christ is in our midst and the Kingdom is at hand, though the Spirit of truth seeing we do not see, and hearing we do not understand. This is, in effect, a handy-dandy inversion of Freud's classical critique of religion from a Christian point of view. http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/freuds-critique-of-religion/

________________________
Cf. also the Longer Catechism of Saint Philaret of Moscow cited above refers to phenomenological separation when it speaks of "separation from the sight of God's countenance": "Hades is a Greek word, and means a place void of light. In divinity, by this name is understood a spiritual prison, that is, the state of those spirits which are separated by sin from the sight of God's countenance and from the light and blessedness which it confers. Jude i. 6; Octoich. tom. v.; sticher. ii. 4." For an example of being separated from the sight of God's countenance in the present age, cf. Romans 1.
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« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2013, 03:54:27 PM »

I was not suggesting that Christ was ontologically separated from God on the cross or that we are, of that I don't know. What I was suggesting is that Christ felt the agony of being forsaken by God on the cross when he said the words "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" .. If you follow the Psalms it suggests the same thing : "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. " Ps 22:1-2 ..
If you can understand this as Christ having been left to the agony of the cross without claiming ontological separation from an omnipresent God we have no quarrel.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings
I don't think anyone is saying that, or that anyone reading the Gethsemane narrative could. But Christ was not just expressing negative feelings in his utterance; he was alluding to a Psalm by reciting its first verse.
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« Reply #60 on: July 04, 2013, 03:59:22 PM »

Sin is separation from God.

If the quote means Jesus was somehow separated from God, it means Jesus sinned.

The Church teaches that Jesus was absolutely sinless, without even the potential to sin, which means, without even the potential to be separated from God.

To interpret the passage in accordance with the teaching of the Church, the one interpretation that is not possible is that Jesus somehow was felling the pain that sin (separation from God) causes.

The teaching of the Church is that Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, and that he who knew no sin was made sin for us that in him we may find the righteousness of God.

Either God desires to all men to be saved or he doesn't.. Either he can(and wants to) reach to the lowest conditions of man and heal them or he doesn't.

True empathy and solidarity is putting oneself in the victim's condition. Christ became a man for this very same thing.. To be solidar and kinsman with us. It would be foolish to think that his solidarity was strictly restricted only by taking human flesh and form. Unless he assumed all the painful conditions of humanity he could not reach to them and heal them hypostatically and in his hypostasis.
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« Reply #61 on: July 04, 2013, 04:01:58 PM »

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings because those are usually the result of sin, but here is what the Scripture says..

2Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Read it with the Fathers: It's always a reference to His physical and psychological sufferings, never to the kind of spiritual suffering related to the separation caused by sin.

http://socrates58.blogspot.com.br/2006/08/2-corinthians-521-was-jesus-christ.html

Ambrosiaster:

In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.'

[Commentary on Paul's Epistles]
St. John Chrysostom:

God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins.

[Homilies on the Epistles of Corinthians]
St. Cyril of Alexandria:

We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather, righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world.

[Letter 41.10]
St. Ambrose:

So, was the Lord turned into sin? Not so, but, since he assumed our sins, he is called sin. For the Lord is also called an accursed thing [Gal 3:13], not because the Lord was turned into an accursed thing but because he himself took on our curse . . . It is written that he was made sin, that is, not by the nature and operation of sin . . .; but that he might crucify our sin in his flesh, he assumed for us the burden of the infirmities of a body already guilty of carnal sin.

[The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 6.60]
Eusebius:

He embraced death for us with all willingness and 'became a curse for us,' holy and all-blessed though he was.

[The Proof of the Gospel 4.17]
St. Gregory Nazianzen:

. . . it is said that he was made sin or a curse for us; not that the Lord was transformed into either of these - how could he be? But because by taking them upon him he took away our sins and bore our iniquities.

[Letters on the Apollinarian Controversy 101]

St. Augustine:

He Himself could commit no sin. But because of the likeness of the flesh of sin in which He came, He was Himself called sin, who was to be sacrificed for a washing away of sin . . . that is, a sacrifice for sin, by means of which we are able to be reconciled . . . the sin He became was not His own but ours.

[Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 13.41]
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« Reply #62 on: July 04, 2013, 04:02:42 PM »

I was not suggesting that Christ was ontologically separated from God on the cross or that we are, of that I don't know. What I was suggesting is that Christ felt the agony of being forsaken by God on the cross when he said the words "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" .. If you follow the Psalms it suggests the same thing : "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. " Ps 22:1-2 ..
If you can understand this as Christ having been left to the agony of the cross without claiming ontological separation from an omnipresent God we have no quarrel.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings
I don't think anyone is saying that, or that anyone reading the Gethsemane narrative could. But Christ was not just expressing negative feelings in his utterance; he was alluding to a Psalm by reciting its first verse.

Why would he be reciting a Psalm again? He was living the Psalm and what the Psalm said.
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« Reply #63 on: July 04, 2013, 04:07:46 PM »

I was not suggesting that Christ was ontologically separated from God on the cross or that we are, of that I don't know. What I was suggesting is that Christ felt the agony of being forsaken by God on the cross when he said the words "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" .. If you follow the Psalms it suggests the same thing : "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. " Ps 22:1-2 ..
If you can understand this as Christ having been left to the agony of the cross without claiming ontological separation from an omnipresent God we have no quarrel.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings
I don't think anyone is saying that, or that anyone reading the Gethsemane narrative could. But Christ was not just expressing negative feelings in his utterance; he was alluding to a Psalm by reciting its first verse.

Why would he be reciting a Psalm again? He was living the Psalm and what the Psalm said.
(as above)

Christ is not simply asking a random or isolated question: He is -very pointedly- quoting from the 22nd Psalm. He is referring to a question to which an answer was added, and extended narrative appended. It was, in fact, a common rabbinic method to refer the disciple to whole portions of scripture by shorthand reference to the first verse. http://books.google.ca/books/about/Memory_and_Manuscript.html?id=7Y-2PvkHMDoC

Why, in the words of the Psalm, was the victim for whose garments lots were cast, forsaken?

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to YHWH, and all the families of the nations/Gentiles shall worship before You" (Ps 22:27). Here as many other times in the OT we are told that people in every nation of the world would worship the God of the tiny kingdom Israel with the added proviso that this would occur when they remembered something. Remember what?! The deliverance of a single victim who cried "they pierced my hands and my feet..." (vs. 16), who though brought "to the dust of death" (vs. 15) would nevertheless *be delivered* (!) and *praise the name of God in the "assembly"* (vs. 22; cf. LXX: ekklesia/"church"). A full three centuries before crucifixion was invented by the Persians, we have, in Psalm 22, as the specific spark igniting the flame of worldwide Gentile worship of tiny Israel's YHWH the remembrance of a crucifixion victim who would also be delivered from the dust of death and remembered specifically for this.

That is why Christ was forsaken by the Father -not in the absolute sense of the Father "not being there," or in the sense of Christ "feeling the Father was no where around" (one would have to wonder why if this was his conviction that He continued to pray to the Father) but in the sense of Christ having been left in the hands of sinful men to be crucified. That we of every nation would be able to know and worship God in spirit and truth.

Christ was not bewildered/confused when he called his disciples' (and our) attention to Psalm 22; he was explaining a mystery. He was addressing the most important issue the Church would have to confront. The main question facing early Christianity, and the question (and answer) alluded to here was not "how did Jesus feel about God when He was being crucified," but "how could the Father, and why would the Father, abandon His own Messiah, the Blessed One, to suffering and accursed death upon a cross?" The question has an answer, in the Psalm Christ very pointedly quoted, as described in the previous post. You are supposing Christ was merely bewildered and confused; the Church supposes He was alluding to the answer to the mystery of the Father's allowing His own Son the Messiah to be crucified.
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« Reply #64 on: July 04, 2013, 04:08:30 PM »

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings because those are usually the result of sin, but here is what the Scripture says..

2Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Read it with the Fathers: It's always a reference to His physical and psychological sufferings, never to the kind of spiritual suffering related to the separation caused by sin.

http://socrates58.blogspot.com.br/2006/08/2-corinthians-521-was-jesus-christ.html

Ambrosiaster:

In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.'

[Commentary on Paul's Epistles]
St. John Chrysostom:

God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins.

[Homilies on the Epistles of Corinthians]
St. Cyril of Alexandria:

We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather, righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world.

[Letter 41.10]
St. Ambrose:

So, was the Lord turned into sin? Not so, but, since he assumed our sins, he is called sin. For the Lord is also called an accursed thing [Gal 3:13], not because the Lord was turned into an accursed thing but because he himself took on our curse . . . It is written that he was made sin, that is, not by the nature and operation of sin . . .; but that he might crucify our sin in his flesh, he assumed for us the burden of the infirmities of a body already guilty of carnal sin.

[The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 6.60]
Eusebius:

He embraced death for us with all willingness and 'became a curse for us,' holy and all-blessed though he was.

[The Proof of the Gospel 4.17]
St. Gregory Nazianzen:

. . . it is said that he was made sin or a curse for us; not that the Lord was transformed into either of these - how could he be? But because by taking them upon him he took away our sins and bore our iniquities.

[Letters on the Apollinarian Controversy 101]

St. Augustine:

He Himself could commit no sin. But because of the likeness of the flesh of sin in which He came, He was Himself called sin, who was to be sacrificed for a washing away of sin . . . that is, a sacrifice for sin, by means of which we are able to be reconciled . . . the sin He became was not His own but ours.

[Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 13.41]


Can you say what the difference between them is?
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« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2013, 04:12:53 PM »

lovetzatziki,

I'm sorry, but your insistance on the "oh, we all have to suffer together or He who doesn't would be an eeeeeeevil God", is far too melifluous and contradictory with the Church's commandment to love the suffering (wish them good, not that I can contemplate their pain to be relieved).

I find it even shocking that someone would find comfort in someone else's suffering, and,wishing that for God just to feel you're not alone is as clear as a blasphemy can be. It's the "Joker syndrome" I was talking to Papist about on the other thread: wanting to see everybody as broken as I am just to have an excuse to be what I am.

The "participation", so to speak imperfectly, of God in our spiritual sufferings caused by separation from God happens in the *saints* and that is what St. Paul means when he is talking about the Church completing the sufferings of Christ. If God had suffered the pain of separation from Himself in Christ (a contradiction in terms), there would be no more sufferings to be completed by the Church. Only in the Church, by sinergy and compassion God "suffers" that.

If one needs to contemplate another's suffering to feel som relief - what I think is a terrible sin - one should look at the saints, who some,really felt that and were healed by Him in Whom there is no separation.

Sin is separation from God.

If the quote means Jesus was somehow separated from God, it means Jesus sinned.

The Church teaches that Jesus was absolutely sinless, without even the potential to sin, which means, without even the potential to be separated from God.

To interpret the passage in accordance with the teaching of the Church, the one interpretation that is not possible is that Jesus somehow was felling the pain that sin (separation from God) causes.

The teaching of the Church is that Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, and that he who knew no sin was made sin for us that in him we may find the righteousness of God.

Either God desires to all men to be saved or he doesn't.. Either he can(and wants to) reach to the lowest conditions of man and heal them or he doesn't.

True empathy and solidarity is putting oneself in the victim's condition. Christ became a man for this very same thing.. To be solidar and kinsman with us. It would be foolish to think that his solidarity was strictly restricted only by taking human flesh and form. Unless he assumed all the painful conditions of humanity he could not reach to them and heal them hypostatically and in his hypostasis.
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« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2013, 04:16:24 PM »

It's the very first thing I wrote before the quotations. And it's clear how far what you're saying falls from what they are saying. They clearly explain it's an image ad absurdum to refer that He really died. What you say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings because those are usually the result of sin, but here is what the Scripture says..

2Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Read it with the Fathers: It's always a reference to His physical and psychological sufferings, never to the kind of spiritual suffering related to the separation caused by sin.

http://socrates58.blogspot.com.br/2006/08/2-corinthians-521-was-jesus-christ.html

Ambrosiaster:

In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.'

[Commentary on Paul's Epistles]
St. John Chrysostom:

God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins.

[Homilies on the Epistles of Corinthians]
St. Cyril of Alexandria:

We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather, righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world.

[Letter 41.10]
St. Ambrose:

So, was the Lord turned into sin? Not so, but, since he assumed our sins, he is called sin. For the Lord is also called an accursed thing [Gal 3:13], not because the Lord was turned into an accursed thing but because he himself took on our curse . . . It is written that he was made sin, that is, not by the nature and operation of sin . . .; but that he might crucify our sin in his flesh, he assumed for us the burden of the infirmities of a body already guilty of carnal sin.

[The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 6.60]
Eusebius:

He embraced death for us with all willingness and 'became a curse for us,' holy and all-blessed though he was.

[The Proof of the Gospel 4.17]
St. Gregory Nazianzen:

. . . it is said that he was made sin or a curse for us; not that the Lord was transformed into either of these - how could he be? But because by taking them upon him he took away our sins and bore our iniquities.

[Letters on the Apollinarian Controversy 101]

St. Augustine:

He Himself could commit no sin. But because of the likeness of the flesh of sin in which He came, He was Himself called sin, who was to be sacrificed for a washing away of sin . . . that is, a sacrifice for sin, by means of which we are able to be reconciled . . . the sin He became was not His own but ours.

[Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 13.41]


Can you say what the difference between them is?
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« Reply #67 on: July 04, 2013, 04:33:09 PM »

It's the very first thing I wrote before the quotations. And it's clear how far what you're saying falls from what they are saying. They clearly explain it's an image ad absurdum to refer that He really died. What you say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings because those are usually the result of sin, but here is what the Scripture says..

2Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Read it with the Fathers: It's always a reference to His physical and psychological sufferings, never to the kind of spiritual suffering related to the separation caused by sin.

http://socrates58.blogspot.com.br/2006/08/2-corinthians-521-was-jesus-christ.html

Ambrosiaster:

In view of the fact that he was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for him to be said to have been made 'sin,' because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a 'sin.'

[Commentary on Paul's Epistles]
St. John Chrysostom:

God allowed his Son to suffer as if a condemned sinner, so that we might be delivered from the penalty of our sins.

[Homilies on the Epistles of Corinthians]
St. Cyril of Alexandria:

We do not say that Christ became a sinner, far from it, but being righteous (or rather, righteousness, because he did not know sin at all), the Father made him a victim for the sins of the world.

[Letter 41.10]
St. Ambrose:

So, was the Lord turned into sin? Not so, but, since he assumed our sins, he is called sin. For the Lord is also called an accursed thing [Gal 3:13], not because the Lord was turned into an accursed thing but because he himself took on our curse . . . It is written that he was made sin, that is, not by the nature and operation of sin . . .; but that he might crucify our sin in his flesh, he assumed for us the burden of the infirmities of a body already guilty of carnal sin.

[The Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 6.60]
Eusebius:

He embraced death for us with all willingness and 'became a curse for us,' holy and all-blessed though he was.

[The Proof of the Gospel 4.17]
St. Gregory Nazianzen:

. . . it is said that he was made sin or a curse for us; not that the Lord was transformed into either of these - how could he be? But because by taking them upon him he took away our sins and bore our iniquities.

[Letters on the Apollinarian Controversy 101]

St. Augustine:

He Himself could commit no sin. But because of the likeness of the flesh of sin in which He came, He was Himself called sin, who was to be sacrificed for a washing away of sin . . . that is, a sacrifice for sin, by means of which we are able to be reconciled . . . the sin He became was not His own but ours.

[Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love 13.41]


Can you say what the difference between them is?

You know i don't see any impediment to understand those quotes in the way i was proposing.

There are words like "It pleased God to crush Him." "He was cursed for us" "he has bored our grieves and sorrows" and "He who knew no sin was made sin for us" .

I was asking you though to show the difference between psychological sufferings and spiritual sufferings.
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« Reply #68 on: July 04, 2013, 04:49:38 PM »

I was not suggesting that Christ was ontologically separated from God on the cross or that we are, of that I don't know. What I was suggesting is that Christ felt the agony of being forsaken by God on the cross when he said the words "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" .. If you follow the Psalms it suggests the same thing : "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. " Ps 22:1-2 ..
If you can understand this as Christ having been left to the agony of the cross without claiming ontological separation from an omnipresent God we have no quarrel.

You(pl) said Christ could not experience negative feelings
I don't think anyone is saying that, or that anyone reading the Gethsemane narrative could. But Christ was not just expressing negative feelings in his utterance; he was alluding to a Psalm by reciting its first verse.

Why would he be reciting a Psalm again? He was living the Psalm and what the Psalm said.
(as above)

Christ is not simply asking a random or isolated question: He is -very pointedly- quoting from the 22nd Psalm. He is referring to a question to which an answer was added, and extended narrative appended. It was, in fact, a common rabbinic method to refer the disciple to whole portions of scripture by shorthand reference to the first verse. http://books.google.ca/books/about/Memory_and_Manuscript.html?id=7Y-2PvkHMDoC

Why, in the words of the Psalm, was the victim for whose garments lots were cast, forsaken?

"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to YHWH, and all the families of the nations/Gentiles shall worship before You" (Ps 22:27). Here as many other times in the OT we are told that people in every nation of the world would worship the God of the tiny kingdom Israel with the added proviso that this would occur when they remembered something. Remember what?! The deliverance of a single victim who cried "they pierced my hands and my feet..." (vs. 16), who though brought "to the dust of death" (vs. 15) would nevertheless *be delivered* (!) and *praise the name of God in the "assembly"* (vs. 22; cf. LXX: ekklesia/"church"). A full three centuries before crucifixion was invented by the Persians, we have, in Psalm 22, as the specific spark igniting the flame of worldwide Gentile worship of tiny Israel's YHWH the remembrance of a crucifixion victim who would also be delivered from the dust of death and remembered specifically for this.

That is why Christ was forsaken by the Father -not in the absolute sense of the Father "not being there," or in the sense of Christ "feeling the Father was no where around" (one would have to wonder why if this was his conviction that He continued to pray to the Father) but in the sense of Christ having been left in the hands of sinful men to be crucified. That we of every nation would be able to know and worship God in spirit and truth.

Christ was not bewildered/confused when he called his disciples' (and our) attention to Psalm 22; he was explaining a mystery. He was addressing the most important issue the Church would have to confront. The main question facing early Christianity, and the question (and answer) alluded to here was not "how did Jesus feel about God when He was being crucified," but "how could the Father, and why would the Father, abandon His own Messiah, the Blessed One, to suffering and accursed death upon a cross?" The question has an answer, in the Psalm Christ very pointedly quoted, as described in the previous post. You are supposing Christ was merely bewildered and confused; the Church supposes He was alluding to the answer to the mystery of the Father's allowing His own Son the Messiah to be crucified.

If you really want to know the Jewish custom that is what the Jews recite when they felt down, punished and separated from God, that particular Psalm.. I heard they recited that in Babylon also.. I think Christ was showing that he is the ultimate fulfiller of that Psalm in his suffering for them and that he would heal them, and that the events predicted in that Psalm would soon unveil.

Are you saying Christ was not feeling accursed, smitten, etc, on the Cross, and that he never felt feelings of bewilderement and confusion ?

Why did God smite Job?
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« Reply #69 on: July 04, 2013, 05:12:06 PM »

Are you saying Christ was not feeling accursed, smitten, etc, on the Cross
No.

and that he never felt feelings of bewilderement and confusion ?
I am saying there is more to the quotation of Psalm 22 than some sort of confusion and bewilderment about the crucifixion, if that is your point of view. The Gospels say that Christ knew of the crucifixion to come, and that it was with this in mind that he came into the world.

If your position is as Fabio describes it[1] (*trying to say this as nicely as possible*) you have fallen into heresy.
___________

[1]
...What you [lovetzatziki] say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.
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« Reply #70 on: July 04, 2013, 05:21:40 PM »

Are you saying Christ was not feeling accursed, smitten, etc, on the Cross
No.


and that he never felt feelings of bewilderement and confusion ?
I am saying there is more to the quotation of Psalm 22 than some sort of confusion and bewilderment about the crucifixion, if that is your point of view. The Gospels say that Christ knew of the crucifixion to come, and that it was with this in mind that he came into the world.

If your position is as Fabio describes it[1] (*trying to say this as nicely as possible*) you have fallen into heresy.
___________

[1]
...What you [lovetzatziki] say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.

Interesting that you mentioned that.. Yes.. he foretold his crucifixion and more his resurrection all over his ministry. What is your view of Salvation and healing? How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? How do you explain Christ's suffering?
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« Reply #71 on: July 04, 2013, 05:39:43 PM »

If Christ's suffering was only in the flesh than how does he save us? Or if his suffering was not according to all bad human conditions, than how does he reach to people in the worst human conditions? How does his death and resurrection save us?
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« Reply #72 on: July 04, 2013, 05:41:05 PM »

Are you saying Christ was not feeling accursed, smitten, etc, on the Cross
No.


and that he never felt feelings of bewilderement and confusion ?
I am saying there is more to the quotation of Psalm 22 than some sort of confusion and bewilderment about the crucifixion, if that is your point of view. The Gospels say that Christ knew of the crucifixion to come, and that it was with this in mind that he came into the world.

If your position is as Fabio describes it[1] (*trying to say this as nicely as possible*) you have fallen into heresy.
___________

[1]
...What you [lovetzatziki] say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.

Interesting that you mentioned that.. Yes.. he foretold his crucifixion and more his resurrection all over his ministry. (1)What is your view of Salvation and healing? (2)How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? (3)How do you explain Christ's suffering?
(1)theosis; (2)Christ is in our midst; (3)Jesus suffered in his nature as man.
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« Reply #73 on: July 04, 2013, 05:46:36 PM »

Are you saying Christ was not feeling accursed, smitten, etc, on the Cross
No.


and that he never felt feelings of bewilderement and confusion ?
I am saying there is more to the quotation of Psalm 22 than some sort of confusion and bewilderment about the crucifixion, if that is your point of view. The Gospels say that Christ knew of the crucifixion to come, and that it was with this in mind that he came into the world.

If your position is as Fabio describes it[1] (*trying to say this as nicely as possible*) you have fallen into heresy.
___________

[1]
...What you [lovetzatziki] say is that the spirit of God *really* was separated from God, thus causing spiritual pain. Either that, or that the human nature of Christ was for sometime separated from His divine nature.

Interesting that you mentioned that.. Yes.. he foretold his crucifixion and more his resurrection all over his ministry. (1)What is your view of Salvation and healing? (2)How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? (3)How do you explain Christ's suffering?
(1)theosis; (2)Christ is in our midst; (3)Jesus suffered in his nature as man.

Salvation and healing mean theosis . I was asking how, as in to how His life, death, crucifixion, resurrection, etc saves and heals us?

How does "Christ is in our midst" answer "How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God?

I was asking about the degree and kind of suffering he suffered.. Don't be cheap on words..
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« Reply #74 on: July 04, 2013, 07:24:52 PM »

The Creed says he suffered, so in that is also mental anguish, so it seems that it is another human part of him who has to endure as we do for him to pay for our sin.

It is no different than when he said the night before in the garden, ◄  Mark 14:36  ►

New International Version (©2011)
"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.".

He was suffering in much the same way, feeling abandoned at his most troubled hour.

It is all part of what he did for our sins to be cleansed, it was necessary for the Father to be silent at these moments for it to be complete.
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« Reply #75 on: July 04, 2013, 07:49:45 PM »

Interesting that you mentioned that.. Yes.. he foretold his crucifixion and more his resurrection all over his ministry.
This seems to suggest Christ was not bewildered or confused about the crucifixion, wouldn't you agree?

(1)What is your view of Salvation and healing? (2)How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? (3)How do you explain Christ's suffering?

...I was asking how, as in to how His life, death, crucifixion, resurrection, etc saves and heals us? How does "Christ is in our midst" answer "How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? I was asking about the degree and kind of suffering he suffered.. Don't be cheap on words..
Forgive the manner of my answer as I don't know exactly what you're after.

The centerpiece of all of these things, which ties them all together, is mystical union with Christ. Christ spoke of two crosses: His and ours, and yet His death is also our death, through our baptism and repentance. His suffering and sacrifice is the suffering and sacrifice which we need, through joining ourselves to it, for our own healing and deification. Also our union with his resurrection, not just his resurrection per se, to newness of life is part of our union with Christ. There is much more than this, but the common denominator is union. It is Christ as the divine Logos who took upon Himself human flesh that glorifies us such that we become partakers of the divine nature in this union. He is also present in the Eucharist and, as Bishop Kallistos Ware points out, every sacrament, the numbering of which is not restricted to seven, but extends to every moment, and every person. Of this union and its avenues we are either attracted or repelled. The key issue is Christ as God-Man, not just as man, even crucified man and resurrected man, is the One who as the God-Man deifies us through our union with Him, which is a union with his Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and Life entire.

As to the question about how Christ reaches the one who feels separated from God, I would again emphasize that this occurs personally -as in Christ's analogy of the wind which blows where it will- but not randomly. We are not the same, and the manner in which Christ reaches each person are is not the same, though for all "everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (Jn 3:20-21). Also cf. especially the following essay on the nearness and otherness of God: http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/who-or-what-is-god/ which might be helpful.

If Christ's suffering was only in the flesh than how does he save us? Or if his suffering was not according to all bad human conditions, than how does he reach to people in the worst human conditions?
The Council of Chalcedon wanted to insist that the two natures of Christ are not transmuted into one another but remain what they are. They do not "mix" in the sense of changing, but are in communion with each other. Therefore, we can never say that the divine nature "ate bread" within itself; the Trinity does not eat, suffer hunger, etc. However, the fact remains that we know the Trinity only because of the Incarnation: we know the Father through the Son Incarnate, and not by any other means. So we cannot really speculate about what God does in Himself, but only see what God has done in the Incarnation. And there, united to the flesh, God ate bread. So the divine nature is not capable in itself of eating anything, but only in the Incarnation, but not by ceasing to be itself. This, BTW, is why the face of Christ in the depiction on the cross is always serene: it shows the divine nature, which is impassible, manifested in the human nature which was suffering.

Athanasius had also insisted, as did Cyril, that human nature can be divinized: not ceasing to be human, but nevertheless taking on divine nature in some manner, like the elements in the Eucharist, so that it is transformed. At the Eucharist the priest prays, "Send down your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this offering of bread and wine..." It is a transfiguration of people as well as bread and wine. So the Body is also the people, who are being transfigured into the likeness of Christ.

What is the true human nature? Human nature is Christ. True human nature is divine, not sinful. True human nature is not separate from God, but in union with God. What we see as "human" is actually distorted humanity, a distorted image. Salvation is to be restored to true humanity, through Christ, who is the second Adam. In Orthodoxy, then, salvation is granted already in the Incarnation and not simply through the suffering on the cross.

in the West, we think of human and divine as opposites, whereas in the East, to be truly human is to be divine, and the Divinity chose not to exist without becoming human. So while the natures did not mix or change ("without change becoming man"), nevertheless each was manifested in the other in a mysterious manner.

I believe this image came from Athanasius: pour a glass of wine into a glass of water. It becomes "all wine." However, we know that the properties of wine (alcohol) and water are quite different. Each does not *become* the other, but they commune. If the wine represents divinity and the water humanity, then we have the idea of divinized humanity (during the Proskomide prayers, the priest pours water into the wine, symbolizing the human and divine natures together).

However Athanasius pointed out that the metaphor is not perfect. For one thing, he did not want to say that the water/wine mixture (divine/human) is a new thing. It is a *unique* thing, the God-Man, but it is not an admixture or a monster (which Nestorius later implied), but a communion of natures. For another thing, in this example the wine adds to the volume of the water--whereas in the case of the incarnation, it would be like wine being poured into water without adding any volume to the total, but coexisting perfectly, in perfect communion.

Contemporary physics presents another (imperfect) analogy (I believe this originates from T. F. Torrance, who the Ecumenical Patriarch actually confirmed by economy as an "honorary protopresbyter" -whatever that is!): subatomic particles seem to occupy the same space without interfering with one another, without becoming one another, and without separating from one another.

Again forgive me if this is not to the point of what you are asking -I'm guessing a bit, and guessing is not one of my talents. Wink

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« Reply #76 on: July 04, 2013, 10:46:06 PM »

Why would he be reciting a Psalm again? He was living the Psalm and what the Psalm said.

Yes.

Christ is not simply asking a random or isolated question: He is -very pointedly- quoting from the 22nd Psalm. He is referring to a question to which an answer was added, and extended narrative appended.

And yes. 

There are a lot of good and interesting comments here, but, in reading this whole thread, I can't help but get the impression that there are people who are so scandalised by the implications of Christ's humanity that they have to over-think the matter.   

In light of the resurrection, we understand and/or believe, following the holy fathers, that Christ's utterance of the opening words of Psalm 21 were a way of reminding those around him of what was happening at that moment before their eyes.  But almost certainly that point was lost on them "in real time"--the Gospels tell us that they thought Christ was invoking the prophet Elijah, wondered aloud if Elijah would come and save him, brought him some gall to drink, etc.  I don't know, and the Gospels don't say, who among them actually understood the reference.  That doesn't address Christ's intention in uttering the line per se, but I think this fact ought to be noted, as should the fact that none of the Gospels say explicitly that the disciples or the Jewish people later understood Christ's utterance to mean what we say it means (even if the Gospels do in fact note such developments in understanding on other occasions).

Without prejudice to this "homiletic" interpretation, I think we can and ought to affirm that this cry of Christ from the Cross is just that: a cry.  If some see in this the separation of the Father from the Son, then they are certainly and heretically wrong.  But I think the words mean what they mean at face value, in addition to their homiletic value, and the holy fathers speak of this as well.  In Gethsemane, Christ said that he was sorrowful even unto death and prayed that the cup would pass from him, but submitted to the Father's will.  I think we're in a dangerous place if we look at that as a one-way street: that Christ was afraid, but submitted to the will of the Father and that obedience trumped the fear.  Yes, obedience trumped fear in that the fear did not prevent him from obeying, but why would there not be real human fear even in the act of obedience?  St Paul tells the Hebrews that Christ learned obedience through what he suffered; the obedience of the incarnate Word was perfect according to his divinity, but according to his humanity he had to learn it--why would faith, trust, etc. be any different? 

I think some people are genuinely scandalised by the implications of the Incarnation.  They prefer their gods to be gods, and their men to be men.  But this is not our Christ. 

It doesn't scandalise me if Christ felt alone and abandoned on the Cross.  It doesn't give me a sadistic feeling of glee that someone else is suffering with me.  It comforts me that Christ chose the Incarnation as the way to save me.  He could've done it by fiat, but he did it by becoming a brother.  He didn't have to get his hands dirty, so to speak, but he did.  He was like us in every respect except sin, he was tempted in every way we are but without sin.  We hear those words so often and focus on the "without sin" part, but we don't always consider the "in every way like us" part.  Did Jesus lust after a woman, as someone asked above?  No, because to do so would be a sin.  But was he tempted in this way?  Almost certainly, because we are also tempted in that way.  He ate and drank; that means he also eliminated wastes.  He slept, he wept, he was afraid, he was filled with righteous anger at times, he had a sense of humor and irony at other times, etc.  This is not the way the ineffable, incomprehensible, invisible, inconceivable, ever existing and eternally the same God acts and "is".  This is the way the Word acts and "is" according to his humanity.  Isaiah tells us about the Suffering Servant that he was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief, that God has put him to grief.  Christ's suffering was not a matter of gradual and prolonged physical destruction to satisfy a cosmic bloodlust; our sufferings are physical but go even deeper, and so were his.  That is a God worth believing in, not one that demands our obeisance and imitates our worst qualities as do the gods of the pagans, but one who ennobles and heals our nature by taking it upon himself, a God who does not think equality with God is something to be grasped, but empties himself in order to lift us up.  That God comforts me and encourages me, not in a sadistic way, but in a "big brother" kind of way, and by becoming man, that's exactly what God has become for me.   

I don't think we need to overanalyse these words of Christ.  They mean what they say, they don't mean what they don't say, and they refer to something more than just that moment.           
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« Reply #77 on: July 05, 2013, 05:17:04 AM »

Interesting that you mentioned that.. Yes.. he foretold his crucifixion and more his resurrection all over his ministry.
This seems to suggest Christ was not bewildered or confused about the crucifixion, wouldn't you agree?

I agree his foreknowledge of his resurrection and all is controversial with his suffering. How did He suffer than, in what degree, at what levels : spiritual , mental, or only physical ?

Quote
(1)What is your view of Salvation and healing? (2)How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? (3)How do you explain Christ's suffering?

...I was asking how, as in to how His life, death, crucifixion, resurrection, etc saves and heals us? How does "Christ is in our midst" answer "How do you think Christ reaches to the one who is feeling separated from God? I was asking about the degree and kind of suffering he suffered.. Don't be cheap on words..
Forgive the manner of my answer as I don't know exactly what you're after.

The centerpiece of all of these things, which ties them all together, is mystical union with Christ. Christ spoke of two crosses: His and ours, and yet His death is also our death, through our baptism and repentance. His suffering and sacrifice is the suffering and sacrifice which we need, through joining ourselves to it, for our own healing and deification. Also our union with his resurrection, not just his resurrection per se, to newness of life is part of our union with Christ. There is much more than this, but the common denominator is union. It is Christ as the divine Logos who took upon Himself human flesh that glorifies us such that we become partakers of the divine nature in this union. He is also present in the Eucharist and, as Bishop Kallistos Ware points out, every sacrament, the numbering of which is not restricted to seven, but extends to every moment, and every person. Of this union and its avenues we are either attracted or repelled. The key issue is Christ as God-Man, not just as man, even crucified man and resurrected man, is the One who as the God-Man deifies us through our union with Him, which is a union with his Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and Life entire.

But we are not joined with Him mystically and hypostically on the cross and with his death and resurrection? How could we and how could anyone in any human condition and emotion, even separation from God and despair unite with Christ on the Cross in a direct, personal and hypostatical manner if Christ did not recapitulate in Himself all human conditions? Of this I want to know more.

Quote
As to the question about how Christ reaches the one who feels separated from God, I would again emphasize that this occurs personally -as in Christ's analogy of the wind which blows where it will- but not randomly. We are not the same, and the manner in which Christ reaches each person are is not the same, though for all "everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (Jn 3:20-21). Also cf. especially the following essay on the nearness and otherness of God: http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/who-or-what-is-god/ which might be helpful.

I thought Christ/God suffers with us when we suffer? Wouldn't it be right thus to say that on the cross and in his life Christ suffered for all the conditions of humanity? Or is this approach wrong?
Quote
If Christ's suffering was only in the flesh than how does he save us? Or if his suffering was not according to all bad human conditions, than how does he reach to people in the worst human conditions?
The Council of Chalcedon wanted to insist that the two natures of Christ are not transmuted into one another but remain what they are. They do not "mix" in the sense of changing, but are in communion with each other. Therefore, we can never say that the divine nature "ate bread" within itself; the Trinity does not eat, suffer hunger, etc. However, the fact remains that we know the Trinity only because of the Incarnation: we know the Father through the Son Incarnate, and not by any other means. So we cannot really speculate about what God does in Himself, but only see what God has done in the Incarnation. And there, united to the flesh, God ate bread. So the divine nature is not capable in itself of eating anything, but only in the Incarnation, but not by ceasing to be itself. This, BTW, is why the face of Christ in the depiction on the cross is always serene: it shows the divine nature, which is impassible, manifested in the human nature which was suffering.

Athanasius had also insisted, as did Cyril, that human nature can be divinized: not ceasing to be human, but nevertheless taking on divine nature in some manner, like the elements in the Eucharist, so that it is transformed. At the Eucharist the priest prays, "Send down your Holy Spirit upon us and upon this offering of bread and wine..." It is a transfiguration of people as well as bread and wine. So the Body is also the people, who are being transfigured into the likeness of Christ.

What is the true human nature? Human nature is Christ. True human nature is divine, not sinful. True human nature is not separate from God, but in union with God. What we see as "human" is actually distorted humanity, a distorted image. Salvation is to be restored to true humanity, through Christ, who is the second Adam. In Orthodoxy, then, salvation is granted already in the Incarnation and not simply through the suffering on the cross.

in the West, we think of human and divine as opposites, whereas in the East, to be truly human is to be divine, and the Divinity chose not to exist without becoming human. So while the natures did not mix or change ("without change becoming man"), nevertheless each was manifested in the other in a mysterious manner.

I believe this image came from Athanasius: pour a glass of wine into a glass of water. It becomes "all wine." However, we know that the properties of wine (alcohol) and water are quite different. Each does not *become* the other, but they commune. If the wine represents divinity and the water humanity, then we have the idea of divinized humanity (during the Proskomide prayers, the priest pours water into the wine, symbolizing the human and divine natures together).

However Athanasius pointed out that the metaphor is not perfect. For one thing, he did not want to say that the water/wine mixture (divine/human) is a new thing. It is a *unique* thing, the God-Man, but it is not an admixture or a monster (which Nestorius later implied), but a communion of natures. For another thing, in this example the wine adds to the volume of the water--whereas in the case of the incarnation, it would be like wine being poured into water without adding any volume to the total, but coexisting perfectly, in perfect communion.

Contemporary physics presents another (imperfect) analogy (I believe this originates from T. F. Torrance, who the Ecumenical Patriarch actually confirmed by economy as an "honorary protopresbyter" -whatever that is!): subatomic particles seem to occupy the same space without interfering with one another, without becoming one another, and without separating from one another.

Again forgive me if this is not to the point of what you are asking -I'm guessing a bit, and guessing is not one of my talents. Wink



So Salvation is only for a few kind of people? Did Jesus die only for those? What do you say about the Recapitulation theory in Chrystology and Atonement?
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« Reply #78 on: July 07, 2013, 10:54:27 PM »

"And that the words ‘Why have You forsaken Me?’ are His, according to the foregoing explanations (though He suffered nothing, for the Word was impassible), is notwithstanding declared by the Evangelists; since the Lord became man, and these things are done and said as from a man, that He might Himself lighten these very sufferings of the flesh, and free it from them. Whence neither can the Lord be forsaken by the Father, who is ever in the Father, both before He spoke, and when He uttered this cry. Nor is it lawful to say that the Lord was in terror, at whom the keepers of hell’s gates shuddered and set open hell, and the graves did gape, and many bodies of the saints arose and appeared to their own people. Therefore be every heretic dumb, nor dare to ascribe terror to the Lord whom death, as a serpent, flees, at whom demons tremble, and the sea is in alarm; for whom the heavens are rent and all the powers are shaken. For behold when He says, ‘Why have You forsaken Me?’ the Father showed that He was ever and even then in Him; for the earth knowing its Lord who spoke, straightway trembled, and the veil was rent, and the sun was hidden, and the rocks were torn asunder, and the graves, as I have said, did gape, and the dead in them arose; and, what is wonderful, they who were then present and had before denied Him, then seeing these signs, confessed that ‘truly He was the Son of God.'" -St. thanasius, Four Discourses Against the Arians Bk. 3.29


"Yet, I suppose, you will arm yourself also for your godless contention with these words of the Lord, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me ? Perhaps you think that after the disgrace of the cross, the favour of His Father’s help departed from Him, and hence His cry that He was left alone in His weakness. But if you regard the contempt, the weakness, the cross of Christ as a disgrace, you should remember His words, Verily I say unto you, From henceforth you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of Heaven. But, they say, the cross was a dishonour to Him; yet it is because of the cross that we can now see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, that He Who was born man of the womb of the Virgin has returned in His Majesty with the clouds of heaven. Your irreverence blinds you to the natural relations of cause and event: not only does the spirit of godlessness and error, with which you are filled, hide from your understanding the mystery of faith, but the obtuseness of heresy drags you below the level of ordinary human intelligence. For it stands to reason that whatever we fear, we avoid: that a weak nature is a prey to terror by its very feebleness: that whatever feels pain possesses a nature always liable to pain: that whatever dishonours is always a degradation. On what reasonable principle, then, do you hold that our Lord Jesus Christ feared that towards which He pressed: or awed the brave, yet trembled Himself with weakness: or stopped the pain of wounds, yet felt the pain of His own: or was dishonoured by the degradation of the cross, yet through the cross sat down by God on high, and returned to His Kingdom?" St. Hilary of Poitiers, On the Holy Trinity Bk. 10.31,33.

"Take, in the next place, the subjection by which you subject the Son to the Father. What, you say, is He not now subject, or must He, if He is God, be subject to God? You are fashioning your argument as if it concerned some robber, or some hostile deity. But look at it in this manner: that as for my sake He was called a curse, Who destroyed my curse; and sin, who takes away the sin of the world; and became a new Adam to take the place of the old, just so He makes my disobedience His own as Head of the whole body. As long then as I am disobedient and rebellious, both by denial of God and by my passions, so long Christ also is called disobedient on my account. But when all things shall be subdued unto Him on the one hand by acknowledgment of Him, and on the other by a reformation, then He Himself also will have fulfilled His submission, bringing me whom He has saved to God. For this, according to my view, is the subjection of Christ; namely, the fulfilling of the Father’s Will. But as the Son subjects all to the Father, so does the Father to the Son; the One by His Work, the Other by His good pleasure, as we have already said. And thus He Who subjects presents to God that which he has subjected, making our condition His own. Of the same kind, it appears to me, is the expression, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” It was not He who was forsaken either by the Father, or by His own Godhead, as some have thought, as if It were afraid of the Passion, and therefore withdrew Itself from Him in His Sufferings (for who compelled Him either to be born on earth at all, or to be lifted up on the Cross?) But as I said, He was in His own Person representing us. For we were the forsaken and despised before, but now by the Sufferings of Him Who could not suffer, we were taken up and saved. Similarly, He makes His own our folly and our transgressions; and says what follows in the Psalm, for it is very evident that the Twenty-first Psalm refers to Christ." -St. Gregory the Theologian, Fourth Theological Oration, Oration 30.5.

"And for this reason, even after this He speaks, that they might learn that He was still alive, and that He Himself did this, and that they might become by this also more gentle, and He says, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" Matt. 27:46 that unto His last breath they might see that He honors His Father, and is no adversary of God. Wherefore also He uttered a certain cry from the prophet, even to His last hour bearing witness to the Old Testament, and not simply a cry from the prophet, but also in Hebrew, so as to be plain and intelligible to them, and by all things He shows how He is of one mind with Him that begot Him." -St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew 88.

"The cry My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? is the utterance of Adam, who trampled on the commandment given to him and disregarded God’s Law; thus did God abandon human nature, which had become accursed. When the Only-begotten Word of God came to restore fallen man, the abandonment entailed by that curse and corruption had to come to an end. My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? is the voice of Him Who destroyed our forsakenness, as if He were imploring the Father to be gracious to mankind. When, as man, He asks for something, it is for us; as God, He was in need of nothing. -St. Cyril of Alexandria, Second Oration to the Empresses on the True Faith, 18, Patrologia Græca, Vol. LXXVI, col. 1357A.

"Hence it is that the Lord Jesus Christ, our Head, representing all the members of His body in Himself, and speaking for those whom He was redeeming in the punishment of the cross, uttered that cry which He had once uttered in the psalm, "O God, My God, look upon Me: why have You forsaken Me ?" That cry, dearly-beloved, is a lesson, not a complaint. For since in Christ there is one person of God and man, and He could not have been forsaken by Him, from Whom He could not be separated, it is on behalf of us, trembling and weak ones, that He asks why the flesh that is afraid to suffer has not been heard. For when the Passion was beginning, to cure and correct our weak fear He had said, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will but as You;" and again, "Father, if this cup cannot pass except I drink it, Your will be done Matt. 26:39, 42 ." As therefore He had conquered the tremblings of the flesh, and had now accepted the Father’s will, and trampling all dread of death under foot, was then carrying out the work of His design, why at the very time of His triumph over such a victory does He seek the cause and reason of His being forsaken, that is, not heard, save to show that the feeling which He entertained in excuse of His human fears is quite different from the deliberate choice which, in accordance with the Father’s eternal decree, He had made for the reconciliation of the world? And thus the very cry of "Unheard" is the exposition of a mighty Mystery, because the Redeemer’s power would have conferred nothing on mankind if our weakness in Him had obtained what it sought. Let these words dearly-beloved, suffice today, lest we burden you by the length of our discourse: let us put off the rest till Wednesday. The Lord shall hear you if you pray that we may keep our promise through the bounty of Him Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen." -Pope St. Leo the Great, Homily 67.7.

"Further, these words, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me Matt. 27:46? He said as making our personality His own. For neither would God be regarded with us as His Father, unless one were to discriminate with subtle imaginings of the mind between that which is seen and that which is thought, nor was He ever forsaken by His divinity: nay, it was we who were forsaken and disregarded. So that it was as appropriating our personality that He offered these prayers." -St. John Damascene, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Bk. 3.24.

"Amen. Amen. Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe and confess to the last breath, that this is the life-giving body that your only-begotten Son, our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ took from our Lady, the Lady of us all, the holy Theotokos Saint Mary. He made it one with his divinity without mingling, without confusion and without alteration. He witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate. He gave it up for us upon the holy wood of the Cross, of His own will, for us all. Truly I believe that His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye. Given for us for salvation, remission of sins and eternal life to those who partake of him. I believe, I believe, I believe that this is so in truth. Amen. -Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil.

"The person who is dying, whose soul is ebbing from its home in the body... if they are able to, they recite Psalms 4, 6, 121, 145. As they feel themselves at the door of death, they recite Psalm 22 and 29" -Rabbi Moshe ibn Nachmon (13th century), cited in Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Death.
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