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Author Topic: Ecumenical Vespers: Archangel Orthodox Cathedral, Brussels, Jan. 23, 2014  (Read 5622 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: February 05, 2014, 12:15:23 PM »

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.

Where is the banging-my-head-against-the-wall emoticon in this forum?

I was speaking about the meaning of the term back then, not in current usage. And my point is exactly that words can change, narrow or widen their meanings.

There is no evidence that "heretic" ever meant only "non-trinitarians" except in dreams

There actually is. St. Basil the Great only applied the term "heretic" to those who worshiped a different God. However, since then, the Church has expanded the list of heresies beyond that considered by St. Basil. The Protestants who participated in the service would be considered heretics by the definition used at the Council of Jerusalem Bethlehem of 1672. All Protestants are also iconoclasts. Roman Catholics would be considered heretics by the definition used by the Letters of the Orthodox Patriarchs in 1848 and the Council of Constantinople of 1484 which rejected the Union of Florence.

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« Reply #271 on: February 05, 2014, 12:52:21 PM »

If there's no canon about who can speak from the ambo, it doesn't mean "Do whatever you want as long as the bishop doesn't care".  For all we know, it means that the ambo was respected and the problem never arose to the point where a canon was necessary.
Do you realise that the Metropolitan (i.e. bishop) was not only present, but presiding the ceremony and it was him who invited the RC archbishop to speak?

Please stick with one thing at a time.  My comment, to which you responded, was a general comment about how canons arise within ecclesiastical tradition.  Your response has to do with the particular circumstances of this particular Vespers. 

I'm aware of what a Metropolitan is, so I don't need to be reminded that he is a bishop.  Nor do I need to be informed that he presided over the service, I've been to (EO) church enough to figure that out.  If he in fact invited the RC archbishop to speak, then he invited him to speak.  So? 

Quote
PS: In the entire corpus of canonical legislation, there are canons related to liturgical concerns, but all of them combined wouldn't cover the entire liturgical tradition.  Received tradition, rubrics, etc. should be sufficient to govern these matters until it becomes a serious dispute.  It's not the case that only a canon has binding authority. 
Ok, and there is no serious dispute within the EO Church.

Which is why you shouldn't need a canon from The Rudder to define who can and cannot occupy the ambo for a particular purpose: such things are already clear in the liturgical tradition.  Those who deviate from the traditional practice need to justify themselves, not those who maintain it.   

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You are OO and Maria And Jonathan are non-canonical. Strange thing, people who are not a member of our Church reproaching us being too permissive in dealing with people who are not members of our Church.

I think you misunderstand my intent.  I'm not "reproaching you" for being "too permissive in dealing with people who are not members" of your Church.  I respect the right of your bishops to make exceptions to norms where exceptions can legitimately be made.  I didn't comment in this thread in order to criticise your bishops: indeed, I've made it clear elsewhere that I don't like commenting seriously on "external" matters (unless they involve matters of faith).  I did not comment in order to express my support for Maria and Jonathan's views on ecumenism, "the canonical EO", or any such thing (their jurisdiction is even less kindly disposed to mine than yours).  I entered this discussion at reply #8, and I did so with a liturgical interest in a matter which, in my experience, was common both to EO and OO--that much is clear if you want to go and read it.  Subsequent comments of mine have to do with this interest or with associated theological matters as the thread has evolved. 

If I expressed support for Maria and Jonathan at all, it is because I felt their concerns were being dismissed only because of their ecclesiastical status (as you seem to be doing here) or were being dodged through recourse to distractions.  I stand by that.  If they are wrong, such tactics are the absolute wrong way to prove it.       

Quote
Btw, since the sermon of the RC archbishop did not take place within a liturgy, there is no liturgical concern. Even if you meant "liturgical" in the RC sense, there is no liturgical concern either, since the sermon did not take place within the vespers service, but afterwards.

It's funny that you resort to such a legalistic argument.  People assemble for a liturgical service (Vespers) in an Orthodox church presided over by an Orthodox metropolitan and stay in the church after its conclusion (rather than, say, retiring to the parish hall or an auditorium or something) in order to hear a sermon from a non-Orthodox clergyman wearing his own liturgical vestments and standing in the place from which the Gospel is read/preached and the Holy Mysteries are administered, while other non-Orthodox clergymen speak/pray from a more "traditional" place for such activities, and you think it is silly for people to question the propriety of such things because it happened after the last "Δι' εὐχῶν τῶν ἁγίων Πατέρων ἡμῶν..."

Quote
Now the only thing you could argue is that the ambo is that holy that it may not in any case be used by a heterodox person. And for this, I am waiting for a source.

Um, that's basically what I've been arguing since reply #8. 

I said earlier that I was looking for a source you might accept (there are at least two Wiki pages which confirm my position, but I hesitate to cite Wiki as an authority).  But I also said that the canons are not prescriptive, that long-standing liturgical tradition observed universally has its own authority which is sufficient, etc., and yet you've summarily dismissed all such arguments based on the authority of

1.  the Bulgarian President,
2.  one EO Metropolitan in Belgium,
3.  some seminarian's ungraded canon law homework (which, as I said, makes at least one serious error in its total three pages), and
4.  some "I think..." statements of your own. 

If that's your standard, I doubt I could convince you of anything serious even if I managed to resurrect the Three Hierarchs.   

The old Ecumenical Guidelines approved by SCOBA in 1972 allow for ecumenical worship with non-Orthodox only under certain conditions. It must be held completely outside of the Altar, that would include the Ambon. It must be clearly labeled as "ecumenical." The Orthodox must have the right to inspect the text to be used to be sure that nothing is said or done that would violate the Orthodox Faith. No one may wear liturgical vestments including a stole as the Protestants did.  In one picture a woman was wearing the Western equivalent of a philonion. If a sermon is given, it would be given from the solea, not the ambon.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #272 on: February 05, 2014, 01:00:54 PM »

Fr John,

Thanks for your contributions in this thread.  I did have a question about the following:

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.

Perhaps it is better dealt with in another thread, but in what sense are "all Protestants" iconoclasts?  Many surely are, and none of them have the kind of veneration the Eastern Orthodox have, but it's not like there aren't Protestants who have images in homes and churches.  Just curious.   
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« Reply #273 on: February 05, 2014, 01:14:56 PM »

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.

Perhaps it is better dealt with in another thread, but in what sense are "all Protestants" iconoclasts?  Many surely are, and none of them have the kind of veneration the Eastern Orthodox have, but it's not like there aren't Protestants who have images in homes and churches.  Just curious.

My high church Episcopalian professor has at least four icons in his office alone. I'd wager he venerates them, even if not to the degree that EO do. Wouldn't Anglo-Catholics cense their icons/statues? I know many would have candles etc.

I've seen many Lutheran churches to have icons and statues, but in my experience they tend to keep to their official stances of rejecting any veneration as idolatrous in some way. Although at the same time they'll adorn them with flowers and light candles before them... I think they, like many EO, have an overly specific understanding of what it means to venerate.

So yeah, I agree that it varies and that they're not "all" iconoclasts.
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« Reply #274 on: February 05, 2014, 05:43:00 PM »

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.

Perhaps it is better dealt with in another thread, but in what sense are "all Protestants" iconoclasts?  Many surely are, and none of them have the kind of veneration the Eastern Orthodox have, but it's not like there aren't Protestants who have images in homes and churches.  Just curious.

My high church Episcopalian professor has at least four icons in his office alone. I'd wager he venerates them, even if not to the degree that EO do. Wouldn't Anglo-Catholics cense their icons/statues? I know many would have candles etc.

Not that I'm a mind-reader, but perhaps Father wasn't including Anglicans when he said "Protestants".
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« Reply #275 on: February 06, 2014, 06:18:55 AM »

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.
Lutherans, the original Protestants, are not iconoclasts. In fact they disagreed with the Calvinist iconoclasm. In many Lutheran churches in Europe that used to be Roman Catholic before Luther, you can see the unchanged pre-Reformation interior.

I am aware that the term "heresy" has been used more widely in later centuries. but I guess it is problematic to apply Canons in a way they weren't meant, just because the same word was used in a wider sense centuries later in other canons.



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« Reply #276 on: February 06, 2014, 10:45:54 AM »

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.
Lutherans, the original Protestants, are not iconoclasts. In fact they disagreed with the Calvinist iconoclasm. In many Lutheran churches in Europe that used to be Roman Catholic before Luther, you can see the unchanged pre-Reformation interior.

I am aware that the term "heresy" has been used more widely in later centuries. but I guess it is problematic to apply Canons in a way they weren't meant, just because the same word was used in a wider sense centuries later in other canons.





One of the fascinating aspects of some Orthodox apologists and polemicists is their fierce insistence upon reliance on Patristic definitions, anathemas of the Great Councils, their steadfast assertions about the "unchangeable nature of all things" Orthodox and of the the literal nature of Canons- unless the same doesn't fit their opinions....then they dig up references to other sources from later eras. So, I tend to take anything not coming from my hierarchy with a large grain of salt. I'm not saying that one accepts all things without question, but...
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« Reply #277 on: February 06, 2014, 11:50:50 AM »

All Protestants are also iconoclasts.
Lutherans, the original Protestants, are not iconoclasts. In fact they disagreed with the Calvinist iconoclasm. In many Lutheran churches in Europe that used to be Roman Catholic before Luther, you can see the unchanged pre-Reformation interior.

I am aware that the term "heresy" has been used more widely in later centuries. but I guess it is problematic to apply Canons in a way they weren't meant, just because the same word was used in a wider sense centuries later in other canons.





One of the fascinating aspects of some Orthodox apologists and polemicists is their fierce insistence upon reliance on Patristic definitions, anathemas of the Great Councils, their steadfast assertions about the "unchangeable nature of all things" Orthodox and of the the literal nature of Canons- unless the same doesn't fit their opinions....then they dig up references to other sources from later eras. So, I tend to take anything not coming from my hierarchy with a large grain of salt. I'm not saying that one accepts all things without question, but...

Isn't the point that you interpret the canons in the right spirit? There have been disputes about all sorts of issues: the Trinity, the nature(s) of Christ, the Theotokos, icons, calendars etc etc. Even if a canon referring to heretics would have referred to a particular kind of heresy at the time it was promulgated, is it really reasonable, or in the spirit of the canon, to argue that it must only then be applied with reference to that specific heresy, that other heresies don't "count"?
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« Reply #278 on: February 06, 2014, 04:49:40 PM »

Isn't the point that you interpret the canons in the right spirit? There have been disputes about all sorts of issues: the Trinity, the nature(s) of Christ, the Theotokos, icons, calendars etc etc. Even if a canon referring to heretics would have referred to a particular kind of heresy at the time it was promulgated, is it really reasonable, or in the spirit of the canon, to argue that it must only then be applied with reference to that specific heresy, that other heresies don't "count"?

No, it isn't. Because simply the term had another meaning, whether that gets into your brain or not. Do you think St. Basil did not know any of those we would call Christian heretics today? He did know them, but in his terminology, they were only schismatics.
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« Reply #279 on: February 06, 2014, 05:17:58 PM »

Isn't the point that you interpret the canons in the right spirit? There have been disputes about all sorts of issues: the Trinity, the nature(s) of Christ, the Theotokos, icons, calendars etc etc. Even if a canon referring to heretics would have referred to a particular kind of heresy at the time it was promulgated, is it really reasonable, or in the spirit of the canon, to argue that it must only then be applied with reference to that specific heresy, that other heresies don't "count"?

No, it isn't. Because simply the term had another meaning, whether that gets into your brain or not. Do you think St. Basil did not know any of those we would call Christian heretics today? He did know them, but in his terminology, they were only schismatics.

I would also note that words - and concepts - have meaning. Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics alike have referred to the events following 1054 and continuing through the present as - "The Great Schism". One would think there is a reason for that in an historical context.

But, as Wikipedia notes: " In Western Christianity, "heresy" most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church.[citation needed] In the East, the term "heresy" is eclectic and can refer to anything at variance with Church tradition. " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity

That, in bold, is the understatement of all time. Orthodoxwiki dances around the issue rather effortlessly in an article which requires "clean up." http://orthodoxwiki.org/Heresy

It would seem that from an Orthodox pov, there are heretics and there are Heretics and finally there ARE  HERETICS. Some it would seem are just misguided schismatics and others are on the cusp of apostasy. And a (h)eretic to one Orthodox observer is a fire breathing HERETIC to another.

Roman Catholics have a tough time grasping this "elasticity" in meaning. We Orthodox may use the same term while meaning very different things.
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« Reply #280 on: February 06, 2014, 05:39:23 PM »

But, as Wikipedia notes: " In Western Christianity, "heresy" most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church.[citation needed] In the East, the term "heresy" is eclectic and can refer to anything at variance with Church tradition. " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity

That, in bold, is the understatement of all time. Orthodoxwiki dances around the issue rather effortlessly in an article which requires "clean up." http://orthodoxwiki.org/Heresy

It would seem that from an Orthodox pov, there are heretics and there are Heretics and finally there ARE  HERETICS. Some it would seem are just misguided schismatics and others are on the cusp of apostasy. And a (h)eretic to one Orthodox observer is a fire breathing HERETIC to another.

Roman Catholics have a tough time grasping this "elasticity" in meaning. We Orthodox may use the same term while meaning very different things.

But I wonder how much of that is a genuine elasticity in the tradition and how much of it is our own stupidity.  We throw the word "heretic" around so lightly nowadays, but the Desert Fathers preferred to be called adulterers and murderers rather than be called heretics because they recognised what that word implied and how serious a situation it was theologically and spiritually.     

I think, to some extent anyway, we have become immature in how imprecisely we use words which, in earlier times, were anything but elastic. 
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« Reply #281 on: February 06, 2014, 05:46:28 PM »

Isn't the point that you interpret the canons in the right spirit? There have been disputes about all sorts of issues: the Trinity, the nature(s) of Christ, the Theotokos, icons, calendars etc etc. Even if a canon referring to heretics would have referred to a particular kind of heresy at the time it was promulgated, is it really reasonable, or in the spirit of the canon, to argue that it must only then be applied with reference to that specific heresy, that other heresies don't "count"?

No, it isn't. Because simply the term had another meaning, whether that gets into your brain or not. Do you think St. Basil did not know any of those we would call Christian heretics today? He did know them, but in his terminology, they were only schismatics.

Did it have another meaning? That's what I dispute. I think you're confusing sense and reference. The sense of "heresy" is "willful deviation from correct doctrine". At some time in history, it may perhaps have been true that all those in the real world who matched this description happened to follow a particular Trinitarian heresy. Thus, the referent of the term would have indeed been that particular heresy. But that doesn't mean that, in another historical context, the referent could change as new deviations from correct doctrine arose.

And how do you know St Basil would have considered, say, Protestants to be merely "schismatics" as opposed to heretics?
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« Reply #282 on: February 07, 2014, 01:00:09 AM »

Just so we're all clear, ANY prayer between Orthodox and heterodox is forbidden by the canons, and clerics who do so are liable for deposition. It doesn't matter whether the heterodox cleric was standing inside or outside the altar.

And of course nothing will be done about it. Nothing is ever done about it. The only option is for the Orthodox to sever communion with such heretics.

As horrid as these abuses are, the canons of the First-Second do not permit one to cease commemorating his bishop simply because he has broken the canons and committed offenses which call for deposition. He must specifically preach heresy publicly before such an action is justifiable.
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« Reply #283 on: February 07, 2014, 01:19:32 AM »

As I've said multiple times, the canons don't merely forbid "serving" with heretics, but any kind of prayer with them. That makes the picture Maria posted just one example of violating those canons.

Yes, but then history is not so full of adherence to such canons, as rosy-eyed traditionalists would like to think. As much as I admire the zeal of certain Old Calendarists (the 'walled off' ones I find to be very reasonable, though understandably, I think that they are wrong), I take comfort in knowing that we are far better off now than four hundred years ago when churches with two altars—one for Roman Catholics and one for Orthodox Christians—existed in many places throughout the Mediterranean and were used to hold joint liturgies (all while craftily dodging the issue of intercommunion), and when even Orthodox metropolitans regularly confessed to Jesuits. Really, if anything, I am much more surprised, having learned of the sorry condition of the Mediterranean world in that time, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate should have been so quick to forget just what havoc the Vatican set loose upon its flock. Nevertheless, today's situation is certainly preferable to the situation then.
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« Reply #284 on: February 07, 2014, 03:53:56 AM »

You understand wrong. Heresy means holding to any false doctrine.

Where is the banging-my-head-against-the-wall emoticon in this forum?

I was speaking about the meaning of the term back then, not in current usage. And my point is exactly that words can change, narrow or widen their meanings.

There is no evidence that "heretic" ever meant only "non-trinitarians" except in dreams

There actually is. St. Basil the Great only applied the term "heretic" to those who worshiped a different God. However, since then, the Church has expanded the list of heresies beyond that considered by St. Basil. The Protestants who participated in the service would be considered heretics by the definition used at the Council of Jerusalem Bethlehem of 1672. All Protestants are also iconoclasts. Roman Catholics would be considered heretics by the definition used by the Letters of the Orthodox Patriarchs in 1848 and the Council of Constantinople of 1484 which rejected the Union of Florence.

Fr. John W. Morris



To talk about this further could it not be seen that if you believe a different doctrine (or dogma or whatever the technical term would be), you automatically believe in a different God?  (I cannot understand how God would have two different doctrines for the Church at a given time, or to have two different Churches)

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« Reply #285 on: February 07, 2014, 03:56:03 AM »

Anyway, it could have been worse!



(Yes, that is Cardinal Sean O'Malley, and is an adviser to Pope Francis)
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« Reply #286 on: February 07, 2014, 09:02:44 AM »

Just so we're all clear, ANY prayer between Orthodox and heterodox is forbidden by the canons, and clerics who do so are liable for deposition. It doesn't matter whether the heterodox cleric was standing inside or outside the altar.

And of course nothing will be done about it. Nothing is ever done about it. The only option is for the Orthodox to sever communion with such heretics.

As horrid as these abuses are, the canons of the First-Second do not permit one to cease commemorating his bishop simply because he has broken the canons and committed offenses which call for deposition. He must specifically preach heresy publicly before such an action is justifiable.

http://hotca.org/orthodoxy/orthodox-awareness/236-why-the-true-orthodox-are-truly-orthodox

Quote
Assertion 4. It is impermissible to break communion over the violation of the canons (such as praying with heretics, etc.) and not over a heresy per se.

Reply: This statement may or may not be true, depending upon exact circumstances (a discussion which could itself be the subject of a treatise). But even if we assume the assertion to be true in the present case, it is nonetheless irrelevant, because we have broken communion with the New Calendarists and Ecumenists precisely because they are heretics, and not merely because they flagrantly violate the canons.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that canons are written with various aims and presuppositions. Some canons deal with morality, others with administration, and still others with proper Church order. Certain canons, however, address the relationship of Christians with heretics or pagans: these canons are not merely rules for Church order, but are practical expressions of the Church's ecclesiology and self-understanding. To break canons such as these indicates a lack of understanding or even a denial of Orthodox ecclesiology. In particular, the Church through a number of canons forbids praying with heretics or accepting their baptism. These canons translate into real-life terms the Patristic doctrine of the Church; that is, that the Church is truly the Body of Christ, and that as Christ is one and in Him there is no division, so also the Church is one and there can be no division of it into opposing parts. But to pray with heretics and accept their sacraments is to recognize that they are part of the same Body, for Christian unity is wrought in the Mysteries and made manifest in worship. The Ecumenists' violation of the canons in question is proof in practice of their heresy, since the fundamental supposition of Ecumenism is that various heretical bodies are in some real (albeit imperfect) way part of the Church. When a heretic implements his false belief by violating the canons which are designed to hinder his heresy, it becomes doubly manifest that he is a heretic.
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« Reply #287 on: February 07, 2014, 09:08:34 AM »

As I've said multiple times, the canons don't merely forbid "serving" with heretics, but any kind of prayer with them. That makes the picture Maria posted just one example of violating those canons.

Yes, but then history is not so full of adherence to such canons, as rosy-eyed traditionalists would like to think. As much as I admire the zeal of certain Old Calendarists (the 'walled off' ones I find to be very reasonable, though understandably, I think that they are wrong), I take comfort in knowing that we are far better off now than four hundred years ago when churches with two altars—one for Roman Catholics and one for Orthodox Christians—existed in many places throughout the Mediterranean and were used to hold joint liturgies (all while craftily dodging the issue of intercommunion), and when even Orthodox metropolitans regularly confessed to Jesuits. Really, if anything, I am much more surprised, having learned of the sorry condition of the Mediterranean world in that time, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate should have been so quick to forget just what havoc the Vatican set loose upon its flock. Nevertheless, today's situation is certainly preferable to the situation then.

The True Orthodox are not trying to make a claim about historical fact, that there were never any similar abuses in history. The problem is that the abuses are no longer even considered abuses, but are being sanctioned by this new belief in ecumenism.

If we looked closely at the history, we would probably find numerous examples of bishops and priests breaking the canons in other ways: taking up arms, taking wives or second wives after ordination etc. We wouldn't argue from this that this somehow legitimizes those abuses. Neither do ecumenist incidents in the past justify them today.
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« Reply #288 on: February 07, 2014, 09:13:26 AM »

But, as Wikipedia notes: " In Western Christianity, "heresy" most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church.[citation needed] In the East, the term "heresy" is eclectic and can refer to anything at variance with Church tradition. " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity

That, in bold, is the understatement of all time. Orthodoxwiki dances around the issue rather effortlessly in an article which requires "clean up." http://orthodoxwiki.org/Heresy

It would seem that from an Orthodox pov, there are heretics and there are Heretics and finally there ARE  HERETICS. Some it would seem are just misguided schismatics and others are on the cusp of apostasy. And a (h)eretic to one Orthodox observer is a fire breathing HERETIC to another.

Roman Catholics have a tough time grasping this "elasticity" in meaning. We Orthodox may use the same term while meaning very different things.

But I wonder how much of that is a genuine elasticity in the tradition and how much of it is our own stupidity.  We throw the word "heretic" around so lightly nowadays, but the Desert Fathers preferred to be called adulterers and murderers rather than be called heretics because they recognised what that word implied and how serious a situation it was theologically and spiritually.     

I think, to some extent anyway, we have become immature in how imprecisely we use words which, in earlier times, were anything but elastic. 

That's a good point. Words take on new meanings over time, sometimes rapidly. Witness the word "socialism" and how it's once narrow meaning has been inflated in contemporary American political parlance to the point that it means very different things to different people. I believe we've done the same with "heresy" and "heretic." When words lose precise meaning, opinion and emotion rule.
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« Reply #289 on: March 01, 2014, 10:22:36 AM »

There is no excuse for this, regardless of how or what you want to read into these photos. Is this suppose to give everyone a fuzzy wuzzy feeing? I can't stand it.
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