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Author Topic: Orthodoxinfo.com's take on Non-Chalcedonians  (Read 9635 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
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« on: April 02, 2005, 10:43:12 PM »

Greekischristian,

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The 'Orthodox Christian Information Center' may have information on a wide range of topics, but it too often represents the fringe of Orthodoxy.

I’ve had big beef with that website, ever since someone referred me to an article from there, in which it dared to compare St Mary’s apparition in Zeitun - one of the greatest events in Coptic Orthodox history where St Mary appeared on the church of Zeitun in front of millions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews (see: http://www.zeitun-eg.org/) - to the various alleged apparitions of aliens/Ufo's. It disgusted me to say the least.

But to be honest, my dialogue with Eastern Orthodox Christians with regards to our “differences” and our understanding of each other has been negligible to none, i've never considered it an issue worth considering - and im not acquianted with many EO Christians either. However, I would like to take this opportunity, to truly know the essence of EO thought.

So out of pure curiosity, would you greekischristian, or any other EO believer here, slot the following statements that I have randomly picked out from various articles on this website, as representative of the “fringe of Orthodoxy” as you say, or would it be considered “mainstream” thought?

1) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/copts_orth.aspx

The Copts are Monophysites and thus heretics. Their Mysteries are invalid and, should they join the Orthodox Church, they must be received as non-Orthodox.

2) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/east_orth.aspx

The designation "Oriental Orthodox" itself clearly illustrates the ecumenistic tendency to obfuscate essential theological differences with euphemisms. This deceptive appellation, popularized by the defective world view of Western Christian thought

3) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx

Isn't it possible, some say, that the Chalcedonians are using the word physis in one way, and the non-Chalcedonians in another way — that they are simply using different language to express the incomprehensible mystery of the union of human and divine in the Incarnate Christ? If this is so, then we all believe the same thing but we are simply expressing it in different ways. This is the line of reasoning followed by the Chalcedonian/non-Chalcedonian dialogues of recent years. It seems convincing, but it is false

4) And everything in this article: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_athos.aspx

Peace.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2005, 10:45:28 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2005, 02:08:23 AM »

EkhristosAnesti,

You really asked me two questions, what do I mean by 'the fringe'? and what is my posistion on the Oriental Orthodox and the Oecumenical Dialogue between us? And I shall do my best to answer them both.

I’ve had big beef with that website, ever since someone referred me to an article from there, in which it dared to compare St Mary’s apparition in Zeitun - one of the greatest events in Coptic Orthodox history where St Mary appeared on the church of Zeitun in front of millions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews (see: http://www.zeitun-eg.org/) - to the various alleged apparitions of aliens/Ufo's. It disgusted me to say the least.

These fundamentalist posistions are certainly an element of what I mean by 'fringe orthodoxy,' the unwillingness to admit that there is any grace outside the canonical boundaries of the Orthodox Church, and, in essence, an attempt to confine the activity of the Holy Spirit to their sect.

So out of pure curiosity, would you greekischristian, or any other EO believer here, slot the following statements that I have randomly picked out from various articles on this website, as representative of the “fringe of Orthodoxy” as you say, or would it be considered “mainstream” thought?

I'll comment on them, trying to both define my posistion, and where I believe my opinion and the statement in question to be within the political continuum of Orthodoxy (though I confess I may be a little biased towards my opinion, I will try to speak objectively on this matter).

1) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/copts_orth.aspx

The Copts are Monophysites and thus heretics. Their Mysteries are invalid and, should they join the Orthodox Church, they must be received as non-Orthodox.

We cannot deny the existance of Chalcedon, and its status as an Oecumenical Synod within the Eastern Orthodox Church, thus the OO Church is outside the Canonical Bounds of the Orthodox Church, so reception of Converts would be the reception of those outside the canonical bounds of the Orthodox Church. However, since this is orthodoxinfo.com I'm presuming that they're insisting on rebaptism, on account of their statement about the invalidity of Coptic Sacraments. This is following the +¦+¦-ü+»+¦+¦+¦ (strictness) of St. Cyprian's Ecclesiology and the decrees of his Council of Carthage, that anyone outside the Church, be it for apostasy, heresy, or schism must be rebaptized, as their sacraments are invalid; of course, if this canon was actually followed, ROCOR members who were received into a Canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction would have to be Rebaptized, as the sacraments of a Schismatic Group such as ROCOR are invalid according to this Council. With that said, the Canons of the Oecumenical Synods and St. Basil bear witness to the fact that this is not how the Orthodox Church has always operated, but rather we have accepted the Baptisms, Chrismations, and Ordinations of others outside the Orthodox Church at times, for example, even the Arians were accepted into Orthodoxy with nothing more than a Statement of Faith, their Baptism and Chrismation and (I believe) Ordination were Recognized as valid by the Orthodox Church, even though they Rejected the Divinity of Christ. Thus, while these fringe groups (who are often outside the canonical bounds of Orthodoxy themselves) as well as the monks of Mt. Athos would probably insist on Rebaptizing Copts (they'd probably also insist on rebaptizing ROCOR members as well), but the opinion of mainline Orthodoxy (including myself) is that such Sacraments preformed in the Coptic Church are acceptable and valid, despite doctrinal disagreements.

2) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/east_orth.aspx

The designation "Oriental Orthodox" itself clearly illustrates the ecumenistic tendency to obfuscate essential theological differences with euphemisms. This deceptive appellation, popularized by the defective world view of Western Christian thought

In dialogue you dont simply call the other person 'the heretics' or 'the heterodox party,' EO and OO are terms that were agreed upon as mutually acceptable for use in the dialogue, and this level of civility is appropriate in this context regardless of the theological details. The reason that this is even being used as a complaint is because the author of that site is unwilling for us to even discuss the theological and try to resolve our differences. The unwillingness to dialogue is symptomatic of a 'fringe' fundamentalist ideology (which you will, of course, find in both the EO and OO).

3) http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_share.aspx

Isn't it possible, some say, that the Chalcedonians are using the word physis in one way, and the non-Chalcedonians in another way — that they are simply using different language to express the incomprehensible mystery of the union of human and divine in the Incarnate Christ? If this is so, then we all believe the same thing but we are simply expressing it in different ways. This is the line of reasoning followed by the Chalcedonian/non-Chalcedonian dialogues of recent years. It seems convincing, but it is false

There are some on both sides who espouse this view; however, I doubt any of them really know what the other side espouses (and many probably dont know what they believe, or are supposed to believe), and thus it is a knee jerk reaction to stand up and proclaim that it is all false and a lie. This too is attributable to this 'fringe' mentality; a willingness to make proclamations and condemn but an unwillingness to listen, learn, and understand. At the same time, though, I believe that many who adopt this notion of us having essentially the same dogma often are too ideological, and often they too are unwilling to look at the other side of the argument. Within mainstream Orthodoxy I would say that there are two views, the ideological view of unity that I stated above, and a more conservative, cautious approach, which I maintain.

4) And everything in this article: http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/mono_athos.aspx

Though I only skimmed through this article, I believe that in large part it is reflective of a the cautious approach to the issue that I mentioned above I support, though at times it did seem to go a bit too far and start pontificating (but they're Monks from Mt. Athos writing a Dogmatic opinion, so what do you expect? Wink ).

The truth of the matter is that there are unresolved differences found in the anathemas of our Oecumenical Synods, whether they're actually dogmatic differences or semantic differences they must be resolved before unity can even be considered; Christological Issues are too fundamental to the Orthodox Faith to ignore. We claim we simply speak different languages, so perhaps we need to dig deeper, Chalcedon states that Christ has Two Natures, Constantinople III states that Will and Energy are manifestations of Natures, hence there are two Wills and two Energies in Christ. The OO have stated that they believe there are two Wills and two Energies using the Chalcedonian formula; however, they have said they come from the one -å-à -â+¦-é of Christ. But, the Oriental Orthodox claim to equate -å-à -â+¦-é and -à -Ç++-â-ä+¦-â+¦-é, whereas the greeks differentiate between the two. Perhaps the OO could say that Christ has two ++-à -â+¦+¦, perhaps some other term needs to be developed and defined without the historical baggage of -å-à -â+¦-é. Perhaps we need to further discuss the distinction between person and nature. The EO need to try and state their theology in the termonology of the OO, and the OO in the termonology of the EO, or we need to develop an entirely new set of termonology. Of course, if we develop new termonology, and new definitions to define our theologies, this would require a new Oecumenical Synod to accept it. I agree with the Oecumenists that that path toward unity must be taken, but I also urge caution and patience; and I dont believe the solution is to deny our histories and our differences inorder to create a false union, but any eventual real union must accept, in full understanding, our cultural and historical differences, and be based on complete understanding (not the vagueness we see in dialogue today) and unconditional acceptance (not the partial, conditional acceptance we see in current dialogue) of a common Christology.
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2005, 09:23:31 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'm not a big fan of the above mentioned controversial website as it obviously condemns my own Church as heretical.  But I have found some useful material on the site.  So I don't deny it can be useful sometimes.  But I would never offer a link to it on my own site.  I'm trying to develope a page for those interested in becoming Orthodox and want to leave open for them either option of being Oriental or Byzantine Orthodox.  So I'm looking for pages conducive to this goal.  Once a person gets a basic gist of what Orthodoxy is all about, then they can move on to worry about things like Chalcedon.  Thanks for the help.

Btw, speaking of Chalcedon (if I'm not violating any forum rules by asking this question), how do you Eastern Orthodox handle the quesiton of Papal Supremecy and Infallibillity as a heresy, in light of Pope Leo of Rome's teaching about the power of his papal office (who, of course, is a canonized saint on your calendar)?

Exempli gratia:
http://www.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/leo.htm

Thanks for any feedback on this question
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2005, 02:23:13 PM »

Btw, speaking of Chalcedon (if I'm not violating any forum rules by asking this question), how do you Eastern Orthodox handle the quesiton of Papal Supremecy and Infallibillity as a heresy, in light of Pope Leo of Rome's teaching about the power of his papal office (who, of course, is a canonized saint on your calendar)?

Exempli gratia:
http://www.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/leo.htm

Leo's Dogmatic Tome was accepted as a starting point for the Decrees of Chalcedon, this doesnt mean we accept everything Leo claimed as infallible. Infact Chalcedon, through her 28th Canon, essentially undermined any claims of papal supremacy by Constantinople the Equal of Old Rome.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2005, 05:41:46 PM »

I admit that if I was Oriental Orthodox and thought that I believed the same as the Eastern Orthodox or that I was Orthodox and maybe the EO were not then I might have a problem with the site.
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2005, 05:51:35 PM »

Dear GreekisChristian,

Thanks for fielding my question on Pope Leo.  Leaving the question of Chalcedon asisde, I guess I am asking, if the doctrine of Papal Supremacy is regarded as heresy by Eastern Orthodox, how can Pope Leo who is a great defender of Papal Supremacy be considered a Saint?  Perhaps some will think that because I am not a part of your Communion, I just can't understand.  But I certainly am willing to give it a try.  Surely I'm not be the first to recognize this seeming contradiction.  If anyone knows of any articles or websites which speak to this question, please point me to them.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2005, 08:02:38 PM »

Greekischristian,

If you don’t mind, I want to continue this dialogue (without it regressing into a "debate" - i'm sick of debates) with you at much more in-depth level, if its not too much trouble. Before we progress however, I would like to do my own sufficient research on this issue - it should save us both some time.

Peace.
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EkhristosAnesti
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 08:08:54 PM »

Schismjumper,

Quote
I admit that if I was Oriental Orthodox and thought that I believed the same as the Eastern Orthodox or that I was Orthodox and maybe the EO were not then I might have a problem with the site.

I don’t know whether you were intentionally trying to be a smart a** or not, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt, especially considering that my life-long exposure to polemics of all kind may have me paranoid at this stage.

My problem sir, is with people trying to tell me what I do and do not believe. It’s nothing more than a joke - I’ve had Muslims do it, I’ve had Jews do it, I’ve had atheists do it, and now im being thrown into a whole other arena - one ive never thought I would have to delve into; where now those whom I thought were my closest brothers are doing it - I guess ignorance was bliss, but now i'm learning.

I know what I believe, I know what my church believes. My church has explicated her beliefs and non-beliefs numerously over the past years, to correct the misinformations, misinterpretations and misrepresentations of others. Show me one OO document where we have ever proclaimed or acknowledged the heresies you impose on us, which differentiate our church's on a doctrinal level. I want something explicit - I don’t want an inferred argument from silence, which would obviously be motivated by the bias of those who actually have some sort of a desire to hurt us. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, my church has been explicit on many things - maybe you have heard it 100 times over, but I will repeat it again, we are not/never-have-been monophysites (in the sense that we ever denied Christ’s humanity or even the fullness thereof), we are/always-have-been miaphysites (in the sense that we have always recognized that the uncompromising union of the perfect divine nature and human nature, constitute the ultimate nature of Christ), we do not/never-have accepted the teachings of Eutyches we reject/have-always-rejected him as strongly as we reject/and-have-always-rejected the teachings of Nestorius. We confess/and-have-always-confessed the two natures of Christ united in His person without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration, without this negating, or contradicting the Cyrillian/Athanasian formula affirmed by the blessed St. Dioscorus and stressed by him purely for the sake of not wanting to regress back into any sort of Nestorian heresy; that Christ did ultimately possess the One nature of God incarnate. It is explicated in our liturgy, our Pope has explicated it in a book titled “The nature of Christ” (His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, 1997), and it has been explicated for you people in numerous ecumenical dialogues - why don’t others want to listen? I can think of no other reason as to why some people will continue with all their effort and might to lie and manipulate and set up straw men concerning the OO such to prevent any real movement forward, other than the spirit of the anti-Christ influencing them.

But apparently, my affirmations are not enough, it seems that according to people like you as implied in your above quoted comment - regardless of my actual subjective beliefs, I still only think that I believe the same as you - as if it’s some fantasy or something that I will never achieve unless I actually become EO - a movement which would be nothing more than a charade, for it would change absolutely nothing in reality.

For the record, I would never say that an EO is not Orthodox. But after all, what does my opinion matter, I’m just a heretic, who - to slightly modify your own words, merely *thinks* im Orthodox, and who according to another *am* Orthodox as long as im in *dialogue*. Give me a break.

Peace.
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2005, 08:21:32 PM »

GiC,
goarch.org seems to have been broken for months now, as I haven't been able to access for a while (your link as well).
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2005, 08:27:29 PM »

GiC,
goarch.org seems to have been broken for months now, as I haven't been able to access for a while (your link as well).

That's odd; his link worked just fine for me.  Huh
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2005, 08:37:26 PM »

EkhristosAnesti,
Greekischristian,

If you don’t mind, I want to continue this dialogue (without it regressing into a "debate" - i'm sick of debates) with you at much more in-depth level, if its not too much trouble. Before we progress however, I would like to do my own sufficient research on this issue - it should save us both some time.

Peace.


That's fine with me, start a thread or send me a pm (or both) when you're ready. I would actually quite enjoy discussing this in the context of dialogue...I already know where debate goes Wink


Elisha,
GiC,
goarch.org seems to have been broken for months now, as I haven't been able to access for a while (your link as well).

That's strange, I have no problem accessing it, I was even just able to access it using Lynx and rejecting cookies, thus the site is quite accessable. There could be a problem with loading timeouts, how fast is your connection? what browser are you using? and which error message do you get?
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2005, 08:38:53 PM »

For me, too. Daily, four or five times a day...no problem.
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2005, 10:51:25 PM »

Elisha,


That's strange, I have no problem accessing it, I was even just able to access it using Lynx and rejecting cookies, thus the site is quite accessable. There could be a problem with loading timeouts, how fast is your connection? what browser are you using? and which error message do you get?

I have SBCYahoo DSL.  It works neither from work (T-1, but horribly slow for that - half the speed of my home DSL connection) using IE or from home using Mozilla Firefox.  Times out and doesn't recognize the site.  I search from google and click on the GOA link and get nada as well.  This has never happened in the past.
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2005, 11:40:17 PM »

I have SBCYahoo DSL. It works neither from work (T-1, but horribly slow for that - half the speed of my home DSL connection) using IE or from home using Mozilla Firefox. Times out and doesn't recognize the site. I search from google and click on the GOA link and get nada as well. This has never happened in the past.

Last time the Archdiocese upgraded their site (I believe they got a large grant from Leadership 100), they added they added many different graphics and scripts to make the site more 'appealing' and eat up more bandwidth (an unfortunate trend on the internet to improve appearances at the expense of accessibility and content...if it can't be viewed in a text-based web browser, you're probably just wasting bandwidth (there's a reason I could never programme outside academia) Wink ). So because of this the timeout error could just be that the settings on the web browser no not allow sufficient time to download the page. In firefox, you can adjust the amount of time before a timeout by changing the network.http.request.timeout value under about:config (default is 120 seconds), there's also a timeout reload mod here:

http://users-guide.org/index.php?c=text&id=100


To make sure it's not a problem with your ISP you could always download and install lynx and try to visit the site using that browser, a good win32 compilation with installer (you dont come across those too often in the world of open source  Shocked ) can be found at the bottom of the page here:

http://csant.info/lynx.htm

I dont know how much you've used text-based browsers but Lynx is pretty easy, once you open it after installing simply type 'g' (without quotes) and then the website www.goarch.org. It will prompt you (at the bottom) to ask if you want to accept cookies from that site, respond and it should load.

Hope this helps.
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2005, 05:24:24 PM »

This is probably a dead topic, but, but in light of recent conversation I have had with some, would like SchismJumper (or those who feel as he does) to provide writings from OO Church Fathers or any hard and fast evidence that OO were ever monophysite or are really the heretics that they claim them to be.  As one observing from the outside, longing to be Orthodox (not biased by being either cradle EO or OO), I saw no difference in faith and very little in Liturgical worship.  It wasn't until I got into ecclesiastical reading and the academia of the Orthodox world that "differences" were made known to me.  An outsider sees no difference.  Why do insiders???  And where is the hard-and-fast proof (not implied, as EA said, by silence) for such differences???  All of this infighting does nothing but hamper the Church in her mission to evangelize the world.

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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2005, 05:53:51 PM »

Chalcedon should not be considered an Ecumenical Council because it was not ecumenical in nature. Certain bishops (especially those from Rome) sought to claim superiority over the See of Alexandria, which was seen as the center of the Christian world. Constantinople and Rome were merely political centers. Pope Dioscorus of blessed memory was unjustly accused of heresy and criminal acts, and thus banished by Marcian. He was placed under house arrest by imperial forces, and ultimately exiled to Gangra. The emperor Marcian and bishops of Chalcedon then sent Proterius, the alien "patriarch" to take Abba Dioscorus' place. The Egyptian (Alexandrian) synod and people collectively rejected this authority, and thus remained loyal to their true Pope Dioscorus. After the death of Dioscorus, the Alexandrian synod then elected Pope Timothy II (Aelurus) as proper successor to the throne of St. Mark. Pope Timothy II, together with the Egyptian bishops, excommunicated the Tome of Leo and the Chalcedonian decrees as well as those that held to them.

What was later known as the "Henoticon" repaired some of the political disruptions as a result of these events. Also, the emperors of Constantinople relented from sending alien patriarchs to Alexandria following Pope Timothy II.

In several texts I've searched, authors are quick to state how through Chalcedon, what was seen as the dominating "Alexandrian theology" was defeated at Chalcedon, and a heirarchy of sees forming, creating a political dillema within the church.

How foolish are these that glory in vainglory.

It's almost, and I say ALMOST, as stupid as the debates over homosexuality and the church. Extremely gay.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2005, 06:40:46 PM »

After years of foolish words and rash posts on my part, I've decided to simplify my stance on the issue. When the OO and EO have worked out a compromise that brings us to official agreement regarding the status of the Fourth through Seventh Ecumenical Councils, St. Leo, etc., then I'll never speak on the matter again. Until then, I will only say, as St. Gregory the Theologian said, that " admire your life, but do not altogether approve your doctrine." (Oration 41, 8 ).
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2005, 11:19:31 PM »

This is the cold truth as I understand it, a truth to which no Eastern Orthodox Christian has been able to provide a rebuttal. Here's the deal.:

The christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is the exact same christology as expounded by St. Cyril of Alexandria and accepted by the Council of Ephesus.
In Chalcedon, the Latin and Byzantine Churches decided to overturn a previous council with a new christology. Given that the Oriental Orthodox Churches hold to the pre-Chalcedonian christology, the "heretical" group would be the one which rejected a previous council with a new (perhaps Nestorian-influenced) christology.
The fact that certain Eastern Christians are so defensive of Chalcedon and denounce any Oriental Christian as a heretic is a defense mechanism to mask their own neglect of history. It's like the pot calling the kettle black.
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2005, 07:07:29 PM »

EkhristosAnesti
Have you tried contacting Patrick Barnes? If you have not I would suggest that you try. Also I cannot understand how you and GiC draw the conclusion that because his site features an article denying the Zeitun apparition that he is denying Grace exists anywhere outside the Church. Let me just say this so it is clear: We believe that that God's general Salvific Grace is constantly given to everyone and we believe the Ecclesial Grace of the Mysteries is only present in the Orthodox Church. This is not limiting God but an affirmation of what He has revealed.
Would you be mad at me for telling you the Fatima visions were in the same league with UFO sightings? Just because someone does not agree with you does not mean they are attacking you.
Having said that I must say I have always liked you and particularly the helpful discussion you started on Redemption and the Penal Substitution doctrine.
Again I disagree with the claims that OO are Orthodox but that does not mean I am against you personally. If I were personally against those who are non-Orthodox I would have to hate all my relatives and childhood friends. But I am not insane nor am I on the fringe as GiC might claim. GiC that is nothing against you either. I am glad that you support the validity of the Fourth Ecumenical Council when it seems to be in vogue to deny it.
Dear GreekisChristian,

Thanks for fielding my question on Pope Leo. Leaving the question of Chalcedon asisde, I guess I am asking, if the doctrine of Papal Supremacy is regarded as heresy by Eastern Orthodox, how can Pope Leo who is a great defender of Papal Supremacy be considered a Saint? Perhaps some will think that because I am not a part of your Communion, I just can't understand. But I certainly am willing to give it a try. Surely I'm not be the first to recognize this seeming contradiction. If anyone knows of any articles or websites which speak to this question, please point me to them.
Brother Ghazaros I would look at Chapter 4 in Abbe Guettee's The Papacy. Yes a lot of RC's have done everything to deny what he wrote but the simple fact is that Guettee is right, Pope Leo is a Saint and he was not a Papal Supremacist.
I am glad you are willing to see the EO POV when so few are willing to. I also like your website which is very helpful and interesting. It is heartening to know someone in the OO who is willing to hear St.Leo out!
After years of foolish words and rash posts on my part, I've decided to simplify my stance on the issue. When the OO and EO have worked out a compromise that brings us to official agreement regarding the status of the Fourth through Seventh Ecumenical Councils, St. Leo, etc., then I'll never speak on the matter again. Until then, I will only say, as St. Gregory the Theologian said, that " admire your life, but do not altogether approve your doctrine." (Oration 41, 8 ).
I agree entirely with that but would say that the 2004 Conference at Thessaloniki has affirmed Orthodox Church's position and come to the conclusion that dialogue with OO has led no where. Can't we just get along without trying to haphazardly 'reunite?' Just because I don't think the Oriental churches are Orthodox does not mean that there can be no meaningful cooperation.
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2005, 07:41:46 PM »

Dear Sabbas,
I believe what EA objected to is to misrepresentation of the OO faith and the use of descriptions such as "monophysites" or "Eutychians" without actually proving how we relate to such heresy. It is only fair to ask to show us the sources for such claims. If you can back it up, that is fine, if not, then it is only fair to refrain from using incorrect labels.

As for history, which includes Chalcedon, it has been discussed many times before on the site. Here, we have to refer to common references to be able to draw conclusions. I believe this provides a healthy basis for discussion.

To deny the apparitions of St.Mary is normal to come from a non OO, yet it is an event that took place for a year, each and every night, in front of hundred of thousands of people who waited for her apparition each night, and they were muslims and christians alike. The islamic newspaper, who never ever say anything uplifting about the christians, had to concede this fact at the time. The president Gamal Abd El-Nasser went himself with his family.
Many healing miracles was performed by the lady of us all.

If this apparition is denied, the miracles of the saints of Egypt are numerous and cannot be denied, latest of which are the miracles of H.H. the Pope St.Kyrillos the 6th, (1959-1971).

Many OO do not look at the EO faith with much appreciation either as you do, without taking it to a personal level. But one thing to be noticed is that the OO follow their hierarchs more than EO. For example, there has been a christological agreement on the faith from both side, yet many EO do not adhere to it and still label OO with misconeptions that have been cleared long time ago. It is either that the EO hierarchs were wrong to sign this christological agreement, which is an internal problem for the EO, or they were right, and you would have to stop using the term monophysites.

If you have issues with other OO expression of faith other than christology, please bring them forth and we can discuss them.

Peace.
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2005, 10:50:56 PM »

Umm...why is it that I have no re-collection of actually creating this thread?

Anastasios? Robert? Someone else? I remember the issues discussed in my posts - but i dont recall creating a whole new thread to discuss these issues. If someone else did it, I would have liked to at least been notified....

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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2005, 10:53:40 PM »

I didn't do it but it is within the pervue of the moderators to split topics.  It probably would have been better had the moderator mentioned that is what he or she was doing.

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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2005, 10:59:19 PM »

Sabbas,

Quote
Just because someone does not agree with you does not mean they are attacking you.

To deny one of the most important events in Coptic Church history (one which strengthened the faith and re-enforced the hope of a persecuted and minority people in a land dominated by pagans, and which also lead to many conversions), and to try to implicitly attribute it’s origin or inspiration to Satan himself, is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever heard in my life, and you’re attempt to water it down is pathetic - but I on behalf of the Coptic Church thank them (and their supporters) for the false charges nonetheless, because it is nothing short of a blessing to be counted along with Christ who Himself was accused of performing miracles by the power of the enemy.

This isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, it’s a matter of prideful EO’s who think they’re God’s special gift such that only they can receive divine revelation, and such that only they are worthy of an apparition from the Theotokos (Oh by the way, every time you say Theotokos please remember St Cyril, our blessed Patriarch, the champion of Christology - the one we maintained the strongest of allegiance to, even to the point of suffering persecution and discrimination).

May the Lord have mercy on the authors of that article, and all who promote it, who will surely be held accountable for their deceit, ignorance and negligence, in insulting Him and His Mother. May the Lord continue to shine through the Coptic Church, the church of the land which was prophesied in the Holy Bible according to the blessing it would give to the world, as well as the land which was blessed by the visit of the Holy Family, in whose footsteps lay the Holy Altars of the Coptic Church. From the moving of Al-Mokattam mountain, to the blood of the martyrs, and to the Apparition in Zeitoun; the Lord and the Theotokos and all the saints will continue to bless and strengthen the Coptic church, no matter how many vein things the enemy wishes to conspire against her.

From St Basil's Liturgy:
"All offenses and their instigators, abolish. May all dissension of corrupt heresies cease. The enemies of Your Holy Church, O Lord, as at all times, now also humiliate. Strip their vanity, show them their weakness speedily. Bring to naught their envy, their intrigues, their madness, their wickedness and their slander which they commit against us, O Lord, bring them all to avail; disperse their counsel, O God, who dispersed the counsel of Ahithopel." Amen, Kyrie Eleison.

Insha'allah, I hope to expose the inconsistencies and double standards of that article, by doing a little ufo fantasizing of my own. Do you have any personal favourite apparations or miracles you would like me to shoot down? I have a brilliant account of a hindu miracle that im just dying to strenuously compare to something.

Quote
Again I disagree with the claims that OO are Orthodox but that does not mean I am against you personally.

To disagree is one thing, to arrogantly and condescendingly assert it as a self-evident fact without any substance is another (as you did on the other thread). This is the line of thought I get with most of the EO’s ive spoken to so far: “You aren’t Orthodox because we say so” - “Orthodoxy is an adherence to the 7 councils as ecumenical because we say so”. Please learn to validate your claim with reason, and then maybe I won’t sound so pi**ed off, even if you arrive at the same conclusion.

Peace.
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2005, 11:13:41 PM »

I didn't do it but it is within the pervue of the moderators to split topics.  It probably would have been better had the moderator mentioned that is what he or she was doing.

Heh, heh...whoops...this thread was split off from this thread...and I thought I had left a notification in that thread.  I didn't.  Sorry.

As it is, whoever writes the earliest post among all the posts that get split off from a former thread is credited with having "started" the thread.
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« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2005, 12:02:39 AM »

I for one, can not but hold ALL seven councils as Orthodox.

I for one, can not but hold ALL Oriental Orthodox as brothers and sister...

Do I have a problem?
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« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2005, 07:59:04 AM »

Optxcogokcoc

Quote
Do I have a problem?

Well for one; your profile says that you’re from Perth, and so generally speaking your opinion is irrelevant and on par with those from HobartGǪand Adelaide... especially MelbourneGǪand basically all capital cities minus Sydney. Wink

I don’t think you have a problem.

Quote
I for one, can not but hold ALL seven councils as Orthodox.

I likewise hold to all seven councils as Orthodox, just not Ecumenical. Fr Tadros Malaty outlines the general gist of our rejection of a council as Ecumenical in his book titled Ecumenical councils and the Trinitarian Faith, in which he argues that Ecumenicity should be understood as first and foremost an ontological quality pertaining to the life of the Church with regards to it's unity and coherence. I will quote from this book in due time when I get the chance to start my response to GiC in the other thread.

Quote
I for one, can not but hold ALL Oriental Orthodox as brothers and sister...

I not only regard EO’s as brothers and sisters, but I think as Christians we are supposed to extend that title, and practice that sort of relationship with all those created in the image of God, regardless of denomination, sect, or religion. The issue that concerns me, is the right of one to tell another “You are not Orthodox” or in other words “You are not following the straight path” especially to a church which is in separation, not because of any divergence from the straight path, but precisely because of it’s satisfaction with the direction and distance that that straight path had already accomplished with regards to Christological issues by 433 A.D.; wishing to remain comfortably at home parked in St Cyril’s street, rather than to leave home into foreign territory and make an unnecessary and unwarranted left turn into Leo’s Street.

Peace.
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« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2005, 01:02:26 PM »

Dearest EkhristosAnesti,

I came across your thread on islam and Judaism when a friend referred me to it and I was very impressed. I would just like to recommend you discontinue this discussion with sabbas because it sounds like you’re starting to get hostile and I would hate to see you banned from this forum.
Please take no offense to what im saying because I really do admire you for defending the faith and i love reading your posts, I would just hate to see your arguments being distorted by your attitude. I would have sent this personally to you but your email is hidden so I couldn’t contact you. Keep up the great posts im looking forward to reading more from you.
God Bless.

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« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2005, 01:13:23 PM »

Sabbas,

To deny one of the most important events in Coptic Church history (one which strengthened the faith and re-enforced the hope of a persecuted and minority people in a land dominated by pagans, and which also lead to many conversions), and to try to implicitly attribute it’s origin or inspiration to Satan himself, is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever heard in my life, and you’re attempt to water it down is pathetic - but I on behalf of the Coptic Church thank them (and their supporters) for the false charges nonetheless, because it is nothing short of a blessing to be counted along with Christ who Himself was accused of performing miracles by the power of the enemy.

This isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, it’s a matter of prideful EO’s who think they’re God’s special gift such that only they can receive divine revelation, and such that only they are worthy of an apparition from the Theotokos (Oh by the way, every time you say Theotokos please remember St Cyril, our blessed Patriarch, the champion of Christology - the one we maintained the strongest of allegiance to, even to the point of suffering persecution and discrimination).

May the Lord have mercy on the authors of that article, and all who promote it, who will surely be held accountable for their deceit, ignorance and negligence, in insulting Him and His Mother. May the Lord continue to shine through the Coptic Church, the church of the land which was prophesied in the Holy Bible according to the blessing it would give to the world, as well as the land which was blessed by the visit of the Holy Family, in whose footsteps lay the Holy Altars of the Coptic Church. From the moving of Al-Mokattam mountain, to the blood of the martyrs, and to the Apparition in Zeitoun; the Lord and the Theotokos and all the saints will continue to bless and strengthen the Coptic church, no matter how many vein things the enemy wishes to conspire against her.

From St Basil's Liturgy:
"All offenses and their instigators, abolish. May all dissension of corrupt heresies cease. The enemies of Your Holy Church, O Lord, as at all times, now also humiliate. Strip their vanity, show them their weakness speedily. Bring to naught their envy, their intrigues, their madness, their wickedness and their slander which they commit against us, O Lord, bring them all to avail; disperse their counsel, O God, who dispersed the counsel of Ahithopel." Amen, Kyrie Eleison.

Insha'allah, I hope to expose the inconsistencies and double standards of that article, by doing a little ufo fantasizing of my own. Do you have any personal favourite apparations or miracles you would like me to shoot down? I have a brilliant account of a hindu miracle that im just dying to strenuously compare to something.



To disagree is one thing, to arrogantly and condescendingly assert it as a self-evident fact without any substance is another (as you did on the other thread). This is the line of thought I get with most of the EO’s ive spoken to so far: “You aren’t Orthodox because we say so” - “Orthodoxy is an adherence to the 7 councils as ecumenical because we say so”. Please learn to validate your claim with reason, and then maybe I won’t sound so pi**ed off, even if you arrive at the same conclusion.

Peace.

EkhristosAnesti I do not know much about the Zeitoun apparition and will not weigh in on either side. However I can see why some would question it and I do not think we should attack people for being skeptical. Also consider the Fatima visions. My RC grandmother took those very seriously and believed that they were genuine visions till the day she died. However I think that the Fatima visions were most likely the result of demonic influence even though hundreds of people were there when the sun was supposed to have moved in the sky and reported actually seeing the sun moving. Of course RCs will not usually tell you that many people who were there reported seeing UFOs and a few said they didn't see anything. Many people converted because of these visions or deepened their faith but does that necessarily mean these visions were genuine? I don't think they were. Does that mean I am attacking RCs who believe they were genuine? No! and I am not attacking Copts by being skeptical about the Zeitoun apparitions.

Quote
Insha'allah, I hope to expose the inconsistencies and double standards of that article, by doing a little ufo fantasizing of my own. Do you have any personal favourite apparations or miracles you would like me to shoot down? I have a brilliant account of a hindu miracle that im just dying to strenuously compare to something.
Good for you! I always like scholarly debates. If you are interested in some really odd phenomena that still endlessly puzzles and frightens me read The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel. If is a nonfiction account of some very strange phenomena that took place in West Virginia, here is an excerpt http://www.tor.com/samplemothman.html
But if you want to take a shot at Orthodox miracles try the bleeding Icons of Belarus http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping623.htm

Quote
To disagree is one thing, to arrogantly and condescendingly assert it as a self-evident fact without any substance is another (as you did on the other thread). This is the line of thought I get with most of the EO’s ive spoken to so far: “You aren’t Orthodox because we say so” - “Orthodoxy is an adherence to the 7 councils as ecumenical because we say so”. Please learn to validate your claim with reason, and then maybe I won’t sound so pi**ed off, even if you arrive at the same conclusion.
Actually I think that there are 9 Ecumenical Councils. The 8th during 879-880 and the 9th being during 1341. In fact until recently many Orthodox did consider the 8th and 9th to be Ecumenical and the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848) repeatedly references the 8th Council for obvious reasons.
Also I am sorry if I sounded arrogant. I said that I am not going to debate the Council of Chalcedon which includes believing that the Oriental churches are not part of the Church. If that bothers you I am sorry but I really do not see the point of debating this as I long ago researched this when I converted to Orthodoxy. The conclusion of my research was that the Council of Chalcedon was legit and a lot of the arguments by Oriental churches revolve around semantics and defending men condemned as heretics by the Chalcedon. I currently hold the opinion that the dialogue between the Oriental churches and the Orthodox Church have been fruitless. I believe problem lies with the Oriental churches not wanting to join themselves to the Orthodox Church but instead wanting the Orthodox Church to condemn itself for having ever anathematized Severos and denying the Orthodoxy of the Oriental churches. That simply is not going to happen and it is ridiculous for people to think it should.

Once again I will say that I am not attacking you personally but merely disagree with you. Please respect my right to believe what the Orthodox Church teaches as I respect your right to believe in the Orthodoxy of the Oriental churches.

Quote
If this apparition is denied, the miracles of the saints of Egypt are numerous and cannot be denied, latest of which are the miracles of H.H. the Pope St.Kyrillos the 6th, (1959-1971).
I have heard a lot about this man recently and will probably read more about him after Finals this week. But as I am Orthodox and believe in the Church I do not venerate anyone who was not a visible member of the Church during their life no matter how amazing that person might be.
For example Padre Pio was an amazing man who is said to have cured many people but I am not about to say that the RCs are Orthodox nor would I say that Padre Pio is an Orthodox Saint. Just because miraculous events happen to people outside the Church and amazing people are outside the Church does not mean that the Orthodox Church ceases to be visible and one. There are many Protestant churches where miracles have happened but I am not about to say they are Orthodox!

Quote
But one thing to be noticed is that the OO follow their hierarchs more than EO. For example, there has been a christological agreement on the faith from both side, yet many EO do not adhere to it and still label OO with misconeptions that have been cleared long time ago. It is either that the EO hierarchs were wrong to sign this christological agreement, which is an internal problem for the EO, or they were right, and you would have to stop using the term monophysites.
It is not the duty of a member of the Church to follow their hierarchs when they go against the Faith. Yes you are supposed to be obedient but I am not going to say the Oriental churches are Orthodox just because a few Orthodox hierarchs say they are. By the way there are many Orthodox bishops who do not believe in blurring the Faith and do not teach that the Oriental churches are Orthodox.
Simply put I will adhere to what the Church teaches not what misguided bishops teach.
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« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2005, 01:55:44 PM »

EkhristosAnesti, and where are you from? You stink of Opera House or am I mistaken Smiley .... You know I am sharpening my knives right now Smiley Thats ok.. you never know what you never know... Perth, my friend is the Fourth Rome! Smiley

Seriously now, I am doing much research on OUR problem, and in good time, will say more.

Indeed He is risen!
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« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2005, 02:06:59 PM »



The christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is the exact same christology as expounded by St. Cyril of Alexandria and accepted by the Council of Ephesus.
In Chalcedon, the Latin and Byzantine Churches decided to overturn a previous council with a new christology. Given that the Oriental Orthodox Churches hold to the pre-Chalcedonian christology, the "heretical" group would be the one which rejected a previous council with a new (perhaps Nestorian-influenced) christology.
The fact that certain Eastern Christians are so defensive of Chalcedon and denounce any Oriental Christian as a heretic is a defense mechanism to mask their own neglect of history. It's like the pot calling the kettle black.


Could anyone please provide a rebuttal? I understand that this is a very divisive issue but from where I am coming from, the "heretical" group would be those who rejected a previous council with a new christology.
Any sort of reconciliation between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches will have to include a careful attention to history.
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« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2005, 04:39:44 PM »

Matthew I am sure that you have read this elsewhere but try looking at the dialogue between St.Cyril and the Antiochene bishops. The Formula of Reunion makes it pretty clear for me http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/cyril_johnantioch.shtml This was read during the Council of Chalcedon
Also perhaps you can enlighten us as to what is so Nestorian about the Tome of St.Leo? Also there was no attempt on the part of any in the Roman Empire whether in Rome, Constantinople, or Antioch to overturn the Council of Ephesus at the Council of Chalcedon. To say so is to be unfamiliar with what went on at the Council http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/chalcedon.html
Forgive me! I know I said I would not debate this and I do not want to but Matthew has repeatedly asked for people to help him with this.
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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2005, 05:10:26 PM »

The christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is the christology of Ephesus, what St. Cyril defined as "the one incarnate nature of God the Word".
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« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2005, 09:47:17 PM »

Quote
The christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is the christology of Ephesus, what St. Cyril defined as "the one incarnate nature of God the Word".

But do you consider Chalcedon, and especially the Tome, to be heretical?
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« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2005, 10:23:23 PM »

I think to understand why the Non-Chalcedonians view the Tome as Nestorian one should read the book by V.C. Samuel (of which I have only skimmed) entitled Chalcedon Re-Examined.  I personally think the Oros of Chalcedon follows Cyril closely (except for using in two natures instead of from; the rest is straight out of Cyril's reunion formula with the Antiochene bishops), and I am a Chalcedonian, but at the same time, the Non-Chalcedonian position is not well known on the internet and that book gives it pretty well.

Just a suggested reading.

Anastasios
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« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2005, 10:47:25 PM »

But do you consider Chalcedon, and especially the Tome, to be heretical?

I do not like to use the word "heretical". Just consider this:
The Council of Ephesus accepted the christology of the one incarnate nature of God the Word.
In Chalcedon, the Byzantine and Latin Churches accepted a conflicting christology in which Christ exists in two natures.
What would the "heretical" group be, the one which held to the Council of Ephesus or the one which rejected it with a new christology? This is a simple matter of history.
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« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2005, 11:00:24 PM »

I must admit to being a bit confused. One of the OO's participating on this thread talked to me elsewhere and got me to thinking about this subject in a different way, and I was ready to pursue the avenue of thought he suggested as a solution. However, Matthew, also an OO, seems to be saying the opposite, that there in fact IS a difference in faith, and that it is significant and not just semantical, cultural, political or whatever. Matthew does not like to use the word heretical, so he instead remains vague and implicative, setting up his post so that the EO being in heresy seems to be the logical conclusion of the information he lays out. I put the book Anastasios suggested in my Amazon.com cart and will get it sooner rather than later, but I'm interested what Mor, Ekhristos, and others think of Matthew's thinking on this point.
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« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2005, 11:51:31 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Paradosis,
As a member of the OO Church, I can only give my personal and humble opinion.  I am not an expert on the Councils (mostly because I have trouble remembering names and the heresy that goes along with it), so, I'll give my views.
I agree with EA, who I believe stated that the OO Churches don't deny the Orthodoxy of councils 4-7, but that they must be accepted as Ecumenical. 
I also agree with Stavro, who I also believe stated, that for the OO Churches to accept councils 4-7, would be like a healthy man being forced to take a sick man's medicine; in other words, we didn't fall into the heresies that led to the gathering of councils 4-7, though the EO "force" us to take this "medicine" to be truly Orthodox.
I've never been a fan of one man trying to explain another man's faith.  In other words, I find it almost vain to read an article on the Christology of the EO Church from an OO writer, or vise-versa.  I always wish to go to the source.  So, through my own personal readings, I find that both the EO and the OO Churches Christology's are truly Orthodox, when explained by the respected members of these Churches.
However, being apart of the OO Church, I must stand by my Church Fathers (willfully) rejection of the 4th council, as well as councils 5-7 (or 9 if you will).
Well, I'm sure I've only brought more confusion to the topic.
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« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2005, 12:29:38 AM »

However, Matthew, also an OO, seems to be saying the opposite, that there in fact IS a difference in faith, and that it is significant and not just semantical, cultural, political or whatever.

Our differences are merely cultural, semantical, and political.
The fact that certain Eastern Orthodox Christians insist that the Oriental Orthodox Churches are heretical is absurd because if one of us is "heretical", it would be the group which rejected a previous council with a new christology.
However, I do not find Chalcedon heretical in and of itself, it is only its implications that I find dangerous.
Please consider Oneness Pentecostals, for example. They belive that the human nature of Jesus is the Son and the divine nature is the Father and that in the Gospels, when the Son speaks to the Father,  it is His human nature speaking with His divine nature.
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« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2005, 12:44:49 AM »

Copt,

I appreciate your concern and thank you for your kind comments; but I do not believe that I am being "hostile", nor do I believe I have done or said anything of a nature that the administrators would feel the need to ban me, else I would have at least already been warned or PM'd.

Peace.
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« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2005, 01:04:28 AM »

Sabbas,

Quote
However I can see why some would question it and I do not think we should attack people for being skeptical.

I will attack people based on their apparent motivations. There is no genuine or warranted skepticism from the authors of that article - they just feel that their self-attributed exclusive right to Orthodoxy is being threatened by the fact that the Theotokos appeared in her glory to the very church which is responsible and to thank, for the very veneration that is given to her universally as the Theotokos - Mother of God (you do remember St Cyril of Alexandria right?).

Quote
Also consider the Fatima visions.

I don’t know much about the Fatima visions, but I don’t see any relevant connection between Fatima and Zeitoun nor did you even make any, so I don’t know what your point is exactly.

As far as I know, no Orthodox church (and yes i refer to OO and EO as the Orthodox Church) has taken an official position with regards to Fatima. Here is an Orthodox apologetic article defending Fatima as genuine, and taking a polemical stance against the RC interpretation of the events in question: http://www.unicorne.org/orthodoxy/articles/alex_roman/marionology.htm

The denied authenticity of certain apparitions that occur within the RC church are based on valid reasoning - either St Mary is promoting some heretical RC doctrine such as the Immaculate Conception, or she is drawing attention to and hence seeking glory for herself rather than her Son. In the absence of such features, I would have no problem in accepting any apparitions or miracles within the RC church as divinely inspired - so your implicit attempt to prove a double standard has failed.

On many occasions the Coptic Church has denounced certain Marian apparitions within her own church, based on the context of these apparitions. Once a lady claimed that St Mary visited her house whilst she was sick and told her that she never needed to pray again or go to the liturgy, and that she (St Mary) would heal her and visit her (the lady’s) home weekly and serve her the Eucharist personally. The lady rang the local priest and notified him of her experience. She also told him that St Mary promised her as a sign that her (the lady) hands would start pouring oil. The priest visited her house, and indeed the ladys' hands started pouring oil in front of him. When she told him more about the apparition - how the alleged St Mary told her to stop praying and to stop attending Liturgy - he realized straight away that it was satanic and tried to persuade her of this. She being deluded refused to believe him. On his way out of her home, the priest saw a man on the street selling cooked food and who was loudly complaining that someone kept stealing his oil. It was revealed to the priest by God at that moment, that satan took the oil from this man's store and entered the lady’s house pouring it on her hands. So even the Coptic Church does not just accept purported apparitions at face value.

The main point is however, that there is NO valid reason motivating that ridiculous article at orthodoxinfo.com, nor have you proven anything by bringing up Fatima. The skepticism against Zeitoun is motivated by a presupposed idea that the OO church is not really Orthodox and that it is thus impossible for such divine revelation to occur within the church, and hence the authors of the article feel the need to strain in finding an alternative explanation. Valid skepticism is prompted by consideration of the apparent motives and purpose behind the apparitions.

Quote
But if you want to take a shot at Orthodox miracles try the bleeding Icons of Belarus http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping623.htm

Bleeding and weeping icons are too easy. The Coptic Church is replete with them.

In any event, I have decided not to (and was recommended by a friend not to) stoop as low as the authors at orthodoxinfo.com did, by even attempting to discredit an apparition made to the EO church simply for the sake of argument. It would only serve to outrageously offend people in the same manner I was as I read through that anti-Christ article.

Quote
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To disagree is one thing, to arrogantly and condescendingly assert it as a self-evident fact without any substance is another (as you did on the other thread). This is the line of thought I get with most of the EO’s ive spoken to so far: “You aren’t Orthodox because we say so” - “Orthodoxy is an adherence to the 7 councils as ecumenical because we say so”. Please learn to validate your claim with reason, and then maybe I won’t sound so pi**ed off, even if you arrive at the same conclusion.

Quote
Actually I think that there are 9 Ecumenical Councils. The 8th during 879-880 and the 9th being during 1341. In fact until recently many Orthodox did consider the 8th and 9th to be Ecumenical and the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs (1848) repeatedly references the 8th Council for obvious reasons.

Your response is a red herring as it is absolutely irrelevant to the point I was making which is namely; you define Ecumenicity arbitrarily, and you arbitrarily define Orthodoxy as an adherence to your already arbitrary understanding of an Ecumenical Council. As such, your declaration that I am not Orthodox holds no water in the objective world - you can and surely have the right to continue holding onto it as a personal belief however.

Quote
Also I am sorry if I sounded arrogant. I said that I am not going to debate the Council of Chalcedon which includes believing that the Oriental churches are not part of the Church.

Don’t apologise for your arrogance - there is no one who is more arrogant than myself. Just show me that you have good enough reason to be arrogant. In other words, if you want to be arrogant, at least prove you can get away with it.

Quote
The conclusion of my research was that the Council of Chalcedon was legit and a lot of the arguments by Oriental churches revolve around semantics and defending men condemned as heretics by the Chalcedon.

Im wandering how much of an objective research you have truly performed - did you consider Chalcedon Re-examined by V.C. Samuel or The Council of Chalcedon and the Armenian Church by Karekin Sarkissian? The former is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be opened; I am 3/4 of the way through the latter. I have heard many good things about the former, and it was highly recommended. In fact I was told that if there was just one book I had to read on Chalcedon that presents a most well-balanced and objective viewpoint based on brillitantly reasoned arguments and historical fact; then that was the one to get.

You state in the above quotation that the Oriental Church defends men who were condemned as heretics by Chacledon - please let me notify you of the fact that this is not true. The men condemned for heresy at Chalcedon were Nestorius and Eutychus. We defend neither. The blessed St Dioscorus was not condemned for heresy at Chalcedon, the condemnation against him was rather of an ecclesial-juridical nature.

I recall for you the incident in which Anatolius of Constantinople proposed a new formula - the aim of which was to meet the criticisms made by the many who attended Chalcedon and who were initially quite embarrassed by the tome of Leo due to it’s evident theological weaknesses. The Roman Legates feeling insulted that anyone dared to challenge any aspect of Leo’s tome, and being suspicious that Anatolius’ formula may compromise the tome’s ultimate authority or even overshadow it (due ultimately and probably to their concept of papal supremacy and/or their adamant position to assert the superiority of Rome over the true theological centre of the Orthodox Christian world - Alexandria), threatened to abandon the council at this point, which alarmed the imperial commissioners.

Although the text of the formula was lost, we need to take note of a very small change in the text which is significant to the point im trying to ultimately make. There is no doubt that the re-constructed form of Anatolius’ formula as “in two natures” must have been “from two natures” - the latter of which, as recognized by the council was used by the blessed St Dioscorus. What we find is that the Roman legates tried to object to the Orthodoxy Anatolius’ formula which employed the expression “from two natures”, on the basis that such an expression was one adopted by the blessed St Dioscorus. In response, Anatolius reminds the forgetful Romans that the blessed St Dioscorus was not condemned for heresy but rather (and even still so, falsely) for disciplinary reasons.

The Orthodoxy of the blessed St Dioscorus remained unchallenged, and he was only unjustly and falsely condemned as a heretic over a hundred years later (533, 680, and 787), by men who were never acquainted with him and who probably never even read a word he said. Unless you can prove otherwise, then you have no valid case against the Orthodoxy of St Dioscorus who was simply staying faithful to the true champion of Christology, his predecessor St Cyril.

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Please respect my right to believe what the Orthodox Church teaches

I respect your right to believe what you want - but since you feel the need to present your belief to others as axiomatic, then please respect my right to challenge them.

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I currently hold the opinion that the dialogue between the Oriental churches and the Orthodox Church have been fruitless.

Would you like to be specific; which dialogue for example and why? Please take some time to visit www.orthodoxunity.org and http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/orthodox_and_oriental.shtml which prove that fruitful progress has already been accomplished between the two churches whether you like it or not.

The church’s have managed to agree on the substance of our respective faith’s: The OO church acknowledging the Orthodoxy of the doctrine presented in the EO councils and the EO church acknowledging that the OO church have managed to maintain the Orthodox position on Christological issues regardless of the absence of their contributions to councils 4-7. Both church’s also seem to be willing to lift the anathemas of the figures they respectively condemned: see Proposals for Lifting of Anathemas agreed at Chambesy, Geneva, 1st-6th November 1993 at one of the above links.

Peace.
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« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2005, 01:09:35 AM »

Beayf,

Quote
But do you consider Chalcedon, and especially the Tome, to be heretical?

No I don’t. Since I have already briefly covered this with GiC, allow me to quote myself with regards to my thoughts on this issue from the other thread:

Quote
I believe the tome of Leo if understood in its appropriate context, can be interpreted as Orthodox, but I do not want to be bound by such a weak Christology, nor do I accept that it is an infallible, close to infallible, or even a reasonable explication of  Orthodox  Christology - OO is more than content with the Christology that was affirmed by 433 A.D. Nor do I believe that the council of Chalcedon achieved anything productive; as I said before it was tainted by overzealous polemics, and it merely used a double condemnation (i.e. that of Nestorius and Eutyches) as it’s positive affirmation of Orthodox doctrine, and as such, failed to provide any clarity or focal point for Orthodox Christology, but rather left open a vast spectrum in between two extremes.

And:

Quote
Though some extreme OO’s would mistakingly consider Chalcedon a Nestorian council (just as some extreme EO’s would mistakingly consider those OO who reject Chalcedon as “monophysites” in the Eutychian sense of the word), my belief is that it certainly cannot be Nestorian since it officially condemned Nestorianism, however it is a “bow to Nestorianism” in the sense that it left many gaps and loopholes for Nestorianism to creep in via some backdoor - which is why Nestorians were generally content with the tome of Leo in the first place, and why it took the later councils to patch up the gaps.

Peace.
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« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2005, 01:17:42 AM »

Paradosis,

I would personally ask Matthew to reconsider some of the things he is saying (that is ofcourse if I have interpreted him correctly). Here are my brief thoughts on certain statements he made:

Quote
In Chalcedon, the Byzantine and Latin Churches accepted a conflicting christology in which Christ exists in two natures.

That Christ exists in two nature is not a problem for us - we clearly affirm that the divinity of Christ (consubstantial with the Father) united with His humanity (consubstantial with us), without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration; when the Logos became the subject of the Incarnation.

The problem we do have, is speaking of the distinction of the two natures of Christ after the union, as pertaining to His reality. We, as St Cyril did, maintain that any distinction between the two natures of Christ AFTER the union is to be spoken of in thought alone. This qualification is challenged for example, when Leo speaks about one nature of Christ acting out certain things pertaining to the properties of that individual nature, whilst the other nature acts out other things pertaining to the properties of it’s nature - for such talk pertains to the reality of Christ i.e. concrete actions, which should not be attributed exclusively to either the divinity or humanity of Christ, but rather to Christ the God-Man. More serious however, is the fact he distinguishes the human nature from the The Word, as opposed to distinguishing the human nature from the divine nature - in this sense Leonian Christology line of thought would for example, express the nature of the sufferings of Christ by stating that “the humanity of Christ suffered as opposed to The Word” whereas we would prefer to say “The Word suffered according to His humanity” for the latter clearly stresses the unity of Christ, without dividing The Word from His humanity; a humanity which became intrinsic to the Logos after the hypostatic union. Furthermore, It was not the divinity of Christ that healed the leper, it was the God-man Christ who healed the leper according to His divinity (which was united with His humanity without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration, to ultimately constitute the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate - the God-Man).

So what we have here is not a doctrinal conflict - but rather conflicting methods of expressing or conveying that very doctrine, in manners which may over-emphasize one aspect over and above the other.

Considering the sensitive atmosphere in which the Council of Chalcedon was held (i.e. Nestorianism still holding strong and strongly expanding and gaining influence to the extent that the Persian empire later accepted and proclaimed it as the official confession of faith), as well as the efforts of St Cyril and the lengths he went through in order to emphasize the unity of Christ in the face of the Nestorians - our proponents including St Dioscorus could not in all good consciousness risk compromising this, by accepting expressions and formulas - which though not heretical in their intended context, and thus technically speaking Orthodox, would leave open room for a Nestorian misinterpretation - and indeed many faithful Nestorians as well as Nestorius himself misconstrued Leo’s intentions and twisted his tome, and hence happily welcomed it.

Quote
What would the "heretical" group be, the one which held to the Council of Ephesus or the one which rejected it with a new christology?

I don’t believe Chalcedon rejected The Council of Ephesus, I simply believe it regressed from the overall accomplishment and contribution made by 433 A.D.

I will quote myself from a previous thread:

Quote
We believe a balance in Christology was already resolved by A.D. 433, and that Chalcedon did nothing but shake that balance due to it’s being tainted by overzealous polemics, the Roman legate’s insistence on the tome of Leo being accepted in toto without its Orthodoxy being questioned (probably because of the Roman idea of papal supremacy, of which Leo was of course a major proponent), and other political factors. While I would not label Leo’s tome as heterodox, I still believe it to be weak and full of holes, and would prefer to accept it merely as a theologoumenon, in contrast to the Alexandrian Christology of St Cyril that was explicated in his 12 chapters, and which was further refined in his clarification and elaboration of the reunion formula between himself and John of Antioch, which I would consider doctrinally binding.

Peace.

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« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2005, 04:13:28 AM »

Quote
The problem we do have, is speaking of the distinction of the two natures of Christ after the union, as pertaining to His reality. We, as St Cyril did, maintain that any distinction between the two natures of Christ AFTER the union is to be spoken of in thought alone. This qualification is challenged for example, when Leo speaks about one nature of Christ acting out certain things pertaining to the properties of that individual nature, whilst the other nature acts out other things pertaining to the properties of it’s nature - for such talk pertains to the reality of Christ i.e. concrete actions, which should not be attributed exclusively to either the divinity or humanity of Christ, but rather to Christ the God-Man. More serious however, is the fact he distinguishes the human nature from the The Word, as opposed to distinguishing the human nature from the divine nature - in this sense Leonian Christology line of thought would for example, express the nature of the sufferings of Christ by stating that “the humanity of Christ suffered as opposed to The Word” whereas we would prefer to say “The Word suffered according to His humanity” for the latter clearly stresses the unity of Christ, without dividing The Word from His humanity; a humanity which became intrinsic to the Logos after the hypostatic union. Furthermore, It was not the divinity of Christ that healed the leper, it was the God-man Christ who healed the leper according to His divinity (which was united with His humanity without mingling, without confusion, and without alteration, to ultimately constitute the One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate - the God-Man).

So what we have here is not a doctrinal conflict - but rather conflicting methods of expressing or conveying that very doctrine, in manners which may over-emphasize one aspect over and above the other.
I agree with the assessment of the Tome as stated in the first paragraph, but I do not see how it could be concluded that the conflict in Chalcedon was not a doctrinal one, unless you were refering to the current EO position. If the reference was to CHalcedon, we need to examine the council more closely. It was wrapped in politics and emperial influence, yet christology was at the very heart of it. For to accept the Tome, you have to accept what comes with it. Nestorius would certainly never object to the language of the Tome, he actually agreed with it from his exile.

The intenions of Leo of Rome were to confirm his Papal claim, which is a heresy as well. He is labeled the Father of Papacy for a good reason. What came with it was a grave christological error, abrogating Ephesus I and the Tradition established by the Apostles and confirmed by St.Cyril.

Also, the relation of Leo of Rome to Theodret, a confirmed heretic and Nestorian and a blasphemer aganist the divinity fo the Lord, casts serious doubts over his christological convictions. Either he was totally confused, and then he should have left the whole matter to the Coptic Orthodox Curch as the tradition and theological knowledge dictates, or what he presents in the Tome are his genuine thoughts. He never backed off the Tome. He accepted a confirmed heretic (Theodret) in communion while under anathema from a lawful church council, a council that has not been yet rejected by the Church and is still upheld in the OO Tradition. What is puzzling that the EO know the deficiency in the Tome, as Grillmeier, the ultra Chalcedonian "historian", noted, yet they insist on its acceptance among the other conditions.

St.Severus of Antioch made reference to the letter of Theodret , who was on the synodal committee in Chalcedon minutes after this council exonerated him, to John of Agae. John of Agae, a fanatical Nestorian, objected to the vague language of the council. John of Agae thought that Theodret would insert a phrase that denies the Union in clear terms. Theodret, in a masterful reply, explained to his friend what was meant by one person in Chalcedon. The expression :"One person" does not necessarily confirm the Orthodox understanding of the Union in Christ, for Theodore would make it a union like in matrimony. It might reject the Tw-Son heresy, yet it does not say anything about the Union. So we have to appeal to the other documents accepted in the gathering at Chalcedon. The Tome is Nestorian in language. Writings of Ibas, Theodret and Theodore which were exonerated under the pressure of the Roman delegation, are blasphemy in its pure sense. We have to believe that this council was nothing but a misunderstanding after another to be able to excuse all the above. This is left to common sense to judge.

The let us move on to the next council, which is closely related to Chalcedon :
Constantinople II rejected the Three Chapters, which are the writings of Ibas, Theodret and Theodore, in unmistakable terms. Read the decision regarding Theodore , for example. The same writings were accepted in Chalcedon with the persons exonerated. The Holy Spirit does not (in OO understanding) contradict himself. One council has to be wrong, for it corrected, and did not add, it abrogated, and did not explain as the EO would excuse the apparent contradiction. In fact, Constaninople II upheld by its decisions the decisions of Ephesus II under St.Dioscoros, the holy council which is refered to by Leo of Rome and the Chalcedonians as the synod of robbers. Identical decisions and conclusion on both councils.
What the EO are asking for in confessing councils 4 and 5 (among other councils) is to confess that one thing and its oppoiste, a statment and its abrogation, an argument and a counter argument are all the same.

One final word:
OO churches do not need the confession of the Chalcedonian to be a church. It appears to me that the concessions made by the OO were understood as a petition for recognition. NOT TRUE. The persecution between 451-641 a.d. under Marcian, under Justin I, St.Justinian (killed millions), Hercules and many other emperors, inistigated by the different Chalcedonian churches, does not only cast doubt about the Orthodoxy of such churches that are protected by the sword, it cannot be even considered christian. Because the goal is bigger, the OO churches were willing to overlook the crimes of the Chalcedonians to achieve. Such a spirit should be accepted with admiration.
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« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2005, 10:00:11 AM »

Stavro,

Quote
I agree with the assessment of the Tome as stated in the first paragraph, but I do not see how it could be concluded that the conflict in Chalcedon was not a doctrinal one

The doctrines subjectively intended by each party were not conflicting, only there were too many factors clouding an honest, objective and reasonable interpretation of such subjective intention that it could not be properly discerned at the time. We can see it now however, in retrospect.

Quote
Also, the relation of Leo of Rome to Theodret, a confirmed heretic and Nestorian and a blasphemer aganist the divinity fo the Lord, casts serious doubts over his christological convictions.

Let’s just be careful to charge someone guilty by association, especially considering Eutyches’ relationship with St Dioscorus which was restored when Eutyches deceptively lied to and duped St Dioscorus into thinking he had renounced his monophysite heresy. If Theodoret truly renounced his own heresies at Chalcedon, then we can’t exactly say that the council acted inappropriately on this point by accepting him into communion - since this was what St Dioscorus had initially demanded of him in the first place. He is still under anathema from our church only because we don’t accept Chalcedon as Ecumenical, and hence the anathema initially placed upon him before he renounced his heresies is still binding - since we dont consider any decisions made at Chalcedon binding.

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The Tome is Nestorian in language. Writings of Ibas, Theodret and Theodore which were exonerated under the pressure of the Roman delegation, are blasphemy in its pure sense.

I agree that the tome of Leo is weak to the extent it can be easily misconstrued as a Nestorian document, especially in relation to it’s understanding of the two natures of Christ as “two centres of action” so to speak, each nature acting out it’s own individual action according to it’s own capacity, but I think two vital elements to be considered in the overall context, prevent us from an honest condemnation of Leo as Nestorian - the fact he clearly anathemized Nestorius, and the fact he affirmed that the Logos was the subject of the Incarnation - the latter being the dividing line between Cyrillian and Nestorian Christology.

I’d like you to consider the following statement made by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy when he expresses what I have just said in more or less the same words:

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“To conclude, our Oriental Orthodox people should realise that the Orthodox can never be Nestorians since they have condemned the Nestorian teaching of the union of two persons in an external union in Jesus Christ and confessed that the Word of God came in His Own person.”

http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Byzantine/CHRSTAGR.doc

Notice the qualifying points for HEMB in recognising that one is not nestorian, which were indeed inherent in Leo's tome, regardless of any other apparent inconsistencies upon which you and I agree make the tome of Leo a weak document that can never be considered a doctrinally binding one by our church, and can certainly never be compared or put on par with the 12 chapters of St Cyril or the Christological declarations made at the Council of Ephesus.

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What the EO are asking for in confessing councils 4 and 5 (among other councils) is to confess that one thing and its oppoiste, a statment and its abrogation, an argument and a counter argument are all the same.

That’s a fair point to make - as is your final word.

Peace.
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« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2005, 10:39:35 PM »

We, as St Cyril did, maintain that any distinction between the two natures of Christ AFTER the union is to be spoken of in thought alone.
I agree.
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« Reply #45 on: May 09, 2005, 03:39:08 AM »

Dear EA,
there is a big difference between the relation of St.Dioscoros and Eutychus and between Leo of Rome and Theodret. There cannot be an equivalence between both for the following reason:

- St.Dioscoros did not accept Eutychus into communion before he had been exonerated by Ephesus II. Eutychus was condemned in the council chaired by Flavian of Constaninople in 448 a.d., and he was still under anathema according to church canons which state that no Bishop of any major See can abrogate a decision made by another Bishop, only a synod of higher authority can do so. As such, and respecting the church laws and giving time to study the issue of Eutychus more, he was never accepted by St.Dioscoros into communion until he was exonerated in Ephesus II.

Not the same with Leo of Rome and his friend Theodret. First, the writings of Theodret against St.Cyril are well known and are pure poison. Moreover, and this is beyond persons and affects the Faith, he wrote a vicious attack against the Twelve Chapters of St. Cyril. Note the difference in danger between Eutychus and Theodret, although not relevant to this discussion. This Theodret was anathemized in Ephesus II, a lawful church council even if Leo of Rome objects. Unless we believe in Papal Supremacy and Vicar of Christ dogmas, we cannot accept a single-handed abrogation by Leo of Rome, because "he said so". No bishop has any authority to do so. In between 449-451 a.d., Theodret was accepted into communion by Leo and anjoyed a celebrity status in Rome. There is HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two situations. Had Leo of Rome waited until his friend obtained exoneration in Chalcedon, it would have been a different story. He accepted him while under anathema.

Did Leo of Rome know that Theodret had Nestorian convictions ? Let us see. Theodret was not shy about expressing his opinion about Cyril and in his writings, and they are a vicious attack on Orthodoxy. Not only that, Leo, after Chalcedon, wrote a friendly letter to Theodret in which he congratulated his friend for victory and kindly asked him why he did not anathemize Nestorius and did that only under extreme pressure ? So, Leo of Rome knew all along that his best friend was a Nestorian.

Let us then examine the story of Theodret exoneration. He refused to do so twice during the early days of Chalcedon. Yet, he was allowed (while under anathema from the church) to sit in the council in a capacity of accuser of St.Dioscoros, following the models of unholy councils such as Tyre that excomunicated St.Athanasius. Before drafting the synodal letter, under severe pressure from the Roman Papal delegations, his issue was taken up again. Three times again he refused to anathemize Nestorius, and many times he evaded the questions about his true beliefs, until he finally (Glory be to the Lord for blessing him with Orthodox revelation 30 seconds after he vehemently refused to do so) expressed , in half-hearted and vague language that the council was so eager to pick up as Orthodox, his anathema of Nestorius IN CASE Nestorius really meant what he said. Never did Theodret express his views nor his beliefs or his adherence to Orthodoxy. Never. His letter to John of Agae, written after CHalcedon in which he confirms his Nestorian belief yet again, show that his exoneration is just a joke.

I want to note something: Anathemizing a heretics does not grant you automatic Orthodoxy. Apollinarius would definitely anathemize Nestorius, yet he is also a heretic. It is the substance of faith associated with these heretics that has to be rejected in a clear language. This would also make you understand His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy (HEMB) in a more adequate way. The quote of HEMB concerns the persons and the teachings, and not the person alone.
Also, heresies have a certain nature and cannot be viewed or treated in an Orthodox mind set. Because they are by definition a development away of the Apostolic faith, they can range between a wide variety of believes. Theodret's heresies are known as crypto-Nestorian, Theodore's is another variation and so are Diodore's blasphemies.

Theodret then was admitted with celebrations to the synodal committee that drafted the decisions of the councils that some in other threads consider orthodox. We have a heretic sitting within the committee examing Leo's Tome and saying what he thinks about the Twelve chapter of Cyril.

Let us also examine the way of the Orthodox fathers in dealing with heretics. St.Peter the Seal of martyrs, after his second exommunication against Arius, would never accept him again although Arius pretended he rejected his teachings. St.Athanasius never accepted vague languages like the different Arian formulas of faith that would omit a definitive confession of the divinity of Christ, playing with one letter in many cases. It is not rocket science to be clear about christology and theology. If not able to so so, appeal to the Fathers. Note that Rome never went wrong as long as blessed Julius followed St. Athanasius in theology, blessed Celestine and blessed Sextus followed St.Cyril.

And I also do not maintain that the church history is nothing but a series of miscommunications. For one, they understood perfectly what they are talking about. St.Dioscoros, being true to St.Cyril his teacher, expressed that he would accept the phrase (one natue "from" or "of" two natures), but not "in".
If we appeal to church history, it is clear that there were extensive discussions at many points of time for about a century after Chalcedon for reconcilation.Pope St.Theodosius and Patriarch St.Severus, the great theologian, were part of extensive discussions with Chalcedonians leaders, so was Pope St.Timothy Aurelus. Leaders from both sides must have lacked all intelligence to continue speaking past each other without recognizing the others did actually mean the same. I do not believe in continuous misunderstandings, not was it arrogance. It was pure difference in christological convictions that have to do drifting from the Apostolic Faith that was solely expressed by Alexandria.

I agree with your assessment that other factos contributed to the problem, but they were translated in the end in different christologies. And let us discuss these factors honestly. These factors are pride and politics. The latter had never affected the church before Chalcedon and can be hardly taken as an excuse , for it could not amount to the hardships that faced St.Athanasius during his 45 years of glorious Papacy or what St.Cyril faced against the imperial church powers. Nothing excuses the denial of Faith.

In any case, the traditional way of reunion if not to exonerate Chalcedon or try to excuse Leo of Rome. In looking back to the three short lived reunion between Alexandria and Constantinople and Antioch after CHalcedon, it was either based on rejection of CHalcedon like in the early 6th century or on a common declaration of faith without reference to Chalcedon. The OO church adopted the latter, which is perfectly Orthodox approach.
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« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2005, 08:44:57 AM »

Chalcedon, so called "Cyrillian Christology", etc.

Strictly speaking, "according to the letter", those who opt out of Chalcedon are heretics.  That this is news to anyone, or that it is news to those at all familiar with Orthodox Christianity, boggles my mind.  There won't be a real healing of the separation of the "Non-Chalcedonian" Churches with Holy Orthodoxy, until there is a formal acceptance of the Ecumenical Council in question (and those which followed.)  Attempts to by pass this, will only result in further schism and disunity, as this or that local Church enters into communion with the "Non-Chalcedonians" only to find themselves dropped from the Diptychs of Moscow, Athens, Jerusalem, etc.  I'm not saying this as some authority, but simply as one aware of the real situation - the fact is such rifts have nearly occured in modern times over far less.

As for the claim that "Non-Chalcedonians" are merely articulating a "Cyrillian" or "Council of Ephesus" Christology, this is only half true.  I'll explain my meaning with the following example...

A man (Stephen) walks down a long street, away from his two friends (Simon and Samuel).  He told his friends that after he turned right around a corner, that he would stop in a near-by market.  After Stephen runs to the store, Simon and Samuel part ways.  Stacy meets Simon, and asks him where Stephen went.  Simon says "he went down the street".  Suzy meets up with Samuel and asks where Stephen had disappeared to.  He tells Suzy, "he went down the street, and then 'round the corner to the market."

Neither man was lying, however one was being less specific than the other.  In a sense, the one who said less (Simon), was actually saying more, because his version of events (by being less specific) left themselves open to assumptions which may not in fact be correct.

Accepting the Council of Ephesus is obviously not the problem - the problem is in taking a view of it's doctrine which understands it to contradict the teaching of Chalcedon.  If one actually does not believe what the latter has to say, then one is holding to a heretical understanding of the former.  And that's why there was a problem, and to an extent, why there is still a problem to this day.

It's my observation that most "Non-Chalcedonians" are not really hard-died, doctrinal "monophysites", and their "simply catechized" laymen are probably no more "heretical" in their outlook than their "simply catechized" (or perhaps undercatechized!) laymen in the canonical Orthodox Churches.  In the basics, now the issue of Chalcedon is pretty much reduced to a schism - a stubborn resistance to repent, unless they ("Non-Chalcedonians") actually believe the Orthodox are Nestorians.  If that's the case, then they should not want any part of the Orthodox Church.

However, on a logical basis there are some very real theological problems involved in rejecting Chalcedon - monothelitism being an obvious one (which I've yet to see how "Non-Chalcedonians" avoid this charge...and last I checked this still is a heresy.)

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« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2005, 09:08:40 AM »

 :thumbsup: Good post Augustine (even though I had to read your analogy using Stephen, Simon Samuel and Suzy three times!).
I'm not sure about the non-chalcedon take on monotheletism. I may be wrong, but if the Two Natures are united without co-mingling, can't there also be Two Wills which are united without co-mingling? The problem I see is that if Christ's Human Will was perfectly united and aligned with His Divine Will, then He did not need to struggle as we all do to carry out the Divine Will by aligning our human will to God's Will- which then raises the whole question: "What then was going on in the Agony in the Garden?" Was Christ simply feigning spiritual/emotional distress to teach us? Have I misunderstood the non-chalcedon position on this?
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« Reply #48 on: May 10, 2005, 10:30:59 AM »

Augustine, with all due respect, your post was full of hot air, and merely regressed into the same fallacies committed by those who preceded you in this thread.

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Strictly speaking, "according to the letter", those who opt out of Chalcedon are heretics. That this is news to anyone, or that it is news to those at all familiar with Orthodox Christianity, boggles my mind.


You assert a point as if it is axiomatic, void of any substance and dressed with some trivial rhetoric to try and re-enforce the illusory axioamtic nature of your already baseless and arbitrary claim. The validity inherent in your opening statement is equivalent to that of a mere counter-assertion stating: “All those who accept Chalcedon are heretics, that this is news to those at all familiar with Orthodox Christianity, boggles my mind.”

In the end it's a matter of "You said so" vs. "I said so"

So thank you, but try again.

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There won't be a real healing of the separation of the "Non-Chalcedonian" Churches with Holy Orthodoxy, until there is a formal acceptance of the Ecumenical Council in question (and those which followed.)

More assertions falsely presented as axioms and still no substance. First of all, who made you the authority to decide what constitutes a reasonable pre-condition for a valid re-union process? Second of all, who made you the authority to decide what can be validly labeled an Ecumenical council?

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I'm not saying this as some authority, but simply as one aware of the real situation

Oh I see, so you’re presenting a personal belief - and that means what to anyone exactly, especially in light of the fact you presented no fact or valid reasoning to even support any sort of reasonable motivation for such a belief in the first place?

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As for the claim that "Non-Chalcedonians" are merely articulating a "Cyrillian" or "Council of Ephesus" Christology, this is only half true. I'll explain my meaning with the following example...

Instead of resorting to ridiculous and non-sensical analogies which have no bearing on the facts - and which you did not even bother trying to connect to any sort of fact, why don’t you simply deal with the very historical and theological facts relevant to a discussion of this sort. Quit the rhetoric, and let’s get to the raw deal. We are waitingGǪ

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Accepting the Council of Ephesus is obviously not the problem - the problem is in taking a view of it's doctrine which understands it to contradict the teaching of Chalcedon.


The fallacy of circular reasoning. You presuppose that Chalcedonian Christology was a valid elaboration or understanding of Cyrillian Christology (which we mutually agree is valid Christology), in order to argue that those who reject Chalcedonian Christology yet claim adherence to Cyrillian Christology, have misunderstood Cyrillian Christology in the first place, and hence the problem lies with us.

Sorry sir, but the problem lies with you, and your inability to not only make substantial points, but your inability to make logical one's either...

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If one actually does not believe what the latter has to say, then one is holding to a heretical understanding of the former.

GǪ.and hence, your conclusion is pushed through the rectum of voidness to be discarded as waste by anyone who is not stupid to the extent to take anothers beliefs, assertions or claims prima facie.....*flush*

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In the basics, now the issue of Chalcedon is pretty much reduced to a schism - a stubborn resistance to repent

More hot air. Please allow me to assert the contrary to your assertion in a likewise axiomatic matter, as if it is all self-evident (I’m allowed to do that in response to one who doesn’t feel the need to substantiate anything he has to say).

The issue of Chalcedon is reduced to a stubborn resistance of the Chalcedonians to simply admit that they erred in history, and to abandon this concept or notion of infallible councils (which many seem to adhere to - and which has no grounds in pre-Chalcedonian patristic literature), and to re-consider from a study of pre-Chalcedonian history what it is that constitutes a real Ecumenical Council.

Both Protestant and Catholic scholars have recognized those factual aspects of Chalcedon that the Eastern Orthodox church has always stubbornly denied (and which ultimately lead to it’s anti-Christ ex-communication of a faithful Orthodox Cyrillian and ultimately the absence of a church truly representative of strong Orthodoxy to contribute and put in line those with heretical tendencies) - a) That it supports papal supremacy (which inter alia largely motivated the events and erroneous actions that took place) - which in turn motivated the insistence of the acceptance of the tome of leo by the Roman legates and the consequent submission to this insistence by the initially reluctant other members of the council who were initially embarrassed by how poorly worded and theologically weak it was, to the extent that Anatolius of Constantinople even dared to draw up a new formula which might by some chance have overshadowed Leo or challenged his papal supremacy, and b) That it was so far-removed from true Orthodox Christology (as propounded by St Cyril and St Athanasius) that some Protestant scholars view it as a “correction” of St Cyril and St Athanasius who had in their opinion stressed the unity of the Word beyond a reasonable extent. In this case we agree with the Protestant scholars objective perspective (since they have no particular bias or reason to favour or disfavour the doctrine of Chalcedon or St Cyril and St Athanasius) on the facts of history (i.e. that Chalcedonian Christology diverged from pre-Chalcedon Alexandrian Christology), but disagree with their conclusions (i.e that Chalcedon’s new Christology - which challenges the unity of the Word by the language used, takes precedence over and above that of St Cyril and St Athanasius - which stress the unity of the Word - to the extent that the former corrects the latter).

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unless they ("Non-Chalcedonians") actually believe the Orthodox are Nestorians.

Since we base one’s belief upn one’s subjective intentions, we do not consider the Chalcedonian church Nestorian. Just unfortunately, historically negligent, resulting in the acceptance of a document which prima facie divides Christ - the way Nestorius likes, and hence his happy reception of it (and the warm welcome of Chalcedon by the Nestorian church in general).

I believe Stavro also made a valid point in his last post. “By their fruits you shall know them” - the post-Chalcedonian aftermath, and the fruits shown by the two respective church's indeed cannot be disregarded if indeed the Lord's words hold true.

But then again, it doesn’t seem that you have read anything Stavro or I have had to say on this issue - or you did read our posts, and simply pretended like you hadn't in order that you may get away with presenting a personal belief in an axiomatic matter without actually directly dealing with anything we’ve had to say.

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However, on a logical basis there are some very real theological problems involved in rejecting Chalcedon - monothelitism being an obvious one (which I've yet to see how "Non-Chalcedonians" avoid this charge...and last I checked this still is a heresy.)

Logic is meaningless in the real world, unless it is applied to facts. It would be nice of you to study the Christology of the Oriental Orthodox church, before actually commenting on it. Monothelitism is a heresy that was denounced by one of our major proponents - St Severus, when the heresy itself became a problem in history. I suggest you study the Christology of St Severus, a man who used to annihilate Chalcedonians in debate all the time (history speaks for itself) - you will not find a more balanced Christology which truly remains faithful to St Cyril, whilst successfully incorporating Antiochene concerns.

The Oriental Orthodox church proclaims as it always has, that Christ possesses a non-selfsubsistent human will which belongs to the self-subsistent divine will. St. Severus is quite adamant in teaching that the wills are distinct (suhlapha in Syriac) but never seperate (pulagha in Syriac). These two distinct and un-confused natural wills, belong naturally to the Incarnate Word who ultimately possesses one personal will (for He is not psychotic). The unity of the two distinct yet un-confused wills, is one stressed in the same manner that the unity of the two natures are stressed - the two wills never contradicting or departing from the other, but always harmonious - the human will being subject to the divine for all practical purposes (hence the ultimate submission of Christ to the Cross even unto death).

Peace.
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« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2005, 11:23:27 AM »

Dearest EkhristosAnesti

Please abandon this discussion now! You’re doing more harm than good believe me! Let them believe what they want about us, who cares!

In Christ
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« Reply #50 on: May 10, 2005, 11:34:36 AM »

Copt.........

What is your concern with me?

I remember seeing this story from a previous post:

It was said concerning Abba Agathon that some monks came to find him, having heard tell of his great discernment. Wanting to see if he would lose his temper, they said to him, "Aren't you that Agathon who is said to be a fornicator and a proud man?" "Yes, it is very true," he answered. They resumed, "Aren't you that Agathon who lacks love for his fellow man?" "I am." Again they said, "Aren't you Agathon the heretic?" But at that, he replied, "I am not a heretic." So they asked him, "Tell us why you accepted everything we cast you, but repudiated this last insult." He replied, "The first accusations I take to myself, for that is good for my soul. But heresy is separation from God. Now I have no wish to be separated from God." At this saying they were astonished at his discernment and returned, edified.
- The Desert Fathers

....hence, I will continue this discussion as I see fit...btw, you don't need my email address to send me a personal message (as you implied in your last post) - you can send me a private message through this site without needing to post publically (scroll to the top of the page and see the options next to your nickname).

Peace.
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« Reply #51 on: May 10, 2005, 01:11:42 PM »

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It was pure difference in christological convictions that have to do drifting from the Apostolic Faith that was solely expressed by Alexandria.
This is what I don't get. How can one honestly say that the Apostolic faith was "solely expressed" in (or by) one particular location or "see"? How is this any different than the Latins making similar claims about Rome?

I guess in my ignorant way of seeing things, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and others were all involved in expressing the Apostolic faith in the face of heresy. In my undereducated view, and with all the historical and political baggage notwithstanding, the Ecumenical councils sought to express a common mind in "defining" the Apostolic faith, taking into consideration the particular emphases of all the major apostolic theological centers, not just one in particular.
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« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2005, 02:37:35 PM »

There won't be a real healing of the separation of the "Non-Chalcedonian" Churches with Holy Orthodoxy, until there is a formal acceptance of the Ecumenical Council in question (and those which followed.)

Given that Chalcedon was a defiance of Ephesus, I might as well consider you "heretical" and outside of Holy Orthodoxy  until you recant your Nestorian-influenced christology. This is like the pot calling the kettle black.

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« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2005, 06:49:59 AM »

The Oriental Orthodox church proclaims as it always has, that Christ possesses a non-selfsubsistent human will which belongs to the self-subsistent divine will. St. Severus is quite adamant in teaching that the wills are distinct (suhlapha in Syriac) but never seperate (pulagha in Syriac). These two distinct and un-confused natural wills, belong naturally to the Incarnate Word who ultimately possesses one personal will (for He is not psychotic). The unity of the two distinct yet un-confused wills, is one stressed in the same manner that the unity of the two natures are stressed - the two wills never contradicting or departing from the other, but always harmonious - the human will being subject to the divine for all practical purposes (hence the ultimate submission of Christ to the Cross even unto death).

Dear in Christ, EA,
Calmly, as brothers, may I ask again, (and I don't seek a debate, just a better understanding): How do the non-chalcedon Churches, in the light of your explanation above, understand what was happening in the Agony in the Garden of Gesthemene? Specifically, if Christ's Divine and human Wills were in perfect harmony, what do the non-chalcedonian Churches believe was happening when He sweated blood in the Garden of Gesthemene and "He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)
I have always understood this as Christ's struggle to align His Human will with His Divine Will.
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« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2005, 08:41:18 AM »

EkhristosAnesti,

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Augustine, with all due respect, your post was full of hot air, and merely regressed into the same fallacies committed by those who preceded you in this thread.

Spare me the feigned courtesy - you may as well have written "with all due respect, you're an idiot."

Quote
You assert a point as if it is axiomatic, void of any substance and dressed with some trivial rhetoric to try and re-enforce the illusory axioamtic nature of your already baseless and arbitrary claim. The validity inherent in your opening statement is equivalent to that of a mere counter-assertion stating: “All those who accept Chalcedon are heretics, that this is news to those at all familiar with Orthodox Christianity, boggles my mind.”

In the end it's a matter of "You said so" vs. "I said so"

So thank you, but try again.

No, not I, but an Ecumenical Council has pronounced your forefathers heretics; and there was a time, when the Monophysites were equally adamant about making the same counter claim.  Now a relative few Orthodox academics have basically told us the Holy Fathers did not know what they were talking about (your post indicates the contrary to me, btw.), while those Monophysites who are "ecumenically inclined" act as if they're doing us ignorant, unwittingly crypto-Nestorian Orthodox a favour by proposing to enter into communion with us.  I'm sorry you've been led to believe these private opinions trump universally accepted Ecumenical Councils and a lot of ink spilled by men far holier than any of us.

Also, your comment here makes little sense, given that they would only apply were the specific comment you were responding to the entirity of what I had wrote.

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More assertions falsely presented as axioms and still no substance. First of all, who made you the authority to decide what constitutes a reasonable pre-condition for a valid re-union process? Second of all, who made you the authority to decide what can be validly labeled an Ecumenical council?

You cannot possibly be this ignorant.  Chalcedon is universally held as an Ecumenical Council by the Orthodox Church.  This should not be a surprise to you.  Obviously a pre-condition for re-union, from an Orthodox perspective, would be a recognition of said Council.  I'm sorry that a few (and this is in reality what they are) academics, and all too many within the Antiochian Orthodox Church (who are frankly playing with fire in this matter) have misled you and your brothers into believing otherwise.

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Instead of resorting to ridiculous and non-sensical analogies which have no bearing on the facts - and which you did not even bother trying to connect to any sort of fact, why don’t you simply deal with the very historical and theological facts relevant to a discussion of this sort. Quit the rhetoric, and let’s get to the raw deal. We are waitingGǪ

"We"?  Like the royal "we"?  Smiley

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The fallacy of circular reasoning. You presuppose that Chalcedonian Christology was a valid elaboration or understanding of Cyrillian Christology (which we mutually agree is valid Christology), in order to argue that those who reject Chalcedonian Christology yet claim adherence to Cyrillian Christology, have misunderstood Cyrillian Christology in the first place, and hence the problem lies with us.

Sorry sir, but the problem lies with you, and your inability to not only make substantial points, but your inability to make logical one's either...

I think I was being quite clear, and was careful to be quite straight forward.  Sorry to rain on the parade.

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GǪ.and hence, your conclusion is pushed through the rectum of voidness to be discarded as waste by anyone who is not stupid to the extent to take anothers beliefs, assertions or claims prima facie.....*flush*

Is this how a wind-bag tells someone he thinks they're full of sh..?

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The Oriental Orthodox church proclaims as it always has, that Christ possesses a non-selfsubsistent human will which belongs to the self-subsistent divine will.

To subsist is to exist.  What you're essentially saying here, in obfuscating language, is that the human will of Christ does not in fact exist, but is a quality belonging to the real, existing Divine Will.  In other words, it's a farce, a put on by God which smacks of Docetism.

And exactly how is this supposed to change an Orthodox Christian's mind?  What you're describing is precisely the heresy condemned by the Holy Fathers and by the Council of Chalcedon.

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St. Severus is quite adamant in teaching that the wills are distinct (suhlapha in Syriac) but never seperate (pulagha in Syriac).

God knows if he meant well, but this doesn't change that what he's saying does not make sense - "distinct" yet not really existant.

To say that something creaturely (which the human nature of Christ certainly is - it came into existance at a particular point in human history) is brought into being and upheld by will of God is a given - and this applies not only to the human nature of Christ, but to every creature...every rock, tree, dog, cat, etc.  I'll give Severus more credit than simply believe he's stating the obvious.  However in so "giving credit", we come back again to the latent problem with the Christology of the anti-Chalcedonians: we're talking about a "human nature" which is not real, only apparently so...not real in the sense that you and I are men.

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These two distinct and un-confused natural wills, belong naturally to the Incarnate Word who ultimately possesses one personal will (for He is not psychotic). The unity of the two distinct yet un-confused wills, is one stressed in the same manner that the unity of the two natures are stressed - the two wills never contradicting or departing from the other, but always harmonious - the human will being subject to the divine for all practical purposes (hence the ultimate submission of Christ to the Cross even unto death).

Which would be all fine, were you not reducing the reality of Christ's humanity to a mirage, a sort of "put on" of God through His energies.

It seems to me what we have here is scandal on the part of the anti-Chalcedonians; like the Arians who were scandalized that One could be Three, and Three could be One...thus, they "dumbed it down" to make it more coherent to unaided reason.  In the same fashion, you will not accept two real wills in one hypostasis...and thus are reduced to implicitly accusing Orthodox Christians of making Christ into a "psychotic."

If the will of Christ is not real, then what are we to make (as others have asked) of Gethsemene?  Does the Divine Will recoil from pain (as is natural to men - pain isn't good, we naturally recoil from it if we do not make a firm act of will to do otherwise)?  It is quite clear that Christ as a man, a real man, knew the incredible suffering He was about to be subjected to...the full weight of it was upon Him.  We are told in Holy Writ, that this was so overwhelming (just imagine, infallibly knowing that a horrifying death was awaiting you...and that your knowledge was detailed, vivid!), that He was bathed in sweat and even asked that if our redemption could be purchased in some other means, that it happen this way..."if this cup could pass".

Sorry, but the quasi-docetic Christology you're describing doesn't add up with this picture...one of the "fact of history" you speak so much of.  I see a real man, and true God here.  What you're describing basically requires some kind of fakery on the part of God.  It sounds like so much trouble for nothing, when the Church of Christ already has a correct, and far more precise way of speaking of these things.

If I were ever tempted to believe the Holy Fathers of Chalcedon and the Orthodox really didn't understand "your side", people like you do them the supreme favour of showing me (and anyone else reading this) that no, they did not misunderstand those who rejected Chalcedon in the least.

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« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2005, 09:20:59 AM »

Augustine,

Great post. You've managed to clarify for me my misgivings regarding (and incomprehension of) non-Chalcedonian Christology. I wish I could have written (or even thought) so clearly. I still think most lay OOs probably believe the same thing we do as I'm sure unravelling their Christology can't be any easier for them than it was for me, but now I'm absolutely certain that Chalcedonian Christology is more precise and less prone to heretical misinterpretations than the alternative. Thanks.

James
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« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2005, 10:24:15 AM »

Ozgeorge,

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Specifically, if Christ's Divine and human Wills were in perfect harmony, what do the non-chalcedonian Churches believe was happening when He sweated blood in the Garden of Gesthemene and "He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)

What we have is an apparent paradox; Christ apparently does not want to die, yet on the other hand He wants to follow the divine will, which in turn wants him to die (hence a sort of contradiction in terms of what he actually wants), but if we make the necessary distinction between natural will and personal will, this apparent contradiction is resolved.

There was in reality no “struggle” between a human will of Christ and a divine will of Christ - the statement itself is fallacious for it implies division in the sense that it depicts an independently existing human will and attempts to describe or inquire into it’s relationship to an independently existing divine will. This directly contradicts St Cyril’s emphasise on the unity of Christ and the condition, that any distinction between the natures of Christ and hence His wills, is to be spoken of in thought alone after the union, and not as pertaining to His reality and hence concrete actions or decisions.

The One nature of God the Logos Incarnate possesses One ultimate personal will - to perform the will of the Father, regardless, for it is written: “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” What verses like Matthew 26:39 reveal to us is that Christ both “humanly” and “divinely” wills a certain thing, according to the two distinct natural wills of the Incarnate Word manifesting the inclinations and tendencies of the two natures whose unconfused and undivided Union is the basis of His ultimate One nature (miaphysis) - yet ultimately (due to His unity) He always chooses i.e. He always ultimately wills (without struggle) to follow the divine will.

The verse you brought forth is only evidence for this, for He concludes “not as I will but let your will be done” - this wasn’t a reluctant submission ultimately performed after some internal struggle over whether He would actually submit to the divine will or not (this would contradict John 6:38). The agony of Christ is only an indication of the horror he experiences in foreseeing the suffering that He will incur according to His humanity, as a very result of His determined, definite, conclusive, certain and voluntary will to follow and subject Himself to the divine.

What we see happening in Matthew 26:39, is thus simply a difference in “want”, “desire” or “inclination” according to the distinct natural wills, but an ultimate, voluntary, and definite "want to want what the divine wants" (and no I didnt make any grammatical errors in that - I worded it that way deliberetaly), according to His personal will. The natural human will is naturally inclined to not desire pain, suffering and death (for Christ is not a masochist), yet ultimately, the personal will of Christ was not to submit to His only natural inclinations to avoid death according to His humanity, but rather to carry out that of the divine will and die the death that any man dreads.

Here is one of many agreed statements made with those who adhere to the Chirstology as pronounced in the latter councils, concerning the will of Christ:

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Agreed Statement on Christology
Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission
Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia, 5-10 November 2002

“We agree that God the Word became incarnate by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, created human nature with its natural will and energy. The union of natures is natural, hypostatic, real and perfect. The natures are distinguished in our mind in thought alone. He who wills and acts is always the one hypostasis of the Logos incarnate with one personal will.”

Peace.
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« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2005, 10:52:14 AM »

Augustine

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Spare me the feigned courtesy - you may as well have written "with all due respect, you're an idiot."

Some people are idiots by nature; others are intellectually capable, yet they simply forget themselves because they’re either too narrow minded to re-consider what they’ve been fed for so long such that their objectivity becomes tainted by over-zealous polemics.

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No, not I, but an Ecumenical Council has pronounced your forefathers heretics;

A statement fun-packed with two fallacies; the first I already exposed, and which you have decided to once again regress into; namely arbitrariness. Give me an OBJECTIVE definition of what constitutes an ECUMENICAL COUNCIL - I will give you another chance to stop for a moment and actually think for yourself as to what reasonably constitutes an Ecumenical Council, in order that you may objectively justify your definitions, as opposed to you merely subjectively proclaiming and asserting that a certain council is Ecumenical because you or your church says so.

Carelessly throwing around subjective terms and labels as if they are axiomatic in the objective world, is only going to lead us round and round the merry go round of circular reasoning - which is all you have resorted to so far.

Second of all, assuming for arguments sake that the councils In question are Ecumenical - please then justify an implicit presupposition behind your statement, namely; that all proclamations and statements - including ex-communications are infallibly valid to the extent that they cannot be recognized and declared erroneous from a retrospective perspective, and hence overturned.

Someone is a heretic because of what they believe and teach, not because of what someone else (influenced by politics, greed, and satan himself) says they believe and teach.


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More assertions falsely presented as axioms and still no substance. First of all, who made you the authority to decide what constitutes a reasonable pre-condition for a valid re-union process? Second of all, who made you the authority to decide what can be validly labeled an Ecumenical council?

You cannot possibly be this ignorant. Chalcedon is universally held as an Ecumenical Council by the Orthodox Church.


I am now reconsidering ascribing idiocy to you, for once AGAIN, for the second time, you have regressed into the same obvious fallacy of arbitrariness when AGAIN you make a subjective declaration and present it as an objective axiom. The Eastern Orthodox church subscribes to the Council of Chalcedon as Ecumenical, now what does that mean to ANYONE outside of the Eastern Orthodox Church? Nothing. Tell me why I should believe the Council of Chalcedon to be an Ecumenical Council, based on OBJECTIVE REASONS AND JUSTIFICATION. Again, I will simply state a mere counter assertion: “Chalcedon is NOT universally held as an Ecumenical council by the Orthodox church”

What I am doing is simply arbitrarily re-defining the Orthodox Church from your initial arbitrary definition of it, and thence declaring an axiom relative to my already presupposed definition.

Don;t make me repeat the same point again a third time...please stay focused, and concentrate.

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I think I was being quite clear, and was careful to be quite straight forward. Sorry to rain on the parade.

This is a cop out. You made a non-sensical analogy about Suzy and Jo-blo and his father mo who went to the show and ordered a cone, and then went back home, and then maybe on his way back home he stopped at the gas station, and who knows what he did after that bla bla bla - I asked you to drop the amateur ridiculousness and deal with real historical figures and events and theological facts and develop an argument from there so we can have a real discussion; or AT LEAST connect the relevant elements of your stupid analogy to real historical figures, events and theological facts - you don’t seriously expect your opponent to assume the erroneous implicit connection or point that you’re trying to make, by attempting to interpret what Suzy was doing with Sam when Joe was with Uncle Bob do you? If you’re planning to waste my time, just say so.

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Is this how a wind-bag tells someone he thinks they're full of sh..?

It’s how someone with enough tolerance and patience tells you - you flunked kid, but I’m willing to give you another chance.

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The Oriental Orthodox church proclaims as it always has, that Christ possesses a non-selfsubsistent human will which belongs to the self-subsistent divine will.

To subsist is to exist. What you're essentially saying here, in obfuscating language, is that the human will of Christ does not in fact exist, but is a quality belonging to the real, existing Divine Will.

You do realize that when prefixes are added to a word, this usually alters their meaning? Sorry, I don’t mean to make you look stupid, but there is a difference between something subsisting and something self-subsisting - I am thus not speaking of the existence of the human will per se, but rather the fact it does not possess it’s own independent self-supporting existence - unless ofcourse you really are a Nestorian who believes that the humanity of Christ is a self-subsisting hypostasis in and of itself - but then again, you do hold onto the confused tome of leo as a doctrinally binding document (oh by the way, have I mentioned the smile that it put on Nestorius’ face when he actually read that piece of work?)

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What you're describing is precisely the heresy condemned by the Holy Fathers and by the Council of Chalcedon.

Now that we’ve exposed the fact you truly are an idiot who is incapable of understanding the difference between something subsisting and something self-subsisting, let us just continue to expose the subsequent continual attack of a straw man, based on your initial misreading of my argument. So since my argument was that the human will of Christ has no existence independent of the hypostatic union, please show what proclomation or canon of the Council of Chalcedon this contradicts?

In fact, please allow me to save you the trouble, because you wont find anything. In fact, you really wont find anything concrete in the proclomations made at Chalcedon concerning this subject by which to measure my statement in any event. This hiatus in Chalcedonian Chirstology is mainly due to its obscurity concerning the definition of a hypostatic union in the first place. The Christology of St. John of Damascus' theologoumenon is usually anachronistically read back into Chalcedon, which is affirmative in so far as St. John of Damascus teaches that the humanity lacks a "hypostasis" of its own (WOW, St John of Damascus was essentially saying what I was when I declared that the human will of Christ is NOT self-subsistent - isnt that amazing?), and is en-hypostaitized by the Hypostasis of The Word.

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St. Severus is quite adamant in teaching that the wills are distinct (suhlapha in Syriac) but never seperate (pulagha in Syriac).

God knows if he meant well, but this doesn't change that what he's saying does not make sense - "distinct" yet not really existant.

Ha ha oh nah I cant laughGǪit’s too easy. Ive never seen someone dance on a straw man so badly as you have. I EXPLICITLY declared that the human will is not SELF-subsistentGǪGǪPrefix = SGǪEGǪLGǪFGǪlearnGǪtoGǪreadGǪ

Is there a dilemma between the fact the human will is distinct from the divine will, yet not self-subsistent according to the fact it’s subsistence relies upon the hypostatic union? Um no, heck we are not even dealing with mutually exclusive categories here.

Geez what do we have so far - circular reasoning, analogies disconnected from the facts, straw man fallaciesGǪcategorical fallaciesGǪ

Let’s move on shall weGǪ

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It seems to me what we have here is scandal on the part of the anti-Chalcedonians; like the Arians who were scandalized that One could be Three, and Three could be One...thus, they "dumbed it down" to make it more coherent to unaided reason. In the same fashion, you will not accept two real wills in one hypostasis...and thus are reduced to implicitly accusing Orthodox Christians of making Christ into a "psychotic."

In fact the only scandal here is on part of any Chalcedonian who adheres to your line of thought who; like the modalists were scandalized that One could be Three simultaneously, and thus they “dumbed it down” to make it more coherent to unaided reason. In the same fashion, you will not accept the fact that the two very real and natural wills of Christ constitute the ultimate One personal will of Christ, according to the unity of The Word which like your hero Leo, you still continue to challenge.

If you hold onto a belief that Christ has more than one personal will, you are indeed saying that Christ is psychotic, and hence you are a Nestorian, plain and simple - how you do not understand this is beyond me, it’s simple logic - there is a category of will which is corollary from personhood (personal will) and another category of will which relates to natural inclinations or tendencies relative to the properties of a particular essence (natural will). I suggest you go back and do you readings over the doctrinal pronouncements of the sixth council - for you are now forgetting yourself, and truly promoting Nestorian doctrine if you want to sit there and proclaim that Christ has more than One personal Will. Christ’s personal Will was to do the will of the Father, and nothing else. In fact that Christ has only one personal will yet two distinct wills is more or less affirmed by both Churchs in the following agreed statements:

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Second Agreed Statement (1990)

3. Both families agree that the Hypostasis of the Logos became composite (sunqetoj) by uniting to His divine uncreated nature with its natural will and energy, which He has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit, created human nature, which He assumed at the Incarnation and made His own, with its natural will and energy.

4. Both families agree that the natures with their proper energies and wills are united hypostatically and naturally without confusion, without change, without division and without separation, and that they are distinguished in thought alone (th qewria monh). 20

5. Both families agree that He Who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate [I.E. ONE PERSONAL WILL].


As for the rest of your garbage, it is nothing but an attack on the straw man you conveniently set up for yourself, when you claim that I denied the real existence of a natural human will, when in actual fact I merely denied the independent self-supporting existence of a human will apart from the hypostatic union.

I would usually go line by line and rub in the fact you are incapable of properly reading and addressing an argument, but I will have mercy on you tonight.

Peace.
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« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2005, 11:48:23 AM »

Given that Chalcedon was a defiance of Ephesus, I might as well consider you "heretical" and outside of Holy Orthodoxy until you recant your Nestorian-influenced christology. This is like the pot calling the kettle black.

May peace be upon thee nad with thy spirit.

Please clarify which council of Ephesus you are referring to. Chalcedon overturned the Robber Synod of Ephesus of 449, but definitely not the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus of 431.
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« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2005, 12:35:35 PM »

Augustine,

You know what, have the last word mate, I said I would quit this forum for the second time in less than 2 months and again ive been drawn back to fight lies.

Say what you want in your coming response, but I hope you at least apologise for your carelessness in misrepresenting my position, by twisting my words and claiming that I denied the subsistence of Christ's human will, as opposed to my ACTUAL position; namely, that Christ's humanity is not independently self-subsistent in and of itself and hence neither is the natural will which manfiests it.

The worst thing you can do is that which your forefathers did, which is to deliberetly misrepresent our position, and then attack and condemn that very straw man. Don't let the anti-Christ deceive you like he deceived them.

P.S. I do apologise for the name-calling and any hard feelings. Believe as you wish.

Peace.
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« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2005, 01:14:53 PM »

There are two false doctrines and one true as Orthodox Church accept it.

Let’s first see the false doctrines:
A)Arianism doctrine : The doctrines of Arius, deny that Jesus was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings, viewed as heretical by most Christian churches. Arianism founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.318) that God created, before all things, a Son who was the first creature, but who was neither equal to nor coeternal with the Father. According to Arius, Jesus was a supernatural creature not quite human and not quite divine. In these ideas Arius followed the school of Lucian of Antioch.

B)Nestorianism doctrine: Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons, closely and inseparably united. In 428, Emperor Theodosius II named an abbot of Antioch, Nestorius (d. 451?), as patriarch of Constantinople. In that year Nestorius, who had been a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia, outraged the Christian world by opposing the use of the title Mother of God for the Virgin on the grounds that, while the Father begot Jesus as God, Mary bore him as a man. This view was contradicted by Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, and both sides appealed to Pope Celestine I. The Council of Ephesus was convened in 431 to settle the matter. This council (reinforced by the Council of Chalcedon in 451) clarified Christian doctrine, pronouncing that Jesus, true God and true man, has two distinct natures that are inseparably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance. The council, answered with the text 'The Word was made flesh' (John i, T4): Mary is God's mother, for 'she bore the Word of God made flesh'.' What Mary bore was not a man loosely united to God, but a single and undivided person, who is God and man at once. The name Theotokos safeguards the unity of Christ's person: to deny her this title is to separate the Incarnate Christ into two, breaking down the bridge between God and humanity and erecting within Christ's person a middle wall of partition. Thus we can see that not only titles of devotion were involved at Ephesus, but the very message of salvation. The same primacy that the word homoousios occupies in the doctrine of the Trinity, the word Theotokos holds in the doctrine of the Incarnation.

Now let's see the "non-Chalcedonian" issue: (I use the term Monophysitism, but you may use the term Non-Chalcedonians. I do not hold the term Monophysitism as an insult but as a historical "label").

Monophysitism grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. Monophysitism challenged the orthodox definition of faith of Chalcedon and taught that in Jesus there were not two natures (divine and human) but one (divine). Discussion of this belief was clouded by misunderstandings of terms and by the lack of knowledge of Greek in the West.

Many modern scholars are inclined to think that the difference between 'Non-Chalcedonians' and 'Chalcedonians' was basically one of terminology, not of theology. The two parties understood the word 'nature' (physis) in different ways, but both were concerned to affirm the same basic truth: that Christ the Saviour is fully divine and fully human, and yet He is one and not two.

Let’s see what the official non-Chalcedonian point of view is:

Bishop Gregorios [Coptic]: We are asked why, if we accept the faith of Chalcedon, we do not accept the council itself. The fact is the we have difficulties about the horos [definition] of Chalcedon. Our fathers found Nestorianism in the horos of Chalcedon.... Even if we accept the teaching of Chalcedon, we are not obliged to accept Chalcedon.

Liqe Seltanat Habte Mariam [Ethiopian]: By all means, you continue to believe in Chalcedon; but do not expect us to accept Chalcedon.

Bishop Zakka [Syrian]: When we say we accept the faith, we mean the faith that the Church had before Chalcedon, formulated by the three ecumenical councils accepted by all. Let us be quite clear; Chalcedon is not acceptable to us.

Verghese: When the faith is already there without Chalcedon why insist on Chalcedon being accepted? There should be no misunderstanding of the position of the non-Chalcedonian Churches; there will be no formal acceptance of Chalcedon.


Now let’s see the Greek Orthodox Church thesis:
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
THE CHURCH OF THE COUNCILS: THE "ONSLAUGHT OF THE INTELLECT AND THE POTENTIAL OF DOUBT
GǪ.
At that stage another phenomenon came to the fore. It was what Daniel-Rops has called the 'great onslaught of the intellect'. The intellect marks the period of the Councils. People submit the faith to the criteria of their intellectual acceptance or rejection. Is it possible to believe this and that? Is it possible to accept such and such realities testified by the apostles and proclaimed by the Church? Can one reasonably be a Christian?

On the lowest level, it could have been seen that way. On a higher level, for instance that of Arius, the problem was more complex and more earnest. For Arius was a man of great culture and of outstanding intelligence. And he submitted the Christian faith to the test of philosophical assessment. One may see that he is an outstanding example of what a heresy can be when the intellect is considered as empowered to judge revelation, to judge the formulations of those who possess an experience which the observer himself does not possess, either at all or to the same degree. For Arius, the problem was basically that God could not become man since an infinite God could never become the prisoner of finitude. God was eternal, and could not become the prisoner of time. And in those days (and I refer once again to Florovsky, since for me his word has enormous value) no Arius could resolve the problem. Indeed, it took centuries of philosophical and scientific reflection and research to arrive at a vision of time which can accommodate the notion of eternity and space. For the first scientific book I know which really faces the problem (Emile Borel, Le temps et l'espace) was only written at the turn of the century. Before that, there was no scientific or philosophical basis that would allow someone to make the distinction and yet to realise that there is no contradiction in eternity pouring into time and not being a prisoner of it, or in infinity being within space and not being limited by it. Time and space, eternity and infinity were simply different categories.
GǪ
What we find in this period of the Councils is people who try to address the gospel proclaimed by the Church from the first days to their own time against the background of classical philosophy or of the various philosophies and mystery religions that had developed later. Some harm could have been done because some of the imagery could be compared with that of the gospel and could thus be used as an accusation that the gospel itself is simply a new mythology.

Doubts were engendered in the minds of many: is not Christianity simply a more elaborate and philosophically more acceptable myth, but still of the same kind (and as unreal) as the mythology of the various nations of the past? As philosophical thought developed, as philosophy taken from the ancient world acquired a new maturity, the intellect came to feel self-sufficient, no longer in need of being guided by God himself. Thus problems arose from the confrontation of a mature intellect with the problem of faith.
GǪ
Perhaps I should say a few words about the nature of doubt in this contextGǪ. Let me make a parallel between the doubt, or succession of doubts, which a fever can have, and the way in which a scientist confronts created reality. A scientist collects all the existing facts of which he is aware. To begin with they are disparate; they may belong together in any way. The scientist tries to group them and at a certain moment, when a number of facts are capable of being held together, a model is built that allows him to hold all these facts together and reason about in their totality. If the scientist is honest and creative, the first thing he will do is to ask himself whether his model holds, whether it is a model that has no intrinsic flaw within itself, whether it takes into account all the information possessed to date. If he is satisfied on these counts, his next move will be to look for new facts that will not fit in with his model and will explode it. For the aim of a scientist list is not to create a model for which he will be remembered in the history of science. His aim is to create temporary models, hypotheses; models that must explode in order to enlarge knowledge and to contain new knowledge. Doubt in that respect for a scientist is a creative activity, an activity which is elating because the discovery that something does not fit in a preconceived or ready-made model allows him to discover reality on a wider scale and to see that reality unfolds wider and wider, deeper and deeper, making it possible for him to discard one hypothesis after the other, one model after the other. For him reality is unshakeable and cannot be lost because the model is exploded.

What is tragic in the doubt which we find in a believer is that instead of saying that the model of God, of creation, of the Church, of man which satisfied him fifty years ago no longer satisfied him, can no longer satisfy his intellectual and spiritual development, he makes an either/or decision: either to retrench himself in the old or to abandon his former position altogether. Whereas the developing person who rejects the model he earlier had of God or the creation when confronted with the depths and range of science or of philosophy, is proceeding with something not only legitimate but essential. By contrast, a believer who at the age of eighteen or eighty would remain faithful to a model adequate for an eight-year-old would be spiritually and mentally backward, incapable for communing with all the vastness, depth and greatness of God and of his creation.

We are confronted with such problems in the period of the Councils. But has the Church of the Councils come to an end? I think not. It has not come to an end because the same onslaught of the intellect, the same onslaught of the godless approach to divine things, has continued throughout the ages. It is in action nowadays, within the Church and from without. And if we ask ourselves about heresies and heretics, what their position vis-a-vis the Church is, I would like to point out two things. First, the Church was right in condemning the heresies. But the Church which condemned the heresies from within an experience and a certainty often did so without explaining why this heresy could not be acceptable on the intellectual, rather than the spiritual plane. What I said about Arius, and the fact that in his time the distinction between time and eternity, space and infinity, was not philosophically and scientifically mature, allows people in our days to reason in the same terms. For the Church has not taken advantage of what philosophy and science have discovered and understood about these categories, has not explained what an Athanasius could not explain in his time in scientific or philosophical terms. And that could apply to every other heresy. Thus there is a task for people of our time who are conversant with philosophy or steeped in scientific knowledge. They have to reconsider the ancient heresies and ask themselves whether there is some sort of answer that can now be given from a point of view which is not simply the experiential point of view of the early centuries. For however intellectually mature that was, it failed to solve the problem on the level of the questioner who came from outside.
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We do not hold ecumenical councils, we are far too disorderly and too divided. But each and every Christian, each parish, diocese, denomination, is confronted with the same problem as the undivided Church when it had to face the outer world, heretical, pagan or godless. And we also need to go beyond condemnation of it in order to achieve its salvation.
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« Reply #61 on: May 11, 2005, 02:39:20 PM »

Fascinating post, it gives me something to think about!
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« Reply #62 on: May 11, 2005, 03:49:01 PM »

"Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon abandoned Cyrillian terminology and declared that Christ was one hypostasis in two natures. However, the Council's finding were rejected by many of the Christians on the fringes of the Byzantine Empire: Egyptians, Syrians, Armenians, and others. From that point onward, Alexandria would have two patriarchs: the "Melkite" or Imperial Patriarch, now known as the Eastern Orthodox Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria, and the non-Chalcedonian national Egyptian one, now known as the Coptic Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. Almost the entire Egyptian population rejected the terms of the Council of Chalcedon and remained faithful to the national Egyptian Church (now known as the Coptic Church). Those who supported the Chalcedonian definition remained in communion with the other leading churches of Rome and Constantinople. The non-Chalcedonian party became what is today called the Oriental Orthodox Church."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_Christianity#Council_of_Ephesus
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« Reply #63 on: May 11, 2005, 03:52:32 PM »

I believe this is rather pertinent information for a discussion such as this:

"Monophysitism and the Council of Chalcedon

1- According to some Scholars, there, was no need for it, but politics played
a big role. "It was only under constant pressure from the Emperor Marcian
that the Fathers of Chalcedon agreed to draw a new formula of belief."


2- The different expressions of the one faith are due in large part to
non-theological  issues, such as "unfortunate circumstances, cultural
differences and the difficulty of translating terms." It is debated whether
the opposition to Chalcedon was out of a Christological issue or an attempt
to assert Coptic and Syrian identity against the Byzantine.

3- Ecclesiastical politics had been very confused ever since the legislation,
in the Council of 381, of a primacy of honor for Constantinople, the "New
Rome," second only to that of the old Rome. It seems that both Rome and the
Emperors used the Council of Chalcedon to carry out their respective plans:
Rome for asserting its claim for primacy over the Church and the Emperors for
trying to bring the entire Church in the East under the jurisdiction of the
See of Constantinople.

4- No one can deny the disadvantages of the imperial interventions in the
dispute. Most probably, Chalcedon's decisions and terms would have been
different if the Emperor Marcian and his wife Pulcheria had not intervened.
Since 450, they were gathering signatures for the Tome of Leo, the bishop of
Rome. Many bishops of Chalcedon approved it only as a concession to the
bishop whom the imperial authority supported.

5- The definitions of the Tome were composed in a way that it could be
interpreted by different persons, each in his own way. It is known that
Nestorius, who was still alive in 451, accepted the Tome of Leo, while the
Alexandrines rejected it.

6- The Council of Chalcedon, which is believed to have condemned Eutyches,
did not deal with him but with Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria. Eutyches
himself was not present at the council. Scholars state that Dioscorus was
deprived of office on procedural grounds and not on account of erroneous
belief. At Chalcedon Dioscorus strongly declared, "If Eutyches holds notions
disallowed by the doctrines of the Church, he deserves not only punishment
but even the fire. But my concern is for the catholic and apostolic faith,
not for any man whomsoever." The evidence is sufficient for us to look for
other reasons for his condemnation. Rome was annoyed by the extraordinary
vitality and activity of the Church of Alexandria and its patriarch.

7- As soon as the members of the council had assembled, the legates of Rome
demanded that Dioscorus be banished on account of the order of the bishop of
Rome whom they called, "the head of all churches". When the imperial
authorities asked for a charge to justify the demand, one of the legates said
that he "dared to conduct a council without the authorization of the
apostolic see, a thing which has never happened and which ought not to
happen." As a matter of fact, the Council of 381 had been held without the
participation, not to say the authorization, of the bishop of Rome, and the
Council of 553 against his wishes. It is evident that the delegates intended
by the words, "the head of all churches" to assert the claim of Rome of
ecumenical supremacy over the church.

8- Chalcedon rejected the Council of 449, and Leo of Rome considered it as
latrocinium, a council of robbers, a title which "has stuck for all time."

This may uncover the intention behind such an attitude. A council which
ignored Rome's authority, robbing its claim of supremacy, was not for Leo a
church council but a meeting of robbers.
The Council of Chalcedon, without
even examining the issue, denounced the Council of 449, putting the entire
responsibility for its decrees exclusively on Dioscorus. Only one hundred and
four years later, the decision, not of Chalcedon, but of the so called
latrocinium was justified. The Council of Constantinople in 553 anathematized
Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret of Cyrus, and Ibas of Edessa, and condemned
their Three Chapters. It is remarkable that the desire of the Emperor
Justinian to reconcile the non-Chalcedonian churches was behind the decree."
http://www.coptic.net/articles/MonophysitismReconsidered.txt

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« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2005, 12:23:21 PM »

EnkhristosAnesti,

I'm sorry for getting obnoxious. I let myself get annoyed. I could have said everything I did (of substance) without becoming snide.

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« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2005, 01:07:22 PM »

Dear Augustine,

Your apology is not necessary, for your reaction was called for, according to the attitude presented in my response and in consideration of my undeniable arrogance and disrespect. Please understand that my harshness was not motivated by any real hate or disrespect towards your person, but rather a deep love ill-expressed (they do say that there’s a thin line between love and hate), and a weary heart at seeing my Eastern Orthodox brothers insisting on maintaining - what I believe to be out-dated views - in a manner which almost seems like they desire to strenuously find reasons to disagree with us in order that they may maintain an exclusivity to “The Orthodox faith”.

Certainly, no one wants false unity, but neither does anyone want false dis-unity. I believe both positions are as undesirable and satanically motivated as each other, and hence there needs to be as much objectivity and impartiality in weighing up the views of the other side; much humbleness in willing to admit error, combined with much prayer and fasting for divine guidance, to ultimately make sure that the church does not acquire a fixed and false mindset, allowing it to blindly accept and maintain any one of the above conditions. As I may have said to someone before - this significant process starts in the mindset of the layman, rather than the official statements or proclamations of the hierarchs. What is said on an internet forum should not and cannot be underestimated, and the practical effects can be more potent in de facto than for example the effects of officialy signed statements made between Bishops.

I really hope that you now truly understand the context of my frustration, even if you personally disagree with everything I have just said.

Before I do indeed leave this discussion (and this forum in general) at that, I kindly re-iterate a request I made to you, which was made not for the sake of a desire to prove some sort of a personal victory, but rather to vindicate my church from some innocently made yet nonetheless false charges:

I declared concerning the human will of Christ, that it was not self-subsistent i.e. it does not possess some self-supporting existence independent from the hypostatic union, and you mistakenly read this as a denial of its real or actual subsistence per se. I simply ask you to honestly look over the relevant paragraphs once more, and to please correct yourself if you do indeed agree with me that you made an honest mistake in properly presenting my position to the readers, if and only if, in all honesty you can see and understand the honest mistake that you made with regards to this specific point. (If you feel this is unecessary, or do not genuinly believe you erred, then that is fine.)

Thank you in advance.

Peace.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 01:11:06 PM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: May 14, 2005, 12:59:16 PM »

I must admit im having trouble following the dialogue here (and I’m certainly not impressed by the un-Christian-like attitudes, come on guys! Where’s the love?! teehee) but my friend besides me here is a graduate from a theological seminary who perfectly understands everything you’re saying. She was just reading your posts with me and explaining to me what’s going on in layman’s terms. We both agree with you that Augustine either did misread your argument like you said or he was deliberetly misrepresenting our church’s position (I hope not!!! Sorry, that was my friends suggestion, not mine, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt Smiley). Or maybe he was just like me and had no idea what the difference between a self-subsisting thingy and a subsisting thingy is? lol! (I understand it now thanks to my friend though Smiley)

Anyhoo, thanks for that ekhristosanesti, I learn a lot from you Smiley Smiley keep up the good work.
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« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2005, 09:40:20 PM »

Copt,

Forgive me if my attitude seemed "un-christian-like", but I think the situation called for some bluntness without compromise. There is also no doubt Augustine could not establish any real case against me without misrepresenting my arguments, presupposing a conclusion in order to arrive at that very conclusion, or resorting to unequivocal and ambiguous analogies disconnected from any fact.

I'm still hoping he humbles himself and admits his grievous error with regards to the straw man attack concerning the will(s) of Christ. He needs not agree with my viewpoints, but he needs to present those viewpoints accurately, if he can indeed defend his anti-OO position with any real honesty.

Peace.
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« Reply #68 on: May 15, 2005, 01:50:48 PM »

To further support my position that the rejection of the self-subsistence of the humanity of Christ and the corollary of that - the rejection of the self-subsistence of the human will of Christ, as adopted by St Severus (a proponent of OO Christology), is not only Orthodox and the corollary of rejecting Nestorianism, but is also in fact the implicit position of your own EO proponents such as St John of Damascus - as I already argued in my last "heated" response to Augustine, I would like to paste the following quote:

“The human nature according to Severus is not “hypostatic” but was rather considered along with Leontius of Byzantium and John of Damascus ‘hypostatiszd’, received to the unity of the hypostasis of The Word” (Zambolotsy, 'Christology of Severus of Antioch', page 377)

i.e. It’s subsistence is reliant upon the hypostatic union.

Okay, there’s certainly no more I can possibly say on this issue unless anyone wishes to make further inquiries.

Peace.
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« Reply #69 on: May 16, 2005, 11:48:25 AM »

To further support my position that the rejection of the self-subsistence of the humanity of Christ and the corollary of that - the rejection of the self-subsistence of the human will of Christ, as adopted by St Severus (a proponent of OO Christology), is not only Orthodox and the corollary of rejecting Nestorianism, but is also in fact the implicit position of your own EO proponents such as St John of Damascus - as I already argued in my last "heated" response to Augustine, I would like to paste the following quote:

“The human nature according to Severus is not “hypostatic” but was rather considered along with Leontius of Byzantium and John of Damascus ‘hypostatiszd’, received to the unity of the hypostasis of The Word” (Zambolotsy, 'Christology of Severus of Antioch', page 377)

i.e. It’s subsistence is reliant upon the hypostatic union.

Okay, there’s certainly no more I can possibly say on this issue unless anyone wishes to make further inquiries.

Peace.


It seems to me that this is indeed what Chalcedon taught. Here is what the "Definition of Chalcedon" states:

"This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, (1) unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence[/b], not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the Prophets of old time have spoken concerning him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us, and as the Creed of the Fathers hath delivered to us."

It seems Chalcedon taught one subsistence, not two--Christ's human nature had no previous existence or self-subsistence but only became substistent in the one hypostasis of the Incarnation. (Therefore, I'm having a little trouble seeing what's supposedly so "Nestorian" about Chalcedon, unless I'm missing something.)
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« Reply #70 on: May 16, 2005, 01:10:15 PM »

Doubting Thomas,

It seems you haven’t been following my posts in this thread to understand the context of my last post to which you responded, so please allow me to clarify a couple of things:

1) My last post concerning the non-self-subsistence of Christ’s human will, was not made as a challenge to Chalcedonian Christology as you imply, but rather had its purpose to further emphasize that Augustine had seriously misrepresented my position in his attempt to strenuously find doctrinal dissonance between OO and EO Christology. This he did, when he falsely interpreted my denial of the “self-subsistence” of Christ’s natural human will, as a denial of the actual and real existence of this human will per se; when in actual fact the prefix “self” qualifying the nature of the subsistence of the human will to which I am denying, clearly proves that what I have denied is the idea that the humanity of Christ is an hypostasis in and of itself; a self-supporting existence independent of the hypostatic union.

In any event, I disagree with you that Chalcedon makes the very point I made; the quotes you bring forth certainly not proving this to any extent. That Christ is ultimately "one subsistence" and "one person" says nothing concerning the relationship between the divine and human natures (and hence naturals wills), and their respective modes of subsistence/existence prior to (hence independently) and within the "hypostatic union" or their "hypostatic qualities". Chalcedon simply provides no clear definition for the "hypostatic union", and even the context in which the declarations in question are made are not sufficiently clear in order to necessarily restrict the intended implication to an Orthodox one, as I will show below.

2) My position has never been that Chalcedonian Christology is Nestorian (in substance and intent), but rather that a) it is so weak and ambiguous, that it can be twisted to conform to some level of Nestorianism (hence the tome of Leo was well received by Nestorius, and the Council of Chalcedon well received by the Nestorian church in general), and b) that as such those who rejected Chalcedon and the definitions proclaimed, did so legitimately in consideration of the historical context of Chalcedon - in which Nestorianism was still a significant influence in the Church, spreading and growing strong, such that it would be a dangerous risk for the Church to compromise the strong expressions of unity (“One Nature of God the Logos Incarnate”) for expressions that further the Nestorian cause and allow them to creep back in via a backdoor.

Consider the following expression contained in the tome of Leo:

“Each nature performs what is proper to it in communion with the other; the Word for instance, performing what is proper to the Word, and the flesh carrying out what is proper to the flesh.”

Surely this does not affirm the unity of Christ, but rather divides The Word from the flesh, depicting them as two differing centers of action. Now I don’t necessarily believe that leo subjectively intended to imply that Christ is two persons - but this is simply, more or less the corollary implication of such phraseology. That leo did not subjectively intend “The Word” to be a second person to the person of “the flesh” only proves that theology and metaphysics weren’t exactly leo’s strengths. How for example could he depict an impersonal nature as the performer of an act? The nature does not “act”, this is plainly ridiculous. The acts of Christ are ‘actualized’ by His person, whilst the natures simply provide the means or capacity of actualization.

Furthermore, there is grievous error in the manner that he divides The Word from the flesh in the first place (as opposed to for example the divine nature [of The Word] from the human nature [of The Word]). This was clearly a divergence and departure from the Christology of St Athanasius and St Cyril, who always regarded “The Word” as the ultimate subject of all the performances of Christ. Allow me to quote a scholar of this field, Professor Frances Young, who states in his book From Nicaea to Chalcedon:

“Who was the subject of the incarnate experiences of Jesus Christ? For the Alexandrians the subject remained The Word, who though transcendent accommodated himself to the conditions of human nature; for the AntiochenesGǪthe Word could not possibly be regarded as the immediate subject of the incarnate experiencesGǪnaturally this produced a dualistic Christology in which the unity of Christ as The Word Incarnate was dangerously undermined.” (page 180, bold emphasis mine)

In this sense, the OO maintain for example, that “The Word suffered according to His flesh”, whereas leonion Christology would demand that one express the sufferings of Christ in a conflicting manner: “The flesh suffered as opposed to The Word” - clearly the former maintains the unity of Christ in a perfectly Orthodox manner by affirming The Word as the subject of His Incarnational experience of suffering whilst in the same breath maintaing that such experiences were according to His humanity; a humanity belonging to The Word.

Peace.
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« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2005, 02:23:46 PM »

Let us pray that we become one again. The devil is so smart.
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« Reply #72 on: July 20, 2005, 04:24:49 PM »

Dear brethren,

Its too bad Ipap is no longer with us because I would have liked to have brought to his attention that I think he erred in his following statements:

"Monophysitism grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. Monophysitism challenged the orthodox definition of faith of Chalcedon and taught that in Jesus there were not two natures (divine and human) but one (divine). Discussion of this belief was clouded by misunderstandings of terms and by the lack of knowledge of Greek in the West."

"Now let's see the "non-Chalcedonian" issue: (I use the term Monophysitism, but you may use the term Non-Chalcedonians. I do not hold the term Monophysitism as an insult but as a historical "label")."

Does anyone see the above contradiction?  There is not one Non-Chalcedonian Church which has ever taught "that in Jesus there were not two natures (divine and human) but one (divine)" as Ipap here suggests.  He is correct that what he describes is TRUE MONOPHYSITISM, viz. Eutcyian Monophysitism.  Yet we don't hold this.  Oriental Orthodoxy teaches Miaphysitism, i.e. that Christ is one Nature, fully human and fully Divine.  Its too bad Ipap was ignorent of this fact.  Our Orthodox Churches condemn the error he describes as well.  We also condemn Eutchyes.  All those quotes he gives from our prelates stating that Chalcedon was unnacceptable does not change this fact.

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« Reply #73 on: June 20, 2008, 09:03:45 PM »

It's the Eastern Orthodox position should they not be able to state it..........
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