Author Topic: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...  (Read 14620 times)

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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #135 on: March 05, 2015, 08:26:56 AM »
Cut n' paste, cut n' paste, cu........
or is it a registered trademark?
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #136 on: March 05, 2015, 08:33:43 AM »
"The priest who preaches foul doctrine shall be reborn as a fungus." - Buddhist proverb

Offline Michael1950

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #137 on: March 06, 2015, 05:12:25 AM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

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« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 05:13:44 AM by Michael1950 »

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #138 on: March 06, 2015, 09:32:08 AM »
I visited a Masjid for about a year during my years in between Protestantism and my journey to Orthodoxy. (I’m not sure, BTW, what the technical difference between a Masjid and a Mosque is.) But I befriended many Muslims there and found them to be very devout, peace loving people who shared many of the same cultural and moral concerns as Christians. I did not get the sense that this Muslim community was “liberal,” or “moderate.” They were very serious about their faith, and yet they were equally serious about condemning terrorism. The community was comprised of African Americans and Muslims of Middle Eastern descent. The women were an active and vocal part of the community, and yet they were modest, humble, and did not seem to feel oppressed in any way. The Imam was African American. This was a Sunni Muslim community, not the NOI. There was one occasion when a visiting Imam from Egypt came to speak. Before he began, he commanded all the women to be moved to a separate room. The women always sat and prayed behind the men, and they were fine with that. But when this Egyptian Imam commanded them to go to another room, a few women  protested. But he refused to speak until they left. So they just got up and left the Masjid completely. That was interesting, to say the least. The men seemed to accept the situation, as this Egyptian Imam was considered a high authority on Islam.

I read the Qur’an a few times. I thought that for the most part it was full of good practical and spiritual wisdom. However, as a Christian, I found the heretical parts quite disturbing. I tried hard to reconcile Islam with Christianity, but there were just too many verses in the Qur’an that blatantly contradicted and undermined true Christian doctrine. And then there were the violent verses. Unlike the Bible, where the Old Testament is fulfilled and clarified by the New Testament, the Qur’an has no such delineation. The violent verses cannot be dismissed contextually or explained away as allegorical. They are an inherent part of Islam. No way around that. It always struck me as odd that Islamic prayers and Muslim greetings are always centered on peace and the mercy of Allah, but when it comes to infidels there is no peace and no mercy. Quite different from what Jesus says about loving our enemies and blessing those that persecute us. Of course, most Christians embrace the philosophy of the sword as much as Muslims do, which is unfortunate.

I can definitely see the appeal of Islam. It’s theology is much simpler than Christian theology. The Qur’an is a much shorter scriptural text than the Bible, and much easier to understand. There is less doctrinal division amongst Muslims, although the divisions that do exist are quite profound. There is an emphasis on the universality of human brotherhood that is very appealing to those who have suffered from the evils of racism. When you walk into a Christian Church for the first time, you never know what you will find. But Muslims can enter a Mosque or Masjid anywhere in the world for Friday prayer, and they will be welcomed regardless of race or nationality. And they will know how to pray and what to expect. The simplicity of it all is very attractive to people who believe in God and simply want to worship in peace with their fellow man. And there is a logical consistency to Islamic theology that makes it quite difficult for a Muslim to reject the Islamic view of God in order to embrace the Mysteries of Orthodox Christianity, such as the Eucharist and the Holy Trinity.

Recently I ran into some old Muslim friends from the Masjid. I told them that I had been baptized into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but that the important thing is that we all comprise one humanity created by One God. They smiled and nodded their heads and said they were happy for me. There are many good Muslims in the world.

That is my limited experience with Islam.

Selam
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 09:34:18 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #139 on: March 06, 2015, 09:38:01 AM »
Quote
Right, the facts Len. Let's stick to the facts, never mind my "anger issues". What you call "anger" is my passion for setting the record straight over this ridiculous notion that "Europeans" are responsible for all the evils of the world and many times through the vehicle of the Roman Catholic Church. A totally bogus invention of the radical Left.

LOL! The Left just invented the mass genocide of Latin Americans, the colonialization of Indochina and Africa and the predominantly Catholic support of Fascism during the 20th century. Yeah, right...  ::)

Anyway, if it wasn't the Muzzies or the Jooz it must of course be the Leftz!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 09:39:52 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #140 on: March 06, 2015, 09:42:46 AM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Unfortunately for you, many Orthodox people still remember this guy...

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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #141 on: March 06, 2015, 09:46:05 AM »
I visited a Masjid for about a year during my years in between Protestantism and my journey to Orthodoxy. (I’m not sure, BTW, what the technical difference between a Masjid and a Mosque is.)

Mosque is a latinization, Masjid is the Arabic.
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #142 on: March 06, 2015, 10:00:59 AM »
I visited a Masjid for about a year during my years in between Protestantism and my journey to Orthodoxy. (I’m not sure, BTW, what the technical difference between a Masjid and a Mosque is.)

Mosque is a latinization, Masjid is the Arabic.

OK, thanks!


Selam
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Offline Michael1950

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #143 on: March 06, 2015, 11:12:34 AM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Unfortunately for you, many Orthodox people still remember this guy...  You are correct - the Stalinist purges were indeed vulgar beyond belief. Not having lived in the Soviet Union is no excuse for me - I should have remembered. It is interesting to note that Stalin was raised in a strict Orthodox home (I believe his father was a Priest??) and that when Hitler had him on the ropes in 41-42 he reopened many Orthodox churches and turned to the Church for help. Of course, once the danger had passed, he relapsed into his former ways.
Thanks for reminding me.

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Offline Michael1950

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #144 on: March 06, 2015, 03:08:49 PM »
Just a further musing on my part as to Islam.

We must, as Orthodox Christians, reject and resist heresy in any form. This, of course, means rejecting Islam in all of it's forms and vagaries.

But there is a caveat :
                                  "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And
                                    if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you."
                                                                                                                                               Nietzsche

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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #145 on: March 08, 2015, 11:59:20 PM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Why do all Orthodox insist on lumping all Muslims and all Atheists into monolithic blocks?

Personally I blame all White people for making the internet possible.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #146 on: March 09, 2015, 12:12:56 AM »
India's probably responsible for more international internet infrastructure than anybody else.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #147 on: March 09, 2015, 01:36:38 AM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Why do all Orthodox insist on lumping all Muslims and all Atheists into monolithic blocks?

Personally I blame all White people for making the internet possible.

I don't think he's lumping all Muslims into monolithic blocks, you could make the case for atheists, since there are many "types" of and reasons for unbelief. Islam is Islam. What Muslims are is irrelevant. Islam was made up by some mastermind who knew he could fool a whole lot of people with borrowed stories from Christian apocryphal sources, and the Jewish Talmud and then incorporate his new antichrist "message" into them unscrupulously. This same mastermind incorporated liturgical worship, architecture etc. from Zoroastrian, Orthodox and Jewish sources the same way, and presented it as a completely new religious faith.

It's such an obvious fraud, like Mormonism, but he fooled a great portion of mankind. As Michael mentioned, many people hypothesize that Waraqa ibn Nufayl or a monk named Bahira were heretics and inspired Muhammad to do all of this... Assuming they were historical characters, which is an entirely different story altogether. Islamic tradition, which a good portion of Islam is based upon, and gives us the details of "Muhammad's" life, is only based upon 1%* of the "authentic" sahih narrations gathered by their Muhaddiths a century or so after he supposedly lived, even longer for Shi'ites, and they are simply hearsay filled with endless contradictions.

Anyway, there you go.

* "It is said that al-Bukhari [the most learned and trustworthy Muhaddith] collected over 300,000 hadith and included only 2,602 traditions (i.e., <1%) in his Sahih." (Wikipedia)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 01:58:22 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #148 on: March 09, 2015, 02:07:22 AM »
All that I truly know is that Islam, at best, is pure heresy. Islam, at it's worst, is a complete abomination of Jesus' message to love everyone - even those who hate and persecute His disciples. This is what I see - radical Islam hating everyone (even themselves). How can any group be more diametrically opposed to the Christ than radical Islamic adherents? Even atheists are not as vulgar.

Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Why do all Orthodox insist on lumping all Muslims and all Atheists into monolithic blocks?

Personally I blame all White people for making the internet possible.

I don't think he's lumping all Muslims into monolithic blocks, you could make the case for atheists, since there are many "types" of and reasons for unbelief. Islam is Islam. What Muslims are is irrelevant. Islam was made up by some mastermind who knew he could fool a whole lot of people with borrowed stories from Christian apocryphal sources, and the Jewish Talmud and then incorporate his new antichrist "message" into them unscrupulously. This same mastermind incorporated liturgical worship, architecture etc. from Zoroastrian, Orthodox and Jewish sources the same way, and presented it as a completely new religious faith.

It's such an obvious fraud, like Mormonism, but he fooled a great portion of mankind. As Michael mentioned, many people hypothesize that Waraqa ibn Nufayl or a monk named Bahira were heretics and inspired Muhammad to do all of this... Assuming they were historical characters, which is an entirely different story altogether. Islamic tradition, which a good portion of Islam is based upon, and gives us the details of "Muhammad's" life, is only based upon 1%* of the "authentic" sahih narrations gathered by their Muhaddiths a century or so after he supposedly lived, even longer for Shi'ites, and they are simply hearsay filled with endless contradictions.

Anyway, there you go.

* "It is said that al-Bukhari [the most learned and trustworthy Muhaddith] collected over 300,000 hadith and included only 2,602 traditions (i.e., <1%) in his Sahih." (Wikipedia)

I guess.

My apologizes, Michael.
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Offline Eruvande

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #149 on: March 29, 2015, 04:03:42 PM »
As a woman, I found Islam very attractive for a time. But the Quran is quite a dull, dry book, and the references to Christian belief in it and in the hadith are garbled and mistaken. I found externals like Hijab quite attractive, but couldn't get past the odd regurgitation of biblical stories in the writings. The final nail in the coffin for me was the discovery that if I took the Shahada, my marriage had a shelf-life of three months if my husband didn't convert also, or I would have to divorce him. Kind of took the shine off.
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #150 on: March 29, 2015, 10:32:54 PM »
As a woman, I found Islam very attractive for a time. But the Quran is quite a dull, dry book, and the references to Christian belief in it and in the hadith are garbled and mistaken. I found externals like Hijab quite attractive, but couldn't get past the odd regurgitation of biblical stories in the writings. The final nail in the coffin for me was the discovery that if I took the Shahada, my marriage had a shelf-life of three months if my husband didn't convert also, or I would have to divorce him. Kind of took the shine off.

Most people are attractd to the externals in whatever they do (whatever external means). Hang around here and see what people argue and celebrate the most about odoxy.

To the whole divorce thing, that would not be the case for every mixed marriage I know of. As with most things as complex as religion your mileage may vary.

Offline wgw

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #151 on: March 30, 2015, 04:41:10 PM »
The deep internal truths of Orthodoxy are largely contained in the very externals themselves, that is, the liturgical services.  Lamentably though most parishes do not and cannot celebrate the Divine Office in its entirety, but I think finding one that celebrates Saturday night services is a good starting point.   Within Sufi Islam, the internals are mystical teachings controlled by the Pirs or Sheikhs whereas within Orthodox Christianity and for that matter Roman Catholicosm and Anglicanism the liturgy itself, and the Eucharist at that, represents the sublime summit of religious truth and beauty, and the vast corpus of wisdom literature we have in which other religions bury their occult teachings all point to this central liturgical mystery.

Now Orthodox Sunni Islam as far as Imcan tell rather lacks internals; it's not deep.  Mystics are viewed with suspicion; Sufis are typically outcasts.  There is no real theological depth below the layers of required observances; the primary consolation is the sense of unity this provides.  But this model seems to collapse on itself a bit im the form of fundamentalism, with ISIL apparently wanting to blow up the Kaaba.

Regarding the Quran itself I found it to be rather interesting as false scriptures go; the repeated commands "Say" or "Read" suggest it started out as the result of a genuine encounter with a demon imitating St. Gabriel.  There are multiple substrates to the text but I am entirely convinced it's production stemmed from an initial occult experience with later self-delusional attempts to build on this demonic core a sort of regurgitation of Judeo Christian lore with Muhammed doubtless encountered on his travels, with a distinctly heretical bent.   It's much more readable than say, The Book of Mormon, in that a distinctive style came naturally to Muhammed whereas in the case of Joseph Smith regardless of the reality of his experiences an extremely literary substrate from the KJV is manifestly apparent; I would attribute this in part to cultural differences, with Muhammed being an illiterate and poetically gifted recipient of oral tradition.
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #152 on: March 30, 2015, 04:51:45 PM »
Wgw,

In 24 words or less, what is the difference between and internal and external. Or use your typical 2400 words, if you can make a cogent division, you will have given me the skeleton key to problems which haunt your typical Aglo-American philosopher.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 04:52:29 PM by orthonorm »

Offline Agabus

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #153 on: March 30, 2015, 05:17:57 PM »
I ran into a young Nation of Islam minister in the parish jail the other day; didn't realize he was Nation until I complemented him on his sharp look and he said it was for his religion. We had to go to the same place in the courthouse after the jail, so we ended up walking the hall together and talking in broad strokes about our religion, at his prompting. Like me, he was a former Baptist.

He was the politest and most respectful prison minister I have ever met, bar none. While it does nothing to actually commend his religion to me, I bet he ends up converting half the jailhouse. It's the same reason people convert to Mormonism.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #154 on: March 30, 2015, 06:00:08 PM »
...in the parish jail

For a second it didn't register that some areas use 'parish' in a secular way... :laugh:
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #155 on: March 30, 2015, 06:11:58 PM »
...in the parish jail

For a second it didn't register that some areas use 'parish' in a secular way... :laugh:

I'm guessing Louisiana?

Offline Agabus

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #156 on: March 30, 2015, 06:12:36 PM »
...in the parish jail

For a second it didn't register that some areas use 'parish' in a secular way... :laugh:

I'm guessing Louisiana?
Correct.

Mea culpa. I usually make it a point to say "county."
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #157 on: March 30, 2015, 07:59:30 PM »
Wgw,

In 24 words or less, what is the difference between and internal and external. Or use your typical 2400 words, if you can make a cogent division, you will have given me the skeleton key to problems which haunt your typical Aglo-American philosopher.

The superficial aspects of a faith are those readily discernible from public information or peripheral involvement, and are thus in my view externals, whereas the internal aspects of a faith can be discerned only from inside.  In mystery religions the onion has many layers although one can usually surmise the shape of the inner layers from the outer layers.

But in the Catholic faith, by that, I mean Orthodoxy and also those forms of Christianity which most closely resemble it, I feel like all the great mystical thinkers point at what has become the most visible and well known aspect of liturgical churches, namely the Sacraments and the liturgy, most especially the Eucharist.  Now this used to be a mystery hidden from the outside world well into the fifth century at least, but the cat is out of the bag.  So all the Mystics that would ordinarily point in now point out.  Which I am rather happy about actually; I think it's wonderful and the will of God that the Eucharist became public knowledge and Christianity ceased to be a mystery religion.  Because to me Jesus, the God Man, is beyond everything else the Person whose nature it is to turn things inside out, thus reverting creation to her primordial splendour.

I apologize if that went a but over 24 words but the main answer in the first paragraph did not go over by that much, and I think even with this apology I'm well short of 2,400.   I also want to thank you for asking me that question, it benefitted me.   :)
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #158 on: March 30, 2015, 08:14:49 PM »
I ran into a young Nation of Islam minister in the parish jail the other day; didn't realize he was Nation until I complemented him on his sharp look and he said it was for his religion. We had to go to the same place in the courthouse after the jail, so we ended up walking the hall together and talking in broad strokes about our religion, at his prompting. Like me, he was a former Baptist.

He was the politest and most respectful prison minister I have ever met, bar none. While it does nothing to actually commend his religion to me, I bet he ends up converting half the jailhouse. It's the same reason people convert to Mormonism.

NOI is good for black people.

Best thing ever? When the NOI started sending their folks through Scientology. My two favorite insane religions mixed. It was and remains beautiful.

Got into a heated argument one day on the bus with one of their "ministers". He knew less about his religion than I did and never had encounter a white person who didn't give a whit about confronting him on his nonsense in the middle of 50 blacks.

But overall I think the NOI is good, Sunni is better based on living as a racial minority for quite a bit of time in my life.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 08:21:50 PM by orthonorm »

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #159 on: March 30, 2015, 08:18:55 PM »
Wgw,

In 24 words or less, what is the difference between and internal and external. Or use your typical 2400 words, if you can make a cogent division, you will have given me the skeleton key to problems which haunt your typical Aglo-American philosopher.

The superficial aspects of a faith are those readily discernible from public information or peripheral involvement, and are thus in my view externals, whereas the internal aspects of a faith can be discerned only from inside.  In mystery religions the onion has many layers although one can usually surmise the shape of the inner layers from the outer layers.

But in the Catholic faith, by that, I mean Orthodoxy and also those forms of Christianity which most closely resemble it, I feel like all the great mystical thinkers point at what has become the most visible and well known aspect of liturgical churches, namely the Sacraments and the liturgy, most especially the Eucharist.  Now this used to be a mystery hidden from the outside world well into the fifth century at least, but the cat is out of the bag.  So all the Mystics that would ordinarily point in now point out.  Which I am rather happy about actually; I think it's wonderful and the will of God that the Eucharist became public knowledge and Christianity ceased to be a mystery religion.  Because to me Jesus, the God Man, is beyond everything else the Person whose nature it is to turn things inside out, thus reverting creation to her primordial splendour.

I apologize if that went a but over 24 words but the main answer in the first paragraph did not go over by that much, and I think even with this apology I'm well short of 2,400.   I also want to thank you for asking me that question, it benefitted me.   :)

In however many words, you did remain incoherent.

If by internal you are saying whatever is "mysterious" then I must side with Spinoza on this one, mysteries are just things we know that either we refuse or can't put into words.

Mystery is a never a solution but always a symptom.

It's the institutional analog to "emotions".

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #160 on: March 30, 2015, 09:07:38 PM »
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:13:42 PM by wgw »
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #161 on: March 30, 2015, 09:22:25 PM »
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.

So instead of internal and external, we have inside and outside.

In 2400 words or less could you tell me what difference between inside and outside is. Again, I will still get that skeleton key.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #162 on: March 30, 2015, 09:26:50 PM »
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.

The essence of God isn't incomprehensible otherwise you would be unable to encounter God or to even understand as incomprehensible. Or is this another x vs y divide?

Really I don't expect answers from you but would be glad if you actually have some, just pointing out how facile and begging much of what goes on here is, one could say even trite.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #163 on: March 30, 2015, 09:35:43 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:36:47 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #164 on: March 30, 2015, 10:18:49 PM »
By internals I meant merely that which is hidden from view to those on the outside.

That is to say, what you learn when you become indoctrinated into a religion, how your world view changes. 

It's not a question of mystery but of perceptibility.  One can understand Islam from without and frankly Salafi Islam is rather trite.

That said mystery is part of Orthodox dogma.  The essence of God remains incomprehensible.

So instead of internal and external, we have inside and outside.

In 2400 words or less could you tell me what difference between inside and outside is. Again, I will still get that skeleton key.

Think of the cell of a hermit in the desert.  It's external appearance is the outside.  The interior is the inside.  And if you live with that hermit in his cell you are on the inside, whereas if you merely see his cell on the outside or know of it, you are on the outside.  It's a question of intimacy.  And it's not a dichotomy; intimacy progresses by degrees.  You have only external and superficial knowledge of me, my relatives have more knowledge, I have more still, but only God knows everything about me.   My doctor knows intimate details of my physiology but not my life.  Knowledge.

We are able to know God through his energies, but we can also know of His incomprehensibility.  Because you cannot comprehend the infinite or practically speaking, for most humans, even extremely large numbers; you can work with them if you're a mathematician and understand what they are while at the same time being unable to conceive them except by how many orders of magnitude greater than they are from the largest quantity you can understand and visualize.  But again, it's not a dichotomy.  But the fact is, one cannot understand infinity or even work with it the way one can with numbers too large to comprehend in the intimate manner we can understand smaller quantities. 

Put it another way.  Teying to comprehend the essence of God is like trying to divide by zero.  You can understand the concept but you can't do it.  Computers toss an exception (cpu error)  usually causing bad software crashes when told to divide by zero.   The computer knows what division by zero is, and it's smart enough to know it can't do it, if you'll forgive some anthropomorphism.  In the same way, we can comprehend that God is incomprehensible, like the value of infinity, or the state of the universe before the Big Bang (or the lack thereof).

To prove my point, I dare you to try to comprehend your computer, in its entirety.  Including the software that runs on it and the mathematical concepts that underpin some of that software (like B trees and B+ trees).  You'll admit that at a certain point you can't comprehend the functioning of certain systems, only their presence.  If you lived a thousand years you might be able to figure it all out, including the nuances of semiconductor lithography and network architecture.  Now perhaps the key to understanding eternal life is it would take an eternity to comprehend God in His essence.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #165 on: March 30, 2015, 10:24:29 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #166 on: March 30, 2015, 10:37:27 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 10:38:02 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #167 on: March 30, 2015, 10:38:58 PM »
Wgw, I can assure you not only do I grasp the infinite I make use of that grasp quite fequently.

Sounds like you have a comp sci background. I know the calculus isn't used much for most problems in the work you do, but kids all across the world stare into the infinite every day in boredom waiting for class to end.

And it's been a while since I sat in a math class but I am not sure what dividing by zero has to do with infinity. I'll let mario weigh in on the maths.

But yeah, away from your sophormorism and analogies, how you know something to be incomhensible if you don't know it, that is comprehend it, at least as incomprehensible.

Knowing that something as incomprehensible isn't the end of knowing but one of its beginnings and not in some infantile mystical manner, but in way that opens the door for an explicit understanding which does retreat to the child's imaginary plenitude.

And for something ineffable people keeping talking a lot about it. Which is trying to have your imaginary and symbolic too.


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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #168 on: March 30, 2015, 10:41:50 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

I losing track of this discussion. I don't agree with what you say about Islam, or if I do, then Xianity does the same.

But when did Christ become part of this discussion. I thought we were talking about those who believe they know better than Christ did when he spoke.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #169 on: March 30, 2015, 10:47:53 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #170 on: March 30, 2015, 10:50:18 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

I losing track of this discussion. I don't agree with what you say about Islam, or if I do, then Xianity does the same.

But when did Christ become part of this discussion. I thought we were talking about those who believe they know better than Christ did when he spoke.

Sorry, that's probably my fault. I feel like if I don't explicitly bring up Christ as often as I can in these kind of conversations, I'm doing God a disservice.

I could certainly be wrong about Islam.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #171 on: March 30, 2015, 11:02:51 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes m
Quote
e as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.

I think it has a greater concern for obeying God in the practical minutiae of life. Orthodoxy, largely because of the influence of the more ascetically and philosophically minded of the Fathers, seems to have a lot more side elements and debates that one could turn into side tracks from the daily task of living the Cross. It's so much more fun to talk about God and seek after mystical experiences (not that both of these don't have their good and proper place) than it is to go out and care for the least of these.

I always think of this quote from St. Maria Skobstova:

Quote
At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked whether I was successful in my ascetic exercises, nor how many bows and prostrations I made. Instead I shall be asked, Did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners. That is all I shall be asked. About every poor, hungry, and imprisoned person the Savior says "I": I was hungry and thirsty; I was sick and in prison. To think that He puts an equal sign between Himself and anyone in need... I always knew it, but now it has somehow penetrated to my bones. It fills me with awe.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #172 on: March 30, 2015, 11:14:42 PM »
I still don't think your comparison is apt. When it comes to Islam (and orthodox Judaism, for that matter), I get the distinct impression that the letter of the Law is all there is: there's no "spirit of the Law" that takes precedence over the letter. One consequence is that pious Muslims and Jews are more scrupulous about observing their fasts, purity laws and even charitable giving, because their Law spells out precisely what must be done, and no more or less is expected of them. For Christians, the temptation is always to relax the observance of the letter because of this nebulous "spirit" that, in the minds of the less zealous, ends up being nothing more than excuses for laziness, even though the idea is that it constitutes license to go beyond the letter.

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #173 on: March 30, 2015, 11:36:32 PM »
I still don't think your comparison is apt. When it comes to Islam (and orthodox Judaism, for that matter), I get the distinct impression that the letter of the Law is all there is: there's no "spirit of the Law" that takes precedence over the letter. One consequence is that pious Muslims and Jews are more scrupulous about observing their fasts, purity laws and even charitable giving, because their Law spells out precisely what must be done, and no more or less is expected of them. For Christians, the temptation is always to relax the observance of the letter because of this nebulous "spirit" that, in the minds of the less zealous, ends up being nothing more than excuses for laziness, even though the idea is that it constitutes license to go beyond the letter.

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.

St. Maria's other writings do not indicate someone who only cared about Christ's calling to care for the poor.

I'm not saying that no one ever misuses an appeal to the spirit of the Law, I'm just saying that without love, the externals are meaningless in and of themselves.

It's probably best to just drop the comparison to Islam at this point. Like I said, I'm not expert on it.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 11:36:57 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #174 on: March 30, 2015, 11:53:39 PM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.

It is. Islam is more legalistic than Toraic Judaism. Islam has laws on, how you should dress, wash, pray, go to the bathroom (or for that matter, how you enter the bathroom), rule a state, punish the unjust and many many more laws.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 11:56:01 PM by xOrthodox4Christx »
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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #175 on: March 30, 2015, 11:58:34 PM »

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.

It seems to me that she is echoing Christ's words on how we will be judged. It seems pretty important to me. I do not understand how the lives of saints can usurp Christ's very clear words on this matter. That we will be judged on other things is not in doubt. You may be judged in calling Christ's words progressive. I do not know what is in your heart.
If you cannot remember everything, instead of everything, I beg you, remember this without fail, that not to share our own wealth with the poor is theft from the poor and deprivation of their means of life; we do not possess our own wealth but theirs.  If we have this attitude, we will certainly offer our money; and by nourishing Christ in poverty here and laying up great profit hereafter, we will be able to attain the good things which are to come. - St. John Chrysostom

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #176 on: March 31, 2015, 12:08:09 AM »
This is what I think when I hear talk of internals vs. externals.

In terms of Orthodoxy, the externals are the outward forms- the chanting, the vestments, the icons, etc.

The internals are the matters of the Gospel- making true disciples of all nations, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, experiencing and contemplating the love of God in all its myriad forms.

I am going to guess that the internals are more important than the externals?

Really I think there are a number of ways of declaring such thinking incoherent. For odoxy it would be the Incarnation. What aspects of Jesus Christ are external and internal? Which are important? Which are not?

I think most xian bodies do privilege aspects of Christ and divide him.

Anyway, wgw is caught up in typical western thought, but what choice does he have? For all the talk of western scholasticism and its weaknesses, it haunts odoxy even when it shrouds it in mystery.

Anyway this is about how simple and obvious Islam is, even its internals.

Well, Christ did speak of the weightier matters of the Law. Tithing your mint and cumin (or chanting a sweet sounding anaphora or saying the Jesus Prayer till you see the Uncreated Light) is a very good thing to be sure, but it will avail you nothing if you don't act in love to your brother man (1 Cor 13).

Mainstream Islam is very simple in that it just says, "Here's God. Obey." Christianity says that too, technically, but it seems easier to lose track of it and focus on the ritual and intellectual elements in and of themselves and forget for Whom people began doing implementing those elements in the first place, thus divorcing them from the love and grace that God would have them minister to us.

This comparison seems odd to me. If anything, Islam strikes me as far more legalistic and focused on externals than Orthodoxy.

It is. Islam is more legalistic than Toraic Judaism. Islam has laws on, how you should dress, wash, pray, go to the bathroom (or for that matter, how you enter the bathroom), rule a state, punish the unjust and many many more laws.

Sounds like the answer to all the problems of the hyperdox, if it were true.

Rather than legalistic, I would call Islam pragmatic. I think it is important to remember that when Muslims asked for judgements from Mohamed he offered then with hesitance often wondering why they would wish to heap more effort upon themselves.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #177 on: March 31, 2015, 12:09:44 AM »

As for Maria Skobtsova (whom I don't consider a saint, but that's another story), she strikes me as echoing your average progressive Christian in elevating the "social Gospel" above other considerations. You'll get a more balanced understanding of the Christian calling by reading the lives of saints in earlier eras.

It seems to me that she is echoing Christ's words on how we will be judged. It seems pretty important to me. I do not understand how the lives of saints can usurp Ch
rist's very clear words on this matter. That we will be judged on other things is not in doubt. You may be judged in calling Christ's words progressive. I do not know what is in your heart.

I may have been unfair to her, sorry.

Offline WPM

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #178 on: March 31, 2015, 12:21:37 AM »
Is the Knower of things not visible to the eye? ..

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Mor Ephrem wants to hear everything you know about...
« Reply #179 on: March 31, 2015, 12:27:38 AM »
The parts in Islam that stand out the most to me:

1. There is no communion with God
2. God is unable to "dwell within" creation.  Everything is communicated through angels; that is why the Quran and Mohamed have the extreme highest form of respect, as if to insult them is to insult God since they brought His words to light
3. It is following either a strict rule book, or guidelines depending on the school of thought
4. Disputes and divisions seem to stem from historical details and commentary more than theological details and commentary
5. Very very attracted to the so-called "God of the philosophers"
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 12:30:23 AM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.