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Author Topic: Will the OO and EO Reunite?  (Read 25741 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #135 on: August 27, 2005, 08:57:14 AM »

Why don’t you submit to our tradition ozgeorge? What makes yours any more valid than ours? Objective answers please.

Have I asked you to submit to the Eastern Orthodox Church? I have said again and again that this issue is closed, neither side is going to budge. Let me remind you of what I said:
So perhaps we could just move on from this now and find common ground in things other than the Church......
and:
We've been here before. I agree that this is precisely the point, and it is clear that neither the EO nor the OO are going to budge on this issue.
and again:
The reality is that one of us is wrong because the EO and OO positions on the Ecumenical Councils are mutually exclusive. Sweeping this fact under the carpet is no basis for "unity". Given the fallen nature of us all, I think we will never find out for sure who is right and who is wrong until the Day of Judgement.
So tell me EA, if I have not attempted to proseletize you, and if I have said that ONE OF US (not necessarily you guys) must be wrong, and if I have stated that God alone could possibly be the Impartial Judge of this....then why do you want to proseletize me? And more importantly, why on Earth do you insist on flogging this dead horse?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2005, 08:57:49 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: August 27, 2005, 09:30:21 AM »

Ozgeorge,

I am not trying to proselytize you; I am simply attempting to have a reasonable academic discussion with someone (not necessarily you) on the issue of which of the two mutually exclusive positions on Chalcedon is more reasonable in light of the historical data and evidence available to us. If you would like to end discussion at the mere acknowledgement of the mutual exclusivity of the positions as they stand, without really having an interest in justifying one over the other, that is your right and I respect that, you do not have to continue posting in this thread if you do not wish.

I don’t see my persistence with respect to this issue as beating a dead horse, for the purpose of my posts is to clear the common misconceptions regarding why Chalcedon was rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Church and why it continues to be rejected till this day. As one member told me in PM:

The Church of Alexandria, needs no human defence. She is divinely instituted and exists, nay, lives by the grace of the Most Holy Trinity.

I am not here to defend the Church of Alexandria, only to tesitfy and to witness on her behalf, and although the one who had PM'd had advised me against being polemical, I think sometimes it's necessary.

Peace.
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« Reply #137 on: August 27, 2005, 10:14:45 AM »

I am simply attempting to have a reasonable academic discussion with someone (not necessarily you) on the issue of which of the two mutually exclusive positions on Chalcedon is more reasonable in light of the historical data and evidence available to us.
Like I said, flogging a dead horse.

If you would like to end discussion at the mere acknowledgement of the mutual exclusivity of the positions as they stand, without really having an interest in justifying one over the other, that is your right and I respect that,
Firstly, thank you for being the first on this thread to agree with me that the EO and OO positions are mutually exclusive. And no, I have no desire to argue about something which has been argued about for 1500 years. THE CASE IS CLOSED. The EO and OO both drew their lines in the sand at Chalcedon, and there is no going back now. God alone will Justify.

you do not have to continue posting in this thread if you do not wish.
I didn't realise that a condition of contributing to this thread was a willingness to enter into boring, repetetive "academic discusions" with you specifically and on your terms......

The Church of Alexandria, needs no human defence. She is divinely instituted and exists, nay, lives by the grace of the Most Holy Trinity.
Amen!
And many years to his Beatitude, Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa. Wink You see?...mutually exclusive...case closed....dead horse....
« Last Edit: August 27, 2005, 10:19:10 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #138 on: August 27, 2005, 10:33:32 AM »

Quote
And no, I have no desire to argue about something which has been argued about for 1500 years. THE CASE IS CLOSED.


The period of time a specific issue has been discussed or debated does not deem it a closed case; however, If that's how you personally feel then don’t respond, simple as that. I don't know why you're complaining - no one is forcing you to discuss these matters. The case is still open for many.

Quote
Amen! And many years to his Beatitude, Theodorus II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa

I think the one who PM’d me was referring to the 117th successor of St Mark, and not the 90th successor of an imperial puppet.

Peace.
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« Reply #139 on: August 27, 2005, 10:43:27 AM »

the 90th successor of an imperial puppet.

If this is an example of your idea of "academic discussion", then I think the case is most definitely closed.
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« Reply #140 on: August 27, 2005, 10:56:58 AM »

Quote
If this is an example of your idea of "academic discussion"

One can be academic yet metaphorical; these are not mutually exclusive.

In any event, I’ve already tried academic discussion with you, however instead of dealing with the explicit and well-documented evidence vindicating an Orthodox Saint from heresy, you ended up declaring your own personal anathema.

Peace.
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« Reply #141 on: August 27, 2005, 11:05:11 AM »

One can be academic yet metaphorical; these are not mutually exclusive.
Do you even know what "metaphorical" means?

you ended up declaring your own personal anathema.
Did I now? Could you point out where I pronounced a "personal anathema" and not one which an Ecumenical Council has pronounced (and no, a lack of OO recognition of an Ecumenical Council doesn't count in my case since I am Eastern Orthodox and recognise Seven.)

Peace.
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« Last Edit: August 27, 2005, 11:10:38 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #142 on: August 27, 2005, 11:22:36 AM »

Quote
Do you even know what metaphorical means?

Unless Proterios literally had strings attached to his back, then I must be missing something in the context of my understanding him as an imperial puppet.

Quote
Did I now? Could you point out where I pronounced a "personal anathema" and not one which an Ecumenical Council has pronounced

First of all, I can’t point you to an Ecumenical Council that has pronounced any anathemas on Orthodox Saints, for such acts are by nature anti-Ecumenical. However whether you pronounced an anathema in concordance with one of your local councils is not the point; the point is, you took it upon yourself to pronounce it as your personal response to an attempted academic discussion with you regarding the Christological understanding of the Orthodox Saint in question.

Peace.
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« Reply #143 on: August 27, 2005, 11:34:54 AM »

Dear Keble, Minasoliman, and S_N_Bulgakov,

I think I have adequatley proved my point (thanks to EA's co-operation). There is no common ground between the Eastern Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians. We do not share the same faith.
And I see no further point in this thread continuing, unless you want to spend the rest of our lives saying:
"The Fourth to Seventh Councils were Ecumenical"
"No they weren't"
"Yes they were"
"No they weren't"
"Yes they were"......

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« Reply #144 on: August 27, 2005, 11:38:24 AM »

No common ground?  Geez, you'd think the argument centred upon the union of Eastern Orthodox with animists.  Tongue

Although I think I have asked this on this board before, I don't remember if I got an answer or not; if so, please direct me to it.  If a "union council" between EO and OO was convened to look at the post-Ephesian councils, why would it not be satisfactory for union for the OO, after certain issues (e.g., removing anathemas) were resolved by the competent authorities, to accept Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II as ecumenical, with the understanding that they become ecumenical, at least for the OO, as of the moment they accept them?  This seems obvious enough (that they become ecumenical for us once we accept them), and it allows the EO to not have to entirely reject the four councils.  This division is only going to be overcome by humility, and if the Orthodox Church (i.e., the Oriental Orthodox Church) has to make this sort of step in order to achieve the reunion of the Eastern Orthodox with her, I don't think it would necessarily be a bad thing (we admit that these councils as the EO understand them are doctrinally orthodox).

Unless someone demonstrates why this is a legitimate impossibility, I tend to think this would work.  Unfortunately, like ozgeorge, I don't think this or any real attempt for reconciliation will happen, but not necessarily for the reasons he cites.  I think the Eastern Orthodox are much too internally divided, and thus, to an extent, not mature enough, for a reunion with the (Oriental) Orthodox Church.  This much seems clear from internet discussions similar to the ones which make people here feel a reunion is impossible. 
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« Reply #145 on: August 27, 2005, 11:59:49 AM »

[If a "union council" between EO and OO was convened to look at the post-Ephesian councils, why would it not be satisfactory for union for the OO, after certain issues (e.g., removing anathemas) were resolved by the competent authorities, to accept Chalcedon, Constantinople II, Constantinople III, and Nicaea II as ecumenical, with the understanding that they become ecumenical, at least for the OO, as of the moment they accept them?ÂÂ  This seems obvious enough (that they become ecumenical for us once we accept them), and it allows the EO to not have to entirely reject the four councils.ÂÂ

I'm not sure this would work, Mor. It's a bit like the idea that union can be based on the post-Ephesian Councils being Ecumenical for the EO and not the OO. The difference is, you are now proposing that one side should consider the post-Ephesian Councils to be local Councils in the past and Ecumenical Councils in the present and future. I don't know how this could be formulated without running into the ecclessiologically absurd idea that a Council was local up until AD 2005 and Ecumenical thereafter (1500 years after the Fathers of that Council had died.)
Again, the EO and OO would not be believing the same things- in this case, the Ecumenical nature of Councils 4-7 when they took place.
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« Reply #146 on: August 27, 2005, 12:10:33 PM »

The questions I ask are very simple.

1.  Is St. Dioscorus a heretic?
2.  Was he deposed justly?

We have argued and provided references to our "No's" to these two questions.  I haven't seen anyone here prove their "Yes's."

If truly many EO's agree to the "No's," then you can't expect us to accept the last four councils as ecumenical.  Lifting anathemas will prove their un-ecumenicity, which is why the EO's are so divided.

God bless.
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« Reply #147 on: August 27, 2005, 12:13:57 PM »

Dear OzGeorge,

Quote
I think I have adequatley proved my point (thanks to EA's co-operation). There is no common ground between the Eastern Orthodox and the non-Chalcedonians. We do not share the same faith.

Polemics aside, I think it has been clearly shown we do share the same Orthodox Faith, and that the Councils of the EO Church do not teach a dogmatically different faith, from OOy. The EO extra-councils are considered Orthodox (by mouth of HG Metropolitan Bishoy of the COC), and the OO tradition is considered Orthodox by mouth of the EO's who signed the Common Declarations. What we have therefore, is that the EO extra councils express the same christological dogma that we find in the OO tradition (most clearly in the teachings of the greatest christologist of the OOC St. Severus of Antioch), the EO's merely expressing it in a way traditional and peculiar to the Easterns. The OO's have a different tradition of expressing the very same dogmatic factum.

The schism resulting from various, complex, factors at Chalcedon is a schism that makes it necessary to supercede it in a truly pan-Orthodox council, at which the anathemas are lifted and a satisfactory solution is found that allows both expressions of the one Orthodox truth.

I do not accept your conclusions, they contradict the path opened up by the Holy Spirit as reflected in the Common Declarations. These are promptings of the Holy Spirit, and voices continuing separation, even for pious reasons, are (imho) ill-conceived. They originate from the passions, rather than passionlessness. Unless we learn to free ourselves from the passions, we will be ever deceived by them, and the walls of separation we have (sinfully) erected in the One, True, Church will continue to exist. These walls of (sinful) separation will cease to exist where the passions cease to exist. Reunion of the Church is therefore, first and foremost a work achieved in humility and repentance. For we are revolting against Christ, we fail to "discern His Body" spiritual sickness be the consequence (as happened in the community of the Corinthians, as we detect in St. Paul's writngs).

Still,.. due to our common dogmatic faith, common apostolicity, and common sacramentality, the union of our communities into the One, True, Church allready exists. The schism exists, solely, on the human level, and is the result, again solely, of our sins and weaknessess. The healing of the schism, is achieved, as I said above, by humility and repentance. Such is the only way for each of us to the Holy Altar for receiving union with Christ our God, and a restoration of intercommunion (on a limited and local level, as is practiced in the Orient already, as well as in the Russian Orthodox Church I attend) between us will ease the way for full, ecclesial, intercommunion to be ratified by a pan-Orthodox council.

Perhaps, and it is likely, you will strongly disagree, but such is my belief and for it I stand in the full consciousness of being loyal to my Church and its Lord Jesus Christ. But I agree, we can continue this discussion, without going anywhere beyond the point where we are now. Evidently, the unity of the Faith is still to be achieved for all of us, and we must continue to pray for it as we are encouraged to do in the prayer of Hours.

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« Reply #148 on: August 27, 2005, 02:34:32 PM »

As an historical aside, there has been a reunion in the history of the Church.
The Church of Georgia did in fact reject Chalcedon in 451 and was labeled 'monophysite". Following the Fifth Council, the Orthodox Church of Georgia (without imperial pressures) accepted both councils and rejoined the Church.
Hence, ALL hope is not lost, despite that today the Church of Georgia takes a very dim view of the rapproachment efforts.

Just food for thought...
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« Reply #149 on: August 27, 2005, 02:55:54 PM »

Quote
   [quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=6853.msg91599#msg91599 date=1125167672]
As an historical aside, there has been a reunion in the history of the Church.
The Church of Georgia did in fact reject Chalcedon in 451 and was labeled 'monophysite". Following the Fifth Council, the Orthodox Church of Georgia (without imperial pressures) accepted both councils and rejoined the Church.
Hence, ALL hope is not lost, despite that today the Church of Georgia takes a very dim view of the rapproachment efforts.
[/quote]

To give us hope, can you explain why the Church of Georgia takes such a dim view of these efforts?
Are there any sites that may help us to understand the theologian's thinking as to how they reconciled the differences after the Fifth Council?
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« Reply #150 on: August 27, 2005, 03:02:02 PM »


To give us hope, can you explain why the Church of Georgia takes such a dim view of these efforts?
Are there any sites that may help us to understand the theologian's thinking as to how they reconciled the differences after the Fifth Council?

Why? I don't know other than that their Patriarch-Catholicos has already rejected these agreed statements. The Georgian Church has a scant internet presence and apparently do not overly point out this period of their history. I can only assume that the acts of the Fifth Council allayed their objections to the Fourth.
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« Reply #151 on: August 27, 2005, 03:43:43 PM »

I'm not sure this would work, Mor. It's a bit like the idea that union can be based on the post-Ephesian Councils being Ecumenical for the EO and not the OO. The difference is, you are now proposing that one side should consider the post-Ephesian Councils to be local Councils in the past and Ecumenical Councils in the present and future. I don't know how this could be formulated without running into the ecclessiologically absurd idea that a Council was local up until AD 2005 and Ecumenical thereafter (1500 years after the Fathers of that Council had died.)
Again, the EO and OO would not be believing the same things- in this case, the Ecumenical nature of Councils 4-7 when they took place.

But a council is not ecumenical until it is received as such; it's not simply a matter of when it was convened and concluded.  I cannot remember the details now, but Bp. Hilarion Alfeyev (ROC-MP) wrote an article about the reception of councils which appeared in the St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly sometime within the past few years.  It made for interesting reading, relevant to this topic.   
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« Reply #152 on: August 27, 2005, 06:19:52 PM »

But a council is not ecumenical until it is received as such; it's not simply a matter of when it was convened and concluded.ÂÂ  
A Council is Ecumenical when it is received by the Ecumene of the Church. It is ratified by subsequent Councils. If an Ecumenical Council proclaims a teaching (eg the Two Natures) and there is a disagreement by one party which refuses to sign, and after many years of attempts to reconcile they still refuse to sign, then it is quite reasonable for the signatories to assume that they no longer should be considered part of the Church. If then 1500 years later, they wish to join the Church, they cannot say that a doctrine was once not applicable to them but now is. Despite what the non-Chalcedons may hold today, the very reason they became non-Chalcedons is because of the doctrine of the Two Natures (whether it was a misunderstanding or not). So why should this doctrine not be an Ecumenical doctrine for 1500 years, and then suddenly become one? What you are suggesting sounds like "The Ecumenical Councils were true and doctrinally binding, but not true nor binding on us until now". The only way this can be accomodated is that if the OO states it was outside the Church (and therefore not bound by Ecumenical Councils) and then was joined to it- and I can't see that happening.
I cannot remember the details now, but Bp. Hilarion Alfeyev (ROC-MP) wrote an article about the reception of councils which appeared in the St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly sometime within the past few years.  It made for interesting reading, relevant to this topic.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â
I'd be interested to read his views.
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« Reply #153 on: August 27, 2005, 11:35:27 PM »

I think SNB presents the most reasonable solution to this problem, and one I have suggested elsewhere a long time ago:

Quote
The schism resulting from various, complex, factors at Chalcedon is a schism that makes it necessary to supercede it in a truly pan-Orthodox council, at which the anathemas are lifted and a satisfactory solution is found that allows both expressions of the one Orthodox truth.


However, by virtue of such a superseding Council, the previously acknowledged Ecumenicity of Chalcedon by the Eastern Church would necessarily, though implicitly, be abandoned.

Peace.
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« Reply #154 on: August 28, 2005, 04:23:49 PM »

A Council is Ecumenical when it is received by the Ecumene of the Church.

What is the "ecumene of the Church"?  What does this mean? 
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« Reply #155 on: August 28, 2005, 04:36:14 PM »

http://www.britishorthodox.org/112g.php

Metropolitan Seraphim spoke about how we can resolve the divisions we see apparent in this thread.  Although he is a non-Chalcedonian, please consider the sincere and humble logic behind his solutions and concerns.

God bless.
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« Reply #156 on: August 28, 2005, 05:14:58 PM »

mina,

HE Metropolitian Seraphim is indeed very helpful here. I think an article by one of his deacons is also relevent: http://www.britishorthodox.org/111e.php

Ekristos Anesti, an 8th council would not negate Chalcedon and the rest, rather it would bridge the additional Ecumenical Councils of the EO with the theological framework of the OO.

An 8th council is indeed needed, not out of necessity, but out of our own sinfulness. The 8th council would put the Agreed christological and theological statements on an official level and officially establish inter-communion. It should become an established feast day in both Churches.
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« Reply #157 on: August 28, 2005, 05:57:51 PM »

What is the "ecumene of the Church"?ÂÂ  What does this mean?ÂÂ  

The Church throughout the world- which a local church can express its desire to schism itself from, for example, by not answering three summons to attend a Church Council.
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« Reply #158 on: August 28, 2005, 06:48:07 PM »

The Church throughout the world- which a local church can express its desire to schism itself from, for example, by not answering three summons to attend a Church Council.

Dear ozgeorge,

I have already defended this.ÂÂ  Please do not repeat arguments.ÂÂ  You yourself asked EA to say something "new."

Besides, you have to face the facts that even the Alexandrian Chalcedonians at first couldn't help but add Dioscorus to the dyptichs, which caused them to be excommunicated by Leo.ÂÂ  Unless, they had a strong emperial defense, they couldn't survive.ÂÂ  This is something different to St. Athanasius who was an enemy of the state, yet was protected by the Holy Spirit.ÂÂ  The fact that the OO lives until today with diverse traditions, with perhaps more members in its church than the Byzantines, while at the same time it had to survive through both Byzantine and Islamic persecutions, shows that it is not one simple local church that "left" an unjust council.

God bless you.
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« Reply #159 on: August 29, 2005, 08:11:05 AM »

I have already defended this.ÂÂ  

There is no need to be so defensive.
Firstly, I was answering a question posed by Mor Ephrem.
Secondly, Orthodox Ecclesiology does not admit the existence of two or more Holy Catholic and Apostolic Churches. A temporary cessation of Communion is one thing, but when it lasts 1500 years,with Bishops from both sides being placed on the same thrones, it is most definitely a schism, and Christ cannot be the Head of "two" bodies. Any attempt at union which tries to ignore the reality of schism is doomed to failure.
From an OO perpective, the EO Pope of Alexandria is a pretender to the throne, and vice versa. If union ever becomes a reality in this world (and I still don't think it will), there cannot possibly be two Popes of Alexandria- so which side is going to give their's up?
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« Reply #160 on: August 29, 2005, 08:28:44 AM »

Quote
A temporary cessation of Communion is one thing, but when it lasts 1500 years,with Bishops from both sides being placed on the same thrones, it is most definitely a schism

You're wrong my friend.ÂÂ  First off, the argument whether it be a temporary cessation or 1500 years doesn't make a difference to Christ.ÂÂ  A small or big schism is still the sin of schismÂÂ  Having two Popes in one area doesn't prove anything either.ÂÂ  It's like having two bishops in the same city of America.ÂÂ  You precide over a congregation, not a land.ÂÂ  Perfect example is St. Peter and St. Paul, considered to be two simultaneous bishops of one city serving a different congregation from one another.

Quote
From an OO perpective, the EO Pope of Alexandria is a pretender to the throne, and vice versa. If union ever becomes a reality in this world (and I still don't think it will), there cannot possibly be two Popes of Alexandria- so which side is going to give their's up?

Before the 1960s, it's rational to think that way.ÂÂ  Not anymore.ÂÂ  Both the Greek Alexandrian and the Coptic Churches are practically sister churches, accepting one another's sacraments since they lifted anathemas from one another.ÂÂ  This would assume at least from an ecclesiological perspective, that we let go of phrases like "pretender" and live in harmony of love and Orthodox unity and respect.  Logically, we accept their succession just as they accept ours.  There should be no insults to say that the other is a "pretender" or a "heretic."

God bless.
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« Reply #161 on: August 29, 2005, 09:00:28 AM »

So then, you are saying that there are two Popes of Alexandia?
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« Reply #162 on: August 29, 2005, 06:07:03 PM »

There is no need to be so defensive.
Firstly, I was answering a question posed by Mor Ephrem.

Perhaps, but let's be fair.  You could've said what you needed to say to answer me without providing an example.  Wink

Anyway, "the Church throughout the world" doesn't really help.  Yes, a local Church can break away from this, but if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them". 
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« Reply #163 on: August 29, 2005, 10:43:07 PM »

So then, you are saying that there are two Popes of Alexandia?

Logically, based on the relationships between our churches, Yes, there are two Popes of Alexandria, a Pope for the Greek population, and a Pope for the Coptic population, both Orthodox in faith, different in culture and liturgy.

God bless.
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« Reply #164 on: August 30, 2005, 03:50:06 AM »

if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them".   

Absolutely right!
And like I've been saying all along, only one of us can be right by virtue of the fact that the Church is indivisible. You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

Yes, there are two Popes of Alexandria, a Pope for the Greek population, and a Pope for the Coptic population, both Orthodox in faith, different in culture and liturgy.
I respect your right to believe as you wish, but to me, this is:
1) An ecclessiological impossibility.
2) Nothing short of phyletism that each "race" should have it's own bishop, so that the Church of Alexandria should be divided according to "race".
So I hope you will understand if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of a "union" based on this"Two Pope Plan".
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« Reply #165 on: August 30, 2005, 07:30:28 AM »

Perhaps, but let's be fair.  You could've said what you needed to say to answer me without providing an example.  Wink

Anyway, "the Church throughout the world" doesn't really help.  Yes, a local Church can break away from this, but if the ecumene is "the Church througout the world", and there is a division, this definition doesn't provide an objective means of determining which half of the division represents "the Church throughout the world", but only "the Church throughout the world which agrees with me and not with them". 

Absolutely right!
And like I've been saying all along, only one of us can be right by virtue of the fact that the Church is indivisible. You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

The problem with this answer, though (and it's behind what I've been trying to get across all along) is that it requires that as soon as any dispute comes up, one side must immediately produce the right answer, so that the others can be divided from it. The other possibility in this case is that the argument is unfinished, and that the church is illegitimately divided. And indeed, it does seem to me that the argument is unfinished, because I am failing to find in all of this the real dispute and succinct statements of the positions.

But be that as it may, this seems to be leading to a theory of ecclesiology which is inherently schismatic, because every dispute must lead immediately to division. And yet-- the great saints of England came to Whitby, and they found themselves on the losing side. And they went home part of a unified church. I'd like to think that the OO/EO division could be ended; but to do this, 1500 years (thereabout) of chruch politics have to be sidelined for the duration.
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« Reply #166 on: August 30, 2005, 01:12:21 PM »

Dear ozgeorge,

Quote
1) An ecclessiological impossibility.

No it's not.  It's happening right now.  There's no reason to think it's impossible.

Quote
2) Nothing short of phyletism that each "race" should have it's own bishop, so that the Church of Alexandria should be divided according to "race".

Phyletism is not the belief that one culture should have their own bishop, but that one cultural church thinks they're higher than other churches of different cultures, at least that's what I understand it means.  To say that being a bishop of a culture is phyletism is to say that Sts. Paul and Peter were heretics for being bishops of Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians respectively, as tradition taught us.  Sooner or later their successions combined.  In addition, why call all the bishops of the US heretics for being bishops instead of all the Orthodox Christians of New York City, just the Antiochians, or the Russians, or the Greeks.  Are they heretics also for being a bishop of a congregation, and not the whole city?

Quote
So I hope you will understand if I don't jump for joy at the prospect of a "union" based on this"Two Pope Plan".

Forgive me, but you seem to try to find every possible excuse to put this "plan" down.  What I wish to accomplish in a dialogue is that if you can prove to us the two questions I have previously posted.

Allow me to post something in response to something that troubles me:

Quote
You guys are sure it is you, we are sure it is us and God knows the absolute truth about this, so hopefully we will know on Judgement Day.

There is a problem with this.  While we are willing to have a discussion, I wonder what is it that I don't know about my own church history that makes me destined to condemnation?  To ignore this is like wishing for the Protestants to go to hell without even trying to evangelize to them.  They are also "sure" they're "the church."  Are you going to not therefore explain to them what seems to make you sure that they're not them?

God bless you.
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« Reply #167 on: August 30, 2005, 09:51:42 PM »

Phyletism is not the belief that one culture should have their own bishop, but that one cultural church thinks they're higher than other churches of different cultures, at least that's what I understand it means.ÂÂ  

Wrong, wrong, wrong as can be. Here is the actual definition:

"Ethno-Phyletism (racism)
Phyletism (from phyli — race, tribe) is the principle of nationalities applied in the ecclesiastical domain: in other words, the confusion between Church and nation. The term ethnophyletismos designates the idea that a local autocephalous Church should be based not on a local [ecclesial] criterion, but on an ethnophyletist, national or linguistic one. It was used at the Holy and Great [”Meizon” —”enlarged”] pan-Orthodox Synod in Constantinople on the 10th of September 1872 to qualify “phyletist (religious) nationalism,” which was condemned as a modern ecclesial heresy: the Church should not be confused with the destiny of a single nation or a single race; Orthodoxy is therefore hostile to any forms of racial messianism. Also, one should clearly distinguish between ethnicism (which has a positive content) and nationalism (which has a negative content and which in Greek is called ethnikismos [ethnicism]): the first should be considered the servant, the latter the enemy of the nation."
Course of Canon Law — Appendix VI — canonical glossary, By Grigorios Papathomas, Paris 1995

Forgive me, but you seem to try to find every possible excuse to put this "plan" down.ÂÂ  What I wish to accomplish in a dialogue is that if you can prove to us the two questions I have previously posted.
No, I am simply showing you that Orthodoxy has already pre-emptively condemned the "Two Pope Plan" as heresy.

While we are willing to have a discussion, I wonder what is it that I don't know about my own church history that makes me destined to condemnation?ÂÂ  To ignore this is like wishing for the Protestants to go to hell without even trying to evangelize to them.ÂÂ
What makes you think that either you or the Protestants are "destined to condemnation"? Christ is the Saviour of all men, not just the Orthodox. I will not be drawn into such agruments. We are not talking about sotiriology here, we are talking about ecclessiology.
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« Reply #168 on: August 31, 2005, 01:21:41 AM »

Dear ozgeorge,

By virtue of that definition, it seems that the bishops here in America are committing "phyletism."ÂÂ  Sts. Paul and Peter also committed "phyletism."ÂÂ  Logically, they seem to be heretics.

However, you seem to confuse "phyletism" with "racism."ÂÂ  I don't think these people are "racists."ÂÂ  And there is also that distinction between ethnicism and nationalism.ÂÂ  Allowing ethnic groups to have their bishops, I believe, is not a heresy, as is shown by virtue of Church history, but to say that one ethnic group is higher than the other, is "racist" and heretical at best, if that is how nationalism is defined.

God bless.
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« Reply #169 on: August 31, 2005, 02:00:27 AM »

That is the point of many other threads - the bishops are creating phyletism in America and other "diaspora" places. 
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« Reply #170 on: August 31, 2005, 08:42:41 AM »

ÂÂ  Allowing ethnic groups to have their bishops, I believe, is not a heresy,

Fine, but then you disagree with the teachings of the Orthodox Church.

And Silouan is correct on the issue of multiple Orthodox bishops in the same cities in America, Candada, Australia etc. This situation is far from Canonical and needs to be rectified (as the bishops themselves aknowledge with the establishment of Standing Conferences of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in these places). I have said this before on this forum. For example, here is what I said on another thread which I see as applicable also on this one:
You are making the mistake of looking at Orthodoxy in America as though it were the norm, and imposing it around the world. Orthodoxy in America is far from the norm- for the most part, it isn't even Canonical. How could "canonical" Orthodoxy have more than one bishop in a city?
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« Reply #171 on: August 31, 2005, 11:32:42 PM »

Wow...this is rather interesting.

Do you forget your Orthodox Church is contradicting with Sts. Paul and Peter, as I've repeatedly said?ÂÂ  Are they also phyletists?

Here's the point.ÂÂ  It may be easier for you guys in America to call for a "one American Orthodox Church" because all you really have is one culture, i.e. the Byzantine rite.ÂÂ  You do not have the Coptic rite, the Armenian rite, the Syriac rite, etc.

Sts. Peter and Paul were very smart when they split among the ethnic groups to create "rites" closer to their heritage, attracting people to the faith of Christ.ÂÂ  We have Gentiles and Jews.ÂÂ  Perhaps, the closest to a "Jewish rite" we have today is the Syriac rite, while the closest to a "Gentile rite" is the Byzantine and Roman traditions, as what I've heard.ÂÂ  At the same time, they taught that both the Gentiles and Jews should get along as one congregation.ÂÂ  It was necessary for that Apostolic "two Apostle" system before any oneness occurs..

We have in Alexandria TWO Popes with two different rites.ÂÂ  I don't think Chalcedon was smart enough to continue on with the Coptic rite as the successors of St. Dioscorus did.ÂÂ  This seems to be part of the failure of "usurping" Alexandria into a Chalcedonian congregation, which is why the EXTREMELY high number of Egyptians are not Chalcedonians, even after persecutions.

Unless you're suggesting that one should give up their rite while the other maintain, I don't see any other solution to this problem presently right now.ÂÂ  As a matter of fact, the fact that the EO bishops here in America are at a majority in danger of the heresy of phyletism shows how "unecumenical" that council in the 19th Century really is (the one that condemned phyletism).

And if you ask me, the only Church that seems worthy of "American Orthodoxy" seems to be the Antiochian Orthodox, as they are presently the most evangelistic Orthodox Church I've ever found.ÂÂ  All this nonsense about the ecumenical Patriarch should take it or the Russian Patriarch should take it only confirms the loss of humility among EO congregants that echos the same concerns Sts. Peter and Paul had with their Gentile and Jewish Christians.

We forget that we live in a diverse America as well.ÂÂ  To ask for the bishops here to end their phyletism is near impossibility, and I see it leading towards a non-acceptance towards that council, and thus a bad division in your church.  We OO's never seen this as a problem in our Church, and we are working towards a growing future with one another.

God bless you.
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« Reply #172 on: September 01, 2005, 05:26:54 AM »

Do you forget your Orthodox Church is contradicting with Sts. Paul and Peter, as I've repeatedly said?ÂÂ  Are they also phyletists?
Can you please explain what you mean by this, and how either St. Peter or St. Paul could be seen to be phyletists?

Here's the point.ÂÂ  It may be easier for you guys in America
I'm not in America

to call for a "one American Orthodox Church" because all you really have is one culture, i.e. the Byzantine rite.ÂÂ  You do not have the Coptic rite, the Armenian rite, the Syriac rite, etc.
"Byzantine Rite"? what on earth is that? The Roman Catholics have "Byzantine Rites", not the Eastern Orthodox.

Sts. Peter and Paul were very smart when they split among the ethnic groups to create "rites" closer to their heritage, attracting people to the faith of Christ.ÂÂ
Are you telling me that the Apostle who proclaims to the Church: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28) agreed to divide the Church along ethnic lines? Are you telling me that the Churches established in Thessalonia, Phillipi, Corinth, Asia Minor were not established around Jews in the Diaspora? What absolute nonsense! Your evidence for this heresy that the Apostolic Church was split along ethnic group lines is.........?

We have in Alexandria TWO Popes with two different rites.ÂÂ  I don't think Chalcedon was smart enough to continue on with the Coptic rite as the successors of St. Dioscorus did.ÂÂ  This seems to be part of the failure of "usurping" Alexandria into a Chalcedonian congregation, which is why the EXTREMELY high number of Egyptians are not Chalcedonians, even after persecutions.
Coptic Rite?ÂÂ  I think you are being anachronistic here. At any rate, no one is asking the Copts to give up their Rite now- they are more than welcome to keep it, just don't expect to join the Orthodox Church with it if you insist on chanting the additions to the Trisagion.

Unless you're suggesting that one should give up their rite while the other maintain, I don't see any other solution to this problem presently right now.ÂÂ  As a matter of fact, the fact that the EO bishops here in America are at a majority in danger of the heresy of phyletism shows how "unecumenical" that council in the 19th Century really is (the one that condemned phyletism).
I can understand now how you would be offended at the Church condemning phyletism given your own beliefs about how the Church should be....but no one said the 1872 Council was Ecumenical. At any rate, this is an interesting change of tone...a few posts ago, one would have thought from the way you were speaking that "unity" between EO & OO was a fait acompli....
And hang on a minute...weren't you implying that the Orthodox condemnation of phyletism was a heresy? And now you are saying phyletism is a heresy yourself?

And if you ask me,
I didn't.......but I suppose you're going to say it anyway....

the only Church that seems worthy of "American Orthodoxy" seems to be the Antiochian Orthodox,
Again, I have no idea what you mean by "American Orthodoxy". I don't live in America, and never wish to, and although I beleive one can be an Orthodox Christian in America, the concept of "American Orthodoxy" is one I've never heard of before (and doubt the existence of). I certainly don't see it as something to aspire to become "worthy of".

as they are presently the most evangelistic Orthodox Church I've ever found.ÂÂ  All this nonsense about the ecumenical Patriarch should take it or the Russian Patriarch should take it only confirms the loss of humility among EO congregants that echos the same concerns Sts. Peter and Paul had with their Gentile and Jewish Christians.
You mean, like the Apostolic phyletism only you believe existed, and that you will presently show me proof of it's reality outside your own mental constructs?
If there is any juristictional issue in the Americas, it has to do with a lack of clarity in the Canons. I find your passing judgement on us "EO congregants" as "lacking humility" as a consequence to be a bit unfair and very illogical.

We forget that we live in a diverse America as well.ÂÂ  
I don't. I live in a diverse Australia

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« Reply #173 on: September 01, 2005, 11:06:33 AM »

Dear ozgeorge,

Here's a couple of verses:

Quote
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Romans 11:13

Quote
16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Romans 15:16

Quote
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
Romans 16:3-4

Quote
6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Galatians 2:6-10

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1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward...6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph. 3:1-2, 6-8

I don't know about you, but these verses sound like phyletism to me.

There is a tradition in the Coptic Church that both Peter and Paul were the first "Popes" of Rome, the former ministering to the Jews and the latter to the Gentiles.  It seems obvious that in the Pauline epistle to the Romans, Paul put much ink on the Gentiles, and from these verses he was ministering to the Gentiles there.  And Paul was very clear about his ministry in his letter to the Galatians.

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I'm not in America

It doesn't matter.  What matters is that those in the lands of immigration are doing it.

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Are you telling me that the Apostle who proclaims to the Church: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28) agreed to divide the Church along ethnic lines? Are you telling me that the Churches established in Thessalonia, Phillipi, Corinth, Asia Minor were not established around Jews in the Diaspora? What absolute nonsense! Your evidence for this heresy that the Apostolic Church was split along ethnic group lines is.........?

Valid, considering that I provided verses for you.

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Coptic Rite?  I think you are being anachronistic here. At any rate, no one is asking the Copts to give up their Rite now- they are more than welcome to keep it, just don't expect to join the Orthodox Church with it if you insist on chanting the additions to the Trisagion.

Ignorance is bliss.  You allow yourself to repeat arguments already answered against.

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I can understand now how you would be offended at the Church condemning phyletism given your own beliefs about how the Church should be....but no one said the 1872 Council was Ecumenical. At any rate, this is an interesting change of tone...a few posts ago, one would have thought from the way you were speaking that "unity" between EO & OO was a fait acompli....
And hang on a minute...weren't you implying that the Orthodox condemnation of phyletism was a heresy? And now you are saying phyletism is a heresy yourself?

How in the world did I change my tone?  My tone is always that of unity.  But if there's a growing number of bishops bickering over phyletism, it's the EO's that will divide itself.  This has nothing to do with EO-OO unity.  And mind you the way I defined phyletism was "racism," which is heresy topped with hypocricy.  But the way you defined phyletism is not acceptable and anti-Biblical, and should not be heresy.

And as for the 1872 Council, if it's not ecumenical, then certainly phyletism cannot be dogmatically binding to the EO's.  Isn't what this discussion all about?  If truly phyletism in the way you defined it was binding to all Orthodox, then why do bishops hesitate to excommunicate the bishops in the lands of immigration.  It's like saying that you have Nestorian bishops, and know that it is a problem, but no one is really doing anything to solve it.

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If there is any juristictional issue in the Americas, it has to do with a lack of clarity in the Canons. I find your passing judgement on us "EO congregants" as "lacking humility" as a consequence to be a bit unfair and very illogical.

Yes, I stand by the fact that EO's lack humility in this issue.  I was skimming through the thread on how America should be "geographically" organized, and I was surprised by how many want to make American Orthodox under the EP or the MP.  It echos Paul's anger to those who want to be "of Paul" or "of Apollos" or "of Cephas."  Phyletism, under your definition, should not contradict that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, in one Body.

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I don't. I live in a diverse Australia

Forgive me for my ignorance.  I should have known you know nothing about America.

God bless you.
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« Reply #174 on: September 01, 2005, 11:33:26 AM »

Yes, I stand by the fact that EO's lack humility in this issue. I was skimming through the thread on how America should be "geographically" organized, and I was surprised by how many want to make American Orthodox under the EP or the MP.

I just went back through that thread and I saw one person actually make the claim that the Orthodox in America should be consolidated under the EP:  GreekisChristian, whom we all know is going to say that anyway.  Everyone else either pointed out that it was a moot point, given one autocephalous jurisdiction exists already, or spoke in the hypothetical and assumed for the sake of argument that we had to go under a single foreign hierarch.

Of course, since we're arrogant, godless EO's, it's perfectly okay for you to misrepresent what we say, isn't it?
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« Reply #175 on: September 01, 2005, 12:08:55 PM »

Dear Veniamin,

I've only skimmed.ÂÂ  Forgive me, but that's the impression I received.ÂÂ  If it's truly a moot point or a theoretical situation, then I take it you don't take phyletism very seriously as what seems to be the case here.

God bless.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 12:09:37 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #176 on: September 01, 2005, 12:15:58 PM »

Dear Veniamin,

I've only skimmed.ÂÂ  Forgive me, but that's the impression I received.ÂÂ  If it's truly a moot point or a theoretical situation, then I take it you don't take phyletism very seriously as what seems to be the case here.

God bless.

Again with the misrepresentation, and this time from a three sentence post!  As I pointed out in said three sentence post, the issue of uniting under a single foreign hierarch was a moot point or theoretical due to the existence of an autocephalous jurisdiction.  Leaving out qualifying portions of statements goes a long way towards being able to make your argument that we don't care about phyletism, doesn't it?
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« Reply #177 on: September 01, 2005, 12:34:32 PM »

What am I misrepresenting?ÂÂ  Either you take phyletism seriously or not.ÂÂ  If you take it seriously, these are not moot points.ÂÂ  The fact that an autocephalous American church already exists while Greeks and Antiochians are growing in these same areas show either a serious "heresy" of phyletism lurking in your church, or that it is not really a big problem so long as they all really get along.

God bless.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 12:37:14 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #178 on: September 01, 2005, 12:48:57 PM »

Uniting under a foreign hierarch is indeed a moot point when there is an autocephalous jurisdiction in place.ÂÂ  Of course, given your last two posts, you're going to condense that statement down to "uniting is indeed a moot point when there is an autocephalous jurisdiction in place."ÂÂ  Uniting and resolving the uncanonical situation does not automatically equate to uniting under a foreign hierarch and pointing that out does not automatically equate to not taking the situation seriously.  Trying to conflate them is nothing short of intentional and malicious misrepresentation done in order to justify further occurences of that same problem.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2005, 12:51:19 PM by Veniamin » Logged

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« Reply #179 on: September 01, 2005, 01:08:24 PM »

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Trying to conflate them is nothing short of intentional and malicious misrepresentation done in order to justify further occurences of that same problem.

Gee, and I wonder how we "Monophysites" and "Theopaschites" and "Phyletists" are truly represented, unless, people here have "intentional" and "malicious" plans against us.

Perhaps, if you help me with my confusion, I would greatly appreciate it without the insults.

What I understand is that there are so many EO bishops are committing phyletism.  If phyletism is a heresy, why did the EO bishops step on the OCA's territory in the first place?  It seems that EO's don't take phyletism seriously, but at the same time, when it was brought up that there are two "Alexandrian Popes," all of a sudden, phyletism is a problem...we'll never achieve unity...oh the horror.

Lord have mercy on us all.

God bless.
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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.
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