Author Topic: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?  (Read 8163 times)

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Offline mcarmichael

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Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« on: August 03, 2016, 09:45:32 PM »
"...The fact that the angel Gabriel called her 'Full of Grace' indicates that the Mother of our Lord enjoyed a singular favor separating her from all of the race of women--the grace of God which prepared and elected her to be the Mother of the Son of God incarnate. Thus, she did not commit any sin which one commits on a daily basis."

The struggle is real.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 10:35:50 PM »
I wouldn't object to anything in this excerpt. Where is this from, though?
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 10:59:59 PM »
Some (most?) Orthodox believe that Mary was preserved from personal sin by Grace.  I have a feeling that the quote you provided is from a RCC publication?

As far as I'm aware the Orthodox Church has no dogmatic stance on Mary's personal sin or lack thereof, (it is pious Tradition to believe she was Holy and chaste by Grace - and this is trustworthy.) but rejects the innovation of the RCC that she was not subject to "original / ancestral sin."   If one is not aware of the difference between the Eastern understanding of ancestral sin and the Western notions of original sin, one will not really understand the issue.

If this is from an RCC source - and it's context has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception (preservation from original sin) then it is not Orthodox.   If it is dealing only with personal sin -- the isolated quote could be Orthodox.   Context is everything.

In any case, the excerpt makes clear that her preservation from personal sin was a Grace bestowed upon Her by God in Christ which she received and nurtured.



   
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 11:08:23 PM by Onesimus »

Offline Svartzorn

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 11:23:50 PM »
As Onesimus said above, it would be interesting to have a source since the context of the quote may change the subject.
It all comes to downto the difference the orthodox and the catholics define sin.
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 08:46:21 AM »
Some (most?) Orthodox believe that Mary was preserved from personal sin by Grace.  I have a feeling that the quote you provided is from a RCC publication?

Not RCC, no.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Online Asteriktos

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 08:57:30 AM »
I don't remember anything specific, but when I read it the first name that jumped to mind was St. Gregory Palamas. I don't see anything unorthodox about it as a standalone statement, though of course that's not saying much.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 08:57:46 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 01:41:15 AM »
Some (most?) Orthodox believe that Mary was preserved from personal sin by Grace.  I have a feeling that the quote you provided is from a RCC publication?

As far as I'm aware the Orthodox Church has no dogmatic stance on Mary's personal sin or lack thereof, (it is pious Tradition to believe she was Holy and chaste by Grace - and this is trustworthy.) but rejects the innovation of the RCC that she was not subject to "original / ancestral sin."   If one is not aware of the difference between the Eastern understanding of ancestral sin and the Western notions of original sin, one will not really understand the issue.

If this is from an RCC source - and it's context has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception (preservation from original sin) then it is not Orthodox.   If it is dealing only with personal sin -- the isolated quote could be Orthodox.   Context is everything.

In any case, the excerpt makes clear that her preservation from personal sin was a Grace bestowed upon Her by God in Christ which she received and nurtured.



 

If it is only pious opinion, should it be pronounced so authoritatively?

I asked my parish priest, and he seems to be of the opinion that it is what the (Eastern) Orthodox Church teaches. I had asked him because I felt like he might be more familiar with the liturgy than I am.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline Alpo

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 01:51:49 AM »
As far as I'm aware the Orthodox Church has no dogmatic stance on Mary's personal sin or lack thereof

We haven't proclaimed dogmas on pretty much anything but it doesn't really matter. We believe in Tradition. I'm pretty sure every  priest who suggested that the Mother of God was otherwise sinful too besides the original sin would get defrocked even before he finished the very sermon where he suggests that. And then get stoned by the angry parishioners to which he was preaching.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 01:52:11 AM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Onesimus

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 03:31:29 AM »
I did not say it was pious opinion.    I said it was pious Tradition. 

Not the same.   

As far as Mary....think of it this way.

If (hypothetically) it's an error on the part of the Orthodox to say this, it is an error made out of love.   It is no sin to believe that God preserved someone by grace and made them Holy.

But,if On the other hand it is true (it is, btw), it is sin for....say a Protestant....to assert that Mary was sinful (they don't claim agnosticism, but dogmatically state she is sinful using various Scripture proof texts).  It's essentially laying accusations at her feet and denying the power of God.

Is it worse to falsely accuse and convict a innocent person or to assume their innocence at the outset?

Falsely accusing Mary of sin is far less safe than assuming her purity as a Grace in Love.   Love of Her, love of the Church through the ages,mLove of Tradition, etc. which unifies us.   Love covers over a multitude of sins.   



« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 03:48:34 AM by Onesimus »

Offline genesisone

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 09:03:52 AM »
"...The fact that the angel Gabriel called her 'Full of Grace' indicates that the Mother of our Lord enjoyed a singular favor separating her from all of the race of women--the grace of God which prepared and elected her to be the Mother of the Son of God incarnate. Thus, she did not commit any sin which one commits on a daily basis."

The struggle is real.
I still have a lot to learn in this, so please allow me to speculate as I try to work this out even in my own mind: I see the above statement as reversed. It seems to suggest that because God chose her, she did not commit any sin. It seems to me to be more correct to say that God prepared her by strengthening her to not commit any sin and because of that, elected her to become the Mother of the Son of God. We all work out our own salvation through grace. Mary achieved a high level of theosis ("full of grace") and thus became the one to be singularly favoured.

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 10:43:50 AM »
As far as I'm aware the Orthodox Church has no dogmatic stance on Mary's personal sin or lack thereof

We haven't proclaimed dogmas on pretty much anything but it doesn't really matter. We believe in Tradition. I'm pretty sure every  priest who suggested that the Mother of God was otherwise sinful too besides the original sin would get defrocked even before he finished the very sermon where he suggests that. And then get stoned by the angry parishioners to which he was preaching.

Wouldn't they crucify him, instead?
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 01:26:56 PM »
"...The fact that the angel Gabriel called her 'Full of Grace' indicates that the Mother of our Lord enjoyed a singular favor separating her from all of the race of women--the grace of God which prepared and elected her to be the Mother of the Son of God incarnate. Thus, she did not commit any sin which one commits on a daily basis."

The struggle is real.

The boldfaced section is the only part that gives me pause.  One thing that Orthodox like to say taken from the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann, cliched as it is, is that Mary is not the great exception but the great example.  Mary needed the Cross and Resurrection of Christ as much as every one else did.  Yes, she did bear the Word incarnate, something that no one else did, but the quote above (the context of which I don't know) suggests that Mary is free from the ancestral curse (she wasn't; she died) and from the corruption and sin that come with it (which we can speculate on until the second coming).  I may well be wrong, but that's what I took from this.
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Offline benjohn146

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 02:30:36 PM »
"...The fact that the angel Gabriel called her 'Full of Grace' indicates that the Mother of our Lord enjoyed a singular favor separating her from all of the race of women--the grace of God which prepared and elected her to be the Mother of the Son of God incarnate. Thus, she did not commit any sin which one commits on a daily basis."

The struggle is real.

The boldfaced section is the only part that gives me pause.  One thing that Orthodox like to say taken from the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann, cliched as it is, is that Mary is not the great exception but the great example.  Mary needed the Cross and Resurrection of Christ as much as every one else did.  Yes, she did bear the Word incarnate, something that no one else did, but the quote above (the context of which I don't know) suggests that Mary is free from the ancestral curse (she wasn't; she died) and from the corruption and sin that come with it (which we can speculate on until the second coming).  I may well be wrong, but that's what I took from this.

+1
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2016, 01:01:28 PM »
I would agree with Schmemann.  Seperating Mary from the human race is problematic.   Many Catholics now days probably wouldn't intend to do that, of course, but that's what the doctrine seems to suggest.  God zapped her with created grace at conception.  Which begs the question why doesn't God just zap all of us with created grace if that's the root of our problem.

A low view of Mary is one of those difficult issues I have with Protestantism, but it's more of a modern issue due to the evangelical revivals of the 19th century which were often strongly anti-Catholic.  In the past the sentiment was far more positive (look at Wordsworth's poem, The Virgin, where he describes Mary as "our fallen nature's solitary boast"- Wordsworth was no Anglo-Catholic, that movement didn't even exist at the time).

Luther seems to have either believed Mary was conceived without sin or she was made holy at the Incarnation.  It's not something he delves into scholastically.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:05:29 PM by Daedelus1138 »
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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2016, 02:29:42 PM »
I would agree with Schmemann.  Seperating Mary from the human race is problematic.   Many Catholics now days probably wouldn't intend to do that, of course, but that's what the doctrine seems to suggest.  God zapped her with created grace at conception.  Which begs the question why doesn't God just zap all of us with created grace if that's the root of our problem.

A low view of Mary is one of those difficult issues I have with Protestantism, but it's more of a modern issue due to the evangelical revivals of the 19th century which were often strongly anti-Catholic.  In the past the sentiment was far more positive (look at Wordsworth's poem, The Virgin, where he describes Mary as "our fallen nature's solitary boast"- Wordsworth was no Anglo-Catholic, that movement didn't even exist at the time).

Luther seems to have either believed Mary was conceived without sin or she was made holy at the Incarnation.  It's not something he delves into scholastically.

LUther wholeheartedly accepted the tradition of the Church on this one and even believed that it was an essential component of the Christian faith yet felt free to label other traditional things as bad that should be thrown out.  Lutherans today will frequently say (without any evidence) that Luther held this as a "pious opinion" and that it need not be deemed essential.  Of course, when asked for the criteria for what separates Luther's pious opinions from essentials, they look at you as if you were speaking Klingon.
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Offline benjohn146

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2016, 02:40:23 PM »
I would agree with Schmemann.  Seperating Mary from the human race is problematic.   Many Catholics now days probably wouldn't intend to do that, of course, but that's what the doctrine seems to suggest.  God zapped her with created grace at conception.  Which begs the question why doesn't God just zap all of us with created grace if that's the root of our problem.

A low view of Mary is one of those difficult issues I have with Protestantism, but it's more of a modern issue due to the evangelical revivals of the 19th century which were often strongly anti-Catholic.  In the past the sentiment was far more positive (look at Wordsworth's poem, The Virgin, where he describes Mary as "our fallen nature's solitary boast"- Wordsworth was no Anglo-Catholic, that movement didn't even exist at the time).

Luther seems to have either believed Mary was conceived without sin or she was made holy at the Incarnation.  It's not something he delves into scholastically.

+1 also!
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2016, 12:32:04 AM »
I would agree with Schmemann.  Seperating Mary from the human race is problematic.   Many Catholics now days probably wouldn't intend to do that, of course, but that's what the doctrine seems to suggest.  God zapped her with created grace at conception.  Which begs the question why doesn't God just zap all of us with created grace if that's the root of our problem.

A low view of Mary is one of those difficult issues I have with Protestantism, but it's more of a modern issue due to the evangelical revivals of the 19th century which were often strongly anti-Catholic.  In the past the sentiment was far more positive (look at Wordsworth's poem, The Virgin, where he describes Mary as "our fallen nature's solitary boast"- Wordsworth was no Anglo-Catholic, that movement didn't even exist at the time).

Luther seems to have either believed Mary was conceived without sin or she was made holy at the Incarnation.  It's not something he delves into scholastically.

I wouldn't say that I have a "low" view of Mary the Mother of Jesus.... What would you say constitutes a "low" view of the Blessed Virgin?
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2016, 07:47:55 AM »
I wouldn't say that I have a "low" view of Mary the Mother of Jesus.... What would you say constitutes a "low" view of the Blessed Virgin?

A surrogate mother brought out at Christmas, then quietly tucked away afterwards?   That was pretty much how I thought of Mary growing up Methodist.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »
I wouldn't say that I have a "low" view of Mary the Mother of Jesus.... What would you say constitutes a "low" view of the Blessed Virgin?

A surrogate mother brought out at Christmas, then quietly tucked away afterwards?   That was pretty much how I thought of Mary growing up Methodist.

Is that a common view among Methodists?
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2016, 10:16:25 AM »
Is that a common view among Methodists?

That was my impression growing up.  My impression is that some Methodists are starting to gradually change that due to more influence of ecumenism and the liturgical movement.   I remember a few years ago participating in an online prayer service and there was a Welsh Methodist minister giving a sermon on the presentation of Jesus in the temple. I was surprised by how Catholic he sounded at times.
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Offline scamandrius

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2016, 12:00:00 PM »
Is that a common view among Methodists?

That was my impression growing up.  My impression is that some Methodists are starting to gradually change that due to more influence of ecumenism and the liturgical movement.   I remember a few years ago participating in an online prayer service and there was a Welsh Methodist minister giving a sermon on the presentation of Jesus in the temple. I was surprised by how Catholic he sounded at times.

The Wesley brothers both had a "high" view of the Virgin Mary going so far as to say she was semper virgo (ever virgin)  and Dei Mater (Mother of God) as opposed to simply Domini Mater (Mother of the Lord).
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 12:01:07 PM by scamandrius »
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2016, 12:03:04 PM »
^So had Lutheran and Reformed Fathers but it has been conveniently ignored my pretty much all Protestants. To the extent that I'd argue that high view is anti-Protestant.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2016, 11:23:49 PM »
I wouldn't say that I have a "low" view of Mary the Mother of Jesus.... What would you say constitutes a "low" view of the Blessed Virgin?

A surrogate mother brought out at Christmas, then quietly tucked away afterwards?   That was pretty much how I thought of Mary growing up Methodist.

Is that a common view among Methodists?

I can't speak for Methodists, but it does sound familiar.

But I think the idea that she somehow "merited" to be the Mother of God (whether that's how you Orthodox would phrase it or not, idk) is preposterous(!), to my finely-tuned Old Protestant ears. Although, again, it isn't something we spoke about often, either.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline wgw

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2016, 12:45:14 AM »
I wouldn't say that I have a "low" view of Mary the Mother of Jesus.... What would you say constitutes a "low" view of the Blessed Virgin?

A surrogate mother brought out at Christmas, then quietly tucked away afterwards?   That was pretty much how I thought of Mary growing up Methodist.

Is that a common view among Methodists?

Yes, but it was not the view of John Wesley.  The Theotokos was never really talked about by any elder I had and her importance in the economy of salvation, which was itself rarely talked about, left unexplained.

However. John Wesley for his part had a Mariology that seems to me to have been fully correct.

Also the 1965 Methodist Book of Worship and Book of Hymns included the Magnificat and settings thereof.

However there is a spiritual disease in Methodism. which even I suffered, tha5 excess veneration of St. Mary is a "Catholic thing" and while she and St. Joseph are important, they are on a par with St. John the Baptist.  Oh and by the way, in most Methodist parishes calling any of the above saints would raise eyebrows but there are a few exceptions...high church traditionalist parishes like St. Paul's UMC in Alaska, which was forcibly shut down and sold to another denomination (despite the congregation having paid for its construction) because the female "bishopess" did not like their traditionalism on homosexuality and other issues.  It is a sad fact that those Protestant denominations that are closer to Orthodoxy by having a hierarchy, seem to be rotting from the top down, so those which follow the unorthodox congregational or presbyterian polities are better preserving the faith.
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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2016, 01:11:26 AM »
Is that a common view among Methodists?

That was my impression growing up.  My impression is that some Methodists are starting to gradually change that due to more influence of ecumenism and the liturgical movement.   I remember a few years ago participating in an online prayer service and there was a Welsh Methodist minister giving a sermon on the presentation of Jesus in the temple. I was surprised by how Catholic he sounded at times.

The Wesley brothers both had a "high" view of the Virgin Mary going so far as to say she was semper virgo (ever virgin)  and Dei Mater (Mother of God) as opposed to simply Domini Mater (Mother of the Lord).

Correct.  There was no Nestorianism in them.

Unfortunately, as I discovered, in the search which led me to Orthodox, there is a huge gulf between what the Wesley brothers, especially John Wesley believed, and what Methodists are taught.  The UMC is lukewarm diet-Anglicanism with a Social Gospel streak, except in Africa; the African conferences alone are spiritually somewhat healthy.  Also some of the historically black Methodist churches, which retained the use of Wesley's streamlined BCP.

The reformed Methodist liturgy of 1989 is the worst of any mainline denomination.  It celebrates secular holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 4th of July, Mothers Day, Labor Day and so on, but ignores several major Christian holidays.  It is a travesty compared to the old red hymnals and worship books published by the Methodist Episcopal Church, which did have some secular holidays but kept the focus on God hrough a robust liturgical calendar. 

Actually I think even the new PCUSA hymnal is better (Glory to God, publsihed in 2013), because it contains just as many theologically liberal hymns, if not more, but is not accompanied by about five volumes of uselss self-congratulatory "guides" and "references" (which actually confuse the use of the 1989 hymnal as far as the clergy are concerned, as opposed to clarifying it), and it also includes the nice and innovative touch of providing a theological explanation of each hymn included complete with Scripture references.  So one at least feels a sense of genuine Christian piety, even if the expressions of that piety manifest in forms that are disturbing or misguided, like hymn no. 2, which refers to God as a "mother."  The PCUSA hymnal also contains one clear, simple set of worship services loosely following a simplified pattern based on the 1979 Episcopal BCP and more recent Protestant liturgies, as opposed to the jumbled mess in the 1989 hymnal.

Both, however, lack any obviois high Mariology, because again, for Presbyterians as well as Methodists, the veneration of Mary is "Catholic stuff."  Calvin was a Nestorian, but he at least cared enough to insist upon the perpetual vieginity of Mary and had a much higher Mariology.

Of all of the magisterial reformers, Luther, Cranmer, Calvin, and Wesley, of these, only Cranmer and Anglicanism has successfully retained a high Mariology, but not high enough or consistent enough,  With Calvinism and Methodism, both of these faiths have in  several dogmatic respects deteriorated substantially from what their founders taught; in the case of Calvin this was for the better, mostly, but in the case of Wesley it was a disaster, because of all the major Protestant theologians he was the only one who got it right most of the time.  Luther was also right on a lot of issues, but unlike Wesley he was deiven by an anger and a wrath towards Rome and much of his theology is poisonous; Lutheranism has actually improved, but it lost completely Luther's Mariology as far as I am aware, which one still sees reflected during the period of "Lutheran Orthodoxy" in the 17th-early18th centuries, for example, in the dogmatic statements one finds in the sacred cantatas of Johann Sebatian Bach, which contain dogma which is, broadly speaking, compatible with the true Orthodox faith.   Even the better Lutheran churches like the LCMS, and the better pastors who I know, who are men of great learning, seem to have lost the plot on these issues, and they also do not bother to sing Bach's cantatas, preferring the congregational chorale invented by Luther (of which Bach wrote a fair number, but attempts at translating the doctrinally rich cantatas and chorales of Bach into English are conspicuously absent in English language Lutheran hymnals, which instead at their best are like better organized versions of the Anglican BCP, with a typical inter denominational Protestant repetoire and specific chants for each service included).

So thus, Mary, in Protestantism as a whole, except in High Church Anglicanism, is at best, undervalued, and at worst, treated with contempt (see some of the sermons by the late Rev. Chuck Smith of the Calvary Chapel).

So this is not just a Methodist problem, allow me to correct my earlier post; Methodism is no worse than most Protestant denominations in this regard.  But, if Methodists were actually taught based on what John Wesley wrote, if they actually followed his instructions for worship and his theological platform, they would have a high Mariology and a proper understanding of the economy of salvation.  They would be functionally Orthodox, but with simpler liturgics.   Pietism and the free reign given to corcuit riding lay preachers who had no theological education and who were not ov,iged to follow the Wesleyan doctrinal platform, in part due to his own dreadful concession to Pietism (he famously "agreed to disagree" with George Whitefield on Calvinism, which was a horrible capitulation on his part, given that he told Whitefield "Your God is my devil"...) Wesley planted the seeds of a spineless Latidudinarian pietism which allowed his correct theological understanding to be ignored.

So in the end it doesnt matter that Wesley got everything right and was basically Orthodox, perhaps literally so (having been uncanonically consecrated a bishop by HG Erasmus of Arcadia in1763, in secret), because he unwittingly appeared to give the flock entrusted to him his blessing to disregard whatever he said so long as they held to his 25 Articles of Religion (a redaction of the 39 Articles of Anglicanism).

So the correct view of the Theotokos was lost.

Sorry for the length of this post, I am shaken up over my friend's mother's heart attack.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 01:12:24 AM by wgw »
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2016, 09:14:00 AM »
There does seem to be a decline in the Church year... not many feasts, even though Lutherans permit this sort of thing as "adiaphora" from doctrine.  I think its due to the later anti-Catholic polemics and the politics of northern European countries, as exemplified in Bismarck's Kulturkampf.

Even at my own relatively liturgical Lutheran church, there are far more secular holidays celebrated than the traditional church year.  No dressing in red or white for Pentecost, etc.   I think there's also a decidedly dour, moralistic tendency that creeps in when this sort of stuff is emptied out.
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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2016, 10:57:14 AM »
There does seem to be a decline in the Church year... not many feasts, even though Lutherans permit this sort of thing as "adiaphora" from doctrine.  I think its due to the later anti-Catholic polemics and the politics of northern European countries, as exemplified in Bismarck's Kulturkampf.

Even at my own relatively liturgical Lutheran church, there are far more secular holidays celebrated than the traditional church year.  No dressing in red or white for Pentecost, etc.   I think there's also a decidedly dour, moralistic tendency that creeps in when this sort of stuff is emptied out.

I would agree with that assessment.  When I saw that Martin Luther King, Jr. was added to the list of Christian martyrs to be commemorated alongside other martyrs on the ELCA calendar, I was astonished.  Now MLK was a great man, but I dont think he is one of the great martyrs like Sts. Barbara or Catherine or George.  T
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2016, 01:42:09 PM »
That could be.  I'm discovering the ELCA is not remotely close to a Via Media between Protestantism and Catholicism.  It's a mess in terms of the leadership - theological obscurantism and clericalism combined with indifference to any historic Christian commitments.  The only Lutheran I know of that has a parish with an historic liturgy and church calendar lives in Canada.

The Episcopalians frankly tend to have much better liturgy, theology, and observance of a calendar.  I'm shocked to learn my local Lutheran parish doesn't even have a Maundy Thursday service.  Yes, the ethos is "liturgical", but that is only on a spectrum related to other Lutheran parishes, some of which are really "out there", just blending into the generalized mediocrity of American Protestantism.  And because they are so quietistic, Lutherans don't really care.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 01:46:37 PM by Daedelus1138 »
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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2016, 02:04:09 PM »
  I'm shocked to learn my local Lutheran parish doesn't even have a Maundy Thursday service. 

I've noticed this even among other Protestants.  Maunday Thursday and Holy Saturday both seem to get supplanted for Good Friday and Easter.  It's unfortunate.
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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2016, 07:10:48 PM »
I remember growing up that Methodists usually had a Maunday Thursday service.  It really depended on where one lived.
"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."   - Martin Luther

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2016, 11:08:56 PM »

....

Both, however, lack any obviois high Mariology, because again, for Presbyterians as well as Methodists, the veneration of Mary is "Catholic stuff."  Calvin was a Nestorian, but he at least cared enough to insist upon the perpetual vieginity of Mary and had a much higher Mariology.

....


It's funny to me that you brought up Calvin, because I felt like the quote I quoted seems vaguely Calvinistic. Why is he a Nestorian, though?
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2016, 03:00:42 AM »
I guess I did the Dormition fast wrong, because I wound up spending all day yesterday scrambling after Mariology. It's a real struggle, because I feel like I can't be Orthodox if I don't believe it.

It seems so obvious, though. If it isn't true that she never sinned, are all of you heretics? I haven't heard the full liturgy but I can imagine considering some of what I've read here as her Anaphora's are sung. I missed most of the Dormition services - not out of laziness, either. Or, not entirely out of laziness. I suppose I might have made one or two. :D
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2016, 09:26:15 AM »
It seems so obvious, though. If it isn't true that she never sinned, are all of you heretics? I haven't heard the full liturgy but I can imagine considering some of what I've read here as her Anaphora's are sung. I missed most of the Dormition services - not out of laziness, either. Or, not entirely out of laziness. I suppose I might have made one or two. :D

I don't think Orthodox emphasize Mary's sinlessness as much as Roman Catholics do.   
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2016, 09:59:02 AM »
I guess I did the Dormition fast wrong, because I wound up spending all day yesterday scrambling after Mariology. It's a real struggle, because I feel like I can't be Orthodox if I don't believe it.

It seems so obvious, though. If it isn't true that she never sinned, are all of you heretics? I haven't heard the full liturgy but I can imagine considering some of what I've read here as her Anaphora's are sung. I missed most of the Dormition services - not out of laziness, either. Or, not entirely out of laziness. I suppose I might have made one or two. :D
Let me suggest - and I'm trying to speak to you in a gently and kindly way - that you drop the topic of "Mariology". It doesn't strike me as being very Orthodox. Our salvation is found in Christ - study Christology. You won't be judged (outside of OC dot net, of course  ;D) on what you believe or don't believe about the Theotokos or even your relationship with her. As I spent more time pondering Christ's Incarnation and seeing how that permeates the Gospel as taught by Orthodox Christianity, I found that my understanding of the role of the Theotokos gradually came into place. It may take years.

Yes, some devotion to her seems a bit "over the top", but that comes from years of cultivating a relationship first with Christ, and then with the Theotokos. I can now see why those who have a special attachment to her are comfortable about expressing that devotion openly.

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2016, 10:07:51 AM »
It seems so obvious, though. If it isn't true that she never sinned, are all of you heretics? I haven't heard the full liturgy but I can imagine considering some of what I've read here as her Anaphora's are sung. I missed most of the Dormition services - not out of laziness, either. Or, not entirely out of laziness. I suppose I might have made one or two. :D

I don't think Orthodox emphasize Mary's sinlessness as much as Roman Catholics do.

Depends on how you define 'emphasize,' I suppose, considering you couldn't throw a rock at a liturgical book without hitting the phrase, "Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary".
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2016, 10:43:10 AM »
Depends on how you define 'emphasize,' I suppose, considering you couldn't throw a rock at a liturgical book without hitting the phrase, "Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary".

Yes, but that doesn't necessarily emphasize sinlessness in the Roman Catholic sense.  There does seem a bit of a paradoxical nature to Orthodox theology, much like certain forms of Lutheranism, that goes beyond the scholasticism of Latin theology.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2016, 07:45:15 PM »
If it is only pious opinion, should it be pronounced so authoritatively?

Wouldn't that almost be an oxymoron?
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2016, 07:50:56 PM »
If it is only pious opinion, should it be pronounced so authoritatively?

Wouldn't that almost be an oxymoron?

Forgive me, my English is not so good.
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2016, 07:58:58 PM »
"...The fact that the angel Gabriel called her 'Full of Grace' indicates that the Mother of our Lord enjoyed a singular favor separating her from all of the race of women--the grace of God which prepared and elected her to be the Mother of the Son of God incarnate. Thus, she did not commit any sin which one commits on a daily basis."

The struggle is real.

Protestants get so anxious if anything special is made of St. Mary -- the woman God chose to be his mother, remember!

Anyway, in regard to the sinlessness your quote seems to be discussing, perhaps Protestants should remember that even the ancient saint Job is recorded as being sinless, at least in his adulthood.

Sin is guilty mortal error, made when a human being attaches his will to his passions, thereby presenting a vector for the Evil One to use to control him, and blinding him to the true facts of his situation. This blindness can quickly grow to envelop the person for the rest of his life. This is the human condition. And what is the cure? Only the forgiving, healing generosity of the grace of God. God infills the person, becomes attached to her will, and she then participates in his grace toward others by many deeds of mercy. This enlightens the person to the true facts of our nature and God's nature and grows to envelop the person in light and grace, over the rest of her life.

Is it, then, so difficult to believe that the one cure for sin -- God's grace -- should be given or withheld, accepted or rejected, in different ways in different lives -- that is, precisely as God, the gracious one, works in a life? The sinlessness of St. Mary is a work of God as all the saints' sinless conditions -- and all saints do become sinless, in time or eternity -- are works of God.
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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2016, 08:01:11 PM »
In other words, if we really believe there is a cure for sin, we cannot simply disbelieve accounts of the cure's efficacy.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Clemente

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2016, 05:39:55 AM »
Some (most?) Orthodox believe that Mary was preserved from personal sin by Grace.  I have a feeling that the quote you provided is from a RCC publication?

As far as I'm aware the Orthodox Church has no dogmatic stance on Mary's personal sin or lack thereof, (it is pious Tradition to believe she was Holy and chaste by Grace - and this is trustworthy.) but rejects the innovation of the RCC that she was not subject to "original / ancestral sin."   If one is not aware of the difference between the Eastern understanding of ancestral sin and the Western notions of original sin, one will not really understand the issue.

If this is from an RCC source - and it's context has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception (preservation from original sin) then it is not Orthodox.   If it is dealing only with personal sin -- the isolated quote could be Orthodox.   Context is everything.

In any case, the excerpt makes clear that her preservation from personal sin was a Grace bestowed upon Her by God in Christ which she received and nurtured.



 

If it is only pious opinion, should it be pronounced so authoritatively?

I asked my parish priest, and he seems to be of the opinion that it is what the (Eastern) Orthodox Church teaches. I had asked him because I felt like he might be more familiar with the liturgy than I am.

Hopefully there will be no need to make such a pronouncement.

I think many Orthodox underestimate the difficulties that this "pious opinion" or "pious tradition" causes for many coming from outside of Orthodoxy, particularly for those of a Protestant background.  As St. John Maximovitch has written, a belief in the absolute sinlessness of the Theotokos goes against the teachings of Scripture and the teachings of some important Fathers:

"The teaching of the complete sinlessness of the Mother of God (1) does not correspond to Sacred Scripture, where there is repeatedly mentioned the sinlessness of the One Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (I Tim. 2:5); and in Him is no sin U John 3:5); Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth (I Peter 2:22); One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15); Him Who knew no sin, He made to be sin on our behalf (II Cor. 5:2 1). But concerning the rest of men it is said, Who is pure of defilement? No one who has lived a single day of his life on earth (Job 14:4). God commendeth His own love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us If, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life (Rom. 5:8–10).

(2) This teaching contradicts also Sacred Tradition, which is contained in numerous Patristic writings, where there is mentioned the exalted sanctity of the Virgin Mary from Her very birth, as well as Her cleansing by the Holy Spirit at Her conception of Christ, but not at Her own conception by Anna. “There is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thee alone, Jesus Christ our God, Who didst appear on earth without sin, and through Whom we all trust to obtain mercy and the remission of sins” (St. Basil the Great, Third Prayer of Vespers of Pentecost). “But when Christ came through a pure, virginal, unwedded, God-fearing, undefiled Mother without wedlock and without father, and inasmuch as it befitted Him to be born, He purified the female nature, rejected the bitter Eve and overthrew the laws of the flesh” (St. Gregory the Theologian, “In Praise of Virginity”). However, even then, as Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom speak of this, She was not placed in the state of being unable to sin, but continued to take care for Her salvation and overcame all temptations (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on John, Homily 85; St. Basil the Great, Epistle 160)."https://ortodoks.dk/ortodoks-tro-og-praksis/de-hellige/the-orthodox-veneration-of-mary-the-birthgiver-of-god

For those Christians that derive their faith principally from Scripture, the idea of the sinlessness of anybody but Christ alone seems untenable in a fallen world.

Moreover, the Orthodox Divine Liturgy itself seems, on numerous occasions, to affirm that Christ is the only sinless one: "Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one."

I know some Orthodox (eg Father Kimel here) will respond that the Theotokos was sinless, but sinless in a different way from Christ. I find such arguments wholly unsatisfactory, but that is probably due to my own lack of piety.



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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2016, 01:56:49 PM »
Is it like saying that she didn't commit any sin that carried a death penalty (ie. willful sin, per Heb. 10), according to the Mosaic Law?
"Now, don't allow yourself to be fatigued beyond your powers; there's a amiable bein'.
Consider what you owe to society, and don't let yourself be injured by too much work.
For the sake o' your feller-creeturs, keep yourself as quiet as you can; only think what a loss you would be!"
- The very memorable words of Samuel Veller

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Physician, heal thyself." - Ancient proverb

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2016, 02:22:48 PM »
Who is pure of defilement? No one who has lived a single day of his life on earth (Job 14:4).

Well this is ironic for the Saint to cite, in my opinion, as it is a pronouncement of one of Job's cynical friends, whom God himself ultimately rebuked for ascribing to Holy Job sin of which he was not guilty.

Quote
I find such arguments wholly unsatisfactory, but that is probably due to my own lack of piety.

Surely the Theotokos, and for that matter many theophoroi, are not like our own selves who were "pull[ed] out of the fire," even our "garment spotted by the flesh." Surely none of the rest of us was given grace to be the very mother God chose for himself. Grace is given to all, yet one's salvation story is not like another's. For many of us posting here, the story must be some variation on "I, the chief sinner."

That much I can say in agreement with you. On the other hand, I am surprised that you can write something so lucid as "she was not placed in the state of being unable to sin, but continued to take care for her salvation and overcame all temptations" and in the very next paragraph express an inability to believe it.

Quote
I think many Orthodox underestimate the difficulties that this "pious opinion" or "pious tradition" causes for many coming from outside of Orthodoxy, particularly for those of a Protestant background.

Those who have heretofore been cultivated by a religious system counterfeited by the Evil One should expect to face many difficulties and pains as they slough off the old man and are regenerated. That said, I agree to the extent that teachers of Orthodoxy must heed the Lord's warning not to offend (i.e., scandalize, lit., surprise to their harm) the young in faith.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 02:25:26 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2016, 11:31:47 PM »
Job was righteous, but that doesn't mean he never sinned, necessarily.  The Old Testament seems to have standards for righteousness that are far more lenient than "he/she never sinned" (of course the Lutheran would say they were righteous because they had faith in God).

« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 11:55:12 PM by Daedelus1138 »
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Is this "Orthodox", concerning the Theotokos?
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2016, 11:47:43 PM »
Job was righteous, but that doesn't mean he never sinned, necessarily.  The Old Testament seems to have standards for righteousness that are far more lenient than "he/she never sinned" (of course the Lutheran would say they were righteous because they had faith in God).

There are many references to people who were "blameless" before God, without reference to Lutheran theology.

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I would be curious to hear more about St. John Maximovitch's theology concerning sin and the Theotokos.   In the liturgies, I have never explicitly heard it stated that the Theotokos was sinless.

In the West, up until the modern period, there were many theologians that did not believe in the Immaculate Conception.  Including Aquinas or Bernard of Clairvaux.  Most assumed she was made sinless after her conception, or at the Annunciation.....
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But whether or not they believe in the IC or not seems to have no bearing on their Marian piety.

You lost me with the reference to the Roman Catholic (sp?) dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
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