Author Topic: I hope this belongs here....  (Read 1768 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Almost_Orthodox

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • Muddling Through Life
  • Faith: Ukrainian Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Philadelphia
I hope this belongs here....
« on: July 06, 2017, 07:14:31 PM »
I am doing a little blogging, but before I run this one up the flagpole, I would appreciate it if you good folks would look at it and see if I am  A.) being unfair to the Catholic Church B.) misunderstanding what the teach or C.) should just trash it altogether, which I am willing to do upon consensus that it stinks.

Here's what I have written:

I imagine that someone, somewhere, has already written this piece in some manner. With the Sacred Scriptures stating that "there is nothing new under the sun," what I am about to say is most likely old news to a lot of people.  But while some news may be old to one person, it is always new news to the person who personally discovers it for himself. It is kind of like the person who hears about Jesus for the first time, accepts the message of God's abundant grace through Christ, and can't stop talking about it in his excitement of being forgiven his sins. When he goes on and on about Christ to those who have been Christians all their lives, they smile, and perhaps even are happy for his excitement and joy of finding the reality of Christ's love, but for them, this is old news.  It is nothing new, it is simply something that is "new" to the convert.

Converts can have a multitude of blind spots, which are caused by the intense love and attraction they feel for the main locus of the belief to which they have converted. In my case, that love has run into many years for the Catholic faith, and was particularly intense in the first three years, a sort of mountain top experience which has been dubbed in certain circles as "Convert Fever."

Yeah, and I had a particularly bad case.

The singular most important point of my conversion was that I had connected with the very first Christians in believing that the Eucharist is really the very Body and Blood of Christ, rather than some juice-n-crackers memorial meal with little significance other than what one put into it by perhaps stopping a minute to conjure up pictures of Jesus dying on the Cross for our salvation. I felt that I was finally home, that I had managed to wade through the morass of theological constructs to find what the Apostles had taught. And most importantly, that this settled the constant arguments of doctrine between the 40,000+ non-Catholic denominations in the world, all claiming to have the true truth and all disagreeing with each other.

My recent and most vexing discovery over the last three years has been to come to understand the large (might I say vast) difference between the Roman West and the Greek East in the understanding of God's salvation program.  My assumption was that both had the Sacraments and both were pretty much on the same page, especially since the Church was one, united body of believers before the schism of 1054 AD.

This is not so, and in examining the soteriology of the West, I get the distinct sense that while they may not mean to do so, the West is selling God's grace. This merchandising of salvation for money is what initiated the Protestant Reformation for Martin Luther when he watched Tetzel and his minions beating every last cent out of the poor to buy their loved ones out of Purgatory.

"What?  You mean if I purchase an Indulgence for my father he will get out of his suffering in Purgatory?  Maw, go get our last chicken and sell it in town. I can't let Daddy be another moment in Purgatory."

Really?  Never mind perhaps that good ole Paw was a wife-beating misanthrope who went to church twice a year when he wasn't drunk so that people wouldn't talk about him. Do you see the problem here?  The Eastern view of the next life is that we go to be in the presence of Christ, where our true state is revealed.  We either love God (imperfectly at best, but nonetheless love Him in our feeble way) or we hate Him. No amount of coins tossed in a plate is going to change Paw from being a very rotten human being,  neither here nor in the next life.

The Light of Truth, God’s Energy, God’s grace which will fall on men unhindered by corrupt conditions in the Day of Judgment, will be the same to all men. There will be no distinction whatever. All the difference lies in those who receive, not in Him Who gives. The sun shines on healthy and diseased eyes alike, without any distinction. Healthy eyes enjoy light and because of it see clearly the beauty which surrounds them. Diseased eyes feel pain, they hurt, suffer, and want to hide from this same light which brings such great happiness to those who have healthy eyes.

But alas, there is no longer any possibility of escaping God’s light. During this life there was. In the New Creation of the Resurrection, God will be everywhere and in everything. His light and love will embrace all. There will be no place hidden from God, as was the case during our corrupt life in the kingdom of the prince of this world. The devil’s kingdom will be despoiled by the Common Resurrection and God will take possession again of His creation.  Love will enrobe everything with its sacred Fire which will flow like a river from the throne of God and will irrigate paradise. But this same river of Love – for those who have hate in their hearts – will suffocate and burn.

“For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). The very fire which purifies gold, also consumes wood. Precious metals shine in it like the sun, rubbish burns with black smoke. All are in the same fire of Love. Some shine and others become black and dark. In the same furnace steel shines like the sun, whereas clay turns dark and is hardened like stone.

The difference is in man, not in God. The difference is conditioned by the free choice of man, which God respects absolutely. God’s judgment is the revelation of the reality which is in man.

Saint Symeon the New Theologian says that it is not what man does which counts in eternal life but what he is, whether he is like Jesus Christ our Lord, or whether he is different and unlike Him. He says, “In the future life the Christian is not examined if he has renounced the whole world for Christ’s love, or if he has distributed his riches to the poor or if he fasted or kept vigil or prayed, or if he wept and lamented for his sins, or if he has done any other good in this life, but he is examined attentively if he has any similitude with Christ, as a son does with his father.”

 I think that by now we have reached the point of understanding correctly what eternal hell and eternal paradise really are, and who is in reality responsible for the difference.

In the icon of the Last Judgment we see Our Lord Jesus Christ seated on a throne. On His right we see His friends, the blessed men and women who lived by His love. On His left we see His enemies, all those who passed their life hating Him, even if they appeared to be pious and reverent. And there, in the midst of the two, springing from Christ’s throne, we see a river of fire coming toward us. What is this river of fire? Is it an instrument of torture? Is it an energy of vengeance coming out from God in order to vanquish His enemies?

No, nothing of the sort. This river of fire is the river which “came out from Eden to water the paradise” of old (Gen. 2:10). It is the river of the grace of God which irrigated God’s saints from the beginning. In a word, it is the out-pouring of God’s love for His creatures. Love is fire. Anyone who loves knows this. God is Love, so God is Fire. And fire consumes all those who are not fire themselves, and renders bright and shining all those who are fire themselves (Heb. 12:29).

God many times appeared as fire: To Abraham, to Moses in the burning bush, to the people of Israel showing them the way in the desert as a column of fire by night and as a shining cloud by day when He covered the tabernacle with His glory (Exod. 40:28, 32), and when He rained fire on the summit of Mount Sinai. God was revealed as fire on the mountain of Transfiguration, and He said that He came “to put fire upon the earth” (Luke 12:49), that is to say, love, because as Saint John of the Ladder says, “Love is the source of fire” (Step 30, 18).

The Greek writer, Fotis Kontoglou said somewhere that “Faith is fire, and gives warmth to the heart. The Holy Spirit came down upon the heads of the apostles in the form of tongues of fire. The two disciples, when the Lord was revealed to them, said ‘Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us in the way?’ Christ compares faith to a ‘burning candle.’ Saint John the Forerunner said in his sermons that Christ will baptize men ‘in the Holy Spirit and fire.’ And truly, the Lord said, ‘I am come to send fire on the earth and what will I if it be already kindled?’ Well, the most tangible characteristic of faith is warmth; this is why they speak about ‘warm faith,’ or ‘faith provoking warmth.’ And even as the distinctive mark of faith is warmth, the sure mark of unbelief is coldness.

God is a loving fire, and He is a loving fire for all: good or bad. There is, however, a great difference in the way people receive this loving fire of God. Saint Basil says that “the sword of fire was placed at the gate of paradise to guard the approach to the tree of life; it was terrible and burning toward infidels, but kindly accessible toward the faithful, bringing to them the light of day.”  The same loving fire brings the day to those who respond to love with love, and burns those who respond to love with hatred.

Paradise and hell are one and the same River of God, a loving fire which embraces and covers all with the same beneficial will, without any difference or discrimination. The same vivifying water is life eternal for the faithful and death eternal for the infidels; for the first it is their element of life, for the second it is the instrument of their eternal suffocation; paradise for the one is hell for the other. Do not consider this strange. The son who loves his father will feel happy in his father’s arms, but if he does not love him, his father’s loving embrace will be a torment to him. This also is why when we love the man who hates us, it is likened to pouring lighted coals and hot embers on his head.

“I say,” writes Saint Isaac the Syrian, “that those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love…. It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love’s power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it” (Homily 84).

God is love. If we really believe this truth, we know that God never hates, never punishes, never takes vengeance. As Abba Ammonas says, “Love never hates anyone, never reproves anyone, never condemns anyone, never grieves anyone, never abhors anyone, neither faithful nor infidel nor stranger nor sinner nor fornicator, nor anyone impure, but instead it is precisely sinners, and weak and negligent souls that it loves more, and feels pain for them and grieves and laments, and it feels sympathy for the wicked and sinners, more than for the good, imitating Christ Who called sinners, and ate and drank with them. For this reason, showing what real love is, He taught saying, ‘Become good and merciful like your Father in Heaven,’ and as He rains on bad and good and makes the sun to rise on just and unjust alike, so also is the one who has real love, and has compassion, and prays for all.” 

Now if anyone is perplexed and does not understand how it is possible for God’s love to render anyone pitifully wretched and miserable and even burning as it were in flames, let him consider the elder brother of the prodigal son. Was he not in his father’s estate? Did not everything in it belong to him? Did he not have his father’s love? Did his father not come himself to entreat and beseech him to come and take part in the joyous banquet? What rendered him miserable and burned him with inner bitterness and hate? Who refused him anything? Why was he not joyous at his brother’s return? Why did he not have love either toward his father or toward his brother? Was it not because of his wicked, inner disposition? Did he not remain in hell because of that? And what was this hell? Was it any separate place? Were there any instruments of torture? Did he not continue to live in his father’s house? What separated him from all the joyous people in the house if not his own hate and his own bitterness? Did his father, or even his brother, stop loving him? Was it not precisely this very love which hardened his heart more and more? Was it not the joy that made him sad? Was not hatred burning in his heart, hatred for his father and his brother, hatred for the love of his father toward his brother and for the love of his brother toward his father? This is hell: the negation of love; the return of hate for love; bitterness at seeing innocent joy; to be surrounded by love and to have hate in one’s heart. This is the eternal condition of all the damned. They are all dearly loved. They are all invited to the joyous banquet. They are all living in God’s Kingdom, in the New Earth and the New Heavens. No one expels them. Even if they wanted to go away they could not flee from God’s New Creation, nor hide from God’s tenderly loving omnipresence. Their only alternative would be, perhaps, to go away from their brothers and search for a bitter isolation from them, but they could never depart from God and His love. And what is more terrible is that in this eternal life, in this New Creation, God is everything to His creatures. As Saint Gregory of Nyssa says, “In the present life the things we have relations with are numerous, for instance time, air, locality, food and drink, clothing, sunlight, lamplight, and other necessities of life, none of which, many though they be, are God; that blessed state which we hope for is in need of none of these things, but the Divine Being will become all, and in the stead of all to us, distributing Himself proportionately to every need of that existence. It is plain, too, from the Holy Scriptures that God becomes to those who deserve it, locality and home and clothing and food and drink and light and riches and kingdom, and everything that can be thought of and named that goes to make our life happy” (On the Soul and the Resurrection).

In the new eternal life, God will be everything to His creatures, not only to the good but also to the wicked, not only to those who love Him, but likewise to those who hate Him. But how will those who hate Him endure to have everything from the hands of Him Whom they detest? Oh, what an eternal torment is this, what an eternal fire, what a gnashing of teeth.  ( Excerpts from Dr. Alexander Kalomiros - The River of Fire .  A speech given to the 1980 Orthodox  Conference in Seattle WA, July 22-25)
This is the Orthodox understanding.  Heaven or hell are not dependent upon what we have done.  They depend entirely on what we have become.  It is the condition of our soul at death which determines the condition of our afterlife, and no amount of money tossed into a plate can buy a change in a soul's condition. That is something that is from God's grace alone, wrought in us as we cooperate with God's energies working in our souls.

What does this mean?  It means that you cannot simply buy a Scapular or Miraculous Medal and expect that you will be assured of heaven. That is making merchandise of God's grace - and presuming upon it as well.  You have to change.

The most vivid picture of this Western thinking which comes to my mind is that scene in the Godfather where Fredo, having been caught betraying The Family, is taken fishing  by one of his brother's goons.  Fredo knows the jig is up, and he begins to pray the Rosary in what appears to be a sort of last gasp attempt to miss the fires of hell.  But Fredo is not changed on the inside. If he were to somehow shoot the goon and escape to Mexico, he would the same ego maniacal little gangster he has been all his life. And he would meet God in that way - his Rosary meant nothing.  It was a last ditch attempt  to escape punishment, to perhaps impress God and not get a hell-beating. This is a far cry from a sincere life of repentance and seeking God in which the soul experiences theosis in this life and becomes like Christ.

God is not bought off. His grace is not for sale. But more than that, He has saved the whole world through Christ Jesus, every man, woman, and child who will ever live.

Romans 5:  18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
It is not up to us to earn or buy our salvation.  That is done - finished - finito - completed. Mankind is invited to enter into union with Christ Jesus through baptism into Him (Romans 6:3) and from there to begin the journey in to god-likeness.  Roman soteriology does not talk about this process. They do have an understanding of divinization (which is called Theosis in the East) but in fifteen years in the Catholic Church, I can count on one hand the number of times I have either heard about or read about this from the Roman Church. What I do see is this constant yammering that if you do this or do that, you are assured of heaven, sometimes on the non-stop direct express.  I find such selling of God's grace to be reprehensible at best, and an insult to the Gospel and the work of Christ.

Now in all fairness to the Roman Church and Her dogmas, if you have a Scapular, pray the Divine Mercy, and you are in addition living a life of devotion to Christ and eschewing sin, then these things can be an additional help to you in your journey. But if you wear the Brown Scapular and that is the sum total of your devotion to  Christ, expecting that He is going to welcome you into heaven simply because you have this lovely little piece of cloth around your neck - you are in for a most rude awakening. God's grace to us does not work that way. It is synergistic, which means that as we cooperate with Him, obeying His commands and His Church, following the faith and receiving the Sacraments in good faith,  He works mysteriously within us to make us more and more like Christ.

So what is my problem and why did I write this article. Because I'm not seeing a lot of this taught from the Roman Church.  What I mostly read are articles in which sinners are promised eternal life because of what they have done - not  because of what they are. This is one of the things that the Roman Church is going to have to change if there is to ever be reunion of the East and West.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,080
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 07:18:41 PM »
Wow this is really great what you're doing in asking peers to review your understanding of something before putting it out for others to read. If only more of us had the instinct to be humble and work with others. I'll leave the critique to those many posters who understand the subject better than I do.
"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 Almost_Orthodox

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • Muddling Through Life
  • Faith: Ukrainian Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 11:12:41 PM »
Comes from making a fool out of myself more times than I can count!  ;D

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,357
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2017, 11:32:16 PM »
Comes from making a fool out of myself more times than I can count!  ;D

Come now.

I have 3,000 plus posts dedicated to such an endeavor.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Sharbel

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 354
  • Faith: Maronite Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 09:27:31 AM »
Now in all fairness to the Roman Church and Her dogmas, if you have a Scapular, pray the Divine Mercy, and you are in addition living a life of devotion to Christ and eschewing sin, then these things can be an additional help to you in your journey. But if you wear the Brown Scapular and that is the sum total of your devotion to  Christ, expecting that He is going to welcome you into heaven simply because you have this lovely little piece of cloth around your neck - you are in for a most rude awakening.
On this specific point, the Carmelite orders, the custodians of this devotion, have been fighting such distortions vehemently (v. https://is.gd/HJtvdx), though with obviously limited success.

Overall, I wholeheartedly agree with you.  Much of what you wrote is why I'm an Eastern Christian.  And because much of it is forgotten in the Catholic Church, is one factor that makes Orthodoxy attractive to me too.


Sadly, it's not that the Catholic Church doesn't know its own Tradition, but that she seems to select and frame it in a legalistic ethos (methinks because of the conquest of the West by the Germanic[/size] barbarians).  Everyone knows that the Latin ethos (as found in the Latin countries of Europe and the Americas) is anything but legalistic, which begs the question on how Latin the Roman Church still is.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 09:38:31 AM by Sharbel »
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ!

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 10:29:17 AM »
Well, Luther was right about the whole Purgatory thing, and quite a few other matters. I only wish that he had gotten in touch with the East. Granted, the Eastern Chuch and Lutheran scholars did communicate between 1576 and 1581 (there is an interesting book, "Augsburg and Constantinople", that contains a record of these communications), but by then, things were so "set", if you will, that anyone changing their mind about anything would have seemed like a surrender.

I always have thought it deeply unfortunate that my own Lutheranism, whilst endeavouring to remain part of the Ancient Church (as one can see by the Augsburg Confession, where it acknowledges all 7 Ecumenical Councils, and, though somewhat nervously, the monastic life), managed in some senses to cut itself off FROM the Ancient Church, as for example, overdoing the monergistic urges of Luther, to the point that even a Eucharistic Prayer was deemed too synergistic. Talk about extremes! Luther and Melanchthon would have done far better to curb their personal impulses, and review Church history a bit better than they did.

Offline Sharbel

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 354
  • Faith: Maronite Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 11:11:41 AM »

Now in all fairness to the Roman Church and Her dogmas, if you have a Scapular, pray the Divine Mercy, and you are in addition living a life of devotion to Christ and eschewing sin, then these things can be an additional help to you in your journey. But if you wear the Brown Scapular and that is the sum total of your devotion to  Christ, expecting that He is going to welcome you into heaven simply because you have this lovely little piece of cloth around your neck - you are in for a most rude awakening.

On this specific point, the Carmelite orders, the custodians of this devotion, have been fighting such distortions vehemently (v. https://is.gd/HJtvdx), though with obviously limited success.

Overall, I wholeheartedly agree with you.  Much of what you wrote is why I'm an Eastern Christian.  And because much of it is forgotten in the Catholic Church, is one factor that makes Orthodoxy attractive to me too.

Sadly, it's not that the Catholic Church doesn't know its own Tradition, but that she seems to select and frame it in a legalistic ethos (methinks because of the conquest of the West by the Germanic barbarians).  Everyone knows that the Latin ethos (as found in the Latin countries of Europe and the Americas) is anything but legalistic, which begs the question on how Latin the Roman Church still is.  Or, in another way, is the Roman Church the Church of Rome or is it the Church coopted by Charlemagne? 


Historically, the claims that estranged Rome from Constantinople began only after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.  In my own research, with Pope Hormisdas sowed the seeds of papal supremacy, right at about the same time when the philosopher Boetius was writing his legacy, the "Consolation of Philosophy", fearful of what would be of the waning Latin culture, of which he came later to be considered the last representative.

My own personal interpretation of the events is that Pope Hormisdas was thinking of the good of the Church, especially in face of the Germanic emperor Theodoric.  The German ethos was - and still is - about ruling over all (über Alles, as they still sing in their national anthem).  How could the Holy Roman Emperor in the West be second to the Holy Roman Emperor in the East, especially when the latter, Zeno, was his arch rival?  How could then the pope of Rome not be first, in the broad sense, over the patriarch of Constantinople?  Since Theodoric favored Arianism, I'm inclined to think that Pope Hormisdas went on with his dreams of grandeur to keep the newly acquired flock with Christ.  Of course, this pastoral move sadly didn't go without questionable consequences, as we now know, almost a millennium after its culmination in the Great Schism.

PS: reposting this because previously the formatting got botched and I couldn't modify it anymore.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 11:13:06 AM by Sharbel »
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ!

Offline Almost_Orthodox

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • Muddling Through Life
  • Faith: Ukrainian Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 11:45:03 AM »
So are you guys saying (so far - I may wait for a few more check-ins) that this is a pretty fair piece to the Romans?

Two things I really want to avoid as I look towards the East:  Judgmental Animus against the Roman Church within my own heart, and to not say that which is untrue about them.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 11:59:24 AM »
I think something I personally would observe is that the Church was NOT really UNITED, even before 1054. As far back as the 800s there was considerable disagreement between the two sides (East and West) on the matters that eventually would result in the rupture of 1054. Such issues as Papal Primacy, the Filioque clause, the Iconoclastic issues that tore the East apart (and did not really bother the West until the 1500s with the Reformation), and other matters bedevilled the Church Catholick LONG before 1054. I use the Old English spelling of "Catholick", which you will find in the Book of Common Prayer 1662, to distinguish the unified Church from those Churches that have the word "Catholic" in their names (the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches, the Orthodox Catholic Church, etc). This is NOT to say that I dispute the right of any or all of these Churches to call themselves Catholic. I am merely trying to be clear in my meaning.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:00:00 PM by Diego »

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 12:02:37 PM »
I think something I personally would observe is that the Church was NOT really UNITED, even before 1054. As far back as the 800s there was considerable disagreement between the two sides (East and West) on the matters that eventually would result in the rupture of 1054. Such issues as Papal Primacy, the Filioque clause, the Iconoclastic issues that tore the East apart (and did not really bother the West until the 1500s with the Reformation), and other matters bedevilled the Church Catholick LONG before 1054. I use the Old English spelling of "Catholick", which you will find in the Book of Common Prayer 1662, to distinguish the unified Church from those Churches that have the word "Catholic" in their names (the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches, the Orthodox Catholic Church, etc). This is NOT to say that I dispute the right of any or all of these Churches to call themselves Catholic. I am merely trying to be clear in my meaning.

The Church was united, it just wasn't necessarily the group you have in mind. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,154
  • Faith: Orthodox Catholic Church
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 12:16:37 PM »
I think something I personally would observe is that the Church was NOT really UNITED, even before 1054. As far back as the 800s there was considerable disagreement between the two sides (East and West) on the matters that eventually would result in the rupture of 1054. Such issues as Papal Primacy, the Filioque clause, the Iconoclastic issues that tore the East apart (and did not really bother the West until the 1500s with the Reformation), and other matters bedevilled the Church Catholick LONG before 1054. I use the Old English spelling of "Catholick", which you will find in the Book of Common Prayer 1662, to distinguish the unified Church from those Churches that have the word "Catholic" in their names (the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches, the Orthodox Catholic Church, etc). This is NOT to say that I dispute the right of any or all of these Churches to call themselves Catholic. I am merely trying to be clear in my meaning.

Why be a Christian if Christianity is just anyone's personal whim?
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”- St. Ambrose of Milan

"Now one cannot be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely or not at all." -Fr. Seraphim Rose

"He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 12:44:56 PM »
Actually, at present, I have no one in mind. But even in the East TODAY there is no unity. You have the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, and, just for kicks and giggles, the Assyrian Church of the East, which is currently divided into two groups itself. And in Eastern Orthodoxy, you have Old Calendarists, New Calendarists, the Old Believers, etc. And even in the Canonical Churches, various Churches are out of communion with various others for whatever silly reasons. The only thing the East has up on the West is that all of the Churches have retained Catholic spirituality (I am not so sure this would apply to the Old Believers, but that's as may be), whereas in the West, the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches, the Anglicans, and the Lutherans have, but everybody else has gone way far afield of that.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:46:35 PM by Diego »

Offline Lepanto

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 290
  • Faith: Roman Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Munich and Freising
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 12:52:03 PM »
@Sharbel and just as a corrective footnote: It is not true that Germans still sing the "über alles in der Welt" in the national anthem. We use the third verse of the original version now exclusively, which does not contain such stuff.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 12:54:55 PM by Lepanto »
una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro et Antistite nostro et omnibus orthodoxis atque catholicæ et apostolicæ fidei cultoribus

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 01:03:53 PM »
LEPANTO, I was going to note this. Here are the current lyrics in English to the third verse:

"Unity, and rights, and, freedom, for the German Fatherland! Let us all then strive toward that, brotherly with heart and hand! Unity, and rights, and freedom are the foundations of happiness! Bloom in the glow of happiness, bloom German Fatherland! Bloom in the glow of happiness, bloom German Fatherland."

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 01:10:33 PM »
Actually, at present, I have no one in mind. But even in the East TODAY there is no unity. You have the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, and, just for kicks and giggles, the Assyrian Church of the East, which is currently divided into two groups itself. And in Eastern Orthodoxy, you have Old Calendarists, New Calendarists, the Old Believers, etc. And even in the Canonical Churches, various Churches are out of communion with various others for whatever silly reasons. The only thing the East has up on the West is that all of the Churches have retained Catholic spirituality (I am not so sure this would apply to the Old Believers, but that's as may be), whereas in the West, the Roman Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Churches, the Anglicans, and the Lutherans have, but everybody else has gone way far afield of that.

The Oriental Orthodox Church is the Church.
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2017, 01:16:58 PM »
In your opinion. Plenty of the world disagrees of course. Given that we all have opinions, and we all have noses, and they are all different, your point is, well, non-existent. Our own view of course, which I am sure you will not like, is that the Church Catholick is to be found wherever the Word of God is truly preached, and the Sacraments duly and rightly administered. This means that no one denomination has a choke-hold on the designation "Catholic". And my opinion is, like yours, no more valid than yours than my nose is for being different than yours.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2017, 01:20:37 PM »
In your opinion. Plenty of the world disagrees of course. Given that we all have opinions, and we all have noses, and they are all different, your point is, well, non-existent. Our own view of course, which I am sure you will not like, is that the Church Catholick is to be found wherever the Word of God is truly preached, and the Sacraments duly and rightly administered. This means that no one denomination has a choke-hold on the designation "Catholic". And my opinion is, like yours, no more valid than yours than my nose is for being different than yours.

Your opinion is invalid.  Your nose may be as well. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2017, 01:45:44 PM »
And your opinion is invalid and serves no purpose. Then again, neither do the vast majority of your posts, so who is counting?

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2017, 02:26:22 PM »
And your opinion is invalid and serves no purpose. Then again, neither do the vast majority of your posts, so who is counting?

Apparently you are. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »
And your opinion is invalid and serves no purpose. Then again, neither do the vast majority of your posts, so who is counting?

Apparently you are.

Actually, no, I merely observe a fact. If I took the time to count, I expect the number would be in the thousands.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2017, 02:29:38 PM »
And your opinion is invalid and serves no purpose. Then again, neither do the vast majority of your posts, so who is counting?

Apparently you are.

Actually, no, I merely observe a fact. If I took the time to count, I expect the number would be in the thousands.

That's your opinion and it is invalid. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2017, 03:18:13 PM »
Your point being? Or rather, you have no point, and never do.

Offline Anthony1986

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 216
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Russian Orthodox Diocese of Korsun
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2017, 03:22:13 PM »
I think the Roman Church is very legalistic. If you don't believe, A,B and C then you send yourself to hell. If you do X,Y, and Z you send yourself to hell.

I met many RCs believe physical punishment of Hell. However, according to  Catechism of Pope Pius X 1908: "Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments." However, Orthodox Church view that in the next life God is present everywhere, so how can the wicked separated from God? How can the wicked deprived of the sight of God?
However, after Vatican II some RC theologian like  Hans Urs von Balthasar is more open mind. He said "we must see that hell is not an object that is 'full' or 'empty' of human individuals, but a possibility that is not 'created' by God but in any case by the free individuals who choose it".
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 03:29:53 PM by Anthony1986 »
O strange Orthodox Church, so poor and weak, with neither the organization nor the culture of the West, staying afloat as if by a miracle in the face of so many trials, tribulations and struggles; a Church of contrasts, both so traditional and so free, so archaic and so alive, so ritualist and so personally involved, a Church where the priceless pearl of the Gospel is assiduously preserved, sometimes under a layer of dust; a Church which in shadows and silence maintains above all the eternal val

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2017, 04:12:08 PM »
Your point being? Or rather, you have no point, and never do.

That's your opinion and it is invalid. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2017, 05:12:08 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,080
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2017, 05:14:10 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

You know, after observing you, I think you have a point here.
"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 Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2017, 05:16:05 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

Luther is an opinion and it is invalid.
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2017, 05:17:19 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

You know, after observing you, I think you have a point here.

Yes, I am glad we agree that Mor looks silly.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2017, 05:18:04 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

Luther is an opinion and it is invalid.

Well, unlike you, he did understand the true Natures of Christ. I do not suggest that he was correct in everything, since no human is.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 05:18:51 PM by Diego »

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2017, 05:22:50 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

Luther is an opinion and it is invalid.

Well, unlike you, he did understand the true Natures of Christ. I do not suggest that he was correct in everything, since no human is.

Is Jesus human? 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2017, 05:24:44 PM »
An illogical question from an illogical person, but I am not surprised. He is both human and divine. Hence he can make no errors. You on the other hand define the word "error".

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2017, 05:25:37 PM »
I meant of course that Luther was not necessarily correct in everything.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2017, 05:29:27 PM »
An illogical question from an illogical person, but I am not surprised. He is both human and divine. Hence he can make no errors. You on the other hand define the word "error".

But no human is without error, according to you.  If "he can make no errors", it sounds like your contention is that the divinity swallowed up the humanity.  IOW, you espouse monophysitism.
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2017, 05:30:36 PM »
I meant of course that Luther was not necessarily correct in everything.

Quite an understatement.
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2017, 05:33:29 PM »
Not at all. And the fact that you even make such a statement simply indicates a lack of intellect on your part. One can be (in Jesus's case) wholly human and wholly divine. The fact that he makes no mistakes is his divinity. The fact that he ate, drank, suffered, got tired, etc proves he is human. If monophysitism were true, you could just as easily argue it the other way. Hence, it is a heresy.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2017, 05:35:22 PM »
You are an understatement in the annals of illogic, as I have just proved.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2017, 05:36:54 PM »
Not at all. And the fact that you even make such a statement simply indicates a lack of intellect on your part. One can be (in Jesus's case) wholly human and wholly divine. The fact that he makes no mistakes is his divinity. The fact that he ate, drank, suffered, got tired, etc proves he is human. If monophysitism were true, you could just as easily argue it the other way. Hence, it is a heresy.

Wrong.
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2017, 05:38:54 PM »
Notice you do not explain why it is wrong, which means you do not know. And simply making a statement does not mean you are right. In fact, it confirms your illogical nature. Thank you for proving my point.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,629
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2017, 05:45:03 PM »
Notice you do not explain why it is wrong, which means you do not know.

False.  It means I've explained this before and you refuse to acknowledge it because you're invested in Chalcedon because formal non-rejection thereof is one of the precious few sources of supposed legitimacy for the cult of Luther.   
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Diego

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 932
  • Faith: Lutheran LCMS
  • Jurisdiction: Iowa District West
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2017, 06:00:13 PM »
Actually, you have never explained it, but that is beside the point. All insults aside, you DID just start an interesting thread regarding the Trisagion. The Anglican Church is now using the Eastern Orthodox form of that hymn, as are some Lutherans. I do not object to its use on theological grounds, but only on the grounds that introducing it to one of the Western Rites is rather jarring, just as doing the reverse would be (adding a Western Rite hymn to the Liturgy of John Crysostom, for example).

But the article you reference is VERY interesting. I have to read it more thoroughly, but it seems to me, and I think there is some point to be made here, often the division of EO and OO was and remains partly political. It CERTAINLY was in Sweden as well, when that Church went Lutheran.

I think my only point is that, its a shame that, all too often, politics divides Christians. I mean, all ravaging between you and me aside, I do not dispute that there ARE very real theological disagreements between people and Churches. But some of it is also just plain old pride and arrogance on all sides.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 06:01:40 PM by Diego »

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,080
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2017, 06:14:44 PM »
If you have nothing new to say, silence is probably your best option. Repetition of incorrect statements merely makes you look silly.

You know, after observing you, I think you have a point here.

Yes, I am glad we agree that Mor looks silly.

Don't be childish.
"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 Almost_Orthodox

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • Muddling Through Life
  • Faith: Ukrainian Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2017, 10:41:21 PM »
Could I interrupt the general nastiness and bickering to ask if you guys think I should post that blog, modify it somewhat, or drop it as a bad idea.

Then you can go back to snarling at each other and I'll make some popcorn.

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,697
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2017, 11:40:10 PM »
Could I interrupt the general nastiness and bickering to ask if you guys think I should post that blog, modify it somewhat, or drop it as a bad idea.

Drop it as a bad idea.  It is too much caricature.  Can you find people like that in the Latin Church yes, but you can find them in the Eastern Churches as well.  However, I don't think they are the majority in any Church.
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,080
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2017, 12:27:41 AM »
Go for it! I'm sorry Orthodox mostly failed to respond here. Forgive the cat fights -- they spill over from elsewhere and aren't meant to be rude to you.
"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 Sharbel

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 354
  • Faith: Maronite Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Re: I hope this belongs here....
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2017, 09:30:52 AM »
Two things I really want to avoid as I look towards the East:  Judgmental Animus against the Roman Church within my own heart, and to not say that which is untrue about them.
Never, ever convert because of animosity!  Rather convert because of Truth, Beauty and Goodness.  Do not do it only for your own sake, but for His sake!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 09:31:17 AM by Sharbel »
ܩܕܝܫܐ ܐܢ̱ܬ ܠܐ ܡܝܘܬܐ!