Author Topic: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life  (Read 5421 times)

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Offline Luke

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #270 on: August 03, 2017, 06:27:38 PM »
Sorry, but My reaction there is no no no aEnd a thousand times no. As I Said in another thread I have no choice in the matter as to whether I may exist forever or not. According to christianity, I must exist forever, and I must WANT to unless I want eternal torture.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #271 on: August 03, 2017, 06:33:28 PM »
Sure, you can be angry about that.  That doesn't change your own problems.
I Will be honest with My belief. Existence is hell. It is a failed experiment by an evil God. Without art, life would literally be a mistake worth cursing all the way through. I believe Job was right before God showed up and explained himself away. Nietzsche was right about both the essence of life and about christianity it seems to me, and I hope he was too. And without a God, I would finally be able to see the sky and the sea and sing hymns to the sun. But Jehovah, the most terrrifying figure in the entire western canon of literature, doesnt leave me in peace. He haunts me. And on top of this, I cant understand how a serious human being can say that Jehovah of Moses and Jesus is the same God. If he is, his inconsistent, contradictory and almost disturbed personality would make me even more frightened. It doesnt help that I find like 5 different Jesus in the new testament, and one new Jesus for every new Christian I meet, including among the priests of the orthodox church.

How can you logically say existence is the evil? Everything you enjoy, such as whatever art is, exists. Animals for whose salvation you've expressed no fear exist. Certainly, logically what you'd consider evil is the freedom you were given?

Have you tried using it?
Nothing justifies the grotesque evil of suffering and starving children in Africa, Death camps in Auschwitz etc. Nothing, not even the whole oeuvre of Mozart. Art is great Because it makes man capable of fleeing from the reality of existence.

What the heck? You don't mind if others suffer, you just want the right not to justify it? You want to enjoy "art" along with it? That's messed up.

I wonder if you're aware of the glaring rhetorical fly you keep leaving open -- this implication that world suffering and personal problems, and, I assume, existence itself will all be solved if you're just given leave to blaspheme? Each time you post words, what did they cure?
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Offline beebert

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #272 on: August 03, 2017, 06:40:43 PM »
Sure, you can be angry about that.  That doesn't change your own problems.
I Will be honest with My belief. Existence is hell. It is a failed experiment by an evil God. Without art, life would literally be a mistake worth cursing all the way through. I believe Job was right before God showed up and explained himself away. Nietzsche was right about both the essence of life and about christianity it seems to me, and I hope he was too. And without a God, I would finally be able to see the sky and the sea and sing hymns to the sun. But Jehovah, the most terrrifying figure in the entire western canon of literature, doesnt leave me in peace. He haunts me. And on top of this, I cant understand how a serious human being can say that Jehovah of Moses and Jesus is the same God. If he is, his inconsistent, contradictory and almost disturbed personality would make me even more frightened. It doesnt help that I find like 5 different Jesus in the new testament, and one new Jesus for every new Christian I meet, including among the priests of the orthodox church.

How can you logically say existence is the evil? Everything you enjoy, such as whatever art is, exists. Animals for whose salvation you've expressed no fear exist. Certainly, logically what you'd consider evil is the freedom you were given?

Have you tried using it?
Nothing justifies the grotesque evil of suffering and starving children in Africa, Death camps in Auschwitz etc. Nothing, not even the whole oeuvre of Mozart. Art is great Because it makes man capable of fleeing from the reality of existence.

What the heck? You don't mind if others suffer, you just want the right not to justify it? You want to enjoy "art" along with it? That's messed up.

I wonder if you're aware of the glaring rhetorical fly you keep leaving open -- this implication that world suffering and personal problems, and, I assume, existence itself will all be solved if you're just given leave to blaspheme? Each time you post words, what did they cure?
Whatever I dont have the power to argue. But yes; I dont just dislike christianity, I hate it. Just thé thought of this God makes me Hate not Only him and myself. I appreciate art because it is the sole good thing mankind has really achieved. And the world's suffering, what has it to do with that? All suffering becomes bareable as soon as the gastly idea of eternal  (What kind of a sick and satanic prick doesnt understand what eternal here means?!?!?!) punishment and torment in total despair gets eliminated from the face of the earth. This crap does no good. I will not post here for at least two weeks now; for the best of us all. Unless JamesR posts something fun. Or if nothing or indocern writes something, since they seem to be the Only members here worth bothering about.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 06:46:44 PM by beebert »
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #273 on: August 03, 2017, 08:17:05 PM »
Beebert,

It's a timeless truth: Ultimately nothing, no shiny distraction, no animes, maymays, etc will change your mind or conjure alternatives, until you let love in. Because either you're letting love in, or love's letting itself in.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 08:17:28 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #274 on: August 03, 2017, 08:53:36 PM »
Beebert,

It's a timeless truth: Ultimately nothing, no shiny distraction, no animes, maymays, etc will change your mind or conjure alternatives, until you let love in. Because either you're letting love in, or love's letting itself in.
LOL
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #275 on: August 03, 2017, 09:10:12 PM »
Beebert,

It's a timeless truth: Ultimately nothing, no shiny distraction, no animes, maymays, etc will change your mind or conjure alternatives, until you let love in. Because either you're letting love in, or love's letting itself in.
LOL

Gotcha!
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Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #276 on: August 03, 2017, 09:13:11 PM »
Gotcha!
:-*

Now back to replying to your post...
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #277 on: August 03, 2017, 10:04:47 PM »
Whatever I dont have the power to argue. But yes; I dont just dislike christianity, I hate it. Just thé thought of this God makes me Hate not Only him and myself. I appreciate art because it is the sole good thing mankind has really achieved. And the world's suffering, what has it to do with that? All suffering becomes bareable as soon as the gastly idea of eternal  (What kind of a sick and satanic prick doesnt understand what eternal here means?!?!?!) punishment and torment in total despair gets eliminated from the face of the earth. This crap does no good. I will not post here for at least two weeks now; for the best of us all. Unless JamesR posts something fun. Or if nothing or indocern writes something, since they seem to be the Only members here worth bothering about.
Hey friend, sorry I've been distracting myself in silly threads and don't have the time I'd like to spend in this thread conversing with you. Maybe sometime next week, I will try but I really have to hit the books. Tonight I'm taking a short break from my readings and relaxing a bit, trying to calm some nerves before this upcoming Sunday. I'll keep you in my prayers til then, I understand the angle you are coming from and I might be able to help a little. Don't let the other posters bother you too much.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #278 on: August 03, 2017, 10:45:19 PM »
I didn't flee because things got difficult. I've engaged you on this topic quite extensively both in this thread and in the other. You flatter yourself if you think you his is the first time anyone has ever thrown up these or similar verses as an argument vs Christianity. I honestly do think you have an obsessive compulsive disorder that needs professional help. This isn't healthy behavior, and you admitted that yourself with your inability to do anything out of fear of eternal torment. Seek help. Seriously. It doesn't even need to be a Christian psychologist. Pretty much any competent one will do.


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Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of lifestyle
« Reply #279 on: August 03, 2017, 11:12:18 PM »
That said, I would like to take issue with the idea that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to stumble".  While this may be true in the sense that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to struggle about matters of faith", I consider "stumbling" to be a more all-inclusive idea, and in that sense, yes, much of what he wrote causes one to stumble.

Well that's fine your definition of "stumbling" is broader than my own. I only meant "stumble" in the narrow sense of sowing some doubt in the Orthodox faithful if they read beebert's posts. There's nothing he has posted that should cause us to doubt our faith, that's simply all I said. We should however respond to him in Christian love and kindness, show him where his thought errs then let him decide for himself what to do next. He's clearly suffering, so we should try to be a little more understanding to his young angry man romantic phase. JamesR went through the same thing, although I have to admit he was far more creative and original than these Nietszchean retreads (sorry beebs).

Quote
The OP contains numerous claims:

1.  Paul is opposed to the fundamental spirit of Christ
2.  Honest people must choose between the two, implying that those who accept both are somehow fundamentally dishonest
3.  The Church chose Paul, meaning the Church chose "not Christ" ("antichrist"?)
4.  Christianity is an abusive, destructive, life-hating religion
5.  Paul is an enemy of life
6.  Paul's teaching has led to more bloodshed than any other human idea
7.  Paul's teaching led to Hitler's death camps, Mengele's experiments, and all other Nazi atrocities
8.  Paul's teaching causes mental illness
9.  Similar things could be said about the apostle John
10.  Paul's teaching persecutes God and has corrupted the world
11.  Even the 10% of Pauline writings beebert likes are still nevertheless lies
12.  Paul is a liar and was deluded, manipulative and filled with a suppressed hatred
13.  Paul's proclamation of the gospel of the crucified and risen Messiah is an "insane circus" and a "schizophrenic muppet show"
14.  God is "ignorant"
15.  A positive assessment of Paul would still require us to admit that Paul was lying about why Jesus died
16.  Jesus' death was a "cultural act of power to cause people to alter their relationship to sacrifice"
17.  Christian teaching is the attempt by men who are more ape than artist to understand and explain man
18.  Christian teaching is about maintaining a hierarchical structure to dominate others

When I reported this thread to the moderator, I only mentioned one or two claims, and neither AFAIK is on this list of eighteen from the OP, which means that I could probably add another two dozen if I went through all of beebert's posts in this thread.  Some of the claims are ludicrous, others unimaginative and stale, but still others are blasphemous and abominable.  They cause to stumble because they are thrown out there as stumbling blocks. 

Maybe I am far too tolerant of radically opposed views, Mor. All those claims are laughable for the sheer fact of how naive they are. It's all provocation and edginess. There's no depth. It's hard to take any one of them seriously, so maybe that's why I'm OK with beebert getting what he needs off his chest for some kind of catharsis.

I don't necessarily agree these are "thrown out there as stumbling blocks". That doesn't seem to me beebert's intentions. Rather I see a poster who is running a bit too wild and loose with Nietzsche.

Have you read any Nietszche at all? I ask because I'm not sure how you can understand beebert's grandstanding otherwise. I find Nietzsche's interpretation of Christianity rather dated and centered in a late 19th century romantic notion of Europe. I think Nietzsche's excavation of Christianity is more psychological than historical, and while I don't discount psychology as a tool for understanding how the self is formed and works, at the same time I don't privilege it in the way Nietzsche, and apparently beebert, does. The self isn't grounded in psychology, which a positivism of modernism that I have to reject.

In any case, I do find the terminology of slavery and disease (used by beebert here) extremely telling in how it positions Nietzsche. At the beginning of the end of the Enlightenment where it had sufficiently incorporated most discourse to make it impossible not to think like a modernist, while at the same facing historical discontent that made the rise of anti-modernism inevitable. Nietzsche's at the cusp of that and his fixation with hygiene (Christianity is a disease, Greek abandon is health) and colonialistic dominion (we must be conquerors not slaves i.e., like those colonized peoples) demonstrates his inability to truly transcend the Enlightenment pretensions whose limitations he discerned.

Ultimately Christianity isn't one thing. As I said before you can't reduce it to merely an ethic or a disease that afflicts an ubermensch. And speaking of, my view on the ubermensch is "Homeric." He eschews introspection and the internal life. Rather, he is externalized: his emotions well up unrestrained like Nestor talking about Odysseus. He is action not thought. Guile is a strategy for acting, not a way of being. He is happily rooted in history, which is a story he tells to himself to validate who he is. Everything about him, like the Homeric world itself, is visible and exterior. To Nietzsche this betokens life, as opposed to the morbidity of modern cogitation and self-reflection (as he saw it).

Frankly I find such a vision of humanity shallow and nostalgic. It is the pre-philosophical unexamined life, as if interiority is a weakness. Rather than an expression of exuberant life, it's self-limiting and in denial about the subconscious and the numinous.

Ironically, I think there is another tradition of Germanic hero, the Beowulfian kind. He is interior, introspective, in doubt, constantly aware of how most of the world is invisible and dark. Sure Beowulf acts, but he's constantly aware of his own finitude: he knows he's brave and invincible, until, as Tolkien puts it, "the dragon comes" (and it always does). He has a monstrous quality himself and never truly fits into society the way Odysseus does.

So I think Nietzsche got it wrong. It isn't Apollonian versus Dionysian, it's Odysseus versus Beowulf. And Beowulf is the better man. Christ of course going beyond both.

Quote
I would like to believe that these are just so many plaintive cries of a troubled soul looking for God, but God isn't found by opposing him so strenuously and deliberately.  These claims, then, should be opposed, mocked, and exposed, if not for beebert if/when he is ready to hear them, then for the sake of others and for the love of God.  No Orthodox faithful can read any of them and find them acceptable in any way.     
They aren't acceptable views for any Orthodox, of course. I agree. To Purgatory this thread shall go! A Christian forum probably shouldn't have threads like these openly blaspheming God. But like I said, I'm a very tolerant person maybe too much so. However I'm not cynical enough to dismiss what may very well be "genuine cries from a troubled soul". beebert has posted before on despondency and depressed feelings. Just keep in mind though that beebert is drawing from the same well as Nietszche. Maybe mimicking is the better description. I've wondered if Nietszche's animus toward God (and his thing for little girls) was because he could never get a girlfriend. I'm not saying that's true of beebert, his strongly inpenitant malevolence towards God seems rooted elsewhere. But in any case, I think its fair to read Nietszche at times projecting his own feelings of inadequacy. Just look at what he wrote about the poor and oppressed, that they should rise above and conquer the rich and powerful. How nostalgic!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 11:13:01 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #280 on: August 03, 2017, 11:19:00 PM »
Very well said.  :)
God bless!

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of lifestyle
« Reply #281 on: August 03, 2017, 11:37:23 PM »
That said, I would like to take issue with the idea that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to stumble".  While this may be true in the sense that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to struggle about matters of faith", I consider "stumbling" to be a more all-inclusive idea, and in that sense, yes, much of what he wrote causes one to stumble.

Well that's fine your definition of "stumbling" is broader than my own. I only meant "stumble" in the narrow sense of sowing some doubt in the Orthodox faithful if they read beebert's posts. There's nothing he has posted that should cause us to doubt our faith, that's simply all I said. We should however respond to him in Christian love and kindness, show him where his thought errs then let him decide for himself what to do next. He's clearly suffering, so we should try to be a little more understanding to his young angry man romantic phase. JamesR went through the same thing, although I have to admit he was far more creative and original than these Nietszchean retreads (sorry beebs).

This is quite a powerful cocktail of narcissism and naivete. How could it not be potentially destructive to matter-of-factly share lies? Come on! Sowing falsehoods is the basis of confusion. This is tautological, and only intellectual pride would cause someone to try to deny it: "If you were as learned as I, none of this would phase you." And I implicate several other posters who were even quicker than you.

Quote
Have you read any Nietszche at all? I ask because I'm not sure how you can understand beebert's grandstanding otherwise.

Seriously? It's Nietzsche's reputation that concerns you?

Quote
Ultimately Christianity isn't one thing. As I said before you can't reduce it to merely an ethic or a disease that afflicts an ubermensch.

You don't say.

Quote
They aren't acceptable views for any Orthodox, of course.

Then maybe you should have let we inferior little Orthodox minds, in such contrast to your own, go ahead and say that here.
"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 RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #282 on: August 03, 2017, 11:41:31 PM »
beebert, have you looked into Foucault's later writing into the technologies of the self early Christianity developed? A good argument can be made that Nietzsche's Romanticism is a legacy of the kinds of self Christianity created.

To reiterate what I replied to Mor, I think one should realize the purpose of Nietzsche's writings and his views aren't confused with a full, multidimensional reading of Christianity. His hero worship and German Romanticism weren't conducive to that in any impartial or complex way. Christianity ain't the simplistic moral genealogy he insisted it was. He suffered from a selective reading informed by his anti-modernist goals.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of lifestyle
« Reply #283 on: August 03, 2017, 11:55:35 PM »
This is quite a powerful cocktail of narcissism and naivete. How could it not be potentially destructive to matter-of-factly share lies? Come on! Sowing falsehoods is the basis of confusion. This is tautological, and only intellectual pride would cause someone to try to deny it: "If you were as learned as I, none of this would phase you." And I implicate several other posters who were even quicker than you.
Nothing beebert has posted is so subtle that might cause confusion. It's clear the contrast between our faith and what he's posted. Why are you so worried about false claims?

Call this arrogant or prideful, but there's nothing beebert, augustin or anyone else could say that would ever shake my faith. I have total trust and confidence in Christ and His Church. There are no doubts.

I'm lower than a layman when it comes to Orthodoxy, but what little I've gleaned over the years and from my catechism, there's no stumbling blocks found here.

Quote
Seriously? It's Nietzsche's reputation that concerns you?
It's not his reputation that concerns me, but you can hear beebert scream clearly if you read some of his writings. Frankly I don't care much for Nietzsche at all, I find him boring.

Quote
Then maybe you should have let we inferior little Orthodox minds, in such contrast to your own, go ahead and say that here.
Go right ahead.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #284 on: August 04, 2017, 12:04:02 AM »
Why do lies need to be subtle? He's making claims about a corpus of deep reading hundreds of pages long. I know Christians are supposed to read their Bibles, but you're speaking uncharitable nonsense against them by this. If I say that Levin marries Anna Karenina, is that a laugh? To some minds, sure. To a moderate mind invested in the truth, it is nothing clever or even worth tolerating. What would be the point? Now multiply the lies by 100. Now apply them to Christ our God, his Church, and the salvation of humankind your brothers.

But this leads me back to the fact that Recent Convert complained, not about Beebert, but about you fellows' responses to him, which were variously cynical and clever. I wonder if "apply them to Christ our God," above, even moved you? Did you feel awe? Tenderness? Quick concern? Are these emotions of which you're even capable anymore as such bright young men, or only self-regard and the silent laugh?

To lie about God and the Bible is to sow stumbling-blocks for those who would believe and be saved. This is elementary. Only the clever are too smart to see it.
"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 RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #285 on: August 04, 2017, 12:06:39 AM »
Is your faith that weak?
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #286 on: August 04, 2017, 12:11:26 AM »
Is your faith that weak?

What is this taunt?

You keep repeating it. Could you possibly explain what it could mean?

I trust in God, therefore I love and guard him. I trust in God, therefore I feel brotherhood with others who would do the same.

Are you trying to say with the hipsters, Let your wife kiss that man or is your love too weak? Just what are you trying to say?

Lies are lies. There are subtle ones, impostering ones, bald ones, ones that prey on past relationship. And endless more. Their father is the Evil One, as Christ explained. But they all are false and slanderous and the faith of the victim of them, this it is not seemly for you to accuse. You are for or against them. The spotlight should be on your choice. Is your faith so strong that you can "make or love a lie" -- that is, either speak it or defend it -- and still feel yourself a pious Christian man?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 12:13:46 AM 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 RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #287 on: August 04, 2017, 12:22:30 AM »
What is this taunt?

You keep repeating it. Could you possibly explain what it could mean?

I trust in God, therefore I love and guard him. I trust in God, therefore I feel brotherhood with others who would do the same.

Are you trying to say with the hipsters, Let your wife kiss that man or is your love too weak? Just what are you trying to say?

Lies are lies. There are subtle ones, impostering ones, bald ones, ones that prey on past relationship. And endless more. Their father is the Evil One, as Christ explained. But they all are false and slanderous and the faith of the victim of them, this it is not seemly for you to accuse. You are for or against them. The spotlight should be on your choice. Is your faith so strong that you can "make or love a lie" -- that is, either speak it or defend it -- and still feel yourself a pious Christian man?

You should have courage in your convictions! I love true zeal for God. Proclaim the Gospel of Christ even if it leads to martyrdom!

Yes you've established they are lies, we can recognize that. Now what? Christ didn't come for the righteous you know, he came to save sinners.

As a Christian, you need to work on your bedside manners. Kierkegaard was right.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #288 on: August 04, 2017, 12:33:13 AM »
What is this taunt?

You keep repeating it. Could you possibly explain what it could mean?

I trust in God, therefore I love and guard him. I trust in God, therefore I feel brotherhood with others who would do the same.

Are you trying to say with the hipsters, Let your wife kiss that man or is your love too weak? Just what are you trying to say?

Lies are lies. There are subtle ones, impostering ones, bald ones, ones that prey on past relationship. And endless more. Their father is the Evil One, as Christ explained. But they all are false and slanderous and the faith of the victim of them, this it is not seemly for you to accuse. You are for or against them. The spotlight should be on your choice. Is your faith so strong that you can "make or love a lie" -- that is, either speak it or defend it -- and still feel yourself a pious Christian man?

You should have courage in your convictions! I love true zeal for God. Proclaim the Gospel of Christ even if it leads to martyrdom!

Yes you've established they are lies, we can recognize that. Now what? Christ didn't come for the righteous you know, he came to save sinners.

As a Christian, you need to work on your bedside manners. Kierkegaard was right.

That's right, you hustle off with those goalposts. But a stumblingblock is what much of this thread intended to be.
"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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Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #289 on: August 04, 2017, 12:35:57 AM »
That's right, you hustle off with those goalposts. But a stumblingblock is what much of this thread intended to be.
Let the reader decide that.
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #290 on: August 04, 2017, 12:41:42 AM »
That's right, you hustle off with those goalposts. But a stumblingblock is what much of this thread intended to be.
Let the reader decide that.

Then let the reader say that.
"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

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #291 on: August 04, 2017, 01:05:46 AM »
. . . I will not post here for at least two weeks now. . .



« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 01:06:06 AM by Luke »

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #292 on: August 04, 2017, 02:26:01 AM »
In "truth" Beebert doesn't even make sense to me, he is concerned with what paul literally said, but can paul literally be true, with a name like paul? Within narrative all is story, sense and nonsense, "literally" happened? The heilsgeschichte self-understands a salvific act outside of time gathered in time, in an interpreted way we don't typically disengage scientifically. Within the meta-story of several narra-streams we find rows and rows, waves and waves of non-literal "truth" that can be embraced without scientism or rationalist "historical point-acts."
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #293 on: August 04, 2017, 03:07:34 AM »
In "truth" Beebert doesn't even make sense to me, he is concerned with what paul literally said, but can paul literally be true, with a name like paul? Within narrative all is story, sense and nonsense, "literally" happened? The heilsgeschichte self-understands a salvific act outside of time gathered in time, in an interpreted way we don't typically disengage scientifically. Within the meta-story of several narra-streams we find rows and rows, waves and waves of non-literal "truth" that can be embraced without scientism or rationalist "historical point-acts."

Oh go bounce something.
"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

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #294 on: August 04, 2017, 03:21:45 AM »
You need to spend more time outside, I think. Become a friend of birds, etc. There's literally nothing better to do, I think.
"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!"
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Offline beebert

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #295 on: August 04, 2017, 04:02:52 AM »
In "truth" Beebert doesn't even make sense to me, he is concerned with what paul literally said, but can paul literally be true, with a name like paul? Within narrative all is story, sense and nonsense, "literally" happened? The heilsgeschichte self-understands a salvific act outside of time gathered in time, in an interpreted way we don't typically disengage scientifically. Within the meta-story of several narra-streams we find rows and rows, waves and waves of non-literal "truth" that can be embraced without scientism or rationalist "historical point-acts."

Oh go bounce something.
I Think you must be the only person at this forum who is even more rude than I am. I can't stop posting for 2 weeks yet, the celebration of Luke prevented me. After this weekend though
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 04:03:14 AM by beebert »
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #296 on: August 04, 2017, 04:06:28 AM »
Why do lies need to be subtle? He's making claims about a corpus of deep reading hundreds of pages long. I know Christians are supposed to read their Bibles, but you're speaking uncharitable nonsense against them by this. If I say that Levin marries Anna Karenina, is that a laugh? To some minds, sure. To a moderate mind invested in the truth, it is nothing clever or even worth tolerating. What would be the point? Now multiply the lies by 100. Now apply them to Christ our God, his Church, and the salvation of humankind your brothers.

But this leads me back to the fact that Recent Convert complained, not about Beebert, but about you fellows' responses to him, which were variously cynical and clever. I wonder if "apply them to Christ our God," above, even moved you? Did you feel awe? Tenderness? Quick concern? Are these emotions of which you're even capable anymore as such bright young men, or only self-regard and the silent laugh?

To lie about God and the Bible is to sow stumbling-blocks for those who would believe and be saved. This is elementary. Only the clever are too smart to see it.
What is a lie? An unconsious lie? And yet you speak as if you know the truth. Then enlighten me; because I find it laughable to say "If you confess to a priest, are baptized and take the eucharist you Will be saved ". This is a blasphemous lie beyond all else. All this can be done in despair, hatred and without any relationship to God whatsoever.
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of lifestyle
« Reply #297 on: August 04, 2017, 04:25:48 AM »
That said, I would like to take issue with the idea that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to stumble".  While this may be true in the sense that "Nothing beebert posted should cause an Orthodox faithful to struggle about matters of faith", I consider "stumbling" to be a more all-inclusive idea, and in that sense, yes, much of what he wrote causes one to stumble.

Well that's fine your definition of "stumbling" is broader than my own. I only meant "stumble" in the narrow sense of sowing some doubt in the Orthodox faithful if they read beebert's posts. There's nothing he has posted that should cause us to doubt our faith, that's simply all I said. We should however respond to him in Christian love and kindness, show him where his thought errs then let him decide for himself what to do next. He's clearly suffering, so we should try to be a little more understanding to his young angry man romantic phase. JamesR went through the same thing, although I have to admit he was far more creative and original than these Nietszchean retreads (sorry beebs).

Quote
The OP contains numerous claims:

1.  Paul is opposed to the fundamental spirit of Christ
2.  Honest people must choose between the two, implying that those who accept both are somehow fundamentally dishonest
3.  The Church chose Paul, meaning the Church chose "not Christ" ("antichrist"?)
4.  Christianity is an abusive, destructive, life-hating religion
5.  Paul is an enemy of life
6.  Paul's teaching has led to more bloodshed than any other human idea
7.  Paul's teaching led to Hitler's death camps, Mengele's experiments, and all other Nazi atrocities
8.  Paul's teaching causes mental illness
9.  Similar things could be said about the apostle John
10.  Paul's teaching persecutes God and has corrupted the world
11.  Even the 10% of Pauline writings beebert likes are still nevertheless lies
12.  Paul is a liar and was deluded, manipulative and filled with a suppressed hatred
13.  Paul's proclamation of the gospel of the crucified and risen Messiah is an "insane circus" and a "schizophrenic muppet show"
14.  God is "ignorant"
15.  A positive assessment of Paul would still require us to admit that Paul was lying about why Jesus died
16.  Jesus' death was a "cultural act of power to cause people to alter their relationship to sacrifice"
17.  Christian teaching is the attempt by men who are more ape than artist to understand and explain man
18.  Christian teaching is about maintaining a hierarchical structure to dominate others

When I reported this thread to the moderator, I only mentioned one or two claims, and neither AFAIK is on this list of eighteen from the OP, which means that I could probably add another two dozen if I went through all of beebert's posts in this thread.  Some of the claims are ludicrous, others unimaginative and stale, but still others are blasphemous and abominable.  They cause to stumble because they are thrown out there as stumbling blocks. 

Maybe I am far too tolerant of radically opposed views, Mor. All those claims are laughable for the sheer fact of how naive they are. It's all provocation and edginess. There's no depth. It's hard to take any one of them seriously, so maybe that's why I'm OK with beebert getting what he needs off his chest for some kind of catharsis.

I don't necessarily agree these are "thrown out there as stumbling blocks". That doesn't seem to me beebert's intentions. Rather I see a poster who is running a bit too wild and loose with Nietzsche.

Have you read any Nietszche at all? I ask because I'm not sure how you can understand beebert's grandstanding otherwise. I find Nietzsche's interpretation of Christianity rather dated and centered in a late 19th century romantic notion of Europe. I think Nietzsche's excavation of Christianity is more psychological than historical, and while I don't discount psychology as a tool for understanding how the self is formed and works, at the same time I don't privilege it in the way Nietzsche, and apparently beebert, does. The self isn't grounded in psychology, which a positivism of modernism that I have to reject.

In any case, I do find the terminology of slavery and disease (used by beebert here) extremely telling in how it positions Nietzsche. At the beginning of the end of the Enlightenment where it had sufficiently incorporated most discourse to make it impossible not to think like a modernist, while at the same facing historical discontent that made the rise of anti-modernism inevitable. Nietzsche's at the cusp of that and his fixation with hygiene (Christianity is a disease, Greek abandon is health) and colonialistic dominion (we must be conquerors not slaves i.e., like those colonized peoples) demonstrates his inability to truly transcend the Enlightenment pretensions whose limitations he discerned.

Ultimately Christianity isn't one thing. As I said before you can't reduce it to merely an ethic or a disease that afflicts an ubermensch. And speaking of, my view on the ubermensch is "Homeric." He eschews introspection and the internal life. Rather, he is externalized: his emotions well up unrestrained like Nestor talking about Odysseus. He is action not thought. Guile is a strategy for acting, not a way of being. He is happily rooted in history, which is a story he tells to himself to validate who he is. Everything about him, like the Homeric world itself, is visible and exterior. To Nietzsche this betokens life, as opposed to the morbidity of modern cogitation and self-reflection (as he saw it).

Frankly I find such a vision of humanity shallow and nostalgic. It is the pre-philosophical unexamined life, as if interiority is a weakness. Rather than an expression of exuberant life, it's self-limiting and in denial about the subconscious and the numinous.

Ironically, I think there is another tradition of Germanic hero, the Beowulfian kind. He is interior, introspective, in doubt, constantly aware of how most of the world is invisible and dark. Sure Beowulf acts, but he's constantly aware of his own finitude: he knows he's brave and invincible, until, as Tolkien puts it, "the dragon comes" (and it always does). He has a monstrous quality himself and never truly fits into society the way Odysseus does.

So I think Nietzsche got it wrong. It isn't Apollonian versus Dionysian, it's Odysseus versus Beowulf. And Beowulf is the better man. Christ of course going beyond both.

Quote
I would like to believe that these are just so many plaintive cries of a troubled soul looking for God, but God isn't found by opposing him so strenuously and deliberately.  These claims, then, should be opposed, mocked, and exposed, if not for beebert if/when he is ready to hear them, then for the sake of others and for the love of God.  No Orthodox faithful can read any of them and find them acceptable in any way.     
They aren't acceptable views for any Orthodox, of course. I agree. To Purgatory this thread shall go! A Christian forum probably shouldn't have threads like these openly blaspheming God. But like I said, I'm a very tolerant person maybe too much so. However I'm not cynical enough to dismiss what may very well be "genuine cries from a troubled soul". beebert has posted before on despondency and depressed feelings. Just keep in mind though that beebert is drawing from the same well as Nietszche. Maybe mimicking is the better description. I've wondered if Nietszche's animus toward God (and his thing for little girls) was because he could never get a girlfriend. I'm not saying that's true of beebert, his strongly inpenitant malevolence towards God seems rooted elsewhere. But in any case, I think its fair to read Nietszche at times projecting his own feelings of inadequacy. Just look at what he wrote about the poor and oppressed, that they should rise above and conquer the rich and powerful. How nostalgic!
While It is true I highly esteem Nietzsche, you also highly over-estimate his influence on me. He was just good because of his great prose, humour and for the fact that he alone among pathetic atheists tried to come up with a solution to the problem of a Godless world. Even if God exists, the world can appear godless, and to say that I can just make a leap of faith and stand in a true relationship with God is the height of immodesty and falseness. Regarding JamesR, a comparsion is uninteresting since I know almost nothing about him; But I sense the internal movements within your soul that caused you to compare us and draw the conclusion about me that you did. No matter how much I know that you all misunderstand Nietzsche, I dont care to talk about it because I dont care about his Words either in the end. It is not apollonian vs dionysian anymore, but it was. And Nietzsche tried to proclaim true internality rather than some sort of an objective relationship to the world, where just believing this and that, or in the worst case, being indifferent, is crippling. The examined life is what makes life not worth living. The worst are the indifferent who do not examine anything, then comes those who constantly examine, and then one again stops examine, because after one has examined, one realizes how biased a man like Plato really was. Of course Nietzsche didnt get everything about christianity, not even close, be was quite bound by cultural circumstances. In this Case, a Kierkegaard is far better. Imo he shows what a Christian must do, and the demands are so high that it is insane. He thought christisnity to be true and proclaimed the truth of christianity, but he has helped me understand that my Hope is gone, and considering the circumstances, the hideous things that made it this way, I can only make the conclusion that christianity, even if true which it very likely is, is evil.

"Just keep in mind though that beebert is drawing from the same well as Nietszche. Maybe mimicking is the better description. I've wondered if Nietszche's animus toward God (and his thing for little girls) was because he could never get a girlfriend. I'm not saying that's true of beebert, his strongly inpenitant malevolence towards God seems rooted elsewhere"

As I Said, I dont copy and paste from Nietzsche. And no it has nothing to do with girls. I would happily be alone för the rest of my life. Having a child would be evil considering my views
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 04:32:06 AM by beebert »
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Offline beebert

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #298 on: August 04, 2017, 04:28:09 AM »
Why do lies need to be subtle? He's making claims about a corpus of deep reading hundreds of pages long. I know Christians are supposed to read their Bibles, but you're speaking uncharitable nonsense against them by this. If I say that Levin marries Anna Karenina, is that a laugh? To some minds, sure. To a moderate mind invested in the truth, it is nothing clever or even worth tolerating. What would be the point? Now multiply the lies by 100. Now apply them to Christ our God, his Church, and the salvation of humankind your brothers.

But this leads me back to the fact that Recent Convert complained, not about Beebert, but about you fellows' responses to him, which were variously cynical and clever. I wonder if "apply them to Christ our God," above, even moved you? Did you feel awe? Tenderness? Quick concern? Are these emotions of which you're even capable anymore as such bright young men, or only self-regard and the silent laugh?

To lie about God and the Bible is to sow stumbling-blocks for those who would believe and be saved. This is elementary. Only the clever are too smart to see it.
Mock my claims, or better, block me from this site if you all pretend that I am Satan who is looking for souls to drag with me to the flames your God loves to condemn others to. I mean, how can you all let a dangerous soul like mine make you stumble, when your eternal bless is at stake here? You shouldnt even bother, and RobS has far more insight than you here. You shouldnt care about what my words do to your faith, and your faith shouldnt even be effected in the slightest by by words. I did not intend to be a stumble block
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #299 on: August 04, 2017, 04:33:32 AM »
Beebert,

It's a timeless truth: Ultimately nothing, no shiny distraction, no animes, maymays, etc will change your mind or conjure alternatives, until you let love in. Because either you're letting love in, or love's letting itself in.
Love is letting itself in? Is that the same as eternal damnation?
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #300 on: August 04, 2017, 05:33:44 AM »
There  is no doubt for example that nothing external makes one a christian if the internal isnt there first in a deciding way. And with that in consideration it seems like it is often a spiritual rape to Force christianity on others, especially children. Do any of you understand why christianity feels evil to me? Because it doesnt give hope, it eliminates hope. Without christianity - a religion that calls the reason for the suffering of the world man's sinfullness, that is, his guilt - death is for a man without hope at least a last Hope. And that last Hope is eliminated in christianity, that says you Will experience eternal unending torment if you die without Faith. A Faith I can not achieve. So what is despair? It is when the last Hope of dying is eliminated, when a man who wants to stop existing feels that he can not under any circumstances get rid of his existence. And that is a greater suffering than any other
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #301 on: August 04, 2017, 06:09:23 AM »
What is this taunt?

You keep repeating it. Could you possibly explain what it could mean?

I trust in God, therefore I love and guard him. I trust in God, therefore I feel brotherhood with others who would do the same.

Are you trying to say with the hipsters, Let your wife kiss that man or is your love too weak? Just what are you trying to say?

Lies are lies. There are subtle ones, impostering ones, bald ones, ones that prey on past relationship. And endless more. Their father is the Evil One, as Christ explained. But they all are false and slanderous and the faith of the victim of them, this it is not seemly for you to accuse. You are for or against them. The spotlight should be on your choice. Is your faith so strong that you can "make or love a lie" -- that is, either speak it or defend it -- and still feel yourself a pious Christian man?

You should have courage in your convictions! I love true zeal for God. Proclaim the Gospel of Christ even if it leads to martyrdom!

Yes you've established they are lies, we can recognize that. Now what? Christ didn't come for the righteous you know, he came to save sinners.

As a Christian, you need to work on your bedside manners. Kierkegaard was right.

That's right, you hustle off with those goalposts. But a stumblingblock is what much of this thread intended to be.
Here You have examples of what I am talking about; how the Old church actually understood Paul from the Shepard of Hermas :

...the one who has sinned and repented must be taken back. But not repeatedly: for
there is only one repentance for God’s servants
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #302 on: August 04, 2017, 06:37:43 AM »
Here You have examples of what I am talking about; how the Old church actually understood Paul from the Shepard of Hermas :

...the one who has sinned and repented must be taken back. But not repeatedly: for
there is only one repentance for God’s servants

This passage would seem to indicate the opposite of what you are arguing: that even among the most rigorist of the early believers, a Christian could commit a serious sin, repent, and be forgiven by God and reconciled among Christians. And in context the "not repeatedly" has to do with reconciling spouses who have split: the author says a sinful (e.g., adulterous) spouse is to be taken back if they repent, but this is only an obligation the first time, and not a procedure to be done repeatedly. The "one repentance" here then is applicable in that particular situation (according to Hermas).

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02012.htm
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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #303 on: August 04, 2017, 06:48:54 AM »
And as you know, repentance is internal and yet dependant on another person; God. It is also, as hebrews 12 shows possible for it to be too late.

‘I have heard from certain teachers that there is no other repentance beyond that which occurred when we descended into the water and received forgiveness of our previous sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard correctly, for so it is. For the one who has received forgiveness of sins ought never to sin again, but to live in purity....For those who have just now believed, or those who are going to believe do not have repentance for sins, but they do have forgiveness of their previous sins. So, for those who were called before these days the Lord has established repentance....But the Lord, however, who is exceedingly merciful, had mercy on his creation and established this opportunity for repentance...But I am warning you,’ he said, ‘if, after this great and holy call, anyone is tempted by the devil and sins, he has one opportunity for repentance. But if he sins repeatedly and repents, it is of no use for such a person, for he will scarcely live.’ Mandate 4 31.1-6


"But by torturing himself for his sins, he benefits his soul." Strom II.12
How is this healthy, please help me understand that?

A number of early Christians had insisted that those who returned to lives of sin after joining the church had lostany hope of salvation.An alternative view is advanced by Hermas, who maintains, onthe basis of divine revelations, that Christians who have fallenagain into sin after their baptism have a second chance (butonly one second chance) to repent and return to God’s grace. There is a very limited forgiveness


'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #304 on: August 04, 2017, 07:17:16 AM »
And as you know, repentance is internal and yet dependant on another person; God. It is also, as hebrews 12 shows possible for it to be too late.

‘I have heard from certain teachers that there is no other repentance beyond that which occurred when we descended into the water and received forgiveness of our previous sins.’ He said to me, ‘You have heard correctly, for so it is. For the one who has received forgiveness of sins ought never to sin again, but to live in purity....For those who have just now believed, or those who are going to believe do not have repentance for sins, but they do have forgiveness of their previous sins. So, for those who were called before these days the Lord has established repentance....But the Lord, however, who is exceedingly merciful, had mercy on his creation and established this opportunity for repentance...But I am warning you,’ he said, ‘if, after this great and holy call, anyone is tempted by the devil and sins, he has one opportunity for repentance. But if he sins repeatedly and repents, it is of no use for such a person, for he will scarcely live.’ Mandate 4 31.1-6


"But by torturing himself for his sins, he benefits his soul." Strom II.12
How is this healthy, please help me understand that?

A number of early Christians had insisted that those who returned to lives of sin after joining the church had lostany hope of salvation.An alternative view is advanced by Hermas, who maintains, onthe basis of divine revelations, that Christians who have fallenagain into sin after their baptism have a second chance (butonly one second chance) to repent and return to God’s grace. There is a very limited forgiveness

Nobody actually will do that on his own body. Because we love our body as Bible said. Only God can torture us.

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #305 on: August 04, 2017, 07:21:44 AM »
Nobody actually will do that on his own body. Because we love our body as Bible said. Only God can torture us.

Oh good grief.

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #306 on: August 04, 2017, 08:02:58 AM »
Nobody actually will do that on his own body. Because we love our body as Bible said. Only God can torture us.

Oh good grief.

If God accept fasting, torment by evil people (like martyrs), being sick before die (for cleaning of sins and go to Heaven), etc. why not to do that on His own? It is logical.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 08:03:25 AM by Indocern »

Offline Ainnir

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #307 on: August 04, 2017, 08:07:52 AM »
Nobody actually will do that on his own body. Because we love our body as Bible said. Only God can torture us.

Oh good grief.

If God accept fasting, torment by evil people (like martyrs), being sick before die (for cleaning of sins and go to Heaven), etc. why not to do that on His own? It is logical.
I am not going down a rabbit trail.  My response ^^ is all I can/will/want to say to that train of thought.

Offline beebert

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #308 on: August 04, 2017, 08:10:04 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

Offline Indocern

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #309 on: August 04, 2017, 08:20:00 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand

I do that because of the Apostle Paul after I read that this is better for man not touch a woman I understand he thinks exactly like me (no matter I wonder if now I think differently) . But I read it in the protestant book (bible in their translation)...And I start reading more of it, everything from this Apostle I liked deeply and everything about old testament. About Jesus I never think I can like Him enough because I never understood Him.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #310 on: August 04, 2017, 08:57:13 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand
This would seem to be a rather compelling reason to me. If I didn't think it was true, I wouldn't believe it. I don't believe things just because they make me happy or scratch a philosophical itch. I believe them because I think they are true regardless of how uncomfortable the ramifications might be.

I'm a Christian because I've studied a lot about Christ and the early Church and I don't know what to do with all that testimony if it isn't true. It seems like an awful lot of first or second hand testimony that you just have to pretend that they are all hallucinating. I might not like some of it, but I can't discard it purely because I don't like it.
God bless!

Offline beebert

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #311 on: August 04, 2017, 09:07:45 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand
This would seem to be a rather compelling reason to me. If I didn't think it was true, I wouldn't believe it. I don't believe things just because they make me happy or scratch a philosophical itch. I believe them because I think they are true regardless of how uncomfortable the ramifications might be.

I'm a Christian because I've studied a lot about Christ and the early Church and I don't know what to do with all that testimony if it isn't true. It seems like an awful lot of first or second hand testimony that you just have to pretend that they are all hallucinating. I might not like some of it, but I can't discard it purely because I don't like it.
But even if you believe it true, say that you would find that truth to be awful even if it were true, if so, why align yourself with it instead of opposing it and say "Truth is ugly!"? In what way is there benefit in aligning one self with the truth other than the fact that it is true, since it might be ugly?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 09:12:37 AM by beebert »
'Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil' (Exodus 23:2)

Offline RobS

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #312 on: August 04, 2017, 09:21:23 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand
I'm badly paraphrasing this from memory (Fr. Hopko shared this) but there was this saint who was persecuted. And the persecutor told him "How can you believe in such foolishness, such absurdity?" and the saint replied "Become His disciple and you will know!"

So one needs to encounter, experience and live out the Gospel, which for me revealed it as the truth, the way and the life. It is not some cognitive acceptance of a belief statement.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Fr. George

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #313 on: August 04, 2017, 09:34:48 AM »
And as you know, repentance is internal and yet dependant on another person; God.

More than just that.  Repentance is not internal.

Sin (generally speaking) affects both the sinner and the one who was harmed by the sin (knowingly or unknowingly), and the effect is manifested on the sinner in multiple ways: on their own person, on their relationship with God, and on their relationship with others. 

So repentance (the seeking of forgiveness and turnaround of life away from the way of sin) cannot be purely internal (nor is it purely external) - it must manifest itself in the same way in which the sin did: rebuilding the relationship with the one harmed, and reforming the sinner's attitude and relationship to the one harmed, to themselves, and to the Lord.

This is one of the reasons why the conditional forgiveness of the Lord's prayer is so important ("forgive us our trespasses/debts, as we forgive those who trespass against us / have debts to us") - God offers His forgiveness freely, but we ask Him to make it conditional on our forgiveness of others in order to teach us (and propel us) to offer forgiveness freely to others in imitation of Him.

Repentance, then, is both complicated and simple, both easy and difficult.  Our fallibility as humans, though, is why it is always possible.  I'm not sure how you can consistently take the words of the scripture to their most absurd possible personal interpretation when the examples provided demonstrate the opposite perspective to your own: the Thief on the Cross (deserving of death), Peter (denying the Lord even after seeing his power manifest), Paul (blasphemer and persecutor, in his own words), the woman who anointed Jesus's feet, Zaccheus & Matthew (tax collectors), etc. all were great sinners in one way or another, but were forgiven - some even at the last possible moment.  Forgiveness from the Lord is always possible provided that you're able to seek it.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: The apostle Paul - An enemy of life
« Reply #314 on: August 04, 2017, 09:38:49 AM »
Is there any other reason for becoming a Christian than the belief that it is true? Why have all of you decided to be Christians? This is a well meaning question that I am interested to understand
This would seem to be a rather compelling reason to me. If I didn't think it was true, I wouldn't believe it. I don't believe things just because they make me happy or scratch a philosophical itch. I believe them because I think they are true regardless of how uncomfortable the ramifications might be.

I'm a Christian because I've studied a lot about Christ and the early Church and I don't know what to do with all that testimony if it isn't true. It seems like an awful lot of first or second hand testimony that you just have to pretend that they are all hallucinating. I might not like some of it, but I can't discard it purely because I don't like it.
But even if you believe it true, say that you would find that truth to be awful even if it were true, if so, why align yourself with it instead of opposing it and say "Truth is ugly!"? In what way is there benefit in aligning one self with the truth other than the fact that it is true, since it might be ugly?
I suppose I could make up a fairy tale world to believe in where nothing bad happens and no one ever dies, but what is the point in believing in that other than to make myself feel better?

The truth is frightening. It is a yawning chasm with no bottom in sight. The ramifications are scary. That is the way the world and the universe are. Almost 100% of this universe is completely hostile to life. It is but a sliver of a percentage that can sustain life. That is truth. We are a fallen, defective species. That is truth. It is also truth that the Supreme Being also came to redeem this species and that while many will not accept that redemption, some will, and through that redemption, will be divinized and raised to a plane far beyond our current comprehension. That road to redemption is a rocky one, full of perils and struggle and pain. This is reality, this is truth. I prefer to face it head on than retreat to a fictional setting where everyone lives happily ever after. The good news is that despite all this horror, the Supreme Being that came to redeem us, is capable and willing to guide us through all these perils and see us through to the other side.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 09:40:00 AM by TheTrisagion »
God bless!