Author Topic: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.  (Read 7597 times)

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Offline Xavier

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Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« on: September 30, 2017, 01:29:40 AM »
It is written in the Prophets, "Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?" (Isa 66:7). This text, which plainly foretells an Immaculate Virgin free of guilt giving birth without pain, as so many of the holy Fathers (including St. Damascene and St. Augustine) explicitly point out, also necessitates something more - in light of God imposing in Genesis the pangs of childbirth as a consequence of Eves transgression, it follows that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was in no way subject to the curse of Eve by nature. Otherwise She would have given birth in pain. Her lack of it is a sign from God of Her being created sinless, just like Eve was before the fall. In other words, Mary is really and truly in every sense the New Eve who was created immaculate and from whom, of the Spirit, a new regenerated humanity would be born of whom She would be the mother, as Eve was meant to be. Does the Orthodox Church believe Mary had no birth pangs?

And if so, doesnt it have obvious implications for the Immaculate conception, in light of the Genesis curse of sin?
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 01:30:50 AM by Xavier »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 11:09:45 PM »
Yes, she had no pains. No, it has nothing to do with the IC, except that the New Eve was bearing the New Adam, the only one conceived without sin.

So, what words are you trying to shove into the mouths of St. John and St. Augustine?
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Offline CarolS

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 10:11:55 AM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 10:20:01 AM by CarolS »
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 10:37:41 AM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.

+1
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 11:52:57 AM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.

+1
The Mother of God is sinless, the doctrine of the immaculate conception is another story.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 11:55:43 AM by Vanhyo »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 01:59:23 PM »

She is sinless by choice...HER choice....and we love her for it.
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Offline Vanhyo

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 04:31:46 PM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.
Btw that is a horrible post, someone should delete/edit this comment and all replies containing the quote of it
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 04:32:57 PM by Vanhyo »

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 04:34:26 PM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.
Btw that is a horrible post, someone should delete/edit this comment and all replies containing the quote of it

That's how I feel about most of your posts, but we still allow you a voice.  Back off.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 05:13:07 PM »
Birth without pain is a blessing from God, but not proof of sinlessness. A woman at my church gave birth without any pain (and no medical intervention or drugs) It is rare, but possible. A different woman, a college friend of mine, thought she needed to use the toilet, sat down and her baby just slipped out. No birth labor at all.

+2
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 05:15:19 PM »
I think I could deliver a baby standing on my head and not have much pain. I am very-very-very far from sinless.

Offline William T

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 05:22:15 PM »
I think I could deliver a baby standing on my head and not have much pain. I am very-very-very far from sinless.

lol, that made me think of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbybWIMJHwU

Anyway, Christ Himself gave an analogy of the pains of birth and the joy that came afterwards, so there is that.  Due to Eve's curse, I guess a lack of birth pains could be a sign of Christ's birth and Holiness, but that's about it.  It is certainly no proof.

Were I to speculate how Antichrist would be born it would be in a very violent birth or a kind of ultra clean sedated "mock" painless dehumanized birth, not sure what that means...just throwing it out there.

EDIT
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:29:56 PM by William T »

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 05:32:42 PM »
I heard that it referred to Israel, haven't looked at it since I started going to Orthodox church.
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Offline Ainnir

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 05:42:52 PM »
I think I could deliver a baby standing on my head and not have much pain. I am very-very-very far from sinless.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 05:45:49 PM »
The prophecy in Isaiah does suggest that the Theotokos did suffer from the usual pain after having given birth, does it not?  I would read that as a reaffirmation of both her natural humanity and that of Jesus Christ, who is perfectly human and perfectly divine, simultaneously, in His incarnate nature (or, if you prefer, in Chalcedonian terminology, according to the hypostatic union of the human and divine natures in one incarnate hypostasis)

*This I would note with some amusement is the first case I have encountered in discussing Christology where the Chalcedonian terminology, while still, I believe, functionally synonymous with the Oriental Orthodox terminology, was noticeably longer and more complex; usually the two are equivalent, and on one occasion I found Chalcedonian terminology easier to employ.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 05:48:33 PM »
It is written in the Prophets, "Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?" (Isa 66:7). This text, which plainly foretells an Immaculate Virgin free of guilt giving birth without pain, as so many of the holy Fathers (including St. Damascene and St. Augustine) explicitly point out, also necessitates something more - in light of God imposing in Genesis the pangs of childbirth as a consequence of Eves transgression, it follows that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was in no way subject to the curse of Eve by nature. Otherwise She would have given birth in pain. Her lack of it is a sign from God of Her being created sinless, just like Eve was before the fall. In other words, Mary is really and truly in every sense the New Eve who was created immaculate and from whom, of the Spirit, a new regenerated humanity would be born of whom She would be the mother, as Eve was meant to be. Does the Orthodox Church believe Mary had no birth pangs?

And if so, doesnt it have obvious implications for the Immaculate conception, in light of the Genesis curse of sin?

This story is about Zion. But all saints are sinless.

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 06:46:21 PM »
But all saints are sinless.

Yeah, let's not start down that rabbit hole again, thanks.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2017, 08:41:57 PM »
Loving the responses from the women here. :D
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 10:12:42 PM »
Painless? Sure. Hymen intact? Why not. IC and/or Jesus teleported out of the womb? Nope
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 10:13:06 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2017, 12:26:05 AM »
But she is most honest on the heaven.

Offline Sharbel

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2017, 09:59:53 PM »
... it follows that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was in no way subject to the curse of Eve by nature.
That's your mistaken assumption, that human nature is cursed.  If it is, indeed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception may be necessary, lest Our Lord have inherited it too, which would be absurd.  But, if it isn't, then this dogma is unnecessary and the greatness of the voluntary sinlessness of the Mother of God may be preserved and proclaimed.

So, by veering down an erroneous path of theological speculation without reference to the witness of the plurality of Fathers, the Roman Church put itself in a corner and concocted a dogma to extricate itself, as usual.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 10:02:13 PM by Sharbel »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2017, 02:58:34 PM »
... it follows that the Immaculate Virgin Mary was in no way subject to the curse of Eve by nature.
That's your mistaken assumption, that human nature is cursed.  If it is, indeed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception may be necessary, lest Our Lord have inherited it too, which would be absurd.  But, if it isn't, then this dogma is unnecessary and the greatness of the voluntary sinlessness of the Mother of God may be preserved and proclaimed.

So, by veering down an erroneous path of theological speculation without reference to the witness of the plurality of Fathers, the Roman Church put itself in a corner and concocted a dogma to extricate itself, as usual.

Sorry but to me this makes no sense. First, it assumes the mechanism of the Curse is biological and genetic: this is neither Scriptural nor sensible. Second, it is absurd to say if the Theotokos were uncursed, neither would Christ be -- since if this were the mechanism that lifts the Curse, St. Ann would need to have been immaculately conceived to uncurse the Theotokos -- ad infinitum. Third, the same would make St. Ann the Curse-breaker of women, the New Eve. Fourth, would be lost the cleansing, healing, saving power of the infant Lord in the womb. Fifth is the implication that to bear the Curse is guilty, when of Christ himself it was written, "Cursed is he for our sake."
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Offline Quinault

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2017, 04:46:30 PM »
The capability to give birth without pain is biologically possible for some women. The ability to give birth easily is there for some women. I generally undergo pretty minimal pain compared to the average woman, and I have an ability to give birth easily compared to the majority of women. My ability to do the second is due to the fact that I have a connective tissue issue that makes nearly all my joints hypermobile. The "sunny side up" delivery is one of the hardest deliveries a woman can have because spine to spine doesn't work very well. Most women (no matter how many babies they've had) either take extra time to deliver, or need assistance to deliver a baby in that particular position (some women just can't deliver an OP baby at all). Our last baby was what they call a "persistent occipit posterior" delivery (this means my labor and my delivery were with her in that position), and I was able to do it surprisingly easily and quickly. The trade off being that at the end of pregnancy, and months after delivery I literally have to wear a belt around my hips to keep them from subluxating with each step I take. For me delivery is relatively easy, walking is hard.

The Theotokos chose not to sin, and I think that is an important distinction. If she didn't struggle the way the rest of us struggle, it would have been easy for her to make that choice. Knowing that she struggled as we did, and yet chose not to fall into sin is an inspiration.

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2017, 05:59:53 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 06:07:20 PM by mcarmichael »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2017, 06:07:31 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about it.

We don't assign the glory of God to anyone.  God does. 

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2017, 06:54:48 PM »
We don't assign the glory of God to anyone.  God does.
Well that settles it.
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2017, 07:25:52 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.

If you're intent on interpreting "all" and "erred" in such a technical and absolute way, then you also have to explain Jesus and Job. As you've been told before.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2017, 07:41:25 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.

If you're intent on interpreting "all" and "erred" in such a technical and absolute way, then you also have to explain Jesus and Job. As you've been told before.
Why would I need to explain Jesus? What are you suggesting?
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2017, 07:59:45 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.

If you're intent on interpreting "all" and "erred" in such a technical and absolute way, then you also have to explain Jesus and Job. As you've been told before.
Why would I need to explain Jesus? What are you suggesting?

Jesus aside- Job, Abraham, Zacharias, and Elizabeth are all described as keeping the Law perfectly. How do you reconcile that with such an all-encompassing reading of Romans?
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2017, 08:05:34 PM »
Painless? Sure. Hymen intact? Why not. IC and/or Jesus teleported out of the womb? Nope

I don't get the obsession over hymens promulgated by churchmen.   

YES!  She's a wonderful woman, even though we generally despise women, this one is great!  Now, let's peer between her legs, shall we?

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2017, 08:05:42 PM »
We don't assign the glory of God to anyone.  God does.
Well that settles it.

Yeah, I usually do.

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2017, 08:12:48 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.

If you're intent on interpreting "all" and "erred" in such a technical and absolute way, then you also have to explain Jesus and Job. As you've been told before.
Why would I need to explain Jesus? What are you suggesting?

Jesus aside- Job, Abraham, Zacharias, and Elizabeth are all described as keeping the Law perfectly. How do you reconcile that with such an all-encompassing reading of Romans?
Aha! Because in Jesus we have the forgiveness of sins. Have you heard about that?
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2017, 08:19:05 PM »
Painless? Sure. Hymen intact? Why not. IC and/or Jesus teleported out of the womb? Nope

I don't get the obsession over hymens promulgated by churchmen.   

YES!  She's a wonderful woman, even though we generally despise women, this one is great!  Now, let's peer between her legs, shall we?


I definitely share the sentiment.

Nowadays I think I can kind of accept it as a condescension by God to the beliefs of the time (the ancients knew of no other way to determine virginity, even though modern medicine knows that the hymen doesn't always work like that). Old thread in which Mor schooled me on it: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=63097.0


Now, whether it's actually important that Christ be born of a virgin is a different question/debate, but the Apostles sure thought it was so I guess I'm willing to go along.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2017, 08:23:31 PM »
Yet the Apostle Paul quoth: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
This is where it gets sticky, imho. We cannot assign the glory of God to Mary, however honest she may have been. I guess that's how i see it, what I don't like about saying she was without sin.

If you're intent on interpreting "all" and "erred" in such a technical and absolute way, then you also have to explain Jesus and Job. As you've been told before.
Why would I need to explain Jesus? What are you suggesting?

Jesus aside- Job, Abraham, Zacharias, and Elizabeth are all described as keeping the Law perfectly. How do you reconcile that with such an all-encompassing reading of Romans?
Aha! Because in Jesus we have the forgiveness of sins. Have you heard about that?

Sure. "Abraham believed and it was counted to him for righteousness." Though Paul seems to think he had some measure of perfection even before his conversion (see Philippians 3).

Putting that aside though, even if we use a grace through faith explanation for Abraham, why not use it also for the Theotokos?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:25:35 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2017, 08:27:03 PM »

Nowadays I think I can kind of accept it as a condescension by God to the beliefs of the time (the ancients knew of no other way to determine virginity, even though modern medicine knows that the hymen doesn't always work like that). Old thread in which Mor schooled me on it: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=63097.0


Mor Ephrem schooled you? haha!
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2017, 08:44:48 PM »
Painless? Sure. Hymen intact? Why not. IC and/or Jesus teleported out of the womb? Nope

I don't get the obsession over hymens promulgated by churchmen.   

YES!  She's a wonderful woman, even though we generally despise women, this one is great!  Now, let's peer between her legs, shall we?

It goes both ways, though, doesn't it? Some churchmen write some flowery language and people just can't seem to get past it.

"That's not how things work! It's absurd!" they say, as though Christianity is not absurd to the world. "How could anyone profess something so unscientific?"
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:45:51 PM by Hawkeye »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2017, 08:45:42 PM »
Putting that aside though, even if we use a grace through faith explanation for Abraham, why not use it also for the Theotokos?
I mean, you do realize that Noah wasn't ever an Israelite, right?
I'm just not sure how to take your question. Why not? I don't know.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:48:36 PM by mcarmichael »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2017, 08:59:01 PM »

Nowadays I think I can kind of accept it as a condescension by God to the beliefs of the time (the ancients knew of no other way to determine virginity, even though modern medicine knows that the hymen doesn't always work like that). Old thread in which Mor schooled me on it: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=63097.0


Mor Ephrem schooled you? haha!

Rather depends on what he's talking about, I find. He's a smart dude, I just don't agree with him on everything.

Putting that aside though, even if we use a grace through faith explanation for Abraham, why not use it also for the Theotokos?
I mean, you do realize that Noah wasn't ever an Israelite, right?
Nor were Enoch and Adam, what's your point?

I'm just not sure how to take your question. Why not? I don't know.

Well, you said that the Theotokos can't be sinless because of Romans 3:23. I'm not sure I see a real conflict.

To me it reads as either a. A general statement with room for exceptions like the Biblical worthies we both mentioned

and/or b. An affirmation that her sinlessness was derived from the grace of God due to her great faith.
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2017, 09:03:22 PM »
Well, you said that the Theotokos can't be sinless because of Romans 3:23. I'm not sure I see a real conflict.

To me it reads as either a. A general statement with room for exceptions like the Biblical worthies we both mentioned

and/or b. An affirmation that her sinlessness was derived from the grace of God due to her great faith.

So you read Romans 3:23 as an affirmation that Mary was without sin? I'm not sure that we have much more to discuss, then.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2017, 09:16:56 PM »
Well, you said that the Theotokos can't be sinless because of Romans 3:23. I'm not sure I see a real conflict.

To me it reads as either a. A general statement with room for exceptions like the Biblical worthies we both mentioned

and/or b. An affirmation that her sinlessness was derived from the grace of God due to her great faith.

So you read Romans 3:23 as an affirmation that Mary was without sin? I'm not sure that we have much more to discuss, then.

I read it as allowing that, at the very least, she would be a sinner if it weren't for the grace of God on her life from the moment of her birth (ditto for anybody else in the Bible that was sinless to any extent). I don't see it as necessarily being an exact descriptor of everybody in the universe at all times and places.

Remember, the early chapters of Romans serve a very specific purpose as an extended argument against the haughty Jewish Christians in the church at Rome who thought that they could achieve some kind of perfection without the grace of God over and against those filthy Gentiles.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:18:04 PM by Volnutt »
Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2017, 09:20:05 PM »
Well, you said that the Theotokos can't be sinless because of Romans 3:23. I'm not sure I see a real conflict.

To me it reads as either a. A general statement with room for exceptions like the Biblical worthies we both mentioned

and/or b. An affirmation that her sinlessness was derived from the grace of God due to her great faith.

So you read Romans 3:23 as an affirmation that Mary was without sin? I'm not sure that we have much more to discuss, then.

I read it as allowing that, at the very least, she would be a sinner if it weren't for the grace of God on her life from the moment of her birth (ditto for anybody else in the Bible that was sinless to any extent). I don't see it as necessarily being an exact descriptor of everybody in the universe at all times and places.

Remember, the early chapters of Romans serve a very specific purpose as an extended argument against the haughty Jewish Christians in the church at Rome who thought that they could achieve some kind of perfection without the grace of God over and against those filthy Gentiles.

Well, i find all of that unnecessary. Besides, I thought I already explained that the issue is that you're assigning ("ascribing" perhaps) to Mary the glory of God. It's not about statistics, hombre. We already say each Sunday: "Only thou art holy, to the glory of the Father", or some such verbage. I'm not actually Orthodox yet, so I can't be held responsible.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:26:25 PM by mcarmichael »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2017, 09:26:17 PM »
Well, you said that the Theotokos can't be sinless because of Romans 3:23. I'm not sure I see a real conflict.

To me it reads as either a. A general statement with room for exceptions like the Biblical worthies we both mentioned

and/or b. An affirmation that her sinlessness was derived from the grace of God due to her great faith.

So you read Romans 3:23 as an affirmation that Mary was without sin? I'm not sure that we have much more to discuss, then.

I read it as allowing that, at the very least, she would be a sinner if it weren't for the grace of God on her life from the moment of her birth (ditto for anybody else in the Bible that was sinless to any extent). I don't see it as necessarily being an exact descriptor of everybody in the universe at all times and places.

Remember, the early chapters of Romans serve a very specific purpose as an extended argument against the haughty Jewish Christians in the church at Rome who thought that they could achieve some kind of perfection without the grace of God over and against those filthy Gentiles.

Well, i find all of that unnecessary.

Why? The Early Post-Apostolic Church (at least beginning with St. Irenaeus, supposedly two steps removed from the Apostle John who took her into his home following the Crucifixion) seems to have considered her sinless. There must have been a good reason.

And what was your point about those described as perfect in the Bible? That at the very least needs to be harmonized with Romans 3:23, and I think I just did a passable job of it (open to correction).




Just saw your ETA: I'm not ascribing the glory of God to her. Nobody thinks her (or Noah's or Job's or whoever's) sinlessness was some feat of strength of her own outside of God's grace. Remember who Paul is responding to when he wrote that.



In response to your second ETA: So, now you're trying to set Orthodox theology against itself? That seems like a nonstarter. The point of the hymn is that only Jesus is Holy in Himself, it's got nothing to do with Him making anybody else holy by association. I think it was St. Athanasius (?) who said that we are to become by grace what Christ is by nature.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:33:20 PM by Volnutt »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2017, 09:38:16 PM »

In response to your second ETA: So, now you're trying to set Orthodox theology against itself? That seems like a nonstarter. The point of the hymn is that only Jesus is Holy in Himself, it's got nothing to do with Him making anybody else holy by association. I think it was St. Athanasius (?) who said that we are to become by grace what Christ is by nature.

I'm glad that you caught my edits.
Anyway, I've heard varying accounts regarding the Theotokos, so I'm not sure which Orthodox theology (theologumen, maybe?) you're referring.
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2017, 09:47:40 PM »

In response to your second ETA: So, now you're trying to set Orthodox theology against itself? That seems like a nonstarter. The point of the hymn is that only Jesus is Holy in Himself, it's got nothing to do with Him making anybody else holy by association. I think it was St. Athanasius (?) who said that we are to become by grace what Christ is by nature.

I'm glad that you caught my edits.
Anyway, I've heard varying accounts regarding the Theotokos, so I'm not sure which Orthodox theology (theologumen, maybe?) you're referring.

From what I can tell, St. John Chrysostom is the only Father who seriously questions her sinlessness. Other Fathers like St. Gregory Palamas are talking about her being confused, saddened, etc. especially at the foot of the Cross.

http://www.sttikhonsmonastery.org/sinlessness.html

https://oca.org/questions/saints/sinlessness-of-mary

http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/5916-question-about-the-sinlessness-of-the-theotokos/
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2017, 09:50:47 PM »
From what I can tell, St. John Chrysostom is the only Father who seriously questions her sinlessness. Other Fathers like St. Gregory Palamas are talking about her being confused, saddened, etc. especially at the foot of the Cross.
The point is that it isn't dogma. Dogma goes the other way, imho.

Also, I really don't understand your difficulty with Elizabeth, or her husband, or Nathan, or whoever being "blameless" before God, because I already explained that if your sins have been forgiven, you are blameless. Perhaps their sins were ascribed to the evil one? It's not a stretch, really.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 10:01:02 PM by mcarmichael »
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Re: Mary's lack of birth pangs proves Her absolute sinlessness.
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2017, 10:03:08 PM »
It's not a stretch, really.
It was as easy, if not easier, than suggesting that Mary was herself without sin, or any of the things which you've suggested. IMO.
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