Author Topic: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?  (Read 1065 times)

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Offline adecarion

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Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« on: May 25, 2018, 01:00:54 PM »
Jesus said to the rich young ruler "Why do you call me good, only God is good." Because Jesus was clothed in sinful flesh. He was righteous because he emptied himself and was filled with God, in the same way that Mary emptied herself and was sinless. Jesus is Good as the second person of the Trinity, unlike Mary.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2018, 04:30:40 PM »
This is not Christologically right. Christ's flesh was prone to corruption as ours, but it was not sinful. He took all of humanity except sin. Also, Christ never ceased being glorious and good God, but the rich man didn't know the man he was bowing to was God, so Christ didn't negate this, but rather proposed him a rhaetorical question so he could find out he was God. This is how Ss. Bede and Theophylact exposed this verse.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2018, 05:18:57 PM »
Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
No.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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

Take a breath, read Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2018, 05:30:25 PM »
Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
No.
I don't believe we sould be so harsh on inquiring people.  You will never get inquiries this way. Unless they are pushing an agenda. It is our duty to correct them in humility.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 05:35:23 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural. 

Offline adecarion

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 07:11:40 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2018, 07:18:36 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?

Define "wrestle?" I don't think the idea that He could have succumbed and sinned is Orthodox, it would have meant ceasing to be God. But I could be wrong. God knows it's a question I've gone back and forth on.

He was still afflicted and assaulted by Satan throwing the temptations at Him, though.
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Offline Sharbel

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2018, 08:48:01 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?

Yes, for 40 days straight (cf. Lk 4:1-13 and Mt 4:1-11).
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2018, 09:24:25 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
No not really. He was an example for us to learn from. The devil didn't know it was god he was trying to tempt in the desert.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 09:25:12 PM by Tzimis »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 12:36:14 AM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 12:37:14 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 02:20:00 AM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.

I'm coming to see it less in terms of perfection (although I know some here do see it that way) and more in terms of what it means for the unified Mind of Christ (with His human will in perfect subjection to His divine will) to have the possibility of sinning. God is not tempted by evil, as it says in James.
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.

Offline adecarion

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 10:17:28 AM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.

I'm coming to see it less in terms of perfection (although I know some here do see it that way) and more in terms of what it means for the unified Mind of Christ (with His human will in perfect subjection to His divine will) to have the possibility of sinning. God is not tempted by evil, as it says in James.

And Jesus was God, so I guess, maybe it is right to say that his divine nature "sanctified" his human nature from Mary. His will was no longer tending towards sin but purified in God. All the temptations he faced were part of that sanctification. I think that Mary's own struggles with sin after the aunnunciation perhaps more to do with "fufilling what is lacking" in the sufferings of Christ. She too had to struggle against temptations and suffer for Christ and with Christ.

I'm a newbie so I am just thinking out loud here, please someone correct me where I am wrong.

Another question this raises, what did Jesus suffer in a temptation that he had no inclination to succumb to? What does it mean for him to sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane?


Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2018, 11:11:03 AM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.

I'm coming to see it less in terms of perfection (although I know some here do see it that way) and more in terms of what it means for the unified Mind of Christ (with His human will in perfect subjection to His divine will) to have the possibility of sinning. God is not tempted by evil, as it says in James.
A lot could be said but "tempt" has more than one meaning in the Scriptures, I think.

Tempted= faced the trial of temptation
Tempted= was successfully tempted to evil/another's will

It's like how in the Lord's prayer we ask not to be led into temptation knowing that God sends/permits temptations, so it probably doesn't mean the first one. Fr. Hopko thought it didn't mean the first one IIRC.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 11:12:12 AM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 04:39:21 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.

I'm coming to see it less in terms of perfection (although I know some here do see it that way) and more in terms of what it means for the unified Mind of Christ (with His human will in perfect subjection to His divine will) to have the possibility of sinning. God is not tempted by evil, as it says in James.
A lot could be said but "tempt" has more than one meaning in the Scriptures, I think.

Tempted= faced the trial of temptation
Tempted= was successfully tempted to evil/another's will

It's like how in the Lord's prayer we ask not to be led into temptation knowing that God sends/permits temptations, so it probably doesn't mean the first one. Fr. Hopko thought it didn't mean the first one IIRC.

Agreed, but that's us, not Jesus. The difference between the two definitions lies more in the response of the subject, doesn't it?

Jesus could still experience the temptation as a source of sorrow and pain and stress (especially to whatever extent He knew that this kind of thing would eventually lead to His death), even if He could not have actually buckled to it. I think it's sort of like how it says not to tempt God or put Him to the test. It's not like we can actually prevail over or coerce all-Powerful God, but I guess we can still somehow grieve Him.
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.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2018, 05:16:35 PM »
Ralph is correct. There is no such thing as a sin nature.  Sin isn't natural.

Thank you for this qualification. So did he wrestle with temptations?
Yes.

Some people believe that to be tempted but resist means to, in some small way, be less perfect. They believe that the pull of temptation impinges on someone's moral perfection. I don't believe this is true or Orthodox.

I'm coming to see it less in terms of perfection (although I know some here do see it that way) and more in terms of what it means for the unified Mind of Christ (with His human will in perfect subjection to His divine will) to have the possibility of sinning. God is not tempted by evil, as it says in James.

And Jesus was God, so I guess, maybe it is right to say that his divine nature "sanctified" his human nature from Mary.

I'm not sure. Some would say that He took on our humanity as it should have been from the beginning, before the Fall. Currently I'm having a hard time threading the needle between that and the heresy of Julianism.

His will was no longer tending towards sin but purified in God.


Seems likely to me in terms of the Communicatio Idiotmatum.

All the temptations he faced were part of that sanctification.

Probably true in a sense (Hebrews 5), though I'm hesitant to guess exactly what sense, heh.

I think that Mary's own struggles with sin after the aunnunciation perhaps more to do with "fufilling what is lacking" in the sufferings of Christ. She too had to struggle against temptations and suffer for Christ and with Christ.

Yeah, but I think with Mary we can say that she definitely did have a fallen nature (since Orthodoxy doesn't have the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception), though through willpower and the Grace of God, she never sinned. Her experience and Christ's would likely have been different.

I'm a newbie so I am just thinking out loud here, please someone correct me where I am wrong.

I'll try, but I'm not (yet) Orthodox and need correction a lot my self lol!

Another question this raises, what did Jesus suffer in a temptation that he had no inclination to succumb to? What does it mean for him to sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane?

If you try to punch me, but you miss or there's a miracle and your fist passes right through me like a ghost, I'm not going to be physically hurt but I'm still going to be disturbed that you would try to hurt me and I'd want to diffuse the situation for both our sakes (at least I hope that would be my reaction).

I think that He was highly grieved by all this suffering and His desire to save us from it (Matthew 23:37 comes to my mind, as does Jesus weeping for Lazarus). He didn't want to suffer and die, in some sense, but He also didn't want to see us suffering from sin.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:17:43 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.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2018, 10:27:49 PM »
I don't think that if you can be tempted, then you can give into temptation. I don't think that has to follow.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2018, 10:30:08 PM »
I don't think that if you can be tempted, then you can give into temptation. I don't think that has to follow.

I think we agree on that.
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.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2018, 10:49:28 PM »
I don't think that if you can be tempted, then you can give into temptation. I don't think that has to follow.

I think that’s the point of the original question.  What does “wrestle with” or “struggle with” temptations mean?  For some it means to “give into temptation”, which clearly you don’t think that’s what it means.  So we are dealing with semantic issues.

Btw, +1 on your last post.
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Offline WPM

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2018, 01:08:16 PM »
Looks like you have to have the full meal deal or the whole enchilada to be Orthodox.
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2018, 12:12:17 PM »
Here is an Excerpt  from a longer paper from  the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada, Father George that explains it pretty well:
"Church Fathers preached the Divinity of Christ. Saint Eirinaeos, emphasizing that his faith was received from the Holy Apostles and their disciples, believes, "in one God, Father Almighty, and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Incarnate for our salvation." And he confirms that the Son of God is truly God. And he continues, "If man had not been joined to God (i.e., united in Christ), he would not have been able to partake of incorruption."

We find the same teaching about the Divinity of Christ--His Divine nature--in Saint Gregory of Nyssa, in Saint Basil the Great, in Saint John Chrysostom, in Saint Cyril of Alexandria, in Saint Athanasius the Great, and in many other holy Fathers of the Church. The Holy Fathers explain that the Son is not the same Person as the Father, and that with His Incarnation, the Son did not suffer "change or alteration." He remains perfect God and perfect man.

Let us now look a bit at the human nature of Christ. We must first emphasize that He is the Son and Logos (Word) of God made man. Saint John clearly tells us, "The Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). Saint Paul tells us, that the Incarnate Word is in all things like us human beings, with a soul, body, rationally uncorrupted passion, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc., "similar in all things to us" but "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Christ Himself calls Himself "the Son of Man," in this way declaring that He is perfect man. He also acknowledges that He is descended from David. In the Epistle to the Hebrews (2:10-15), Saint Paul tells us, among other things, "since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death He might destroy him who had dominion over death, that is the Devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage." Since human beings are comprised of flesh and blood, so likewise the Son and Word of God assumed the same elements. Saint Paul tells us further that Christ assumed flesh and blood also that by His death as man, He could defeat the Devil, who has the power of death; so that He could destroy death, "by death trampling down death."

The Church Holy Fathers Saints Gregory Nazianzen, John Chrysostom, John Damascene, and Athanasius the Great in their teaching agree that Christ "became man in nature and in truth and assumed human nature with all of its properties." Not another kind of flesh, but the same with which we are all afflicted."

This scriptural teaching about the human nature of Christ and His condescending to humanity is summarized in the Third Article of the Nicene Creed, which states, "Who for us and our salvation descended from Heaven and became Incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man."

We must state here in very simple terms that although the Son and Word of God became Perfect Man, He became truly perfect, which means He became man without sin, just as Adam and Eve were originally created as sinless beings. Christ has no connection with sin, which entered man through the intervention of Satan.

Although the Son and Logos (Word) of God became man and is God-man, His two natures remain distinct. One does not absorb the other. The two natures are distinct and separate, united in the same Person, Christ. He is "dual in nature, but one Person." Two natures, One Person.

His human nature united with His Divine nature becomes itself divinized, without, of course, passing beyond its limits or ceasing to be human. In this way, united with Christ we become divine in the moral sense and are saved. Our human nature becomes divine, without, of course, it being altered, or participating in the divine nature."
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Offline adecarion

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2018, 05:51:15 PM »

We must state here in very simple terms that although the Son and Word of God became Perfect Man, He became truly perfect, which means He became man without sin, just as Adam and Eve were originally created as sinless beings. Christ has no connection with sin, which entered man through the intervention of Satan.

Although the Son and Logos (Word) of God became man and is God-man, His two natures remain distinct. One does not absorb the other. The two natures are distinct and separate, united in the same Person, Christ. He is "dual in nature, but one Person." Two natures, One Person.

His human nature united with His Divine nature becomes itself divinized, without, of course, passing beyond its limits or ceasing to be human. In this way, united with Christ we become divine in the moral sense and are saved. Our human nature becomes divine, without, of course, it being altered, or participating in the divine nature."

Isn't this at least one reason the Orthodox reject the IC of Mary? If Mary was immaculately concieved, she would have a different ontological status and therefore cease to be human in the same way we are human. But when it comes to Jesus, he is able to be created sinless without compromising our salvation? I understand he didn't choose to sin, but isn't this the same as Mary's choosing not to sin?

I am still struggling on this point. I will try and phrase again.

What is the difference between Mary and Christ, if they are both sinless? BESIDES the fact that Jesus was divine. I am asking about their humanity. And again, how are they sinless and still human in the SAME way that we are human.

Also, is Jesus MORE sinless than Mary. Meaning, does Jesus fufill the Law and the Prophets more than his mother? Is he offering his life to God in perfection on behalf of humanity in a way that Mary did not?

Now I know that Jesus was the life of the world and therefore could offer the life of this world where as Mary couldn't. I am aware that Jesus was the only one who could save humanity by virtue of his being divine. But, as a Protestant I was taught that Jesus was the only one who was truly righteous. He fufills what humanity could have fufilled but did not fufill.

If the answer I receive from the Church is that Mary and Jesus were equally free of personal sin, then I have to acknowledge that Mary is not saved from God's wrath, but rather from death itself. She is not forgiven of her sins in Christ (she had none). Her experience of salvation is entirely different from mine.

BTW I am asking sincerely. I want to become Orthodox, and even if the answer to this question befuddles my theological assumptions, I will most likely still enter the Church.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2018, 07:18:46 PM »
Western Christianity has attached guilt to the theory of original sin. We orthodox do not ascribe the same meaning to original sin. So in our veiw Christ,  the Virgin Mary and all humans dont have sin ingrained into our nature.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 07:19:18 PM by Tzimis »

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Is this an Orthodox view of Christ's dual nature?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 11:22:05 PM »
First, I don't endorse everything in Thomas's post and I think some of it (like becoming divine in the moral sense) is odd or incomplete.

If Mary was immaculately concieved, she would have a different ontological status and therefore cease to be human in the same way we are human.
Why do you think that if Mary was immaculately conceived, she would have a different ontological status and therefore cease to be human in the same way we are human?

I was taught that Jesus was the only one who was truly righteous.
Correct.

If the answer I receive from the Church is that Mary and Jesus were equally free of personal sin, then I have to acknowledge that Mary is not saved from God's wrath, but rather from death itself.
Oh, ok. So the thought is that for every individual sin there's some kind of wrath incurred, and if Mary has no personal sin, there's no wrath? That might be part of the problem, don't think I'd buy that. Seems like she suffered wrath, Mary the Israelite, the mother, etc.

She is not forgiven of her sins in Christ (she had none). [so] Her experience of salvation is entirely different from mine.
Why do you say that?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 11:24:17 PM by NicholasMyra »
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.