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Author Topic: The Spiral of Violence  (Read 8498 times) Average Rating: 0
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ozgeorge
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« on: December 02, 2005, 07:20:05 AM »

We now talk of 9/11 the way we once talked of the Incarnation. We speak of a “pre 9/11” and “post 9/11” world the way we once spoke of BC and AD.

I don’t like the “post 9/11 world”, and I’m starting to think it is a mental construct that we can deconstruct again.

It saddens me to think that there are children being born who may never think that there is an alternative to the “post 9/11 world”.

Thinly disguised wars of revenge……
Fighting tyranny and oppression with tyrannical and oppressive means…….
Combating single-minded and ruthless fanaticism by becoming equally fanatical and ruthless…..
Is it helping or merely prolonging the cycle of violence?

Is there an alternative to this clash of Muslim and Christian and Jewish fundamentalisms?

I fear that if we don’t sort it out ourselves soon, then there will be every reason for Mankind to reject any form of religion as breeding violence…and wouldn’t they be justified?
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2005, 07:30:00 AM »

Is there an alternative to this clash of Muslim and Christian and Jewish fundamentalisms?   

Is there an end to the clash between peoples?  I hope so!

Will there be an end to the idealogical (sp?) clash between the religions?  I doubt it.  As long as all three still have fundamental differences in WHO THEY WORSHIP, then there will be differences in how we think of one another.

To paraphrase my bishop, Metropolitan MAXIMOS, anyone who says that the moslems worship the same god that we do preaches heresy; the difference is easy - the god of Islam has no love.  Our God is a god of Love.

I wish more people would treat moslems and jews with Love and respect; things that all creatures of God deserve.  But as far as tolerance of their beliefs: well, I think we both agree that there is One Church, One Faith.  Anything outside that One Church and One Faith needs to be brought into line with the One, the Body of Christ.  We just need to do it through Love, not violence.

I won't condemn war in general, though.  We do have cases where war was necessary for the good of mankind.  But I won't comment on the current situation (don't want to break the rules now).
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2005, 07:35:49 AM »

I fear that if we don’t sort it out ourselves soon, then there will be every reason for Mankind to reject any form of religion as breeding violence…and wouldn’t they be justified?

It depends on what means with the word justified. Justified in their minds, certainly, but how is this different from any other time? Did not Adam and Eve reject God, and yet feel justified in their own minds? Times will change, religion may beome more or less popular; I highly doubt, however, that there will ever be a truly justifiable reason to reject it as a race. Those who use current events as evidence are largely the same group of people that would reject it under any circumstances whatsoever; it's just an excuse.
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2005, 07:39:41 AM »

ÂÂÂ  But as far as tolerance of their beliefs: well, I think we both agree that there is One Church, One Faith.ÂÂÂ  

I agree there is One Church, but how is there One Faith? Judaism is a Faith, Islam is a Faith. The fact that you and I consider them erroneous or incomplete Faiths is immaterial, they are still Faiths.
Isn't it exactly what I said about fighting fanaticism by becoming fanatical ourselves to say that Christianity should be the only Faith tolerated?
Isn't this exactly where the problem lies and why this spiral of violence keeps perpetuating?
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2005, 07:40:37 AM »

It depends on what means with the word justified. Justified in their minds, certainly, but how is this different from any other time? Did not Adam and Eve reject God, and yet feel justified in their own minds? Times will change, religion may beome more or less popular; I highly doubt, however, that there will ever be a truly justifiable reason to reject it as a race. Those who use current events as evidence are largely the same group of people that would reject it under any circumstances whatsoever; it's just an excuse. 

Not to justify the excuses that people use to reject religion, but when we who claim to be religious fail to live out the wonderful and truly rich spirituality that comes with our faith (and I am culprit #1, to be sure), then we don't actually witness to our religion, but rather to a bastardization of it.  As such, 99% of what these people reject as "religion" is at best half the story; they never get to see the whole picture.  Of course, many would probably be more vehement in their rejection of religion if they saw it in its fullest form and best practice (see Jesus, perfect man, perfect God).
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2005, 07:42:00 AM »

It I highly doubt, however, that there will ever be a truly justifiable reason to reject it as a race.
Doesn't our Scripture foretell a Great Apostasy?
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2005, 07:45:43 AM »

Of course, many would probably be more vehement in their rejection of religion if they saw it in its fullest form and best practice (see Jesus, perfect man, perfect God).

Exactly what I am saying. Rejecting the religion because of imperfect followers is most definately an excuse, because if they saw a perfect follower, they'd not be any "merrier" about things. (Not to dimisnish, of course, the fact that we sin when we give a false image of our belief)
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2005, 07:46:56 AM »

Doesn't our Scripture foretell a Great Apostasy?

Yes, but not a truly justified Apostasy.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2005, 07:47:20 AM »

I agree there is One Church, but how is there One Faith? Judaism is a Faith, Islam is a Faith. The fact that you and I consider them erroneous or incomplete Faiths is immaterial, they are still Faiths.
Isn't it exactly what I said about fighting fanaticism by becoming fanatical ourselves to say that Christianity should be the only Faith tolerated?
Isn't this exactly where the problem lies and why this spiral of violence keeps perpetuating?

Maybe I should be more explicit: the fact of One Church and One Truth necessitates only one True Faith; but the One True Faith is one that forbids us from violence against our brothers (you know, the whole "love your enemies" thing). 

So when I say we can't tolerate their (now-better defined) "False Faith," it means that we shouldn't stop telling them that the things they believe (holy jihad, Jesus not being God, etc.) are wrong (versus the lovey-dovey version of "everybody is okay in what they believe").  But attacking the Faith should never be seen as attacking the people; then again, this is what people predicate their holy wars upon. 

Of course, I highly doubt that their true inner motivation for these wars is actually religious; I think more often it's xenophobia, or a desire for power, or cultural hatred, or whatever.  But this is an untestable hypothesis at the moment.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2005, 07:50:21 AM »

(Not to dimisnish, of course, the fact that we sin when we give a false image of our belief) 

This is almost the worse crime in the whole situation; for we help fuel the fire by not being the Christians that we are intended to be.  (Again, not to justify the cycle of violence.)
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2005, 07:53:04 AM »

So when I say we can't tolerate their (now-better defined) "False Faith," it means that we shouldn't stop telling them that the things they believe (holy jihad, Jesus not being God, etc.) are wrong (versus the lovey-dovey version of "everybody is okay in what they believe").ÂÂ  But attacking the Faith should never be seen as attacking the people; then again, this is what people predicate their holy wars upon.ÂÂ  

"Attacking their Faith"Huh Shocked If you truly believe this, then why don't you attack the Faith of MBZ, a frequent poster here, a good friend, and a Jew, every time he pops in to OCnet? Are you just being "lovey-dovey" towards him?
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2005, 07:55:18 AM »

Of course, I highly doubt that their true inner motivation for these wars is actually religious; I think more often it's xenophobia, or a desire for power, or cultural hatred, or whatever.ÂÂ  But this is an untestable hypothesis at the moment.

I'd vote for the desire for power. If you look at the infighting, it seems to indicate the xenophobia and cultural hatred may be as much a bluff as religion. And of course, as Saint John Chrysostom said, "The desire to rule is the mother of heresies."
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2005, 08:02:09 AM »

"Attacking their Faith"Huh Shocked If you truly believe this, then why don't you attack the Faith of MBZ, a frequent poster here, a good friend, and a Jew, every time he pops in to OCnet? Are you just being "lovey-dovey" towards him?

I have no reason to attack his beliefs at the moment.  But I'm not going to pretend that either I or my Orthodox Faith believes that the beliefs of Judaism represent the True Faith, which we have "found... by our worshipping the Undivided Trinity, Who has saved us" as our Divine Liturgy so well says.  The Jewish faith is imperfect; but I would rather deal with the more problematic situation of Islam at the moment, since it is more of a threat to the world that Judaism - as evidenced by the fact that in parts of the world Islam is killing, oppressing, and otherwise attempting to destroy the Faith in the One True God, while in other parts they have successfully convinced others that they are merely another Abramic faith that should be put on equal footing with Christianity and Judaism.

(Through all of this, keep in mind that the comments are coming from one - me - who would not lift a finger to harm either the Jew or the Moslem.)

And having a disagreement with MBZ's faith does not mean I have a problem with MBZ... on the contrary, he's one of the people that I can count on to make rational, well-reasoned arguments and points on the site, without letting his emotions get the best of himself (unlike yours truly).  But for his benefit and mine (from the perspective of Orthodoxy) I cannot pretend that it is okay for him to continue forever without moving to the Church, just as it is not okay for me to pretend to be in the Church but not live out the faith I profess (the graver sin, in my opinion).
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2005, 08:08:13 AM »

And let me continue with the fact that only in forums like this, ones set up for Theological debate, do I take this approach to other faiths (I think this is the presupposition that most of us do or should take when speaking with one another on the forum).  In the world of flesh and blood interactions, we are called to model the faith first in prayer, then in action, then in word.  But this is the distinction that many do not draw - which is why theological debates descend into fistfights, or worse. 
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2005, 08:08:52 AM »

I'd vote for the desire for power. If you look at the infighting, it seems to indicate the xenophobia and cultural hatred may be as much a bluff as religion. And of course, as Saint John Chrysostom said, "The desire to rule is the mother of heresies." 

preach on, brotha man.
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2005, 08:14:19 AM »

II'm not going to pretend that either I or my Orthodox Faith believes that the beliefs of Judaism represent the True Faith, ÂÂ

But that is not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is tolerance- permitting to exist, to be practiced. Surely Our Faith does not demand that we impose it. Is there anything in our Faith which says that other Faiths cannot exist in the same places as it? Yes, the Faiths cannot mix, but surely "love thy neighbour as thyself" includes those of different Faiths? Especially since Christ used a Jew and a Samaratin in the parable to explain who our neighbour is. The Muslims are our neighbours too. Was the point of the Good Samaratin that the Samaratins held the True Faith and the Jews were in error?
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2005, 08:20:09 AM »

But that is not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is tolerance- permitting to exist, to be practiced. Surely Our Faith does not demand that we impose it. Is there anything in our Faith which says that other Faiths cannot exist in the same places as it? Yes, the Faiths cannot mix, but surely "love thy neighbour as thyself" includes those of different Faiths? Especially since Christ used a Jew and a Samaratin in the parable to explain who our neighbour is. The Muslims are our neighbours too. Was the point of the Good Samaratin that the Samaratins held the True Faith and the Jews were in error?   

So what you're telling me is that I need to be better about how I expound what I believe, since I obviously did a poor job of it.  I guess my use of the word "tolerance" was misplaced... You are correct, and I agree, that we must tolerate the existence of the beliefs of others, even if we must acknowledge that they do not contain the Truth.  But as I have repeated over and over - and as we have agreed to over and over again - the differences in belief are not and cannot be a justification for violence.  We have agreed on this point the entire time. 

To paraphrase my last ump-teen posts in this thread: Love the sinner, hate the sin.
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2005, 08:30:49 AM »

we must tolerate the existence of the beliefs of others.

And I believe that this is the first step towards ending the spiral of violence.
If only the Indian subcontinent had done this, it would not have split into India and Pakistan in a bloodbath.....
If only the Catholics and Protestants had done this in Belfast......
If only the Croats and Serbs and Albanians had done this......
If only the Palestinians and Israelis had done this.....
If only....if only....if only......
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2005, 10:10:45 AM »

To paraphrase my last ump-teen posts in this thread: Love the sinner, hate the sin.
Cleveland,
This is nothing against you personally, I hate that cliche.  I think for most people, it is impossible to separate the sin from the sinner.  Therefore, we say things which are hurtful and then justify our words by using this phrase and then feel better about ourselves.
I 've lurked at this site for a long time before joining and have been shocked by some of the posts concerning other faiths - nothing but contempt and mockery.  So much for Christian charity.
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2005, 02:22:39 PM »

Cleveland,
This is nothing against you personally,

And it won't be taken personally - this is a forum for dialogue, and your comments are taken in that manner!

I hate that cliche.  I think for most people, it is impossible to separate the sin from the sinner.   

True, it has become cliche.  But it doesn't make it false that people aren't able to rise above their fallen human nature.  We are called to strive for the examples of the Saints, the example of Christ.  He was able to condemn "the scribes and pharisees" without singling any one of them out; he ate with the prostitutes and tax collectors without condoning their actions.  The witness of the Saints is further proof that it is not impossible to do this, just very difficult.

Therefore, we say things which are hurtful and then justify our words by using this phrase and then feel better about ourselves.   

Ah, but how often do we use this well (when applied in the context of what I was talking about).  It is possible for you to minister to the Africans suffering under Islamic oppression in Sudan while helping them recognize that their tribal religion isn't the answer!  You are able to reach the poor and malnourished in overpopulated Indonesia while showing them that the god of Islam does not have the Love that the God of our Fathers does.  Just because we are called to love our brethren and to minister to them and to appreciate them where they are at does not mean we should silence the truth, even if it is a little painful to hear.

I 've lurked at this site for a long time before joining and have been shocked by some of the posts concerning other faiths - nothing but contempt and mockery.  So much for Christian charity. 

Now that is our pride, and our fault, for not living up to the standards that Christ has set for us.  And, as you can see, we don't learn easily from our mistakes.  But don't give up on the message or the messengers jsut because we get lost a lot.

"I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the first..." 

Let's complement that with the big "I Believe in One God, Father, Almighty..."  If we believe in both extended statements, then we will live rightly and preach rightly, regardless of the situations.  And our Love will be a beacon for others to find the truth (and the majority to revile it).
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2005, 06:04:29 PM »

Rejecting the religion because of imperfect followers is most definately an excuse, because if they saw a perfect follower, they'd not be any "merrier" about things.

But *would* they in reality?  or could this be excusing oneself?  How do you *know* that they would not be "merrier"?  Why would seeing a believer who treated others with compassion and charity and as though those who did not believe the same as human as themselves not be a counter example or improvement.

If followers of a religion say that it is all True and the only way to believe and it shapes their lives and an outsider sees harshness and derision and a lack of charity from the first or only examples met, *why* is it an excuse?  What should motivate someone to look further into a Faith if it seems to produce people who are so imperfect?  Try and think as another person would, maybe.

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« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2005, 06:08:31 PM »

Cleveland,
This is nothing against you personally, I hate that cliche.ÂÂ  I think for most people, it is impossible to separate the sin from the sinner.ÂÂ  Therefore, we say things which are hurtful and then justify our words by using this phrase and then feel better about ourselves.

A form of cheap righteousness maybe.

Quote
I 've lurked at this site for a long time before joining and have been shocked by some of the posts concerning other faiths - nothing but contempt and mockery.ÂÂ  So much for Christian charity.
"I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the first..."

It's been depressing how I've seen those words used over the years, sometimes at the end of a post in which the writer has savaged someone else.  It makes the "recognition" of their sinfulness seem ummm insincere or mealy-mouthed.

Anyway, Carpatho-Russian,   I agree with you.

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« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2005, 06:12:08 PM »

But that is not what we are talking about. What we are talking about is tolerance- permitting to exist, to be practiced. Surely Our Faith does not demand that we impose it. Is there anything in our Faith which says that other Faiths cannot exist in the same places as it? Yes, the Faiths cannot mix, but surely "love thy neighbour as thyself" includes those of different Faiths? Especially since Christ used a Jew and a Samaratin in the parable to explain who our neighbour is. The Muslims are our neighbours too. Was the point of the Good Samaratin that the Samaratins held the True Faith and the Jews were in error?


Ozgeorge, You'd get an !Applause! emoticon if we had one.  It's also a case of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  People of other Faiths are *still Human Beings* just as we are.

You go, Ozgeorge!!  Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2005, 06:19:42 PM »


Just because we are called to love our brethren and to minister to them and to appreciate them where they are at does not mean we should silence the truth, even if it is a little painful to hear.

Well, that might depend on how it's said now mightn't it?  I've read nasty vicious posts on-line that excuse the lack of charity by saying that it wouldn't be "loving" to be polite in telling someone that they are in error.  Courtesy would be giving a false impressoin.  That sort of thing.  *How* things are said and *when* things as said can make a great difference in how a message is recieved.  And remembering how we ourselves would like to be told something "painful". 

Or as my grandmere used to say: You catch more flies with honey then you do with vinegar (or a 2x4 up-side the head Cheesy )

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Now that is our pride, and our fault, for not living up to the standards that Christ has set for us.ÂÂ  And, as you can see, we don't learn easily from our mistakes.ÂÂ  But don't give up on the message or the messengers jsut because we get lost a lot.

If after repeated instances the messengers are still "getting lost", on what basis should others trust them that they really know the way?

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Let's complement that with the big "I Believe in One God, Father, Almighty..."ÂÂ  If we believe in both extended statements, then we will live rightly and preach rightly, regardless of the situations.ÂÂ  And our Love will be a beacon for others to find the truth (and the majority to revile it).

Do you really think that treating other Human Beings with love and charity as our Master said to do would be reviled?

Ebor
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« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2005, 07:03:55 PM »

If we, as Orthodox Christians, whose faith is founded on love ("God is love", "Love your neighbor as yourself", "No greater love has any man...") can belittle other faiths/religions (see the recent thread on the Church of LDS), not forget certain dates (1054, 1453), and splinter off into seperate groups over certain issues (calendar, the Typikon, language) how can we expect those of other faiths/religions that are not based on such an ultimate love to act any different than us?
When one reads the lives of the early Christian martyrs, we see the conversion of many bystanders at the time of the saint's martyrdom.  Their conversion was due not to the words or preaching of the martyr but by the way they died.  Oh, that our lives and ultimately are deaths could be such a witness to God's love!
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« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2005, 07:32:54 PM »

Well, that might depend on how it's said now mightn't it?  I've read nasty vicious posts on-line that excuse the lack of charity by saying that it wouldn't be "loving" to be polite in telling someone that they are in error.  Courtesy would be giving a false impressoin.  That sort of thing.  *How* things are said and *when* things as said can make a great difference in how a message is recieved.  And remembering how we ourselves would like to be told something "painful". 

Of course; I never disagreed with this.  But you're right, it needed to be said.

If after repeated instances the messengers are still "getting lost", on what basis should others trust them that they really know the way? 

No answer.  I'm lost, and will one day be entrusted to lead others.  It's the question I fight with every day.

Do you really think that treating other Human Beings with love and charity as our Master said to do would be reviled? 

Yes - He said it would.  He told His disciples that they would be persecuted, He Himself was persecuted, and if we really lived the life He wants us to, we would be persecuted.
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« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2005, 07:37:54 PM »

Do you really think that treating other Human Beings with love and charity as our Master said to do would be reviled?

Perhaps it's the "way" we love them these days?
The way the first Christians loved their neighbours managed to evangelise the entire known world- before they used armies to defend themselves.
Who have we managed to evangelise recently?
Perhaps it is the practice and teaching of the central message of the Gospel, Love, that has lost it's Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2005, 07:42:25 PM »

Perhaps it is the practice and teaching of the central message of the Gospel, Love, that has lost it's Orthodoxy.
Perhaps it is Orthodoxy that has lost the practice and teaching of the central message of the Gospel, Love.
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2005, 07:45:22 PM »

If we, as Orthodox Christians, whose faith is founded on love ("God is love", "Love your neighbor as yourself", "No greater love has any man...") can belittle other faiths/religions (see the recent thread on the Church of LDS), not forget certain dates (1054, 1453), and splinter off into seperate groups over certain issues (calendar, the Typikon, language) how can we expect those of other faiths/religions that are not based on such an ultimate love to act any different than us? 

We can't - we can't even blame them!  As my pastoral theology professor said, you can't get mad at a sheep for being a sheep.  All we can do is show them the error of their ways.

When one reads the lives of the early Christian martyrs, we see the conversion of many bystanders at the time of the saint's martyrdom.  Their conversion was due not to the words or preaching of the martyr but by the way they died.  Oh, that our lives and ultimately are deaths could be such a witness to God's love! 

And we also see the conversion of many bystanders at the time of Peter's preaching, and Paul's lengthy orations bringing people to Christ.  He took the best of what they had, showed how it could be in line with God, and showed them the error of their ways - without being abusive, derogitory, hateful, etc.  These all are the examples: those of the martyrs, and those of the confessors, and those of the preachers.
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2005, 07:46:54 PM »

Perhaps it's the "way" we love them these days?
The way the first Christians loved their neighbours managed to evangelise the entire known world- before they used armies to defend themselves.
Who have we managed to evangelise recently?
Perhaps it is the practice and teaching of the central message of the Gospel, Love, that has lost it's Orthodoxy.

Um - who have we evangelized lately?  We're working in Mexico, Africa, South America, East Asia, etc.
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2005, 08:07:12 PM »

Perhaps it is Orthodoxy that has lost the practice and teaching of the central message of the Gospel, Love.
In reality, I don't think Orthodoxy or the Church has failed, I think we have failed Orthodoxy and the Church. But really, what's the difference?

Paul's lengthy orations bringing people to Christ.ÂÂ  He took the best of what they had, showed how it could be in line with God, and showed them the error of their ways - without being abusive, derogitory, hateful, etc.ÂÂ  
This, is true evangelization, and it begins with Love.
But if we can call ourselves Orthodox Christians and support the death penalty, a thinly disguised war of revenge etc....doesn't our claim to preach the Gospel in Love ring rather hollow?

Um - who have we evangelized lately?ÂÂ  We're working in Mexico, Africa, South America, East Asia, etc.
And have these Nations embraced Orthodoxy to their bosom? Or are we just making little pockets of copies of ourselves?
In the first 300 years, the Gospel covered the known world. Don't compare a struggling mission in Mexico or Indonesia to this.
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« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2005, 08:45:57 PM »

In reality, I don't think Orthodoxy or the Church has failed, I think we have failed Orthodoxy and the Church. But really, what's the difference? 

It is we that have failed Orthodoxy, the Body of Christ... but He still loves us anyway - Thank God.

This, is true evangelization, and it begins with Love.
But if we can call ourselves Orthodox Christians and support the death penalty, a thinly disguised war of revenge etc....doesn't our claim to preach the Gospel in Love ring rather hollow? 

Amen.

And have these Nations embraced Orthodoxy to their bosom? Or are we just making little pockets of copies of ourselves?
In the first 300 years, the Gospel covered the known world. Don't compare a struggling mission in Mexico or Indonesia to this. 

No, I think we should make the comparison; success in mission should not be gagued on numbers alone; success should instead be measured by how the missionaries are preaching the word - whether people come along or not it matters not.  Should we criticize Paul and the Apostles for not converting more of Israel at the beginning?  They were in Jerusalem, they got many converts, but they didn't get a huge % of the population at the time.  Even with the explosion of the faith in the 4th century, just before the legalisation, it's not as if the Church was gigantic at the time.

Now we may have it even harder; for then no one had been exposed to the Gospel of Love; now almost the whole world has been exposed to parts or bastardizations of it.  We are trying to preach to them a message that may appear similar on the surface, but is deeply different; and we may find great resistance.  But we should not write off the efforts of the missionaries, or even the Church at large, because we're not getting the numbers we think we should.
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« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2005, 08:52:43 PM »

I think we have failed Orthodoxy and the Church.
How true and how sad!
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« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2005, 08:55:18 PM »

But we should not write off the efforts of the missionaries, or even the Church at large, because we're not getting the numbers we think we should.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing them off by any means.
What I am saying is that their job is all the more harder precisely because we (myself included) have failed the Church and the Gospel of Love.

The missionary's greatest ally is not the archon who sends the most money, but the Orthodox Christian who lives the Gospel and Loves his neighbour for Christ's sake....so that those outside the Church marvel and say "See how the Christians Love!"
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« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2005, 08:56:51 PM »

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing them off by any means.
What I am saying is that their job is all the more harder precisely because we (myself included) have failed the Church and the Gospel of Love.

The missionary's greatest ally is not the archon who sends the most money, but the Orthodox Christian who lives the Gospel and Loves his neighbour for Christ's sake....so that those outside the Church marvel and say "See how the Christians Love!"

Amen.
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« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2005, 09:48:47 PM »

And have these Nations embraced Orthodoxy to their bosom? Or are we just making little pockets of copies of ourselves?
In the first 300 years, the Gospel covered the known world. Don't compare a struggling mission in Mexico or Indonesia to this.

Though Christianity made notable evangelical advances prior to St. Constantine, so had the cults of Sol Invictus and Mithra, which could have just as easily become the dominate religions of the Roman world. It was ultimately the state support for the Chuch that made the difference and insured that Christianity would become the only significant religion of the Civilized world. We may not have been able to make substantial missionary gains in modern times, but we dont have the solid backing, financial, cultural, and military, of a powerful government (certainly nothing on the scale of the Empire), and until we do we should not expect large-scale missionary successes.

Concerning tolerance, it's fine and all if the other side is also a tolerant religion; in fact I am more than happy to tolerate and live happily with every major religion of the world save one...Islam. Islam is a threat not only to Christianity by to Civilization and Humanity in general, it is a threat to every people and every other religion of the world. We have been accepting and tolerant of Islam and have maintained peaceful relations for far too long; we are now in a posistion to get the problem under control and we should do so before it has a chance to grow too powerful again.
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« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2005, 10:03:41 PM »

we dont have the solid backing, financial, cultural, and military, of a powerful government (certainly nothing on the scale of the Empire), and until we do we should not expect large-scale missionary successes.
I must have missed the part of the Gospel that commanded us to build huge empires on earth, raise powerful armies....etc. The First Christians also seemed to have missed it, and yet they seemed to have great missionary successes with thousands being baptised as a result of a single homily.

I am more than happy to tolerate and live happily with every major religion of the world save one...Islam. Islam is a threat not only to Christianity by to Civilization and Humanity in general, it is a threat to every people and every other religion of the world. We have been accepting and tolerant of Islam and have maintained peaceful relations for far too long; we are now in a posistion to get the problem under control and we should do so before it has a chance to grow too powerful again.
And so the clash of fundamentalisms and the spiral of violence continues.
Someone has to be the first to say "enough!"
Shame on us if we aren't the first to say it.
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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2005, 03:06:48 AM »

I am more than happy to tolerate and live happily with every major religion of the world save one...Islam. Islam is a threat not only to Christianity by to Civilization and Humanity in general, it is a threat to every people and every other religion of the world. We have been accepting and tolerant of Islam and have maintained peaceful relations for far too long; we are now in a posistion to get the problem under control and we should do so before it has a chance to grow too powerful again.

You have no idea how much it has upset me to hear these words coming form an Orthodox Christian, GiC.

The Roman Catholic social worker, Dorothy Day, would tell the story of a homeless Jewish man who would come to her soup kitchen every day. As a child, a group of Christian children at school would taunt him and bully him, calling him “Christ-killer”, and he never told his mother until one day when he asked: “Mamma, who is Christ?” Dorothy Day would conclude by saying: “This man eats every day at the table of the Lord, but he will never come to accept Christ because of those who claimed to be His ambassadors.”

Fundamentalism, whether Islamic, Christian, Jewish or Hindu all have a simplistic world view and all view “other” in simplistic ways such as:
“They envy our way of life and that’s why they seek to destroy us.”
Well, if that were the case, why wouldn’t they simply adopt our way of life?
Another one is:
“Islam is a religion of violence and cannot co-exist with other religions.”
Well, history simply doesn’t bear this out.
The last time jihad was declared was against the Frankish Crusaders in the Holy Land by Saladin. And the result was that the Holy Land was re-opened to the Jews and the Orthodox, Churches and Synagogues were left untouched, revenge killings were forbidden, Orthodox Churches were released from the exorbitant debts they owed to the Jews, and peace returned to Jerusalem, “The City of Peace”.ÂÂ  Even the Ottoman empire, oppressive as it was, was less oppressive than say, the Roman Catholics in the Balkans. The massacre of the Armenians was a result of the newly found Turkish Nationalism, not jihad. Hence the popular Greek saying: “Better a (Muslim) turban than a (Catholic) biretta.”

Until we stop looking for simplistic answers, until we stop trying to counter Islamic Fundamentalism with Christian Fundamentalism, until we stop labeling other Faiths as “dangerous” and say they must not be tolerated (even when history has proven otherwise), until we stop using religion (and permitting the Church to be used) as a political tool, the violence will continue, and people will throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to religion and the Church- and it will be because we ourselves have inoculated people against Christ by our intolerance.
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« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2005, 03:46:19 AM »

Fundamentalism, whether Islamic, Christian, Jewish or Hindu all have a simplistic world view and all view “other” in simplistic ways such as:

Of course, I'm not being fundamentalist, I'm actually being rather tolerant...Tolerant of every religion except one. I will happily live side by side with Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Animists, Atheists, etc., etc. There is only one system of belief whose existance I will not tolerate; so clearly this is a pragmatic concern, not an extremist religious posistion.

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Well, history simply doesn’t bear this out.

History doesn't bear this out? Look at the birth of Islam, the conquest of their neighbours, their attacks against the persians, and then their attacks against the Empire herself. Furthermore, the history between the Moslems and the Empire should be more than enough evidence to condemn them for their crimes. Until all of the Empire's lands are restored to Imperial rule I do not see how anything other than a perpetual state of War can exist, a war for which we should solicit any and all aid we can secure. (which, as an aside, is why I opposed the Invasion of Iraq, Saddam was secular, amongst the best kinds of rulers we could hope for in the middle east.)

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The last time jihad was declared was against the Frankish Crusaders in the Holy Land by Saladin. And the result was that the Holy Land was re-opened to the Jews and the Orthodox, Churches and Synagogues were left untouched, revenge killings were forbidden, Orthodox Churches were released from the exorbitant debts they owed to the Jews, and peace returned to Jerusalem, “The City of Peace”.

As I mentioned above, a Jihad hardly needs to be declared for the Moslems to reveal their barbarian nature.

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Even the Ottoman empire, oppressive as it was, was less oppressive than say, the Roman Catholics in the Balkans. The massacre of the Armenians was a result of the newly found Turkish Nationalism, not jihad. Hence the popular Greek saying: “Better a (Muslim) turban than a (Catholic) biretta.”

And do you really think that the people who originally chanted that would have passed up the opportunity to solve the Islamic Problem? Though they may have opposed union with the Pope, they would not have hesitated to eliminate Islam from the face of the earth if it was within their power. The Emperor himself died defending the streets of the City rather than peacefully hand it over to the Moslems.

Quote
Until we stop looking for simplistic answers, until we stop trying to counter Islamic Fundamentalism with Christian Fundamentalism, until we stop labeling other Faiths as “dangerous” and say they must not be tolerated (even when history has proven otherwise), until we stop using religion (and permitting the Church to be used) as a political tool, the violence will continue, and people will throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to religion and the Church- and it will be because we ourselves have inoculated people against Christ by our intolerance.

Frankly, I'm much rather seen an Atheist world that has rejected religion completely than a Moslem world. The former worship no god, the latter worship Satan in his fullness. As I said before, I'm not fundamentalist, I would not act in this manner against the Buddhists, Hindus, etc. even if they were posed to convert the world to their Religion, only against the sworn enemy of the Empire and the Faith, Islam. Furthermore, it is not only Christians who act this way towards Islam, it is also found in Atheism, Juadism, and Hinduism...this understanding of Islam crosses religious boundaries, and at times can even unite religions in a common cause of righteousness...it is hardly fundamentalist.
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« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2005, 03:54:30 AM »

Frankly, I'm much rather seen an Atheist world that has rejected religion completely than a Moslem world. The former worship no god, the latter worship Satan in his fullness.
No GiC, it is the Satanists ÂÂ  who "worship Satan in all his fullness", not the Muslims. And the Western Allies' Navies have recently permitted Satanic altars for Satanist Allied sailors on their ships haven't they? Can't imagine the Islamic Fundamentalists allowing that one, can you? And doesn't it at least make you think twice to see who's side the real Satanists are actually fighting on? Hmmm?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/24/nsatan24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/10/24/ixportal.html

And after saying that "Moslems worship Satan in all his fullness", do you still maintain that:
There is only one system of belief whose existance I will not tolerate; so clearly this is a pragmatic concern, not an extremist religious posistion.
"Not an extremist religious position"?......Know Thyself.
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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2005, 04:04:59 AM »

And do you really think that the people who originally chanted that would have passed up the opportunity to solve the Islamic Problem?
"Islamic Problem"?
You mean, like the so-called "Final Solution" the Nazi's found for the so-called "Jewish Problem"?
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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2005, 11:13:31 AM »

To paraphrase my bishop, Metropolitan MAXIMOS, anyone who says that the moslems worship the same god that we do preaches heresy; the difference is easy - the god of Islam has no love.  Our God is a god of Love. 

Until we stop looking for simplistic answers, until we stop trying to counter Islamic Fundamentalism with Christian Fundamentalism, until we stop labeling other Faiths as "dangerous" and say they must not be tolerated (even when history has proven otherwise), until we stop using religion (and permitting the Church to be used) as a political tool, the violence will continue, and people will throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to religion and the Church- and it will be because we ourselves have inoculated people against Christ by our intolerance.   

We should counter Islamic Fundamentalism with Christian Fundamentals - Love, charity, hospitality, etc.

But don't say that Islam isn't "dangerous" - the Islam that continues to kill Christians in the Middle East on religious grounds (vesus the war in Iraq where people are killed on political grounds) in most of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt, the Sudan, Indonesia (I know, not Middle East on the last 3)... the list goes on.  The god that Islam worships is not a god of Love; our God loved the world so much He sacrificed His Son... Islam is dangerous and to be hated, moslems are to be loved and brought back to Christ through example of prayer, life, and word
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« Reply #42 on: December 03, 2005, 01:05:43 PM »

No GiC, it is the Satanists ÂÂ  who "worship Satan in all his fullness", not the Muslims. And the Western Allies' Navies have recently permitted Satanic altars for Satanist Allied sailors on their ships haven't they?

Satanists are simply disgruntled Christians, they are people reacting to the bastardized Augustinian/Anselmian/Calvinistic view of Christianity; these are people who saw the hypocracy of 'Christians' who followed a wrathful and vengful god of 'Love,' and prefered to follow what they viewed as his opposite, a tolerant and forgiving god of 'evil.' Ultimately it is a twisted form of a twisted form of Christianity, heresy twice removed; in spite of their satanic rites, their interaction with society and the world at large demonstrates that though they may worship the devil, they do not do so in his fullness. The Moslems, on the other hand, are a different story; it is they, not the 'satanists,' who have been a threat to the Church and Empire from their inception, never did the 'satanists' sack our cities or destroy Christian Culture, converting millions to their diabolical rites, yet Islam did. It is the theology and story of Islam, combined with their history, combined with their culture and mindset today that leads me to say that while other religions, such as the satanists, may worship Satan either in name or in their rejection of God, but it is only Islam that has demonstrated itself to worship Satan in his fullness. From the article you posted we can see that even when the so-called satanists see satan in all his grandeur and evil unveiled through Islam, they abhor what they see and instead of flocking too it they ally themselves with the Christians, Jews, Hindu, etc. to fight against it.

Quote
Can't imagine the Islamic Fundamentalists allowing that one, can you? And doesn't it at least make you think twice to see who's side the real Satanists are actually fighting on? Hmmm?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/10/24/nsatan24.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/10/24/ixportal.html

No they wouldn't, just as they would not allow a Christian Priest, a Jewish Rabbi, a Hindu Priest, etc...they will not tolerate anything that is a lesser expression of evil than the demon-god they worship.

Quote
And after saying that "Moslems worship Satan in all his fullness", do you still maintain that:"Not an extremist religious position"?......Know Thyself.

It is a true statement and not at all extreme, of all the religions of the world I object to ONE demonic cult. I am happy to extend tolerance to and live in harmony with every other expression of faith; but this one cult, even if I did desire to live in harmony with it, would not be willing to live in harmony with me.

"Islamic Problem"?
You mean, like the so-called "Final Solution" the Nazi's found for the so-called "Jewish Problem"?

There's a significant difference, I want to eradicate a religion, not a race...the nazis were primarially concerned with the eradication of the latter. I'm not saying that we kill every moslem to acheive this goal. We can accomplish this goal by taking responsibility of the Education of the Youth upon themselves, by the destruction of the Culture of Islam, by the outlawing the public gatherings of the moslems, by the imposing of financial hardships on those who do not convert. The more severe methods that you claim I am suggesting be used across the board would only need to be employed against the very small minority that violently opposed our campaign. But the use of military means to eliminate enemy resistance is hardly a concept invented by the nazis.
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« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2005, 04:48:54 PM »

But don't say that Islam isn't "dangerous" - the Islam that continues to kill Christians in the Middle East on religious grounds
Well, they didn't seem to for centuries....even when they conquered our lands they weren't killing us on religious grounds. We had to pay them tax according to their religion, but they couldn't kill us on "religious grounds" as your government and media you claim. Again, history doesn't bear this out, only recent history does. Just as Hindus kill Christians in India, Jews kill Christians in Palestine........

(vesus the war in Iraq where people are killed on political grounds)
What political grounds? The weapons of mass destruction aren't there.....Iraq was not responsible for 9/11.....Saddam Husein is ousted.....on whast "political grounds" are we killing people? Isn't it more likely religious grounds disguised as political grounds, and so badly disguised that we have to keep changing our political pretext? (WMD, Toppling Saddam, bringing democracy)......

The god that Islam worships is not a god of Love;
Neither is Kali whom the Hindus worship, why don't you have a problem with them?

our God loved the world so much He sacrificed His Son...
Well the god of no other Faith has done this, so why shouldn't we hate them all equally and consider them equally dangerous?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 05:01:45 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
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Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2005, 04:52:20 PM »

Satanists are simply disgruntled Christians, they are people reacting to the bastardized Augustinian/Anselmian/Calvinistic view of Christianity; these are people who saw the hypocracy of 'Christians' who followed a wrathful and vengful god of 'Love,' and prefered to follow what they viewed as his opposite, a tolerant and forgiving god of 'evil.' Ultimately it is a twisted form of a twisted form of Christianity, heresy twice removed; in spite of their satanic rites, their interaction with society and the world at large demonstrates that though they may worship the devil, they do not do so in his fullness. The Moslems, on the other hand, are a different story; it is they, not the 'satanists,' who have been a threat to the Church and Empire from their inception, never did the 'satanists' sack our cities or destroy Christian Culture, converting millions to their diabolical rites, yet Islam did. It is the theology and story of Islam, combined with their history, combined with their culture and mindset today that leads me to say that while other religions, such as the satanists, may worship Satan either in name or in their rejection of God, but it is only Islam that has demonstrated itself to worship Satan in his fullness. From the article you posted we can see that even when the so-called satanists see satan in all his grandeur and evil unveiled through Islam, they abhor what they see and instead of flocking too it they ally themselves with the Christians, Jews, Hindu, etc. to fight against it.

Oh my God....I can see there is no discussing this with an American when you have more sympathy for those who actually bow down and sacrifice to Beelzebul because you see them as "one of your own."
« Last Edit: December 03, 2005, 04:52:49 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
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