Author Topic: River of Fire... heresy?  (Read 2663 times)

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Offline Meekle

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River of Fire... heresy?
« on: December 06, 2005, 03:28:12 PM »
http://www.philthompson.net/pages/library/riveroffire.html

Heresy, or no? If so, what is the correct position?

Offline Elisha

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2005, 03:58:15 PM »
It is a cool song on the Nirvana...Unplugged album. :)

or is that Lake of Fire?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2005, 03:58:33 PM by Elisha »

Offline Matthew777

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2005, 04:24:13 PM »
http://www.philthompson.net/pages/library/riveroffire.html

Heresy, or no? If so, what is the correct position?

In the afterlife, there is no 'river of fire'. -

"There is no "place" of torment, or even a "place" apart from God, because there is no "place" at all; you are outside of time and space. The "place" is actually a condition of either punishment ("hell") or paradise ("heaven") depending on how you experience the presence of God and His Uncreated Engergies.

Consider a person who hates God, and anything to do with religion, and has done nothing but pursued his own self-centered desires all his life. It would be far more terrifying, and painful, to spend eternity in the fiery embrace of God's almighty and divine love with no escape, than to be far from Him.

Experiencing God's presence and His in-filling transforming Energies in glory or in torment, as Paradise or as Punishment, is the heaven and hell of the Bible. Not something God did to us, but rather something we did to ourselves. God unconditionally pours out His love on all, WHETHER WE WANT IT OR NOT, whether we are ready for it or not, when we enter the afterlife. This is why the Gospel or "good news" of Jesus Christ should be shared with all people, of all nations, in all tongues. For there is nothing to fear from God's perfect love, since love casts out all fear.

However, it is not totally wrong to understand the after life as "type" of Heaven and Hell. Because from each individual's perspective, it will not be perceived as the same "place", but rather as either torment and darkness you can not escape, or as the paradise you have always longed for. For those judged, they will experience God's presence as eternal darkness and torment. Though it is very important to keep in mind what is the cause of either of these conditions, or one could reach very wrong conclusions about the nature of God, as they have in western theologies. To misrepresent the nature of a loving God would cause one to conclude that it was God's intention to punish his creation. Indeed, one blasphemes the reputation of the God of the Bible when you make him into an angry vengeful god that punishes His creation. The cause of the torment is the poor choices that we make, not God. If one thinks of these two different "places" as conditions that we choose to be in, rather than "compartments" God puts us in, it would be more accurate.

And it will certainly be "paradise" to finally experience His Divine Love up close and in person for those who seek it. It is all in the perception.

Such is the nature of a loving God. For God is God."
http://aggreen.net/beliefs/heaven_hell.html
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Offline GiC

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2005, 04:30:52 PM »
http://www.philthompson.net/pages/library/riveroffire.html

Heresy, or no? If so, what is the correct position?

It's one eschatology amongst many in Orthodoxy, the only dogmatic decrees we really have on the issue are contained in a small numbers of the 15 anathemas against origen, focusing mainly on the preservation of the hypostases and souls in the eschaton. Beyond that there are many possibilities, and many different, and conflicting, teachings exist in the patristic tradition of the Church. Personally, I quite like the article.
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Offline Bizzlebin

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2005, 02:53:53 AM »
In the afterlife, there is no 'river of fire'.

Experiencing God's presence and His in-filling transforming Energies in glory or in torment, as Paradise or as Punishment, is the heaven and hell of the Bible. Not something God did to us, but rather something we did to ourselves. God unconditionally pours out His love on all, WHETHER WE WANT IT OR NOT, whether we are ready for it or not, when we enter the afterlife.

That is the River of Fire....
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2005, 06:25:48 AM »
That is the River of Fire....

my understanding as well.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2005, 05:33:26 PM »
It is my personal opinion that the article as a whole is doctrinally unsound. In fact, I have read 3 works from the hand of Kalomiros, all of which are respected and popular amongst Orthodox Christians to one degree or another, and all three of which I believe to be (theologically) shaky on at least some points. His works provide great chances to say to yourself, "Wow, we Orthodox are so cool. We're so different than those wrong-headed westerners (whether Catholics, Protestant fundamentalists, or others)".He certainly writes about things in such a way that Orthodox Christians (including some very intelligent ones) find his thoughts very attractive (the same might also be said of certain Russian theologians of the last century). However, eloquence or popularity, or even the ability of an idea to be engaging, does not make an article or belief true.
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Offline GiC

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2005, 10:44:29 PM »
It is my personal opinion that the article as a whole is doctrinally unsound. In fact, I have read 3 works from the hand of Kalomiros, all of which are respected and popular amongst Orthodox Christians to one degree or another, and all three of which I believe to be (theologically) shaky on at least some points. His works provide great chances to say to yourself, "Wow, we Orthodox are so cool. We're so different than those wrong-headed westerners (whether Catholics, Protestant fundamentalists, or others)".He certainly writes about things in such a way that Orthodox Christians (including some very intelligent ones) find his thoughts very attractive (the same might also be said of certain Russian theologians of the last century). However, eloquence or popularity, or even the ability of an idea to be engaging, does not make an article or belief true.

I will certainly entertain the possibility that it is flawed, but does have one characteristic that should be essential to any eschatology, but is unfortunately rarely found, it is consonant with the revealed nature of God. Along with universalism it is one of the few doctrines of the last things that preserves the absolute and eternal nature of Divine Love, as well as recognizes and properly incorporates the ontological necessity of a perpetual sustaining of the human soul by God. As it maintains these two elements, which are essential for any eschatology in a truly Christian theological context, it shouldn't be dismissed too easily. Though I would be interested to know the details of your criticism.
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Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2005, 10:50:24 PM »
Vladimir Moss wrote a general refutation of the general theme of the "river of fire" article which can be read at the following link:

http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/The%20Mystery%20of%20Redemption.htm

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Offline GiC

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2005, 11:13:52 PM »
Vladimir Moss wrote a general refutation of the general theme of the "river of fire" article which can be read at the following link:

http://www.romanitas.ru/eng/The%20Mystery%20of%20Redemption.htm

+irini nem makarismos

With finals comming up and all I dont really have time to read a tome that is a few hundred pages long, perhaps you could highlight the best arguments that are put forward.
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline Silouan

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2005, 11:47:15 PM »
How curious that this document comes from HOCNA as back in the day their support of Metr. Anthony's Dogma of Redemption put them at odds with the mainstream of ROCOR. 

Offline Armando

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2005, 12:32:41 PM »
To me, the river of fire is that I am in love for 4 years and the girl I like doesn't like me back.
That is hell to me. The "real" hell, can only be better. God forgive me but that is my opinion.
And I wouldn't mind burning in hell forever just to be with that girl for only a few minutes together
as a couple. But to God, these are minor idiocies. And I do not blame Him. He has seen children dying
from hunger and suffering from wars. If I had seen what God has seen I would destroy everyone who
complains about his life. And I think that is what is happening to me. I am being destroyed.

Και κάθε που χαράζει...με τρώει το μαράζι...
Ten years have passed, the girl I loved
is now a woman, but I am still a child...
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Offline observer

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2005, 02:39:18 PM »
On icons of the Last Judgement, Christ is seated on His throne, surrounded by a brilliant light (His energies?).  As you move down the icon, the light turns into a stream (?blue) and lower down into a red river of fire, where the sinners burn with the demons.
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Offline Bizzlebin

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2005, 08:39:07 PM »
On icons of the Last Judgement, Christ is seated on His throne, surrounded by a brilliant light (His energies?).ÂÂ  As you move down the icon, the light turns into a stream (?blue) and lower down into a red river of fire, where the sinners burn with the demons.

Very good point! Icons are also revelations of Truth, and it seems this view does have quite a bit of support, whether or not Kalomiros got a few details wrong or presented it in a more polemical way. (And I would assume the light would be the Uncreated Light, though perhaps it has multiple meanings)
Fashions and opinions among men may change, but the Orthodox tradition remains ever the same, no matter how few may follow it.

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Offline Addai

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Re: River of Fire... heresy?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2007, 09:13:53 PM »
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 09:17:58 PM by Addai »