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Bizzlebin
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« on: April 06, 2006, 05:21:53 PM »

Ok, I have a hypothetical situation (and this has absolutely nothng to do with current, or historical, events). An Orthodox country exists with a powerful army. Another state, regardless of internal affairs, is attacking other states simply for monetary gain, assertion of power, and pride. Is there any precedent or Patristic opinion that exists on this matter in regards to what should be done?

Second, assume that same state is not attacking others, but their leader has abondoned them. Is it right/wrong for the Orthodox state to confiscate the property/money of the leader, but only the leader, based on his neglect of the people? (If he returned and repented, the money would be offered back)

Third, are there any other situations in which a war/attack on the other state would be warranted, knowing full well that the Orthodox state would lose almost no men, if any (military personnel or otherwise), and neither would the other state? (The other state's ability to make war would still be crippled, and their monies taken, however, conditional on their repentence)
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 05:48:06 PM »

There is nothing inherently wrong with war, it is simply part of the conduct of nations towards each other. I could think of any number of reasons where a country, orthodox or otherwise, would be justified in going to war with another; religion is only one reason, needing resources is another, needing to expand population base, needing to strategic points, needing to capture economic centres, etc are amongst the many others. As far as casualities, that's just part of the game, it's accidental to the question at hand.
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 05:56:42 PM »

As far as casualities, that's just part of the game, it's accidental to the question at hand.

Where can I find that Patrisitc teaching?
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 06:11:31 PM »


As far as casualities, that's just part of the game, it's accidental to the question at hand.


Where can I find that Patrisitc teaching?


I concur.  The statement certainly doesn't jive with a generally accepted Orthodox reverence for the sanctity of human life.
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2006, 06:18:54 PM »

I concur.  The statement certainly doesn't jive with a generally accepted Orthodox reverence for the sanctity of human life.

Yeah. However, what is the teaching of Orthodoxy in the above situations? I know a lot of what not to do, and I had a lot of sidenotes making that clear, but I am just not sure what to do!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2006, 06:21:07 PM by Bizzlebin » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2006, 08:14:48 PM »

Where can I find that Patrisitc teaching?

I'd start with St. Justinian the Great, followed perhaps by St. Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles, and St. Theodosius the Great. I can specifically recall from St. Justinian the doctrine that as the Emperor is the vice-regent of Christ on Earth, any attack or insult offered to the Empire, and thus to the Emperor, is an assult against Christ himself. Also, that as the entire earth is Christ's, the proper ruler of the whole world is his vice-regent, the Emperor. I can't think of the exact reference off the top of my head, but I'm sure that if I look I can find many recurrences of this throughout the history of the Empire.

As far as killing in war not being a sin, that would be St. Basil.
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2006, 08:32:53 PM »

I'd start with St. Justinian the Great, followed perhaps by St. Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles, and St. Theodosius the Great. I can specifically recall from St. Justinian the doctrine that as the Emperor is the vice-regent of Christ on Earth, any attack or insult offered to the Empire, and thus to the Emperor, is an assult against Christ himself. Also, that as the entire earth is Christ's, the proper ruler of the whole world is his vice-regent, the Emperor. I can't think of the exact reference off the top of my head, but I'm sure that if I look I can find many recurrences of this throughout the history of the Empire.

As far as killing in war not being a sin, that would be St. Basil.

Well, I'd be much more comfortable seeing the quotes in full, with references of course. And didn't I say this was about historical events? How do you always manage to relate everything to the EP and the Byzantine Empire?
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 11:25:43 AM »

psst: bizzlebin: he didn't mention the EP in his post.... just the Empire.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 02:34:46 PM »

psst: bizzlebin: he didn't mention the EP in his post.... just the Empire.

I know, I was speaking of general tendency. But ayways, do you have any answers, cleveland? This issue is increasing in importance, and I need a solid Patristic opinion very soon. I know my threads always seem to sound weird and obscure, but souls could be lost in the balance here...
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2006, 11:45:56 PM »

Ok, after searching for some time, this is the most I could dig up. From St. Ephraim the Syrian:

And at that time there were judges against them, lo, the judges are, as it were, against us, and instead of a handwriting are their commands. Priests that consecrate crowns, set snares for kings.
Instead of the priesthood praying for royalty that wars may cease from among men, they teach wars of overthrow, which set kings to combat with those round about.
O Lord, make the priests and kings peaceful; that in one Church priests may pray for their kings, and kings spare those round about them; and may the peace which is within Thee become ours, Lord, Thou that art within and without all things!

(from the Pearl, Hymn VII)

Also, I found an interesting article on what the Fathers said, but I am still looking for more input if anyone has it. The link:

http://www.theandros.com/justwar.html
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2006, 12:33:09 AM »

Well, I'd be much more comfortable seeing the quotes in full, with references of course. And didn't I say this was about historical events? How do you always manage to relate everything to the EP and the Byzantine Empire?

  Isn't GiC's reference to the Christian Roman Empire appropriate? In terms of historical events it is a pretty big slice of applied Orthodoxy to the "real world". The Emperors and the people often fell short of their ideals (as do we), but there really isn't any better historical example of how States should conduct themselves within an Orthodox framework is there?
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2006, 01:03:28 AM »

 Isn't GiC's reference to the Christian Roman Empire appropriate? In terms of historical events it is a pretty big slice of applied Orthodoxy to the "real world". The Emperors and the people often fell short of their ideals (as do we), but there really isn't any better historical example of how States should conduct themselves within an Orthodox framework is there?

I am not sure if there has been a better system in practice, but Constantinople still wasn't very good. The "Christian" Byzantine Empire martyred saints just as well as during the non-Christian period. Hence, why I asked for Patristic references.
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2006, 10:18:34 AM »

I am not sure if there has been a better system in practice, but Constantinople still wasn't very good. The "Christian" Byzantine Empire martyred saints just as well as during the non-Christian period. Hence, why I asked for Patristic references.


   You are right to give priority to the Fathers in looking for principles of Orthodox behavior whether individual or corporate. I still think GiC is right to also point to the Empire as an example of how Christian states should approach war, though. Yes, the Byzantine Empire was often not very good and they didn't always get it right. But the ideal was still there and openly acknowledged. Much greater good is possible when society in general acknowledges that it should be based on the Gospel. Still, if the Empire wasn't very good then we can also say neither is the Church. There are many warts in her history as well. And yet we confess her to be the Holy Church anyway. Orthodox states had many faults and yet they were still Christian states in spite of that. Both Church and State are a mixed herd of sheep and goats until the judgement. So it would be good to listen to both the Church Fathers and the good Orthodox statesmen of the past to form a full picture of the best Orthodox approach to worldly matters, I think.
    BTW, I liked the link you gave to the article- it was a good read, thank you for posting it.

In Christ,
Rd. David
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2006, 02:32:40 PM »

I understand what you mean, of course. But I have those perfectionistic tendencies, and I don't want to get it good, I want to get it right. Plus, I will have to thoroughly explain any actions I take, and I want to be on very solid ground. So even though it is good to look at the Byzantines for what they did wrong in this area, I don't think I can make a solid arguement based on what they did right. Besides, I want my answer to be independent of historical "ties" to events, and be as Biblically and Patristically oriented as possible.

And don't thank me for the link, I just found it on Google. I'm as confused as the next Tongue
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2006, 06:59:01 PM »

Where can I find that Patrisitc teaching?



I concur.  The statement certainly doesn't jive with a generally accepted Orthodox reverence for the sanctity of human life.


As usual! wooh!

(classic GiC: showing little or no respect for human life or Christian principles)
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« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2006, 09:23:48 PM »

While I really dont have time to research this matter, I will give you one quote of St. Justinian that comes to mind:

'salus populi suprema lex'

The security of the state is the highest law.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2006, 11:24:20 PM »

War is the subject of the abuse of justice in all forms.

People will always try to justify killing other people.

Orthodox Christians understand that all things are to be done in the name of God; and all things received are to be recieved in thanks to God.

War which is murder does not fit into any of these situations since God does not endorse war and mass killing. The 100 so years of unbridled murder and slaughter called the crusades is a good example of what I call "Godly godlessness". I use this phrase to describe actions that cause death and destruction when those who are causing it claim that what they are doing is a "holy" act. Aah Daah? kiling people is not holy. Or maybe I am the dummy?

I don't think so....
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2006, 11:32:07 PM »

Slavery and oppression is an act of murder in my opinion since the life of a person is squashed when they are oppressed. Many people would rather be dead than live as a slave or oppressed person.

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