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Author Topic: What happens if the Latins are right?  (Read 10753 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kizzy
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« Reply #45 on: April 10, 2005, 01:04:59 AM »



The God of Calvinism does not exist. The God of Orthodoxy does not exist.

The God of Katherine, of Peter, of John, of Mary truly exists. The God is Trinity Person. He does not exist according to theological systems or truths or dogmas.

He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses. He is the God of living persons.



Yes! One God!  Amen !

In xc, Kizzy
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« Reply #46 on: April 10, 2005, 08:17:01 PM »

So the angry God that can't wait to punish people and send them to hell is the God of Orthodoxy?   The God that creates certain people to send them to hell is the God of Orthodoxy?  The God that made His son be slaughtered to appease His wrath is the God of Orthodoxy? 
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« Reply #47 on: April 10, 2005, 08:17:47 PM »

Many, many living persons believe in the God described.
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« Reply #48 on: April 10, 2005, 11:04:12 PM »

Many, many living persons believe in the God described.

Katherine, Many living persons believe in God, some believe in God 'as   described'  in your post... There is only one God....and man's quest for an understanding of God and for a personal relationship with God is the basis of all religion...even before Christianity and Judaism...Orthodox do not hold a monopoly on this...  and the different faiths just represent how members of each faith  experience their personal relationship... While Orthodox believe in the trueness of the faith... and the truth of God according to Orthodox tradition... it is still a personal choice to believe based on our teaching.... and the best way to stand up for Orthodoxy is by setting the example and understand the other point of view without attacking it... As Ipap mentioned, and people can become more aware of how their beliefs may be closer to Orthodoxy than they thought...The  adversarial approach 'we are right, you are wrong'  (even though we may  believe this)  never works in anything... except to bring civil war and make the other person more firmly entrenched in their own position- so it works against us...

I assure you, if you speak to people who are not Orthodox, and even claim Orthodoxy is the only true faith, you will have lost the opportunity to let the other person see God as we see God...In fact, the best way would be not to mention the word Orthodoxy- as names are divisive- just speak to the basis of the faith as it relates to your personal life and  theirs...and the discussion will likely be more fruitful...

In XC. Kizzy

 

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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2005, 12:01:45 PM »

Brother Kizzy,
I like your style, because you are "turning the cheek".
Instead of fighting for your ideas you tolarate false faith of your brother because he is a person with whom you seek to talk/relate with.

Sister Katherine 2001,
You wrote: Many, many living persons believe in the (false) God described.

First of all I admire the way you “fight” for your way of life, because it shows that you are alive.

Now let me tell you a story of mine:
It happens that I have a twin brother. Whenever we talk about our father I realise that my brother has sometimes a very similar view about him with myself but there are also so many other times that he has a very different opinion about him. There are times that I have the feeling that we are talking about two different persons. Though, we are both talking about our own same dad. I think that my view about my dad is the correct one, but this is not excluding my brother from having a real personal relation with him. I believe that the main reason for our difference is that my personal relation with my dad is mine and my brother’s personal relation with my dad is his. My father may say or he may do something to us that make my brother furious while at the same time I am not even offended by him. My father is who he is, regardless of my opinion about him, or my brothers’ opinion about him. To know my father is to live a personal relation with him. Same thing is valid for my brother to. So you can not judge if my brother is a better son than myself because he has a better, a worst, or ever wrong opinion about our father. Of course I feel upset when my brother says bad or wrong things about our father, but I cannot define their relationship from what he says. They are defining their relationship without my intercession. My brother does not have the need to become me in order to meet and relate with our father. My brother is a person by his own right and he is capable of living his own life.


Lets return to the Faith issue.
My point is that people may be absolutely wrong about someone while at the same time they may as well have a real relation with him. Our salvation is entirely based on a real personal relation we live with Christ. Our salvation is not depended from the false or right opinion that we may or may not have about Him. Several people are saying monstrous false things about Christ or God. That is not a sign that they are talking about some other Christ or some other God, but that they are not living our lives, that they have their own personal lives. In order to understand them we have to live their lives and feel their feelings. We have to jump into their places, then we might find out that they are talking about the same Person that we are also talk with such a different way. Then by having the same view we might be able to saw to them what they miss to see by themselves.

So Katherine there are more things that can unite us together with the wrong believers than those things that could divide us.

In an earlier post you wonder: "Is the God and Christ of Calvinism the same God and Christ of Orthodoxy?  I'm not at all sure about that" My final point is that you were asking yourself a question that includes no other persons but yourself. You do not need anyone else but yourself and the knowledge of the idea of "God and Christ of Calvinism" and the knowledge of the idea "God and Christ of Orthodoxy" to answer to this question. So you may isolate yourself from others going into a lonely faith that needs nobody else but you and some ideas about God - some of them are wrong, some of them are right, all you have to do is to choose the right ones. I know that I underestimate you by this statement and I do not mean to but I dare to say this in order to show that the exaggeration of your indignation could bring disaster. On the other hand, the exaggeration of "turning the cheek" as brother Kizzy suggests can only drive us to martyrdom.
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2005, 06:40:58 PM »

If I have offended anyone by my posts, please forgive me.  I am bowing out of the boards as much as I can, as they are often not good for me.  I just want to say that true unity if based on truth and people putting their differences out in the open to be worked out and not swept under a rug. 
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« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2005, 12:54:39 AM »

My point is that people may be absolutely wrong about someone while at the same time they may as well have a real relation with him. Our salvation is entirely based on a real personal relation we live with Christ. Our salvation is not depended from the false or right opinion that we may or may not have about Him. Several people are saying monstrous false things about Christ or God. That is not a sign that they are talking about some other Christ or some other God, but that they are not living our lives, that they have their own personal lives. In order to understand them we have to live their lives and feel their feelings. We have to jump into their places, then we might find out that they are talking about the same Person that we are also talk with such a different way. Then by having the same view we might be able to saw to them what they miss to see by themselves.



Ipap,  this is absolutely a beautiful way to explain it....and anyone with a brother or sister can probably see it immediately... since it is so true...And we call God our Father... so it is natural to be true here also! I have 3 sisters and all of us have a different relationship with Mom and Dad...we joke sometimes that we couldn't possibly be related...I wonder... if a person's relationship with their parents - the first 'father' they know-  affects their personal relationship with God?  Because the whole concept of what is a Father, a parent, comes from your own experience...

In XC,
Sister Kizzy
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« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2005, 03:27:21 AM »

If I have offended anyone by my posts, please forgive me. I am bowing out of the boards as much as I can, as they are often not good for me. I just want to say that true unity if based on truth and people putting their differences out in the open to be worked out and not swept under a rug.

You certainly have not offended me. Defending the truth and the willingness to tell it are not wrong.
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« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2005, 07:07:13 AM »

Oooops !!! Sorry sister kizzy for my mistake. I'm afraid I goofed once more!  Embarrassed

I am realy not familiar with your name so my first choice was that you may be a man. I should have used this link http://www.thenamemachine.com/baby-names-girls/Kizzy.html but I did not.

I apologize again. (by the way I am brother lpap)
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« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2005, 07:12:02 AM »

Kizzy, Ipap,

While I understand and accept the need for dialogue with the non-Orthodox, I do not agree with the terms with which you both seem to be suggesting that this takes place.

If, as we profess in the Nicene Creed, the Orthodox Church is the "katholiki" (i.e. "Catholic") Church, part of what this means is that the Church contains within it, not only the fullness of Grace, but also, the fullness of Revelation.

God is not a "Concept". God is the Living God Who is the Absolute- that is, the Divine Truth is relative to nothing else. As such, the only possible way humanity can know anything about God is by knowing what He Himself has chosen to Reveal about Himself.

True theology is about Revealed Truth. True theology cannot possibly have "theories" or "hypotheses". What some call the "knowledge of God", is in fact simply the knowledge of their own concepts and theories of God.

The Orthodox Faith is not simply "one possible way" among many. The claim of the Orthodox Church is that it alone contains the fullness of what God has revealed about Himself to humanity. While the non-Orthodox may have some parts of the Revealed Divine Truth, the Orthodox Church alone contains the fullness of Revealed Truth. Ipap's example of the different views which two siblings have of their same father is therefore not applicable. If we use this metaphor, the Orthodox Church would contain both siblings' views of their father (assuming they were both true).

Orthodoxy cannot enter dialogue from the position that it only contains part of the Truth while the non-Orthodox have the other 'part' of the Truith. Orthodoxy either has the fullness of Revealed Truth or it does not. If Orthodoxy were to enter dialogue without the understanding that it alone contains the fullness of the Revealed Truths, it would not only do a disservice to itself, but also to those non-Orthodox who were seeking the Truth.

George (Australia)
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« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2005, 07:29:26 AM »

George,

Good post. You echoed my feelings on this exactly. While I don't doubt that the likes of Kizzy have their hearts in the right place, I do worry when I see them seemingly buying in to the 'two lungs of the Church' concept. I hope that this is merely an artifact of enthusiasm for genuine reconciliation (which I share) combined with injudicious use of language, rather than a genuine belief that the RCs, and perhaps other Christians, are as Orthodox as we are. We have to be very careful, though, when pursuing reconciliation with heterodox Christians that we do so by bringing them into Orthodoxy, not joining them outside of the Church.

James
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« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2005, 07:39:57 AM »

We have to be very careful, though, when pursuing reconciliation with heterodox Christians that we do so by bringing them into Orthodoxy, not joining them outside of the Church. 

That is why chosing the people to be involved with dialogues is important.  An anecdote: my Metropolitan (+MAXIMOS of Pittsburgh) was part of a particular dialogue years ago where the other group finally came around to accepting the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed.  The next day, at the diocesan center celebrating Liturgy for St. Photios day (the patron saint of our diocese), he expressed his happiness that they had made this move; but then pointed out that they still believed in some heresies, and thus stil had a long way to go.

We must have people who are willing to dialogue on the faith - i.e. come to an agreement on what language they will use to describe the Orthodox faith to others and then use it to describe what we believe in terms that are understandable to the others - but dialogue must also mean not giving up or compromising the faith (as others have pointed out here).

We cannot take the attitude of "no dialogue," because then essentailly we are saying that we should not use this tool to missionize our brothers, and instead we should let them wander to the faith and maybe stumble upon it themselves if they get lucky or feel adventurous (which is not what Christ wanted us to do).
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« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2005, 08:40:28 AM »

Brothers ozgeorge, cleveland,jmbejdl,
 
I understand your point of view.

It seems to me that we are not in conflict regarding this issue.
I absolutely agree with you in that orthodox has “the fullness of Revelation.”
I also agree with you in that “Orthodoxy either has the fullness of Revealed Truth or it does not”. And I agree with you that It most certainly does.
I also agree with you in that “If Orthodoxy were to enter dialogue without the understanding that it alone contains the fullness of the Revealed Truths, it would not only do a disservice to itself, but also to those non-Orthodox who were seeking the Truth.”. Amen brother, I wish more people would have your wisdom in this issue.

My point is, and this is not in conflict with the above statements, that Orthodox believers in such a Devine Catholic Faith do not have the monopoly of relation with Christ. The Revelation of God is not a confined revelation by orthodox believers. The Revelation of God embraces everyone. The problem is that some people feel this embrace as salvation, others as fetters of religious fanaticism, others as chains, others as not-existent, others as whatever they feel/think about it.

What is common among us: “the believer” with them: “the faithless or misbeliever” is that we all are under the same Devine Catholic Revelation of God. This is a personal reality that can not be denied to anybody.

Lord Christ said Matthew 5:43-47 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

This Divide Sunset and Rain is not referring to earthly realities but it actually refers to the Revelation of God both “on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

Now, some people are saying God is “raining a truth" that the Pope is the absolute head of earthly church. Others are saying that God’s Sun “enlightens” them to see that Christ is an angel of God and not Son of God, a Person of Trinity God. Some people are feeling that Devine Sunset and Rain are physical phenomenon. These people are all wrong but they are experiencing the same Divide Sunset and Rain as the righteous Christian believers and Saints Of the Church.

Orthodoxy is saying that It contains the fullness of the Revealed Truths about the “Devine Sunset and Rain” but It can not (and It is not) disqualifying all non believers from accepting the Devine Gifts - although they are free to misinterpret them as they like.

Orthodoxy is a clinic that accepts patients who are realizing that they do not have their healthy censes to feel the Divide Sunset and Rain as they really are as God's Gifts. So they put themselves to nurse in order to become into healthy human beings. Then they are able to realize the Catholic Truth about the Divide Sunset and Rain that Church holds dear.

You see, brothers and sisters, we have to realize that we “the members of the Church” are no different from the “non members of the Church” but only in one thing: While we both benefit from Gods Gifts, we glorify God for Them, and they are not.

There is no prerequisite in order to accept the Truth of Gods Revelation. None at all. Actually everybody does. (This is my point)
There is only one prerequisite to realize the Truth of Gods Revelation: To become member of the Body of Christ (This is your point, with which I fully agree)
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« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2005, 09:18:28 AM »

Orthodoxy is saying that It contains the fullness of the Revealed Truths about the “Devine Sunset and Rain” but It can not (and It is not) disqualifying all non believers from accepting the Devine Gifts - although they are free to misinterpret them as they like....<snip>...You see, brother George, we have to realize that we “the members of the Church” are no different from the “non members of the Church” but only in one thing: While we both benefit from Gods Gifts, we glorify God for Them, and they are not.
Dear Ipap,
This is not what I am saying. God does send the rain on the good and bad alike- no one is saying that He doesn't. We all share the same gifts of Creation which God bestows on the universe, no matter what we believe. And true, Creation does tell us something about God. But I am not talking about Created things or what we can know about God through them. I am talking about the Truth about the Creator. This Truth can only be Absolute. It is not relative. For example, the only way we can know that "God is One God in Three Hypostases and the Father Eternally Begets the Son and the Holy Spirit Eternally Proceeds from the Father", is if God tells us this. Nothing in Creation could tell us this, because it is not a relative truth, it is an Absolute Truth. This has to be Revealed to us by God, we cannot know it simply by looking at Creation.

The difference between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox is not simply that one glorifies God for His gifts and the other doesn't. For a gift to be a gift, it must not only be given, it must be received and it must be accepted. The non-Orthodox have neither received nor accepted the fullness of what God Has revealed about Himself, whereas, the Orthodox Church has both received and accepted it. This is why, after Holy Communion, we chant:
"We have seen the True Light!
We have received the Heavenly Spirit!
We have found the True Faith,
Worshipping the Undivided Trinity
For This has saved us!"

The Light of Christ shines on all, but not all receive It.

George (Australia)






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« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2005, 10:27:39 AM »

Brother George,

"The Light of Christ shines on all, but not all receive It." Exactly that is my point ( as I have posted earlier we do not disagree on this issue, we just have different priorities). You feel that first you have to protect the Truth and then relate with its enemies, and I feel that the first priority is to relate with the enemies of Truth in order to give the Truth the chance to prevail.

So "the Light of Christ shines on all", means that un-created realities (like the Trinity dogma) are given by God to everyone but each one of us is free to relate to Him as he likes. As long as you accept the concept of "all" being illumed by God, then you do not need to talk to them about the Light but about themselves being blind. In order to do that you need to relate to them in order to lend your eyes for them to use and see the unseen. Because, Christians are the Light to the world.

Please let me emphasize that salvation is not a state of being, or the knowledge of truth. Because daemons also are having this knowledge and they are doomed. They know all about Father - Son - Spirit, Trinity dogma, but they refuse to participate in the Holy Life of the Persons of Holy Trinity. Salvation is to participate by Grace - without being participant by nature - to the incomprehensible Holy Life of the Persons of Holy Trinity.

When we chant "We have seen the True Light! We have received the Heavenly Spirit! We have found the True Faith, Worshipping the Undivided Trinity For This has saved us" we declare not a notion of the Truth but our personal meeting with the Truth. A Truth that is a living Trinity.

So the non-orthodox may not be in position to manifest in such glorified hymns their encounter with God because they are not Spiritually Healthy enough to see with their Spiritual eyes from whom they receive the Spiritual Gifts that God is blessing them every day - and I do not mean only earthly created gifts but Heavenly ones too. For they also participate in God gifts like Love, Goodness, Charity, Honesty and all those Spiritual Gifts that God is blessing with all human beings.

When we chant "We have seen the True Light!...", we are not in a position to understand the incomprehensible. Because, the so called "Revealed Truth" is really and fully incomprehensible for us to understand. We are manifesting that the incomprehensible "Revealed Truth" is an alive Truth not lived by us but by the Persons of Holy Trinity, Persons with Whom we meet with by participating in Holy Communion.





 
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« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2005, 11:20:19 AM »

You feel that first you have to protect the Truth and then relate with its enemies, and I feel that the first priority is to relate with the enemies of Truth in order to give the Truth the chance to prevail.
Ipap,
This is not how I feel, nor is “defending the Truth” my priority. Please do not presume to know how I feel or what my priorities are.
Absolute Truth does not require any defence. Absolute Truth does not require a “chance to prevail”. This is nonsense.
Absolute Truth, by definition, stands alone. It does not depend on anything.

So "the Light of Christ shines on all", means that un-created realities (like the Trinity dogma) are given by God to everyone but each one of us is free to relate to Him as he likes.
This may be your opinion, but it is not mine. If I give you a gift of a bottle of wine, and you think that it is a bottle of cranberry juice does that make it Cranberry juice? Has your belief changed the reality of what is in the bottle? In what way are you “free” to relate to it as cranberry juice? If you drink the contents of the bottle, you will get drunk- does your believing that it is cranberry juice prevent you from getting drunk? We are not free to relate to God in any way we like. This is my whole point.
If, as you say, the “Light of Christ shines on all” means that God has revealed Himself to everyone, then there is no excuse for ignorance, and the heterodox who die heterodox cannot be saved.
Believing in God is not the same as believing that God exists. The demons believe that God exists, but they don’t believe in Him- they don’t live their Faith.. However, in order to believe in God, we must first of all know Who He Is. What we know of God is what He has revealed about Himself. If someone thinks he is worshipping God and says that Christ is not the Son of God, and that God is not a Trinity, is this person worshipping the same God Whom Orthodox Christians worship? What is the difference between worshipping Krishna as a god and worshipping any other god Who is not the Holy Trinity?

When being Orthodox we chant "We have seen the True Light!..." we are not in a position to understand the incomprehensible. Because, the so called "Revealed Truth" is really and fully incomprehensible for us to understand.
This is not true, and a misinterpretation of the Orthodox understanding of the Transcendence of God. While it is true that God is Transcendent and “dwells in unapproachable light”, this does not mean we can know nothing about Him. He has revealed quite a lot to us. The Apostles were able to tell us many things about God, and explained clearly what was only partly revealed about Him before the Incarnation. Just because God is Transcendent doesn’t mean that we know nothing about Him. We know that God is one God in Three Hypostases, we know part of the inner Life of the Holy Trinity and how the Three Hypostsases relate to one another, we know that God is Monarchical with the Father as the Begettor of the Son and the Source of Procession of the Spirit.........
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« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2005, 01:48:55 PM »

Brothers,

I respect the way you actually live your Orthodox faith.

And by all that I have posted earlier I was trying (and I am still trying) to make clear that there is a crucial ingredient that needs to be added so that salvation is performed by Christ. That ingredient is the human Person of the believer. You have your faith, I have my faith, and everybody else has his own faith. What makes salvation a living reality is that each person is associated with Christ through his singularly personal faith.

What makes Orthodoxy a united experience is not the unique "Truth" but the One and same Devine Person (Christ) that through associated with we share a common salvation.

ozgeorge, you most rightly protest that I could not express your feelings or priorities. You are the only person who can do that.

Likewise you are the only one - and I mean in the whole universe - to live with the most private and unique way your relationship with God. You are doing that by not sharing a common knowledge with others but by living a honest relation with Him along with others as members of His Body.

I do not say all that in order to prove that you are wrong and I am right. I am just trying to share with you the same experience that you live with God and I live with Him, and all of a sudden emerges a difference of opinion. This is the most normal thing for two people talking for the same thing to be expected because each one lives his own reality.

You brought up a very nice paradigm of a bottle of wine. Let me share with you my answer to your question. I do not believe that drinking a bottle of wine thinking of it as lemonade that saves me from getting drunk. Likewise believing a false system of faith and involving myself into a personal loving relation to Christ does not prevent me from saving myself, it actually drives me to it. +Öf the wine has the power to intoxicate people, Christ has the power to save. And as for drunkenness all that is needed is to drink wine, for salvation al that is needed is to love Christ.

I suppose that you may protest that "in order to believe in God, we must first of all know Who He Is". Well my brother, let me ask you: regarding a beloved person of yours do you know who he/she? If you say "yes I do" then I have to ask again: do you REALY know who he/she really is ? Have you experienced any situation in the past that you truly loved someone and then turned out that he/she was a different person that you thought he/she was ? Was your love not a true love? Did you love a phantom/imaginary person or the specific person? Well, we can always create loveable persons in our imagination to get involved with them in a fantasy love world, but then we are not honest with ourselves. This is exactly our passion to be cured in Church clinic: the self-restriction that is known as "egoism" and prevents us from honestly relating to others. Well, I am asking about a true love that you felt for a person that you never truly realized who he/she was.
 
If you know who the person is, then you love the notion of his/hers being. It depends on whether he/she is worthy of loving or not. Then love changes to a selfish action because it seeks to relate us with a worthy of being loved person according to our knowledge.

Orthodox love originates from faith. Faith to an unknown person. S. Paul says: Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the manifest of the reality of things that we hope for, and the examination of things we do not see". In Greek the original text is: "+ò-â-ä+¦ +¦ß+¦ -Çß++-â-ä+¦-é ß+É++-Ç+¦+¦++++ß+¦++-ë++ ß+æ-Çß+¦-â-ä+¦-â+¦-é, -Ç-ü+¦+¦++ß+¦-ä-ë++ ß+ö+++¦+¦-ç++-é ++ß+É +¦+++¦-Ç++++ß+¦++-ë++"

Today most people think that first they know someone, then they can love him/her and then they can have faith in him/her. But this is not faith, this is trust.

Unexpectedly for many, Orthodox Fathers are staying in the preaching of S. Paul. It may not be logical but it is according to a Spiritual logic that says that: first you have faith in God, then you love Him and you never get to know Him. Faith by giving "hypostasi", by manifesting the reality of the things that are not assured at all but are hoped to be, and by examining things beyond our understanding, establishes a reality that is so personal that is un-circumscribable.

This personal reality makes Orthodox believers to have one true heart full of faith that can not be aimed by any enemies, because its truth is as imaginary for them as it is real for the believers. They only fear themselves and have fear for no others. (Because themselves are the only ones capable of denying their own faith).
 
This is why we are free to relate to God in any way we like, because out relation is not a love-hate relation nor a trust-misstrust relation but a faithfull one established inside out hearts.
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« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2005, 05:36:56 PM »

And by all that I have posted earlier I was trying (and I am still trying) to make clear that there is a crucial ingredient that needs to be added so that salvation is performed by Christ. That ingredient is the human Person of the believer. You have your faith, I have my faith, and everybody else has his own faith. What makes salvation a living reality is that each person is associated with Christ through his singularly personal faith.

Ipap,
You seem to be confusing the Protestant idea of a "Personal relationship with Jesus" with the Orthodox understanding of Faith and Salvation.
There is "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." (Ephesians 4:5). There are not "many Faiths"- one for each believer. There is only one Faith which all believers share. Your Faith and my faith must be the same faith if we are in the Church. This is not simply my idea. Here is what the Apostles said:

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4: 4-6

"That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:6

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" Philippians 1:27

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:2

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:" 1 Peter 3:8
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« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2005, 06:33:38 PM »

ozgeorge let me ask you a question in order to clarify my thesis: Do you believe that my father is a human being that he was first born as a child from the marriage of my grandmother with my grandfather, then he became older and stronger he met my mother and afterwards he married her and she gave birth to me, and we lived as a family with a father - son relation? Of course you do. Is there someone to challenge this reality? I think not.

So knowing the human nature of my father and all of his human characteristics gave you the opportunity to "know him". Then you, along with everybody else, you believed in Him. You believed that he is a common human man having a son and there is no way that you are going to change this belief. It seems that you share a common belief with others based on your knowledge my existence has provided you, because my being as human demands my fathers being. This is not a “common faith”. My thesis is that this is not faith at all.

To put it in a simple context: “faith” must give you the possibility to deny “faith” itself!!!

“Common faith” pre-assumes that we (that participate in the “faith”) have something in common. This “common” thing prevents me and the others from having the possibility to deny the “faith”. Because being honest with my self I must take for granted the common bond that transforms our individual faith into “common faith”.

If I was telling you that I have seen Virgin Mother of God last night would you have believed me? Having nothing in common with me regarding this insistent you are free to believe me or not. This is faith.

On the other hand if I was I was telling you that I have seen Virgin Mother of God last night and either you were with me then or I was providing hard evidence supporting my claims, you are obliged to believe me. This obligation is the “common faith” which is no faith at all.

No suppose that I have seen Virgin Mother of God last night and you have also seen the Virgin Mother of God two nights before, we share a “common belief” that in reality is not “common”. This is because I had a personal experience that you cannot affirm or deny and you had a personal experience that I cannot affirm or deny. The only common “thing” in our experience is Virgin Mother of God but that person has not provided hard evidence to either of us about her visits. So what we presume as “common faith” regarding her visit and her relation with us is substantially a strictly private faith.

We may as well talk of it as “one visit”, “one faith”, “one Virgin Mother” but what we are actually referring to is a singularly personal faith.

In this frame, I agree with you post "There is only one Faith which all believers share".

As for Protestants I think they are believers of a personal relationship with Jesus that is so personal in the context of their Faith that most of the times Jesus himself is absolutely missing! They just believe in their faith, not to a Person. As I would have believed that I have a father because I am human but there is no need to know him, because my humanity alone is all I need for my faith regarding the existence of my father. I think they similarly believe in Christ with a personal way that make Christ obsolete and unnecessary.

The wrong way of protestants is not that they seek to be "persons" but that they seek just that and nothing else.
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« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2005, 10:58:47 PM »

Kizzy, Ipap,


God is not a "Concept". God is the Living God Who is the Absolute- that is, the Divine Truth is relative to nothing else. As such, the only possible way humanity can know anything about God is by knowing what He Himself has chosen to Reveal about Himself.

True theology is about Revealed Truth. True theology cannot possibly have "theories" or "hypotheses". What some call the "knowledge of God", is in fact simply the knowledge of their own concepts and theories of God.

The Orthodox Faith is not simply "one possible way" among many. The claim of the Orthodox Church is that it alone contains the fullness of what God has revealed about Himself to humanity. While the non-Orthodox may have some parts of the Revealed Divine Truth, the Orthodox Church alone contains the fullness of Revealed Truth. Ipap's example of the different views which two siblings have of their same father is therefore not applicable. If we use this metaphor, the Orthodox Church would contain both siblings' views of their father (assuming they were both true).


OzG,  What I have said is not to contradict this... but I believe it is important to remember that the Divine truth revealed was recorded and transmitted through the written word.  And when one reads the Bible, we can see 4 different approaches to the same truth... Each Evangelist had his  own style, or rather, picked a style appropriate for the different backgrounds of their audiences...Each spoke of Divine Truth from his personal relationship with it and attempted to help his  audience develop a personal relationship as well, by making it relevant to their particular situation.   In fact this was a homily of our Archimandrite very recently... how each Evangelist spoke of the same truth, but from a different perspective... It is faith that 'fills in the gaps' between what was said and that left unsaid... or between  things stated in different sections of the bible that appear to be contradictory.  And even though within Orthodoxy we have a  common faith to 'fill in the gaps' in  a similar way... one cannot ever presume that everyone has exactly the same faith on everything, even if in repeating the same prayers, the meaning of the words to an individual is always within the context of their personal world... In fact, homilies do try to help the congregation relate church teaching to their personal world...It was an interesting sermon when our priest explained why we ask for the intercessions of the Theotokos... and he explained how a mother in a family typically intercedes between the children and the father, esp. when the children have done something naughty..."the mother asks the father to not be so harsh, to soften the blow..."  As simple as this was, it was also a profound example... but importantly  in my mind I saw my mother, my father, and then me as a mother with my children and husband and the similar  role I play in the family ... So, when Ipap indicated that  non- Orthodox  may have more Orthodox beliefs than they know, and you have to get to know their experience to relate it to them, this is one simple example... Another example was on the occasion of my daugher's 1st Holy Communion at her  christening -  when a very old RC lady commented to me how wonderful it was to have infants receive communion. "We should't keep babies away from the Cup."  She had just never experienced it before... and she was 92...

In XC, Kizzy   

   


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« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2005, 06:45:25 AM »

Kizzy, Ipap,

Let me review some of the statements made in this thread that I am opposed to, and review why I said that I do not agree with them:

Orthodox Church is a Church of empirical faith. If we deny the "empirical" part we may not ask for the faith.
How can we reconcile this with the teachings of the Church? Is faith empirical? Is Divine Truth Relative?

The God of Calvinism does not exist. The God of Orthodoxy does not exist.
Do we worship the same God the Calvinists do, and are both the Orthodox and Calvanist knowledge of God incorrect?

The God of Katherine, of Peter, of John, of Mary truly exists. The God is a Trinity relation of Three Persons. He does not exist according to theological systems or truths or dogmas.
Does God exist only in relation to individual persons and their egos? Is God therefore relative and not Absolute?

It happens that I have a twin brother. Whenever we talk about our father I realise that my brother has sometimes a very similar view about him with myself but there are also so many other times that he has a very different opinion about him. There are times that I have the feeling that we are talking about two different persons. Though, we are both talking about our own same dad. I think that my view about my dad is the correct one, but this is not excluding my brother from having a real personal relation with him. I believe that the main reason for our difference is that my personal relation with my dad is mine and my brother’s personal relation with my dad is his. My father may say or he may do something to us that make my brother furious while at the same time I am not even offended by him.
So, using this analogy, should we say that the Orthodox view of God and the Islamic view of God are simply "two different points of view of the same God"? Is Islam completely reconcilable with Orthodoxy and in fact Islam "completes" Orthodoxy's "inccomplete" understanding of what God has revealed about Himself? Does Orthodoxy only know "part" of the Truth, and Islam knows the "other part" of the Truth?

Several people are saying monstrous false things about Christ or God. That is not a sign that they are talking about some other Christ or some other God, but that they are not living our lives, that they have their own personal lives.
If the Orthodox Faith is, as Ipap says, "empirical", and therefore contains only relative truths, not Absolute ones, why should anyone come to Orthodoxy? If they can have a "personal relationship with God" outside the Orthodox Church, why do they need to have a "personal relationship with God" inside the Orthodox Church? By what is being said here, the only reason to bring people to Orthodoxy is to fill the coffers of the Church. Since (according to Ipap) fthe Orthodox Faith is empirical and God is relative, anything people can get inside the Church, they can also get outside the Church.

... but I believe it is important to remember that the Divine truth revealed was recorded and transmitted through the written word. And when one reads the Bible, we can see 4 different approaches to the same truth... Each Evangelist had his own style, or rather, picked a style appropriate for the different backgrounds of their audiences...
Here we go again with the "different point of view analogy"... And here I go again explaining why it doesn't work:
Kizzy, you seem to have missed one vital point in this analogy you have used...the Orthodox Church contains all four Gospels. In other words- these four different "styles" as you put it are all contained within the one Orthodox Church.The Orthodox Church contains the Fullness of Revelation which ended with the falling asleep in the Lord of the last Apostle, St. John. Anything that can possibly be known about God through what He has Revealed, is known by the Orthodox Church. No one outside the Orthodox Church can teach the Church anything about God that it does not already know. The Church alone contains this Fullness of Revelation. Anyone who has an understanding of God which the Orthodox Church does not contain has created a concept of God, and is worshipping that concept. This may indeed be their own approach to the Truth, but it is the wrong approach and doomed to failure once their "concept" begins to crumble in the face of the Truth which is Absolute, not relative or empirical.

I am not saying that we have to throw in peoples faces the fact that Orthodoxy alone contains the fullness of Truth. What I am saying is that when we enter dialogue, we cannot deny this if asked.
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« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2005, 08:19:01 AM »

... but I believe it is important to remember that the Divine truth revealed was recorded and transmitted through the written word....,<snip>... It is faith that 'fills in the gaps' between what was said and that left unsaid...

Kizzy,
It has just occured to me that this could be the crux of what we do not agree on.
While it is ture that the Transcendent and Ineffable Trinity can never be contained within words, there are certain revealed Absolute Truths which are expressed in words. Christ taught us, not only with His Being and actions, but also by His words. How often does He begin statements by saying: "Amen! Amen! I say unto you..." An example of one such revealed Absolute Truths is His statement that:
"Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away."
Here we have a classic example of a Revealed Absolute Truth which is contained in words. It is "Revealed" because unless the Incarnate God-Man had told us, there is no way we could have ever known that even though Heaven and Earth will pass away, Christ's words will not pass away, it is "revealed" because we cannot arrive at this knowledge through empirical means. It is an "Absolute" Truth beacause it is not dependant on the 'truth' of any other principle. So, here we have a Revealed Absolute Truth expressed in words.
Faith is therfore not the 'filling in of the gaps', Faith is believeing the Revealed Absolute Truths of God. We cannot simply have "faith"- we must have faith in something. If we "fill in the gaps" ourselves, then the only thing that we can claim to have faith in is ourselves and our own concepts.

George (Australia)
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« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2005, 10:55:29 AM »




While it is ture that the Transcendent and Ineffable Trinity can never be contained within words, there are certain revealed Absolute Truths which are expressed in words. Christ taught us, not only with His Being and actions, but also by His words.

OZG, And all of His actions and statements  were recorded down by someone else... and the gaps I am speaking of are that when one reads each of the Gospels, some of the statements they reveal are not identical and in fact it is the differences between them that has risen to different 'faiths' ....  In fact what is interesting is that for many scriptural quotes one puts as evidence of why one faith believes one thing, another person counters it with another quote that indicates something else... Even the church fathers were not identical in their beliefs... However,  sometimes I think that because God knows of  the differences within people, the breadth of holy scripture accounts for this... Remember Christ wanted the Apostles to spread the faith and he wanted unity... but it was St. Constantine who took the step of equating unity with 'identical' in every single thing- for political reasons.   

As an aside, I was reading in the newspaper how a kidnapped woman read to her captor from a new book, "the Purpose driven Life"... and how she was able to transform a horrible situation by doing so... The author/heritage of that book is Baptist and it clearly  offered goodness in this situation, esp for the captor.  I have not read the book...but the summaries sound inspiring. I wonder how much of it would be consistent with Orthodoxy...perhaps more than we know...

In XC, Kizzy   






 
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« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2005, 11:40:18 AM »



OZG, And all of His actions and statements were recorded down by someone else... and the gaps I am speaking of are that when one reads each of the Gospels, some of the statements they reveal are not identical and in fact it is the differences between them that has risen to different 'faiths' .... In fact what is interesting is that for many scriptural quotes one puts as evidence of why one faith believes one thing, another person counters it with another quote that indicates something else... Even the church fathers were not identical in their beliefs... However, sometimes I think that because God knows of the differences within people, the breadth of holy scripture accounts for this... Remember Christ wanted the Apostles to spread the faith and he wanted unity... but it was St. Constantine who took the step of equating unity with 'identical' in every single thing- for political reasons.

As an aside, I was reading in the newspaper how a kidnapped woman read to her captor from a new book, "the Purpose driven Life"... and how she was able to transform a horrible situation by doing so... The author/heritage of that book is Baptist and it clearly offered goodness in this situation, esp for the captor. I have not read the book...but the summaries sound inspiring. I wonder how much of it would be consistent with Orthodoxy...perhaps more than we know...

In XC, Kizzy

Wow! This sure smacks of Protestant thinking to me. I distinctly recall reading in the Gospels words to the effect "and these things the Lord said (or taught) ...and many other things not written here". (Loosely paraphrased, sorry; no time to look it up).
Does this mean these lessons and teachings "not written" have been lost? Well, perhaps so to many in the west who fit Kizzy's description of those, without Tradition to guide them, who interpret on their own. But this is the heart of Holy Apostolic Tradition of which the written word is only part.
Apostolic succession is not some hocus-pocus magic rite where a monk is deemed able to interpret on his own, but a preservation of the Church and all Christ taught. UNITY is in the Holy Tradition.
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« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2005, 01:51:37 PM »

It seems to me that Israel was the Lords favor people truly waiting for Messiah.

Nevertheless they missed to accept Messiah when He came. They stand firmly on “tradition”, “truth” and “law” refusing to relate with a human Person that happened to be - by an invisible way - the Son of God.

Sister Kizzy is in the right path not to make the same mistakes like they did. She seeks the unseen qualities inside visible persons.

Some of us are not living our lives with the same wisdom as she is.
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« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2005, 05:36:40 PM »



Wow! This sure smacks of Protestant thinking to me.
Well gee, I've never been to a Protestant religious service  or read Protestant church materials... Don't even have Protestant acquaintances... most are EO(all backgrounds), or RC, and a few Jews... Apostolic tradition was eventually recorded down in the written word....we have faith that nothing was lost...And it is written word that attempts to explain the tradition today to both EO and those seeking to learn...

It is only faith that says it's all there...

In XC, Kizzy

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« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2005, 06:09:17 PM »


Well gee, I've never been to a Protestant religious service or read Protestant church materials... Don't even have Protestant acquaintances... most are EO(all backgrounds), or RC, and a few Jews... Apostolic tradition was eventually recorded down in the written word....we have faith that nothing was lost...And it is written word that attempts to explain the tradition today to both EO and those seeking to learn...

It is only faith that says it's all there...

In XC, Kizzy

Goboligook.
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« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2005, 07:37:43 PM »

but it was St. Constantine who took the step of equating unity with 'identical' in every single thing- for political reasons.

Kizzy,
This is nonsense. Firstly, St Constantine the Great did not equate "identical" with unity. The different Liturgies throught the East and West attest to this. Secondly, "unity of Faith" is not an invention of St. Constantine, it comes from Christ and the Apostles.

Let me repeat again some of what the Apostles wrote:

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4: 4-6

"That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:6

"Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." 2 Corinthians 13:11

"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" Philippians 1:27

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:2

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:" 1 Peter 3:8


Now, let's look at what the Apostles said about those who do not hold the one Faith of the Church:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel." Galatians 1:5-7

"Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." Galatians 1:6-8

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with himGǪGǪ.For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3-13.
(do you see that those who do not share the mind of the Church are worshipping “another Jesus”?)

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5-7

In summary, rather than go off in tangents with our own ideas and concepts of God, the Apostles exhort us:
“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:14-16

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« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2005, 09:28:15 PM »


It is only faith that says it's all there...


Well Kizzy, You have just written the most unbelievable remark.

Remove faith and everything collapses into pieces. God bless you.
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« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2005, 10:37:34 PM »



Well Kizzy, You have just written the most unbelievable remark.

Remove faith and everything collapses into pieces. God bless you.
God bless you too!

in Xc, Kizzy
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« Reply #75 on: April 14, 2005, 11:15:40 PM »



Kizzy,
This is nonsense. Firstly, St Constantine the Great did not equate "identical" with unity. The different Liturgies throught the East and West attest to this. Secondly, "unity of Faith" is not an invention of St. Constantine, it comes from Christ and the Apostles.


St. Constantine was the one who moved for the creation of a credo...and the establishment of a council, both of  which were common approaches for reaching decision  in the Roman empire ...At the time, while Christians were united in their belief in Christ the redeemer and a triune God, there were many variations or interpretations on the theme... If it was all so simply spelled out  in the Bible, this move by St. Constantine would not have been needed...the Bible  alone would have been 'unity of faith'... The point is, it was not simply spelled out in the Bible.  Some early Christians worshipped with Jews, some not, some believed you had to be a Jew first before a Christian, etc...but in a huge contrast to the pagans, they were 'united in faith'... St. Constantine pushed to take it a step further so that he could base his empire on it.

  I  believe that interpretation of the words in the Bible, that is a full understanding of God's command,  is a centuries long proposition for hunankind in our infinite non-wisdom...the written word is at best a very humble attempt to express the fullness of God... and when we add language translations, it only gets worse...for each language does not have a complete list of words of identical meaning...and substitute words are not always 100% meaning the same...

Gosh, in the east we call Coca Cola 'soda', and in Chicago its 'pop'... to this day my husband and I argue about the correct word to use...turns out each word is correct, depending on where you live...despite that the bottle says 'carbonated soda water'... so 'soda' is technically more accurate,  but not sufficient...Ask a waitress in NYC for 'pop' and you'll get a blank look... ask one in Chicago for 'soda' and you'll get seltzer...
The point is anything that relies on language is imperfect and  is likely to have more than one interpretation across geographies....

in XC,
Kizzy

 

 


   
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« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2005, 12:52:57 AM »

...which is why we native Virginians say, "soda-pop"

weird Yankees.
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« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2005, 12:58:22 AM »

I believe that interpretation of the words in the Bible, that is a full understanding of God's command, is a centuries long proposition for hunankind in our infinite non-wisdom...the written word is at best a very humble attempt to express the fullness of God... and when we add language translations, it only gets worse...for each language does not have a complete list of words of identical meaning...and substitute words are not always 100% meaning the same........<snip>.......The point is anything that relies on language is imperfect and is likely to have more than one interpretation across geographies...

Kizzy,
Language is the only means we have of sharing ideas, faith, knowledge. etc. with one another.And of all the forms of language, the most precise is the written word. The Nicene Creed is written in words, and is a statement of the faith which all members of the Church accept. How many ways can the Nicene Creed be interpreted? In order to change the meaning to include a new idea, (or some would say, in order to 'better express" an "existing" idea), the Western Church had to insert a new word into it- 'filioque". With all it's imperfection, the written word was so able to precisely define Absolute Truth that it had to be changed to accomodate another idea.

So what is it then that you mean when you say:
... but it was St. Constantine who took the step of equating unity with 'identical' in every single thing- for political reasons.

Are you saying that Unity does not depend on accepting the same dogmas of Faith? Are you saying that St. Constantine introduced unity of doctrine into the Church for political reasons? Are you saying that the unity of Faith expressed in the Nicene Creed was not in the Church prior to the Nicene Creed- in other words, prior to the Nicene Creed, Christians could believe whatever they wanted? Are you saying that the Apostles' condemnations of those who taught perverted and new "Gospels" (condemnations which I have now twice posted). These condemnations were directed at persons who were introducing alien ideas into the Church via the written and spoken word, and were refuted by the Apostles by their own written and spoken words.
Clearly the Faith is not some nebulous idea that cannot be expressed in words. The Apostles enlightened the universe by their preaching.
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« Reply #78 on: April 15, 2005, 01:37:55 AM »

...which is why we native Virginians say, "soda-pop"

weird Yankees.

I'm a Californian and perfectly understand the "soda-pop" - it's comprehensive!  I should look up that Cal-Tech (or is it MIT or Stanford) study on the Soda/Pop survey.
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« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2005, 11:24:03 AM »



I'm a Californian and perfectly understand the "soda-pop" - it's comprehensive! I should look up that Cal-Tech (or is it MIT or Stanford) study on the Soda/Pop survey.
I lived in Simi Valley for awhile...in High School .. Took me a good year to  get  used to calling lollipops by the word 'suckers'... or lunch bags by the word 'sack', or handbags by the word 'purse'... or sneakers by the word 'tennies'... Are these still common expressions out west?

I remember thinking... where on earth did we move to???
Kizzy...
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« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2005, 11:49:18 AM »



Kizzy,
Language is the only means we have of sharing ideas, faith, knowledge. etc. with one another.And of all the forms of language, the most precise is the written word. The Nicene Creed is written in words, and is a statement of the faith which all members of the Church accept. How many ways can the Nicene Creed be interpreted? In order to change the meaning to include a new idea, (or some would say, in order to 'better express" an "existing" idea), the Western Church had to insert a new word into it- 'filioque". With all it's imperfection, the written word was so able to precisely define Absolute Truth that it had to be changed to accomodate another idea.


It is true the most precise is the written word...and that has a problem in itself... if you write in one langauge and then translate  in another..maybe a different statement is needed to convey the same meaning...since there often is not a 'word for word' translation... then we go another step and translate it into English and try to analyze thing written in different languages based on on understanding in English.. So,  what I'm saying is that once we start working with different languages it becomes very difficult for the 'outsider' to truly analyze something written in  a different culture and tongue..   

What I'm saying/asking rhetorically  is to think of  why did the NC need to be created? We had the Bible right? Why was that not enough for unity?  Was believing in the revealed Truths in the Bible unity?  Or were there conflicting statements within that began to create diversity? Is this diversity within the Bible itself a 'unity' of thought...?   
St. John (XVI, 13-15) gives the words of Christ: "What things soever he [the Spirit] shall hear, he shall speak; ...he shall receive of mine, and shew it to you. All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine."

Note he didn't say 'except for the Holy spirit'... If language is precise... "all things" is pretty clear... and yes there were councils and statments by church fathers on this topic to try to figure out what was the meaning...but the Gospel still stands as the supreme guide... and everything that follows represents the attempt of human kind to understand it's meaning, with help from the Holy Spirit, who is working even now to bring us to full understanding...

In XC, Kizzy..
 



 
   
 
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« Reply #81 on: April 15, 2005, 01:45:49 PM »

Now I think we are getting somewhere...

What "human words" have to do with "Faith" ?

I am married and I live with my wife for the past 5 years. I have faith in our relationship by having faith in her. If someone comes and tells me that my wife is not the person that I know of, how could I persuade him that he is wrong?

First I have to talk to him about her. I have to explain my life's experiences with her. I have to explain that he may know her or he may be informed about her but he has wrong opinion in certain things or everything regarding her personality and her actual life. Then if my arguments are convincing enough he may recognize his error. But until he‘ll experience the same experiences I have lived with her, he will never know her . He will only have all the right information about her but he will ignore her as a person through a personal relationship. On the other hand he may already have a personal relationship with her having at the same time wrong opinion about her.
(I use my wife in this example but I hope that I am the only blessed one to live her life as her husband - or am I not ? :love2:)

This is an analogy of the story of the Church. Those who were living the life of Church as members of the Body of Christ have no need to write down their experiences or His description/character. (Exactly like I don’t have the need to write down my experiences with my wife in order to be used by my family). But as soon as several others challenged the true description/character of God, or when they challenged the nature of the relationship with Him, Church was forced to call “Holy synods” in order to express the true reality of personal relationship that Its members were living with Christ. Each time the respective synod was concerned exclusively with the issues in question.

Of course human expectations and conveniences were also expressed in this process, like I may express personal intentions in defending my wife’s true status and the reality for her life; nevertheless I truly live with her a personal relationship. You may challenge my motive for defending her or my ability to achieve my intention but you can not challenge my relation with her.

As I have to use "words" in order to explain to someone else things about my wife's personality and her life, likewise the Church used "words" in order to declare Its life’s experiences and to describe God. These "words" - being as precious as they are- they were not the faith of the Church, but they were the written testimony of Christians about the "faith" of the Church.

So, the "human words" are about something and "faith" is a living reality. Nobody can understand faith unless he lives it as a living reality. Everybody can understand words about faith as a testimony of someone else.

And as in every controversy about a living reality, words are insufficient to express the truth to non-participants, likewise in the dialogue with non-participants of Church the best way to have an honest meeting with them is just to say to them: -½God's Son has incarnated as a human Man: “a man-God”. Do you want to be baptize in order to meet Him? -+ That’s all that is needed, and that is exactly what ancient Church has done. Just look at the Book of Acts. That is the message of Apostles to non-baptized people.

That is exactly the order of the Lord: Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman: John 4:39-42 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”


“To make disciples” is not to convince people about the rightness of the true Christian faith by using words and arguments.

“To make disciples” is to baptize people, by their free will, in order to introduce them into a Divine living Reality.

The message of Christian Faith is not that: “There are several volumes of faith doctrine that have to be learned and be accepted by humans in the first place in order to be baptized and become a member of the Church afterwards."

The message of Christian Faith is that: “The Reign of Heaven has come and it is the reality of meeting with the Person of man-God Christ. This meeting is initiated with the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Come to be baptized if you want to meet with Him.”

... So, what I'm saying is that once we start working with different languages it becomes very difficult for the 'outsider' to truly analyze something written in a different culture and tongue..

I definitely agree.

"outsider" for me means not to participate in the life of another human being. The moment you start to participate in his/her life you stop being "outsider" and then "culture and tongue" are manifested through the living form of the associated Person.
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« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2005, 06:01:48 PM »

What I'm saying/asking rhetorically is to think of why did the NC need to be created? We had the Bible right?

Kizzy,
No, we did not "have the bible" when the Nicene Creed was promulgated. The final Canon of Scripture had not been fully agreed upon.
Also, we are not (or at least, Orthodox Christians are not) Scripta Sola Protestants who deny even the basic logic that the Apostolic Tradition predatesNew Testament Scripture). Scripture forms part of the Apostolic Tradition, but it is not the sum total of it.
Kizzy, Ipap,
what you are both suggesting is the "Perfect" Church would be something like the Quakers who worship in silence. Is this how you both hope to prevent the exclusion of "outsiders"?
Did Our Lord exclude the Chinese because He spoke neither Canonese nor Mandrin?
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« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2005, 06:54:37 PM »

Kizzy, Ipap,
what you are both suggesting is the "Perfect" Church would be something like the Quakers who worship in silence. Is this how you both hope to prevent the exclusion of "outsiders"?
Did Our Lord exclude the Chinese because He spoke neither Canonese nor Mandrin?

Brother ozgeorge,

I do not suggest any "Perfect" Church neither disagree with your postings. As you already know Church is not made "Perfect" by our behavior.

I am just trying to make (emphatically) clear that "Latins" are human beings with their own individual personality - each one of them - and that they may be relate to Jesus as persons with the same personal relation such an Orthodox Christian does while being wrong in their "theology". We have to separate people from theology, or else there was no need for Christ to be crucified (Jesus was incarnated as man-God and has been crucified so that would be possible for humans to relate with Him through a personal relation, not for giving them the “true knowledge of God”).

Apostle Paul was a dreadful persecutor of Christians and he had faith to a anti-Jesus theology but that had not prevented him from relating to true God - actually he saw Jesus personally before he was even been baptized. He was honestly and personally ministering God while having a false faith that drove him into false actions. He was thinking that Jesus was phoney while at the same time had known the truth of personal God, not as it was manifested from his short sighted Jewish faith (that is still up to our days refusing to accept a personal God) but by his hearty personal zeal.

All it takes for a Chinese to meet the true God is just to live the reality of the "law that is written in his heart by God" as Apostle Paul did. There is absolutely no need to read about God. Al that has to do is to live the lives of other people. We, Christians, call that personal participation to the lives of others "Christian love" and Christ had said that: "by that you shall be separated from others as my true disciples in that you shall love each other".

Just a simple question that may help me clarify my position on this issue: Before the separation of Church to Eastern and Western ones, were there people that they honestly were confessing one orthodox faith but in their hearts they were living an unspoken Romeo-Catholic reality regarding their personal relation with God - prior to formal creation of papal theology? Are there those kinds of people today inside the Orthodox Church that they think that they truly and honestly believe in One Orthodox dogma and Orthodox faith but in their personal relation with God are not living such a reality? I may have ask myself twice before I answer to this question regarding "my faith" and "my relation with God".

I think that there are many so called "Latins" that they are convinced that they are following Vatican theology - they may even be ready to give their lives on this issue - but they are actually having a true Ortodox relation with the true God. Chinese, Quakers and everyone else is included in living such an misconception in their lives.

Remember Apostle Paul’s case.

Finally let me append an extract from an essay of Father J. Romanidis:http://www.romanity.org/htm/ro4enfm.htm

"...This raises the question about the validity of Systematic or Dogmatic Theology and its distinction from Pastoral Theology and the relation of both to so-called Christian Ethics. Within the context of the cure of purification and illumination of the heart and glorification these theological disciplines do not really exist. The very fact that one's spirit must return to the heart emptied of both good and bad thoughts in order to be occupied only with prayer that the intellect may by occupied with its normal activities does not allow such divisions of labor. What is left is cure of oneself in communion with others as expressed in the gospel of Christ with which He Himself inspired in His friends even before His incarnation.

Such documents as "Confessing the One Faith" are distortions of our Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in its present form. It must be completed by the fact that " God, whom no one has ever seen" (John 1:18), has indeed revealed Himself to the prophets of the Old Testament in His uncreated Messenger even before His incarnation. To see the Angel of the Lord is to see God Himself Who sends Him. "The only begotten Son, He Who is in the bosom of the Father, He reveals." As the prophets saw and heard God in His Messenger, so now also he who sees and hears His incarnate Messenger sees and hears God Himself. She who gave birth to Christ gave birth to God's Logos in the flesh. They who crucified Christ crucified the Logos Himself in the flesh. "He who believes in me does not believe in me but in him who sent me, and he who sees me sees him who sent me." (John 12:44-45). " Lord, show us the Father... He who sees me has seen the Father." (John 14:8-9). This identity between the uncreated Messenger of God in the Old Testament and the incarnate Logos in the New Testament is the key to a correct appreciation of the Three, Seven and Nine Ecumenical Councils (879, 1341) of the Orthodox Church.

From the viewpoint of both the Old and New Testaments and the Fathers correct faith in the Lord of Glory is not a religion, but the rejection of religion. Religion is a sickness which confuses words and concepts taken from one's environment with God and transforms them into the idols that they are. This is exactly what most so-called theologians, pastors and faithful do. The faithful who are not at least in the state of illumination may seem better than members of other religions, but may be even morally worse. Such evaluations may be to the point within the context of the negative role religions seem to be playing today. A discussion and agreement about the dangers of analogia entis (1), analogia fidei (2) and the fanatics they tend to breed within Christianity and other religions may be a helpful and useful corollary to our work together..."


(1) Analogy of being (analogia entis)
The theory, especially associated with Thomas Aquinas, that there exists a correspondence or analogy between the created order and God, as a result of the divine creatorship. The idea gives theoretical justification to the practice of drawing conclusions from the known objects and relationships of the natural order concerning God.

(2)Analogy of faith (analogia fidei)
The theory, especially associated with Karl Barth, which holds that any correspondence between the created order and God is only established on the basis of the self-revelation of God.
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« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2005, 11:24:15 PM »



Kizzy, Ipap,
what you are both suggesting is the "Perfect" Church would be something like the Quakers who worship in silence. Is this how you both hope to prevent the exclusion of "outsiders"?
Did Our Lord exclude the Chinese because He spoke neither Canonese nor Mandrin?

OZG, I am not suggesting that, though some monastics have... What I am saying is that while we use the written word, we
must at the same time realize it is still less perfect than God itself, and therefore one's faith cannot be fully defined by the written word alone... We cannot judge others by the 'written word' they use... only God will judge them by their faith....And Apostolic tradition was written down and it is the written form that is used to 'teach'...

Our Lord left spreading the faith to the Chinese and others, up to us....and finding how to translate the words so that they convey the exact same meaning will be difficult...I've asked an expert in Orthodox chant how would we use the 8 modes in an Asian country such as Thailand...where the language itself has it's own 'tonality' and is so complex that most expats never learn the local language... As of now there is not an answer to this question...so the task to teach the Orthodox faith to some other cultures, in order to succeed, may need to rely significantly less on language, and more on first understanding the life experience of another culture, and living by example...

In XC, Kizzy
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« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2005, 11:32:38 PM »



 The faithful who are not at least in the state of illumination may seem better than members of other religions, but may be even morally worse.

Ipap...I always new my Mom was right about this..."beware the people who can always quote chapter and verse of scripture and recite every rule and canon...   they may seem righteous... but they are often far from it..." She used to caution me... the people who are always in church, running all the ministries, sometimes turn out to be the nastiest, self righteous, least humble  people in the church...I have found this to be true more often than I wish...

 in XC, Kizzy
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« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2005, 11:46:11 PM »

Brother ozgeorge, I am just trying to make (emphatically) clear that "Latins" are human beings with their own individual personality - each one of them - and that they may be relate to Jesus as persons with the same personal relation such an Orthodox Christian does while being wrong in their "theology".
Who said anything about the Roman Catholics? I certainly haven't. My point, (which I have now repeated several times) is that this idea of a "personal relationship" as a basis of Faith is foreign to Orthodoxy. One does not start with a "personal relationship" with someone they don't even know. You get to know the person so you can then start a personal relationship. If we don't know Who God is, how can we have a "personal relationship" with Him? And even knowing the Truths we do know about Him, how can we have a "personal relationship" with someone Who is Transcendent?
Both yourself and Kizzy seem to be advocating the sickly-sweet Protestant and Roman Catholic sentimentalism which reminds me of the "Honk if you love Jesus" and "devotion to the Sacred Heart" mentalities.

(Jesus was incarnated as man-God and has been crucified so that would be possible for humans to relate with Him through a personal relation, not for giving them the “true knowledge of God”).
"Christ was crucified so that we can have a personal relationship with Him"? Huh This is the most foreign, innovative and unOrthodox explanation I have ever heard.

Apostle Paul was a dreadful persecutor of Christians and he had faith to a anti-Jesus theology but that had not prevented him from relating to true God - actually he saw Jesus personally before he was even been baptized. He was honestly and personally ministering God while having a false faith that drove him into false actions.
Firstly, note that Saul did not recognise Jesus, and cried "Who art Thou?" when he encountered Him. Secondly, Saul thought that he had a relationship with God- but one based on ignorance of the Truth about God. So what drove him to persecute the Christians was this ignorant relationship with God which he was zealous about. Saul's "relationship with God" was actually a "relationship with his own concept of God"- this is the same danger all fall into who do not accept God's Self-revelation, and prefer to worship their own concepts.

All it takes for a Chinese to meet the true God is just to live the reality of the "law that is written in his heart by God" as Apostle Paul did. There is absolutely no need to read about God. Al that has to do is to live the lives of other people.
"There is no need to read about God"? Huh Then why don't we just burn all the Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers and just have a group hug around the bonfire? Also, we cannot live the lives of other people. Do you want to live my life? Then could you live it properly please and pay my mortgage and bills!

We, Christians, call that personal participation to the lives of others "Christian love" and Christ had said that: "by that you shall be separated from others as my true disciples in that you shall love each other".
Where did you read this? Don't you know that there is "no need to read about God"? Wink

Just a simple question that may help me clarify my position on this issue: Before the separation of Church to Eastern and Western ones, were there people that they honestly were confessing one orthodox faith but in their hearts they were living an unspoken Romeo-Catholic reality regarding their personal relation with God - prior to formal creation of papal theology? Are there those kinds of people today inside the Orthodox Church that they think that they truly and honestly believe in One Orthodox dogma and Orthodox faith but in their personal relation with God are not living such a reality? I may have ask myself twice before I answer to this question regarding "my faith" and "my relation with God".
I don't know, I do not presume to judge men's hearts- only God can do this.

I think that there are many so called "Latins" that they are convinced that they are following Vatican theology - they may even be ready to give their lives on this issue - but they are actually having a true Ortodox relation with the true God. Chinese, Quakers and everyone else is included in living such an misconception in their lives.
I don't know, I do not presume to judge men's hearts- only God can do this.
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« Reply #87 on: April 16, 2005, 12:17:26 AM »

... What I am saying is that while we use the written word, we cannot be fully defined by the written word alone...
Kizzy,
This is a pointless and erroneous analogy. "God" and "Faith" are not the same thing. "Faith" is the belief in God inasmuch as we know Him, plus knowing that He is Transcendent. What we know about God is the Divine Truths He has revealed, what we don't know about God is unknown to us, yet we even have a words to describe this: "Ineffable", "unapproachable", "transcendent", "uncreated", "eternal"...... Faith, therefore, can be expressed in words,even though God cannot, being Transcendent.
We do not know everything about the composition of the Sun, but we can still express what we do know about it in words.

...I've asked an expert in Orthodox chant how would we use the 8 modes in an Asian country such as Thailand...where the language itself has it's own 'tonality' and is so complex that most expats never learn the local language... As of now there is not an answer to this question...so the task to teach the Orthodox faith to some other cultures, in order to succeed, may need to rely significantly less on language, and more on first understanding the life experience of another culture, and living by example...
The eight Tones do not express the Absolute Truths now, do they? If they did, then we would be in serious trouble since the eight tones are vastly different in Greek and Slavonic usage. The eight tones aren't even written or spoken words which we have agreed is the most precise way to share knowledge. Try again Kizzy.
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« Reply #88 on: April 16, 2005, 05:53:55 AM »

Now, let's face the original question to this topic : "What happens if the Latins are right?"

Salvation is not about rightness and wrongness. The real question to be asked is “What happens if the Latins know Christ?”

My answer is “So what?” Let it be.

As brother ozgeorege said “men's heart is a place that only God can visit”.

brother ozgeorege:
Quote
"Christ was crucified so that we can have a personal relationship with Him"? This is the most foreign, innovative and unOrthodox explanation I have ever heard.

May be easier to understand my point if I use an extract from an essay of S. Athanasios tittled "On the Incarnation of the Word (Logos)" . You can find the whole text in here : http://www.ccel.org/cdrom/ccelv4/fathers2/npnf204/npnf2015.htm#P1830_678055

Emphasis marks are placed by me:

On the Incarnation of the Word

"....-º8. The Word, Then, Visited that Earth in Which He Was Yet Always Present ; And Saw All These Evils. He Takes a Body of Our Nature, and that of a Spotless Virgin, in Whose Womb He Makes It His Own, Wherein to Reveal Himself, Conquer Death, and Restore Life.

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God comes to our realm, howbeit he was not far from us before. For no part of Creation is left void of Him: He has filled all things everywhere, remaining present with His own Father. But He comes in condescension to shew loving-kindness upon us, and to visit us. 2. And seeing the race of rational creatures in the way to perish, and death reigning over them by corruption; seeing, too, that the threat against transgression gave a firm hold to the corruption which was upon us, and that it was monstrous that before the law was fulfilled it should fall through: seeing, once more, the unseemliness of what was come to pass: that the things whereof He Himself was Artificer were passing away: seeing, further, the exceeding wickedness of men, and how by little and little they had increased it to an intolerable pitch against themselves: and seeing, lastly, how all men were under penalty of death: He took pity on our race, and had mercy on our infirmity, and condescended to our corruption, and, unable to bear that death should have the mastery—lest the creature should perish, and His Father’s handiwork in men be spent for nought—He takes unto Himself a body, and that of no different sort from ours. 3. For He did not simply will to become embodied, or will merely to appear . For if He willed merely to appear, He was able to effect His divine appearance by some other and higher means as well. But He takes a body of our kind, and not merely so, but from a spotless and stainless virgin, knowing not a man, a body clean and in very truth pure from intercourse of men. For being Himself mighty, and Artificer of everything, He prepares the body in the Virgin as a temple unto Himself, and makes it His very own as an instrument, in it manifested, and in it dwelling. 4. And thus taking from our bodies one of like nature, because all were under penalty of the corruption of death He gave it over to death in the stead of all, and offered it to the Father—doing this, moreover, of His loving-kindness, to the end that, firstly, all being held to have died in Him, the law involving the ruin of men might be undone (inasmuch as its power was fully spent in the Lord’s body, and had no longer holding-ground against men, his peers), and that, secondly, whereas men had turned toward corruption, He might turn them again toward incorruption, and quicken them from death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of the Resurrection, banishing death from them like straw from the fire .

-º9. The Word, Since Death Alone Could Stay the Plague, Took a Mortal Body Which, United with Him, Should Avail for All, and by Partaking of His Immortality Stay the Corruption of the Race. By Being Above All, He Made His Flesh an Offering for Our Souls; By Being One with Us All, He Clothed Us with Immortality. Simile to Illustrate This.

For the Word, perceiving that no otherwise could the corruption of men be undone save by death as a necessary condition, while it was impossible for the Word to suffer death, being immortal, and Son of the Father; to this end He takes to Himself a body capable of death, that it, by partaking of the Word Who is above all, might be worthy to die in the stead of all, and might, because of the Word which was come to dwell in it, remain incorruptible, and that thenceforth corruption might be stayed from all by the Grace of the Resurrection. Whence, by offering unto death the body He Himself had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from any stain, straightway He put away death from all His peers by the offering of an equivalent. 2. For being over all, the Word of God naturally by offering His own temple and corporeal instrument for the life33 of all satisfied the debt by His death. And thus He, the incorruptible Son of God, being conjoined with all by a like nature, naturally clothed all with incorruption, by the promise of the resurrection. For the actual corruption in death has no longer holding-ground against men, by reason of the Word, which by His one body has come to dwell among them. 3. And like as when a great king has entered into some large city and taken up his abode in one of the houses there, such city is at all events held worthy of high honour, nor does any enemy or bandit any longer descend upon it and subject it; but, on the contrary, it is thought entitled to all care, because of the king’s having taken up his residence in a single house there: so, too, has it been with the Monarch of all. 4. For now that He has come to our realm, and taken up his abode in one body among His peers, henceforth the whole conspiracy of the enemy against mankind is checked, and the corruption of death which before was prevailing against them is done away. For the race of men had gone to ruin, had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to meet the end of death.

-º10. By a Like Simile, the Reasonableness of the Work of Redemption is Shewn. How Christ Wiped Away Our Ruin, and Provided Its Antidote by His Own Teaching. Scripture Proofs of the Incarnation of the Word, and of the Sacrifice He Wrought.

Now in truth this great work was peculiarly suited to God’s goodness. I. For if a king, having founded a house or city, if it be beset by bandits from the carelessness of its inmates, does not by any means neglect it, but avenges and reclaims it as his own work, having regard not to the carelessness of the inhabitants, but to what beseems himself; much more did God the Word of the all-good Father not neglect the race of men, His work, going to corruption: but, while He blotted out the death which had ensued by the offering of His own body, He corrected their neglect by His own teaching, restoring all that was man’s by His own power.

2. And of this one may be assured at the hands of the Saviour’s own inspired writers, if one happen upon their writings, where they say: “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then all died, and He died for all that we should no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him Who for our sakes died and rose again,” our Lord Jesus Christ. And, again: “But we behold Him, Who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God He should taste of death for every man.” 3. Then He also points out the reason why it was necessary for none other than God the Word Himself to become incarnate; as follows: “For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering;” by which words He means, that it belonged to none other to bring man back from the corruption which had begun, than the Word of God, Who had also made them from the beginning. 4. And that it was in order to the sacrifice for bodies such as His own that the Word Himself also assumed a body, to this, also, they refer in these words : “Forasmuch then as the children are the sharers in blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death He might bring to naught Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” 5. For by the sacrifice of His own body, He both put an end to the law which was against us, and made a new beginning of life for us, by the hope of resurrection which He has given us. For since from man it was that death prevailed over men, for this cause conversely, by the Word of God being made man has come about the destruction of death and the resurrection of life; as the man which bore Christ saith: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive :” and so forth. For no longer now do we die as subject to condemnation; but as men who rise from the dead we await the general resurrection of all, “which in its own times He shall show,” even God, Who has also wrought it, and bestowed it upon us. 6. This then is the first cause of the Saviour’s being made man. But one might see from the following reasons also, that His gracious coming amongst us was fitting to have taken place...."


So if you take the "personal relation" out of this context, it is as if Christ is freeing prisoners from their self-jail cells without being interested in each one of the prisoners themselves as persons but as if Him being interested in serving the impersonal "ideal of freedom”.

Christ is not doing a general liberation of mankind. He liberates each and everyone one of humans separately “motivated” (I know that this is not the right word) not by a high ideal that He has the need to serve but by the love He has for every human person.

I can say: “Christ took the human nature for me” and you can also say the same for your own self alone and everyone else also can say the same for his own self alone and because of our “personal relationship” with Him we can then say together: “Christ took the human nature for us”. It is not the other way around.

If you eliminate personal relationship the Christ saves the humankind and we just happened to be humans and we are being saved as a result of our nature, not by His intention to take care and liberate us as persons. Then you are not being save as George, but only as “being human in nature”.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2005, 07:56:30 AM by lpap » Logged

Life is to live the life of others.
ozgeorge
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« Reply #89 on: April 16, 2005, 07:34:19 AM »

"What happens if the Latins are right?"
"Right" in what way, Ipap? According to Kizzy and yourself, faith cannot be expressed in words, so how do you know if anyone is right or wrong?

Salvation is not about rightness and wrongness.
Why then don't you abandon Orthodoxy and worship Buddha? Or Krishna?

The real question to be asked is “What happens if the Latins know Christ?”
Just a moment ago, you said "Salvation is not about rightness or wrongness." If this is the case, then why do "the Latins" or we need to know Christ at all? How do we know that He is Our Saviour? Couldn't we just worship trees or satan, since, as you say, "Salvation is not about rightness or wrongness."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2005, 07:34:55 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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