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Ephrem the Syrian on Sorrows meme

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by Pavel Mosko, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I ran across this meme when looking at my Facebook notifications and it got me to thinking. I know of a number of Christian friends who would hate it especially coming from Charismatic Protestant backgrounds etc. so what do you think about it?


    Ephrem on sorrows.jpg
     
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  2. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Handmaid of God † CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    I can appreciate it.

    Bad things happen. They are obviously allowed by God, or else they wouldn't happen. The good news is that they can benefit us and help us turn to God.

    The quote leaves some of that unstated, I guess. It makes it sound more like a "test" to some ears, as if God Himself needs information. That isn't the correct way to understand it though. Rather we need to know that He does (and allows) all things for our ultimate good (and the most ultimate good is always salvation).

    It is opposed to the idea some have (and that has a thread in history back to ancient times as far as Job and before) that God rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked on earth, so we could judge a soul based on how well they appear to prosper. But that is and always has been an error.
     
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  3. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Jesus the Christ Supporter

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    That was basically the homily at the service this morning.
     
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  4. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Why would Charismatics hate this?
     
  5. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Lots of Charismatic Protestants are into the notion of "the authority of the Believer" described below in the link. And the quote sort of goes against that. These people tend to believe we can always take spiritual authority over the devil and all his actions often citing saint Paul's epistles etc. (besides the gospels) even though saint Paul himself by his own admission went through a great deal of buffeting and trials etc. They basically have an overly simplistic view of theodicy and the life of Faith. They cannot comprehend that God sometimes uses suffering redemptively etc.


    Our Authority in Christ
     
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  6. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    I read the article. I think that Traditional Christians, being mostly Amillennialists, and believe that satan is already bound would agree with what is said the article. I don't see contradiction with St Ephraim's quote. If satan has no authority over believers, then it must be that "God permits each of us to be afflicted."
     
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  7. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    The best I can describe things is with the following article written by a Protestant theologian. The article has personally helped me and I tend to cite it to console other people who go through difficult circumstances.

    Anyway the article describes the mind set of the author at the beginning of the article who is very much like some of these charismatic friends I've known. And what happens to him after he experiences a setback in getting his doctorate in theology where he has to rethink his personal theology on success, theodicy etc.


    Failure | Reasonable Faith
     
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  8. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Good article. At the beginning of the article, the author describes his poor theology. I wouldn't generalize this as Charismatic Protestant theology. This poor theology is limited to WOF movement and to people who watch TV preachers :). By the end of article, with a little bit of thoughtfulness and reflection, his theology became normal. It's like what happened with Job's friends: an ancient story.
     
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  9. charsan

    charsan Charismatic Episcopal Church

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    I have a Charismatic background and go to the Charismatic Episcopal Church and agree with the meme. I think WOF would hate it though :)
     
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  10. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    I can’t imagine any Christian having any grounds to object to it.

    By the way, I absolutely love St. Ephrem the Syrian. I have a copy of the recent Sebastian Brock translation of his Hymns on Paradise.

    Another great Syriac speaking poet is St. Jacob of Sarugh, whose metrical homily Haw Nurone you may be familiar with as an Oriental Orthodox Christian, if you are a member of or have ever been to a Syriac Orthodox parish (would I be correct in assuming you are Armenian Apostolic?)

    I am planning on incorporating it into the liturgy of my Congregational parish once I get my people used to the idea of the Real Presence (since with any new Protestant church plant, even one that is explictly Ancient-Future, one has to be prepared for people with an extremely low church orientation).

    The Syriac Orthodox call St. Ephrem “The Harp of tne Spirit”, as do the Assyrians of the Church of the East, and the Chaldeans; St. Jacob of Sarugh is called “The Flute of the Spirit” by the Syriac Orthodox. The Assyrians and Chaldeans however use the latter title for Mar Narsai, a poet who I personally do not like as much.
     
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  11. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    The Armenian Church was where I got my start with the OO, but they were not as welcoming to outsiders as the Coptic Church that I joined that was very very friendly. But before then I got my start with a church that had apostolic lines, and liturgy from the Assyrian Church of the East (East Syriac) which why not technically is Oriental Orthodox often gets lumped with them due to many similarities.


    Yes I've been trying to get more into the Syriac Poetry end of things (learn more about it) etc. But that is difficult not being good with languages (I have to find good web articles from online journals and other kind of pundits).

    My best friend who stayed with the former church loves Narsai (English translations of his writings). I realized that for the most part the East Syrians do not have music that sounds good to western ears. I laughed reading an old entry from "The Mystery Worshiper" where the reviewer went to ACOE in Trichur India which described the congregational chanting sounding like it came from a "congregation of tone deaf worshipers"


    The Mystery Worshipper: Cathedral of the Assyrian Church of the East, Trichor, India
     
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  12. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    I personally enjoy the music of the Assyrian Church of the East, but have only ever heard it sung by Assyrians in Iraq, Iran, Syria and the diaspora (the singing of St. Mary’s Assyrian Church in Moscow is incredibly good) . Likewise I like the music of the Syriac Orthodox, but only when sung by the Suroye people in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and the diaspora.

    There are some independent Syriac-oriented churches which are actually very good; some people dismiss them as Vagante jurisdictionso, but I have found two of them which are excellent. I have never found one related to the Church of thr East however. If you would be comfortable PMing me rgarding your church, I would love more information.

    One of the nice things about being a Congregational minister of a church plant is that I have complete autonomy when it comes to liturgical practices (some established Congregational churches have Presbyterian-style “ruling elders”, but others do not, but these parishes can generally fire you if they don’t like how you are conducting the services, hence the “Moses Model” of the Calvary Chapel, which I find hilarious, because Chuck Smith accidentally reinvented Episcopal governance). So we right now are using a service book compiled by an English congregationalist in the 19th century called Devotional Liturgies, based on the Book of Common Prayer, to which we have made some of our own modifications. We also did an experimental Holy Communion service using the Euchologion of Serapion of Thmuis, which is the oldest surviving prayer book in the world, and my congregation likes the idea of using that book for baptisms and the Eucharist due to its brevity.

    I am associated however with an ecumenical liturgical project; I am one of six founding members (the others are Lutheran, Methodist, Eastern Orthodox, Syriac Old Catholic, from one of those independent churches I mentioned above, and Assyrian, and the Assyrian, of the participating members, I know personally). The goal is to make available public domain liturgical resources online and provide printed copies, and in some cases new translations (from the Syriac Old Catholic and the Assyrian priest; the former is American but the latter is ethnically Assyrian, whose father is from Iraq and whose mother is an American linguist who speaks the language fluently and teaches it to children at the sunday school in one of the largest Assyrian churches in the US). The Methodist member is an Elder, and the Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic and Assyrians are priests, whereas the Anglican and the Lutheran are lay scholars. Our Assyrian member is working on translating the previously untranslated Assyrian psalter (specifically, the Farcings, which are like antiphons for any of you familiar with Eastern Orthodox liturgy). One goal of ours is to compress the most important parts of the Assyrian liturgy into one volume. One thing I have noticed is that the Matins, Vespers and Compline services are really very good, and they remind me of Mattins and Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer, so I am considering a radically simplified adaptation of those offices for our Liturgy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  13. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well that is all very impressive stuff. I think you easily may know more stuff about the ACOE than I do.

    Sadly my old Church was very Anglicized, Americanized. And when we tried to affiliate with the local Assyrians in San Jose the local bishop at the time Soro (politely said) didn't want anything to do with us because they were in talks with the Vatican and he was avoiding anything that might potentially cause controversy and spoil the deal. Interestingly enough the ACE deal did fall through anyway, Bishop Soro however jumped ship and took his diocese over to the Chaldean Catholics.


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    I guess I will have to find or listen to more Assyrian Church music. The samples I have heard can sound good for a few seconds, then sound off key. The best Aramaic Chant so far for me has come from an Assyrian priest in the Georgian Orthodox Church who sings in the monophonic style that they inherited from the Armenians, which is a little Semitic (at least according to Wikipedia).
     
  14. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Mar Soro did not take the diocese. He took himself and a few followers. The diocese is still there under Mar Royel (who you should have talked to).
     
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  15. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Something that kind of sadness me a bit, is when anyone seeks union with Rome, it's always looked down upon as betrayal, heresy, ambition as opposed to convictions, ridiculous, and a wrong move. It's kind of sad. It feels like many Christians can not or do not look at Catholic Christians as fellow Christians; just as things, wolves, false Christians, or a bear trap. It's pretty sad. I don't doubt that Saint Charbel, Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Francis of Assisi, and Saint Rafqa are Christians, good examples to other Christians, and in Heaven with Christ. How this is so tough for others to see or admit or consider is sad.
     
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  16. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well looking into things, I guess things aren't quite as bad as I heard etc. From living in Silicon Valley from the mid 90s to the may 2014, it really looks like the Chaldeans grew a lot after the Soro conversion. I wasn't really aware of them before, it looked to me like they got a lot of Assyrians or something. (I spent a lot of time living in Campbell where a Chaldean parish was started or moved to.).

    And then there is Southern California, San Diego. Around 10-15 years ago, I spent a lot of time on Peshitta.org run by Paul Younan. There was a rumor of him and his church going with Soro. I can't really tell on that lots of Chaldeans and Assyrians in that area. He largely disappeared off the web I think due to family, health and job concerns.
     
  17. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    At different times I have given very serious thought to such a thing for myself. And pretty much out of purely practical reasons of living the life of Faith, but working non traditional work schedule (over night, on weekends etc.).

    And yes I do believe Catholics are Christians which I think you would probably realize since I post on the Catholic board whenever I run across something I think they would be interested in.

    I actually spent a fair amount of time on Catholic Answers (the Eastern Catholic section which I think they got rid of years ago) and the Byzantine Catholic Board years ago. I was generally impressed by lots of the Catholics on those boards. They had lots of knowledge of Eastern Christianity but also had a good grasp of some important western folks like saint Thomas Aquinas etc. And in general their internet etiquette was much better than most. I think many Catholics realize that the heavy handed polemics and rhetoric are a self defeating strategy, and wisely try to be more peaceable when dealing with others.

    After spending some time on those boards I did notice some Orthodox envy, from some of the Byzantine Catholics. It really looked like 10-15% of the posters had heart burn over various things and wanted to be EO. And lots of their reasons were very detailed as far as history and theology goes, although the modernization of the liturgy after Vatican II was a pretty common issue.
     
  18. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    Perhaps the lesser availability of Assyrian parishes for new immigrants and marriage into Chaldean families contributed to this growth of Chaldean churches. Most Assyrians do not see a difference between the teachings of their Church and the Orthodox and Catholic churches. Like the Monophysites, on the end of the spectrum, it seems like they were either originally misunderstood or that they changed their positions in the course of time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  19. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Their might be something to that. But I know of cases that speak against that. This Australian Assyrian bishop was somebody I was following for a bit(I think he is in the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East, rather than ACOE). He has some good stuff in English rather than neo-Aramaic, or Arabic. But here he is wearing the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch head covering rather than the traditional one. In his homilies he often lifts anecdotes and stories from the Roman Catholic Church and his ecumenical spirit has stirred up some controversy, even to the point of being under some form of church discipline. And well he seems like he is now out of the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East and now with the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch since I last watched him....
    (Was a surprise to me this morning when typing him as an example)






    Now as the other Assyrians go there might be something to it. Looking at the various Ecumenical talks between Orthodox and Catholics talking, Orientals talking EO and Catholics etc. looking at the presentations posted on line it always looked the Assyrians in the main church were the most eager to negotiate to hopefully cut a deal which makes sense because out of all the ancient Communions they have been the most decimated and would have the most to gain from it, and that was before this second Gulf/Iraq War......!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
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  20. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    The Oriental Orthodox are not Monophysites. Monophysites believe the human nature of our Lord “dissolved” into His divinity like “a drop in the ocean.” OOs believe that our Lord is from a human and divine nature, and that his humanity and divinity exist without change, confusion or separation. This was also the doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria.

    The Monophysites were always anathema to the OOs; their founder was Eutyches, and their chief intellectual was the Greco-Coptic philosopher John Philoponus, who was considered a heretic by the Coptic Orthodox Church (OO). Later, by the time of St. John Damascene, unable to reconcile the fact their doctrine required our Lord to have a distinct hypostasis from the Father, the remaining Monophysites embraced Tritheism. The last Monophysite sect died off in Ethiopia about 600 years ago, if I remember my history right. Monophysites are also kind of interesting in that, while some non-traditional Christians have unwittingly become Nestorian, and while most other heresies have come back in recent years, Monophysitism remains safely buried. Kind of like the Stargate before archaeologists dug it up and the USAF acquired it in the Roland Emmerlich film and the amusingly campy SG-1 series.
     
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