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Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Yeshua HaDerekh, Nov 3, 2013.

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  1. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men can dream of truth, but then cant live with it

    Eastern Orthodox
    YES! I too was wondering if you were going to comment :)
  2. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

    Wow, this grew a bit between my first read and the (almost) end of tasks and errands :D

    Thank-you again, and for illustrating the point.

    I read some of the links - most closely the Halsal discussion, which was informative but to some extent unsatisfying. (It should be noted that imo, academia has its faults as well; people do need to make a living, and ensconsing oneself in a position that is related to one's work/publishing is not unusual. Unfortunately, this can happen more easily when one's work has been well received, regardless of its actual "validity". Ie "academia" has its pop stars, too. I don't know that this is the case here, but I do tend to regard academic discussions at arm's length.)

    And maybe it's just me, but there also seems to be a modern (US) viewpoint embedded in the posting there. (What I call a "Siskel Ebert condition, where one must give an answer, and the answer can really only be thumbs up or down.)

    I'm not quite sure how to say this, so I'll begin with illustrations as well:

    (Based on my now decades long observation of the matter) our country has presented an entire foreign policy package as wrapped around the Iranian slogan, "Death to America". Yet as one commentator I listened to today pointed out (to paraphrase) the translation is accurate, but Iranians will also say "death to potatoes" when the price of potatoes gets too high, or "death to myself" - and in neither case do they mean that the object (potatoes, self) should be obliterated. (room for nuance met with refusal to allow for nuance)

    Recently, the position that Churches should not perform gay marriages has been interpreted (and named) as hatred for all LGBT persons. My sense based on several discussions is that this is sometimes literally what is meant - ie is equal to actual hatred of all persons identifying as LGBT
    (little room for nuance).

    In both cases, I cannot conclusively say what is actually meant by each person involved; I don't have enough information - though I can ask each person and they can directly answer my question.

    With historical figures and writings (as with persons who are too distant to engage in discussion) I am aware that there are considerations that are unavailable for my consideration. These may be literary (styles, conceits), linguistic, cultural conceits and views, immediate situation, etc. In these cases, I cannot really conclusively state much of anything.

    I really don't need Chrysostom to be perfect or infallible. I do know that sometimes his language truly distresses me. I bristle at not a few passages in the Scriptures. In the latter case, I know there is something "under this" that demands I consider the passages more carefully, and not resort to a first impression.

    In fact, I find myself having to look "beyond" the obvious in (popular) music, in Art, in Literary works - and often in so doing I find my first impression is amiss. But not always.

    I also recognize that I live and move in an era where propaganda is the smooth overlay, the rich wood veneer over a lot of unmitigated filth. I am therefore wont to heat the veneer and peel it back to ascertain the quality of the wood underneath. Peeling back the veneer on (for example) Hitler is easy; he exposed himself in his subsequent actions. Peeling back the veneer on some who have been denounced has shown the assessment was lacking, or knee-jerk imo.

    So, was Chrysostom an anti-semite ? I don't know. By today's standards, his language sure smacks of this.

    But without really investigating, without a deep and broad investigation and moreso preferably discussing the matter with him, I cannot say.
  3. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    I think I understand you.

    But perhaps those to whom his words have actually proven historically disasterous and who have reaped the fruit of his invective, never had the luxury to consider his good points or ask him and those who acted on his words if they could be a little more specific about what he truly meant.

    The trouble with criticising/distancing oneself from religious/denominational heroes such as Chrysostom, Jerome, Luther and others is that to do so is tantamount to heresy, and the real knee-jerk reaction will come from their various supporters who often won't see the wood for the trees, only that you are attacking one of their own who has been formative in moulding their branch of Christian belief.
  4. buzuxi

    buzuxi Newbie

    Eastern Orthodox
    A few years ago in another forum I said that whether St. John Chrysostom was an anti-Semite or not is irrelevant. I stand by what I said; that I'm glad he said it and the cowardly preachers of today should take note and preach against Islam in the very same terms.

    Todays political correctness is a disease, people need to grow a spine and be able to take it as much as they dish it.
  5. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

    Really? You support vile language against your neighbour on the basis of his religion or ethnicity? Even though it is clear Christ does not sanction or command this, but rather the opposite?

    There's a difference between making a theological point and taking a stand against sin and error and being foul mouthed, using language that incites people to violence and so forth.
  6. GregConstantine

    GregConstantine Newbie

    Eastern Orthodox
    no one should use vile or hateful language against any specific individual person, but, one can and should use when appropriate, harsh language to criticize another religion to show what it teaches is false. Rabbic Judaism as a religion (and Islam too) are not exempt from criticism. They both have teachings that lead one away from the Truth and therefore, into perdition.
    Also, modern Rabbinic Judaism is a completely different child from the true "Judaism" that the Patriarchs and the Prophets practiced and followed. That true Judaism is the very same faith as Orthodox Christianity. Modern Rabbinic Judaism came after the Messiah came to earth, and was set up in direct opposition to the true Judaism (Orthodoxy).
    As was Islam, albeit in a different way.
    So yes, to both. We should speak about the falsity of those religious systems, and if we need to use harsh language (and I think we do sometimes, because our modern culture is so wishy washy and tries to be so politically correct, the truth gets watered down in the process) so be it. We are too easily offended and sometimes, we just need to grow some skin and get over it.
  7. Thekla

    Thekla Guest

    One should recall that the New Testament writings have also been labelled 'accountable' for the horror visited on the Jews (and others). The Old Testament is cited as both justification and blame for other sets of horrific acts.

    What is missing is in the case of the charge re: Chrysostom (I haven't read Jerome or Luther, so can't comment) is the consideration of context (historic situation, culture, literary device, other actions, the full opus, etc.). I apply these matters to reading the Scriptures and, for example, the passage describing as "happy" the one who "dashes infants against the rocks". Maybe I shouldn't. It (and other passages in the OT) for sure works for justifying the slaughter of children in Central America and elsewhere who "might grow up to be Communists" or other unsavory persuasions.

    I cannot claim to know more than I know in making an assessment; not re: Chrysostom, nor anyone else. I do know, having read across genres and historical periods, that by the standard applied to Chrysostom much Literature, Art, and Lyric should be at least slammed if not banned.

    And I am well aware of folks across cultures and historical eras refusing to take responsibility for their own actions, instead blaming their actions on incitement from some author or other. That I don't buy. Am I comfortable with Chrysostom's language ? Not at all; I live in the 21st century west where literary standards and the situation are not the same - Chrysostom wouldn't get a "pass", but Kathy Acker has been critically acclaimed.

    To add this link on Anti-Semitism in the New Testament:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2013
  8. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

    Where do you draw the line then? What is "harsh language" by the standards set by Christ? Seems to me to be slipperly slope to argue this way. We can bring strong critique to another set of beliefs- but calling its adherents "pigs" or "beasts" going too far, beyonds the boundaries or not?
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Melanin Level - Low Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    United States
    Due to multiple violations, this thread is closed permanently.
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