Orthodox's view on Christ's Divinity

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Im_A

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I have been having some questions about Christ's Divinity. I have some big curiosities about the Eastern Orthodox Church. I have heard it said before that Eastern Orthodox is almost like a whole new religion within Christianity. I have posted here about things of this nature within the Eastern Orthodox Church, but i'll start here with this question and then after discussion comes to a close, I will try to start up another post to keep everything seperate, so the thread doesn't get jumbled up with so many topics.

So what is the view of Christ's Divinity in Eastern Orthodoxy?
 

Im_A

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so is this where Eastern Orthodox differ with Western Orthodox(ie Roman Catholicism)/Protestant Christians? for i have been under the impression for the 11 years of my faith, from the Western Orthodox(ie Roman Catholicism)/Protestant/Western Christianity that Jesus had one nature. not saying that one is right over the other, just trying to see if there is difference between Eastern Orthodox and Western Orthodox Christianity if that makes sense or not.
 
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Monica child of God 1

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tattedsaint,

Historically Western confessions (RC and much later the Prot's) have accepted the 2 natures of Christ along with the East. With all of the theological drift that has occured in the last 500 years in the West, I am not surprised that some Protestants understand Christ to have one nature. You may find this interesting:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8067.asp

Blessings on your inquiry,
Monica
 
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Im_A

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Monica said:
tattedsaint,

Historically Western confessions (RC and much later the Prot's) have accepted the 2 natures of Christ along with the East. With all of the theological drift that has occured in the last 500 years in the West, I am not surprised that some Protestants understand Christ to have one nature. You may find this interesting:

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8067.asp

Blessings on your inquiry,
Monica

thank you. i am researching the site now, and i have been to this webpage before, just haven't been to this selection.

ok so with this in mind with EO's view of two natures, so what do EO's view about the proclamation of Jesus as God? can one really be God with two natures, or is this more along the lines of the Trinity, meaning the incarnation of God?
 
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Im_A

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thank you for the link. i have it now and i'm going to bookmark.

i guess i should give my reasoning for these questions.

i feel spiritually unfulfilled with the idea of Christ's Divinity, or at least the way it was portrayed to me. it was also just said that Jesus is God. but that statement has so many unopened ended questions.

here are my questions:
1. if Jesus was God, then why did He cry out Eloi Eloi Lama Sabathani!
2. if Jesus was God, then why did He repeatedly say that He is following the will of the Father?
3. if Jesus was God, then wouldn't His proclamation be God speaking in 3rd person?
4. if Jesus was put lower than angels, then that means God put Himself out of His position of God right?
5. if Jesus became sin for humanity, then that means God would be contradicting Himself to say that He cannot be a part of sin right?
6. if Jesus was God, then that means God has even a set time of non-existance on this world that He created. now i know that death in the sense of eternally, Jesus did not go through. but still, in some way shape and form, it seems to say that Jesus was God would be contradicting to the very being of God, meaning that even for a small amount of time as 3 days of being dead, would be contradicting to the nature of God, and since Jesus died and raised in the same body, again the contradiction comes into play for me when the statements come about that Jesus is God.

i'm sure the list could go on and on if i thought about it. so anymore the idea of Jesus being God is hard to accept. now the incarnation of God, that doesn't have confusion in it. that makes the idea of 2 natures more realistic, more logical. i know it seems that i'm playing on terminlogy and i'm not trying to be that picky. and i'm not questioning this to go away from the faith or trying to say the faith is wrong. i'm just questioning to understand things clearer.
 
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gorion

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St. Patrick explained the trinity in this way. He picked up a clover and showed that all 3 leaves were seperate and individual yet all 3 make up the 1 clover. The trinity is not something that is easily (if ever) fully understood. But John helps when he writes in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. You see our Lord Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word. Although he is fully God by nature he is also himself. Once you read that paper by St. Athanasius I'm sure it will be clear as mud. ;)
 
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blakesto

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tattedsaint said:
thank you for the link. i have it now and i'm going to bookmark.

i guess i should give my reasoning for these questions.

i feel spiritually unfulfilled with the idea of Christ's Divinity, or at least the way it was portrayed to me. it was also just said that Jesus is God. but that statement has so many unopened ended questions.

here are my questions:
1. if Jesus was God, then why did He cry out Eloi Eloi Lama Sabathani!
2. if Jesus was God, then why did He repeatedly say that He is following the will of the Father?
3. if Jesus was God, then wouldn't His proclamation be God speaking in 3rd person?
4. if Jesus was put lower than angels, then that means God put Himself out of His position of God right?
5. if Jesus became sin for humanity, then that means God would be contradicting Himself to say that He cannot be a part of sin right?
6. if Jesus was God, then that means God has even a set time of non-existance on this world that He created. now i know that death in the sense of eternally, Jesus did not go through. but still, in some way shape and form, it seems to say that Jesus was God would be contradicting to the very being of God, meaning that even for a small amount of time as 3 days of being dead, would be contradicting to the nature of God, and since Jesus died and raised in the same body, again the contradiction comes into play for me when the statements come about that Jesus is God.

i'm sure the list could go on and on if i thought about it. so anymore the idea of Jesus being God is hard to accept. now the incarnation of God, that doesn't have confusion in it. that makes the idea of 2 natures more realistic, more logical. i know it seems that i'm playing on terminlogy and i'm not trying to be that picky. and i'm not questioning this to go away from the faith or trying to say the faith is wrong. i'm just questioning to understand things clearer.

You're thinking of the Sabellian distinction between the Father and the Son, not the Christian one. This is something that both the East and the West definitely agree on, and both sides would say that "Jesus = God the Father incarnate" would be heretical.

The best way to think of it is, the Son is not the Father, but whatever the Father is, the Son is as well. They are two distinct persons of the Trinity, and it would make sense for the Son incarnate to pray to the Father.
 
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ufonium2

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tattedsaint said:
5. if Jesus became sin for humanity, then that means God would be contradicting Himself to say that He cannot be a part of sin right?

Jesus didn't become sin. He became man. Man does not equal sin.
 
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Monica child of God 1

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ufonium2 said:
Jesus didn't become sin. He became man. Man does not equal sin.

I think he may be refering to this

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." --2 Corinthians 5:21

Monica
 
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Xpycoctomos

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5. if Jesus became sin for humanity, then that means God would be contradicting Himself to say that He cannot be a part of sin right?

Someone else will explain this better, but there are a lot of what we percieve to be "contradictions" in the faith. They great contradiction is that the Creator (God) became the created (man). That was why the Greeks thought Christianity was just a silly illogical religion. Related to this was the idea that God must be the "unmoved mover", that is that since He is the cause of all things, He cannot waiver and therefore He cannot have emotions... but Jesus wept, Jesus was grateful, happy, angry... he went through the whole gammot. This was too much for the Greek philosophers to accept. While Orthodoxy respects philosophy and sees its definite place in the Church and in the world, there is a time when it has ceased to have a purpose and it must step aside and leave room for faith.

John

PS, I wasn't trying to peg you as a doubting Thomas or anything like that. Just making the point that we do not have to be afraid when we see what WE perecieve to be contradictions according to our man-made philosophies.
 
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Illume

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Just so you know us Catholics also hold to the fact that Christ had 2 perfect natures. Catholics are actually VERY similar to the Eastern Orthodox, we have a few (ahem*) minor disagreements on the Trinity, Mary, The Bishop of Rome and some other doctrines but mostly we hold some very similar beliefs.
 
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Illume said:
Just so you know us Catholics also hold to the fact that Christ had 2 perfect natures. Catholics are actually VERY similar to the Eastern Orthodox, we have a few (ahem*) minor disagreements on the Trinity, Mary, The Bishop of Rome and some other doctrines but mostly we hold some very similar beliefs.
It's a nice thought, but rather erroneous.

I am not anti-Rome... yet comments like these raise my hackles. Again, not because I dislike Rome or the Pope or have a personal beef - I do not. I react because it paints an erroneous picture of the vast gulf in theology between East and West.

To gloss it as "minor disagreements" does a disservice to the teachings of both Churches.
 
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Xpycoctomos

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Vasya Davidovich said:
It's a nice thought, but rather erroneous.

I am not anti-Rome... yet comments like these raise my hackles. Again, not because I dislike Rome or the Pope or have a personal beef - I do not. I react because it paints an erroneous picture of the vast gulf in theology between East and West.

To gloss it as "minor disagreements" does a disservice to the teachings of both Churches.

sigh...

increasingly I must agree.
 
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The Virginian

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I will try to make these answers as succinct as possible, with a bone or two added to gnaw on for later.

1. In the religious system of the Mosaic Law, the Israelites practiced various forms of piety as a means to (among other things) get the attention of God. It deterioted to the point that through the prophet Isaiah God said "...your sin has made a separation between you and your God, and He has hid His face from you so that He does not hear..." As has already been stated, Jesus was made sin for us on the cross of Calvary. When He took upon himself the sins of all mankind, god could no longer look on the form taken by the Eternal Word, and so "...Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabathani..."

2. God is the unregenerated One. He is His own cause, and all things proceed from Him. Now while the Word of God is eternal, Jesus, the supposed son of Joseph and Mary has a specific beginning, the Incarnation. It was in this form of a servant that he followed the will of God. What man would want to undergo the things which He did leading up to His triumph over Satan on Golgotha.

3. No! God never speaks that way; when He speaks it is, well, up close and personal.

4. When Mose inquired at the Burning Bush as to whom he should say sent him to deliver the Chldren of Israel, the reply was "...Tell them I AM...." I always will be what I always have been. What made Jesus lower thatn the nagels was the form He assumed, "...and being found in the form of a servant, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross..." It would not be possible to be "...the Alpha and the Omega..." the beginning and the end, if at any time He put aside His divinity.

5. Again; NO! If at any time God contradicted Himself then it would be a lie to affirm that with God there's no shifting shadow. Remember the prophesy by God that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, With the weight of the sins of the entire world on Him, God could not look on the form of His Son jesus

6. The Son of God underwent the humiliation of death. Again, God the Father never ceased being God the Father. Divinity descended into the abode of the devil and ransomed those who through death, and the fear of death were held captive all their lives. The Word of God trampled down death by death. Consider the witness of the demon possesed manL the demons themselves knew that Jesus was the divine Son of God.

Your questions are best answered in the context of the Church, because the Church is the "...guardian and protector of the truth....", the Apostolic Confessionof Faith.


Hold fast to the sacred teachings
 
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