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What We Believe

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Dorothea, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Anastasia for this informative piece, very insightful. Sorry I am a bit slow in understanding, because of my limited education. But I'll get it, like the little engine that could...lol.:oldthumbsup:

    Upon reading this more questions have popped up. In regards to Adam in the EOC teaching, who was he? Was he created in theosis? How did he fall? How are we infected by sin? How do sinners become theosis? Or if you could provide the direct source of this teaching so I can read it?

    Thanks again for your time and have a great day! In love, not hate.
     
  2. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks again Anastasia, for your time. I beg for your forgiveness in advance if I come across pompous, crass or offensive. I cannot understand, if I do not ask questions that I ponder upon. I am not here to debate, but to seek answers. So please understand my intent and I hope we can be friends, instead of enemies? I love discussing theology, its constantly on my mind. Anyway, if I may ask more questions here. If God created Adam upright and good; even in Theosis. How could He sin? These first comments sound to me as if Adam is under a Goal to meet. Can you expound further?
    Yea, no problem, whatever you can provide is more than welcome.
    Hope you do not mind if I interrupt here for a moment. Because I have more questions to better understand this. I do not understand why there has to be some restoration of communion with God, if there is no legal breach? And is there is no legal breach, then there is no punishment to be sanctioned. I got this from another East Orthodox about the Legal & Punishment not being a part of EOC. If so, then why did Christ have to be born under the Law, and kill sin in the flesh? Why do people have to believe if there is no legal ramifications or punishment for sin? These are the crucial parts I need to understand. Please forgive me if I came off, rude, disrespectful or pompous.
    I do not understand this?: When some degree of purity is attained, one begins to receive more illumination. Please expound if possible?

    I will take all the information I can get.
    Please understand that I'm not here to debate, but to seek questions. Where is Christ? Or the preaching of the Law & Gospel? I know that EOC does not hold to a legal aspect of the sinner. But why would any people need to believe in the EOC, when there is no threat of punishment because of sin? There are no sanctions applied to the sinner? In other words since there is no threat at all, why believe? I am just asking because this question is constantly on my brain.
    This sounds like synergism. I read what you wrote, and I am grateful for your time, and information that you have provided. I can't state that enough, thanks. Something hits me as I read your comments here. No mention of sin, or the fallen nature, which brings condemnation and death. Or the preaching of the Gospel. I know this dummy is missing something, or I can't grasp it. Help me out here. What am I missing or can't comprehend?

    Please do not apologize, you have friendly and courtesy, very kind, and thanks for that. Most of the time I get called nasty names or accused of being a devil, because I am a Calvinist. I hope we can become friends and continue our dialogue on this, because I love discussing theology. I am obsess with it.

    Your Friend

    Jesse
     
  3. Lord Kyrios

    Lord Kyrios Member

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    When you have Jesus, you have everything. This is why it is important to know who Jesus is. Did you know
    Jesus Is called Kupios & God Is called Kupios In The Greek Bible. Every Title that applies to God, also applies to Jesus in the Greek.
    Example: Jesus is Kupie, Kupiw, Kupiou and God is Kupie, Kupiw, Kupiou. Jesus is God Because His Father is God.
    In other words, Your Son inherited your last name so why cannot Jesus be called by His Father's Name, GOD?
     
  4. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Hi Jesse,

    Please don't worry about your tone - you are coming across just fine. And I'm glad you are asking more questions.

    Sin is certainly a part of the problem - the cause of the problem. I didn't mention everything because there is really a lot to say, and necessarily I would leave things out. I may not always be able to hit the most important aspects, since I may focus too much on just part of your question, which is what I think I did.

    Btw, I should say that the legal aspect is not completely absent from Orthodoxy in the sense that we deny it, even though it may sound like that sometimes. The problem is that the West has gone so far in that direction that in reaction and trying to restore a proper balance, I might overemphasize the other asoect(s).

    The bigger emphasis is that sin brought the curse of death, and affected all of creation, like an infection. As a result, we all are surrounded by sin, are easily bent to it, and of course we all sin. Death and sin are the enemies. And since we understand sin the be like an infection, rather than in strictly legal terms, we understand that God wishes to heal us. In fact, the Greek sozo is used in different places, sometimes translated as save, sometimes as heal. But the fact that it's a single concept in the Greek is telling, imo.

    Christ DID die for our sins, redeem us. But we consider the most important thing He accomplished through dying as God, and being resurrected, was to defeat death itself. This is also reflected in the Scriptures, and was strongly the emphasis of the early Church. And death must necessarily be defeated, because we were all born subject to that curse - even an innocent infant who dies without ever sinning and has no personal guilt or debt of sin.

    That deserves much, more explanation, and I've only given a tiny counterpoint. If I can find it, there is a good explanation, I think it was given by Fr. Patrick Reardon, but it's been a while since I listened to it.

    I know there are others of your questions I'm not getting to just yet - must go for a bit. :) Maybe someone else can jump in - most of the members here know this much better than I as well. :)
     
  5. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Ed, I am glad to hear that you are not mad. Because I am not here you be offensive, course, or rude. There is enough hate in this world. I think we can sit down and discuss theology without being mean to each other.

    Yea, we too believe that Adam is the son of God. Meredith Kline makes much of this, in his Classical Covenant Theology. But the Scripture is also clear that Christ is both the Son and Servant. Here's some insight:

    Is Jesus Christ the Son of God or the servant of God per Acts 3:26?
    by Matt Slick

    Jesus is called the son of God in many places in the New Testament (Matthew 27:54; Mark 1:1; John 1:49; 3:18; 2 Corinthians 1:19, etc.). But Jesus is also called the servant of God in Acts 3:26, "For you first, God raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” So how can Jesus be both the Son of God and the servant of God?

    First of all, the term "son of God" when it is in reference to Jesus is a claim of equality with God. John 5:18 says that Jesus, "..was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." Furthermore, Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, the word that was made flesh (John 1:1, 14).

    Second, the term "servant" does not mean that Jesus, who is God in flesh (Col. 2:9), cannot serve the people whom God the Father sent him to redeem. Being a servant and being the "son of God" are different categories and are not mutually exclusive.

    Jesus has two natures, both divine and human (Col. 2:9), was made under The Law (Gal. 4:4), and for a while was lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9). As such, under The Law he came to serve those who are lost by being an example to them and dying for them.

    "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many," (Matt. 20:28).
     
  6. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    the first man created by God.

    he was created perfect, but he still needed to grow in God. before he was able, he messed up.

    touched the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, rebelled, sinned, and refused to repent when God confronted him.

    Adam's sin gave man corruption, mortality, and an inclination to son.

    through God's grace in the sacramental life of His Church.

    check out St Gregory Palamas and his writings.
     
  7. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Dear Friend Ed, I came here to seek answers to my questions, not to debate. We have a private room that. But since you asked, I will not avoid what I believe and why I believe it. The Reformed position does not deny good works. Luther even emphatically stated its a living Faith, not a dead Faith. So we have to define what this Faith Righteousness is, correct? And Romans does provide this answer. Paul makes a contrast between a Righteousness that is obtain through Obedience of the Law of Moses, or through Faith in Christ. Here we have a antithesis between (Law) which demands perfect obedience to obtain perfect righteousness in the Law of Moses, and (Gospel) which a perfect righteousness is given in Christ, and receive through Faith apart from works of the Law.
    But to better theme of this passage in Romans 10. I will quote the run of the passages:
    1Brothers,a my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.


    The Message of Salvation to All

    5For (Moses) writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6(But; a contrast or opposed to the Law of Moses) the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, (you will be saved.) 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and (is saved). 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


    14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?c And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.


    18But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for


    “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.”

    19But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,


    “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
    with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

    20Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,


    “I have been found by those who did not seek me;
    I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

    21But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

    This is where I need more details on Adam's account according EOC. There is so many blank spaces to fill. First of all, why was Adam created neutral? Why not create him in Theosis from the beginning? What was Adam required to do to enter this divine love of God? Did God not love him from the beginning? And if so, what's the difference between that love and divine love? How did Adam fall? Why did Adam fall?

    Okay I understand what you wrote. But where I am scratching my head because of my puny mind. If these commands did not carry legal actions for breaching them. Then how could Adam be held accountable for the sanctions of breaching these commands without legal ramifications? Correct me here if I got that wrong.
    We also believe that God gave these commissions (be fruitful, multiply, rule) for Adam to follow. But specifically God command Adam 'Thou shalt' not to eat of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil. "For in the day you eat thereof, you will surely die." Here is the sanction that if Adam breaks the legal commandment, legal judgement will follow it. So sin is a transgression or breaking of God's law, by doing the sinful act which breaches this legal commandments w/sanctions.
    So these commands of God require obedience/ adherence/ fulfillment. But the difference in Adam in the Garden and us in postlapsarian is that Adam can meet this righteous standard that God demands through Perfect Obedience. And our condition of being under the curse of Law, because we are already condemned sinners. So there is a difference in contrast to Adam in prelapsarian (Pre-Fall), and us in the Postlapsarian (Post Fall). I am been accused of heresy a lot during my years as a convinced classical Calvinist. And people say that we distort God's word; "Alone" for example is no where found in Scripture, they tell me, so that's heresy. I respond by saying show me where the word "Trinity" is found in Scripture? There are concepts taught theologically, not name as such, like the Trinity. To dismiss it because the Word does appear is a person not seeking the truth; to me.


    You state Adam lacked Faith. I would agree to a degree. But no where in Scripture is this found. But what is found in Scripture is the breach and disobedience of Adam, which is explicitly taught in Scripture. So what are we to believe. Here is the passages to which I speak of:
    Romans 5

    12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

    Hosea 6:7
    7But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.


    The Classic Reformed position holds to Classic Covenant Theology this is the soil that surrounds the doctrines of Grace. This CT teaches the unfolding redemptive plan of God from Genesis through Revelation. Meredith Kline and Vos are great resources to get a understanding on the topic.

    Why is Christ called the Last Adam. Why not just the Son of God? Why Last Adam? Why is there a comparison that Paul makes between them in Romans 5, and in 1 Cor. 15? I do not want to get long winded, though I have. I will share this in the next post.

    The Reformed position holds Union with Christ. Which I will get into at other time. For now you bought up Romans 10. And in Romans 10 Paul talks about how a sinner is Justified before God. Through the Law or in the Gospel. And something you said, you even talk about something that Adam fail TO DO. And where Christ came to fulfill it. Just something to ponder upon.

    Sorry for the long thread, but its hard to summarize it. As I said Ed, I came to this EOC area to learn from them, instead of getting it from a third party. I did not come here to debate. Please stop calling me a heretic. It's getting old. Why can't we just love each other and be kind, and learn from one another?

    In Christ our Covenantal Savior and King

    Your Friend Jesse.
     
  8. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Hello again,

    I think these will take some time and discussion to get at. I see Matt answered all those questions I did not address about Adam, so unless you have further questions on those, I won't revisit your old post.

    I just want to say that I think you misunderstand Theosis when you ask why God didn't create Adam in Theosis. The question just doesn't make sense. It's kind of asking why God didn't create Adam already in a perfected relationship with Himself, but that's a clumsy way of me restating it. Theosis is a process. Adam could have been, and I think probably was (others can correct me here if need be) in the process of Theosis, in some sense. He was communicating with God, developing and learning from his experiences. If he had never sinned, he would have gone on in unbroken progression, I imagine, and would have attained Theosis. I hope that makes sense. But essentially, God created Adam to enter into a relationship with Him, not at the summit of that relationship already. So as you see, the question doesn't quite make sense.

    Another very important thing I want to point out from your post - and again I welcome correction - but our primary way of looking at God's warning "in the day you eat of it, you will surely die" was not the promise of punishment if Adam should transgress, but rather a warning of what the natural effect of sin would be. God is the source of Life. By disobedience, Adam separated himself from the source of life, and so made himself subject to death. He also died spiritually on that day.

    Death was not God's punishment, but mankind rejecting life, in a sense, and all creation suffering along with him.

    The west has developed a more punitive and legalistic understanding of matters than the east has always held. (Which again, it's not that it is completely absent, but it is a more minor point, and without the counterbalance God's very nature is understood differently - and I do fear Calvinism is on the opposite end of the spectrum in this regard.)

    I hope that helps explain. And again, I do welcome correction. I have listened to a number of teachings on Adam and how all this relates, but it's a bit of a paradigm shift and I risk missing the nuances due to my own background.

    Oh, that reminds me of one other thing. Regarding sin - and this may be more strongly emphasized because I attend a Greek-speaking Church, but sin (hamartia) is of course "missing the mark" in its intent - not "transgressing the law". Transgressing the law IS missing the mark, and is of course sin, but other things are sin as well - in fact, any falling short of the ideal. (And the ideal in our example is of course Christ, so any way in which we fall short of Christ is hamartia/sin. That understanding may help as well, to show that the punitive aspect is not so emphasized. God isn't looking to punish us severely every time we fall short of Christ's ideal. But rather He desires to heal us of those things that hinder us, and help us grow into the maturity that is represented in Christ.

    I hope that helps also.
     
  9. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Actually, there was an article linked in response to a different question that explains all of this in much more detail - especially in sections 1, 2, and 3.


    ETA: it covers a broad understanding of the Atonement. What we do not see there is an angry God who is incapable of forgiving because He first needs a "pound of flesh" exacted from someone. This is the particular aspect we reject, for a number of reasons - not the least of which that sin is made God's problem and He is incomplete if He has a need, and limits His mercy if He is incapable of forgiving otherwise. Christ's death was sacrificial, and was necessary, but it didn't involve necessary satisfaction of a bloodthirsty need in God the Father (God forbid!).
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  10. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    I am sorry. I shall bow out and allow those here to respond to you. I will see you in our private chat.

    All the best to you!

    Ed
     
  11. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    here is a question from our friend, Jesse.

    I hope that someone here might attempt to answer it. I feel I do not have the proper understanding to approach this. I am also very interested in the answer regarding the "law." as such

    QUOTE: Okay I understand what you wrote. But where I am scratching my head because of my puny mind. If these commands did not carry legal actions for breaching them. Then how could Adam be held accountable for the sanctions of breaching these commands without legal ramifications? Correct me here if I got that wrong.
     
  12. Light of the East

    Light of the East Ukrainian Greek Catholic Supporter

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    Jesse ....

    I'm a tad hurt this morning. I did not call you a "heretic." I responded to something that you posted from another source,

    (Some say its the believer getting absorb into God's essence.)

    therefore I am not calling you a heretic! That statement of shock was pointed to the person(s) whom you quoted and only them.

    I hope you have come to realize since our first meeting that I am really working on this thing of being angry and calling names. It accomplishes nothing, is almost always done in pride (the exception would be our Lord in Matthew 23) and stunts my growth as a Christian. It is, in short, sin.

    My apologies for the misunderstanding.
     
  13. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My dear friend, thanks for everything you done for me, in regards to insight and the knowledge you have shared. And for your support and kind words that you have shown me. I should have know better, especially in our private chats. I really like you, and consider you my brother no matter what. I know this is a serious topic, because it touches the very core of what we believe. I am the one who is sorry for thinking you called me names. As always its a pleasure to discuss theology with you. We all have our faults, and we can also lift each other up through love, not hate.

    Ed, I know that my fellow Calvinists are crude, rude, disrespectful, to which I am embarrassed. And I do give them a lecture on their demeanor and attitude toward all people. Things can get heated in these, I understand this. But why can't we do it with class and respect in love.

    No need for a apology, its just a misunderstanding, thanks for clearing that up. And yes I can't wait for our private chats. And by the way, I want you to participate in this thread, if you want. The more people the better, I will take all the information I can get.

    Thanks dear friend,

    In Christ
     
  14. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member

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    I think that Anastasia posted a fine reference in post 189. I bookmarked it.
     
  15. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc Active Member

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    I'm not sure I understand what this thread is about... There is no link in the original post...
     
  16. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Dorothea uploaded teaching videos and her notes. The videos were later taken down, then later uploaded again. I had to look for the link. I'm not sure of their current status. I'm on my phone and what I do remember is that the files were HUGE so I don't dare access them from here. But here's the place I listened to them. (See link in quoted post below)


    It would be great if we could get the link posted on page 1. I think this post came from around page 7. I knew it was somewhere so I went looking for it. :)
     
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  17. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Oh, oops - the account isn't active anymore. :(
     
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  18. Lucian Hodoboc

    Lucian Hodoboc Active Member

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    Thank you, but when I click the link you quoted it takes me to a page displaying this message:

    "The public file you are trying to download is associated with a non-valid account.

    Please contact the owner for further assistance.
    "
     
  19. ~Anastasia~

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

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    Ok here is a link to a you-tube video of the first "What We Believe" video, which I think is connected to the notes in this thread, and the other videos in the series are available on the same channel.



    I see it posted the video. If the link itself is needed, here it is:
    http: //youtu.be/DT5PUB5ZiqI
    (remove the space after http: that I had to insert to make the link itself show)

    And here is "The Inner Life of the Church" series - which I think is the more in depth one.

    The Inner Life of the Church


    I hope this helps!
     
  20. ladodgers6

    ladodgers6 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This Ed, are great question to inquire about.
     
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