Against Gebredoxy, the error of (name removed) (AKA Gebre Menfes Kidus)

dzheremi

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I've got an idea: Don't read his stuff. :eek: Then you don't have to start bizarrely personal threads like this one.
 

Remnkemi

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TheTrisagion said:
I literally couldn't stop laughing. This weekend, I thought the same thing as this kid in the picture before I agreed to a spontaneous day trip to the Empire State building. Then I realized my new car is an internet hot spot and I responded on the drive down. Does this mean I still have a problem?  ;D
 

Ioannes

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dzheremi said:
I've got an idea: Don't read his stuff. :eek: Then you don't have to start bizarrely personal threads like this one.
Noted, do not start threads divulging the dishonest teachings of others as that is "personal." And apparently bizarre as well.
 

TheTrisagion

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Ioannes said:
Kerdy said:
Just for my own personal knowledge, you didn't think blasting the snot out of him on Amazon for the entire world to see was enough, you decided it was needed to bring in here?  So, global blasting wasn't enough?  I am really trying hard to understand here.
At first it was on facebook, but, yes the book has some erroneous teachings as well, I think it would be fair to let people know that. I have brought those errors within his book to his attention, he has since written a second edition without correcting them. I am confused, are you for error and misrepresentation of the Orthodox Church?
I've read some pretty pathetic straw man arguments on here, but this one ranks pretty high up there on the ridiculous scale.
 

Ioannes

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TheTrisagion said:
Ioannes said:
Kerdy said:
Just for my own personal knowledge, you didn't think blasting the snot out of him on Amazon for the entire world to see was enough, you decided it was needed to bring in here?  So, global blasting wasn't enough?  I am really trying hard to understand here.
At first it was on facebook, but, yes the book has some erroneous teachings as well, I think it would be fair to let people know that. I have brought those errors within his book to his attention, he has since written a second edition without correcting them. I am confused, are you for error and misrepresentation of the Orthodox Church?
I've read some pretty pathetic straw man arguments on here, but this one ranks pretty high up there on the ridiculous scale.
Its a logical question since many, including kerdy, have taking to debating pacifism and Gebres stance rather than what the OP actually addresses.
 

Ioannes

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Kerdy said:
For the record, he also stated:

It is my hope that the words of this book will help cultivate the authentic Christian values of true peace, unconditional love, and respect for all human life. I pray that my words will lead others to the Orthodox Christian Faith and bring glory to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I do not expect the reader to agree with all of the opinions and views contained within this book, but I hope that they will be challenged, edified, and inspired by its overall message. If everything within these pages is either pleasing to all or offensive to all, then I have failed both as a writer and as a Christian.

What I have written is to myself first and foremost. The ideals I espouse are hardly ideals that I claim to have mastered. It is much easier to write than to live an authentic life of ascetical prayer and true Christian devotion.

So, this book is the humble offering of a spiritual novice. May God forgive my presumption, may He erase my errors of pride, and may He magnify that which is truly from Him.

This author and sinner asks for your prayers.

"Lord have mercy."

Selam,
GEBRE MENFES KIDUS
Bolded portions for emphasis.
So as long as I preface all my teachings with this "warning" then I can virtually say whatever I want, even emphatically saying "The church teaches this" and then say whatever? If this is opinion, then it should be worded as such, and it is not. When you say, "so and so teaches this" or that "The church says or teaches that" then you are not stating an opinion but a matter of fact. Pretty simple, no matter what kind of preface the books has, if you state things like that, they cease to be opinion.
 

dzheremi

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Ioannes said:
dzheremi said:
I've got an idea: Don't read his stuff. :eek: Then you don't have to start bizarrely personal threads like this one.
Noted, do not start threads divulging the dishonest teachings of others as that is "personal." And apparently bizarre as well.
It is of course traditional to the Church to identify heresies by their founders (e.g., Nestorianism, Arianism, etc.), so when I see a thread about "Gebredoxy", I expect something about heresies that he has founded. I think pointing out things you disagree with in his books that are (as far as I can tell from his posts about them) largely his personal ruminations as a convert falls well short of demonstrating that he is actually heretical in this manner, so yes, it does strike me as somewhat inappropriately personal (particularly as you had previously identified him by his real name). I am not aware of him having claimed to teach his personal opinions as the Orthodox faith in toto, as though there is no room to disagree and still be Orthodox (and I write this as another Orthodox convert who has disagreed with him many times in the past on many of the same issues raised in this thread).
 

TheTrisagion

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Do you really have honest confusion over whether Kerdy/Gebre/others are openly advocating error and misrepresentation in the Orthodox Church?

I think most people have responded by taking you to task for the manner in which you have approached it. Certainly, given the manner in which oc.net goes off topic in just about every thread, there was certainly discussion about pacifism, but as as for it being a "logical question", that is just silly.
 

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dzheremi said:
Ioannes said:
dzheremi said:
I've got an idea: Don't read his stuff. :eek: Then you don't have to start bizarrely personal threads like this one.
Noted, do not start threads divulging the dishonest teachings of others as that is "personal." And apparently bizarre as well.
It is of course traditional to the Church to identify heresies by their founders (e.g., Nestorianism, Arianism, etc.), so when I see a thread about "Gebredoxy", I expect something about heresies that he has founded. I think pointing out things you disagree with in his books that are (as far as I can tell from his posts about them) largely his personal ruminations as a convert falls well short of demonstrating that he is actually heretical in this manner, so yes, it does strike me as somewhat inappropriately personal (particularly as you had previously identified him by his real name). I am not aware of him having claimed to teach his personal opinions as the Orthodox faith in toto, as though there is no room to disagree and still be Orthodox (and I write this as another Orthodox convert who has disagreed with him many times in the past on many of the same issues raised in this thread).
Once again, I thought the OP was fairly clear on a few points, or enough points. My main point is not disagreeing with his position, which I again thought I made quite clear. The OP quite clearly demonstrates the abuse and misuse of fathers, and other writings even, to make it seem as if Orthodoxy teaches this. We could get into more of his teachings, like military and soldiers are evil, which again the church does not teach. So he is trying to pass of his personal belief as something taught by the church and church fathers, this is dishonest, is it not? If it is his personal view, fine, I have even told him that several times, but, you cannot misquote church fathers, or again make up quotes to try and make it seem as if the church teaches this. If I was unclear in the OP or in this thread, I apologize.

TheTrisagion, it is, because Kerdy, and others, were not even addressing what I have been addressing. It keeps coming back to pacifism and Gebre as a person, while completely ignoring the fact that Gebre has clearly been dishonest. So I ask this in an attempt to figure out why his dishonesty and misuse of the fathers and other writings being overlooked completely. So yes, very logical indeed. If everyone decides to focus on something that I am not even addressing, then am I not allowed to make the logical assumption that they agree with Gebres dishonesty?
 

TheTrisagion

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When you post a personal attack, you can expect people to turn around and examine your own curious motives.  Right now, people are focused on you, not on Gebre, not on his writings, on you. Therefore you can't make that logical assumption because everyone here has already acknowledged they disagree with what Gebre may have done.  What they disagree with even more is having some guy popping around every site on the internet where Gebre is and badmouthing and demonizing him.
 

Ioannes

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TheTrisagion said:
When you post a personal attack, you can expect people to turn around and examine your own curious motives.  Right now, people are focused on you, not on Gebre, not on his writings, on you. Therefore you can't make that logical assumption because everyone here has already acknowledged they disagree with what Gebre may have done.  What they disagree with even more is having some guy popping around every site on the internet where Gebre is and badmouthing and demonizing him.
Ok, well that is different. Then demonstrate what I have said which is a personal attack, badmouthing, and demonizing him? I used the term Gebredoxy because he is clearly attempting to try and pass his personal beliefs off as being Orthodox teaching. So, perhaps you could show me exactly what I said which was a direct personal attack, badmouthing, and demonizing, that would be much appreciated. If I have spoken something untrue or evil in nature, then certainly I would renounce this, but thus far nobody has show this.
 

yeshuaisiam

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Ioannes said:
Since Gebre frequents here, I am sure he is going to reply with something (if he replies) like I am trying to malign his character or persecuting him for his beliefs. Just so he and everyone knows, its not against his pacifist stance, its the way he tries to justify it as if the church teaches this. For a long while I have tried to nudge Gebre in the right way, and he has resisted and refused to understand me and many others, including clergy. So I am posting this everywhere so people know that he is incorrect.

+++

This letter is a response to the teaching of my friend Gebre Menfes Kidus (Name removed). He teaches a pacifist stance and that this is the “true Christian teaching.” Even going as far as stating: “If the Orthodox Church were to ever condemn pacifism or officially declare that Christians cannot condemn all war and killing in this day and age, then the Church would cease to be Orthodox and I would cease to be a part of it. That's why I fight so hard to promote the Orthodox values of peace and respect for life. I won't let others misrepresent my beloved Faith by justifying violence.” (from a facebook status update) I think my dear friend Gebre has a few misunderstandings about war, violence, and murder and how it relates to the Orthodox Church. So I will quote a few things Gebre has stated and then explain them further.

Gebre said:
“I believe with St. Basil the Great that, “Although the act of violence may seem required for the defense of the weak and innocent, it is never justifiable.”
Basil has no issue with soldiering, as his canons show (188th letter). He accepts that people will be soldiers and does not class killing in war as anything close to murder. To quote him here shows lack of knowledge on the matter. For instance canon 13 of the 92 considers war: “Our fathers did not consider killings committed in the course of wars to be classifiable as murders at all, on the score, it seems to me, of allowing a pardon to men fighting in defense of sobriety and piety. Perhaps, though, it might be advisable to refuse them communion for three years, on the ground that their hands are not clean.” Clearly St. Basil is not condemning war and in fact says “Our fathers” in terms of those church fathers existing prior to him. I cannot find the quote that Gebre posted above.
Also, our holy father St. Athanasius said: “Although one is not supposed to kill, the killing of the enemy in time of war is both a lawful and praiseworthy thing. This is why we consider individuals who have distinguished themselves in war as being worthy of great honors, and indeed public monuments are set up to celebrate their achievements. It is evident, therefore, that at one particular time, and under one set of circumstances, an act is not permissible, but when time and circumstances are right, it is both allowed and condoned.” (http://www.incommunion.org/2006/02/19/st-basil-on-war-and-repentance/)


Gebre said:
I believe with Father Stanley Harakas that: “There is no ethical reasoning for war in the writings of the Greek Fathers. The Fathers wrote that only negative impacts arise from war. Even in unavoidable circumstances, the Fathers thought of war as the lesser of greater evils, but nonetheless evil. The term "just war" is not found in the writings of the Greek

Fathers. The stance of the Fathers on war is pro-peace and an Orthodox "just war" theory does not exist.”
This is taken out of context, Fr. Harakas said: “"I found an amazing consistency in the almost totally negative moral assessment of war coupled with an admission that war may be necessary under certain circumstances to protect the innocent and to limit even greater evils. In this framework, war may be an unavoidable alternative, but it nevertheless remains an evil. Virtually absent in the tradition is any mention of a “just” war, much less a “good” war. The tradition also precludes the possibility of a crusade. For the Eastern Orthodox tradition, I concluded, war can be seen only as a “necessary evil,” with all the difficulty and imprecision such a designation carries."
thus it accepts that there is " an admission that war may be necessary under certain circumstances to protect the innocent and to limit even greater evils." So it is pretty clearly that Gebre has not only taken Fr. Harakas out of context, he selectively embraced what worked for him, while ignoring the
bulk of what he said. The full article can be found here “https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F %2Fwww.incommunion.org%2F2005%2F08%2F02%2Fno- just-war-in-the-fathers%2F&h=mAQHXS20e)

Gebre said:
“I believe in the admonition of St. Hippolytus: “A Christian is not to become a soldier. He is not to burden himself with the sin of blood. But if he has shed blood, he is not to partake of the mysteries, unless he is purified by a punishment, tears, and wailing. He is not to come forward deceitfully but in the fear of God.”
Gebre openly admitted to me that he does not understand the writings of St. Hippolytus, which I personally gave to him. So I find it odd that he even bothers to quote him. However, St.
Hippolytus was referring to the fact that the Roman Army was massacring Christians, so it would not be a good idea for a Christian to put themselves in that situation and possibly lose their faith by killing Christians or perhaps making an offering to the Roman gods. For St. Hippolytus an outright refusal of military service to the Roman Empire is a much better idea than joining it, mainly because of the persecutions. So this is another instance in which writings were taken out of their context, in this case their historical context.

Gebre said:
“I believe with St. John Chrysostom that, “Christians above all men are not permitted forcibly to correct the failings of those who sin. In our case, the wrong-doer must be made better, not by force, but by persuasion. The Christian’s labor is to make the dead live, not to make the living dead.”
This quote is taken from St John speaking on capital punishment, not war, he does not write the same when speaking about war. We again must take this in its context, St. John is not advocating pacifism in any way in this verse, nor in his other writings. He is clearly saying that we should not force our teachings on to those with incorrect beliefs that we should not forcibly correct people as there are other ways of correction without force.

What it seems that Gebre misunderstands is that this issue is not black and white and because I feel he views it that way and cannot reconcile violence and Christianity, he takes a pacifist stance. However if he had read these church fathers, that he quotes, in depth I truly believe he would understand this issue. Violence is not a Christian virtue, but that does not automatically mean that violence is never a necessity. War, as terrible as it is, is unfortunately necessary in some occasions and this is clearly taught by the very fathers Gebre quotes. A great example of Gebres lack of understanding on this issue and his black and white stance is him telling me that if violence and murder are acceptable then it should be acceptable to kill in order to save the victims of abortion.

What Gebre does not seem to understand is that while abortion is horrible and unacceptable, we do know the fate of the souls of these helpless victims and therefore it would be unacceptable to kill those performing abortions because their fate is not known, obviously. Its similar to the issue of martyrdom, when being martyred for your faith, it is unacceptable to fight back as a willful acceptance of martyrdom is displaying the highest form of love in Christ and trust in Him.

When we defend our family or others from harm, we should never seek to purposely kill, but to disarm or otherwise disable the person we are defending others against. It may so happen that in defense of others we may accidentally kill the person or persons, this is very unfortunate but again spoken of by the fathers. Once again, violence is not a virtue and we should not rely on it and or seek to use it in every instance but logically in defense of those who are being victimized and even then we should only be using the proper force required to subdue the person or persons. I think that this is the real issue with Gebres thinking, to him if violence is acceptable, then it is acceptable in every situation and if murder is acceptable, then it is acceptable in every situation, same as war. He is unable, or unwilling, to look at things in a logical and rational way. Instead he has selectively embraced quotes from the church fathers which seem to be supporting his view. I have personally advised him to study the church father in the context of their time or era, then study their writings individually and try to read them in the context with which they were written.
I have no doubt that Gebre loves Christ and our Church and this may seem a bit extreme but this is purely out of love. I seek only to correct my brother who has resisted the advice of myself and others much wiser than myself. I have privately consulted him for some time now and as HH Pope Shenouda taught us, "The sin that is done in public, punish in public. And the theological error which is broadcast openly in public, should be publicly refuted... ...But what is the wisdom in all this? Why punish in public, and why correct in public? This is because something that happens in public has an effect on others, or might cause them to stumble... So we must take those other people into account." ( So many years with problems of people, vol.3, pg. 82) As much as it pains me, I feel a public admonishment of Gebres erroneous view on this particular church teaching, I feel it is necessary in correcting him as well as others who may feel this same way.

Now I must stress one more thing, if Gebre personally wishes to adhere to a pacifist point of view, as I have told him, that is his view and it his certainly his right to exercise this. But, as I and others have tried to explain to him, you cannot pass this off as a church teaching because it simply is not taught by the church.
Again this is an effort done in love for a brother and for any brother and sister who may also believe this or came to believe this through Gebre. It is done with the utmost sincerity and desire for him to correct his teaching.

In Christ, Ioa
God said:
"Love your enemies"

God said:
"Pray for those who persecute you"

God said:
"Resist not an evil person"

God said:
"If somebody smites you on one cheek turn to him the other also"

We were only authorized by God to defend our homes & families in the night.  Of course, this is the ploy people play on to justify full blown warfare, which is often about money and land (despite the other propaganda spewed out).

I fully disagree with wars for Christians, Christians in the military, etc.  But to directly defend your family in your home it's different and we were given direct permission from God to do so.
 

yeshuaisiam

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Punch said:
rakovsky said:
Punch said:
George Orwell, in his 1945 "Notes on Nationalism", wrote "(It is) grossly obvious (that) those who ‘abjure’ violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf."
I can understand where he is coming from, and others share this belief about pacifists, but this is not the case. Monks for example are not supposed to fight in wars, even if it would be needed to protect them. Monks and some pacifists are so convinced in their beliefs that they are willing to go to jail or otherwise suffer for them- and sometimes they do, not regretting it.
You miss the point completely.  Monks did not have to fight because Christian Czars kept armies of Orthodox soldiers who did the killing for them.  And rather than scold those soldiers, they prayed for them.  One even gave them his cloak so they could be victorious over their enemies.
Are fighting/warring Czars Christian?
There's a lot more to Christianity than just being baptized, going to church, and receiving the Eucharist.

Read your last line "One even gave them his cloak so they could be victorious over their enemies"....

God told us to "Love our enemies and pray for those who persecute you"  NOT  "Here's my cloak, I'm going to pray that you kill our enemies".

You can't love your enemies with the sword, fist, or bullet.
 

yeshuaisiam

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Punch said:
Kerdy said:
I have been in "the fight" in some way all of my life.  I am a born fighter, it’s part of who I have always been, but if Gebre doesn't want to be involved in violence, he has that right and I will support his choice and defend his actions.  

Every man must live with his conscience and follow his path with Jesus.  Gebre feels his path is proper and for him it certainly is and for others who are struggling with certain issues he may be able to provide the information and guidance they need which will make it their path as well.  

I doubt there will ever be a point in my life I would not fight if it was required, but I can say in all honestly I wish I were more like Gebre when those moments arise and to be even more honest, I am a little tired of people talking down to him for his views.  If everyone acted like Gebre, do you not think the world would be a better place?  I do.  So, how about everyone get off his back.
George Orwell, in his 1945 "Notes on Nationalism", wrote "(It is) grossly obvious (that) those who ‘abjure’ violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf."  I do not mind those that pretend to be peaceful, as long as they do not criticise and make life difficult for those of us who allow them the luxury of their beliefs.
George Orwell is a genius, but I disagree with him.

This is because there were martyrs, and nobody committed violence on their behalf.

I think this argument has more to do with the weakness of our faith, to justify war, rather than to accept martyrdom if God so wills it.
 

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Am I the only one concerned that converts with chrism not dried yet start to write books about theology and spirituality and pretend to be teachers? There is a canon that fresh converts should not be ordained until some time. IMO this should also be applied to theological blog posts and books.
 

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Michał Kalina said:
Am I the only one concerned that converts with chrism not dried yet start to write books about theology and spirituality and pretend to be teachers? There is a canon that fresh converts should not be ordained until some time. IMO this should also be applied to theological blog posts and books.
Agreed.
 

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Ioannes said:
Michał Kalina said:
Am I the only one concerned that converts with chrism not dried yet start to write books about theology and spirituality and pretend to be teachers? There is a canon that fresh converts should not be ordained until some time. IMO this should also be applied to theological blog posts and books.
Agreed.
So why have you done that?
 

Ioannes

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Michał Kalina said:
Ioannes said:
Michał Kalina said:
Am I the only one concerned that converts with chrism not dried yet start to write books about theology and spirituality and pretend to be teachers? There is a canon that fresh converts should not be ordained until some time. IMO this should also be applied to theological blog posts and books.
Agreed.
So why have you done that?
I am sorry could you be more specific?
 
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