Fr Josiah Trenham in Tbilisi: Homofascists not Welcome

Porter ODoran

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JamesRottnek said:
Rohzek said:
Cavaradossi said:
Porter ODoran said:
On the contrary, it's already been called out upthread for being clumsy and tendentious, and it certainly doesn't amount to a substantive survey of the Fathers academically, and in fact lacks any direct citations even if they were only of its own side.
The arguments against it weren't even worth the bytes of storage they took up on the servers.
There are a number of other interpretations of sexuality on Genesis, especially in the Latin tradition. Some explicitly state that sexuality of both Adam and Eve preexisted the Fall. Angelomus of Luxeuil argues, for example, that Adam did so without concupiscence. That is to say, in a manner that was different from the rest of animals. It is important to acknowledge the various traditions in Orthodox Christian thought.
But isn't the more telling point: No one objects to the claim that in the Resurrection, there won't be sexual activity?  I've always understood the Orthodox understanding of humanity in the age to come as being that humanity will be most truly human.  If that's the case (and if one accepts that there is no sexual activity in the age to come), then it follows that to be most-human, or truly-human, one shouldn't have sex.
The need to reproduce assumes incompleteness of the race of man. But you're deflecting the point, which is that there's plainly been no encompassing survey of the Fathers in this thread. This evidently doesn't bother anyone who already held Iconodule's underlying opinion, but I am bothered by cavalier indictment of our Church for any cause.

Mina, I don't see how you can be the unbiased moderator of this particular topic when you have some notoriety for ambivalence toward the anthropology of the Fathers.

Cavaradossi, I see you're taking your hat, so adieu.
 

JamesRottnek

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Porter ODoran said:
JamesRottnek said:
Rohzek said:
Cavaradossi said:
Porter ODoran said:
On the contrary, it's already been called out upthread for being clumsy and tendentious, and it certainly doesn't amount to a substantive survey of the Fathers academically, and in fact lacks any direct citations even if they were only of its own side.
The arguments against it weren't even worth the bytes of storage they took up on the servers.
There are a number of other interpretations of sexuality on Genesis, especially in the Latin tradition. Some explicitly state that sexuality of both Adam and Eve preexisted the Fall. Angelomus of Luxeuil argues, for example, that Adam did so without concupiscence. That is to say, in a manner that was different from the rest of animals. It is important to acknowledge the various traditions in Orthodox Christian thought.
But isn't the more telling point: No one objects to the claim that in the Resurrection, there won't be sexual activity?  I've always understood the Orthodox understanding of humanity in the age to come as being that humanity will be most truly human.  If that's the case (and if one accepts that there is no sexual activity in the age to come), then it follows that to be most-human, or truly-human, one shouldn't have sex.
The need to reproduce assumes incompleteness of the race of man. But you're deflecting the point, which is that there's plainly been no encompassing survey of the Fathers in this thread. This evidently doesn't bother anyone who already held Iconodule's underlying opinion, but I am bothered by cavalier indictment of our Church for any cause.

Mina, I don't see how you can be the unbiased moderator of this particular topic when you have some notoriety for ambivalence toward the anthropology of the Fathers.

Cavaradossi, I see you're taking your hat, so adieu.
I think 'need' is an overstatement.
 

Porter ODoran

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JamesRottnek said:
Porter ODoran said:
By the way, I think Rev. Graham's assessment may not be invalid on its face. It depends on what he understands the church on earth to be: Few would insist it is identical in extent to God's mercy. However, considering that he elsewhere has seemed to liberally apply hellfire to humankind, I can't categorically defend his assessment here as a Christian one.
He seems to actually think one shouldn't step into A church, as in a church building, or even a person's home, if one is 'gay' (and, here, he seems to be confusing person and action - as he does over and over again everywhere; though, in either case, it's an absurd and dehumanizing proposition).
Would you care to expand this phrase you use often, of "confusing person and action"? You assume your readers grant whatever this phrase means. If you are saying a man is not his works, then I can't grant that.
 

JamesRottnek

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Porter ODoran said:
JamesRottnek said:
Porter ODoran said:
By the way, I think Rev. Graham's assessment may not be invalid on its face. It depends on what he understands the church on earth to be: Few would insist it is identical in extent to God's mercy. However, considering that he elsewhere has seemed to liberally apply hellfire to humankind, I can't categorically defend his assessment here as a Christian one.
He seems to actually think one shouldn't step into A church, as in a church building, or even a person's home, if one is 'gay' (and, here, he seems to be confusing person and action - as he does over and over again everywhere; though, in either case, it's an absurd and dehumanizing proposition).
Would you care to expand this phrase you use often, of "confusing person and action"? You assume your readers grant whatever this phrase means. If you are saying a man is not his works, then I can't grant that.
I think my words were fairly obvious.  When Graham is attacking gay people, he is assuming that one who is gay has sex with someone of the same gender as them, and that one who has sex with someone of the same gender of them is gay.  This is not the case.

Fr. Seraphim Rose, for instance, was gay.  He was gay before he converted, and he had a gay lover.  He was also gay when became a monastic and (presumably) did not have a gay lover.

Likewise, you are (I would guess) straight.  You were straight when you were living with your wife.  Likewise you are straight now, when you are (presumably) not engaging in any type of sex or masturbation. 

When I said that Graham is confusing the person and the action, I mean that he is confusing a desire for a thing (or, more specifically, a class of people who have a class of desire) with an action (the actual acting on that desire).
 

minasoliman

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Porter ODoran said:
JamesRottnek said:
Rohzek said:
Cavaradossi said:
Porter ODoran said:
On the contrary, it's already been called out upthread for being clumsy and tendentious, and it certainly doesn't amount to a substantive survey of the Fathers academically, and in fact lacks any direct citations even if they were only of its own side.
The arguments against it weren't even worth the bytes of storage they took up on the servers.
There are a number of other interpretations of sexuality on Genesis, especially in the Latin tradition. Some explicitly state that sexuality of both Adam and Eve preexisted the Fall. Angelomus of Luxeuil argues, for example, that Adam did so without concupiscence. That is to say, in a manner that was different from the rest of animals. It is important to acknowledge the various traditions in Orthodox Christian thought.
But isn't the more telling point: No one objects to the claim that in the Resurrection, there won't be sexual activity?  I've always understood the Orthodox understanding of humanity in the age to come as being that humanity will be most truly human.  If that's the case (and if one accepts that there is no sexual activity in the age to come), then it follows that to be most-human, or truly-human, one shouldn't have sex.
The need to reproduce assumes incompleteness of the race of man. But you're deflecting the point, which is that there's plainly been no encompassing survey of the Fathers in this thread. This evidently doesn't bother anyone who already held Iconodule's underlying opinion, but I am bothered by cavalier indictment of our Church for any cause.

Mina, I don't see how you can be the unbiased moderator of this particular topic when you have some notoriety for ambivalence toward the anthropology of the Fathers.

Cavaradossi, I see you're taking your hat, so adieu.
Porter,

Don't you ever again bring up my mod status.  If you have a problem, send me a PM or send Liza one if you have problems with my moderation.

If you have a problem with any position I hold, quote it, and discuss it without mentioning my mod status.

You have been warned.

Mina
 

Rohzek

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JamesRottnek said:
Rohzek said:
Cavaradossi said:
Porter ODoran said:
On the contrary, it's already been called out upthread for being clumsy and tendentious, and it certainly doesn't amount to a substantive survey of the Fathers academically, and in fact lacks any direct citations even if they were only of its own side.
The arguments against it weren't even worth the bytes of storage they took up on the servers.
There are a number of other interpretations of sexuality on Genesis, especially in the Latin tradition. Some explicitly state that sexuality of both Adam and Eve preexisted the Fall. Angelomus of Luxeuil argues, for example, that Adam did so without concupiscence. That is to say, in a manner that was different from the rest of animals. It is important to acknowledge the various traditions in Orthodox Christian thought.
But isn't the more telling point: No one objects to the claim that in the Resurrection, there won't be sexual activity?  I've always understood the Orthodox understanding of humanity in the age to come as being that humanity will be most truly human.  If that's the case (and if one accepts that there is no sexual activity in the age to come), then it follows that to be most-human, or truly-human, one shouldn't have sex.
That understanding entirely depends upon how one understands marriage in the afterlife. Aside from that, I don't issue mere speculation on what life will be like then. I suspect such an understanding was proposed by none other than the celibate. How convenient.
 

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Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
 

minasoliman

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Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
It is a threat. I'm giving you also a chance here. Don't you ever challenge my mod directive publicly.  If you see this green text, and you have issues with it, send me a private message, not a public one.

After engaging in 18 pages of this discussion, when something goes astray from main discussion at hand, I will proceed with a harsher tone.

You also are warned.

Mina
 

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Mina what you are doing is called abuse of power.Starting with 'Don't you ever again..' is offensive.It s ok give me a penalty  8)
 

Iconodule

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Porter, you have again accused me of misrepresenting the Fathers or failing to cite them. The fact that you refuse to read or acknowledge the citations doesn't mean they don't exist. You also said I have given negative judgment of their opinion, when I have done nothing of the sort. The fact that you perceive their views as something that condemns them says more about you than me (or them) and bolsters my point- things have changed.

I will again provide some of the passages I referred to. I'll share here passages from Saints Gregory of Nyssa, John Damascene, and Gregory Palamas, because they are centuries apart from one another. You can read the first two in context online here and here. For Saint Gregory Palamas, you'll need a print copy of his homilies which is readily available.

I look forward to your comment and your explanation of how I have misrepresented the Fathers on this topic.


From Saint Gregory of Nyssa, ~On the Making of Man~:
1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.

2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: “for in the resurrection,” He says, “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection Luke 20:35-36 .” Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were “made a little lower than the angels ,” to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.

3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, “as the angels are without marriage;” for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

4. Now that we have thus cleared up these matters, let us return to our former point—how it was that after the making of His image God contrived for His work the distinction of male and female. I say that the preliminary speculation we have completed is of service for determining this question; for He Who brought all things into being and fashioned Man as a whole by His own will to the Divine image, did not wait to see the number of souls made up to its proper fullness by the gradual additions of those coming after; but while looking upon the nature of man in its entirety and fullness by the exercise of His foreknowledge, and bestowing upon it a lot exalted and equal to the angels, since He saw beforehand by His all-seeing power the failure of their will to keep a direct course to what is good, and its consequent declension from the angelic life, in order that the multitude of human souls might not be cut short by its fall from that mode by which the angels were increased and multiplied—for this reason, I say, He formed for our nature that contrivance for increase which befits those who had fallen into sin, implanting in mankind, instead of the angelic majesty of nature, that animal and irrational mode by which they now succeed one another.

5. Hence also, it seems to me, the great David pitying the misery of man mourns over his nature with such words as these, that, “man being in honour knew it not” (meaning by “honour” the equality with the angels), therefore, he says, “he is compared to the beasts that have no understanding, and made like them. ” For he truly was made like the beasts, who received in his nature the present mode of transient generation, on account of his inclination to material things.


From Saint John Damascene, ~An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith~

Carnal men abuse virginity , and the pleasure-loving bring forward the following verse in proof, Cursed be every one that raises not up seed in Israel. But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man's nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. In Paradise virginity held sway. Indeed, Divine Scripture tells that both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. But after their transgression they knew that they were naked, and in their shame they sewed aprons for themselves. And when, after the transgression, Adam heard, dust you are and unto dust shall you return , when death entered into the world by reason of the transgression, then Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare seed. So that to prevent the wearing out and destruction of the race by death, marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.

But they will perhaps ask, what then is the meaning of “male and female,” and “Be fruitful and multiply?” In answer we shall say that “Be fruitful and multiply ”does not altogether refer to the multiplying by the marriage connection. For God had power to multiply the race also in different ways, if they kept the precept unbroken to the end. But God, Who knows all things before they have existence, knowing in His foreknowledge that they would fall into transgression in the future and be condemned to death, anticipated this and made “male and female,” and bade them “be fruitful and multiply.” Let us, then, proceed on our way and see the glories of virginity: and this also includes chastity.


From Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 43 "On the Gospel Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday of Matthew About the Canaanite Woman"

What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage. That is why we receive regeneration through holy baptism, which cuts away the veil which covers us from our conception. For although marriage, as a concession from God, is blameless, yet our nature still bears the tokens of blameworthy events. For that reason one of our holy theologians calls human procreation, "nocturnal, servile, and subject to passion", and before him David said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5)
 

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JamesRottnek said:
Porter ODoran said:
JamesRottnek said:
Porter ODoran said:
By the way, I think Rev. Graham's assessment may not be invalid on its face. It depends on what he understands the church on earth to be: Few would insist it is identical in extent to God's mercy. However, considering that he elsewhere has seemed to liberally apply hellfire to humankind, I can't categorically defend his assessment here as a Christian one.
He seems to actually think one shouldn't step into A church, as in a church building, or even a person's home, if one is 'gay' (and, here, he seems to be confusing person and action - as he does over and over again everywhere; though, in either case, it's an absurd and dehumanizing proposition).
Would you care to expand this phrase you use often, of "confusing person and action"? You assume your readers grant whatever this phrase means. If you are saying a man is not his works, then I can't grant that.
I think my words were fairly obvious.  When Graham is attacking gay people, he is assuming that one who is gay has sex with someone of the same gender as them, and that one who has sex with someone of the same gender of them is gay.  This is not the case.

Fr. Seraphim Rose, for instance, was gay.  He was gay before he converted, and he had a gay lover.  He was also gay when became a monastic and (presumably) did not have a gay lover.

Likewise, you are (I would guess) straight.  You were straight when you were living with your wife.  Likewise you are straight now, when you are (presumably) not engaging in any type of sex or masturbation. 

When I said that Graham is confusing the person and the action, I mean that he is confusing a desire for a thing (or, more specifically, a class of people who have a class of desire) with an action (the actual acting on that desire).
Oh, I see. You mean by "person" what we commonly hear as "orientation." Thank you.
 

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Iconodule said:
Porter, you have again accused me of misrepresenting the Fathers or failing to cite them. The fact that you refuse to read or acknowledge the citations doesn't mean they don't exist. You also said I have given negative judgment of their opinion, when I have done nothing of the sort. The fact that you perceive their views as something that condemns them says more about you than me (or them) and bolsters my point- things have changed.

I will again provide some of the passages I referred to. I'll share here passages from Saints Gregory of Nyssa, John Damascene, and Gregory Palamas, because they are centuries apart from one another. You can read the first two in context online here and here. For Saint Gregory Palamas, you'll need a print copy of his homilies which is readily available.

I look forward to your comment and your explanation of how I have misrepresented the Fathers on this topic.


From Saint Gregory of Nyssa, ~On the Making of Man~:
1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.

2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: “for in the resurrection,” He says, “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection Luke 20:35-36 .” Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were “made a little lower than the angels ,” to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.

3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, “as the angels are without marriage;” for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

4. Now that we have thus cleared up these matters, let us return to our former point—how it was that after the making of His image God contrived for His work the distinction of male and female. I say that the preliminary speculation we have completed is of service for determining this question; for He Who brought all things into being and fashioned Man as a whole by His own will to the Divine image, did not wait to see the number of souls made up to its proper fullness by the gradual additions of those coming after; but while looking upon the nature of man in its entirety and fullness by the exercise of His foreknowledge, and bestowing upon it a lot exalted and equal to the angels, since He saw beforehand by His all-seeing power the failure of their will to keep a direct course to what is good, and its consequent declension from the angelic life, in order that the multitude of human souls might not be cut short by its fall from that mode by which the angels were increased and multiplied—for this reason, I say, He formed for our nature that contrivance for increase which befits those who had fallen into sin, implanting in mankind, instead of the angelic majesty of nature, that animal and irrational mode by which they now succeed one another.

5. Hence also, it seems to me, the great David pitying the misery of man mourns over his nature with such words as these, that, “man being in honour knew it not” (meaning by “honour” the equality with the angels), therefore, he says, “he is compared to the beasts that have no understanding, and made like them. ” For he truly was made like the beasts, who received in his nature the present mode of transient generation, on account of his inclination to material things.


From Saint John Damascene, ~An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith~

Carnal men abuse virginity , and the pleasure-loving bring forward the following verse in proof, Cursed be every one that raises not up seed in Israel. But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man's nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. In Paradise virginity held sway. Indeed, Divine Scripture tells that both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. But after their transgression they knew that they were naked, and in their shame they sewed aprons for themselves. And when, after the transgression, Adam heard, dust you are and unto dust shall you return , when death entered into the world by reason of the transgression, then Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare seed. So that to prevent the wearing out and destruction of the race by death, marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.

But they will perhaps ask, what then is the meaning of “male and female,” and “Be fruitful and multiply?” In answer we shall say that “Be fruitful and multiply ”does not altogether refer to the multiplying by the marriage connection. For God had power to multiply the race also in different ways, if they kept the precept unbroken to the end. But God, Who knows all things before they have existence, knowing in His foreknowledge that they would fall into transgression in the future and be condemned to death, anticipated this and made “male and female,” and bade them “be fruitful and multiply.” Let us, then, proceed on our way and see the glories of virginity: and this also includes chastity.


From Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 43 "On the Gospel Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday of Matthew About the Canaanite Woman"

What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage. That is why we receive regeneration through holy baptism, which cuts away the veil which covers us from our conception. For although marriage, as a concession from God, is blameless, yet our nature still bears the tokens of blameworthy events. For that reason one of our holy theologians calls human procreation, "nocturnal, servile, and subject to passion", and before him David said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5)
Thank you. I mean for the citations, of course. This facilitates further discussion. And you don't think your claims for them are at all grandiose?
 

Iconodule

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Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
Porter, you have again accused me of misrepresenting the Fathers or failing to cite them. The fact that you refuse to read or acknowledge the citations doesn't mean they don't exist. You also said I have given negative judgment of their opinion, when I have done nothing of the sort. The fact that you perceive their views as something that condemns them says more about you than me (or them) and bolsters my point- things have changed.

I will again provide some of the passages I referred to. I'll share here passages from Saints Gregory of Nyssa, John Damascene, and Gregory Palamas, because they are centuries apart from one another. You can read the first two in context online here and here. For Saint Gregory Palamas, you'll need a print copy of his homilies which is readily available.

I look forward to your comment and your explanation of how I have misrepresented the Fathers on this topic.


From Saint Gregory of Nyssa, ~On the Making of Man~:
1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.

2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: “for in the resurrection,” He says, “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection Luke 20:35-36 .” Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were “made a little lower than the angels ,” to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.

3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, “as the angels are without marriage;” for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

4. Now that we have thus cleared up these matters, let us return to our former point—how it was that after the making of His image God contrived for His work the distinction of male and female. I say that the preliminary speculation we have completed is of service for determining this question; for He Who brought all things into being and fashioned Man as a whole by His own will to the Divine image, did not wait to see the number of souls made up to its proper fullness by the gradual additions of those coming after; but while looking upon the nature of man in its entirety and fullness by the exercise of His foreknowledge, and bestowing upon it a lot exalted and equal to the angels, since He saw beforehand by His all-seeing power the failure of their will to keep a direct course to what is good, and its consequent declension from the angelic life, in order that the multitude of human souls might not be cut short by its fall from that mode by which the angels were increased and multiplied—for this reason, I say, He formed for our nature that contrivance for increase which befits those who had fallen into sin, implanting in mankind, instead of the angelic majesty of nature, that animal and irrational mode by which they now succeed one another.

5. Hence also, it seems to me, the great David pitying the misery of man mourns over his nature with such words as these, that, “man being in honour knew it not” (meaning by “honour” the equality with the angels), therefore, he says, “he is compared to the beasts that have no understanding, and made like them. ” For he truly was made like the beasts, who received in his nature the present mode of transient generation, on account of his inclination to material things.


From Saint John Damascene, ~An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith~

Carnal men abuse virginity , and the pleasure-loving bring forward the following verse in proof, Cursed be every one that raises not up seed in Israel. But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man's nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. In Paradise virginity held sway. Indeed, Divine Scripture tells that both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. But after their transgression they knew that they were naked, and in their shame they sewed aprons for themselves. And when, after the transgression, Adam heard, dust you are and unto dust shall you return , when death entered into the world by reason of the transgression, then Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare seed. So that to prevent the wearing out and destruction of the race by death, marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.

But they will perhaps ask, what then is the meaning of “male and female,” and “Be fruitful and multiply?” In answer we shall say that “Be fruitful and multiply ”does not altogether refer to the multiplying by the marriage connection. For God had power to multiply the race also in different ways, if they kept the precept unbroken to the end. But God, Who knows all things before they have existence, knowing in His foreknowledge that they would fall into transgression in the future and be condemned to death, anticipated this and made “male and female,” and bade them “be fruitful and multiply.” Let us, then, proceed on our way and see the glories of virginity: and this also includes chastity.


From Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 43 "On the Gospel Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday of Matthew About the Canaanite Woman"

What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage. That is why we receive regeneration through holy baptism, which cuts away the veil which covers us from our conception. For although marriage, as a concession from God, is blameless, yet our nature still bears the tokens of blameworthy events. For that reason one of our holy theologians calls human procreation, "nocturnal, servile, and subject to passion", and before him David said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5)
Thank you. I mean for the citations, of course. This facilitates further discussion.
This is the third or fourth time I have provided them in this thread.

And you don't think your claims for them are at all grandiose?
If you think so, by all means show how.
 

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Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
Suit yourself.  I gave you fair warning.

5% penalty.  If you want to make further commentary, PM ONLY!

Mina
 

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Iconodule said:
Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
Porter, you have again accused me of misrepresenting the Fathers or failing to cite them. The fact that you refuse to read or acknowledge the citations doesn't mean they don't exist. You also said I have given negative judgment of their opinion, when I have done nothing of the sort. The fact that you perceive their views as something that condemns them says more about you than me (or them) and bolsters my point- things have changed.

I will again provide some of the passages I referred to. I'll share here passages from Saints Gregory of Nyssa, John Damascene, and Gregory Palamas, because they are centuries apart from one another. You can read the first two in context online here and here. For Saint Gregory Palamas, you'll need a print copy of his homilies which is readily available.

I look forward to your comment and your explanation of how I have misrepresented the Fathers on this topic.


From Saint Gregory of Nyssa, ~On the Making of Man~:
1. It is better for us however, perhaps, rather to inquire, before investigating this point, the solution of the question put forward by our adversaries; for they say that before the sin there is no account of birth, or of travail, or of the desire that tends to procreation, but when they were banished from Paradise after their sin, and the woman was condemned by the sentence of travail, Adam thus entered with his consort upon the intercourse of married life, and then took place the beginning of procreation. If, then, marriage did not exist in Paradise, nor travail, nor birth, they say that it follows as a necessary conclusion that human souls would not have existed in plurality had not the grace of immortality fallen away to mortality, and marriage preserved our race by means of descendants, introducing the offspring of the departing to take their place, so that in a certain way the sin that entered into the world was profitable for the life of man: for the human race would have remained in the pair of the first-formed, had not the fear of death impelled their nature to provide succession.

2. Now here again the true answer, whatever it may be, can be clear to those only who, like Paul, have been instructed in the mysteries of Paradise; but our answer is as follows. When the Sadducees once argued against the doctrine of the resurrection, and brought forward, to establish their own opinion, that woman of many marriages, who had been wife to seven brethren, and thereupon inquired whose wife she will be after the resurrection, our Lord answered their argument so as not only to instruct the Sadducees, but also to reveal to all that come after them the mystery of the resurrection-life: “for in the resurrection,” He says, “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection Luke 20:35-36 .” Now the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it. If then the life of those restored is closely related to that of the angels, it is clear that the life before the transgression was a kind of angelic life, and hence also our return to the ancient condition of our life is compared to the angels. Yet while, as has been said, there is no marriage among them, the armies of the angels are in countless myriads; for so Daniel declared in his visions: so, in the same way, if there had not come upon us as the result of sin a change for the worse, and removal from equality with the angels, neither should we have needed marriage that we might multiply; but whatever the mode of increase in the angelic nature is (unspeakable and inconceivable by human conjectures, except that it assuredly exists), it would have operated also in the case of men, who were “made a little lower than the angels ,” to increase mankind to the measure determined by its Maker.

3. But if any one finds a difficulty in an inquiry as to the manner of the generation of souls, had man not needed the assistance of marriage, we shall ask him in turn, what is the mode of the angelic existence, how they exist in countless myriads, being one essence, and at the same time numerically many; for we shall be giving a fit answer to one who raises the question how man would have been without marriage, if we say, “as the angels are without marriage;” for the fact that man was in a like condition with them before the transgression is shown by the restoration to that state.

4. Now that we have thus cleared up these matters, let us return to our former point—how it was that after the making of His image God contrived for His work the distinction of male and female. I say that the preliminary speculation we have completed is of service for determining this question; for He Who brought all things into being and fashioned Man as a whole by His own will to the Divine image, did not wait to see the number of souls made up to its proper fullness by the gradual additions of those coming after; but while looking upon the nature of man in its entirety and fullness by the exercise of His foreknowledge, and bestowing upon it a lot exalted and equal to the angels, since He saw beforehand by His all-seeing power the failure of their will to keep a direct course to what is good, and its consequent declension from the angelic life, in order that the multitude of human souls might not be cut short by its fall from that mode by which the angels were increased and multiplied—for this reason, I say, He formed for our nature that contrivance for increase which befits those who had fallen into sin, implanting in mankind, instead of the angelic majesty of nature, that animal and irrational mode by which they now succeed one another.

5. Hence also, it seems to me, the great David pitying the misery of man mourns over his nature with such words as these, that, “man being in honour knew it not” (meaning by “honour” the equality with the angels), therefore, he says, “he is compared to the beasts that have no understanding, and made like them. ” For he truly was made like the beasts, who received in his nature the present mode of transient generation, on account of his inclination to material things.


From Saint John Damascene, ~An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith~

Carnal men abuse virginity , and the pleasure-loving bring forward the following verse in proof, Cursed be every one that raises not up seed in Israel. But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man's nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. In Paradise virginity held sway. Indeed, Divine Scripture tells that both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. But after their transgression they knew that they were naked, and in their shame they sewed aprons for themselves. And when, after the transgression, Adam heard, dust you are and unto dust shall you return , when death entered into the world by reason of the transgression, then Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare seed. So that to prevent the wearing out and destruction of the race by death, marriage was devised that the race of men may be preserved through the procreation of children.

But they will perhaps ask, what then is the meaning of “male and female,” and “Be fruitful and multiply?” In answer we shall say that “Be fruitful and multiply ”does not altogether refer to the multiplying by the marriage connection. For God had power to multiply the race also in different ways, if they kept the precept unbroken to the end. But God, Who knows all things before they have existence, knowing in His foreknowledge that they would fall into transgression in the future and be condemned to death, anticipated this and made “male and female,” and bade them “be fruitful and multiply.” Let us, then, proceed on our way and see the glories of virginity: and this also includes chastity.


From Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 43 "On the Gospel Reading for the Seventeenth Sunday of Matthew About the Canaanite Woman"

What is the starting point of our coming into the world? Is it not almost the same as for irrational animals? Actually it is worse, because the procreation of animals did not originate from sin, whereas in our case it was disobedience that brought in marriage. That is why we receive regeneration through holy baptism, which cuts away the veil which covers us from our conception. For although marriage, as a concession from God, is blameless, yet our nature still bears the tokens of blameworthy events. For that reason one of our holy theologians calls human procreation, "nocturnal, servile, and subject to passion", and before him David said, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5)
Thank you. I mean for the citations, of course. This facilitates further discussion.
This is the third or fourth time I have provided them in this thread.

And you don't think your claims for them are at all grandiose?
If you think so, by all means show how.
You do not find the nature of this challenge at all grandiose?

You must recognize you've offered a characterization so sweeping no one could sensibly accept it on its face. Thank you again for the citations, but because they serve to further a more realistic discussion along appropriately narrower lines.

What I may have misplaced in this back and forth is a simple statement that I have read extensively in the Fathers and ancient Greeks and found nothing that deserves your negative caricature. Others may offer sweeping statements different from either of ours. Yet assertions so broad should never be swallowed whole. Yet were one forced to commit to battling exaggerations, if one is Orthodox how can one choose the side that accuses the Church?

And that is enough in response to this project of yours.
 

Iconodule

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Porter ODoran said:
You must recognize you've offered a characterization so sweeping no one could sensibly accept it on its face.
Again, if you find some disparity between my characterization and the textual evidence, feel free to spell it out, or cease your huffing and puffing. 

What I may have misplaced in this back and forth is a simple statement that I have read extensively in the Fathers and ancient Greeks and found nothing that deserves your negative caricature. Others may offer sweeping statements different from either of ours. Yet assertions so broad should never be swallowed whole. Yet were one forced to commit to battling exaggerations, if one is Orthodox how can one choose the side that accuses the Church?
Here we go again. You accuse me of a "negative caricature", as if I am somehow trying to mock or critique the historic teaching of the Fathers. I have done no such thing and you provide no evidence that I have done any such thing. Moreover, the fact that you perceive a very basic presentation of the patristic attitude toward sex as a "negative caricature" implies an accusation on your part. Evidently you are uncomfortable with what these saints taught, and are trying to attribute it to some malicious reading on my part despite mountains of evidence staring you in the face.
 

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minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
Suit yourself.  I gave you fair warning.

5% penalty.  If you want to make further commentary, PM ONLY!

Mina
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
 

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Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
Suit yourself.  I gave you fair warning.

5% penalty.  If you want to make further commentary, PM ONLY!

Mina
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
It's been brought to my attention that you may not be familiar with the rules.  So here we go:

In this website, you are not allowed to publicly challenge a moderator's directive, especially when the moderator is writing in green text like you see me doing now.. You may challenge my green text privately.  I don't mind the criticism privately, and I would be glad to address your concerns then.  It's not "modfascism".  It's what we always do here in this site.

I'm sorry if that was not clear to you.  I hope you understand now that I would prefer if you challenge my mod directive privately, not publicly.  It's been the tradition that public challenges get penalized, but not private challenges.

Thank you and God bless.

Mina
 

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minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
Suit yourself.  I gave you fair warning.

5% penalty.  If you want to make further commentary, PM ONLY!

Mina
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
It's been brought to my attention that you may not be familiar with the rules.  So here we go:

In this website, you are not allowed to publicly challenge a moderator's directive, especially when the moderator is writing in green text like you see me doing now.. You may challenge my green text privately.  I don't mind the criticism privately, and I would be glad to address your concerns then.  It's not "modfascism".  It's what we always do here in this site.

I'm sorry if that was not clear to you.  I hope you understand now that I would prefer if you challenge my mod directive privately, not publicly.  It's been the tradition that public challenges get penalized, but not private challenges.

Thank you and God bless.

Mina
I m familiar with the rules:'* Respect Others -- Things can (and do) get heated on this board.  Any attempt to harass or threaten another poster, whether publicly or privately, can and will result in a permanent ban.'Are you above rules when you threaten from mod position?
 

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Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
It's been brought to my attention that you may not be familiar with the rules.  So here we go:

In this website, you are not allowed to publicly challenge a moderator's directive, especially when the moderator is writing in green text like you see me doing now.. You may challenge my green text privately.  I don't mind the criticism privately, and I would be glad to address your concerns then.  It's not "modfascism".  It's what we always do here in this site.

I'm sorry if that was not clear to you.  I hope you understand now that I would prefer if you challenge my mod directive privately, not publicly.  It's been the tradition that public challenges get penalized, but not private challenges.

Thank you and God bless.

Mina
I m familiar with the rules:'* Respect Others -- Things can (and do) get heated on this board.  Any attempt to harass or threaten another poster, whether publicly or privately, can and will result in a permanent ban.'Are you above rules when you threaten from mod position?
A moderator telling you that you shouldn't do an action prohibited by the rules again is not threatening you, in the same way that an officer telling you "Don't you ever speed again on this road" is not threatening you.  They're trying to impress upon you (a) the severity of your infraction, (b) their vigilance, and (c) their desire that you not violate the rules again.
 

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Fr. George said:
Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
It's been brought to my attention that you may not be familiar with the rules.  So here we go:

In this website, you are not allowed to publicly challenge a moderator's directive, especially when the moderator is writing in green text like you see me doing now.. You may challenge my green text privately.  I don't mind the criticism privately, and I would be glad to address your concerns then.  It's not "modfascism".  It's what we always do here in this site.

I'm sorry if that was not clear to you.  I hope you understand now that I would prefer if you challenge my mod directive privately, not publicly.  It's been the tradition that public challenges get penalized, but not private challenges.

Thank you and God bless.

Mina
I m familiar with the rules:'* Respect Others -- Things can (and do) get heated on this board.  Any attempt to harass or threaten another poster, whether publicly or privately, can and will result in a permanent ban.'Are you above rules when you threaten from mod position?
A moderator telling you that you shouldn't do an action prohibited by the rules again is not threatening you, in the same way that an officer telling you "Don't you ever speed again on this road" is not threatening you.  They're trying to impress upon you (a) the severity of your infraction, (b) their vigilance, and (c) their desire that you not violate the rules again.
Your blessings father,I ve never heard an officer saying'Don t you ever speed..'Officers are polite and respectful of citizens rights..as law is their field.In the same sense you wouldn't preach starting with 'Don't you ever..
 

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Is this really a hill you want to die on? Take it to PM with the mod if you feel so strongly about it. No one is going to sympathize with your martyrdom when you get lippy with the mods.
 

Iconodule

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I for one will kneel down and kiss Seekingtrue's charred digital relics.
 

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Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
minasoliman said:
Seekingtrue said:
Mina starting your phrase with'Dont you ever again..' does sound a bit threatening.You can give a warning in a more relaxed way.
Suit yourself.  I gave you fair warning.

5% penalty.  If you want to make further commentary, PM ONLY!

Mina
fair warning..like your fair threats?Modfascism  :police: I m sorry Mina I can't tolerate it s my sinful nature..Senior I want to be banned.Amen  ;D
It's been brought to my attention that you may not be familiar with the rules.  So here we go:

In this website, you are not allowed to publicly challenge a moderator's directive, especially when the moderator is writing in green text like you see me doing now.. You may challenge my green text privately.  I don't mind the criticism privately, and I would be glad to address your concerns then.  It's not "modfascism".  It's what we always do here in this site.

I'm sorry if that was not clear to you.  I hope you understand now that I would prefer if you challenge my mod directive privately, not publicly.  It's been the tradition that public challenges get penalized, but not private challenges.

Thank you and God bless.

Mina
I m familiar with the rules:'* Respect Others -- Things can (and do) get heated on this board.  Any attempt to harass or threaten another poster, whether publicly or privately, can and will result in a permanent ban.'Are you above rules when you threaten from mod position?
I have nothing against you, or anyone else here really.  I meant no disrespect towards you, and if you felt that way, I apologize.  I'm trying to do my job, and I hope you could respect that as well.

Thank you.

Mina
 

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"If a boy was polluted by a man, if he received the ejaculation in the thighs, let him be allowed to enter the priesthood after being subjected to the appropriate penitential discipline. However, if in the anus, let him not all be deemed worthy of priestly rank. Although on account of his youth, he himself did not sin, yet his vessel [body] was wrecked, and it is not possible for him to perform priestly functions because he has been defiled." - St. John the Faster (as reported by Matthew Blastares in his Syntagma Canonum)
 

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Asteriktos said:
"If a boy was polluted by a man, if he received the ejaculation in the thighs, let him be allowed to enter the priesthood after being subjected to the appropriate penitential discipline. However, if in the anus, let him not all be deemed worthy of priestly rank. Although on account of his youth, he himself did not sin, yet his vessel [body] was wrecked, and it is not possible for him to perform priestly functions because he has been defiled." - St. John the Faster (as reported by Matthew Blastares in his Syntagma Canonum)
The provenance and perhaps idiosyncrasy of this aside, it does demonstrate the orthodox perception that guilt is removable but facts are not. Of course, on its face the canon is merely an attempt to port the Mosaic priesthood into Christianity, in the fashion of Moses's proscriptions on e.g. blindness, impotence, or deformity. Yet on a deeper level the canon however poorly embodies the fundamental orthodox idea that the true nature of man is to be furthered and defended on the arduous road to paradise and that individuals, while offered unequaled love and relationship, are not even to desire to be an obstacle to that. If one thinks, as the best Greeks did, of the body of mankind as worthy of a medicine-like care, then what is due its natural whole and what is due for its individuals, its cells, begin to fall into place.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
idiosyncrasy
I could give you 300 more like it, on everything from contraception to wife beating, except I threw those sorts of books in the trash.* I just happened upon that one today because I recently bought a book with the Alphabetical Collection of Blastares.


* I suppose I could still dig lots up if I wanted to invest the time... but to be honest it's not worth it at this point
 

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Asteriktos said:
Porter ODoran said:
idiosyncrasy
I could give you 300 more like it, on everything from contraception to wife beating, except I threw those sorts of books in the trash.* I just happened upon that one today because I recently bought a book with the Alphabetical Collection of Blastares.


* I suppose I could still dig lots up if I wanted to invest the time... but to be honest it's not worth it at this point
By all means, do. Why neglect the work to make your own claims credible?

I find it curious the number of posters in the thread who seem to perceive themselves as alone in the possession of the ancient morals of the Fathers. Have they not encountered each other?

I was allowing for the doubts about John the Faster's canons as a whole. 
 

Mor Ephrem

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Porter ODoran said:
Asteriktos said:
Porter ODoran said:
idiosyncrasy
I could give you 300 more like it, on everything from contraception to wife beating, except I threw those sorts of books in the trash.* I just happened upon that one today because I recently bought a book with the Alphabetical Collection of Blastares.


* I suppose I could still dig lots up if I wanted to invest the time... but to be honest it's not worth it at this point
By all means, do. Why neglect the work to make your own claims credible?

I find it curious the number of posters in the thread who seem to perceive themselves as alone in the possession of the ancient morals of the Fathers. Have they not encountered each other?

I was allowing for the doubts about John the Faster's canons as a whole.
Have who not encountered each other?
 
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