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Fr. Seraphim Aldea: Absolute Pacifism in Orthodoxy

NicholasMyra

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http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/monkseyes/forgiveness_and_reflection

...I’m not discussing any reasons, any justifications for killing; I’m discussing pure killing, for any reason, any justification. All I can say is: Go back to Christ. Go back to the God of peace. Go back to Christ who is love. There is no argument to support murder in Christianity, at least not in a pure Orthodox Christianity. There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention, and it is deeply wrong. It is anti-Christian...

...There is no way to life through murder, and the Orthodox Church, again, has kept that teaching as pure as possible by not creating any theory, any doctrine to justify war in any context. Many of those who wrote to me argued that there are various elders who supported war. Well, I say to you, before Christ and before those elders, that they are wrong. Even if a saint says so, he is wrong. Even if a bishop or a synod say so, they are wrong, for the very simple reason that Christ, who is the truth, and Christ’s Church, through its Tradition, say otherwise. Go back to the Christ in your heart, and look into the depth of Orthodoxy, beyond nationalism, beyond matters of state, beyond matters of borders. Go back to what Christianity is about, and you will find the same truth in your heart...

...Look. I have absolutely no intention and no interest to convince you. I don’t want to argue for this. This is a topic that does not need me to represent it or to fight for it. It doesn’t stand through me. This stands through Christ. I am simply called. I feel that very clearly in my heart. I am simply called to give witness for this truth. In the horrible world we live in today, what your reaction is to this confession, to this witness, is entirely up to you...
Aside from Gebre and the foil in an anecdote told by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, absolute pacifism is not talked about often in the context of Orthodoxy.

I disagree with him but I admire the classically-Orthodox chutzpah in paragraph 2 quoted.
 

truthseeker32

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NicholasMyra said:
Aside from Gebre and the foil in an anecdote told by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, absolute pacifism is not talked about often in the context of Orthodoxy.

I disagree with him but I admire the classically-Orthodox chutzpah in paragraph 2 quoted.
Of course not. How can Holy Russia conquer the world if they start promoting such nonsense?
 

Iconodule

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NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
 

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I agree with this post:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The more important question we should ask in all matters is what is the most Christ like course of action. It seems unquestionably clear that premeditated preparations for war and deliberate acts of intentional killing are by no means compatible with the commands, teachings, and example of Our Lord. Instinctive, forceful, reactionary self-defense or instinctive defense of family, friends, and neighbors is much different than taking up arms and training for bloodshed and violence. The Christian must always prepare not to kill, not to be vengeful, and not to use violence. And even if we react violently in self-defense or defense of another, we should still repent of the fact that we did violence to another human being created in God's holy image. We must also remember that we have a divine promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. Neither communism, nor Nazism, nor fascism, nor any Islamic caliphate can destroy Christ's Church. So we pray and prepare for peace, and we pray and prepare to proactively defend the innocent through nonviolent, sacrificial vigilance.

"Lord have mercy."
 

augustin717

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Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
  it's because of the Filioque .
 

Volnutt

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RaphaCam said:
I agree with this post:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The more important question we should ask in all matters is what is the most Christ like course of action. It seems unquestionably clear that premeditated preparations for war and deliberate acts of intentional killing are by no means compatible with the commands, teachings, and example of Our Lord. Instinctive, forceful, reactionary self-defense or instinctive defense of family, friends, and neighbors is much different than taking up arms and training for bloodshed and violence. The Christian must always prepare not to kill, not to be vengeful, and not to use violence. And even if we react violently in self-defense or defense of another, we should still repent of the fact that we did violence to another human being created in God's holy image. We must also remember that we have a divine promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. Neither communism, nor Nazism, nor fascism, nor any Islamic caliphate can destroy Christ's Church. So we pray and prepare for peace, and we pray and prepare to proactively defend the innocent through nonviolent, sacrificial vigilance.

"Lord have mercy."
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal. There's more to "our Lord's example" than just the the Via Dolorosa.
 

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Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
 

NicholasMyra

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Volnutt said:
Ve
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal.
God did what he did, perhaps what he had to do, in sundry times and diverse manner. But when Christ came in the fullness of time, he revealed his ultimate plan for how we should be toward one another. Not contradicting what came before but fulfilling it. Christ wages war differently, and presumably this will continue even in the eschatological events. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. But he also says, I judge no man. His judgment is a non-judgment as Fr. Hopko said. So yeah there is an Orthodox way to torment and conquer your enemy, no doubt, but it is not with warfare of flesh and blood.

Christ's life, death and resurrection are the climax of the story, per the Hebraic style of the time as snarky biblical scholars point out often. What came before and what came "after" are not. The fleshly violence and death we see are part of the history that came to an end on Calvary when God died.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?

 

NicholasMyra

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biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
I won't presume to speak for him. I see the objection from military saints but I don't see why you connected it with "if he's arguing from Christ."

As for me, my priest likes to say, there are saints and there are saints. There are saints who are people used by God, evil and all, for his good ends a la the servant of God Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus the messiah, and there are saints in the sense of following Christ's interpretation of the Law. And then there are people who aren't saints. Or so it seems to me.
 

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Another important thing to point out is that he says something like, on the level of abstract thought experiments, that's one thing. In other words of course you can come up with some thought experiment where you have to kill one to save many or your loved one is being tortured otherwise, etc. etc. He's not contending with that.

He's saying that on the Christian level of person-with-person communion, when only the Other is considered, it is inconceivable for a Christian to willingly convert that living human person into a cadaver.

I'm reminded of the play/movie Doubt, in which the protagonist mother superior has to "step back" from God in order to defend her charges. Perhaps what it comes down to is that Christians shouldn't try to practice some abstract claim like, a moral imperative entails moral permissibility (or to put it crassly: if you should do something, then it's ok to do that thing). This keeps us from mourning the ways in which we are restricted and constructed to do evil in this age.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Volnutt said:
RaphaCam said:
I agree with this post:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
The more important question we should ask in all matters is what is the most Christ like course of action. It seems unquestionably clear that premeditated preparations for war and deliberate acts of intentional killing are by no means compatible with the commands, teachings, and example of Our Lord. Instinctive, forceful, reactionary self-defense or instinctive defense of family, friends, and neighbors is much different than taking up arms and training for bloodshed and violence. The Christian must always prepare not to kill, not to be vengeful, and not to use violence. And even if we react violently in self-defense or defense of another, we should still repent of the fact that we did violence to another human being created in God's holy image. We must also remember that we have a divine promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. Neither communism, nor Nazism, nor fascism, nor any Islamic caliphate can destroy Christ's Church. So we pray and prepare for peace, and we pray and prepare to proactively defend the innocent through nonviolent, sacrificial vigilance.

"Lord have mercy."
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal. There's more to "our Lord's example" than just the the Via Dolorosa.
True. But Christ called His disciples to take up their crosses and follow Him, not sharpen their swords to slay their enemies in Armageddon. Christ fashioned a whip and drove out the money changers, but He didn't command his disciples to do the same.

Selam
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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NicholasMyra said:
Volnutt said:
Ve
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal.
God did what he did, perhaps what he had to do, in sundry times and diverse manner. But when Christ came in the fullness of time, he revealed his ultimate plan for how we should be toward one another. Not contradicting what came before but fulfilling it. Christ wages war differently, and presumably this will continue even in the eschatological events. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. But he also says, I judge no man. His judgment is a non-judgment as Fr. Hopko said. So yeah there is an Orthodox way to torment and conquer your enemy, no doubt, but it is not with warfare of flesh and blood.

Christ's life, death and resurrection are the climax of the story, per the Hebraic style of the time as snarky biblical scholars point out often. What came before and what came "after" are not. The fleshly violence and death we see are part of the history that came to an end on Calvary when God died.
Exactly

Selam
 

Volnutt

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NicholasMyra said:
Volnutt said:
Ve
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal.
God did what he did, perhaps what he had to do, in sundry times and diverse manner. But when Christ came in the fullness of time, he revealed his ultimate plan for how we should be toward one another. Not contradicting what came before but fulfilling it. Christ wages war differently, and presumably this will continue even in the eschatological events. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. But he also says, I judge no man. His judgment is a non-judgment as Fr. Hopko said. So yeah there is an Orthodox way to torment and conquer your enemy, no doubt, but it is not with warfare of flesh and blood.

Christ's life, death and resurrection are the climax of the story, per the Hebraic style of the time as snarky biblical scholars point out often. What came before and what came "after" are not. The fleshly violence and death we see are part of the history that came to an end on Calvary when God died.
Yeah, I suppose those are good points.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
 

NicholasMyra

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Volnutt said:
NicholasMyra said:
Volnutt said:
Ve
I don't. Christ is God, and as such is the heir of all the warlike preparations described in the Bible. In the Battle of Armageddon the blood will come up to the horse's bridal.
God did what he did, perhaps what he had to do, in sundry times and diverse manner. But when Christ came in the fullness of time, he revealed his ultimate plan for how we should be toward one another. Not contradicting what came before but fulfilling it. Christ wages war differently, and presumably this will continue even in the eschatological events. Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. But he also says, I judge no man. His judgment is a non-judgment as Fr. Hopko said. So yeah there is an Orthodox way to torment and conquer your enemy, no doubt, but it is not with warfare of flesh and blood.

Christ's life, death and resurrection are the climax of the story, per the Hebraic style of the time as snarky biblical scholars point out often. What came before and what came "after" are not. The fleshly violence and death we see are part of the history that came to an end on Calvary when God died.
Yeah, I suppose those are good points.
Not totally convincing but useful pointers, perhaps.
 

biro

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
 

Volnutt

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
But you're still willing to continue to call them Saints despite such a (in your view) major violation of Christ's commands and example? Seems like it would be more consistent to condemn the soldier saints as unchristian monsters.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
That's a silly and unproductive comment. Don't accuse me of saying that blessing veterans is a waste of time. People who have suffered violence and inflicted violence need blessings of healing and forgiveness.

Selam
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Volnutt said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
But you're still willing to continue to call them Saints despite such a (in your view) major violation of Christ's commands and example? Seems like it would be more consistent to condemn the soldier saints as unchristian monsters.
I don't dehumanize anyone by calling them "monsters" etc. All people, even the saints, are flawed and complex souls. I condemn sinful actions and I praise holy actions. As for canonization, I leave that to the Church. Some saints I venerate, and others I choose not to venerate. There's no Orthodox law that says I must venerate Constantine, for example.

Selam
 

JamesRottnek

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biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
 

biro

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JamesRottnek said:
biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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biro said:
JamesRottnek said:
biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
So the Creation story is allegory, but we should interpret the militant language of the Psalms literally? Got it. And you call that Orthodox hermeneutics?


Selam
 

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
JamesRottnek said:
biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
So the Creation story is allegory, but we should interpret the militant language of the Psalms literally? Got it. And you call that Orthodox hermeneutics?


Selam
To be fair, almost no one on OCNet knows what to do with Scripture other than bow before it and kiss it.  Almost no one.
 

biro

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
JamesRottnek said:
biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
So the Creation story is allegory, but we should interpret the militant language of the Psalms literally? Got it. And you call that Orthodox hermeneutics?


Selam
When did I say the Creation was allegory?
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
JamesRottnek said:
biro said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
biro said:
NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
If he's arguing from Christ, why do we have military saints?
Because saints are, alas, fallible. Whatever the mystery of theosis entails, surely it doesn't entail shedding the blood of our neighbors. That's why I reject the "soldier saint" label. There are just saints. And their saintliness is defined by their conformity to and obedience to the commands and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Selam
My church has a blessing for the veterans in the parish on Veterans' Day and a couple other occasions. I'll let them know you think they're wasting their time.
Does your church also have a blessing for war?  Because if not, it seems a rather irrelevant point.
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
So the Creation story is allegory, but we should interpret the militant language of the Psalms literally? Got it. And you call that Orthodox hermeneutics?


Selam
When did I say the Creation was allegory?
So you believe the Genesis account of Creation is to be interpreted literally?


Selam
 

NicholasMyra

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biro said:
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
Those wars were against the enemies of Israel and their gods.

And "on the Cross as God I struck down all my enemies" to quote the Paschal nocturnes.

Our war is not against flesh and blood.

You don't have to be a pacifist to accept this interpretation in line with Paul.
 

biro

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NicholasMyra said:
biro said:
King David good enough for you?

Psalm 143:1 Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.
Those wars were against the enemies of Israel and their gods.

And "on the Cross as God I struck down all my enemies" to quote the Paschal nocturnes.

Our war is not against flesh and blood.

You don't have to be a pacifist to accept this interpretation in line with Paul.
Yeah, but they were wars.

Sometimes our war is against flesh and blood. In the icons in our church, St. Theodore, St. George and St. Demetrios are pictured in armor and carrying weapons.

That can't be only a metaphor.

God caused the Red Sea to close on the Egyptian army.

An awful lot of people to kill, if it was without a reason.

God wiped out a lot of people in the Flood. He said He had a reason.

God struck down the Egyptian firstborn. But we don't call God a murderer.

"Saul has killed his thousands, David his tens of thousands" - was that not considered an honor for David?

If pacifism were an absolute, the Vichy would still be in power in France because the Allies would never have had the gumption to contest them.

I'm glad some people didn't see it that way.
 

JamesRottnek

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Actually if all Christians were pacifists, the German state wouldn't have had an army.

But aside from that....isn't St. George normally featured in icons with him standing on the devil?  That seems to be what I recall from my time attending a parish named for him.

Are you saying he literally stood on the devil, who had taken on the form of a dragon?
 

biro

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JamesRottnek said:
Actually if all Christians were pacifists, the German state wouldn't have had an army.

But aside from that....isn't St. George normally featured in icons with him standing on the devil?  That seems to be what I recall from my time attending a parish named for him.

Are you saying he literally stood on the devil, who had taken on the form of a dragon?
Play your little games. Keep dodging the point.

The Lord many times sent the Israelites to war.

I don't see a point in repeating myself.
 

JamesRottnek

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biro said:
JamesRottnek said:
Actually if all Christians were pacifists, the German state wouldn't have had an army.

But aside from that....isn't St. George normally featured in icons with him standing on the devil?  That seems to be what I recall from my time attending a parish named for him.

Are you saying he literally stood on the devil, who had taken on the form of a dragon?
Play your little games. Keep dodging the point.

The Lord many times sent the Israelites to war.

I don't see a point in repeating myself.
Actually my point was that you contradicted yourself.

You said:

Sometimes our war is against flesh and blood.


Then you used St. George being dressed in armor in icons as evidence of this.  So, do you actually think St. George led a military army (or even used a physical sword) against an incarnated Satan, who took on dragon-flesh?
 

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biro said:
Sometimes our war is against flesh and blood. In the icons in our church, St. Theodore, St. George and St. Demetrios are pictured in armor and carrying weapons.

That can't be only a metaphor.
Nobody's saying it is. But they are not venerated for participating in carnal warfare, but for refusing to commit idolatry and for being killed proclaiming Christ.

biro said:
Yeah, but they were wars.
They were.

biro said:
God caused the Red Sea to close on the Egyptian army. An awful lot of people to kill, if it was without a reason. God wiped out a lot of people in the Flood. He said He had a reason.
Nobody said he didn't have a reason.

biro said:
God struck down the Egyptian firstborn. But we don't call God a murderer.
Calling God "slayer" would be accurate.

biro said:
"Saul has killed his thousands, David his tens of thousands" - was that not considered an honor for David?
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you...

biro said:
If pacifism were an absolute, the Vichy would still be in power in France because the Allies would never have had the gumption to contest them.
See Reply #13 above.
 

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NicholasMyra said:
Iconodule said:
NicholasMyra said:
There is no such thing as “just war” in Orthodox Christianity. That is a Catholic invention
I sympathize with his general view but this is just not true.
Well, he makes clear that he's calling the historical appeals to just war by Orthodox people inauthentic expressions of the tradition. It might be called a no true scotsman, but in this context it is not necessarily out of place. It would be problematic if he refused to own or take responsibility for our history of advocating warfare, but I doubt he would make such a catharesque move. Furthermore he argues from Christ himself and does not let "true Orthodox" attempt to stand on its own.
Well, sure, you could argue that they are "inauthentic" expressions of the tradition, but when he goes on to say that it's a "Catholic invention" then the bogeyman of Latinism/ Augustine/ Franks has been invoked and whatever serious point he wants to make has been compromised.

The fact is that Orthodox Christians, and Orthodox saints, have been justifying war for a long time. Is that a problem? Sure it is, but blaming the Catholics for this isn't going to help us come to grips with it. Catholics didn't invent our numerous prayers for subduing barbarians, protecting the empire, granting victory to our (Byzantine) armed forces. Nor did Catholics invent St Sergius of Radonezh (who blessed Dmitri Donskoi for his battle against the Mongols) or the Battle of Serbia which, perhaps unfortunately, has become the defining myth of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
 

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Iconodule said:
the bogeyman of Latinism/ Augustine/ Franks has been invoked and whatever serious point he wants to make has been compromised.
Yeah, I heard a shadow of Fr. Romanides there.

Iconodule said:
The fact is that Orthodox Christians, and Orthodox saints, have been justifying war for a long time. Is that a problem? Sure it is, but blaming the Catholics for this isn't going to help us come to grips with it. Catholics didn't invent our numerous prayers for subduing barbarians, protecting the empire, granting victory to our (Byzantine) armed forces. Nor did Catholics invent St Sergius of Radonezh (who blessed Dmitri Donskoi for his battle against the Mongols) or the Battle of Serbia which, perhaps unfortunately, has become the defining myth of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
In Fr. Seraphim's defense, he was saying that Orthodox have not formulated an explicit just war theory like Catholics did. He wasn't denying the claims quoted above.

That said I think he's wrong, and I don't find it relevant, either.
 

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Just War Theory is completely useless and a waste of time.
 
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