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Lutheran looking at Eastern Orthodoxy.

Malihah

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                                                      Bow down ... to a real Man of God
 

Eamonomae

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Malihah said:
[snipped due to horror]
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
 

PorphyriosK

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Eamonomae said:
Malihah said:
[snipped due to horror]
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
I am equally concerned about you brother after seeing the changes you've made to your profile.  Praying for you.
 

Eamonomae

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PorphyriosK said:
Eamonomae said:
Malihah said:
[snipped due to horror]
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
I am equally concerned about you brother after seeing the changes you've made to your profile.  Praying for you.
I'm at a state of life right now where Christianity just doesn't make too much sense to me.

I mean, why is it that God has permitted us to have severe cognitive/psychological attachments to the religions we grew up with, yet there is only one true religion which you must be a part of to be saved, otherwise you will face the pain of burning fire for all eternity? Oh sure, you might "possibly" make it by some Extraordinary Grace or Economia or something, but that's all speculative, and especially not the case if you happen to mistakenly leave, and you apostatize.

I mean, why even give the illusion that these other religions can be the right answer, and why would they exist for so long? I mean, the Oriental Orthodox traditions, Tridentine Mass and its variant rites, and the Byzantine Rite traditions - heck, even the Anglo-Catholic traditions - are all beautiful that betoken this unity of ethos, whose universality seem to clearly demonstrate the truth of liturgical spirituality being Apostolic. Yet if you believe the wrong one, you have a low chance of Salvation and will probably burn in hell. And all of these groups all produced some of the Holiest men and women in the world. The Armenians produced Saint Gregory of Narek. The Russians produced Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Saint John Maximovitch. The Catholics produced Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint John of the Cross, Saint John Henry Newman. The Greeks produced Saint Paisios and Saint Joseph the Hesychast. Yet only one of these institutions is THE TRUTH, outside of which there is no Salvation.

And what about the Bible? Putting aside the question of Evolution and Geology (which I also really struggle with - are we seriously supposed to believe that the Dinosaurs lived with Adam and even thousands of years ago?), the Bible itself is littered with contradictions that can only be resolved, to me, if you believe there is an authentic interpreter of the Bible. At one point, God says those who live by the sword die by the sword. On another point, God orders a mass slaughtering of Canaanites. At one point, the Bible says money is the root of all evil, yet the Psalms ask God to bless you with money. At one point, Saint Paul teaches Communion as something you have to prepare for otherwise you face eternal damnation, yet at another point he denies there is such a thing as a Priest other than Christ, and that the faithful are a Priesthood of Believers.

And this is just moral teaching. What do we make of the fact that the Old Testament is clearly rooted in a Flat-Earth Geology where this Flat-Earth is the center of the universe, and is surrounded by a dome covered in water and rain occurs when the dome opens up? What do we make of the fact that the beginning of the Book of Genesis is very clearly two creation stories that were sown together that seem to contradict each other? What about the Book of Enoch and it's literal nonsense that many Early Christians and Jews took as sound fact - something so obviously ridiculous that Augustine and John Cassian had to basically say "wow, that's absolute garbage." (The interpretation of Genesis 6 that angels came down from Heaven and had sexual intercourse with women, and the offspring produced were dozens of feet tall giants who died in Noah's Flood, yet they reappeared again later in Canaa). What about the fact that's it's obviously the case that some of Saint Paul's letters were not written by Saint Paul himself? Putting aside materialist analysis, even Origen could see that something like Hebrews very clearly looked and sounded different than 1 Corinthians.

So we can't just look to the Bible for a single answer. We have to look to some authority.

But how do we even know what we are doing is even right? Are we really right in condemning LGBT individuals (it's morally repulsive to me, but maybe I'm just a Pharisee who's going to be condemned to hell?? Are we really right in protesting abortion (It seems evident to me that life begins at conception, but if it doesn't or there isn't an equivalent moral argument, we are really screwing people over and we can be condemned to hell for that)? Are we really right in being strict, or should we be lenient? After all, it seems morality changes. We one day condemned usury, now we embrace it; we one day burned heretics at the stake, now we spit on such a practice; we one day saw the death penalty as something commendable, even a public theater, and now we despise it.

All of these Churches are going through various crises right now due to our own existential crises, where the Churches either look to nationalism, syncretism or new ways, a disdain of the past, and compromise, compromise, compromise. All of this though seems ridiculous as to why God would permit such a thing from happening. We live in a world where men and women are apostatizing days today.

All of this nonsense does not betoken to me an omnibenevolent God.

Yeah, yeah, "Just shut up and be like Job. You can't possibly see all the reasons why God has done such a thing." Yet if it means people being sent to eternal fire for reasons that aren't really their fault, what could possibly be omnibenevolent about that?

"Lord, to whom do we go now?" I'm certainly not at a point where I willingly want to become an Atheist or a Deist, and I don't know what to believe or where to go now.
 

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^ And I thought I had issues.  I sleep in on Sundays; however, I continue to pray.

I'll pray for you.  :)
 

WPM

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How about working through and sorting out some of the older Trinitarian heresies?
 

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Eamonomae said:
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
I think you need a sense of humor.
 

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PorphyriosK said:
I am equally concerned about you brother after seeing the changes you've made to your profile.  Praying for you.
What changes did I make to my profile?!?

"Kirill was here" - My wife is Russian orthodox and most of her family.

I was raised Lutheran but have since learned the error of my ways.
 

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SolEX01 said:
^ I think he was referring to Eamonomae.
Oh OK, that makes sense after that long post he made which was a wonderful expose on unbelief.
 

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Eamonomae said:
And this is just moral teaching. What do we make of the fact that the Old Testament is clearly rooted in a Flat-Earth Geology where this Flat-Earth is the center of the universe, and is surrounded by a dome covered in water and rain occurs when the dome opens up? What do we make of the fact that the beginning of the Book of Genesis is very clearly two creation stories that were sown together that seem to contradict each other? What about the Book of Enoch and it's literal nonsense that many Early Christians and Jews took as sound fact - something so obviously ridiculous that Augustine and John Cassian had to basically say "wow, that's absolute garbage." (The interpretation of Genesis 6 that angels came down from Heaven and had sexual intercourse with women, and the offspring produced were dozens of feet tall giants who died in Noah's Flood, yet they reappeared again later in Canaa). What about the fact that's it's obviously the case that some of Saint Paul's letters were not written by Saint Paul himself? Putting aside materialist analysis, even Origen could see that something like Hebrews very clearly looked and sounded different than 1 Corinthians.
The only way you can come to any rational understanding of creation and evolutionary geology is to admit that the pre-flood world did have some kind of dome or canopy that was lost after the flood.  Whether it was crystalline or metallic it doesn't really matter because it was beneficial to life so yes the dinosaurs and man lived at the same time.  They have done studies on the Pterodactyl and those dinosaurs were so heavy they would not fly in the atmosphere we have today.  Everything was different before the flood i.e. water cycle, atmospheric pressure and even gravity with the world being slightly smaller before it was broken up at the flood.  Islam actually has a better understanding of creation than most Christians where they understood that Adam and Eve were giants and since the fall mankind has been progressively degenerating with every generation.  Whether they were 90 feet tall is debatable but everything before the flood (plants, animals and people) were all gigantic compared to what we have today.
 

ialmisry

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Eamonomae said:
PorphyriosK said:
Eamonomae said:
Malihah said:
[snipped due to horror]
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
I am equally concerned about you brother after seeing the changes you've made to your profile.  Praying for you.
I'm at a state of life right now where Christianity just doesn't make too much sense to me.

I mean, why is it that God has permitted us to have severe cognitive/psychological attachments to the religions we grew up with, yet there is only one true religion which you must be a part of to be saved, otherwise you will face the pain of burning fire for all eternity? Oh sure, you might "possibly" make it by some Extraordinary Grace or Economia or something, but that's all speculative, and especially not the case if you happen to mistakenly leave, and you apostatize.

I mean, why even give the illusion that these other religions can be the right answer, and why would they exist for so long? I mean, the Oriental Orthodox traditions, Tridentine Mass and its variant rites, and the Byzantine Rite traditions - heck, even the Anglo-Catholic traditions - are all beautiful that betoken this unity of ethos, whose universality seem to clearly demonstrate the truth of liturgical spirituality being Apostolic. Yet if you believe the wrong one, you have a low chance of Salvation and will probably burn in hell. And all of these groups all produced some of the Holiest men and women in the world. The Armenians produced Saint Gregory of Narek. The Russians produced Saint Seraphim of Sarov, Saint John Maximovitch. The Catholics produced Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint John of the Cross, Saint John Henry Newman. The Greeks produced Saint Paisios and Saint Joseph the Hesychast. Yet only one of these institutions is THE TRUTH, outside of which there is no Salvation.

And what about the Bible? Putting aside the question of Evolution and Geology (which I also really struggle with - are we seriously supposed to believe that the Dinosaurs lived with Adam and even thousands of years ago?), the Bible itself is littered with contradictions that can only be resolved, to me, if you believe there is an authentic interpreter of the Bible. At one point, God says those who live by the sword die by the sword. On another point, God orders a mass slaughtering of Canaanites. At one point, the Bible says money is the root of all evil, yet the Psalms ask God to bless you with money. At one point, Saint Paul teaches Communion as something you have to prepare for otherwise you face eternal damnation, yet at another point he denies there is such a thing as a Priest other than Christ, and that the faithful are a Priesthood of Believers.

And this is just moral teaching. What do we make of the fact that the Old Testament is clearly rooted in a Flat-Earth Geology where this Flat-Earth is the center of the universe, and is surrounded by a dome covered in water and rain occurs when the dome opens up? What do we make of the fact that the beginning of the Book of Genesis is very clearly two creation stories that were sown together that seem to contradict each other? What about the Book of Enoch and it's literal nonsense that many Early Christians and Jews took as sound fact - something so obviously ridiculous that Augustine and John Cassian had to basically say "wow, that's absolute garbage." (The interpretation of Genesis 6 that angels came down from Heaven and had sexual intercourse with women, and the offspring produced were dozens of feet tall giants who died in Noah's Flood, yet they reappeared again later in Canaa). What about the fact that's it's obviously the case that some of Saint Paul's letters were not written by Saint Paul himself? Putting aside materialist analysis, even Origen could see that something like Hebrews very clearly looked and sounded different than 1 Corinthians.

So we can't just look to the Bible for a single answer. We have to look to some authority.

But how do we even know what we are doing is even right? Are we really right in condemning LGBT individuals (it's morally repulsive to me, but maybe I'm just a Pharisee who's going to be condemned to hell?? Are we really right in protesting abortion (It seems evident to me that life begins at conception, but if it doesn't or there isn't an equivalent moral argument, we are really screwing people over and we can be condemned to hell for that)? Are we really right in being strict, or should we be lenient? After all, it seems morality changes. We one day condemned usury, now we embrace it; we one day burned heretics at the stake, now we spit on such a practice; we one day saw the death penalty as something commendable, even a public theater, and now we despise it.

All of these Churches are going through various crises right now due to our own existential crises, where the Churches either look to nationalism, syncretism or new ways, a disdain of the past, and compromise, compromise, compromise. All of this though seems ridiculous as to why God would permit such a thing from happening. We live in a world where men and women are apostatizing days today.

All of this nonsense does not betoken to me an omnibenevolent God.

Yeah, yeah, "Just shut up and be like Job. You can't possibly see all the reasons why God has done such a thing." Yet if it means people being sent to eternal fire for reasons that aren't really their fault, what could possibly be omnibenevolent about that?

"Lord, to whom do we go now?" I'm certainly not at a point where I willingly want to become an Atheist or a Deist, and I don't know what to believe or where to go now.
I am always puzzled by those who hurry to blame God but drag their feet in man taking responsibility.
Lord have mercy!
 

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God wills whatever man does. Perhaps not directly willing it, otherwise God would have directly caused it, but by God creating the world and creating man, and having full knowledge of what each man does, He still wills what happens.

I mean, who here would say that the defeat of Arianism wasn't willed by God, or perhaps that the fact that the One True Faith could have been lost centuries ago, and that was permitted by God? Through man's acts, God's will is manifested.

I'm not dragging my feet towards men, nor have I ever suggested that men aren't responsible. But Deus Vult.
 

WPM

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I'm fully converted over to Orthodox Christianity now.
 

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God wills what the Righteous man DOES!

He does not will what the unrighteous or devil DO!

Ergo we have free will unless you belong to the heretical Calvinist sect.
 

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Malihah said:
God wills what the Righteous man DOES!

He does not will what the unrighteous or devil DO!

Ergo we have free will unless you belong to the heretical Calvinist sect.
No, He wills it all the same.

God is omnipotent (capable of doing anything), as well as omniscient (knowing everything) and omnipresent (present everywhere).
By the very fact that God knows what the unrighteous does, and what the devil does, and doesn't stop them, even though He is perfectly capable of stopping them, He "wills" it to be allowed.

In fact, there is a whole field of theology dedicated to this very question - why does God permit evil? And that is Theodicy.

Saint Irenaeus said that God permits these two things because evil is intrinsically self-defeating and that in terms of how we experience it, good always comes out of it (In reality, "evil" doesn't objectively exist - it's the deprivation of God that a person experiences which is "evil," which forces humanity to unconsciously or consciously desire God to fill that deprivation). For example, the Holocaust may have been an absolutely terrible event, but because of that event, many of us have realized how evil racism is, and how anti-Semitism, theological or biological, can lead to horrendous results; it also has informed humanity (for the most part) to be vigilant against intrinsically evil nationalism.

That would be nice, but it makes no sense that God has both directly and unconsciously willed that there is only one visible organization that prevents people from burning in fire for eternity, and that people just have to make their best guesses otherwise they will lose, and that God has directly created us such that we create cultural biases towards those religions and they can persist no matter how much evil (being an organization that gives a false impression of Salvation) is permitted.
 

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Malihah said:
Eamonomae said:
Are you mentally or spiritually okay? I think you need help.
I think you need a sense of humor.
If posting an uncanny 90s internet gif that's a dude with female hair, unrealistically large eyes, and gross teeth is "funny," I would rather be Tommy Wiseau.
 

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You're tearing us apart, Eamonomae.
 

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God wills what the Righteous do.

and he allows what the unrighteous do.

He's still in control of everything but sin is not according to his will.

Wanting or willing good things to happen is different than allowing or permitting evil to happen.

It's a fine line but once you cross it you become a Calvinist.
 

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Eamonomae said:
If posting an uncanny 90s internet gif that's a dude with female hair, unrealistically large eyes, and gross teeth is "funny," I would rather be Tommy Wiseau.
I'm sorry but I don't need a lecture from the guy who's losing his faith and has his head filled with every Christian pitfall.
 

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Malihah said:
Eamonomae said:
If posting an uncanny 90s internet gif that's a dude with female hair, unrealistically large eyes, and gross teeth is "funny," I would rather be Tommy Wiseau.
I'm sorry but I don't need a lecture from the guy who's losing his faith and has his head filled with every Christian pitfall.
Faith, maybe not. On comedy, yes.
 

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According to Eaminem all the evil we see in the world today is according to God's will.  God wills for rape and murder and child abuse and neglect and every evil to happen.  The heavenly Father of love and compassion is turned into a madman.

To arrive at such a conclusion one would need almost zero intelligence, a love for supposition and error and a total disregard for historical truth.  No wonder you're ready to give up your faith, if I had your faith I would give it up to.
 

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Malihah said:
According to Eaminem all the evil we see in the world today is according to God's will.  God wills for rape and murder and child abuse and neglect and every evil to happen.  The heavenly Father of love and compassion is turned into a madman.

To arrive at such a conclusion one would need almost zero intelligence, a love for supposition and error and a total disregard for historical truth.  No wonder you're ready to give up your faith, if I had your faith I would give it up to.
Well, Malihah, say that you are in a "Stand Your Ground" state (meaning you don't have a legal duty to try to retreat when someone is threatening you with serious harm or death before using deadly force in self-defense), and you have a gun on your hand. Say that a person comes up to you and says "I'm going to cut you up," pulls out a glass shard, and walks toward you, and you back up towards a wall for which there is no escape. You can choose at that moment to shoot him, or you can choose to let him cut you up. Either way, you ultimately will whatever result happens; you will say "It's worth getting cut up and possibly dying" and get cut up, or you will say "It's not worth getting cut up or dying, who does this son of...think he is?" and shoot the guy. You had full control of the circumstances. You chose whichever result you want, and it's in your full control.

God can literally stop anything any time. This is evident from the Old Testament; He stopped Sodom and Gomorrah from existing by sending Fire from the heavens and burning them all, and He stopped humanity which was so depraved that, even in Ethiopian Orthodox tradition and some Church Fathers, it's maintained that demons were teaching the vast majority of humanity secrets they shouldn't be knowing (Something that still exists in the Book of Enoch, among other things), and God stopped it by flooding the Earth. In much the same way you could choose to kill the person. God may "permit it," but God ultimately wills it. It's not like God is incapable of stopping evil. By the fact that He cannot die (at least insofar as He doesn't assume nature which can die), He is all powerful, and knows everything, He is in full control of the whole universe and permits everything. He can stop evil at any time, but doesn't.

The whole reason why we have the Book of Job in the first place is that Satan asked God if he could torture Job and take everything away from him. God said yes, to which Job asked "What kind of God would allow this to happen to me," and God responded that Job is just a finite human being who cannot fully understand the Ways of God, as God maintains all of creation and designed all of it; and that as God sees the context of the entire universe and every single timely thing that happens, humanity cannot come close to fully making calculations as to why God does certain things. It's an apologia for God.
 

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Let me put it simpler. God can literally stop anything by anything, correct? Can order people to die (the death of the firstborns in Egypt), God can flood the whole Earth (Noah's Ark), God can send fire down from Heaven (Sodom and Gomorrah), God can stop the Sun and Moon from moving and let the Israelites win in battle (Joshua 10), etc.

If God can do anything, why doesn't God stop people from being raped?

I don't know why I'm even fighting with an obvious troll.
 

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As far as I understand, the answer "because freedom" does not suit you ))
 

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Malihah said:
According to Eaminem all the evil we see in the world today is according to God's will.  God wills for rape and murder and child abuse and neglect and every evil to happen.  The heavenly Father of love and compassion is turned into a madman.

To arrive at such a conclusion one would need almost zero intelligence, a love for supposition and error and a total disregard for historical truth.  No wonder you're ready to give up your faith, if I had your faith I would give it up to.
You’re teetering on the same precipice as he, but you’re too into yourself to see it.
 

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Eamonomae said:
Let me put it simpler. God can literally stop anything by anything, correct? Can order people to die (the death of the firstborns in Egypt), God can flood the whole Earth (Noah's Ark), God can send fire down from Heaven (Sodom and Gomorrah), God can stop the Sun and Moon from moving and let the Israelites win in battle (Joshua 10), etc.

If God can do anything, why doesn't God stop people from being raped?

I don't know why I'm even fighting with an obvious troll.
If I'm a troll then you're a heretical Calvinist wannabe who still can't give a straight answer as to whether we have free-will or not. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
You’re teetering on the same precipice as he, but you’re too into yourself to see it.
We're just having a friendly back and forth, no need to get personal Hadji Singh.
 

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Malihah said:
Mor Ephrem said:
You’re teetering on the same precipice as he, but you’re too into yourself to see it.
We're just having a friendly back and forth, no need to get personal Hadji Singh.
But I care for your soul.
 

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Malihah said:
According to Eaminem all the evil we see in the world today is according to God's will.  God wills for rape and murder and child abuse and neglect and every evil to happen.  The heavenly Father of love and compassion is turned into a madman.

To arrive at such a conclusion one would need almost zero intelligence, a love for supposition and error and a total disregard for historical truth.  No wonder you're ready to give up your faith, if I had your faith I would give it up to.
Malihah said:
Eamonomae said:
Let me put it simpler. God can literally stop anything by anything, correct? Can order people to die (the death of the firstborns in Egypt), God can flood the whole Earth (Noah's Ark), God can send fire down from Heaven (Sodom and Gomorrah), God can stop the Sun and Moon from moving and let the Israelites win in battle (Joshua 10), etc.

If God can do anything, why doesn't God stop people from being raped?

I don't know why I'm even fighting with an obvious troll.
If I'm a troll then you're a heretical Calvinist wannabe who still can't give a straight answer as to whether we have free-will or not.
Malihah said:
Mor Ephrem said:
You’re teetering on the same precipice as he, but you’re too into yourself to see it.
We're just having a friendly back and forth, no need to get personal Hadji Singh.
You're not "just having a friendly" anything here, Malihah.  Ad homs are not permitted anywhere on the public fora, and this section allows for light polemics only.  You've demonstrated denigrating behavior for several posts now.  You're new, but I'm giving you points, as verbal feedback from other posters has already failed to move you.  This time, it will be 20 points.  In the future, it will be 20 points per ad hom, polemic, or whatever other way you choose to break forum guidelines.  This thread, for example, would have earned you 60 points.  Please refer to the RULES section if you need to refresh your memory.  If you'd like to appeal this decision, you may do so via PM. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
 

Ainnir

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isxodnik said:
As far as I understand, the answer "because freedom" does not suit you ))
It may not be a matter of suiting him or not suiting him; we all have our journey and false belief is at least as bad as unbelief.
 

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SolEX01 said:
Malihah said:
According to Eaminem ....
When did Eminem become a religious authority and why the deliberate misspelling?
It was a dig at Eamonomae.
 

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SolEX01 said:
Malihah said:
According to Eaminem ....
When did Eminem become a religious authority and why the deliberate misspelling?
Kanye is one, so there is hope for all.
 

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Well, ~ I have a long Review and Overview of Eastern Orthodox Apostolic Christianity.
 

isxodnik

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Ainnir said:
It may not be a matter of suiting him or not suiting him; we all have our journey and false belief is at least as bad as unbelief.
As for the true and false journey. Here is this

When I first tried the Jesus Prayer, I really struggled with it. Because of my background (Mormonism) it was difficult for me to (1) pray to Jesus, (2) ask for mercy, and (3) declare myself a sinner over and over again. This made it difficult for me to say the prayer, much less accept it as "the prayer of prayers."

I have persevered though, and yesterday as I paced around my office building during a work break, quietly saying the prayer, I had a sort of "breakthrough" of understanding that I wanted to share, and receive feedback on. Essentially, the prayer sank into my heart, and for about 10 minutes I saw the entire prayer in a different light.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God

This part of the prayer contains three Christological declarations about Jesus.

    First, that Jesus is Lord.

    Second, that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Third, by addressing Jesus we declare that He is the proper object of our prayer and meditation.

It is a recognition that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who is the highest revelation of both divinity and humanity. And a recognition that He is our savior and helper. We are praying to Him because we know we need Him and that He desires to commune with and bless us.

have mercy on me, a sinner

I struggled with this at first. Why should I continually ask for mercy? It seemed almost cruel of God to demand I beg for mercy. But then my sense of what mercy is, and why I need it, expanded. I read the parable of the Good Samaritan and the ending struck me:

    [Jesus asked], "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"

    And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

It is clear that we have all "fallen among the thieves." Mercy is not so much begging to be spared from judgment, but recognizing that we are in need: of healing, of love, of understanding, of help, of mercy. To ask for mercy is to give up the fantasy that we do not need any help, and to recognize that we live in a fallen world that desperately needs the Son of God to bind up our wounds and take us to the inn.

When we declare ourselves a sinner, it assists in our humility. We inherit fallen nature but also contribute to it. We fail to love others, we follow our sinful passions. It is not a self-humiliation but a recognition of reality: we are not whole without God. Sin is that which ails our souls.

It seems to me that the shortened form of the prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, emphasizes the same points, though with less explicit words. The longer form adds clarifications that are also beautiful. I have enjoyed praying both versions of the prayer.

Anyway, this has helped me as I have added the Jesus Prayer to my spiritual practice. I don't overdo it, but pray it for a few minutes when I have a chance.
- the true journey, and have Eamonomae, unfortunately, false.
 

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Ainnir said:
You're not "just having a friendly" anything here, Malihah.  Ad homs are not permitted anywhere on the public fora, and this section allows for light polemics only.  You've demonstrated denigrating behavior for several posts now.  You're new, but I'm giving you points, as verbal feedback from other posters has already failed to move you.  This time, it will be 20 points.  In the future, it will be 20 points per ad hom, polemic, or whatever other way you choose to break forum guidelines.  This thread, for example, would have earned you 60 points.  Please refer to the RULES section if you need to refresh your memory.  If you'd like to appeal this decision, you may do so via PM. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
That's fine, I can be civil when I'm addressed that way and which I haven't been.
 

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Malihah said:
Ainnir said:
You're not "just having a friendly" anything here, Malihah.  Ad homs are not permitted anywhere on the public fora, and this section allows for light polemics only.  You've demonstrated denigrating behavior for several posts now.  You're new, but I'm giving you points, as verbal feedback from other posters has already failed to move you.  This time, it will be 20 points.  In the future, it will be 20 points per ad hom, polemic, or whatever other way you choose to break forum guidelines.  This thread, for example, would have earned you 60 points.  Please refer to the RULES section if you need to refresh your memory.  If you'd like to appeal this decision, you may do so via PM. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
That's fine, I can be civil when I'm addressed that way and which I haven't been.
If you have any questions or comments, address them to me via PM.  Further public discussion of your warning will result in more points. 
Thanks.  --Ainnir
 

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isxodnik said:
Ainnir said:
It may not be a matter of suiting him or not suiting him; we all have our journey and false belief is at least as bad as unbelief.
As for the true and false journey. Here is this

When I first tried the Jesus Prayer, I really struggled with it. Because of my background (Mormonism) it was difficult for me to (1) pray to Jesus, (2) ask for mercy, and (3) declare myself a sinner over and over again. This made it difficult for me to say the prayer, much less accept it as "the prayer of prayers."

I have persevered though, and yesterday as I paced around my office building during a work break, quietly saying the prayer, I had a sort of "breakthrough" of understanding that I wanted to share, and receive feedback on. Essentially, the prayer sank into my heart, and for about 10 minutes I saw the entire prayer in a different light.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God

This part of the prayer contains three Christological declarations about Jesus.

    First, that Jesus is Lord.

    Second, that Jesus is the Son of God.

    Third, by addressing Jesus we declare that He is the proper object of our prayer and meditation.

It is a recognition that Jesus is the incarnate Son of God who is the highest revelation of both divinity and humanity. And a recognition that He is our savior and helper. We are praying to Him because we know we need Him and that He desires to commune with and bless us.

have mercy on me, a sinner

I struggled with this at first. Why should I continually ask for mercy? It seemed almost cruel of God to demand I beg for mercy. But then my sense of what mercy is, and why I need it, expanded. I read the parable of the Good Samaritan and the ending struck me:

    [Jesus asked], "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"

    And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

It is clear that we have all "fallen among the thieves." Mercy is not so much begging to be spared from judgment, but recognizing that we are in need: of healing, of love, of understanding, of help, of mercy. To ask for mercy is to give up the fantasy that we do not need any help, and to recognize that we live in a fallen world that desperately needs the Son of God to bind up our wounds and take us to the inn.

When we declare ourselves a sinner, it assists in our humility. We inherit fallen nature but also contribute to it. We fail to love others, we follow our sinful passions. It is not a self-humiliation but a recognition of reality: we are not whole without God. Sin is that which ails our souls.

It seems to me that the shortened form of the prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, emphasizes the same points, though with less explicit words. The longer form adds clarifications that are also beautiful. I have enjoyed praying both versions of the prayer.

Anyway, this has helped me as I have added the Jesus Prayer to my spiritual practice. I don't overdo it, but pray it for a few minutes when I have a chance.
- the true journey, and have Eamonomae, unfortunately, false.
I guess I'll burn in hell like 96% of the world. That's assuming that every Eastern Orthodox gets into heaven. Perhaps it's more like 99.6% of the world. I'll join the false journey of those 96%.
 
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