• Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

Orthodox America Has a Lost Cause Problem

Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
589
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
OCA
Ecumenism is a whole other bundle of excitement, but it should be enough to state that we should have the attitude of bridging gaps and bringing people into the fullness of faith, without imposing our particular cultural forms and customs. Any condemnation of ecumenism that is not predicated on love of all mankind, of God's freely-given grace to all people, and the firm desire to cut down our own ungodly, anti-salvific, and self-imposed divisions is just the spittle-filled sputtering of a schismatic soul. I am not sure we have much disagreement on this matter, but I think it is important to repeat what Orthodoxy teaches here, and thus to head off those who use the word "ecumenism" as justification for their own fear, anger, and delusion.
I agree. I'm not sure if I gave the impression that i was a a vitriolic anti ecumenist who's ideology is based more on hatred and exclusivity than the teachings of the Church. If I gave that impression, I apologize. What I meant by this is that the ecumenism as promoted by Public Orthodoxy is dangerous, since it pretends that heresy is no longer a useful category in today's society, and that unity with intellectual Protestants is preferable to unity with peasant Orthodox who might have some wrong ideas.
 

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,334
Reaction score
1,426
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
Yes, thank you.

@Bizzlebin
I'm talking about gender not sex. Of course there are hermaphrodites biologically. I'm saying there is not a gradient of a "gender spectrum" that one can change at will, which is the implication of the Public Orthodoxy article. I'm not bringing alt right evangelical politics into this. As far as I know, the Church doesn't allow one to get a gender transition. Nor for a man to act like a woman and vice versa (regarding the scripturally indicated "roles" i.e women cannot be bishops, men cannot wear head coverings in the Church, etc) not cultural concepts of male and female that may or may not be in alignment with Christian teaching.
I think this is the crux of it.
 

Bizzlebin

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
430
Points
83
Location
New Kidron
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Geek
@Bizzlebin
I'm talking about gender not sex. Of course there are hermaphrodites biologically. I'm saying there is not a gradient of a "gender spectrum" that one can change at will, which is the implication of the Public Orthodoxy article. I'm not bringing alt right evangelical politics into this. As far as I know, the Church doesn't allow one to get a gender transition. Nor for a man to act like a woman and vice versa (regarding the scripturally indicated "roles" i.e women cannot be bishops, men cannot wear head coverings in the Church, etc) not cultural concepts of male and female that may or may not be in alignment with Christian teaching.
Ah, I just read a few of the PO articles. I agree that jettisoning of the word "heresy" is too far, but the articles make good points and valid observations, including that many Christians are not intentionally heretical. The solution, of course, is for us to be even more serious about our Faith—starting with our own repentance.

I think I missed the one about sex/gender, so can't comment directly on PO one way or the other there. The position on transitioning is more complicated, because the Church makes distinctions—mirrored in canons—between self-harm and surgery. For example, mutilation of the human body is considered a serious sin: FGM, ear piercing, and castration are all problematic because they're a denial of the goodness of God's creation. On the other hand, anything that is healing in character is excepted, in that is not a denial of God but rather our best attempt at manifesting His healing (ie, making-whole) presence. So if by transitioning you mean anything surgical, outright mutilation (restorative surgery being somewhat murky) of genitalia would be considered no different than mutilation of a nose or an ear and thus evil: it would be a mutilation done while "in sound health" (to borrow a phrase from The Rudder) and would lead to canonical penalties for the damage it does to the community, on top of the sinfulness.

Having said that, there was *much* medical knowledge in the Roman Empire and numerous intersex states were recognized; some of this was of interest based on power dynamics (eg, a man who could not have children was lesser), but there was nonetheless a real understanding of different biologies, before "genetics" proper was known. That is where it gets interesting. Apostolic canon 21 allows a eunuch (or an o, an intersex person, so long as the o was not made such from their own mutilation) to be made a bishop. But bishops *must* be men. Everything from age to marital status has varied at different times in Church history, but the male gender hasn't. So it is clear that some kind of gender transition is taking place, and happening *liturgically*(!), though the o's sex is the same (ie, not binary male or female). From that time forth, the o is a man, gender-wise, and must observe all the burdens of the male gender in order to retain the gender [and the bishopric]. And of course there are the connections of all this with monasticism, which is a far more complicated topic—some monastics understand their calling as an intersex one, some as a special grace within male or female genders, and I'm unaware of any definitive statement that declares either point of view as being [most] Orthodox.

If by transitioning "at will" you mean multiple times, there is less literature there. As someone who does a fair bit of Orthodox intersex advocacy (if you've never heard of such a thing outside Church history, as per above, welcome to my small world!), I am hoping to write a paper about how to link some of the occasional and/or sacramental services more closely to gendering, thus providing not only a clearer pathway (eg, for the aforementioned bishops) but also a liturgical *limit*, thereby avoiding lawlessness and chaos. Unfortunately, with the alt stuff dominating in the media and internet (good to hear you have no part in that politicization of reality), rage is abounding and so we're kind of stuck without *any* limits, ironically.

As for gender roles, there is much variance from culture to culture. As you noted, there is the headcovering issue, which is basically the only dress-related difference mandated in our Fathers, our iconography, etc: otherwise, like covering arms and legs, it's the same for man, o, and woman, so Orthodoxy is very "hands-off" when it comes to gender. And then there is the question of authority: a gender can lead "down", but not "up", so women are *never* allowed to lead men liturgically, though I have heard of this happening in some non-canonical congregations; this is related to why priests can commune laity but never bishops, why deaconesses can commune women [on the nave's left side] but never men, etc. So there really are only a few points (including some I didn't note) on which gender roles are set, cross-culturally, which makes Orthodoxy quite simple. But at the same time, those rules are quite strict, and we understand there will be everything from canonical penalties to eternal consequences for their violation.
 

Bizzlebin

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
430
Points
83
Location
New Kidron
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Geek
By the way, let it be known that right here is a perfectly demonstrable example of the methodology that people with heterodox moral or political views use in Orthodoxy.

-<Unsubstantiated belief>
"-<Unsubstantiated belief>" is actually what the Fathers and canons teach (without actually citing anything)
-<Actual Orthodox position> is a product of Western / American Evangelical / Scholastic / Enlightenment methodology / theology, not Orthodoxy (again, no evidence)
-Therefore, in order to be Orthodox, one has to have my personal <Unsubstantiated belief>.
I'm really not sure what to make of your posts and whether they're self-referential or something else. But the formula you've provided here is a classic type of pedagogy. It was used throughout Church history, and even finds use (a slight variant—but at some point you have to accept that a correction of a misunderstanding looks about like any other correction, so it's not surprising overall) is Jesus Christ's own words:

"
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy'. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock...
"

—Jesus (Matthew: 5.43–45, 7.24 (OSB/NKJV))

If there is a formula that makes you feel more comfortable, please let us all know; we all have different triggers and needs. I see on your profile it indicates you're not Orthodox, so I'd be happy to engage with you on any of the points where you feel you do not understand the Orthodox position; some of those may be better done in another thread. But to touch on some of your points briefly:

• I did study social constructionism years ago, and I think there is much good in that perspective because it denies objectivity (not sure if this is an issue for RCs due the created grace belief, but it is a *huge* issue in the relational faith of Orthodoxy), underscores the importance and interconnectedness of even our smallest actions and beliefs, and that society is based upon the word (Gr logos: that's Jesus Christ!).
• I think the medicine question is one of history, but be assured that medical science was quite advanced, nearly to the point of surgery (minus the germ theory of disease, they basically had it).
• Women had many difficult roles, inside and outside the home, in various societies; many of those societies valued and protected their women more than certain "modern" societies, which would erase gender distinctions—I believe that modernism is an attack on the Theotokos.
• Women are still not supposed to come to Church building during menstruation (canon 2 of St Dionysios Of Alexandria); that is still "in force" in Orthodoxy and is actually a great honor to women, when you understand the typology.
• As created beings, our ontology includes both physical and mental (spiritual) dimensions, which are subject to change; we are our bodies, yes, but bodies change—and we are not "just our bodies", either.
• Again with history, Romans had everything from retractable-roof stadiums to automated lumber mills to complex mechanical devices; science has learned much that they did not have access to, but they were not dummies.
• Yes, cultures have understood that gender is a complex topic.
• Yes, gender also means responsibility.
• Contraception is a complicated topic, one which I was invited to give a class on [as part of a study of marriage, sexuality, etc] at an Orthodox parish some time ago—I had pages of take-home notes, study questions, and more. Suffice to say, numerous Fathers did not like contraception, but their reasons for it were not identical, and more than a few of their reasons either no longer apply, apply in only some cases, or some similar weird exception (I hate exceptions). Did I mention it's complicated?
• We do not know very much about the sexual orientation of hardly any of our saints, and it usually doesn't matter: if they were celibate then obviously it would not be a huge deal [vs having an opposite orientation], if they were married then they remained faithful to their spouse regardless, etc. Apart from the married ones who had kids, we can only accept the gender identity that we've been given historically: since hormones are an overriding factor vs genetics, even DNA tests for chromosomes would be of limited use. So we really don't know: we don't have a percentage of [what we currently medically consider] intersex saints who identified as (or transitioned to!) male, or vice versa, and so on.
 

Eamonomae

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
55
Points
48
Faith
Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction
Constantine's Lost Rome
But the formula you've provided here is a classic type of pedagogy
I’ve studied Church history extensively and I can tell you that this exact (not similar pedagogy, but exact) “pedagogy” as you call it is nothing more than a pop-apologetical tool which, as far as I can tell, first surfaced under the guise of Father Romainides and his apologetic; to a lesser extent; Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

And I’m not discussing the theological framework which prioritizes praxis and experience over academia and scientific methodology employed in the mystical. Nor am I discussing the theological framework that seeks to show there is substantial difference between Western theology and Eastern theology.

Rather, this unsubstantiated, non-evidentiary framework that uses shallow labels without objective evidence under the guise of the esoteric to force subjective socio-political opinions. When you look at the texts of the Ecumenical Councils, it’s evident they heavily relied on the objective texts of precedent; the Chalcedonian controversy, for example, heavily discussed what formulae were compatible with Cyril’s Christology, or perhaps Saint John Maxmovitch’s own analysis which was rooted on pre-existing Patristic sources.

Its the pop-apologetical equivalent of proclaiming yourself the Great and All Powerful Wizard of Oz, except the wizard in this case is “mystical experience” and the operator is you.

You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy'. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
The difference here is that you aren’t Jesus divinely revealing a new doctrine. Colossians 1:26.

I see on your profile it indicates you're not Orthodox, so I'd be happy to engage with you on any of the points where you feel you do not understand the Orthodox position
Who proclaimed you Vicar of Christ? Solo traduzione! Aside from the fact that there are many Orthodox practitioners who partaking in genuine Sacramental praxis who are all disagreeing with you on this very thread, I myself was a Catechumen but due to life circumstances had to move and start over.

I think there is much good in that perspective because it denies objectivity (not sure if this is an issue for RCs due the created grace belief, but it is a *huge* issue in the relational faith of Orthodoxy)
The logical implication of denying objectivity is necessarily pantheism, which is not Orthodox. To deny objectivity is to deny the possibility of distinction, because distinction necessitates objectivity; if everything is relative, there can be no distinction between concepts because such distinction would necessarily be objective. It’s blasphemy to assert that you are God; even if you are a product of God’s eternal sustenance and your own “self” can be framed as illusionary by virtue of you not existing independent of God, Orthodoxy’s theological framework is necessarily dualistic in distinguishing the creature from the creator. Not even the Buddhists or Hindus who deny dualism would deny objective reality either, because pantheism doesn’t necessarily imply relativism. You should read Zen Master Hsuan Hua’s work sometime, he would be outraged at your position.

Women had many difficult roles, inside and outside the home, in various societies; many of those societies valued and protected their women more than certain "modern" societies, which would erase gender distinctions—I believe that modernism is an attack on the Theotokos.
Women had many difficult roles, inside and outside the home, in various societies; many of those societies valued and protected their women more than certain "modern" societies, which would erase gender distinctions—I believe that modernism is an attack on the Theotokos.
• Women are still not supposed to come to Church building during menstruation (canon 2 of St Dionysios Of Alexandria); that is still "in force" in Orthodoxy and is actually a great honor to women, when you understand the typology.

Can you not see the contradiction on this? That you are arguing there are no real gender roles by virtue of slight variations of social behaviors so it doesn’t matter (the conclusion doesn’t logically follow from the premise; variations in cultural behavior doesn’t necessarily imply that gender as a social function is an arbitrary construction), yet you are somehow still mandating gender role behavior on women. One could just as easily argue that such archaic behavior is a mere product of a once-patriarchal society and it doesn’t matter because everything is subjective anyways.

Further, if everything is subjective anyways, sin doesn’t matter, fasting doesn’t matter, and any kind of behavior doesn’t matter, because for you all that exists is the Logos and nothing else is relevant.

If you can discard centuries of theological exegesis of Genesis 1-2 on your whims of “it doesn’t matter anyways because it’s not objective anyways”, then you also have no right to enforce everything else.

As created beings, our ontology includes both physical and mental (spiritual) dimensions, which are subject to change; we are our bodies, yes, but bodies change—and we are not "just our bodies", either.
Any change of mutilation via hormones or surgery is self-inflicted and not “natural” like aging or disease. The canons of Saint Basil or the Justinian Code which punish severely Eunuchs is a perfect example of this distinction. Which I presume still holds in the “Spirit of the Law” as a minimum.

We do not know very much about the sexual orientation of hardly any of our saints, and it usually doesn't matter: if they were celibate then obviously it would not be a huge deal [vs having an opposite orientation], if they were married then they remained faithful to their spouse regardless, etc.

I’m not gonna derail this with a lengthy discussion, but suffice to say Saint Paul in Romans 1 makes it clear that such acts are sinful, and the Church has never allowed people to root their identity in their sinful proclivities. You could speculate how much Saint Jerome slept around by that same token, but it would be as equally as sacreligious.


Anyways, the end of the discussion is this:

Saint Cyril of Alexandria - Is it tradition? Ask no more.
Do you think your ancestors would accept your teaching? If the answer is no, then the discussion is over.
 
Last edited:

Eamonomae

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
55
Points
48
Faith
Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction
Constantine's Lost Rome
Also, I use subjective here as a synonym for relative.
 

Eamonomae

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
55
Points
48
Faith
Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction
Constantine's Lost Rome
because for you all that exists is the Logos and nothing else is relevant.
Further elaborating on this, I mean one would necessarily have to apply this logic to all behaviors and all sin, including the sins people of your political alliance routinely condemn (for example, Trump supporters), as everything could necessarily be explained as a product of social-historical circumstances and constructed social behavior. As one could do it, that means one would have to, because being able to proscribe such behavior logically means that’s what it is in reality.

And that means no behavior is meaningful or relevant, including Christ’s Gospel or the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Byzantium would necessarily be irrelevant.
 

Opus118

Protokentarchos
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
4,556
Reaction score
246
Points
63
Age
71
Location
Oceanside, California
Further elaborating on this, I mean one would necessarily have to apply this logic to all behaviors and all sin, including the sins people of your political alliance routinely condemn (for example, Trump supporters), as everything could necessarily be explained as a product of social-historical circumstances and constructed social behavior. As one could do it, that means one would have to, because being able to proscribe such behavior logically means that’s what it is in reality.

And that means no behavior is meaningful or relevant, including Christ’s Gospel or the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Byzantium would necessarily be irrelevant.
I really do not understand and/or comprehend what you are writing about. I tried, but it is late now.
 

Eamonomae

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
55
Points
48
Faith
Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction
Constantine's Lost Rome
I really do not understand and/or comprehend what you are writing about. I tried, but it is late now.
I wrote this on my phone, I apologize.

I mean to say that you can make the argument that "sinful behavior" generally, as it was historically defined, must necessarily also be a product of historical circumstance / social constructionism, if we were to uphold Bizzlebin's logic.

That means that Christ's Gospel means nothing.
 

hurrrah

Elder
Warned
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
342
Reaction score
188
Points
43
Location
Russia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction
ROC
Prof. Osipov
Strange as it may sound, but Professor of theology Osipov is a dubious authority in matters of theology. Repeatedly and with a good evidence base, the question of the hereticism of a number of his statements was raised.
 

hurrrah

Elder
Warned
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
342
Reaction score
188
Points
43
Location
Russia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction
ROC
This is what public Orthodoxy said:
"Neo-traditionalists would have us believe that profession of the one true faith is the necessary key to the Kingdom of Heaven, the “membership card” automatically acquired by members of the Orthodox Church.[2] But what does this membership card mean when few Orthodox card-holders can identify or express Orthodox doctrine on key issues?
This is a substitution of the subject of discussion. The actual non-Orthodoxy of some formally Orthodox does not negate the need to belong to the Church for salvation. When I see such blatant deceit, I do not find it possible to discuss anything with this person.
 

hurrrah

Elder
Warned
Joined
Aug 8, 2021
Messages
342
Reaction score
188
Points
43
Location
Russia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction
ROC
The RC Church has a theory of Purgatory, in which people suffer for their sins, but then are released. In the EO Church, we don't have a concept of Purgatory. However, as a theory, one could be in Hell and then released from it. Protestants and Catholics have a little argument over praying for the dead. Some Protestant logic goes that there is no point in praying for the dead, because their fate has been set by their actions on earth. Catholics pray for them, hoping that they will spend less time in Purgatory. In the EO Church, we pray for the dead, but we don't believe in Purgatory. What would be the sense of praying for them if their fate has already been categorically sealed by their actions?
It seems ironic to me that you are trying to get the Orthodox faith based on Catholicism and Protestantism. We ask and receive mercy for the departed on the same basis as we do it for the living.
 

Ainnir

Merarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
8,334
Reaction score
1,426
Points
113
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Antiochian
This is what public Orthodoxy said:
"Neo-traditionalists would have us believe that profession of the one true faith is the necessary key to the Kingdom of Heaven, the “membership card” automatically acquired by members of the Orthodox Church.[2] But what does this membership card mean when few Orthodox card-holders can identify or express Orthodox doctrine on key issues? Yes, all Orthodox can recite or sing the Nicene Creed, but beyond its actual words, how many can articulate correctly even major Orthodox dogmas and teachings?

Does this mean that those who hold non-Orthodox beliefs (including non-Christian, even superstitious beliefs) are not Orthodox, maybe even “heretics”? This category may include a large majority of baptized and practicing Orthodox. Can they be saved despite their erroneous beliefs? “Heresy” is a powerful, emotionally-charged accusation which is best left in history books rather than being applied to our contemporary brothers and sisters in Christ, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox. Salvation is based on more than beliefs and formal membership in a particular Christian body."

This tells me they misunderstand what it means to be Orthodox.
 

Bizzlebin

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
430
Points
83
Location
New Kidron
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Geek
I’ve studied Church history extensively and I can tell you that this exact (not similar pedagogy, but exact) “pedagogy” as you call it is nothing more than a pop-apologetical tool which, as far as I can tell, first surfaced under the guise of Father Romainides and his apologetic; to a lesser extent; Metropolitan Kallistos Ware.

And I’m not discussing the theological framework which prioritizes praxis and experience over academia and scientific methodology employed in the mystical. Nor am I discussing the theological framework that seeks to show there is substantial difference between Western theology and Eastern theology.

Rather, this unsubstantiated, non-evidentiary framework that uses shallow labels without objective evidence under the guise of the esoteric to force subjective socio-political opinions. When you look at the texts of the Ecumenical Councils, it’s evident they heavily relied on the objective texts of precedent; the Chalcedonian controversy, for example, heavily discussed what formulae were compatible with Cyril’s Christology, or perhaps Saint John Maxmovitch’s own analysis which was rooted on pre-existing Patristic sources.
I could provide further examples of this type of pedagogy for you if it is really such an issue. I don't recall posting anything on this forum—certainly not post-move—about Met Kallistos Ware or Pr John Romanides, and I'm not really a fan of the latter, especially, given his level of innovation (seemingly made without clear rationale)—it is sometimes difficult to get through even a few paragraphs of his, though maybe that's just me. As for the use of prior Patristic material in council, I think those are excellent examples of both social construction (ie, very few people are able to discuss and theologize very well "in abstract", which is something unusual I do as both a religion/philosophy and CS major) and the relational nature of the faith: they worked *relative to* other Fathers and the current events which necessitated the calling of the councils in the first place.

Its the pop-apologetical equivalent of proclaiming yourself the Great and All Powerful Wizard of Oz, except the wizard in this case is “mystical experience” and the operator is you.

The difference here is that you aren’t Jesus divinely revealing a new doctrine. Colossians 1:26.

Who proclaimed you Vicar of Christ? Solo traduzione! Aside from the fact that there are many Orthodox practitioners who partaking in genuine Sacramental praxis who are all disagreeing with you on this very thread, I myself was a Catechumen but due to life circumstances had to move and start over.
I have not—nor have any posting in-thread—pretended to be Jesus Christ, or His vicar, etc, but there has been a willingness to offer friendly conversation; in any case, this feels like we're adding more exceptions and qualifications the original issue you wrote that you had with people speaking to each other in an Orthodox forum. In my experience, it is quite common to ask for and receive clarification on matters, and only if the misunderstanding persists to move into lengthier discussion. Aside from your own posts, I'm seeing very little disagreement with anything I've written—which is not common knowledge, but not innovative (unless you're meaning to say the Apostolic canons are innovative). And besides a few posters, whose posting habits are well-known, I think the discussion has generally been quite friendly, informative, and factual, and some hasty generalizations that were made (I believe in good faith) are now being better examined.

The logical implication of denying objectivity is necessarily pantheism, which is not Orthodox. To deny objectivity is to deny the possibility of distinction, because distinction necessitates objectivity; if everything is relative, there can be no distinction between concepts because such distinction would necessarily be objective. It’s blasphemy to assert that you are God; even if you are a product of God’s eternal sustenance and your own “self” can be framed as illusionary by virtue of you not existing independent of God, Orthodoxy’s theological framework is necessarily dualistic in distinguishing the creature from the creator. Not even the Buddhists or Hindus who deny dualism would deny objective reality either, because pantheism doesn’t necessarily imply relativism. You should read Zen Master Hsuan Hua’s work sometime, he would be outraged at your position.
Pantheism is rather the logical result of objectivity, for if everything has existence in itself, without relation to anything else, it must necessarily have its being in itself—that is 100% pure pantheism, without even a panentheistic concession. I'm not sure how objectivity or non-objectivity support or deny distinction, at least not by themselves, for that makes further assumptions about the "theism" (in pantheism or whatever theism). But pure objectivity would deny the possibility to *know* there was any distinction, because distinction implies some relationship: one color is different *relative to another*, or to a standard, etc—it's all relational. I agree about the distinction between Creator and created—another clear demonstration of relation and of subjection. Not sure what Buddhism has to do with Orthodox teaching nor what the context of this outrage is, nor why you seem to be implying we need to placate Buddhists...on a specifically Orthodox website.

Can you not see the contradiction on this? That you are arguing there are no real gender roles by virtue of slight variations of social behaviors so it doesn’t matter (the conclusion doesn’t logically follow from the premise; variations in cultural behavior doesn’t necessarily imply that gender as a social function is an arbitrary construction), yet you are somehow still mandating gender role behavior on women. One could just as easily argue that such archaic behavior is a mere product of a once-patriarchal society and it doesn’t matter because everything is subjective anyways.

Further, if everything is subjective anyways, sin doesn’t matter, fasting doesn’t matter, and any kind of behavior doesn’t matter, because for you all that exists is the Logos and nothing else is relevant.

If you can discard centuries of theological exegesis of Genesis 1-2 on your whims of “it doesn’t matter anyways because it’s not objective anyways”, then you also have no right to enforce everything else.
I've consistently stood by gender, and have posted everything from Scripture (created "male and female" is as early as Genesis: 1.27, by the way), to canon law, to Patristic commentary to underline the deep and theological nature of gender: gender is not primarily biological, but primarily *theological*, though biology plays an important and incontrovertible role. There are cultures where those roles have hewn closer to Orthodoxy (on various points) or further away, but it is ultimately Orthodoxy I'm interested in. And that is why it is so important to view everything in relation to Orthodoxy, to Jesus Christ: if everything is an object, good in and of itself instead of being *made* good iconically by Jesus Christ, then we've constructed an entirely different belief system. It is rather objects's relation to Jesus Christ that reveals their true nature, their right use, and so on.
 

Bizzlebin

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
1,407
Reaction score
430
Points
83
Location
New Kidron
Faith
Orthodox
Jurisdiction
Geek
Any change of mutilation via hormones or surgery is self-inflicted and not “natural” like aging or disease. The canons of Saint Basil or the Justinian Code which punish severely Eunuchs is a perfect example of this distinction. Which I presume still holds in the “Spirit of the Law” as a minimum.
I'm not getting your reference to St Basil's canons: where does he punish eunuchs? The canons that I read (St Basil's don't say much about eunuchs) offer ecclesial protections to eunuchs. And in one of my other "hats" in civil jurisprudence (non-US), I've actually read significant portions of Roman law, including numerous titles of the Code Of Justinian (Corpus Juris Civilis). There is, as in Orthodox canon law, protection for eunuchs and a strict punishment for *making* someone a eunuch physically. Not sure if this is really on topic vs Orthodox teaching, but where is the title that punishes people for merely being eunuchs—or any subtype of intersex?

I’m not gonna derail this with a lengthy discussion, but suffice to say Saint Paul in Romans 1 makes it clear that such acts are sinful, and the Church has never allowed people to root their identity in their sinful proclivities. You could speculate how much Saint Jerome slept around by that same token, but it would be as equally as sacreligious.
I think I've maintained the distinction between gender and sin. Of course our identities should not be based on sin, but on our God-given nature—which is "male and female". And I'm extremely confused by why you would even bring up a grotesque image of celibate saints having "slept around", for I've maintained that their transcendence of passions and embrace of identity in Jesus Christ is an important part of what makes them saints—and worthy of our emulation.

Anyways, the end of the discussion is this:

Saint Cyril of Alexandria - Is it tradition? Ask no more.
Do you think your ancestors would accept your teaching? If the answer is no, then the discussion is over.
I hope you've seen from the other brotherly discussions and clarifications among Orthodox here that these positions are not even something Orthodox Fathers would have to "accept" because they are, on numerous points, already the *exact words* that the Fathers themselves have taught (albeit translated into American English).
 

Eamonomae

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
1,391
Reaction score
55
Points
48
Faith
Roman Catholic
Jurisdiction
Constantine's Lost Rome
I'll respond in further detail later, but for now I'll respond to this post:

Pantheism is rather the logical result of objectivity, for if everything has existence in itself, without relation to anything else, it must necessarily have its being in itself. I'm not sure how objectivity or non-objectivity support or deny distinction, at least not by themselves, for that makes further assumptions about the "theism" (in pantheism or whatever theism). But pure objectivity would deny the possibility to *know* there was any distinction, because distinction implies some relationship: one color is different *relative to another*, or to a standard, etc—it's all relational. I agree about the distinction between Creator and created—another clear demonstration of relation and of subjection. Not sure what Buddhism has to do with Orthodox teaching nor what the context of this outrage is, nor why you seem to be implying we need to placate Buddhists...on a specifically Orthodox website.
This isn't the position of "objectivity" as I'm describing it here. Nobody's contending that everything has existence in of itself. But God Himself has existence in of Himself, independent of everything else in reality, meaning that God Himself must necessarily be objective. Everything that is created by God must necessarily be objective by virtue of stemming from God. And those distinctions are real.

There is a question of apophatic theology of even attributing descriptors to God of "being", as God is beyond comprehension, but cataphatically God as eternally existing has been divinely revealed.

I also don't follow how the existence of interdependence or relative relations necessitates that things don't have existence in of themselves. Red can be relative to blue, that doesn't necessarily mean that red can't exist without blue. You may argue that we can't perceive red without relative relation to blue, but I don't think that's true. As a matter of fact, there's a wide spectrum of colors that animals can see that human beings cannot see; certain flowers have colored markings that signal to bees and humming birds that nectar is present which they can see but we can't see. Only under certain light conditions - for example, UV light - do these markings even become visible.



The Mantis Shrimp is my favorite animal. One of their unique features is they can perceive 4 times the amount of colored wavelengths that human beings can, meaning they have 4x the amount of color visibility than humans.



Even though we can't "see" these colors, we have scientific methodology via the analysis of eye structures and light to know that these colors exist, even if we can't comprehend them.

I posited Buddhism because it posits a similar theory via "Codependent Origination", and in the case of Mahayana Buddhist sects (Zen, Tibetan, etc.), they tend to be closer in philosophy to Pantheism where "all is Buddha"
 
Last edited:
Top