• TER's Avatar
    05-29-2016, 03:02 PM
    We most certainly do understand some thing differently. Whether these differences are a matter of life-and-death, God only knows. I make no judgement on that. I do not disagree that Satan's pride was the major cause of his downfall. What is debatable is whether your opinions of the circumstances and matters above regarding his fall and rebellion are more true or authoratative than the teachings of the ancient Church. As always, I defer to the teachings handed down by the Saints of the Church over what you or I personally think or interpret the truth to be. This is what makes a person an Orthodox Christian. The legend that God revealed to Satan the future glory of the Theotokos (who is above all Saints in purity and holiness) and which prompted in earnest his rebellion, is neither dogma nor doctrine. In fact, I had never heard it before I read this article! Nevertheless, this legend does not diminish nor contradict any of the other orthodox positions made in this article, nor of the eschatological and soteriological points. The nice thing about being Orthodox Christian is that I read an article like this above, and I already share in great mutual understanding what this other Orthodox Christian is trying to express and teach. Why? Because we follow not our own wills, or minds, but rather the mind of the Church and teachings handed down by our fathers before us. It is not the whims or opinions of my own mind or this author's own mind, but rather, it is a common faith as handed down through the centuries by God-bearing Saints which have been revealed by the Holy Spirit working within creation. So I can hear about a legend like this and gleam insight from it. Does it mean this legend is necessarily true? No. Does it mean I need to believe it in order to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing? No. But nevertheless, I can appreciate the deeper and hidden meanings of the faith and our salvation in Christ without having to take a position at all about this legend's historical veracity. And neither would my spiritual father or Bishop force me to make a decision. Much of the faith remains a mystery, and what is dogma is what has been revealed through time and space and in concilliar gatherings of bishops by the work of the Holy Spirit in them, such as in the Ecumenical Councils, as has always been the way which Christ has established such things to be within the life of the Church, starting in the Book of Acts.
    9 replies | 189 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-29-2016, 11:31 AM
    I am sorry you are confused. There is no confusion to someone who is an Orthodox Christian reading this article, which I assume is the presumed audience. I apologize for confusing you.
    9 replies | 189 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-29-2016, 11:03 AM
    The article does not say that Satan is omniscient. If Satan did see the Theotokos prior to the creation of humanity (according to this pious non-dogmatic tradition), it was because it was revealed to him by God, not because Satan is omniscient.
    9 replies | 189 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-28-2016, 08:02 AM
    Democracy in the Kingdom of God by Fr. Stephen Freeman LINK Nothing is equal because nothing is the same. All things are unique and unrepeatable. This is especially true of persons. Understanding this helps us deal with reality. But the mindset of our modern world suggests in a very seductive manner that things are quite different. It suggests that all things are indeed equal and that wherever inequality exists, it should be overthrown or corrected. Elsewhere, I have called this the “sin of democracy.” I do not mean that political arrangements that are democratic in nature are wrong. However, certain ideas in our modern world go far beyond political arrangements and suggest things about the nature of how things are. It is in these suggestions (and our accepting them as facts) that the “sin of democracy” can be found. A quick note on positive aspects of democracy. I have always understood the political advantages of democracy as the ability to vote someone out of office – it is a protection against tyranny. It is not, however, a guarantee of good government, the best government, or wise government. It just means that with the vote, I can organize and vote something out that I want to change (maybe). Having said that, I want to give my attention to the spiritual aspect of what I mean by the “sin of democracy.”
    9 replies | 189 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-27-2016, 10:29 PM
    Buddhism and Eastern Asceticism Compared to Orthodox Christian Asceticism By Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex It is unfortunate that there is widespread confusion, not to mention delusion, in the inexperienced, whereby the Jesus Prayer is thought to be equivalent to yoga in Buddhism, or ‘transcendental meditation’, and other such Eastern exotica. Any similarity, however, is mostly external, and any inner convergence does not rise beyond the natural ‘anatomy’ of the human soul. The fundamental difference between Christianity and other beliefs and practices lies in the fact that the Jesus Prayer is based on the revelation of the One true living and personal God as Holy Trinity No other path admits any possibility of a living relationship between God and the person who prays. Eastern asceticism aims at divesting the mind of all that is relative and transitory, so that man may identify with the impersonal Absolute. This Absolute is believed to be man’s original ‘nature’, which suffered degradation and degeneration by entering a multiform and ever-changing earth-bound life. Ascetic practice like this is, above all, centered upon the self, and is totally dependent on man’s will. Its intellectual character betrays the fullness of human nature, in that it takes no account of the heart. Man’s main struggle is to return to the anonymous Supra-personal Absolute and to be dissolved in it. He must therefore aspire to efface the soul (Atman) in order to be one with this anonymous ocean of the Suprapersonal Absolute, and in this lies its basically negative purpose. In his struggle to divest himself of all suffering and instability connected with transient life, the eastern ascetic immerses himself in the abstract and intellectual sphere of so-called pure Existence, a negative and impersonal sphere in which no vision of God is possible, only man’s vision of himself. There is no place for the heart in this practice. Progress in this form of asceticism depends only on one’s individual will to succeed. The Upanishads do not say anywhere that pride is an obstacle to spiritual progress, or that humility is a virtue. The positive dimension of Christian asceticism, in which self-denial leads to one’s clothing with the heavenly man, to the assumption of a supernatural form of life, the Source of which is the One True, Self-revealing God, is obviously and totally absent. Even in its more noble expressions, the self-denial in Buddhism is only the insignificant half of the picture. In the mind’s desire to return to its merely ‘natural’ self, it beholds its own nakedness in a ‘cloud of divestiture’. But at this point there is a grave risk of obsession with itself, of its marvelling at its own luminous but created beauty, and worshipping the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). The mind has by now begun to deify or idolize its self and then, according to the words of the Lord, ‘the last state of that man is worse than the first’ (Matt. 12:45).
    1 replies | 112 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-14-2016, 03:53 PM
    Hillary as Prez with a Republican controlled House is better (IMO) than Trump with any House. Right now, given these two narcissistic self-serving professional lying autocrats running, I am sad to say that I am praying for a government that can't get anything passed in the next four years.
    45 replies | 790 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-11-2016, 03:38 PM
    35 year anniversary of Bob Marley's death. May his memory be eternal. http://orthodoxhistory.org/2016/05/11/35th-anniversary-of-bob-marleys-death/
    33 replies | 824 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    05-01-2016, 01:23 PM
    A blessed Pascha to my brothers and sisters in Christ! He is Risen!
    386 replies | 23728 view(s)
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