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  • TER's Avatar
    08-11-2017, 07:59 AM
    http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/a-lightning-strike-at-at-bixby-church-destroyed-only-the-word-death-in-mural-of-jesus Occurred on Aug 6th, the Feast Day of the Transfiguration of Christ
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-09-2017, 06:00 AM
    Excellent talk.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 08:40 PM
    In fact, this circular argument probably has him grinning with glee and that reminds me it is time to say my prayers and go to bed. Good night all! A pleasant discussion! Hope to do this again soon! :)
    76 replies | 1238 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 08:38 PM
    Satan most certainly can hear our thoughts and our mental prayers to God, and he is always at work to stop the Christian from praying (which he often succeeds in doing)
    76 replies | 1238 view(s)
  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 08:31 PM
    Does it say not to? Does the Bible teach that we should not go to a priest and confess our sins? His this tradition contradicted anything in the Bible? The same with the sacrament of Holy Unction. We see the beginnings of this mystery described in the New Testament writings. "Is any among you sick, let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up;" (James 5). - notice, that they call the presbyters to be called in to pray during this mystery. That there is anointing of oil. Its final form and prayers and liturgical structure blossomed as many God-inspired traditions have through time, but it's roots come from the Church. Does the form it is now within the Orthodox Church contradict anything in the Bible? Of course not. Rather, it helps do what the Church is supposed to do, which is be a place for spiritual healing, a spiritual hospital. The traditions of the Church, like the Scriptures, are a product of the Holy Spirit working within the Church. Of course, some of these traditions are merely cultural, and simply add beauty and depth to the life in Christ. Others, however, are extremely important and beneficial to the spiritual and physical health and well-being of the struggling Christian. And it is by God's love and mercy whereby these God-inspired traditions have arisen, for the sake of the members of the body, and why St Paul and all the Apostles urged their disciples to faithfully hand down the traditions which were (literally) "traditioned" to them.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 08:19 PM
    Of course we should pray to God and confess our sins, and if it is His will, He will forgive us. We should also confess our sins to one another, or to a priest-confessor, and if it is His will, He will forgive us. Truly, it is much more difficult to confess one's sins to another person than it is to confess it before God. God already knows our sins. And He values it highly when we confess it before another person, especially before a righteous man, such as a priest, whose prayers availeth much, and who has been given the apostolic grace to forgive sins through the Holy Spirit. What seems to keep being missed is that while the form of the tradition of confession before a priest is not in the Bible, it doesn't not mean AT ALL that is it is not a tradition of God or according to His good will. Again, the Holy Spirit did not stop guiding the Church after the first century. Not sure why this is difficult to understand. And the experience of the Church has proven through these past almost 2000 years that it is not only a holy sacrament and gift of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit leading the Church, but that this sacrament has healed countless souls who have struggled with habitual sins and soul-destroying grief over past sins, giving them the assurance of forgiveness when their conscience could not let them rest.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 07:28 PM
    Of course, which is why he is a hero and an imitator of Christ! :)
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 07:12 PM
    Well said. Where is the biblical basis for private confession alone? Where is the Biblical bases for "me and my Bible"? Where is the Biblical basis for Sola Scripture or Sola Fide? Where is the Biblical basis for Christianity being merely summed up as "me and my personal relationship with Christ"? Christ didn't teach that. The Apostles didn't teach that. No Christian Saints taught that. But here were are, 2000 years later and 30,000 denominations later, and this is the mainstream Christian thought in the west, and then we wonder why Christianity is dying here.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 06:53 PM
    Donnay, as I have explained in the past, the Holy Spirit did not stop working in the Church on the last page of Acts. The Lord did not stop visiting and leading His Church where the canonized New Testament left off. In fact, over 350 years passed with God present and leading the Church before the Scriptures were even canonized. That's much longer than even the history of the US as a nation. When the collection of books you call the Bible were finally compiled, many traditions had already appeared, by the grace and will of God. The Scriptures demonstrate the very beginnings of the history of the Holy Spirit working in the Church and He has not stopped guiding it since the Day of Pentecost. So you can say confessing to a priest is not Biblical, but that in itself is debatable. For we see Christ gave His select Apostles the authority to forgive sins after blowing upon them and giving them such special charismata. These Apostles themselves handed down this grace of the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands upon their successors, who were ordained clergy of the Church. Such a gift was not given to anyone and everyone, but to those chosen few out of the many, just as the few disciples chosen by Christ of the many. In the beginning, the Christians would confess openly to the whole congregation, but because of the weakness of men and the scandals which ensued, it was decided by the Church through the Holy Spirit that it would be better to have this sacrament done between the repentant and the priest alone in usual practice, where the priest stands in for the congregation as a witness to the confession. The penitent does not confess to the priest but to God, and the priest is a witness. And the priest does not grant the absolution, but rather God does and the priest ministers it through the Holy Spirit. Now you may say this is a tradition of men, but by doing so, you must then believe that the Holy Spirit had no part in this. Frankly, you have no proof to make such a claim other than to say "it's not biblical". Well, since this tradition started after the short era covered by Acts, then no, it isn't 'biblical', but that makes absolutely no claim about whether this was a tradition of men or a tradition of God. Just because it isn't in the Bible doesn't mean it is not inspired by God! The work of God in the Church is not limited to a book written by men covering a few decades! You must in fact deny the working of the Holy Spirit from the first century on, which is not only dangerous, but which makes no sense, because your own tradition of Sola Scripture does not even appear until 15 centuries later! You can try and make the claim that when Sola Scripture was invented, it was God inspired. But then who are you, frankly, to deny that the tradition of confessing to a priest is not God inspired as well?
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 06:26 PM
    Your are making comparisons which are insufficient. Christ was tortured and died via crucifixion, which was the most cursed and distressful method of execution practiced at that time. The Private 1st class jumped on a grenade and maybe felt a millisecond of pain before death. But even if the Private 1st class was tortured and crucified like Christ, which Christian have been in the past and even today in the Middle East, the sacrifice by Christ is greater not only by its great benefits towards mankind, but because it was done completely VOLUNTARILY. You see, Christ, as the God-Man did not have to die for mankind. Neither, did he have to feel pain. He did not have to suffer thirst. Who, if they could avoid the sting of tortures, would not do so? Who, if they could numb the pain of a nine inch nail going through their wrists and feet not do so? Who, if they could lessen the thousand pieces of flesh being ripped off their back not do so? Or the digging of the thorns into the scalp? Who, if offered a drink to satisfy their thirst or wet their parched throat would refuse it? At any time, He could have ended it. At any time, He could have stopped the pain or lessened the anguish or dulled His human senses through His divine power, but He didn't. He voluntarily allowed all of it, and suffered all of it, when He had the power to have it powerless and impotent against Him, as we see in the lives of some of the Christian Martyrs who felt no pain by the power of the Holy Spirit while being boiled alive or put on the rack or disembowled. So we must be aware that when we are comparing sacrifices, we must do so not in parts, but with the whole picture. Not only considering the rippling effects and benefits in the world, but in the manner, obedience, and conditions. The soldier is a hero, no doubt. Christ, however, is the Savior of mankind, having died voluntarily not only for His friends alone, but for His enemies as well.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 06:07 PM
    Lol! My point with the post was to trying and discern where down the line Influenza became hostile to Christianity and also what his knowledge of the Christian faith is because it doesn't sound like he has much knowledge about Christianity other than some modern Western notions about Scriptures, Covenants, and the Church.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 01:30 PM
    Excellent! Are not the traditions inspired by the Holy Spirit within the Church the traditions of God, and thus should be followed?
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 11:51 AM
    I agree. The issue is that some go to such extremes that in throwing out the bathwater (the traditions of men), they throw out the baby as well (the traditions of God)! It may make it easier for them to justify their own personal preferences and thoughts and novel interpretations, but meanwhile, they have lost the very thing they were given by God for their very benefit and joy.
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    08-04-2017, 10:54 AM
    Before we engage in this debate, let us introduce eachother so that we can get an idea of where we are coming from and what prejudices and presuppositions we are carrying into this discussion. I am a cradle Greek Orthodox Christian, that means I was baptized as an infant, and grew up in a Christian household which was not a very religious one, but my parents were pious nonetheless. I strayed from the sacramental Orthodox Christian life in my late teens and college years and rediscovered the ancient faith while in medical school and especially during my residency in an inner city emergency department. I am not a good Christian, but one knowledgable about the history of the Christian faith and of the writings of those people who have been called Saints of God by Christians for centuries. Now, please introduce yourself, your personal experience of the Christian faith, and the readings and studies you have done by those who have been called to be teachers of the faith handed down by Jesus Christ.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 07:49 AM
    Both are selfless and important acts of love and sacrifice and to be commended. Christ's sacrifice is greater in that He is completely sinless whereas even the most virtuous Private 1st Class is not. Christ's sacrifice is greater, because He voluntarily submitted to empty Himself, become one of us, so that by uniting His divine nature and our human nature, He might destroy the power of death over humanity and restore humankind. Christ's sacrifice is greater, because by His selfless sacrifice, He did not just save a platoon of friendly soldiers, but all men, even those who are His enemies, from the power of death.
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    08-04-2017, 07:44 AM
    Only atheists can fail to see the bigger picture or possible good in a situation, or to put their minutely limited experience, wisdom and knowledge to be the held as the measure of truth and morality.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 07:26 AM
    To be clear, the tradition which Christ taught that if you have two coats and your neighbor has none, to give it to them, is not the same as the Marxist socialist political ideology of forced charity. Just wanted to clarify that for those who confuse the teachings of Christ and the traditions He commanded upon us with the contemporary definition of 'social justice' used by modern liberals as a political ideological tool.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 07:12 AM
    Do you understand that there is a role for tradition? That Christ told His disciples to listen to the Pharisees and "do as they say" but not as they do (their hypocrisy)? Do you understand that Christ and the disciples followed traditions? Do you understand the difference between the traditions of God and the traditions of men?
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 06:11 AM
    Christ and His Apostles taught the faithful to follow the traditions handed down to them, by their teachers and fathers, but not to imitate them in their hypocrisy or to follow those traditions which were not of God but for self-serving men. I think you are lumping them all together, which is inaccurate. Tradition is what has handed down the faith these two thousand years and for the thousands of years before Christ's advent. The writing of Scriptures are written traditions. The handing down of hymns, prayers, liturgical worship and teachings of the Saints are oral tradition. Both are important. Both are necessary. The one keeping the other correct and in accordance to the faith through time.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-04-2017, 04:03 AM
    Christ came and preached to them all in Hades after He suffered and died on the Cross innocently for the sins of the world. They received a chance to finally come to God and find eternal life, that is, if their hearts allowed themselves. What He did was in fact merciful, and allowed them to be killed for their hostility towards His beloved faithful and Himself, their Giver of Life, so that by dying in the flesh and remaining temporarily constrained within the gates of Hell, they might one day hear for themselves the gospel and come to Him in due time to live eternally. So that instead of eternal destruction and separation on account of their sins and of not knowing or hearing Him, they might finally come to Him and find the joy of salvation. Cursed however are those who have heard the gospel and of Jesus Christ and reject Him, now that He has come and died innocently for the sins of the world, and cursed are they who remain in open rebellion to Him and try and subvert His beloved through forked tongues and evil hearts. For they will find no mercy when they stand before the Judgment Seat of God and the books will be open. For then, they will have no excuse, for neither can they claim that were killed by the hands of men which God ordered or claim that they had never heard of Him or His gospel, and perhaps find mercy. It would have been better that they were among the Caaninites who were slain by the Israelites, staying in Hades for a while until given the chance to find freedom through Christ, instead of being handed the verdict of eternal torment which they have chosen by their own choice and rebellion against Him. In fact, it will be their own conscience and guilt which will accuse them that day when the light of God exposes them before all creation and what is hidden is revealed. For then, even the most blind sinner will see the extent of their sins and how far and often they went to fight against their Giver of life.
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  • TER's Avatar
    08-03-2017, 07:58 PM
    This is a great book on the subject which are from homilies of St. Basil the Great, one of the greatest Christians to have ever walked the earth. https://www.amazon.com/Social-Justice-Basil-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881410535 Below is a great review of these homilies by a college professor from Tennessee who is a self-described Conservative (in fact, in the video, he describes himself as a far right wing capitalist) Part 1 (discussion starts at minute 28, but the beginning is good as well)
    76 replies | 1238 view(s)
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