Christian Apologetics--Answering tough questions about the true Faith.

edited November 2008 in Faith Issues
       It was king Solomon who stated that all of life and it's glory was utterly meaningless. He testified to the realization that life alone could not fulfill the implicit inquiries of the spirit and that the very riches of this world are ephemerally stored only to have others take it. Life autonomously is meaningless. Yet, meaning is fulfilled in the very essence of Him Who proceeds man's own existence and man's inevitable fate; the very humanly and divinely pronounced personhood of Christ Jesus. Christian apologetics is merely a token I give unto the glory of God's name. There is no greater treasure then to tap into the perennial force of all love and extant tap into the very presence of God's domain. Heaven is ultimatley not about a place that we do or do not enter, it is a relationship that we choose to or not to have with the one Truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      The ultimate aim of this particular post and all incoming inquiries is to establish reason(s) for that which we hold to be true; primarily the Christian faith. As such I have developed this topic so as to have any intellectual questions in regard to the foundational beliefs of Christianity answered, by eitheir myself or any other member who feels they can contribute to the dicussion beneficially. For those who have concluded Christianity to be wholly sound apart from any reasons (such that the work of the Holy Spirit is reason enough), I say, carry on with spirtual growth and continue to be an inspiration unto others. For all others, questions or comments are welcomed.


  •   Ok.....well let's begin with a question. Do you believe Apologetics (defense of the Christian faith) is necessary in our society today?
  • There is one thing that's always bothered me...I have heard many different explanations and for the most part I'm satsified, but I still have some quarrels...

    How do you explain the genocidal and violent orders of God in the Old Testament? Like the order to the Israelites to kill every man woman and child of the Amalekites? And on that same note, in Deuteronomy, God forbids the Israelites to permit a certain race (I think it was the Edomites?) from joining the congregation of the Temple...isn't that condemning that entire race to Hell? What if some had desired repentance?

  •     Great question. The atrocities of the old Testament is truly a poignant issue for skeptics and Christians seeking to conjoin the word of God with reasonable faith. Now of course questions are open to the field. It seems to me that the first part of your question, the seemingly unjustified killing of innocent tribes by God in the Old Testament, are rare and singular in their nominal declaration. Interestingly though, all such decrees are always associated with the conquest with the land of Canaan. As a starting point then, such killings are against the norm of God's methodologies. For instance, one can not argue that God despised pagan peoples. For with the very prophet Jonah, God incessantly tracks him down so that he will preach to the Pagan nation of Nineveh that they may repent. His austere love for all peoples is further apparent in the rest of the Old Testament as  He ordains laws of justice, fairness, sincerity, and compassion toward the general scope of all people in a time where such traits were simply non-existent. Yet, why were killings of the Amalekites necessary in the perspective of God?
        Now, I should clarify that I am not of the perspective that such stories are myths or legends. I believe it is irresponsible, considering the wealth of Old Testament historical evidence, to assert that such stories are actually fantastical in nature. These stories should be read as genuine events in history that took place under the acquiescence of God’s sovereign decree. That being said, a framework for ethical duty must also be established to answer the question poignantly. I uphold what philosophers have termed Divine Ethical command; that is to say that whatever moral obligations an individual may hold are ultimately shrouded in the very commandments God establishes. So that if God were to ask an individual to love his neighbor, then indeed that command would then constitute an individual's moral obligation.
          Furthermore, God Himself is not obligated to extend the life of any individual, on the basis of His own commands. For indeed, God's commands flow freely from His intrinsic nature and no obligation is established except on the hearts and minds of those He creates. Moreover, even when God commands the annihilation of a multitude of people, He cannot be indicted with "murder" since by definition He is that Author of life. If He who has taken away life, has the power to restore it, can one really say that He has "murdered" another individual? I believe the answer would be admonishingly no. There is no moral obligation imposed upon Him to prolong the lives of any of these Canaanite peoples. Furthermore, under the framework of Divine Ethical Command, no indictment of murder can be implicated on the Jewish soldiers. For, they were simply following their ethical duty at that particular point and time. Thus, no Moral Law is at all violated during course of these events.

         So now the question, rephrased, really asks why would He who gave the Amalekites life, choose to adamantly take it away at one point in time? Or again, was there a morally sufficient reason for God to order the killing of the Canaanite peoples? I think that there indeed is. When God predicts the bondage of Israel in Egypt, He tells Abraham that his descendents will go down to Egypt for 400 years; primarily because the iniquity of the Canaanites is not yet complete. However, when the sin of the Canaanites became so intolerable and decadent, the need for upholding a greater moral superceded a lesser one. Since the Canaanites were a murderous and abominable nation that would sacrifice even their own children to Baal; for the sake of establishing His glorified name and for the sake of preventing Israeli assimilation with these Canaanite peoples; God ordered the annihilation of such tribes. What one finds is that God began demarcating the pathway to Christianity through the destruction of the Amalekites.
          One may then reverse the question to ask, would it not have been morally wrong of God to permit the Canaanite people to ravage upon the Israelites and ultimately upon the very hope of all Christendom for the sake of their nation's feeble life? Often, even in wartime, it is only via the destruction of life that God is able to sustain an even greater framework of life. Thus, the preservation of mankind's eternal and perhaps, even temporal life, superseded the moral obligation not to kill one's neighbor. For indeed, the greatest of all Moral Laws is for man to preserve the glory of Christ’s name, even in exchange for one's own earthly death. In conjunction then with God's ultimate plan of salvation and the preservation of innocent of life in the surrounding nations, wiping out the Amalekite peoples was necessarily sufficient and morally justifiable. Now, even if one were to completely debunk this previous point, one could not stand in the courtrooms of eternity and find God morally culpable. For it is impossible for one to survey the entire extant of God’s reasoning to declare whether or not He can be morally justified in permitting peculiar acts. It is quite possible that in the destruction of the Cannanites, a morally sufficent reason was cultivated by God from his infiinite pool of omniscience.
        All the more so, under a Moulinsitc perspective to which God's divine omniscience is established with the addendum of Middle Knowledge, God would have indeed known all that the Canaanite people would have done under any given propositional circumstance. So that it becomes logically possible to assert that God might knew that even if he were to permit the Canaanite peoples to survive whether or not they would have freely received His established command and to what extent the Israelite people would have been corrupted by such a indignant nation. Thus, under a Middle knowledge perspective it is superfluous to argue that given mankind's freewill, that God should have permitted the Canaanites people to thrive. Thus, in response to your second question, one may argue that God's forbidding certain races into the assimilation of the Israelite nation is a justified call on the basis of His Middle Knowledge perspective. For indeed, it is logically possible that God knew that even if He permitted certain nations to partake of the holy and untainted commands brought to the Israelite people, that they would have freely rejected and even attempted to corrupt the very foundation of such decrees. As such then, God remains wholly justified in permitting and prohibiting certain peoples from partaking of His holy ordinances.

      Thanks for your question and God bless!
  • answer this, gmankbadi: How can you love God with your sense of smell?

    limit your answer to 200 words please because my english is not so great.

    Ta'ash wat sali
  •    Lol. Can't you just smell the need for Christianity brewing all around you? Seriously, though; love is an integral characteristic of cumulative psychological, mental and spiritual factors in one's life. There is a difference between sensual application of the body and ultra, or trans-sensual applications of one's spirit. For the physical senses that makeup an individual, in it of themselves, cannot have direct causation to attributes like lover, joy, peace etc. At best one may argue that are senses are indirect causal agents to virtues of the spiritual self. So, for instance, one can smell the beauty of nature or smell the crisp air flowing through his nostrils and thereafter begin to appreciate the creative of God's works. Such appreciation would lend to a solid gratitude of God's display of nature and in turn potentially foster a greater love for God. However, it would be a misapplication to suggest that on the sense of smell alone one can foster an a greater appreciation for God. Such a belief would conflate the reality of physical potentiality with mental and spiritual potentiality. For the former remains in the branch of physical traits while the latter in the branch of psychological and mental traits that compose personhood.

    God Bless.
  • I disagree gmankbadi. If I smell the air or trees or flowers or food, I do not think that fills me with the love of God, I think it will fill me with the love of air or trees or flower or food!!!!!!! Duh! Otherwise, smelling air or trees...would be a spiritual practice just like prayer/reading bible.

    If the smelling cannot worship the God, why did then God create it? Can't I love God with ALL of my strength, not just the strength of eyes or the strength of the arms, but the whole body, including the strength of nose; (as well as the heart, mind, soul)?

    What about taste? how to worship the God with taste?

    "TASTE and see that the Lord is good"

    Ta'ash wat sali
    By the way, I admire how your answers are very elokuent and organized but please make it shorter since I am not so great at the Engilisi.
  • Didn't God create everything around us to enjoy? If we are always thanking God for what He has created and really experience nature and such, then of course this is spiritual benefit to us because we always remember Him. Samething with food, if you taste something extremely delicious, who are you to thank? God of course! He gave you the senses to enjoy such a thing!

    God Bless and Pray for me and my weakness
  • but jydeacon, i am not beneffiting this way from the smelling. i am benefitting from the thanking of God. Smelling alone would not benefit me in this case. How can i benefit from the smelling? How to serve God using my nose?

    "Whoever makes any like it, to SMELL it, shall be cut off from his people" (exo 30:38)

    "The fig tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good SMELL. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!" (SOS 2:13)

    "And the Lord SMELLED a soothing aroma" (Gen 8:21)
  •   Jydeacon, welcome to the forum!


           Indeed you cannot worship God on the basis of smell alone. The Christian may wholeheartedly concur, that sense alone is insufficient to establish love for God. However, my argument was never that one can love God on the basis of one's senses, exclusively. Rather, I pointed out that the senses serve as indirect causal agents or vehicles to our spiritual identities, by which we can come to love God aside from all other attributes of identity. Furthermore, I believe that your argument is encaged within two potential problems. If you claim that our senses are utterly useless in the adoration fo God's character, then you would need to explicitly deny the very reasoning behind God's approving of such senses.
           The gospels seem adamant about the pious preservation of our bodies along with our souls. Thus, the Incarnate Word Himself took on flesh with all five senses intact. He not only deemed the physical natures of our identities as spiritual temples to be considered sacred, but God Himself preformed the greatest miraculous work on the physical body, namely, the resurrection of His Son, Christ Jesus. Moreover, Christ not only acknowledged His glorified body, but ascended in the glorified state, even with the senses were still intact, if not completely renewed. As such, it would be inappropriate and a misunderstood exegetical attempt to lasso scripture while arguing for the utter uselessness of the senses and their relevance to spirituality.
         On the other hand, if you argue the affirmative--claiming the senses to be useful spiritually--then on what reasoning do you base such an argument? I am betting that your reasoning won't escape the grasp of indirect causation when prescribing a definition for the senses. For, if the senses are not direct causal agents to relational growth to God, then they have no role left to perform, except that of indirect causal agents of relation growth to God....especially if they are to be affirmed by the biblical framework which establishes both the physical and spiritual beauty of God's creations. There is simply no escape from having to choose one side over the other. Thus, you are left only to make a decision.
  • [quote author=gmankbadi link=topic=7253.msg96265#msg96265 date=1224913372]
         For, if the senses are not direct causal agents to relational growth to God, then they have no role left to perform, except that of indirect causal agents of relation growth to God....especially if they are to be affirmed by the biblical framework which establishes both the physical and spiritual beauty of God's creations. There is simply no escape from having to choose one side over the other. Thus, you are left only to make a decision.

    I could not understand this portion as I told you I am not so good at English. It was very hard for me to read your whole statement. I did read it and it did not answer the question.

    So, how to worship the God with smell? Does anyone else know?
  • I know my language is not as eloquent as gmankbadi so at least it should be simpler to read for dumdum (but gmankbadi has more depth in thoughts than I).

    Humans are described as free will beings created by God having both a living body and a soul. So the ideal situation for worshiping God is when one worships Him with all her/his heart, mind and body (this means all self both spiritually and physically, including our special senses).

    At least we should start by thanking the Lord for the senses we have, and also those we possibly lack because we totally trust the Lord and His Righteousness and that He cares. Knowing He is Omniscient we trust He must have equipped us with compensations in our other available healthy senses, etc.

    Further, we must never forget that He had created us perfect (humankind in Adam & Eve).

  • "And the vines with the tender grapes Give a good SMELL. Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away!" (SOS)

    Alright, what do you think about this: serve God with your smell by smelling the communion. The smell of the blood of christ and the smell of his body like the smell of the perfumes and spices put on him for his burial. In the the communion, I get to be close to God. I get to see God, i get to touch God, i get to smell God, i get to taste God.

    Do you agree?

    "he who has an ear let him HEAR"
  • Welcome John_S2000!

         Dumdum, I believe that you've stumbled on to something profound here. Worship in the Christian faith is not merely the adoration of God through speech. Worship is the unifying and coalescing of all of our senses into one grand expression of thought and prose for the glorification of God's name. So indeed as John_s2000 expresses, keeping in check the appreciation of all that God has given us, we use are senses to help us elevate our spirits in transcendent affinity with the Most High. Thus, the reality of reverence for both the physical and spiritual is kept in check. Great contemplation on every poster's part!

        Maybe we can start up a new question and dig deeper into even more ground surrounding our Faith. The table is open for questions. So, fire away as you see fit. 
  •       +++

    Hello friends,

        This is a good thread so that we can clear up things in our mind. I used to ask so many Qs before but now I don't know why I stopped. I believe God so much I almost find all Qs to be unimportant to me. But truly I need to defend God when others go astray. For all the Qs the devil creates in my mind I really have no time to counter attack them all.
    But for now I have 2Qs for I need clarification on.
    1. about the free will of man and the power of evil on human beings 2. does God consider the other so called churches outside the true faith of "Oriental Orthodox" to be right? 

  • please let me try to answer you questions simply, to my understandung....
    1.Free will was given to us by God... we can choose to do whatever we want with it.... we can go to Church, or we can stay home (no need to explain this, obviously) but the power of evil in human beings is the big part here.... there is no power of evil that just comes to you without the concent from GOD, therefore, when ever you are tempted, know tha GOD allowed it..... When Jesus died on the Cross, He took satan and bound him down... so now satan is like a dog on a leash.... in the Old testament, he was all over the place, having all the earth to himslef.... until GOD came and tied him down... now he can't attack us anymore, EXCEPT IF WE GO TO HIM BY OUR FREE WILL.... ( its like going to a ferocious dog and putting your hand in his mouth and wondering if he will bite or not...) the same happens with us.... we, with our own free will go to satan...

    2. in sunday school, the teacher told us about a woman who was going to become Christian, and she didn't know to what sect to go to, so i think GOd, or nAngel appeared to her, and gave her a list on i t with the best Churches to join...Coptic was 1, Catholic was 2 and protestant was 3rd... ( i think ths story was something along those lines....)

    Sorry, for my babbling, i highly odubt that you have benefited anything from reading this...
  •       +++

    coptic pharaoh

      Thanks for ur reply in the name of God. Yours first answer helped me a lot but ur 2nd answer make me doubt. Is there a degree for a Truth? 1st, 2nd and 3rd?
      I go to Sunday school but learned that all the churches outside our Church r heretics. You make it more liberal. I need more answers.

            Ephesians 4 (King James Version)

                    5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

    It says one faith.

  •   Binc, thankyou for your questions.

           I won't go into the first since Coptic Pharaoh has already answered it satisfactorily for you. I want to pinpoint a potential response for your second. I can recall the moment when the Coptic Pope was asked about the exclusivity of the Coptic orthodox tradition in light of all traditions. He replied, that if the Copts were the only people admissioned for God’s kingdom, then "Heaven would be a very unpopulated and perhaps tiny place indeed." However, I believe that, internally, we can all agree with His Holiness and are ultimatley cognizant of the fact that such proposition is adamantly false. The Scriptures describe Heaven as "the New Creation", juxtaposing the reality of our current space-time universe to a much more expansive and incorrupt reality. Therefore, while it is possible that God would ordain only a few peoples to inhabit this new world, it seems, given God's nature, rather unlikely. While this is more an argument based on "hunch", I believe that the Holy Spirit's personal witness testifies to falsifiablity of a scarcely inhabited Kingdom of Heaven. Could you imagine the King of kings with only a meager handful of saved individuals that He personally suffered excruciating pain and ultimately died for, in the most magnificent of all kingdoms?!

           Taking into account then such improbability, one needs to clarify on what he means as "right" when defining a particular denomination. If what you suggest by "right" is exclusivity, then I would argue that, no many of the churches outside Oriental Orthodox tradition will be accepted as heirs to God's New Jerusalem. One musn't confuse "Faith" with "Denomination." The former is  system of beliefs universally applicable to all true Christians, the later is a node of that system particularly applicable to a set of true Christians. For, exclusivity in belief is not to be conflated with exclusivity in formation of such a belief. One may be a Christian in his Faith, but belong to a particular denomination in the affrimation of his Faith. Now, that is not to say that any form of Christianity will do. There must a predominant substance, as what C.S. Lewis calls Mere Christianity, where the cardinal doctrines molded are first and foremost by Biblical Scripture, and then by the very councils of the Church themselves. I would argue that true heretical denominations are those who deny the exclusive deity, salvation, grace, claims and resurrection of the person of Jesus Christ. As such, one determines whether the denomination or abomination he belongs to is corrupt on the basis of whether or not their essential claims to Christianity are corrupt. However, while there are  a variety of denominations that have different forms of worship, so that some will use particular chants or instruments, it does not therefore imply that any such peripherally different denomination is, therefore, "unchristian". One would need to first asses the very cardinal doctrines of their belief before coming to such a conclusion.
        Nevertheless, simply because a particular denomination is not excluded from the pool of the saved in Christ’s eyes, does not therefore mean that such a denomination is "right" for any individual to enjoin with. A person would be irresponsible to claim that he/she may join any church-going denomination simply on the basis of their doctrinal correctness, particularly for those who are already in a strong and spiritually prospective denomination. For, what may establish the best path to a loving relationship with Christ for one, may not be the best for all. To take an example, while one may argue that Catholic tradition is not excluded from the pool of the saved, it would be unconscionable for an individual who is raised in Orthodox tradition to join Catholicism if he has and is already establishing a profuse relationship with Christ in his denomination. The shifting to different denominations may consequentially prove fatal to His relational bond with Christ and therefore nullify the cardinal correctness of the new denomination. There are a variety of factors that interplay into such a decision-making process, such as; cultural nodes, linguistic particularity, established communal bonds, established fellowship within a particular Christian community, a smoother transition to understanding identity in the set denomination and psychological ease, to name a few.
          Furthermore, given God's Middle Knowledge, it is quite logically possible that God has ordained each one of us to be born in a specific place and at a particular time in the realm of history, so as to appropriate His life giving grace to each one of us in the best necessary setting ( Garnered from Acts 17:25-31). If such a proposition is true, it would behoove the Christian to find that denomination that best establishes his relationship to the person of Jesus Christ above all else. So long as the formation of a tradition compliments the substantive claims of Christine doctrine, then I do not believe that such a tradition would be "wrong" for a Christian to adhere to....given that His relationship to Christ is also complimented to the fullest. Thus, unity does not have to mimic uniformity of the Christian belief system.
         Further scriptural warrant in support of such a claim can be found in Revelation 14:6, were the apostle John exclaims that "the eternal gospel [is] proclaim[ed] to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people." and again in Revelations 7:9 that "there before [him] was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb." Unless the Oriental Orthodox traditions can account for members of every nation and language spoken in the world (especially when considering the already tiny minutia of truly reborn Christians versus mere nominally prescribed Christians), then I think it becomes scripturally warranted to state that God has accepted a whole plethora of denominations that He has ordained for his pool of exclusively saved. On the basis of God's middle knowledge then; His knowledge of what creaturely free choices an individual would make in any given set of circumstances; the claim is further illuminated to reveal the precision of setting and resources every individual has been given to come to know the person of Christ on a very intimate level. 
  • Well put gmankbadi! I agree one hundred percent.

    You just highlighted a very important point: that the core, the really important doctrines of Christianity are far more important than aesthetics. It sounds obivous but then again, there are people who think otherwise and that is very very dangerous.

    But what about the sacraments? How necessary do you think they are? Could their absence (like in the Protestant churches) lead to a loss of salvation? I am persuaded to think that they aren't. I think they are very very important as tools in our spiritual lives, but not necessarily something that could make or break salvation if you lacked the opportunity or circumstance to partake of them. Like someone born into Protestantism who knows no better.

    Does anybody think otherwise?

    Pray for me
  • From

    Life of Faith by H.H Pope Shenouda III

    I need help in this matter. Pray for me.

    My question is.. can I really obtain simple faith? how? I have to base my beliefs on some facts just the important facts right? whats important for me to trust in God. And not on purpose explore issues to prove them wrong.

    Simplicity of faith; many intellectuals seek it but do not
    find It. Once a philosopher passed by a simple peasant who was
    praying with strong ardour while kneeling down in solemnity.
    The peasant was talking to God with persistence and familiarity
    as if he was standing before Him. The philosopher then said; "I
    am ready to give up all my philosophy, in return that I acquire
    something of the faith of this simple man who talks with all this
    confidence to whom he does not see."
    The philosopher felt that this simple man possessed something
    very precious that with all his philosophy he could not obtain.
    Simplicity of faith "believes everything" concerning God
    and accepts it without investigation or argument, being the
    argument which the intellectuals are famous for.
    This simplicity reminds us of the faith of children who believe in
    theological and spiritual facts. They have the confidence that
    does not doubt or lie and does not oppose the mind. Maybe that
    is one of the reasons that made Jesus tell His disciples "Unless
    you are converted and become as little children, you will by no
    means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3). The faith of
    an adult may be deeper, but the faith of a child is more innocent,

    simple and sincere; true faith has no doubt in it. May your faith
    be strong like that of a child's.
    I do not agree with those who say that children are non-
    believers. Paul the apostle, tells his disciple Timothy "From
    childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able
    to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ
    Jesus." (2 Tim. 3: 15). How great was the praise of Jesus to the
    child He set in the middle of the disciples (Matt. 18:2,3).
    He who follows the simplicity of faith, lives far from the
    complications of the mind, and lives far from what the mind
    presents from doubts, thoughts, and may be even misleading.
    Really, the mind's balance is from God but it may err if
    separated from faith.
    Faith is a kind of splendour God presents to the mind so as
    to enlighten it.
    If the mind stands alone it troubles its owner with ideas. If
    David, the young man, depended only on his mind and
    thoughts, he would have feared Goliath. Saul and his army
    did, but David depended on the simple faith, according to
    what he told Goliath "This day the Lord will deliver you into
    my hand" (1 Sam. 17:46). However, how did God give them all
    in their hands? David did not think of that but left it to God
    Himself because war is to God (1 Sam. 17:46). This is faith.
    With it David won the war even more than those who used their
    minds as to balance the matters.

    Simple faith is a matter of confidence and not a matter of
    Even if the mind said that war searches for the balance of
    powers and how one side will overcome? The answer is simple:
    if God entered the battle He would change the human idea of
    the balance of power, and David with God's power will be much
    stronger than Goliath without this balance of power. Here we
    see that faith - with its simplicity - does not contradict the mind
    and its balances.
    He who lives in simple faith lives without anxiety because
    anxiety usually comes because of much thinking or that a person
    thinks about problems in an intellectual way. But in the
    simplicity of faith the person does what he can and leaves the
    more important point to God Himself and is not anxious. His
    confidence that God works for him gives him peace of heart and
    does not allow anxiety to overcome his feelings.
    He who has this simple faith is not anxious because he leaves
    God the control of his matters. If he has confidence in the good
    care of God in his life, so he won't worry about tomorrow,
    because the God of tomorrow will take care of it, and he will
    welcome everything that happens in his life with the expression
    "All things work together for good to those who love God"
    (Rom. 8:28).
    But he who places his thinking in place of the Godly
    arrangement will tire a lot and carry his anxieties instead of
    letting God carry them for him.

    The confidence of simple faith in granting prayers, takes
    away anxiety.
    Maybe you all know the story of this village that suffered from
    dryness. The people of the village decided to set a prayer day so
    that God causes rain to fall. All went to pray and a young girl
    went carrying an umbrella. When they asked her about the
    reason, she said: "aren't we praying because of rain? What shall
    we then do when God hears our prayers and it starts to rain and
    we don't have any umbrellas?" She had faith that God will grant
    their prayer. And because of her faith it did rain.
    This simple faith has its strength regarding miracles and
    visions. A miracle can happen to a person and not to another,
    because the former, in his simple faith, believes and accepts it.
    But for the latter, the difficulties that his mind presents, make
    him doubt inside himself about its ability to happen.
    The same also happens concerning visions. Some see the Godly
    visions by their simple faith, and others do not owing to the
    complications of their minds. This is very clear as it happened
    during the appearance of the Virgin Mary in her church in
    Zeitoun, Cairo.
    The mind tries to analyse everything scientifically or else it
    will not believe. As for faith, it needs belief, in simplicity,
    far from the complications of their minds.
    That's why miracles and visions happen mostly to simple people.
    But for most intellectuals, who disapprove of them and who
    mock their believers, it rarely happens to them whether to bring
    them to faith or so that they are a witness of them (John 15:22).

    Even the Jews did not believe the miracle of the man who was
    born blind and said that he who healed him was a sinner (John
    9:24). The mind put the problem of healing on a Sabbath in
    front of them, so that they lost faith (John 9:16).
    That is why Jesus said of those and praised the simple "I thank
    You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden
    these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed
    them to babes. " (Matt. 11:25). With the word babes, He meant
    the simple faith. But those wise and learned in this verse are
    those who are proud of their knowledge and understanding, and
    who only depend on their minds far from faith, even some of the
    spiritual men admitted in sorrow and said: "this is the fruit
    which Adam and Eve ate from". they meant by that, the
    knowledge away from God.
    One of the nights I was coming back after visiting one of
    the fathers in the mountai
    n . Darkness was already spreading
    and it was told to me "don't come back alone to the monastery
    so that you don't get lost". I knew the way quite well and I
    believed in God's guidance and in spite of that I said "If I get
    lost then I'll spend the night in the desert till morning." I had
    faith in my depth in God's protection, especially that many
    bedouins spend the nights in the desert without fear, but it was
    told to me "you are more simple than usual, and you don't know
    the mountain. Because the mountain is full of insects, bears and
    there is also the danger of fierce animals and other weather
    conditions. The mind was always talking in my ears to remove
    what I had in my heart from simple faith. I came back at that
    same night to the monastery with one of the fathers. My mind

    did not give me at that time any chance to experience the work
    of God with those who walk at night in the desert. Or even, to
    experience the faith of the bedouin who spends each night there,
    and the care and protection of God is with him.
    I thank God that He compensated me for that later on when I
    lived alone in the mountain.
    The mind can imagine danger everywhere and at the same
    time does not give the thinking a chance in God's work. On
    the contrary, it causes the non believer to be afraid.
    That does not mean that a person throws himself in jeopardy
    without wisdom. If a person was as cautious as can be and then
    found himself in a so called 'danger' then with all simplicity he
    will have confidence in God's protection and care, and sings
    with the prophet David "A thousand may fall at your side, And
    ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near
    you. " (Ps 91:7).
    Simple faith has confidence that God's hand will interfere
    to rescue and solve any problem.
    The person believes totally that God, as a lover of human
    beings, and doer of benevolences, will no doubt interfere in the
    problem according to His promise to His children and He'll
    spread His hands to solve it.
    But how does this happen? Simple faith does not ask that.
    He accepts the work of grace in simplicity without
    investigating how it works.

    How many times did we try to solve our problems with human
    methods and all these ways failed and did not have any results.
    The fingerprints of God were clear beyond all thinking.
    Simple faith has confidence in God's work, by belief and
    Faith brings the person to trials. Tests deepen the faith and build
    it on firm basis and not on theoretical ones. Faith and trials
    strengthen one another until the person reaches conviction and
    simplicity of faith.
    Simple faith has confidence that everything is possible and
    that nothing is impossible.
    It has complete confidence that God can do all things and that
    no plan can be thwarted (Job 42:2), even if it was difficult to
    understand it happening. The person believes in the Lord's
    saying "All things are possible to him who believes." (Mark
    That's why simple faith, is beyond all doubts.
    It is a strong faith, stronger than any doubt, because doubts are
    the work of the mind, and the mind is proud of its measures.
    But the believer has overcome the stage of the mind and has
    lived in a higher and deeper level. Higher than the doubts is the
    simplicity of faith.

    Some try to transfer the problem of religion to philosophy
    and to bring it out of the heart and the soul and restrict it
    only to the limit of the mind.
    That was what Saint Paul the apostle fought with all his might,
    and said "Not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ
    should be made of no effect." (1 Cor. 1:17-20)
    No doubt, the simple believer who treasures up his faith in
    himself, above the level of investigation, is stronger in faith than
    some theologians who acquire their faith from books. They
    think they have faith. It may be that faith that can be easily
    shaken by the opposite intellectual thoughts.
    Train yourself to the life of simple faith, and make use of the
    experience that happens in your life or the life of others, and do
    not let much thinking keep you far from faith.
  • In regard to protestants ..atleast those who do not hate our church. I can only think that God is able to raise up children to abraham from stones. So some it would seem may be saved.

    So we can not be proud as the jews were.

    But we are not God to know if their intentions are good or not. And I don't know if God would raise up children to abraham from protestants but it seems that He would.

  •           +++

    Hello friends,

    Thanks Mike for the post on Faith. We need God's words everyday b/c the enemy always tries to pick the good seeds from our hearts.

      As a response to gmankbadi, mikeforjesus, coptic pharaoh  about the True Faith. I tried to collect some articles written by holy fathers and theologians.

      "Who of our sacred and renowned fathers had said that the Spirit proceeds from the Son? Which council, established and made eminent by ecumenical acknowledgment, has proclaimed it? Indeed, which God-called assembly of priests and high priests inspired by the All-holy Spirit has not condemned this notion even before it appeared? For they, having been initiated into the Father's Spirit according to the Master's mystagogy [i.e., St. John 15:26], proclaimed clearly and emphatically that the Spirit proceeds from the Father. And indeed, they subjected all who did not believe so to the anathema for being scorners of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; for in times past, they foresaw with prophetic eyes this newly spawned godlessness, and they condemned it in script and words and thought, along with the previous manifold apostasies. Of the Ecumenical Councils, the Second directly dogmatized that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father; the Third received this teaching in succession; the Fourth confirmed it; the Fifth was established in the same opinion; the Sixth preached the same; the Seventh sealed it splendidly with contests; in each Council is seen the open and clear proclamation of piety and of the doctrine that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, not from the Son. What godless herd taught you otherwise? Who of those who contravene the Master's ordinances has led you to fall into such lawless beliefs?"
                                                          -On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit
                                                    by Saint Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople

    "We have cut the Latins off from us for no other reason than that they are not only schismatics, but heretics. For this reason it is wholly improper to unite with them.... The Latins are not only schismatics but heretics as well. However, the Church was silent on this because their race is large and more powerful than ours... and we wished not to fall into triumphalism over the Latins as heretics but to be accepting of their return and to cultivate brotherliness." (1439)

                                        - St. Mark of Ephesus, one of the three "pillars" of Orthodoxy

    "... If any have doubts that Papists and Protestants are heretics, let him have recourse to history, to the reputable and sagacious opinions and statements of councils, encyclicals and theologians. From the time of blessed Saint Photius, when Papism was coming into being, the Church of God has defined Her attitude towards this ecclesiological heresy even as She had towards the triadological and christological heresies of ancient times. The Council of Constantinople (879-880) under Photius declared the various innovations of the West to be heretical (J.D. Mansi, Sacro. Council. nova et amplis. collect. Venice, 1759, XVI, 174C, 405C); and the Council of the same imperial city (1009) confirmed the decisions of Photius against the Papists (Mansi, XXXL, 799f). Theophylact of Ochrida condemned the Papal errors (PG 126 224) as did Nicephorus Blemnydes, Patriarch of Constantinople (PG 142 533-564).

                          -From "An Open Letter to the Orthodox Hierarchy", by Fr. Michael Azkoul

    Perhaps somebody will say that times have changed, and heresies now are not so malicious and destructive as in the days of the Ecumenical Councils. But are those Protestants who renounce the veneration of the Theotokos and the Saints, who do not recognize the grace of the hierarchy,—or the Roman Catholics, who have invented new errors,—are they nearer to the Orthodox Church than the Arians or Semi-Arians?

    -Metropolitan PHILARET of blessed memory, former First Hierarch of the Russian Orthdox  Church Abroad, from his First Sorrowful Epistle
      I posted the writing of the Russian Orthodox just b/c the written statement is not contrary to Oriental Orthodox Church but still the Eastern are not the same with us.

      I wish you would help me too by finding writing of the early holy fathers who clearly stated in their statements that the catholic and the protestants are heretics.

      When it comes to the True Faith I always look to the early holy fathers and the only faith that followed their path.
      By the way I am not talking about tradition here but dogma. If u consider the tradition the Copts are not the same as Ethiopians but they both hold the True Faith.
      All of a sudden The Truth changes itself to accept the heretical works or should we out of love teach the truth to those who r in error?
      Do you think all the Great Councils of the holy fathers was to give rank to the Truth or to condemn their heresy?
      I always thought and think there is One Truth and anything that is out of that Truth is called False or in religion, Heresy. I know modifications are done for human works but who adds or reduces the Dogma that the early fathers has once set directed by God?

      May God be with us all with His holiest mother, His holy angels and saints. Amen!!!

  • epchois_nai_nan,

       Now this is a very poignant question. In terms of the sacramental substantiation, I believe that one must distinguish between ontological and epistemological knowledge of the subject at hand. I can not deny the ontological validity of the sacraments. I personally hold that the sacraments are indeed true substantiated ministerial articles that rejuvenate and convict the spirit through Christ's righteousness. Nevertheless, the ontological reality enveloping the sacrament is not identical to the epistemological reality; to which one comes to know that the sacraments are truly manifest ministerial of Christ's Body and Blood. I believe that Christ's judgment then cannot be adequately appropriated to the rejection of the ontological value imbued within the sacraments but on the response to epistemological value shrouding the sacraments. Thus, at any given point and time an individual may choose to reject or accept such ontological value, and would thereafter be assessed on the basis of his epistemological rejection of that ontological value. Nevertheless, the individual who feelingly rejects the sacraments, and does so with cognizance of their ontological value, must account for such rejection before Christ. Were Christ to ask the individual; "did you believe in Me?" and the individual responds "But of course", Christ may demarkedly and wittingly respond "Then why have you rejected the very manifestation of my Body and Blood?"; to which the response can only be a melancholic lowering of the head to utter disgrace. An explicit rejection of the sacraments can not lend to anything less than the weakening of one’s personal relationship to Christ. Likewise, as previously described in my previous post, a rather jovial approach to choosing the appropriate denomination would also end up truncating one's personal relationship to Christ. The means by which a person then is affiliated to a particular denomination and its standards of sacramental substantiation must be judged by the bar of intimacy in relationship with Our Lord.
        Yet, one musn’t assume that those unfamiliar with or manifestly misinformed of the sacramental substantiation are judged by the same merits that Orthodox Christians are judged upon. Just as the Scriptures transpire the truth of diametrically shifted responsibility between lay persons and ministers, so too does the bar of judgment distinguish between the preponderance of one’s knowledge over another’s. An individual who is raised in an evangelical setting where the sacraments are abrogated for genuinely pertinent reasons, where he still believes that he is in an indwelt relationship with God's Son, may be judged on the basis of adhering to a misinformed epistemic node of thought, rather than a blatant denial of ontological value. Theologians will also use these same criteria when presenting an appeal for those who have never heard of the gospel message. What will often be established by philosophers of religion is the marked distinction between Natural revelation and Divine revelation; in such a manner so as to exonerate individuals from the guilt laden upon those who purposefully reject Christ's gospel. Those individuals who follow through with God's Natural revelation, the glory of God revealed to men in nature and conscience, and have not been given the opportunity to encounter the Gospel message, are indirectly progenitors of Christ's redeeming salvation, by His grace. Here, such individuals are saved on the basis of epistemological ignorance rather than outright denial of the ontological significance of Christ' atoning death, since they never had the opportunity to encounter the gospel message to start off with. Such a pool of individuals would include anyone who was accounted by God as righteous in the Old Testament on the basis of their faith--including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah and so on and so forth. This is assuming, of course that all such individuals respond effectively to God's Natural revelation as the prophets of antiquity had.
        Similarly, one may conjecture on the epistemological distortion that is insufficient to condemn those who have either misunderstood or never heard of sacramental substantiation. They would be exonerated on the basis of epistemological ignorance rather than on the denial of ontological value. Yet, just as our forefathers responded to God's Natural revelation, so too, must these individual respond effectively to the divine revelation of Christ that they are given. Now this is important, lest some assume that all self-proclaimed Christians are exonerated under the same criteria. There are many who sadly adhere to a misshaped and obscene understanding of Christ's divine revelation and fall prey to substantially corrupt theology. This would include any of the cultic systems and/or pantheistic systems that, while perhaps appreciating the person of Christ, do not appreciate His exclusive revelation to God in His manifest Incarnation. For person(s) who deny the cardinal doctrines of Basic Christianity, no atoning substitution can be made. So, in conclusion, it becomes at best speculative and at worst incoherent to assume that those who are not recipients of the sacraments are immediately condemned to everlasting punishment. For, it may be logically possible that a substitutional atoning merit is applied to those who have been misinformed or have never heard of sacramental substantiation. As such, one must ultimately judge his won response to those ministerial blessings that have been accorded to Him in the appointed time and place where he finds himself providentially ordered to be in.

    I hope this clarifies the subject at hand.

    God Bless.
  • MikeforJesus,

         Great question. While it is true that arguments proposed for the defense of the gospel are necessary in a world that is so intellectually inflicted; a world that finds the gospel message utterly unreachable; it is by no means necessary for one's personal spiritual growth. In regard to spirtual growth, one may argue that Apologetics is a vehicle used to perpetuate theological appreciation, so that one’s Apologia is sufficiently established for spiritual growth. Yet, Apologetics is not necessarily established for one's spirtual growth. The Christian may galdly adhere to his belief system via cognitive faculties that are imubed in all men, to whcih the Holy Spirit is able to breach and convict at will. Given Alvin Plantiga's model for properly basic beliefs, one can rationally affirm that belief in Chrsitianity on the basis of the Spirit's undefeated testimony is sufficent in itself. In order words, faith based on the witness of the Holy Spirit is by far one of the greatest proofs for God's existence and needs no other evidence to establish its proof.
         Now does holding an apologetic defense for one’s faith, then demean the establishment of simplicity of heart? I would redundantly argue no. For simplicity in heart is not identical to simplicity in mind. The Apostle Paul called the Corinthians out on their "thinking like infants", although not their "infancy to evil". (1 Corinthians 14:20) We are called to be meek and humble of heart, accepting of Christ' love and redemption like young children, but ceremoniously triumphant defenders of Christ's claims to all men. Unfortunately, there is an ever-growing movement within the church that aquatints simplicity of heart with simplicity of mind. However, I believe that such a movement is scripturally unwarranted and demonstrably unhealthy for the church as a whole. As Christians, we are called to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). How can we acquaint ourselves with the Person of Jesus Christ, the greatest of all rational thinkers, if we are unable to give a reason for why we believe in the faith that we cherish so dear? Blind faith, undergirded by ignorance is not a quality for those who take on the role to be “light” to a world of darkness or “salt” to a world lacking spiritual taste. Rather, ignorance is perceived as bliss by many, particularly in modernistic society, where one would rather "take life easy" and realtivize all truth to the proclivities of mere emotion. Since Christ Himself affirms exclusivity in His claim to absolute truth, our reason for Christianity must be founded under the juggernaut of absolutes in both reason and persuasion, not under the degenerate guise of wishful thinking.

    As Dr. Craig best elucidates;

    "On the other hand, “faith” may be taken to mean the act of believing.  According to the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, faith in this sense has three components.  First, there is notitia, or understanding.  That is, one must understand the truth claim being made.  Second, there is assensus, or assent.  One must accept intellectually that the claim is, in fact, true.  One not only understands it; he assents to it or agrees with it.  Finally, there is fiducia, or trust.  Saving faith involves not merely intellectual assent to some doctrines but a whole-hearted commitment or trust in God, about whom the claims are made.  To say that Christian faith is reasonable in this sense is to say that believing in the God of the Bible is a rational thing for a person to do.  To take the step of faith is a reasonable step for an intelligent and informed person."

  • if you read what pope shenouda said again you should see that he says the faith of the adult is deeper but not as sincere as the child(I am not sure right now exacly why it is more sincere). Also /The child accepts without investigation.

    The adults faith may be shaken when given another conflicting thought.

    In the three purposeful stories by the of them is about a bishop who is about to die. And the devil tries to make him go to hell... he tries to confuse him with right and wrong and he also places doubts in his mind, such that he wished he died before these thoughts came. The list of the doubts were amazing to me. Because I had some of the same and was comforted that someone else went through it.  Thanks be to God, when he called from the depth of his heart, an angel came and touched his head and the thoughts stopped and he believed again.

    If God does not do so for me always I am undone.

  • Well Mike,

         Now in regard to the first part of your question, once more I believe that the Christian needs to ask Himself, is simplicity of heart the same as simplicity of the mind? A child is simpler in their expressions of the heart and, therfore, pure in both mind and heart. However, the reference at hand is not establishing whether one should adhere to child-like purity, but child-like thinking. So that one may be of child stature in their expressions of the heart, but an intellectual giant when it comes to the sharpening of the mind. Thus, one finds Christ warning his disciples to be "as shrewd as serpents but as harmelss as doves" (Mathew 10:16).
        In response to the latter half of your question, I'm not sure what to exactly say here. Except, that maybe you haven't studied the evidence for Christianity thoroughly enough. Or, perhaps those Christian intellectual predecessors whom you have studied from are merely not armored with the necessary tools for surveying the discipline completely. Unfortunately, a whole host of Christian scholars today are simply not equipped with the means for wrestling against analytically based scenarios in science, religion or even history that first rate analytic philosophers are. Ironically, the cosmological, historical and philosophical evidence for the Christian worldview is utterly overwhelming in comparison to other worldviews. This is precisely what our church fathers believed to be soundly true, through their dedicated study and discipline.   
         Now, in any worldview you do espouse, that worldview must answer four questions of life in order for it to surface as a coherent one; the question of origin, meaning morality and destiny. That worldview must answer questions about my origin and initial conception as man, it must give rise to meaningfulness in life (establishing an absolute base for all of meaning), it must answer questions of morality, answering for evil and good in the world and it must ultimately hold ground for my destiny or ultimate fate. Even more precise, a worldview must remain logically consistent, empirically adequate and experientially relevant while answering these four questions on life. If the worldview an individual espouses lacks any one of these particular components, it manifestly turns out to be a worldview that is unlivable and incoherent. What I tend to find among many university students and often bright-minded laymen is the habit of crediting, a priori, every worldview with each of the four components mentioned. However, I find this to be preposterously false and philosophically unwarranted. Perhaps, you are giving too much credit to other potential worldviews and/or have not taken enough time to invest in the abundance of evidence surrounding the Christian worldview.
         Even more to the point, however, the story you have delineated fails to account for the irrefutable witness of the Holy Spirit. You may have missed my point here, but the witness of the Spirit is evidence in itself, and sufficient evidence at that. There simply remains no compelling reasoning for one to denounce his faith so long as he is imbedded in an intimate and loving relationship with Christ. There hardly remains any need for an angelic visitors to remediate our thoughts, as in your story, given the intrinsic proposition defeater-defeater that Holy Spirit testifies to be in the lives of all Christians. Here the Spirit acts as a "defeater-defeater" meaning that “the original belief itself [Christianity] may so exceed its alleged defeater in warrant that it becomes an intrinsic defeater of its putative defeater.” (Craig). So that even without empirical evidence or in lieu of potentially endangering evidence, the testament of the Holy Spirit remains properly basic and is a defeater of antagonistic defeaters against Christianity. As Dr Craig suggests; “it seems to me inconceivable that God would allow any believer to be in a position where he would be rationally obliged to commit apostasy and renounce Christ. It seems to me rather that in such a situation a loving God would intensify the Spirit's witness in such a way that it becomes an intrinsic defeater of the defeaters such a person faces.” Thus, given the properly basic beliefs enveloping the Christian faith and the numerous examples of evidence for belief in the Christian God, I find that there is very little to concern one's self-over when surveying the various types of propositions embossed throughout history. So, you can rest assured that even when in conflict with the devil's deceptive aims; that even the most confined of monks can breathe easily and reassure themselves, "That simply because there seemingly remains an absence of evidence, I know that such absence is not evidence of absence for the Christian faith."
  • I am not saying christianity does not have answers. However I have not found answers to my thoughts. There is an answer I suppose but I do not find it, but I hope I will.

    Jesus said "I thank you Father, LORD of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them unto babes"

    So truth is revealed. So there are answers. But some type of people by their thinking will not find it.

    Not that by wisdom in this case is meant something good. Ofcourse there is good wisdom. But a certain attitude and type of thinking which Christ condemns I think.

    I know that honest seeking is acceptable

    Jesus said to Nathaniel "behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no deceit" although Nathaniel said "can anything good come out of nazareth" I don't know if I am understanding the text.. why did he call praise nathaniel?

    I still hope in God.

  • gmankbadi

    What do you think the pope meant by

    Some try to transfer the problem of religion to philosophy
    and to bring it out of the heart and the soul and restrict it
    only to the limit of the mind.
    That was what Saint Paul the apostle fought with all his might,
    and said "Not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ
    should be made of no effect." (1 Cor. 1:17-20)
    No doubt, the simple believer who treasures up his faith in
    himself, above the level of investigation, is stronger in faith than
    some theologians who acquire their faith from books. They
    think they have faith. It may be that faith that can be easily
    shaken by the opposite intellectual thoughts.
    Train yourself to the life of simple faith, and make use of the
    experience that happens in your life or the life of others, and do
    not let much thinking keep you far from faith.


    I am not attacking you.

    Also should we seek answers to all our questions before we trust in God? maybe or maybe not.Is there a way to trust without having all the answers?

    The pope also said

    Even the Jews did not believe the miracle of the man who was
    born blind and said that he who healed him was a sinner (John
    9:24). The mind put the problem of healing on a Sabbath in
    front of them, so that they lost faith (John 9:16

    this type of mind problem I might understand and shows the level of seriousness of my doubts I suppose. However this example itself is not an obstacle to me for faith but it once was.

  • Mike,

         The moment an indvidual denys the significance of philosophical reasoning they immediately begin to affirm it. For, by what philosophy can one invariably espouse that another should not engage in philosophical discourse? You are implicitly but essentially bequesting to individuals the need to refrain from defending the gospel message using a philosophical shade of expression, while you are ironically uttering your own philosophical worldview in doing so. Namely, you hold to the philosophy that it is arbitrary to use philosophy when defending the gospel message. Yet, isn't that exactly what your doing right now in asking your question?

  • [quote author=binC link=topic=7253.msg96434#msg96434 date=1225205328]
                I wish you would help me too by finding writing of the early holy fathers who clearly stated in their statements that the catholic and the protestants are heretics.
    When it comes to the True Faith I always look to the early holy fathers and the only faith that followed their path.
      By the way I am not talking about tradition here but dogma. If u consider the tradition the Copts are not the same as Ethiopians but they both hold the True Faith.
      All of a sudden The Truth changes itself to accept the heretical works or should we out of love teach the truth to those who r in error?
      Do you think all the Great Councils of the holy fathers was to give rank to the Truth or to condemn their heresy?
      I always thought and think there is One Truth and anything that is out of that Truth is called False or in religion, Heresy. I know modifications are done for human works but who adds or reduces the Dogma that the early fathers has once set directed by God?

    (sigh) Yes, there is one truth BinC, and newsflash - the Protestants and Catholics share that truth with us. The truth is not Orthodoxy or Catholicism, it is simple: that Jesus of Nazareth who lived around 30 AD was the Incarnate Son of God, and that He died and then rose from the dead, taking us with Him. THAT is the ONE TRUTH you are referring to and the Protestants and the Catholics share it. Yes, they believe many things that are wrong, but I constantly get the feeling that you think they are not of Christ.

    "38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
    39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward."

    OK...Jesus said that to forbid sectarianism. Yes, they believe heretical things but that has no bearing on the everyday Christian lives that they lead. There is no reason for us to go around looking for ways in which they are wrong - we all know they are wrong, but we should treat them no differently to other Christians when we meet them on the street. Apart from not being in Communion with them, that should be the only seperation we have with them.

    [quote author=binC link=topic=7253.msg96434#msg96434 date=1225205328]
      I posted the writing of the Russian Orthodox just b/c the written statement is not contrary to Oriental Orthodox Church but still the Eastern are not the same with us.

    Yes that is true but the split we had with them was political, not theological. We should really be together.

  •       +++

      Hello epchois_nai_nan,

      I will always stick to the Truth my holy early fathers have passed to me. I will not add or reduce from it or modify it in any way. Calling the name of Jesus won't make u His real desciple. He said Himself, " they will come in my name. " 
      I will always defend the Real Orthodox Church. I will walk through the narrow path God has said about. I hate even to hear about heretical words fabricated out of pride. Please see how many things they have cut off from the church and end up with a hall for dancing.
      This is my last statement concerning both the catholic and the protestants, they r heretics. They are not the same with us. If u want to check out all their created false, feeble ideas pls go and read all the writings of the early fathers.
      So don't argue with me anymore but argue with the saints. They will tell u both about the wolves covered with the skin of sheep and the true sheep of Jesus.

      I love u all in the name of God.

      May the Lord God with His holiest mother and holy angels, saints be with us. Amen!!!

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