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How old is the earth?


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#241 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:18 PM

Accusative and absolutist statements are not very condusive to dispassionate discourse.

#242 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 03:30 PM

I thought pi, was 4oz butter, 3oz sugar, and 8oz flour, and a nice mix of cox's, russet, and bramley apples. :D

#243 Paul Cowan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:39 AM

What next? Humoral medicine?


Trust me, after spending the 4 of the last 7 weeks in the hospital with my wife, there is nothing humorous about medicine.

#244 Paul Cowan

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:40 AM

Accusative and absolutist statements are not very condusive to dispassionate discourse.


Pooh,

When have we EVER had dispassionate discourse around here?

#245 Steve Roche

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:16 AM

A dispassionate discourse...

The modern day father of evolution is James Hutton. His influence spread to Erasmus and Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Charles Lyell and Albert Wallace. This was during the French revolution; which the Freemasons played such a large role in. The French revolution introduced a model that the entire world would be built on. Democracy and Humanism were the new catchphrases; and Evolution developed out of the need for the dechristianisation of the world, as had happened throughout France.

Humanists then were basically God-haters. They had established in France the Cult of the Supreme Being, which had led to the official rejection of all religion. “No gods at all were worshiped in the Cult – the guiding principle was devotion to the abstract conception of Reason” (Emmet Kennedy; A Cultural History of the French Revolution). This frenzy had been given attention by every scholar throughout the world. Every humanist was given hope of what the world could become. It was in this background that evolution had taken root.

James Hutton led the war-cry of evolutionists by insisting that the earth was millions of years old in the late 18th century. His evidence was in the formation of mountains. It took another 50 years to develop these ideas into a systematic evolutionary theology; but Charles Darwin became the evolutionist’s mascot… he was the parallel of the Protestants John Calvin.

Humanist sole intention was to rid the world of God. They needed to replace every institution throughout the world with a godless alternative. This is why this is the kingdom of the antichrist… everything in our world is designed around the complete overthrow of God. Christians who speak of Evolution, Psychology, Humanism or Democracy are chanting the mantra’s of the antichrist… mostly unknown to themselves.

I am not saying that these Christians are evil, or anti-god; but that they have been duped and deceived into a godless philosophy that was foretold to characterize the “end-times” of the antichrist. Not only they; but all of us! This end-time beast is mentioned in Revelation 13:14… “he deceives them that dwell on the earth.” We have been deceived because the beast was “given power to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” (Rev 13:7).

Evolution; Psychology; Humanism; Liberalism; Philosophy; Naturalism… they are all part of the dominion of the end-time beast. They have always been here, just as we have had many antichrists in one form or another; but now they form the collective worldview of almost everyone on earth. These things are difficult to understand and difficult to digest. They are even more difficult to live by. In the end, we will either draw closer to God’s Kingdom or we will start drawing closer to the Kingdom of the Antichrist. This is why we are here; to decide who our master is.

Steve

#246 Aaron R.

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:20 AM

Okay, so to be a good Orthodox Christian, I must insist upon geocentric astronomy.
What next? Humoral medicine? Pi = 3.0000000000000000?


That's not what I am saying brother. My comment had to do with not writing off what the Church Fathers taught on a literal 6 day creation because of their view of a Earth centered Universe. You should keep in mind that science requires faith too, unless you do all the experiments yourself.

1 Corinthians

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe
.


#247 Steve Roche

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:05 AM

Basil the Great has a great homily on the Creative Days. Below are some selected quotations from Homily 1 relevant to the subject at hand…

“I am about to speak of the creation of heaven and earth, which was not spontaneous, as some have imagined, but drew its origin from God.” (Basil the Great, The Homilies of Basil on the Six Creative Days, Homily1:1)

“Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of a God, could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the Universe; a primary error that involved them in sad consequences. Some had recourse to material principles and attributed the origin of the Universe to the elements of the world.” (Basil the Great, The Homilies of Basil on the Six Creative Days, Homily 1:2)

“Among those who have imagined that the world co-existed with God from all eternity, many have denied that it was created by God, but say that it exists spontaneously, as the shadow of this power. God, they say, is the cause of it, but an involuntary cause, as the body is the cause of the shadow and the flame is the cause of the brightness. It is to correct this error that the prophet states, with so much precision, “In the beginning God created.” ” (Basil the Great, The Homilies of Basil on the Six Creative Days, Homily 1:7)

“It is a doctrine as infallible for our own information as profitable for our hearers.” (Basil the Great, The Homilies of Basil on the Six Creative Days, Homily 1:9)

Steve

#248 Aaron R.

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:38 AM

I just wanted to add something to this that I was thinking about. It seems that many are bent on disclaiming the literal 6 day creation. I ask why if day does not mean day but a a unknown period of time then why after every day in the Genesis account does it say "And the evening and the morning were the first day" second day and so on. Evening and morning can only mean a solar day. I know that the sun was created after light but Genesis makes a point in saying evening and morning after each day as if to verify and leave know room for doubt that these were actual days as we know them. Who are we to say different. Our GOD is a mighty GOD who does not need thousands of years to create the universe. It makes me wonder if people who will not accept this is due to a lack a faith. No man was present during creation, but the One who created everything inspired the Words in Genesis. Those who accept this with simple faith know more then the greatest scientist of our age, who the oldest are not more then a 100 years old. Who are they to say they know more then the one who created everything.

Luke 18:8
I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”


#249 Steve Roche

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:47 AM

"Evening and morning" have, for thousands of years, been understood as “the revealing” - evening, as in darkness; and morning, as in light - or from darkness to light. Paul likewise stated in Corinthians: “For now we see through a glass, darkly…”

We need to ask why a “day” needs to be, on your say so, to have only this strict 24 hour meaning you propose; when a “day” elsewhere has clearly been given an understanding other than 24 hours (as in a ‘day means a thousand years’ – 2 Peter 3:8). Why is that you claim that a person (me) has “a lack of faith” because I agree with the fathers and theologians in this regard.

If you have evidence why a day can only mean 24 hours, please submit it without resorting to manipulative innuendos disparaging a person’s faith. I have shown evidence as to why and how a day is understood otherwise. If I am wrong, please demonstrate how I have misunderstood the Apostle Peter.

Other evidence for why the creative days were not 24 hours in length is as follows:

  • Genesis 2:4 says: “in the day in which the Lord God made the heaven and the earth.” If the word day is a literal 24 hours, then God made “the heaven and the earth” in one 24 hour day, and not in six days. Which is it? You cannot have it both ways. If it is literal, then the application of Genesis 2:4 contradicts the previous creative statements. God had placed this verse here as a marker to draw our attention to the symbolic value of the terms used in describing creation.
  • On day 4, when the sun was made, the purpose of the sun was “for regulating the day and the lesser light for regulating the night.” Prior to day 4 the “day” was not regulated; because the earth had no motion relative to the sun. The earth rotates because of the sun, otherwise we would have 12 hours of permanent darkness, and half of the world would lay in destruction. If the day had no specific regulation prior to day 4, then it was NOT a 24 hour day that was spoken of when God said on days 1-3, “evening and morning.” If I am wrong, then please show your evidence for your beliefs.

My faith rests on what the scriptures actually teach, not what they might be manipulated to say, albeit in ignorance. I would happy to be shown how my understanding is wrong, and if I am exhibiting a lack of faith, I would gladly amend my ignorance… as we all should be willing to do!

#250 Owen Jones

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 12:26 PM

Of course, this is your ideology, Steve.

#251 Father David Moser

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:18 PM

My faith rests on what the scriptures actually teach, not what they might be manipulated to say,


And this gets to the root of the question here - how do you know what they "actually teach"? The scripture can only be properly understood from within the tradition of the Church. If you are trying understand the scripture from any other perspective, then you will inevitably fall into some error or another. The scripture is a part of Tradition and cannot be understood apart from the whole of tradition. You seem to be quite knowledgeable about the patristic fathers - and that is good - however the Church is much more than just the fathers. The Tradition of the Church is the life of the Church in which we must participate, or we remain outside of it. IN order to truly understand the scripture and know what it "actually teaches" it is necessary first to enter into the life of the Church and to immerse oneself in it and live it and breath it - otherwise any understanding of the scripture is nothing but a cold dead analysis and prone to error.

Fr David Moser

#252 Owen Jones

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:41 PM

Thanks, Father. I would only add that it is quite possible for a person to just pick up the Bible and read it and be changed, quite apart from any Church attachment, if he has an open mind and is truly seeking God in humility. But most people then recognize that it requires more in order to fulfill the promises contained in Scripture. They need a spiritual home in the Church. However, there are an infinite number of churches to choose from, assuming they ever have any exposure at all to Orthodoxy. One can make an historical argument of course, that the Scriptural Canon exists only as a part of Orthodoxy, that it did not just drop out of the sky (nor was it dug up by Joseph Smith) and this does end up being convincing to some. But when we proclaim in the liturgy that we have found the true faith, this can only come from actually entering into that faith and practicing it as part of the whole. Only prideful intellectual error can ensue from insisting that the Bible can be individually analyzed and understood purely at face value. The same applies to the Church Fathers. I remember being surprised to learn that John Calvin was extremely well versed in the Fathers, so it is quite amazing how one can, on one's own volition, get it so wrong.

#253 Father David Moser

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:45 PM

In light of Owen's remarks, let me offer this clarifying statement. When I speak of the Church, I refer to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church - that is the Orthodox Church. There is no true understanding of scripture (while there may indeed be inspiration - but that inspiration must of necessity always lead back to the Orthodox Church) from outside the life of the Orthodox Church.

Fr David

#254 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 01:54 PM

To support what Fr David and Owen have posted, one thinks of Starets Kyrill (Pavlov). When, as a Red Army officer at the battle of Stalingrad, he was searching the ruins for the enemy, he found a Gospel book. It changed his life but that was because, after his discharge from the army, he entered a monastery to understand the message of the Gospel and then live it out.

#255 Steve Roche

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

“When I speak of the Church, I refer to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church - that is the Orthodox Church. There is no true understanding of scripture… from outside the life of the Orthodox Church.” Fr David


Since you have brought up the “true Church” and the inspiration of this Church… could you follow up with some clarity, please…

The "true church" is shown in Revelation chapters 2 & 3 to be splintered schisms, right up to the time of Christ's return. If this is not so, then who are these Seven Churches who clearly do not belong to the Orthodox denomination; unless you believe the Orthodox churches follow Jezebel, Balaam and the Nicolaitans? If they are not the Orthodox Church, then who are they? Why are they still “the Church” when they were clearly wrong? Do you belong to one on these “true churches”? Is the Orthodox Church labelled here among the Seven Churches? Since all of them are the “true church” (for the book of Revelation was written to them - Rev 1:4), why do you insist that there can be only one “true church”, when Christ wrote to Seven?

I would love to hear your insight on these questions.

God Bless
Steve

#256 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:24 PM

Fr David will speak for himself, but I would offer the following observations. First, Revelation is well-known as a difficult book and we must be very circumspect in our approach to it; it is a prophetic book. Second, patristic commentaries on Revelation are sparse compared with other scriptures. Thirdly, the reference to 'Churches' means the local Churches of the seven cities mentioned; it does not at all mean that these were Churches separated by schism; there may be schismatics within the Church who need reproof and correction, and, if necessary, esxcommunication, but that is not the same as a local Church itself being schismatic. The Orthodox Church is simply The Church. It comprises local Churches, now as in the first centuries. St Paul addresses and refers to Churches in various places: Cenchrea, Corinth, and so forth. There were problems in the local Churches which St Paul sought to solve. None of these problems amounted to schism of one Church from another. At one level the seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are historical local Churches which ceased to exist long ago. Christ was referring to seven local Churches, not to seven Churches separated by schism. There are praises and also reproofs. As a prophetic book it is said that the exhortations and warnings to the seven Churches refer to Seven Epochs of the Church (meaning the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - ie the Orthodox Church) over history. Thus the most frightful epoch is the last as it is of the Church of Laodicea. One may refer to the commentary by Archbishop Averky (Taushev) by Fr Seraphim Rose.

All this is, of course, off topic.

#257 Father David Moser

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:36 PM

Fr David will speak for himself, ... One may refer to the commentary by Archbishop Averky (Taushev) by Fr Seraphim Rose.


I would agree with that which Andreas wrote and I would only make this clarification. Archbishop Averky (of blessed memory) compiled his commentary of the book of the Apocalypse of St John from a variety of patristic sources some/many of which are not available in English. His commentary (which I highly recommend as an aid to understanding the Apocalypse in an Orthodox manner) was not written by Fr Seraphim, but rather translated from the Russian (in which the Archbishop originally wrote his book) by Fr Seraphim.

Fr David

#258 Steve Roche

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:35 PM

The recognised Orthodox saint, Victorinus of Pettau (300 AD), had written the earliest commentary on Revelation, and his teachings are not even remotely close to what either of you believe on the Seven Churches.

http://orthodoxengla....uk/saintsv.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2_(Eastern_Orthodox_liturgics)

The references in Revelation clearly depict the churches being concurrent with the 2nd coming of Christ. The idea that the Revelation was written to local churches only is defunct, even in Orthodox circles (even if you preface your comment with “on one level” they mean…) The seven churches WERE SEPERATED BY SCHISMS. To think otherwise you have not read the text.

To say that they refer to seven epochs of the Church (meaning the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church - ie the Orthodox Church) over history” is also defunct. This explanation of yours completely refutes your first explanation… Which is it? If the Orthodox Church has gone through “seven epochs”, in which it followed the false prophetess Jezebel, the Nicolatians, the Jews and Balaam; then how is the Orthodox Church to be considered “true” and “inspired”? When did the Orthodox Church repent of its false works and false doctrines? If the last “epoch” is now, the most “frightful epoch”, then does this not mean that you are now under the greatest deception in the history of your church?

You have not answered any of my questions; you simply diverted them with more contradictions. If you don’t know how to answer the question, then please leave the question for someone more able. No offense.

Steve

#259 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:28 AM

Steve, you do not say who asserts that the interpretations mentioned are defunct: who says so and where? You provide no authority for saying that the seven Churches were separated by schism. You are confusing, as it seems to me, the Church and the local Churches which comprise it, with schismatic individuals in the Church. Nowhere does St Victorinus refer to such things. He makes clear that 'seven' is symbolic but throughout his commentary refers to 'the Church'. Note what this saint says:

Those seven stars are the seven churches, which he names in his addresses by name, and calls them to whom he wrote epistles. Not that they are themselves the only, or even the principal churches; but what he says to one, he says to all. For they are in no respect different, that on that ground any one should prefer them to the larger number of similar small ones . . . Therefore in these seven churches, of the one Catholic Church, are believers. Victorinus, Commentary on Apocalypse, 1. 16.


Nothing there supports what you say - quite the opposite. If you wish to say something contrary to what a distinguished Orthodox Archbishop has written, you have to do so with precise reasoning and sufficient authority but you have given none.

#260 Steve Roche

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:31 AM

Steve, you do not say who asserts that the interpretations mentioned are defunct: who says so and where?


I will be happy to answer your questions on whose authority I say that your previous statements are defunct; and on whose authority I can say that the Seven Churches were schismatic; and also on the true assessments made by St Victorinus on what and who the Seven Churches represent.

Firstly, it is on your own authority that your previous statements are defunct. You have given two opposing and contrary explanations of the Seven Churches, each denying the truthfulness of the other. If the Seven Churches were simply local churches, as you maintained, which had “problems” that John had addressed for their own time-frame; then this explanation is defunct if at the same time they represent seven epochs, as you later maintained. Why go to the trouble of arguing for one opinion when you voluntarily dismantle it with that of another?

I ask also..., where is the evidence that these churches were simply a local concern on the par of Corinth, Cenchrea, Colossae, etc.? You have not submitted any evidence for this; and yet you demand lessor reason for evidence from myself!

Secondly, the Churches were not simply experiencing “problems” as you maintain; they were schismatic. One of the churches fought to defend themselves from the teaching of the Nicolaitans, while the other church openly promoted the teaching of the Nicolaitans. This was somewhat akin to the Arian heresy, which surely you would not even dare to suggest that this was not schismatic. Not only were the churches in odds about a teaching that Christ “hates”; another church was openly instructed by that woman Jezebel! Such Christians were seduced into fornication and adultery. This “problem” did not exist in the other churches; and for falling for a false prophetess, this church found itself at odds (in a schism) with the other churches. Each church is given serious heretical and schismatic identifications which Christ demands repentance of. These were all clearly schismatic (with the exception of the Church of Philadelphia). For some reason you seek to deny the obvious.

Thirdly, the true assessments of St Victorinus... As much of the book is missing; we need to skip through to relevant passages which explain his opinions.

The Church of Ephesus is called “such a class, and such elected persons” (2:2)… “because you yourself hate those who hold the doctrines of the Nicolaitans” (2:6). This church is firmly opposed to the Church of Pergamum who “hold to the doctrines of the Nicolaitans.”

The Church of Ephesus is called “another order which follows” (2:6). This order was successive, which is why they are assumed to be “epochs”. Unlike some of the other churches, “they deny the blasphemy of the Jews, who say that they are Jews and are not; but they are the synagogue of Satan, since they are gathered together by Antichrist.”

The Church of Pergamum is called “The third order of the saints… who are inclined to unlawful associations” (2:14). He says, “You have among you those who hold such doctrine (of Balaam); and under the pretext of mercy, you would corrupt others” (2:14). This particular church, whom you say was part of the Orthodox Church, was teaching false doctrines.

The Church of Thyatira is called “The fourth class” who “listen to new forms of prophesying.” (2:17)

The Church of Sardis is called “fifth class, company, or association of saints.” (3:1) These ones are “Christians only in name”; “as it is not enough to be called a Christian and to confess Christ, but not to have Himself in our work, that is, not to do His precepts.”

The Church of Philadelphia is called the “sixth class” which “is the mode of life of the best election” (3:2).

The Church of Laodicea is called the “the seventh association of the Church” (3:12). They are “neither unbelieving nor believing, for they are all things to all men.”

Although these “epochs” are successive and clearly seen throughout the history of the church; and that any relevance of their possible historical narrative is now defunct - as no one knows anything about most of these historical churches or their relevance. These epochs within Christendom, which includes the Great Schism between the Catholics and Orthodox; which includes the successive Protestant schisms; which includes the Millennium groups and Pentecostal schisms, and which at last now also include the Messianic Jewish schism, encompasses the entire network of believers in the fabric that clothes the Christ. History testifies to these schisms, as is foretold in the Apocalypse; but history is silent about the epochs of the church as you have distinctly favoured. I have given evidence and consistent argument for why these churches represent the successive stages of schisms that developed in the One Holy and Catholic Church, which includes all of Christendom. What is wanting and waiting is ANY evidence from the silent quarters which claim that the Seven Churches are imagined only to be the Orthodox believers. I will wait to the end of the next life to find such evidence, as there is none. It is an imaginary ghost-ride that makes noises with no substance. Please correct me if I am wrong. Please submit your own evidence for your extreme claims. I have shown evidence from the Orthodox fathers that they are in agreement with me.

Steve




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