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Bloodshed during councils


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#41 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:53 PM

Christ our Lord used a whip. Scripture does not explicitly say He actually struck anyone. It also does not explicitly say He did NOT strike anyone. What we see is people imposing their own interpretations on what actually happened. Those who abhor or do not understand violence prefer to believe that Christ did not actually use the whip He carried. But the implied use of force, according to law, is the legal definition of assault. If you make a person fear bodily harm, you have assaulted them. Chasing someone with a whip and looking seriously like you are going to use it fits the legal definition of assault. Therefore Christ did, indeed, by most legal standards, ASSAULT the moneychangers, according to the testimony of the Scriptures. If He actually struck anyone, that would constitute BATTERY, which is more serious than assault, and while there is no conclusive testimony either way, either conclusion seems equally valid and either position seems difficult to deny, given the evidence at hand.

#42 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 10:56 PM

Exactly! Agreed. What use is 2 swords against a cohort.


What use are horns against a walled city? Ask Joshua.

#43 Sacha

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:04 PM

What use are horns against a walled city? Ask Joshua.


Not sure I get your point. Are you saying that Jesus endorsed violence? Do you believe He physically assaulted the money changers themselves? Thanks for clarifying.

#44 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:11 PM

Did God ever endorse violence? Ask the Canaanites (if there were any left). Did Christ assault the moneychangers? Did I not make myself clear or are you simply looking for things to disagree with?

If there was bloodshed during the councils, was it God-pleasing? I don't believe it was, but I also don't believe that negates what the councils achieved. Remember I'm the one that does not need "infallible" councils or saints or churches or vicars of Christ. God accomplishes wondrous things through even fallible saints.

Herman the fallible Pooh

#45 Sacha

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:20 PM

Christ our Lord used a whip. Scripture does not explicitly say He actually struck anyone. It also does not explicitly say He did NOT strike anyone. What we see is people imposing their own interpretations on what actually happened. Those who abhor or do not understand violence prefer to believe that Christ did not actually use the whip He carried. But the implied use of force, according to law, is the legal definition of assault. If you make a person fear bodily harm, you have assaulted them. Chasing someone with a whip and looking seriously like you are going to use it fits the legal definition of assault. Therefore Christ did, indeed, by most legal standards, ASSAULT the moneychangers, according to the testimony of the Scriptures. If He actually struck anyone, that would constitute BATTERY, which is more serious than assault, and while there is no conclusive testimony either way, either conclusion seems equally valid and either position seems difficult to deny, given the evidence at hand.


There is a big difference between driving someone out of a temple and battery, so one cannot equate the two, or create equivalence between the two, they are distinct by definition. Also, you are implying that Jesus held the whip and used the whip in a way that implied that He would have hit the money changers had they not moved. But you just said that the Scriptures do not say explicitly that He hit anyone. Neither do they say that He intended to hit anyone. All they say is that He made a whip and drove them out. That's it. So you using your own logic, you cannot argue that He had the intent to hit the money changers either... :-) That's number one.

Secondly, if one believes that the Scriptures are neutral on whether or not Jesus physically hit the money changers, then using the temple incident as justification for the use of physical violence by Chrysostom and others is, in toto, a self defeating argument.

Thirdly, I believe the Scriptures do strongly support the belief that He did no physical harm to the money changers themselves. Isaiah 53:9 says:

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth


With that said, what is the consensus of the Orthodox church? Did Jesus physically hit the money changers or not? If the answer is that there is no consensus, then what is the point of using that incident to justify other incidents of violence in Orthodoxy?

Edited by Sacha, 29 November 2011 - 11:37 PM.


#46 Sacha

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:30 PM

Did God ever endorse violence? Ask the Canaanites (if there were any left). Did Christ assault the moneychangers? Did I not make myself clear or are you simply looking for things to disagree with?

If there was bloodshed during the councils, was it God-pleasing? I don't believe it was, but I also don't believe that negates what the councils achieved. Remember I'm the one that does not need "infallible" councils or saints or churches or vicars of Christ. God accomplishes wondrous things through even fallible saints.

Herman the fallible Pooh


I think the moderators have made it clear that they do not want personal comments on this forum, so I will not answer your second question. Regarding your first question, I will point you to the words of Christ in response to His disciples' request to rain down fire on the Samaritans:


Luke 9:55-56

When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”

#47 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 11:59 PM

There is a big difference between driving someone out of a temple and battery, so one cannot equate the two, or create equivalence between the two, they are distinct by definition.


Yes, I know. That is what I said. I don't believe you are actually READING what you are railing against, you are simply looking for opportunities to rail.

Also, you are implying that Jesus held the whip and used the whip in a way that implied that He would have hit the money changers had they not moved.


No, I am not implying it. I am out-and-out SAYING it. Do I need to spell it out? Are you implying otherwise?

But you just said that the Scriptures do not say explicitly that He hit anyone. Neither do they say that He intended to hit anyone. All they say is that He made a whip and drove them out. That's it. So you using your own logic, you cannot argue that He had the intent to hit the money changers either... :-) That's number one.


Wow, I bow to your incredible ability to twist logic into amazing contortions. If I make a fist and act like I am going to hit you, are you not going to duck? If so, I have committed assault, even if I have not committed battery. Is that so hard to comprehend?

Secondly, if one believes that the Scriptures are neutral on whether or not Jesus physically hit the money changers, then using the temple incident as justification for the use of physical violence by Chrysostom and others is, in toto, a self defeating argument.


Well, I am not really trying to JUSTIFY anything. I don't know that it was justified. Unlike you I am simply trying to understand it.

Thirdly, I believe the Scriptures do strongly support the belief that He did no physical harm to the money changers themselves. Isaiah 53:9 says:

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth


With that said, what is the consensus of the Orthodox church? Did Jesus physically hit the money changers or not? If the answer is that there is no consensus, then what is the point of using that incident to justify other incidents of violence in Orthodoxy?


None whatsoever. Satisfied? Again, who said that anything about justifying what was done? I don't have to justify it, I don't have to defend it, but at least I can try to understand it, unlike some other people.

Herman

#48 Paul Cowan

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:08 AM

There you go again. Quoting scripture from a specific POV. We can do this all day long.

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.


The word rod is "shebet" in Hebrew. This word is defined as following in Strong's Hebrew Lexicon #7626: rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe a. rod, staff b. shaft (of spear, dart) c. club (of shepherd's implement) d. truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority) e. clan, tribe

How does a loving father save his child from harm or even destruction if not through corrective measures? I am not a proponent of "time out" when you simply send a child to stand in the corner. Nor of senslessly beating a child into submission. spanking and other types of discipline are very much called for as the offense might dictate.

All things will be clear once we get there. Then we will have eternity to ask all the theological questions we want. I believe in a loving Jesus. I also believe in a strict stern Jesus. He can be both you know.

#49 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:17 AM

There you go again. Quoting scripture from a specific POV. We can do this all day long.

The word rod is "shebet" in Hebrew. This word is defined as following in Strong's Hebrew Lexicon #7626: rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe a. rod, staff b. shaft (of spear, dart) c. club (of shepherd's implement) d. truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority) e. clan, tribe

How does a loving father save his child from harm or even destruction if not through corrective measures? I am not a proponent of "time out" when you simply send a child to stand in the corner. Nor of senslessly beating a child into submission. spanking and other types of discipline are very much called for as the offense might dictate.

All things will be clear once we get there. Then we will have eternity to ask all the theological questions we want. I believe in a loving Jesus. I also believe in a strict stern Jesus. He can be both you know.


Paul, isn't there a difference between disciplining a child and smiting an adult in the face? Would you punch your grown son in the face to teach him a lesson if he blasphemed? Yes or no? If no, then why do you defend Chrysostom? He not only did this, he also taught others (and still teaches since he is revered as a saint) to do likewise.

#50 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:20 AM

Again, we really don't have to defend St. John, but we do well to try and understand St. John. We are allowed to keep what is good.

#51 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:23 AM

Herman wrote:

Wow, I bow to your incredible ability to twist logic into amazing contortions. If I make a fist and act like I am going to hit you, are you not going to duck? If so, I have committed assault, even if I have not committed battery. Is that so hard to comprehend?


My point was that you have no basis to know and argue that Jesus used the whip directly against the money changers themselves. He very well could have used the whip to frighten the animals out of the temple. He did not have to threaten the money changers directly because they already feared Him and feared the people who loved Him. So your fist analogy holds no water. You are assuming that Jesus had that particular violent posture against the money changers but have nothing to justify that assumption.

#52 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:28 AM

Again, we really don't have to defend St. John, but we do well to try and understand St. John. We are allowed to keep what is good.


I can respect that, even though I do not understand it.

Can you respect the view that a refusal to see Chrysostom's teaching on smiting others as outside of the teaching of Christ is one stumbling block among others to people outside the OC, who would otherwise be joining it?

#53 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:39 AM

Herman wrote:



My point was that you have no basis to know and argue that Jesus used the whip directly against the money changers themselves.
He very well could have used the whip to frighten the animals out of the temple. He did not have to threaten the money changers directly because they already feared Him and feared the people who loved Him.


And you have no basis for saying this. How do we know He didn't simply invite them all to tea? He very well could have. Scripture doesn't say He didn't! Can we at least impose a modicum of common sense to this process?

So your fist analogy holds no water. You are assuming that Jesus had that particular violent posture against the money changers but have nothing to justify that assumption.


And you have nothing against it other than trying to push the burden of proof on someone else, which is NOT an argument at all. THAT is my point. Your conclusions seem a bit leaky as well. At this point we are merely clanging pots and kettles. I will simply bow out and let you continue to refuse to try to understand. More's the pity.

#54 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:55 AM

And you have no basis for saying this. How do we know He didn't simply invite them all to tea? He very well could have. Scripture doesn't say He didn't! Can we at least impose a modicum of common sense to this process?



And you have nothing against it other than trying to push the burden of proof on someone else, which is NOT an argument at all. THAT is my point. Your conclusions seem a bit leaky as well. At this point we are merely clanging pots and kettles. I will simply bow out and let you continue to refuse to try to understand. More's the pity.


I can think of two posters on this thread (you are not one of them) who used the temple incident to defend Chrysostom's teaching to smite blasphemers with blows. The burden of proof is upon them because they are the ones who bring up the temple incident, not me. For me, Jesus teaching the 2nd greatest commandment and the knowledge that He would not contradict Himself about not returning blow for blow and curse for curse is sufficient. I do not need to appeal to the temple incident at all. But someone who wants to justify the use of violence as advocated by Chrysostom can make the appeal to the temple incident and again, the burden of proof is on them. Yet, they have no basis to argue, as you have pointed out, that Jesus did directly physically hit the money changers.

#55 Michael Stickles

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:05 AM

First, the idea that any striking of a person constitutes "violence" is not at all a universal concept across time and cultures. Our current cultural view would be utterly incomprehensible to most cultures across history.

Second, I am not at all sure what the point is of the quotes from Gaddis' book. The first he admits are "charges brought by John's political opponents, and undoubtedly contain much that is exaggerated or even invented;" the second, while claiming that John's letters show the "battle against paganism involved considerable physical violence by both sides," does not say whether St. John actually endorsed the "physical violence", or if he did, to what degree; and the third is merely the same quote we have been repeatedly debating here. So it really says nothing new.

Third, we are talking about the same Jesus, correct? The one who says He will kill children for their parent's sin?

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, ... I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. ... I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead.
- Rev. 2:18-23 (emphasis added)


Yes, I was deliberately quite provocative in my wording. And no, I do not believe that this text justifies murder by His disciples. I am simply pointing out that the "pacifist Jesus" image is rather flawed, Scripturally.

Fourth, I would not put much stock in Isaiah 53:9 "proving" that Jesus could not have aimed the whip at the moneychangers. "No", "none", "all", "any", and similar terms in the OT cannot always be taken with logical literalness. A prime example is I Kings 15:5 - "For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite." Literally, this is false, as David also sinned when he ordered a census in violation of the commands regarding how it should be conducted (II Samuel 24). As one of my earliest Bible teachers said, "All Scripture is Truth, but not all Scripture is propositional truth." Many false doctrines arise from a failure to realize that point.

Next-to-last thought:

He not only did this, he also taught others (and still teaches since he is revered as a saint) to do likewise.


Blessed Augustine is a prime example of someone revered as a saint by the Orthodox Church, but whose teachings are not held to be correct in all matters. As Herman has said, we do not hold the saints to be infallible teachers; the testimony of their lives is the primary factor in their being considered saints. So the mere fact that St. John Chrysostom (or any other saint) advocated something does not by itself mean the Church endorses it today, or even at that time.

Last thought: Either you all write too fast or I'm too slow. I think a whole page of posts has been added since I started working on this one.

In Christ,
Michael

#56 Paul Cowan

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:05 AM

Like Herman said above, I am not defending. I am pushing back on using proof texting to get a point across. And yes, my father slapped me in the face when I was older. And YES, it got my attention and I never did that offense again. So, no. It would not bother me to do it also if the offense called for it. Just because it does not align with your personal sensibilities does not mean that it does not occur in "good" families elsewhere. I had a very loving home environment. I was just being very stupid that day.

I think St. Nicholas of Myra was a couple centuries before St. John and he also slapped Arius. He was criticized for it and later got the blessing of the other Bishops for his actions. Am I defending? no. Just using examples at hand. Did Jesus hit anyone? who knows. It is not written in the Gospels. Nor is it not written. History is written by the victor and often times twisted by persons later on to make something appear a certain way. There are 30 differnet translations on biblegateway.com. why is that?

#57 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:16 AM

Like Herman said above, I am not defending. I am pushing back on using proof texting to get a point across. And yes, my father slapped me in the face when I was older. And YES, it got my attention and I never did that offense again. So, no. It would not bother me to do it also if the offense called for it. Just because it does not align with your personal sensibilities does not mean that it does not occur in "good" families elsewhere. I had a very loving home environment. I was just being very stupid that day.

I think St. Nicholas of Myra was a couple centuries before St. John and he also slapped Arius. He was criticized for it and later got the blessing of the other Bishops for his actions. Am I defending? no. Just using examples at hand. Did Jesus hit anyone? who knows. It is not written in the Gospels. Nor is it not written. History is written by the victor and often times twisted by persons later on to make something appear a certain way. There are 30 differnet translations on biblegateway.com. why is that?


Note, you didn't answer the question which was: would you hit your grown son? Now imagine that it wasn't your grown son who blasphemed Christ or the icons, imagine it was your neighbor's grown son? Would you smite him with a blow and cause him to bleed from the mouth? This is not about proof texting but putting Chrysostom's teaching to the test.

Now I understand that there are 2 camps here. One camp says Chrysostom said nothing wrong, it's a cultural issue etc. The other says we believe he was wrong but it's not a big deal. I believe one can quickly figure out what one believes by answering the question I posed you.

#58 Michael Stickles

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:29 AM

Would you smite him with a blow and cause him to bleed from the mouth? This is not about proof texting but putting to test Chrysostom's teaching.


And what is the evidence that Chrysostom actually did that? Is that not one of those "charges brought by John's political opponents, and undoubtedly contain much that is exaggerated or even invented"? The kicker for me is the very idea that St. John would consider someone so far into blasphemy, apostasy, or whatever as to warrant a blow that caused bleeding, but then would make that person take communion (with or without the bleeding mouth). Frankly, that just seems ridiculous on multiple levels.

#59 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:32 AM

First, the idea that any striking of a person constitutes "violence" is not at all a universal concept across time and cultures. Our current cultural view would be utterly incomprehensible to most cultures across history.


This is the same argument that modern day apologists for Calvin make when dealing with his murder of Servetus. I'm sorry but that does not work for me. Jesus says:

"38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles."

No provisions for cultural idiosyncrasies in the above.

Second, I am not at all sure what the point is of the quotes from Gaddis' book. The first he admits are "charges brought by John's political opponents, and undoubtedly contain much that is exaggerated or even invented;" the second, while claiming that John's letters show the "battle against paganism involved considerable physical violence by both sides," does not say whether St. John actually endorsed the "physical violence", or if he did, to what degree; and the third is merely the same quote we have been repeatedly debating here. So it really says nothing new.



Would suggest you read him closely again, you are missing a lot. He is a careful and first rate historian and provided much evidence that shows the violent nature of Chrysostom's dealings with his enemies.

Third, we are talking about the same Jesus, correct? The one who says He will kill children for their parent's sin?

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, ... I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. ... I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead.
- Rev. 2:18-23 (emphasis added


Yes, I was deliberately quite provocative in my wording. And no, I do not believe that this text justifies murder by His disciples. I am simply pointing out that the "pacifist Jesus" image is rather flawed, Scripturally.


Not all scripture is propositional truth. That is correct. And your quote fits that bill quite well. Rev 2:23 is not didactic teaching but instead descriptive. Matt 5:38-41 on the other hand is didactic as Jesus teaches us how to relate to one another, even our enemies. Furthermore, if we follow your thinking to its logical conclusion, we enter very dangerous territory. The kind of territory that has inspired horrific unjustified violence against people and on which muslim jihadists and violent anarchists tread. So I reject your thinking completely here.


Fourth, I would not put much stock in Isaiah 53:9 "proving" that Jesus could not have aimed the whip at the moneychangers. "No", "none", "all", "any", and similar terms in the OT cannot always be taken with logical literalness. A prime example is I Kings 15:5 - "For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite." Literally, this is false, as David also sinned when he ordered a census in violation of the commands regarding how it should be conducted (II Samuel 24). As one of my earliest Bible teachers said, "All Scripture is Truth, but not all Scripture is propositional truth." Many false doctrines arise from a failure to realize that point.


As I have shown above in my prior posts, the burden of proof is on the one who wants to prove that Jesus aimed at the money changers themselves. And no proof is available. That fact remains, regardless of whether you disagree with my quoting Isaiah 53:9. The important thing to note about Isaiah 53:9 is that it speaks of the life of the Messiah on earth as the suffering servant. That life, in which He shared our humanity, was meant to instruct us on how we are to live. It is perfectly consistent to believe that Jesus both taught what he did in the great Sermon on the Mount and that He did not hit the money changers directly.

Blessed Augustine is a prime example of someone revered as a saint by the Orthodox Church, but whose teachings are not held to be correct in all matters. As Herman has said, we do not hold the saints to be infallible teachers; the testimony of their lives is the primary factor in their being considered saints. So the mere fact that St. John Chrysostom (or any other saint) advocated something does not by itself mean the Church endorses it today, or even at that time.


That's a very interesting statement. I have been getting different feedback from others on this thread regarding whether the Church endorses it today or not. There certainly appears to be a mixed reaction on this thread.

#60 Sacha

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:33 AM

And what is the evidence that Chrysostom actually did that? Is that not one of those "charges brought by John's political opponents, and undoubtedly contain much that is exaggerated or even invented"? The kicker for me is the very idea that St. John would consider someone so far into blasphemy, apostasy, or whatever as to warrant a blow that caused bleeding, but then would make that person take communion (with or without the bleeding mouth). Frankly, that just seems ridiculous on multiple levels.


Read Gaddis' book and look up the quote I shared very carefully, he provides the references. He is the historian. Feel free to prove him wrong, if you believe he is mistaken.




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