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Is the Eucharist harmless?


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#61 Reader Nektarios

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 01:48 AM

Who says I'm having episcopal issues? There are several well-known cases of OCA clergy communing open gays. There are also OCA priests now publicly justifying a communion including open gays. Here's an example that doesn't quite condone gayness but does argue that it's better not to exclude them from communion, as if including them does them no harm. What can we use to make the case that it does?


I am absolutely disgusted with anyone clergy or laity that in any way shape or form try to justify or accept homosexuality as a acceptable "Orthodox Christian" Lifestyle. It is my view that if some one has chose to participate and lead a homosexual life style he should be called to life style as Father Seraphim Rose.

#62 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:49 AM

I am absolutely disgusted with anyone clergy or laity that in any way shape or form try to justify or accept homosexuality as a acceptable "Orthodox Christian" Lifestyle. It is my view that if some one has chose to participate and lead a homosexual life style he should be called to life style as Father Seraphim Rose.



Is disgust ever a Christian response when encountering someone's sin? Where does disgust come from? Where does the drive to single out this particular sin over and over come from? If we are instructed to tend to our own plates and focus on our own sin then is this not an issue between the person struggling with homosexuality and their Priest? I understand that we all have opinions, but really where does the energy/interest/drive to single this issue out again and again come from?

#63 Nina

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:56 AM

Is disgust ever a Christian response when encountering someone's sin? Where does disgust come from?


Some points you make are very valid. The disgust towards sin is innate. Fathers say that this is our response to sin comes from our conscience and it is actually a gift because it can help to create in us a kind of resistance towards sin. Also they say hate the sin and not the sinner. So we must hate the sin and not judge the sinner since we all are never immune to any kind of sin.

#64 Kosta

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:18 AM

I am absolutely disgusted with anyone clergy or laity that in any way shape or form try to justify or accept homosexuality as a acceptable "Orthodox Christian" Lifestyle. It is my view that if some one has chose to participate and lead a homosexual life style he should be called to life style as Father Seraphim Rose.


As ive argued in other forums this is the new post-christian 'western values'. This is the demonic creature that our heritage has morphed into, and the shame we must live with.

#65 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 04:46 AM

Nina, thank you for pointing out the role of conscience. I don't deny it.
What I find bewildering though is that a lot of anger at the horribly difficult situation humanity finds itself in is being projected onto individuals, specifically those who are already victims of the sins of the past (parents, previous generations etc). Look at the secondary characteristics of so many young boys today. I am not talking about fashion. But physical and psychic traits that portrey something about their development. This is, in my opinion, far from a fad, but a reflection of how the world is creating individuals whose gender is less and less clearly defined. Has anyone heard of the difficulties transgendered people go through? And then those specific people are being hated for bringing the 'downfall of the civilisation'. Ironic, no?

However don't misunderstand me, I am not saying there is no choice in how to respond to the difficulties.

On the other hand, reading John 9 changes the perspective


1And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
4I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Edited by Jan Sunqvist, 18 July 2011 - 05:22 AM.


#66 Kosta

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:49 AM

back to topic, yes the Eucharist can be for the healing of soul and body but also detrimental to it. The Fathers, the Eucharistic prayers and scripture all teach this. And more importantly we see this in actuality amongst the members of the community.

#67 Nina

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:07 PM

Judas received too, no?

#68 Father David Moser

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:20 PM

Judas received too, no?


No. Judas was dismissed to do what he must before the first Eucharist.

Fr David

#69 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:07 AM

No. Judas was dismissed to do what he must before the first Eucharist.

Fr David


I am sure this must have been discussed before on this forum, but I can't seem to find any related threads.

If God knew beforehand and for certain that Judas would betray Jesus, what does this mean about Judas' free will?

Is there a specific thread on Judas? There are many questions about the doctrine relating to Judas that I am afraid to ask for the fear of falling into gnostic thinking...

#70 Paul Cowan

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:20 AM

Just because my dad knew I was going to get a speeding ticket in my first car didn't prevent me from making the decision to speed.

Foreknowledge is not an inhibitor to self (free) will.

Paul

#71 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:29 AM

Just because my dad knew I was going to get a speeding ticket in my first car didn't prevent me from making the decision to speed.

Foreknowledge is not an inhibitor to self (free) will.

Paul


Wouldn't that in itself imply that Judas' betrayal was part of God's plan?

Ugh I am sorry I DREAD this question, I just don't get it

Please forgive me

#72 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:49 AM

Judas received too, no?


I have long believed, perhaps uncritically, that Judas partook of at least the sacred bread, if not the chalice. The first important book on the liturgy that I read (some 33 years ago) was Dom Gregory Dix's The Shape of the Liturgy. Dix hypothesizes that the Last Supper was a chaburah meal. The meal would have begun with the blessing of the bread and concluded with the blessing of the wine. I know that many scholars disagree with Dix, but if his hypothesis is credible, then it seems plausible that Judas's departure might have occurred at some point between the two blessings.

Yet as plausible as the hypothesis might be, I have to admit that the biblical texts are unclear on the question of whether Judas shared in the gift of our Lord's Body and Blood. The accounts of the Last Supper are not easily harmonized. The synoptic accounts do not specify when Judas departed from the company. Luke 22:21, e.g., would certainly suggest that Judas was present when Jesus blessed the cup.

The real challenge, of course, is harmonizing the synoptic accounts with the Gospel of John. John does not speak of the eucharistic blessings. According to John's account, Judas leaves immediately after being identified as the one who will betray Jesus (13:21-30). But according to Matthew and Mark, Jesus' comments about his betrayer occur before the eucharistic blessings. It is also the case, however, the Matthew and Mark (unlike Luke) conflate the words of institution, as if the two blessings followed one after another, with no intervening meal.

A search of the internet reveals that the Fathers held differing opinions on the question whether Christ shared his Body and Blood with Judas. One person I came across said that Origen, Hilary, and Theophylact believed that Judas did not share in the Holy Gifts, whereas John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and Augustine believed that he did. I have not been able to confirm this, but here are some of the texts that I found:

St Cyril of Alexandria:

But Judas the traitor, who was eating with Him, was reproved in those words which Christ spoke, "But behold the hand of him who betrays Me is with Me at the table." For he imagined perchance in his great senselessness, or rather as being filled with the haughtiness of the devil, that he could deceive Christ, though He be God. But, as I said, he was convicted of being altogether wicked, and hateful to God, and traitorous: and yet admission was deigned him to the table, and he was counted worthy of the divine gentleness even to the end: but thereby is his punishment made the more severe. For Christ has somewhere said of him by the Psalmist's voice, "That if an enemy had reproached Me, I had borne it: and if he that hated Me had spoken against Me proud things, I had hid myself from him. But it was you, My like in soul, My neighbour and My acquaintance, who in My company had sweetened for Me meats, and we went to the house of the Lord in concord." Woe therefore to him, according to the Saviour's word! For He indeed, according to the good will of God the Father, gave Himself in our stead, that He might deliver us from all evil: but the man who betrayed into the hands of murderers the Saviour and Deliverer of all, will have for his inheritance the condemnation which is the devil's fitting punishment. For his guilt was not against one such as we are, but against the Lord of all: by Whom and with Whom to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen. [Commentary on Luke]

Therefore it happened that the traitor was not dismayed at rebukes uttered as yet quietly and secretly, nor did he even regard the invincible might of love, nor honour and glory and grace, nor the gift that he received from Christ. But hurrying on, without pausing to reflect or checking himself for a moment, his eyes fixed on that, and that alone, which had proved too strong for him once before, I mean the curse of avarice, he was now finally ensnared, and fell to utter ruin. For no longer has he Satan merely as a counsellor, but he takes him now to be master of his whole heart and absolute dominator of his thoughts, who was at first merely an adviser who whispered suggestions. For Satan entered into him, according to the language of the gospel. [Commentary on John]


St John Chrysostom:

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave(1) it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; This is my body." "And He took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; This is my blood of the New Testament, Which is shed for many, for the remission of sins."

Ah! how great is the blindness of the traitor! Even partaking of the mysteries, he remained the same; and admitted to the most holy table, he changed not. And this Luke shows by saying, that after this Satan entered into him, not as despising the Lord's body, but thenceforth laughing to scorn the traitor's shamelessness. For indeed his sin became greater from both causes, as well in that he came to the mysteries with such a disposition, as that having approached them, he did not become better, either from fear, or from the benefit, or from the honor. But Christ forbad him not, although He knew all things, that thou mightest learn that He omits none of the things that pertain to correction. Wherefore both before this, and after this, He continually admonished him, and checked him, both by deeds, and by words; both by fear, and by kindness; both by threatening, and by honor. But none of these things withdrew him from that grievous pest. Wherefore thenceforth He leaves him, and by the mysteries again reminds the disciples of His being slain, and in the midst of the meal His discourse is of the cross, by the continual repeating of the prediction, making His passion easy to receive. For if, when so many things had been done and foretold, they were troubled; if they had heard none of these things, what would they not have felt? [Homily LXXXII on the Gospel of Matthew]


Perhaps others can provide other patristic texts on this perplexing question.

#73 Dimitris

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:52 AM

Wouldn't that in itself imply that Judas' betrayal was part of God's plan?

Yes, it was, as we read in Luke 22:22.

#74 Anna Stickles

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:04 AM

Wouldn't that in itself imply that Judas' betrayal was part of God's plan?

Yes, see also John 6:64 and John 13:18. But I think our focus, lest we get lost, needs to be on how God brought good out of evil intent. Man's evil is never God's ultimate plan, but God is always working to bring good out of the evil that Satan has let lose in this world.

So on a universal level we know that God brought good out of Judas' evil intent, but what about on a personal level for Judas?

Even his betrayal of Jesus is not what damned Judas. Rather there was something in his heart that refused faith and hope. Not being merciful himself, he had no reference for hoping in God's mercy* and so his remorse over what he had done turned to suicide rather then repentance. (compare this to the effect St Peter's denial had on him. St Peter's sorrow was accompanied by faith and hope and he came out of the trial a better person) But it was not God that created Judas unmerciful and greedy, rather it was his free will, that being in the presence of Christ's overwhelming generosity all those years, he rejected trying to follow that example.

God doesn't interfere with our free will but in His foreknowledge He is always working toward the good, both individually and for humanity at large in each situation we find ourselves in. But we always have the choice of how to respond to what He gives us - with thankfulness and humility or anger and self-centeredness.

It's like Paul's dad knowing he would get the speeding ticket, but also making sure that if this happened then Paul could work to earn the money to pay it off and thus be a wiser and more responsible individual in the long run. Although even here Paul could choose to simply get sullen and complain about having to work it off and thus refusing to learn anything.

*(see Luke 19:21-22 how this man is in the same boat - he projects on God his own stinginess)

#75 Paul Cowan

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 02:01 PM

It's like Paul's dad knowing he would get the speeding ticket, but also making sure that if this happened then Paul could work to earn the money to pay it off and thus be a wiser and more responsible individual in the long run.


OHHHH, Anna,

If that were only the case....My poor father, What I put him through.

#76 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

Thank you for that post Anna.

Matthew 27 KJV

3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.


Reading this makes me feel utter dread. It doesn't sound like Judas was completely unrepentant, but that the guilt was far too strong that he couldn't bear it.

#77 Anna Stickles

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:18 PM

Jan,

I don't know if you have ever attended and Orthodox service or read any Orthodox prayers but the single most repeated thought in our prayer life is "Lord have mercy". A great deal of what the Church tries to instill in us as "Relationship with God 101" our need for and trust in God's mercy. Not as a one time act, but as a continuous realization and prayer. Without this salvation is impossible, and from this all good things grow in Christ.

#78 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 04:54 PM

thank you again Anna

#79 Nina

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:17 PM

whereas John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, and Augustine believed that he did.


This is what I remembered too. Also from the hymns of the Church I think I remember somewhere (but I may be very wrong) that Judas received unworthily and to his condemnation...

#80 Nina

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:29 PM

Thank you for that post Anna.

Matthew 27 KJV

3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.


Reading this makes me feel utter dread. It doesn't sound like Judas was completely unrepentant, but that the guilt was far too strong that he couldn't bear it.


I remember reading from Fathers (I do not know where though) that Judas had many things going on. I think he was married to his mother; he was the treasurer of the group (Christ and His followers) and was stealing from it etc. The love of money was one of these problems and that made him betray Christ. Since Christ was his Master and Judas saw what Christ did for them all, it follows that Judas was also ungrateful. There were many more things in the picture than we know from the NT. So we must trust that God's judgment is fair and righteous.

Above everything the proper repentance (and which we are called to imitate) is that of the Prodigal Son. Repentance mixed with ego is not a pure fruit because it is channeled in the wrong direction. I feel very bad for Judas, but when that poor soul hung himself it was like the ego took over and trying to tell God that he still had the last word... pride/ego is what does not allow Satan to ask forgiveness and humble himself to God. On the other hand we have the example of the prodigal son who with tears run into the arms of his father. Also Apostle Peter cried and repented - and repentance with humility is what saves. We (I first) all have sick egos and this is why we must be careful and ask God to direct us and keep us from perishing. May God help us and have mercy on us to offer a repentance as His Saints did.




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