Is the Church creating new doctrine with regards to origins?
#81
(06-25-2014, 03:58 PM)J Michael Wrote: So you are condemning all of Christianity, and abandoning it, because of the sinfulness of a multitude of Christians?  The Orthodox priest, Fr. Tom Hopko, once said something to the effect of "Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with a Person.  That Person is Jesus Christ."  You're right, though, many loving Christians have broken or faulty relationships with Jesus.  Some more so than others, but probably almost all of us.

I don't recall that you answered me earlier when I asked if you've discussed any of your doubts, concerns, issues about all of this with your priest.  If not, it might not be a bad idea.  But then, I don't know your priest  :).

Not for the multitude, but the nature of the beast.  It really got me thinking.  Certainly, people back then had the same differences of opinion as we have today.  When nations converted wholesale, it was because they were forced, not because they all had some grand epiphany.  Most Christians are wonderful, humane and loving people.  But GodFirst is right.  Burn the heretics, that's Christianity.  I mean, really, if so many bishops and monarchs approved of baptism or death, so early one, and so widespread as to reach every European and Central Asian nation at the time, could conversion really have been solely or even mostly because people freely chose to embrace Christianity?  How many people now are just Christian because it's the background of their culture?  Longsuffering patience is not a virtue in true Christianity.

I discussed my doubts over circumcision with my priest, but at the time I wasn't really considering leaving Christianity.  He was very loving and patient with me, but he gave me the gentle version of get over it and move on.  He is a very intelligent man, and in his homilies he does not beat around the bush.  When I asked him if it was ok if I personally reject a literal belief that God commanded Abraham to be circumcised, he neither told me yes nor no (or if he did, it was subtle enough that it went over my head).  I am still a little puzzled by that. 
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#82
(06-25-2014, 09:35 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-25-2014, 03:58 PM)J Michael Wrote: So you are condemning all of Christianity, and abandoning it, because of the sinfulness of a multitude of Christians?  The Orthodox priest, Fr. Tom Hopko, once said something to the effect of "Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with a Person.  That Person is Jesus Christ."  You're right, though, many loving Christians have broken or faulty relationships with Jesus.  Some more so than others, but probably almost all of us.

I don't recall that you answered me earlier when I asked if you've discussed any of your doubts, concerns, issues about all of this with your priest.  If not, it might not be a bad idea.  But then, I don't know your priest  :).

Not for the multitude, but the nature of the beast.  It really got me thinking.  Certainly, people back then had the same differences of opinion as we have today.  When nations converted wholesale, it was because they were forced, not because they all had some grand epiphany.  Most Christians are wonderful, humane and loving people.  But GodFirst is right.  Burn the heretics, that's Christianity.  I mean, really, if so many bishops and monarchs approved of baptism or death, so early one, and so widespread as to reach every European and Central Asian nation at the time, could conversion really have been solely or even mostly because people freely chose to embrace Christianity?  How many people now are just Christian because it's the background of their culture?  Longsuffering patience is not a virtue in true Christianity.

I discussed my doubts over circumcision with my priest, but at the time I wasn't really considering leaving Christianity.  He was very loving and patient with me, but he gave me the gentle version of get over it and move on.  He is a very intelligent man, and in his homilies he does not beat around the bush.  When I asked him if it was ok if I personally reject a literal belief that God commanded Abraham to be circumcised, he neither told me yes nor no (or if he did, it was subtle enough that it went over my head).  I am still a little puzzled by that. 

If people were forced, it was because of Emperors -- over whom the average Joe had no power whatsoever -- not because of priests, Popes, and Christian laypeople. Can you name one, single war involving Christians battling against pagans in order to get them to convert? Come on, man. It was the preaching and example of the Benedictines that spread Christianity.

Church teaching is very clear:  Baptism cannot be forced. And, BTW, longsuffering patience is a virtue in Christianity, one of the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost.

Yes, God commanded circumcision in the Old Covenant. But it wasn't the mutliation that circumcision became in the rabbinic, Talmudic era. See the FE page on circumcision.

I'm sensing a bit of antagonism rather than a mere questioning nature or an expression of serious doubts. Careful with that. Read the rules. If you have questions, ask away. But don't ask them in such a way as to put Christians on the defensive or to be argumentative.

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#83
(06-26-2014, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: If people were forced, it was because of Emperors -- over whom the average Joe had no power whatsoever -- not because of priests, Popes, and Christian laypeople. Can you name one, single war involving Christians battling against pagans in order to get them to convert? Come on, man. It was the preaching and example of the Benedictines that spread Christianity.

Well, sure, it was emperors.  That was kind of my point.  When whole nations converted, how else could it have been other than by force.  Prince Vladimir forced all the people of Kiev to become Christian.  Emperor Constantius II essentially forced people to convert.  Most of the people who converted were probably still pagan in reality.  So of course there were no wars forcing conversion.  Forced conversion was a domestic issue.

Quote:Yes, God commanded circumcision in the Old Covenant. But it wasn't the mutliation that circumcision became in the rabbinic, Talmudic era. See the FE page on circumcision.

It doesn't really matter, the circumcision of the old covenant is still a mutilation.  It's not something a true god would have asked for.
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#84
(06-26-2014, 05:40 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-26-2014, 01:39 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: If people were forced, it was because of Emperors -- over whom the average Joe had no power whatsoever -- not because of priests, Popes, and Christian laypeople. Can you name one, single war involving Christians battling against pagans in order to get them to convert? Come on, man. It was the preaching and example of the Benedictines that spread Christianity.

Well, sure, it was emperors.  That was kind of my point.  When whole nations converted, how else could it have been other than by force.  Prince Vladimir forced all the people of Kiev to become Christian.  Emperor Constantius II essentially forced people to convert.  Most of the people who converted were probably still pagan in reality.  So of course there were no wars forcing conversion.  Forced conversion was a domestic issue.

-- conversions which had nothing to do with Church teaching or Church policy. So you're blaming the Church and Christianity for what some Emperors did. That doesn't make sense, M. And whole nations also converted because of the work of the Benedictines. And if those nations hadn't converted, we'd have been stuck with leaving unwanted babies out on rocks to die, women treated like dirt, sexual anarchy -- pretty much what we've got now since the Church's influence has been eclipsed by what the powers-that-be want to put out there in our non-culture. Plus, we'd have a culture which doesn't have a philosophical basis for sound Science and all the technologies that spring from it.

Quote:
Quote:Yes, God commanded circumcision in the Old Covenant. But it wasn't the mutliation that circumcision became in the rabbinic, Talmudic era. See the FE page on circumcision.

It doesn't really matter, the circumcision of the old covenant is still a mutilation.  It's not something a true god would have asked for.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the true God, and He asked for it, so your statement is false. The Biblical kind of circumcision -- as opposed to the Talmudic version of it which destroys some of the important functions of the penis, reduces sensitivity and, therefore, male sexual pleasure, and reduces the "piston" action, thereby reducing female sexual pleasure -- really was not much more of a "thing" than ear-piercing, which is done to baby girls all the time. Its purpose was to mark the Hebrews as a separate people and to foreshadow the spilling of the Blood of Christ, which is why we honor Christ's having undergone the procedure on the Feast of the Circumcision. If you'd had a Biblical circumcision, I can about guarantee that you wouldn't be as pained by what you endured as a baby (which is something I totally agree with you about in terms of its being barbaric, medically unnecessary, unjust, unwise, etc.). (NOTE TO ALL: please let's not re-hash the whole circumcision debate in this thread!!!)

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#85


BTW, here's the Edict of Milan that some people wrongly think made Christianity "the state religion":

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Edict of Milan
By Constantine the Great, A.D. 313


When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule. And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.

Moreover, in the case of the Christians especially we esteemed it best to order that if it happens anyone heretofore has bought from our treasury from anyone whatsoever, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, concerning which a certain decree had been made and a letter sent to you officially, the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception, Those, moreover, who have obtained the same by gift, are likewise to return them at once to the Christians. Besides, both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency. All this property ought to be delivered at once to the community of the Christians through your intercession, and without delay. And since these Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals, all these things which we have included under the above law, you will order to be restored, without any hesitation or controversy at all, to these Christians, that is to say to the corporations and their conventicles: providing, of course, that the above arrangements be followed so that those who return the same without payment, as we have said, may hope for an indemnity from our bounty. In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured. Let this be done so that, as we have said above, Divine favor towards us, which, under the most important circumstances we have already experienced, may, for all time, preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state. Moreover, in order that the statement of this decree of our good will may come to the notice of all, this rescript, published by your decree, shall be announced everywhere and brought to the knowledge of all, so that the decree of this, our benevolence, cannot be concealed.


______________________________________________________________________

Nothing in there about "state religion" or the only religion allowed to be practiced or anything close to it. Nothing in there about punking on pagans, either. Baptized Kings did whatever they did in their own kingdoms, and I can't claim much knowledge of all that, but one can't blame the Church for what Kings may have done, either. It's illogical and unjust. During the Spanish Inquisition, the Spanish King had a serious problem with fake "conversos" -- Jews who pretended to convert, but who, in fact, did not and even went so far as to preach the Talmud from Catholic pulpits. These conversos also plotted with Muslims to take over Spain. The King obviously had to do something to weed them out; hence, the dreaded "Spanish Inquisition," whose Courts were run by the Church (since the goal was to search out the pseudo-Catholics, a Church matter), but whose sentences were up to and carried out by the government. Folks on trial had attorneys, and the trials were run with AT LEAST the same sorts of safeguards as secular courts and MORE. They were known for their fairness at the time. And the execution rate? The same as modern Texas -- again, set by and carried out by secular forces.

Anyway, Constantine's nephew, Julian the Apostate, hated Christians and did all he could to make their lives miserable. He also helped the Jews try to re-build the Third Temple. Here's what happened:  http://www.fisheaters.com/juliantemple2.html

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#86
(06-26-2014, 05:40 AM)Melkite Wrote: It doesn't really matter, the circumcision of the old covenant is still a mutilation.  It's not something a true god would have asked for.


You have a problem with circumcision?

This makes you question if God is true/merciful?

...oooookay.

That's one argument I've never heard before.
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#87
(06-26-2014, 11:39 PM)RedCaves Wrote:
(06-26-2014, 05:40 AM)Melkite Wrote: It doesn't really matter, the circumcision of the old covenant is still a mutilation.  It's not something a true god would have asked for.


You have a problem with circumcision?

This makes you question if God is true/merciful?

...oooookay.

That's one argument I've never heard before.

If you learned of a culture that believed God asked them to cut off their pinky toe in order to be part of his covenant, you'd probably think that was a little crazy, right?
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