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Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 13:50

Bluegoat wrote:Does the OC have any actual official position or direction on transsexual etc people? ...
I guess I'm wondering if this is your interpretation of Orthodoxy by inference or someone has overtly set some kind of precedent or direction?


The only official OC guidelines are those laid down by the 7 councils. I'm not sure of the prevelance of transsexuals at that time, but it wasn't a point of ecclesiastical difference, therefore wouldn't be addressed in a council. All things like this are discussed between a believer and their Spiritual Father. As far as I know the incidences of an Orthodox believer becoming transsexual are nearly, if not completely, non existent. The more likely scenario is that of a transsexual who then wishes to join the church. Again that is a matter for them and their sponsor.

PostoDave raised an interesting question the other day. Is the Orthodox dependence on guidance from your Spiritual Father the same as that given by the Heavy Shepherding movement? The answer is no. My Spiritual Father does not come to my house and tell me how to live my life. In act he has never been to my house. I chose him to be my Spiritual Father after consideration of available Pneumatica Priests. He is a priest at a different church to mine. I contact him when I have a need to discuss something and make an appointment to visit him. He listens to me, then offers guidance and advice. He also isolates my own sin in the account I give and after a discussion of that ascertains my own reaction and offers confession.

In offering this personal account of the nature of my relationship with my Spiritual Father I hope to differentiate between the way guidance is given in the OC and the more Lutheran nailing up on a door you list of points.

For example; one American male convert aged 66 in our church, who is now an acolyte, recently said: "I found that there ain't no law that says that you gotta grow a beard. Until there's such a law I ain't gonna do it." This is to miss the point entirely. The OC does not tell you to do things. It expects that if you want to join the church then you will observe the traditions of the church because you want to. Not because you are told to.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 15:51

Bluegoat wrote:Does the OC have any actual official position or direction on transsexual etc people? I know that the Catholics are very cautious but don't actually outright reject the possibility of medical intervention, and some Muslim nations will actually pay for it through their public health service. Neither suggest that it's not "normal" in quite the way you seem to mean Rus, and medicine doesn't seem to support that either. I guess I'm wondering if this is your interpretation of Orthodoxy by inference or someone has overtly set some kind of precedent or direction?

The term "transsexual" is a modern term that falsely describes human nature, and as such, is not in established Orthodox terminology.

On interpretation, Bluegoat, if everyone here agrees that same sex sexual acts are sin, then there's nothing to discuss. If not, then you have to ask what the Orthodox position is and whether you are in agreement with it. If not, then you are not Orthodox. What we today call "homosexual behavior" (as acts that one commits) is condemned universally by the Orthodox Church. You can't disagree with Orthodox dogma and be Orthodox (in communion).

As soon as you start expressing things in term of "who a person is" (something we do, to our risk, with other sins as well) as opposed to "what they do", then you are departing Orthodox understandings. We are all sinners. We are all messed up. If we experience desire, that in itself is not condemned, is not sin. The question is whether we act on it or not. It is not "who we are" that is condemned" but that we do that which we ought not do - we sin, and fall short of the glory of God. If one justifies that which cannot be justified in Orthodoxy, then one can't be Orthodox. This is why it is so necessary to recognize the distinction between being and doing, and to stop using language that (deliberately, on the part of its inventors) confuses the two. As soon as you use the language of the modern world, you are pretty much out of court. (A lot of Orthodox Christians do, primarily because they don't understand that. The language is too recent to have a universal Orthodox reaction to it.) Frederica Mathewes-Green, for instance, uses the word "gender" in stead of "sex", as do thousands of others. But if you study language and etymology, as I do, you come to realize that this recent language was coined by people who wanted (and want) to overthrow traditional Christianity, certainly concerning the adopted terms, and the appropriate reaction is to reject such language. One term, coined by some thoughtful, intelligent Christians somewhere, is "same-sex attraction". if we speak of that, and view it in terms of acted upon or struggled against, then you have a correct view of the matter. That's why I used the analogy to alcoholism earlier.

Chesterton's "On Evil Euphemisms" is a must-read to consider how language is used to manipulate our thinking and insert false ideas into it. http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/boo ... misms.html
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 15:53

Xara wrote:For example; one American male convert aged 66 in our church, who is now an acolyte, recently said: "I found that there ain't no law that says that you gotta grow a beard. Until there's such a law I ain't gonna do it." This is to miss the point entirely. The OC does not tell you to do things. It expects that if you want to join the church then you will observe the traditions of the church because you want to. Not because you are told to.

QFT. :smile:
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Re: Edited Title: Beards

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 15:59

Xara wrote:I've heard many Evangelical Christians quote the phrase "Hate the sinner, not the sin". This sounds similar to your point.

:??:
It's a general truth, completely Orthodox. We ARE supposed to hate sin. We ARE supposed to love sinners.

Xara wrote:The thing that strikes me most is your secondary point about the Priest having the discernment to work something into the Synaxarion. Discernment is the important, and the most elusive spiritual gift of all.

I am not saying that that is the necessary solution. I would hope that the priest would have the discernment to respond appropriately in a given situation. Both the situations and solutions can vary considerably. Just that at some point, people who engage in that kind of behavior need to learn that it is not, in fact, normal or appropriate for an Orthodox Christian. If there are Orthodox Christians here who do not realize that, then my point is not academic. It's practical. (That doesn't have to be limited to Orthodoxy. The strange fact that all of Christianity up to the late 20th century generally agreed on that also needs explanation.)
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby cyranorox » 10 Jul 2009, 17:34

Orthodoxy not being, as Protestantism is, merely or even principally a matter of intellectual assent, we cannot be excluded from the Church over such a matter. The whole tenor of 'if you... then you are not Orthodox' is outrageous; you may say, 'if you are not .. then you are not orthodox', small o.

Hating the sin is a difficult matter; we are not called to spend time on it. The reason is that almost no one can do it without slipping into the [far worse] sins of pride, selfconceit, and censoriousness. Besides, we all have favorite sins to hate, a wedge for temptation; for example, I hate pride, censoriousness, anger and envy [the envy of the rich for the poor is a dreadful threat to Christian culture] and the cold sins generally. Others fancy the warm sins of the pleasures for their pet targets: sex, food, dress.

I suppose this can be resolved by determining to hate sin, but focus on the sins that do not appeal to our supposedly righeous anger. Rus, I assign you usury, vanity, and cheating; I can take on lust, sloth and profanity for my chief hating.
;=>
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Re: Edited Title: Beards

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 19:06

rusmeister wrote:Just that at some point, people who engage in that kind of behavior need to learn that it is not, in fact, normal or appropriate for an Orthodox Christian. If there are Orthodox Christians here who do not realize that, then my point is not academic. It's practical.


But there are gay Orthodox priests. They have been given their positions by His Eminence the Archbishop. If I accept the decision of the Archbishop, your post seems to imply that I am in the wrong.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 19:20

rusmeister wrote:The term "transsexual" is a modern term that falsely describes human nature, and as such, is not in established Orthodox terminology.


But, strangely, still a Greek term.

rusmeister wrote:On interpretation, Bluegoat, if everyone here agrees that same sex sexual acts are sin, then there's nothing to discuss.


And of course same sex acts were not unknown in Ancient Greece.

rusmeister wrote:If not, then you have to ask what the Orthodox position is and whether you are in agreement with it. If not, then you are not Orthodox.


I do accept the decision of the Archbishop to ordain a gay priest. Does that make me Heterodox.

rusmeister wrote:What we today call "homosexual behavior" (as acts that one commits) is condemned universally by the Orthodox Church.


Well, see above. Not really.

rusmeister wrote:You can't disagree with Orthodox dogma and be Orthodox (in communion).


Ready to accept homosexuality?

rusmeister wrote:The language is too recent to have a universal Orthodox reaction to it.) Frederica Mathewes-Green, for instance, uses the word "gender" in stead of "sex", as do thousands of others. But if you study language and etymology, as I do, you come to realize that this recent language was coined by people who wanted (and want) to overthrow traditional Christianity, certainly concerning the adopted terms, and the appropriate reaction is to reject such language.


Goodness. Isn't gender derived from "genosis" (not Genesis). That is a key word in the Nicene Creed. That puts it's use at over 1600 years.

rusmeister wrote:One term, coined by some thoughtful, intelligent Christians somewhere, is "same-sex attraction".


Same - homo
sex - sexual

Again, quote an old phrase.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 19:22

rusmeister wrote:
Xara wrote:For example; one American male convert aged 66 in our church, who is now an acolyte, recently said: "I found that there ain't no law that says that you gotta grow a beard. Until there's such a law I ain't gonna do it." This is to miss the point entirely. The OC does not tell you to do things. It expects that if you want to join the church then you will observe the traditions of the church because you want to. Not because you are told to.

QFT. :smile:


Sorry, not familiar with QFT. Hope it's positive :-)
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Re: Edited Title: Beards

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 20:02

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:Just that at some point, people who engage in that kind of behavior need to learn that it is not, in fact, normal or appropriate for an Orthodox Christian. If there are Orthodox Christians here who do not realize that, then my point is not academic. It's practical.


But there are gay Orthodox priests. They have been given their positions by His Eminence the Archbishop. If I accept the decision of the Archbishop, your post seems to imply that I am in the wrong.

That's simply heretical from the standpoint of Orthodoxy (assuming your archbishop knowingly placed them or knowingly left them in place). What jurisdiction is your Archbishop in charge of? (If it's not the Eastern Orthodox Church then the jurisdiction is out of communion in any event.)

I think God blesses obedience in an awful lot of cases, but not necessarily all. (See Maximus the Confessor for an exception)

There can be no canonical "gay" Orthodox priests.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 20:06

cyranorox wrote:Orthodoxy not being, as Protestantism is, merely or even principally a matter of intellectual assent, we cannot be excluded from the Church over such a matter. The whole tenor of 'if you... then you are not Orthodox' is outrageous; you may say, 'if you are not .. then you are not orthodox', small o.

Hating the sin is a difficult matter; we are not called to spend time on it. The reason is that almost no one can do it without slipping into the [far worse] sins of pride, selfconceit, and censoriousness. Besides, we all have favorite sins to hate, a wedge for temptation; for example, I hate pride, censoriousness, anger and envy [the envy of the rich for the poor is a dreadful threat to Christian culture] and the cold sins generally. Others fancy the warm sins of the pleasures for their pet targets: sex, food, dress.

I suppose this can be resolved by determining to hate sin, but focus on the sins that do not appeal to our supposedly righeous anger. Rus, I assign you usury, vanity, and cheating; I can take on lust, sloth and profanity for my chief hating.
;=>


If you do not accept the teachings of the Orthodox Church, then you can't be Orthodox. That's really cut and dried. It's not me at all. It's Church canons.

You're right in saying that we are not called to spend time on hating the sin - it is something we do when we are confronted with it; it's not a calling. We are called to hate whatever sin we are confronted with.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby rusmeister » 10 Jul 2009, 20:26

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:The term "transsexual" is a modern term that falsely describes human nature, and as such, is not in established Orthodox terminology.


But, strangely, still a Greek term.


Obviously you mean that it is formed from the Greek language - that doesn't make it a valid Greek term, particularly as the Greek language was used even 150 years ago, let alone 2,000.
As Chesterton pointed out in the essay I linked - which I strongly encourage you to read, the term "homeography (also formed from Greek) could be used to repaint forgery; to make it appear to be something that is not sin.

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:On interpretation, Bluegoat, if everyone here agrees that same sex sexual acts are sin, then there's nothing to discuss.


And of course same sex acts were not unknown in Ancient Greece.


And those terms did not exist. Have you read R. Young's excellent essay on the topic? http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/a ... 8-10-036-f

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:If not, then you have to ask what the Orthodox position is and whether you are in agreement with it. If not, then you are not Orthodox.


I do accept the decision of the Archbishop to ordain a gay priest. Does that make me Heterodox.


Responded to above. Again, what is your jurisdiction? (I just wouldn't want to waste time disagreeing if we are actually of different confessions. I have been assuming that we are of the same confession - if not, then I guess your confession can teach whatever it wants, and you would be fully in line with that confession.)

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:The language is too recent to have a universal Orthodox reaction to it.) Frederica Mathewes-Green, for instance, uses the word "gender" in stead of "sex", as do thousands of others. But if you study language and etymology, as I do, you come to realize that this recent language was coined by people who wanted (and want) to overthrow traditional Christianity, certainly concerning the adopted terms, and the appropriate reaction is to reject such language.


Goodness. Isn't gender derived from "genosis" (not Genesis). That is a key word in the Nicene Creed. That puts it's use at over 1600 years.

Derivation is not usage. A word may be derived at any time. As this one was. In English:
gender
c.1300, from O.Fr. gendre, from stem of L. genus (gen. generis) "kind, sort, gender," also "sex" (see genus); used to translate from Gk. Aristotle's grammatical term genos. As sex took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be used for "sex of a human being," often in feminist writing with reference to social attributes as much as biological qualities; this sense first attested 1963. Gender-bender is first attested 1980, with reference to pop star David Bowie.


Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:One term, coined by some thoughtful, intelligent Christians somewhere, is "same-sex attraction".


Same - homo
sex - sexual

Again, quote an old phrase.

The thing missing here is the absolutely necessary word "attraction", making clear that "homosexual is an adjective, not a noun. You can say homosexual attraction and be correct, but the trouble is that "homosexual" is already a polarized and now prejudiced word. It is assumed to be a noun; ie, that you can "be" one. The idea that it may not be a thing that you "are" at all is thus prevented from crossing people's minds.


FTR, QTF means "quoted for truth". So yes, that does mean that I agreed with the statement. :smile:
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Re: Edited Title: Beards

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 21:48

rusmeister wrote:
Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:Just that at some point, people who engage in that kind of behavior need to learn that it is not, in fact, normal or appropriate for an Orthodox Christian. If there are Orthodox Christians here who do not realize that, then my point is not academic. It's practical.


But there are gay Orthodox priests. They have been given their positions by His Eminence the Archbishop. If I accept the decision of the Archbishop, your post seems to imply that I am in the wrong.


That's simply heretical from the standpoint of Orthodoxy (assuming your archbishop knowingly placed them or knowingly left them in place).


The Archbishop evidently thinks it is OK. What Council edict are you thinking of?

rusmeister wrote:What jurisdiction is your Archbishop in charge of? (If it's not the Eastern Orthodox Church then the jurisdiction is out of communion in any event.)


No Archbishop is in control of the Eastern Orthodox Church. That's how the split with Rome came about, because one Archbishop wanted to control the others.

His Eminence Gregorios is the Archbishop of Thyateria and Great Britain. Our Patriarch is Bartholomew of Constantinople. In other words the oldest "diocese", predating all others. He is also the one who baptised me 43 years ago.
I think God blesses obedience in an awful lot of cases, but not necessarily all. (See Maximus the Confessor for an exception)

rusmeister wrote:There can be no canonical "gay" Orthodox priests.


Reality would seem to offer a difference. In any case my opinion is subservient to the Archbishops in ecclesiastical matters. I may express surprise, but I accept it.
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 21:59

rusmeister wrote:You're right in saying that we are not called to spend time on hating the sin - it is something we do when we are confronted with it; it's not a calling. We are called to hate whatever sin we are confronted with.


You surprise me. I didn't know we were called to hate anything. Avoid, yes. Don't practise, yes. But hate - isn't that a sin itself?
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby Xara » 10 Jul 2009, 22:23

rusmeister wrote:
Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:The term "transsexual" is a modern term that falsely describes human nature, and as such, is not in established Orthodox terminology.


But, strangely, still a Greek term.


Obviously you mean that it is formed from the Greek language - that doesn't make it a valid Greek term, particularly as the Greek language was used even 150 years ago, let alone 2,000.

I assume you mean "wasn't". In which case - what????? Greek has been used continuously since it's inception. It has changed and evolved, but to say that it wasn't used is to wear blinkers of the narrowest gauge.

Some people would contend that Greek words are still Greek.

rusmeister wrote:As Chesterton pointed out in the essay I linked - which I strongly encourage you to read, the term "homeography (also formed from Greek) could be used to repaint forgery; to make it appear to be something that is not sin.


I'm not saying I never read heterodox authors, but I don't consult them on matters of Orthodoxy. Just a personal whim.

rusmeister wrote:
Xara wrote:And of course same sex acts were not unknown in Ancient Greece.

And those terms did not exist.


It is wonderful to be able to lay claim to how other cultures spoke some centuries ago. The counter contention is that when they wanted to refer to homosexual activity, what phrase did they use? And if it was in Greek (being in Greece) why would they not use accepted terms for same and sex? Or *brainwave* are you suggesting that they used the phrase "homogenosis"?

rusmeister wrote:I just wouldn't want to waste time disagreeing if we are actually of different confessions. I have been assuming that we are of the same confession - if not, then I guess your confession can teach whatever it wants, and you would be fully in line with that confession.)


Is this a game of "my church is more Orthodox than your church?" OK, from my standpoint the Genuine, Real, No Substitutes Accepted Orthodox Church is 7 Council. Whilst holding nothing against pre-Chalcedonians I prefer the full on 7 to the brevity of 3.

Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:The language is too recent to have a universal Orthodox reaction to it.


Goodness. Isn't gender derived from "genosis" (not Genesis). That is a key word in the Nicene Creed. That puts it's use at over 1600 years.


Derivation is not usage. A word may be derived at any time. As this one was. In English:
gender
c.1300, from O.Fr. gendre, from stem of L. genus (gen. generis) "kind, sort, gender," also "sex" (see genus); used to translate from Gk. Aristotle's grammatical term genos. As sex took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be used for "sex of a human being," often in feminist writing with reference to social attributes as much as biological qualities; this sense first attested 1963. Gender-bender is first attested 1980, with reference to pop star David Bowie.


So Aristotle used "genos" and we use "gender". That seems to be a usage, not derivation. Allowing for some distortion passing through other languages it is the same word.

rusmeister wrote:
Xara wrote:
rusmeister wrote:One term, coined by some thoughtful, intelligent Christians somewhere, is "same-sex attraction".

Same - homo
sex - sexual

Again, quote an old phrase.

The thing missing here is the absolutely necessary word "attraction", making clear that "homosexual is an adjective, not a noun. You can say homosexual attraction and be correct, but the trouble is that "homosexual" is already a polarized and now prejudiced word. It is assumed to be a noun; ie, that you can "be" one. The idea that it may not be a thing that you "are" at all is thus prevented from crossing people's minds.

This would appear to be a philological appreciation. However this misses the root of English language wherein adjectives are allowed to be used as nouns in accordance with the English laid down in Shakespeare's time. The delineation between word functions was an abortive suggestion of around 1750 drawn from the attempt to lay syntactical rules from Latin on top of English. The attempt was rejected, but it is true to say that the remnants of that are sometimes adopted by those who achieved a middling level of English grammar education.

(I went to a Grammar school, so things like that and the ablative singular were drummed into me.)
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Re: Edited Title: The war of modernity vs paradosis

Postby john » 11 Jul 2009, 00:44

Guess what, folks? That's the end of this debate. I suggest you two exchange email addresses so that you can continue this privately.
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