Thank you for your contributions and welcome to OrthodoxWiki! Fr. John
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And above all these things put on LOVE, which is the bond of perfectness
Peace and Grace,
"Unity in necessary things, liberty in doubtful things, love in all things" (In necessariis unitas (in essentials unity), in dubiis libertas, in omnibus autem caritas) --St. Augustine
I invite you to watch this video starting at minute 26 (rare clips of the late Ecumenical Patriarchs Athenagoras and Demetrius, champions of Church unity)
I also invite you to carefully read this paper by a much respected Greek Orthodox scholar.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE (I Corinthians 13:13).
God Bless. (no reply needed)
- First of all, you need to sign your posts on these talk pages. It's not like I can't figure out who you are, Arbible, so I don't know what you're playing at. There's an easy button you can push that signs your name and a timestamp, it's the second button from the right on your screen over every text box.
- Second of all, I may not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but I can figure out the difference between one of something, and two of something. Christ, who is one Person, has two Natures and two Wills. If believing that makes me unpopular or gets me "banished from the empire", so be it: I've already been vindicated! So, when I see the infallible Ecumenical Councils dragged through the mud, Orthodox saints disparaged for standing up against heresy, and the teachings of heretics uplifted, the least I can do is register a protest.
- Third of all, I should inform you that throwing a litany of martyrs at me is not going to change my mind. I think that kind of emotionalism is extremely crass, and it is certainly no substitute for the Holy Spirit. --Matrona 11:18, 3 November 2005 (CST)
- Peace and Grace,
- If there is anything in common to acknowledge here, this would be the severe limitations of our natural languages (modern and ancient alike), especially when dealing with theological/Christological matters. See some interesting debates from the Summa Theologica at ,. If our natural languages were 100% efficient and effective to deal with such matters, you wouldn't have seen all these ongoing, centuries-long debates about the same topic. And at Chalcedon we all know that matters of language were overshadowed and complicated by Imperial politics and Church rivalries. LOVE definitely didn't prevail there, especially if you consider the bloody persecution of the Copts (not just their hierarchs) and other non-Chalcedonian Orthodox Christians that followed.
- We also have many martyrs who died for their Orthodox faith. This remains precious in God's eyes, even though we are now discovering that we were and are all sharing a common faith (perhaps not yet from your point of view). The Coptic Orthodox Church is also a Church supported with innumerable miracles and apparitions to this present day. But we know that "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed". We are also perhaps the most persecuted of all Churches throughout the history of Christendom, but, as the Bible says, this is a privilege from God, a sign of His tremendous and very special love to us, and something to rejoice in (James 1:2).
- Perhaps it would be better if we (Copts) start our own CoptopediA (www.coptopedia.org?). The technology is cheap and readily available http://www.siteground.com/script_sales.htm?id=285 , though running such a project is not a trivial task and requires immense commitment. But what I enjoy most in this virtual place (OrthodoxWiki) are the prayerful feelings and spirit of brotherhood and unity (or at least sincere aspiration for it) that we do have in common, as Father John and Deacon Andrew have beautifully expressed it at .
- Thank you for the tip regarding signatures. I simply didn't know about it. No hidden motives (agape love that should be the foundation of all dealings between mankind "is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil"). Signing with my nickname won't add a lot. After all these are just nicknames with empty profile pages. --Arbible
- Regarding natural languange limitations, let me also add that Incarnation is a real mystery, as the Bible declares, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16). Trying to describe and "encapsulate" our infinite God within the confines of a finite language will be always shaded with some sort of "imperfection". Let's also not forget that even our brains are limited and finite. --Arbible
- I do not know why you attribute the differences between the non-Chalcedonian belief and the Apostolic, Orthodox-Catholic Faith to "differences in language". Although I am not a scholar of languages, I have not yet encountered any human language that failed to account for a distinction between "one" of something and "two" of something. Nor have I encountered a language that was unable to be used to clearly express any form of agreement or disagreement.
- Also, while much about nature of God remains an ineffable mystery, that does not give anyone license to ignore or discount what God has chosen to reveal about the Incarnation by way of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ecumenical Councils, including Chalcedon and Constantinople III. If you disagree with what those councils said, it's fine by me, I don't make it my business to force my beliefs on others. But as long as you fail to accept those councils, DON'T claim your belief is the same as mine. --Matrona 15:54, November 6, 2005 (CST)
- Dcn Peter Theodore has beautifully expressed it, "So as for the Tome. I believe it says A, B and C and that C is error. Yet I need not say that the Tome is explicitly heretical, I may, as I do, suggest that it is ambiguous and badly written in places. EO theologians such as Father John Romanides of blessed memory have said the same. Now if Constantine believes it says A, B and D then he may quite happily confess it as Orthodox. And I might talk to him and agree that if it did say A, B and D then it would be free from error. So I then discover that Constantine and I, who both believe A, B and D, find no substantial difference in our own faith. We disagree however in whether the Tome teaches C or D. It is the same with Chalcedon. Our bishops have agreed in Synod that both our Church and the Eastern Orthodox do indeed teach A, B and D while we may still disagree as to whether any historical events or synods taught C, D or indeed E."
- St. Cyril explained centuries ago that the Coptic Church believes in "one incarnated nature of God the Word" — that is, one union of two natures — one fully human nature and one fully divine nature.
- I believe it's better now to stop this discussion. --Arbible 16:06, November 6, 2005 (CST)
- You post that awful quote on my talk page, and then say it's better to "stop the discussion"? I don't know what else to say, except that you've proven my point. --Matrona 16:33, November 6, 2005 (CST)
On the lack of LOVE
Galatians 5: 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.