for videos to work, the address has to start with http:// not https://

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Martin Luther on Faith Alone and Eternal Security




Out of love for the truth and the endeavor to establish it...

+ In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. +


1. Since our Master and Lord Jesus Christ said: Repent, etc. wishes He that the whole life of His faithful followers on earth be one of constant and unceasing repentance.

3. However, He did not mean for it to refer only to the inner repentance: yea, the inner repentance is null, and no repentance at all, where it does not outwardly work all sorts of deadenings of the flesh.

4. Keeping this same sorrow and regret, that is, true repentance, as long as one dislikes himself, namely, until the passage from this life into the everlasting one.

94. Christians should be urged to strive and follow their Head, Christ, through Cross, death, and Hell.

95. And all the more through much effort in Heaven to arrive, than through the comfort and consolation of peace to become more assured.






Priest: That we may carry out the rest of our lives in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

Faithful: Grant us this, oh Lord.

Priest: Let us offer up ourselves, each other, and our entire lives, unto Christ our God.

Faithful: Unto Thee, oh Lord.



Friday, October 29, 2010

How The Doctrine Of Predestination Does Away With Works-Righteous Ascetic Labor


It... doesn't.


If you don't believe me, take a long hard look at the only Church Father whose views on Grace are homoousios with those of Calvin: Saint Augustine of Hippo spent his whole life in the most severe asceticism: Although he did believe in Grace Alone, or Sola Gratia, he did not believe in Faith Alone, or Sola Fide. (Nor did he believe in Sola Scriptura, for that matter). For him, the Grace of Election was not merely the forgiveness of past sins, but also the divine power bestowed upon the elect to live out a life of holiness, which included good deeds and works of righteousness: No Lutheran "cover of snow"; no Reformed-Calvinist divine 'glasses' of imputed righteousness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orthodox Christianity: Delivering Its Opponents To A Bitter Death Since 306 AD




Fifth Condac

The pagan emperor Maximian, taking an interest in gladiator games, sat and watched as many Christians were being killed by the hands of a strong and powerful fighter named Lyaeus, from the tribe of the Vandals. Unable to suffer seeing such wickedness any longer, the young Christian Nestor, zealously aflame with passion, went to meet with you in your cell, Saint Demetrius, and confessing to you his heart's ardent desire, asked for your blessing and prayers, so that he might defeat him; and you, Holy Martyr, putting your hope in the One Who strengthened you, and signing him with the mark of the Cross, told him: "Go forth, for against Lyaeus will you conquer, and Christ our Lord will you confess ", singing together with him: Hallelujah!






Fifth Icos

The young Nestor, putting his hope in God through you, Holy Great Martyr Demetrius, and hastily running towards that frightful place, cried out with a loud voice, saying: "Oh, Lyaeus, come let us both fight !"; but the emperor, seeing him so young and fair, took him to the side and told him: "Can't you see how many people Lyaeus killed ?", trying to lure him into becoming of one mind with him; but he, unwilling to comply, cried out: "God of Demetrius, help me !". And right away started fighting with Lyaeus, and throwing him into the sharpened spears, delivered him unto a bitter death, thus fulfilling your prophecy, Holy one; for which we greet you with these praises:


Rejoice, for Lyaeus' pride have you humiliated;
Rejoice, for you have encouraged Nestor to fight against him;
Rejoice, for you have foretold that through the sign of the Cross will he conquer him;
Rejoice, for unto a bitter death have you delivered him;
Rejoice, for the young Nestor a strong anchor in Christ through your holy prayers has found;
Rejoice, for his Hope did not disappoint him;
Rejoice, for your prophecy, oh Holy one, came true;
Rejoice, for Nestor also Christ confessed;
Rejoice, for the emperor's bait he did not accept;
Rejoice, since for him also a heavenly crown was prepared;
Rejoice, for at the emperor's command, by Marcian was he beheaded;
Rejoice, for his pure soul in Heaven with the Martyrs was counted;
Rejoice, myrrh-streaming Great Martyr Demetrius!



Sixth Condac

When the mad emperor found out that you, Martyr Demetrius, were the cause of Lyaeus' destruction, he became very afflicted, more so than as if he would've had lost his whole kingdom, and straight away commanded his soldiers that you likewise by spears shall be pierced; and you, praiseworthy Martyr, were awaiting your sentence thinking of the imperishable heavenly rewards you would soon be gaining, singing unto God: Hallelujah!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Role Of Women In Orthodoxy




A picture's worth more than a thousand words...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Orthodox Christianity: Silencing The Opposition Since 325 AD


When Constantine returned to Byzantium, certain philosophers came to him to complain of the innovations in religion, and particularly of his having introduced a new form of worship into the state, contrary to that followed by his forefathers, and by all who were formerly in power, whether among the Greeks or the Romans. They likewise desired to hold a disputation on the doctrine with Alexander the bishop; and he, although unskilled in such argumentative contests, and perhaps persuaded by his life, seeing that he was an excellent and good man, accepted the struggle at the command of the emperor. When the philosophers were assembled, since every one wished to engage in the discussion, he requested that one whom they esteemed worthy might be chosen as spokesman, while the others were to remain silent. When one of the philosophers began to open the debate, Alexander said to him, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ not to speak.” The man was instantaneously silenced. It is then right to consider whether it is a greater miracle that a man, and he a philosopher, should so easily be silenced by a word, or that a stone-wall should be cleft by the power of a word, which miracle I have heard some attribute to Julian, surnamed the Chaldean. I have understood that these events happened in the way above narrated.


Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History,
Book I, Chapter XVIII.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Protestant-Orthodox Dialogue


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Hmmm... now, let's see, what happened?



the sufferings of iconodules were mostly later fabrications anyways.

Just like those of the early Christian martyrs, you mean?



iconodules re-wrote the history after their victory, luridly making up stuff of what horrible nasty persecutors the iconoclasts had been.

Christians re-wrote the history after their victory, luridly making up stuff of what horrible nasty persecutors the pagans had been.



your childish apples-and-oranges comparison between the denial of iconodulic martyrdom and the martyrdom of early Christians

Yes, indeed: how childish of me to compare the persecution of Christians with... the persecution of Christians! Dumb, huh? What a totally original, completely controversial, and wholly counter-intuitive idea!... Who'd've thunk it !?



RC/EO historians have slandered the memory of iconoclast emperor Constantine V "Copronymus" - "dung-named"

Curiously enough, I don't see him saying the same about them "slandering" Arius' earthly departure...

[The former defecated in his Baptismal water, whereas the latter died of dysentery: although there was nothing super-natural or un-common and extra-ordinary about any of these things, the Orthodox interpreted them as signs of bad omen: in the first case, as a prophecy of Copronymus' future heresy; in the latter, as a divine punishment for Arius' heretical views].



Nestorian Assyrians have been famous for their detestation of images,

That's why they probably found a huge statue of the Virgin Mary in a seventh-century Nestorian Temple in China...



But here's yet a bit more, from Gibbon: "In their Syriac liturgy the names of Theodore and Nestorius were piously commemorated: they united their adoration of the two persons of Christ; the title of Mother of God was offensive to their ear, and they measured with scrupulous avarice the honors of the Virgin Mary, whom the superstition of the Latins had almost exalted to the rank of a goddess. When her image was first presented to the disciples of St. Thomas, they indignantly exclaimed, "We are Christians, not idolaters!" and their simple devotion was content with the veneration of the cross."

I kindly advised him to take the word of an actual Indian Orthodox Christian over that of a man whose main purpose in his book was the "open denigration of organized religion ". -- all to no avail...

[The reason why we even arrived at this point of our discussion in the first place was because I challenged him to answer how exactly is it that the Ancient Churches of the East (that the article was about) had the same teaching concerning the veneration of icons, saints, and relics as we do, even though they broke off from the rest of Christendom whole centuries before the dreaded Seventh Ecumenical Council of Second Nicaea].



John 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.


Begging The Question: Big Time!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Lord Created Me, The Beginning Of His Ways


The Lord created Me, the Beginning of His ways, before His works of old.
From everlasting was I founded, from the beginning, ere than the earth was made.
There were no depths when I was born, nor any springs laden with water.
Before the mountains' foundations were established, before the hills were formed, was I begotten.

Before Abraham was, I am.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Orthodox Christianity: Making Terrorist History Decades Before Bin Laden Ever Laid Hands On A Rifle


Reporter: These days, it sounds a little strange... loving the Arabs, that is. The world is afraid of them, at best.

Mioara Roman 1: Out of ignorance. Next to nothing is known about them, not even the fact that not all of the Arab world is Muslim. For instance, the one who committed the first major terrorist act, back in the 70's, was a Palestinian Orthodox Christian, just like us. The idea is that out of over one billion Muslims, only 200 million are Arabs.

Tango Magazine, March 2009


1 Scholar of Arabic and ex-wife of former Romanian Prime-Minister Petre Roman.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What's Wrong With This (Beautiful) Picture?



Islam's Sexual Self-Contradictions


Do you think that Islam and ancient biblical Judaism are alike? That Allah is just another way of spelling Elohim? That the Qur'an is similar to the Old Covenant? That Moses and Musa are one and the same? Well, think again:


From the Taurat given to Musa:


Exodus 19:15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives. 16 ¶And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. 20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.


From the life of Prophet Daud:


1 Samuel 21:4 And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread ; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women. 5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel. 6 So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.


From the Injil given by Isa:


Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God ? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.



Biblical accounts of especial encounters with the divine, as well as scriptural commandments about approaching the holy things, not to mention the Judeo-Christian depictions of the afterlife, always require chastity as a necessary prerequisite and non-negotiable condition, as opposed to the more lax Muslim view of Paradise, expressed by Muhammad in the Qur'an, and described by his closest faithful followers in the Ahadith.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Sixth Century Roman Deacon on the Filioque


For the Father indeed begets, and begotten He is not; and from someone else He is not, as from Him others are; the Son truly is begotten, and nothing co-eternal does He beget ; and the Holy Spirit from the Father proceeds, and nothing co-eternal proceeds from or is begotten by Him. Some of the very ancient to these properties have also added, that just as the Spirit together with the Father does not eternally beget the Son, neither does the Spirit proceed from the Son as from the Father. To tell you the truth, that indeed the Spirit does not eternally beget the Son, this I confess ( for neither do we speak of two Fathers ); but whether He truly proceeds from the Son in the same manner as from the Father, this I haven't yet perfectly figured it out.


Rusticus, Disputation Against the Acephali, page 36 (1237).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monarchy and Monotheism


The Kings of Israel, as well as Saint Constantine the Great, imposed or enforced monotheism as a tool for strengthening their own political power, and/or fortifying the unity of their empires: one God in Heaven, one King on earth; divine unity equals political and imperial unity.


Was the mighty Egyptian empire monotheistic? No. Did the great Chinese and Babylonian empires ever worship one God? No. Did Alexander the Great, who conquered the whole known world, ever bow his knee to a single deity? No. Then...? What gives?

The Fifth Commandment

Honour THY father and THY mother, but NOT anyone else's parents: and especially NOT Mine!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Islam's Iconographic Inconsistencies


Do you think that Islam and ancient biblical Judaism are alike? That Allah is just another way of spelling Elohim? That the Qur'an is similar to the Old Covenant? That Moses and Musa are one and the same? Well, think again:


From the Taurat given to Musa:


Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 26:1 ¶Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

Exodus 26:31 ¶And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made.

Exodus 36:8 ¶And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.

Exodus 36:35 ¶And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.

Exodus 37:7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 9 And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.

Numbers 7:89 And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.


The Temple of King Sulaiman:


1 Kings 6:23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. 35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.

1 Kings 7:29 And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work. 36 For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.

1 Kings 8:6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. 7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

1 Chronicles 28:18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 3:7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls. 10 ¶And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold. 11 And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. 12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. 14 And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.

2 Chronicles 5:7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.



Just out of curiosity: Do Mosques also have their walls covered in ornate iconographic depictions of Angels and Cherubim? If not, then why not?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Prosperity Gospel


$


Numbers 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Biblical Old Testament Icons


From the Torah:

Exodus 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 26:1 ¶Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

Exodus 26:31 ¶And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made.

Exodus 36:8 ¶And every wise hearted man among them that wrought the work of the tabernacle made ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work made he them.

Exodus 36:35 ¶And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work.

Exodus 37:7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 9 And the cherubims spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubims.

Numbers 7:89 And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.


From the Prophets:

1 Kings 6:23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. 35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.

1 Kings 7:29 And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work. 36 For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.

1 Kings 8:6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. 7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.


From the Writings:

1 Chronicles 28:18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 3:7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls. 10 ¶And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold. 11 And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. 12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. 14 And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.

2 Chronicles 5:7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: 8 For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Injil


The Gnostic Gospels ?


Given the actual information provided by Mohammed in the Qur'an on the life of Jesus, it surely seems that such is indeed the case... (various apocryphal Infancy Gospel accounts, a Docetist view of the Crucifixion, etc).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Futility, Thy Name Is Apologetics

The title says it all.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Calvinism 101


Take, eat: this is My spirit.

Drink ye all of this: this is a mere figure of My blood.

Do this in remembrance of Me. [ emphasis in the original Greek ]


So much for Sola Scriptura...