Theology and Reason: Purity of Mind and Soul

On
THEOLOGY and REASON
By
Abp. Mark Athanasios C. Karras, Ph.D.
 _________________

DUALITY vs. UBIQUITY
  [Posted: September 6, 2011]

It is unacceptable to assume a duality in the Universe on the strength of mathematical formulas and quantum mechanics presumptions. Duality observed in experimental tests is best interpreted as a manifestation of ubiquity. Presence is ubiquitous—not dual. The issue may be expressed in ordinary terms as follows: It is the same water (present throughout) that runs from the faucet in front of the house as it is from the faucet in the back of the house. The two streams are not a mirror refection or a duplication of each other. All of the water constitutes a single presence and can be observed in two different places at the same time.

The notion of duality is static and finite. The notion of ubiquity is active and expansive. For an enlarged discussion of the underlying effects relating to ubiquity and of its inherent expansive quality, read: Ayla Hesperia. (2008). Seven Gates to Freedom: Awareness and Consciousness. Camarillo, CA 93011-1771. New Byzantium. (ISBN 978-0-9815772-0-3)

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THE SON of MAN or THE SON of GOD

    The issue you inquire about is in its fullest subjective. That is, the answer lies within the person contemplating it. On this basis, you must decide the matter for yourself.

    It goes to the essence of the debate about the divinity/humanity of  the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Constantine the Great and his successor son sided with Arius. On the other hand, Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasios, opposed Arianism. The Council of Nicea in August 325AD was convoked by Constantine to settle the matter. Priest Arius in Alexandria advanced the theological thesis that Jesus had only one "Hypostasis" (underlying standing: Υπό-στάσις) — the created human nature; whereas, St. Athanasios proclaimed the divine nature as well. The Council settled on the “Consubstantial” (same substance: Ομο-ούσιος) hypostasis. That is, that the Lord is of both human and divine substance at the same time.

    Some hundred years later, Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople argued that the two natures are distinct and separate. The Church, however, holds the position of the dual nature at the same time.

    The above is caused by the references to the “Son of man” and the “Son of God.” Jesus used the first term directly, and alluded to the second term by speaking, for example, of his Father in Heaven. This subject of the two terms has not to been resolved even to the present day.

    I do not believe that any “theologian,” past, present, or future will be able to resolve (or too often dictate) what one’s own conscience, conviction, and faith can offer. This is why I say that the answer rests within your own self.

+Mark Athanasios

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CREATION or SCIENCE
Scripture and Classicism

GOD .·. (E = mc2)

WHO created the alleged setting
concerns the theologian.

HOW the big bang may have occurred
is the domain of the scientist.

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SHAPE OF THE CHRISTIAN CROSS
T-shape
or Cross-shape?
  It is far sturdier and reasonable to join crosswise two lengths of wood by carving and fitting mating notches than it is to balance one piece across the top end of the other. In the latter case, an inscription installed on the transverse would be hard if not impossible to read (given the Lord’s head and shoulders in front).  However, a higher extension or an attachment to the upright allows the proper and clear installation of the inscription and also produces a distinct and unmistakable traditional shape of the Cross.

   

It is difficult to accept that research has produced the adjacent portrayal of the construction of the Cross. Romans may have been cruel yet expert engineers in the erection of large  structures, the production of a  form  of concrete, the building of cobbled highways, aqueducts, and war machines. To carry the weight of a human body, it  is doubtful they would have joined  two pieces of wood in the flimsy manner shown here. It is simple artistic license and unfettered imagination. This casts serious doubt as to the veracity of the declared overall appearance of the True Cross.

 

[Send to a Christian and to other interested persons: www.New-Byzantium.org/Thlg.Reas.html]

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Arrogance and denial of hell's presence guarantees passage there.

The safe journey is through CHRIST.

 

(avoid delay: secure the ticket now)

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No finer synergism exists that rivals the irreversible
yet conflicted confluence of Hellenism and Judaism

whence, Christianity.


Judaism converts [advances] to Christianity — Christianity reverts [regresses] to ana-Judaism.
[Ref: Apostolic Universal Center.  (1971). Christ Unto Byzantium. (p. 16). Lakemont, GA: CSA Press.]

JERUSALEM
CHRIST: King over His Cross and People.  The 'Brotherhood of the All-Holy Sepulcher' in Jerusalem commemorates Saint Helen's Discovery of the True Cross during Constantine's rule, founder of Constantinople and of the Empire of Byzantium.

Οι Σόλυμοι (The Solymoi) mentioned by Homer were an ancient Lycian people whose language was written in the Greek alphabet.  Their city of Salem (Σόλυμa) in ancient Canaan was identified later with Jerusalem (Gen. 14:18; Ps. 76:2).

In the pre-Homeric language of the Pelasgians (Greek progenitors), the word ιερός (hierós=sacred) derives from χιερός (χιέ [hiéh] =shadow; and phonetically in Modern Greek today, σκιά [skiá] and σκιερός [skierós] or shadow and shadowy) — the χ was substituted by the ι that also evolved to sk.  It all means one who is overshadowed by a haze, or a halo.  That is, one imbued with sacredness or holiness.

The above two words, ιερός and Σόλυμa, combined produce Ίερο-σόλυμa (Holy Salem) or Jeru-salem.

[A parallel example is in the name, Geronimo = Ieronymos (Jerome), which is comprised of ieron (sacred) and onoma (name).  This too is a compound word that means one of sacred name.  Otherwise, and in a different vein, the following is worthy of mention: Prior to the Christian era, several sites existed with temples and the like in honor of Zeus.  One of those sites was the above mentioned Salem.  This explains why Salem was already considered sacred in very ancient times.]

Abraham’s root:
In the Jewish view, Christ never came. In the Moslem view, He never will.
For the Christian:
He came and was known in the Face of Jesus the CHRIST

not a man who became a god but God Who became Man.

Love for CHRIST is immediate and unconditional:
It is not vicarious through misplaced adulation for the clergy
— whether
for priests, ministers, patriarchs, popes, or
bishops.

Response to the Love for CHRIST is the Love from CHRIST.
Yet, in the midst of hatred, CHRIST is Love.

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"RELATIONSHIP"  WITH  GOD:
THE  GREAT  ERROR

       The notion of a relationship with God is but a fabrication. The word itself has reached the heights of a buzz word  whose true effect is only to distance rather than to bring the believer closer to God.

         In the first place,  the word is nowhere to be found in Holy Scripture to merit any place in the parlance of evangelism—contrary  to the principle of  faithful  adherence to God’s Word.  It is a communication device fashioned after a typical  sales pitch rather than a serious message of profound spiritual strength and authority.  Yet, it is spread around with  tireless repetitiveness as though it supersedes even God’s own Word.  Scripture is precise in this matter: We are told that  our  existence,  as  ordained,  is   that  of  an  image  after  the  likeness of  our   Creator (Gen.1:26).  Although by our own choice we may  reject  this reality; when we do comprehend and  accept it, we do not embark upon a  relationship with God.  Instead, we identify  with and are absorbed within the presence of the Creator.   

        Two connotations comprise the word "relationship": interaction and kinship.  In the former instance, the faithful may only demonstrate and practice  love for, obedience to, and submission to God.  As for kinship, only One relates to the Father: i.e., Jesus the CHRIST, the Father's beloved Son in whom He is well pleased (Mat. 3:17).  All else is creation that only God begets by grace.  It is not through arrogance of one's personal assertion.

        To stand off and to view our conscious existence as one separate from God is the exact equivalent  of  the above cited rejection.   It is egocentric  in principle and establishes  a type of belief  that emanates from the individual who creates an  imaginary god of personal convenience  In other words,  the so-called  relationship is  instituted on  a tentative  basis,  wherein  the  ego claims:  “I—the great one—am here! You—the other great one—are there!   I deign  to come into a relationship with you; which,  I  can at will  break at any moment. Therefore, be attentive, cautious, and mindful of consequences.”

        The notion  of a  relationship  with  God  tends  to  distance  the  person.  The effective continuity between the child and  a parent is an indelible event.   Although the former may cease communion   with  the   parent,  the   intrinsic  sense  of origin  is never  abandoned  within   the offspring—legalisms of disavowal,  notwithstanding.  It is superficial and also counterproductive to preach a relationship  with  God,  because it only  creates confusion and estrangement for the believer.  The word should be  expunged from  every teacher’s and every minister’s evangelistic lexicon.   It  is unfortunate that such has  permeated  the printed  word with  great  proliferation, causing so much subtle and unrecognized damage.

        All preaching must revert to the authentic notion as prescribed in Scripture.  Image and likeness are the words that must be used to inspire the seeker in the quest for nearness to God.  The  sense of a  mere  relationship will  never  achieve  that:  In  actual  terms,  it  causes a cold remoteness  between the faithful  and God.  Despite the fact that we  humans are imperfect and thus  short  of  competence to be  like God (likeness);  we at  least have  the capacity  to  strive toward that in contemplating the imagery of  similarity to God (image)—not only in appearance but   also   in other  areas,  such  as   creativeness,   love,  compassion,  patience,  forbearance, imagination, and other desirable attributes.

 

THE  SACRAMENT  OF  BAPTISM

 

The sacramental power of the act of Baptism is indisputable.  One’s mental conviction of being Christian does not suffice: one cannot self-proclaim one’s self to be Christian by only thinking about it.  Scripture is clear on the imperative of Baptism, to wit: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:15). On the importance of Baptism, Scripture does not say, “He that believeth shall be saved.”  Baptism is not a mere symbol for the sake of appearance: it is an integral and inseparable function in spiritual transformation.  It follows the state of mental conviction of a person able to make conscious decisions.  Yet, it constitutes the preparatory sacred foundational act that absolves and purifies prior to the seating of the Holy Ghost upon the person.  The Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus only after his immersion and as he went up straightway out of the water (Mat. 3:16).  The state of mental conviction has no competence whatsoever in spiritual transformation.  Mental conviction is egocentric.  The gift of the Holy Ghost, however, is a matter of grace from God and is not endowed by human decision.  Human disposition is only an attitude and not a generator of spiritual essence.  It is human-oriented; whereas, spiritual grace is God-oriented.  These are two juxtaposed sources.  The former may receive of the latter only through the sacred act of Baptism that comprises immersion into the water and the seating of the Holy Ghost.  The sacredness of the act – immersion into the water and the seating of the Holy Ghost – is an independent divine power that transforms the person.  Jesus said: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). [Both the water of Baptism and the physical origin of life from water – implying the natural vs. the spiritual man – may be read in these words].  The receptive intent and attitude of conscious individuals is a prerequisite.  The purity and innocence of children and infants obviates the need for conscious attitude.  Scripture does not mandate the baptism of infants or the very young nor does it prohibit it.  The willingness of Abraham to dedicate Isaac to God (Gen. 22:9-12) exemplifies the willingness of faithful parents to dedicate their young to CHRIST.  No obstacle exists for the young to reject their Christian belief in their adulthood than exists for non-Christian adults who opt to embrace it.

 

 

"BORN-AGAIN"  CHRISTIANITY

 

To have been baptized and become a Christian is to have been born again once and for all time.

 

            No subsequent act or intent can override, annul, or improve upon the singular miraculous grace conferred on a person by holy baptism.  Any such attempt from an external source is pernicious, ill-intended, and punishable.  Whereas, the self-realization by the person is the unveiling of the existing new birth already resident within one’ self; it is, therefore, sinful (i.e., an error), for either the external influence or the person proper to advocate yet another new birth, and thus outright deny the sacredness of baptism already received in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  A profession of a new birth by an existing Christian is at once a) a sin, b) a tautology, and c) an oxymoron:

 

a)      It is a sin for the reason given in the above paragraph.

b)      It is a tautology, because as stated in the above axiom,

      to be a Christian is to be born again.

c)       It is an oxymoron, because the designation of the term Christian is juxtaposed against itself.  That designation implies that a person is already baptized and thus saved; yet, is needful of a new birth in order to be saved.

 

This type of foolishness is detrimental to the Christian Faith as a clear danger that generates divisiveness and confusion.  Misusage of the term born again, similar in fashion to the term relationship, is indicative of a buzz word in a sales pitch employed in the commercial world.  A most disheartening condition exists when ministers of God’s Word suggest that the Lord Jesus Christ would be disseminating his message in like manner as they do today—an evident implication that if he were to engage radio, television, and other modern means of communication, he would also be using contemporary sales techniques and language.

 

Born again, saved Christians have existed for two thousand years and they do know and study their Scripture.  They are aware of their salvation.  It is usual for a new arrival to a new understanding to believe that most others are not as well informed—a typical incidence in a novice.  Mark Twain stated it well when he remarked about his father’s increased wisdom, while he became older himself.  The enthusiasm and excessive posturing of the self-proclaimed born again Christian will soon mature to the knowledge that salvation is not decided and dispensed by the saved but by the grace of One who has the power to save.

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KISS  THE  TRINITY
(
Keep It Simple, Silly!)

            Of  course,  one  shouldn’t   be  silly.   It is simple enough.    That  there  exists  in God’s domain a  triad,  there is no doubt.  The Lord CHRIST said this:

(Matthew 28:19-20).  Go ye   therefore,   and   teach   all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the   Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost:  Teaching  them  to observe all  things  whatsoever I  have commanded you: and,  lo, I  am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

            Whether  in  our communication  we convey  this  truth  by  words  such as trinity,  triad, threesome, threefold, or even triple, it is not significant.  The Lord’s confirmation that there is a  threefold  expression of  His Essence is  what  is important. Beyond this, a debate as to  whether  the  triad  [τριάς  in  Greek]  consists  of  three  persons  or  two  persons and a thing  is wasteful—including  the  discrepancy  that  one of  the  thirds is a  product of  the other two thirds: to wit, the baseless filioque contention.

            The  Trinity is One Essence, integrated,  indivisible,  and undeniable;   expressed in toto [as  in  the  Lord’s   above  cited   statement] or, likewise,  as  one  presence at a  time:  that is, the Father,  the Son, the Holy Ghost.

            To  baptize in  the  name of the Father,  and of  the Son, and of  the Holy  Ghost  means that  one  integrated   essence  is   involved.   The  presence  of   the   Holy  Ghost  alone, however, does  not  negate   the concurrent  presence of  the  Father and  the  Son, since the  triad is  always   indivisible.   Likewise,  the  presence  of   the  Son  alone  does  not negate  the concurrent  presence of the Father and the Holy Ghost: The Lord was  [was, in terms  of  historical   reference] begotten of  the Father and also imbued with the Holy Ghost, as revealed at the moment of his baptism.

            The Trinity is  always a  threefold  expression of  One Essence: One Person manifested through  Three Personal  Expressions [with a  possible  explanation  being,   to accommodate the limited human capacity to deal with a matter beyond a temporal level].

            A source of  water  from the same spring  may pour out of different outlets: a sink tap, a garden hose, a street hydrant, or a factory spigot.  Nevertheless, the substance is the same rushing out  from  all  outlets.  It is the same electric current that  feeds a  variety of outlets: light  bulbs,  computers,  elevators,  traffic lights, etc.  The same current  is  manifested   in different  ways,  giving  the appearance of  various devices  having  their own  independent energy source.

                          Therefore: One God, One Person, expressed at Will in diverse ways.

                                                                                              

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THE
CHRONOLOGY  OF  THE  FOUNDING
OF
VARIOUS  CHURCH  ENTITIES

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LUTHERAN:  Founded in 1517 by Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Roman Catholic Church.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND:  Founded in 1534 by King Henry VIII because the Pope would not grant him a divorce
   with the right to re-marry.

PRESBYTERIAN:  Founded in 1560 by John Knox in Scotland.
CONGREGATIONALIST:  Originated in 1582 by Robert Brown in Holland .
PROTESTANT  EPISCOPALIAN:  Founded in the 17th Century in the American colonies by Samuel Senbury,
   and it is an offshoot of the Church of England.

BAPTIST:  Launched in Amsterdam in 1606, and tenets of the Church are owed to John Smyth.
DUTCH  REFORMED  CHURCH:  originated in 1628 in New York by Michelis Jones who is recognized as the
   founder.

METHODIST:  Founded in 1774 by John and Charles Wesley in England.
MORMON (Latter Day Saints):  Started in 1829 by Joseph Smith in New York.
SALVATION  ARMY:  Sect began in 1865 with William Booth in London.
CHRISTIAN  SCIENTIST:  Founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy.
[
SEVENTH  DAY  ADVENTIST:  Traced to the 19th Century.  The movement was inspired by William Miller
   (1782-1849).
]
CHURCH  OF  THE  NAZARENE – PENTECOSTAL  GOSPEL:  Last 100 years.
HOLINESS  CHURCH:  Last 100 years.
JEHOVAH’S  WITNESSES:  Last 100 years
.
ROMAN  CATHOLIC:  Split away from the original Church in 1054The Pope of Rome in 1054 split away from the
   other Apostolic PatriarchatesConstantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem.  Infractions are: the altering
   of the Original Creed and assertion of papal infallibility [and sovereignty].


ORTHODOX  CHURCH:  Founded in 33 by Jesus CHRIST, the Son of God, and remained intact as put forth by the
   Apostles.  Church is aged 2000 years and thus known as the oldest and as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic
   Church
(or, Orthodox Church NOT Orthodox Churches [plural]).  The Holy Faith unites ALL Orthodox as
   one forceful and undivided body expressed through multiple communities, whether ethnic, geographical, national,
   linguistic, etc.

It is perceived that the Orthodox Church, because of multiplicity, is divided apart.  The perception is wrong.  Division is the reciprocal of multiplication: the Church is increasing and abounding.

The Orthodox Church is cohesive by reason of the underlying common Faith
and not by force of down-line organizational authority.
Therefore, the Orthodox Church is collegial and not autocratic.

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Source: The above chronological data were extracted from the contribution of Rev. Dr. Miltiades B. Efthimiou of the Greek Orthodox Church of America in OrthodoxPhotos.com (Independent commentary included is by the present Host).



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THE  ERROR  OF  SIN

Christianity teaches against ignorance and advocates forgiveness.  It has nothing to do with guilt-mongering and bloodshed imagery: Neither is there innocence in exploiting the Supreme Sacrifice for lucre, nor is it conscionable to promote guilt as a means for social influence and control.

A major revamping is long overdue in the conveyance of the pristine and thus chief message of Our Lord Jesus CHRIST.  His is the way to hope, freedom, and illumination: It is not an abyss of negativism, self-doubt, emotional frustration, and abject denial.

Thoughtful consideration and faithful remembrance must be given to the last words of the Lord prior to His final utterance, when He granted salvation to the nobler of the two thieves on their cross and release from guilt to all humanity.  His words were: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34-43).  His was NOT a closing and unrelenting accusation of perpetual guilt thrust upon the people He loved.  He shed His precious Blood once and for all time in final and complete forgiveness of human primordial sin.  By what right, then, does any person—priest, minister, or lay person—dare to contradict His sacred imperative of everlasting forgiveness? And, by what right does anyone dare to incorporate into sin such permanent and unrelenting moral turpitude that promotes nothing but hopelessness to even the most repentant?

The significance of recognizing sin is not for the purpose of demolishing the moral foundation intrinsic in the human soul—that underlying awareness, builder of civilizations—but rather for the cognizance of error.  Sin, therefore, is tantamount to error, or mistake, ignorance of truth, facts, and correctness.  Awareness of sin becomes such when there is objective acknowledgment of the wrong selection among alternatives; and, it is independent of moral trepidation that occurs in the conscious defiance of the selection of a correct alternative.  Both instances—awareness and trepidation—are subordinated to ignorance; and, trepidation is subordinated to awareness, because a sound mind aware of the consequences signaled by trepidation would abstain from a wrong selection.  By consequence, ignorance—the absence of awareness—is what causes the ultimate engagement in sin or error.  It is, therefore, for forgiveness of ignorance and not of guilt that the Lord prayed to the Father in Heaven.  His Sacrifice, apart, absolved humanity of the foundational sin that had caused guilt.  Two separate and distinct missions were consummated on The Cross: one final, the other ongoing.

The Grace of God is not an abstract gift withheld in perpetuity or repelled by endless guilt.  Grace was dispensed through the Sacrifice on the Cross; and the world was freed forever.  It remains for humanity to recognize its errors and to reject them in a constant effort to attain excellence.  The image of God granted in humans is but a stepping-stone in their lofty yearning to receive the Grace of likeness with God.

_________________

The above indicts the wrong interpretation of sin, which promotes endless human guilt.  It also indicts the gross attention to physical blood, which attempts to inspire salvation resident solely in the sacred Blood of Jesus.

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TOMIC  LOVE
ANATOMY  OF  CHRISTIAN  LOVE

The Greek verb temnein (τέμνειν) means to cut. From that is derived the word tomos that means a piece cut off.  The aphetic letter a appended to tomos results in the word atomos, which means something that cannot be cut: hence, the English word atom.

Atomism, otherwise known as atomic theory, is the philosophical view of all matter being an aggregate of minute indivisible elements that are called atoms.

Yet, in physics—contrary to that theory—the atom has been divided.  That accomplishment by all rights should have been labeled, tomic theory, which is the roadmap to tomic power (rather than to a-tomic power, which is a contradiction).  Be that as it may, the title atomic theory has acquired universal acceptance.

The premise that follows, unlike the above instance, conveys a principle that is expressed in tomic rather than in atomic terms.  That is, the basic element of the combined whole of all such elements is considered divisible or tomic.

________________


Attention is directed to the admonition of Our Lord Jesus Christ; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  It was not without depth that the imperative was set forth.  Yet, it is difficult to adjust to the admonition: whether on an emotional or on a rational basis.  It is reasonable that the better choice is to accept both the emotional and the rational alternatives.

A difficult quandary still remains, however, as to how to incite and nourish this love; when and how to express it; and where to direct it—to everyone or only to those . . . deemed worthy? The average minister, priest, or lay person queried on the matter often feels secure to resort to the six commandments on interpersonal behavior as a clear and unassailable explanation.  Or, the same person may allude to the Greek word agape with the attached ever-present qualifier that it means more than just the English word loveand not physical love etc.   It does not appear, however, that the Lord had in mind for people to thrash about in a loving frenzy without a meaningful, helpful, and useful purpose.  His was not a vague admonition but a definitive and constructive one that needs to be analyzed and comprehended.

His message is founded on the single elemental word, love, which on first impression coveys a sense of indivisible solidarity and unattainable perfection.  Nevertheless, both emotional and rational charges are inherent in the word or its meaning, which are made evident when the word is split asunder.  That is, when tomic action is applied.
The word ceases to communicate an overpowering and amorphous concept that eludes the ability to comprehend it
let alone to apply its principle.
What emerges is the perception of a definable love, or tomic love that tells of care and consideration for others in practical terms.  This includes an emotional as well as a rational involvement.

Two sub-elements comprise the notion of love: teaching and forgiveness.
[Forgiveness thrives on Remorse]

 Beneficent teaching has emotional as well as rational components.  It is emotional because there is concern and caring.  It is rational because it enhances the receiver's life quality in terms of knowledge and self-awareness.  Forgiveness is also dual in content:  It is emotional because of the caring; and, it is rational because of the deliberate forbearance [in Greek known as macrothymia (μακροθυμία)] of the giver, which permits the rehabilitation of the receiver.

Viewed in the above context, the issue of love becomes definable, manageable, and purposeful in human cognizance; while it also enhances the emotional wellbeing of both the giver and the receiver.

It is essential, therefore, to perceive Christian love in its tomic form , in order to direct its purpose and to derive from it the mutual moral and spiritual benefit.


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On Athonic HESYCHASM

    Far from being just a traditional practice, Hesychasm is a major component of what constitutes the Christian Orthodox conscience of mystical union with God.

    Yet, it is necessary to attribute clarity to the resulting spiritual experience at the personal level in comparison to the witness of the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Thabor.

    The point of departure whence reflection begins in the attempt to elicit understanding determines the conclusion that is reached.  This means that if the experience is interpreted on the premise of physical terms, the conclusions will be different than if premised on transcendental terms.  The danger in the former option is the unintentional regression to any or all of the hitherto disavowed notions of old—whether it is Nestorianism, Monophysitism, or Arianism.

    It is here noted that any one of the aforementioned notions has in essence a physical foundation from which it springs.  This common characteristic is what renders them—each in its own way—contrary to the acceptance of the Godhood of Christ. Observe the following: a) Nestorianism asserts two distinct natures in Christ, which is tantamount to describing Christ as half part human and, therefore, incomplete in His Divinity; b) Monophysitism achieves the same conclusion, since it compromises the presumed  one Person—Divine only—with the injection of a full one half portion of physical substance [or appearance as a human]; and, c) Arianism is a complete denial of divinity, since the substantial essence of Christ is outright negated.  All three notions derive from a physical viewpoint in a futile attempt to explain God.  The apophatic stance of Christian Orthodoxy ensures avoidance of the error by declaring knowledge of only what God is not rather than what He is.

    The naturalness of Christ being interjected versus His Divinity, establishes the conviction that human awareness of God is human-generated and not autogenous.  This is to say, the notion is sustained that the created has created the creator.  Such a position, of course, nullifies the gift of Divine Grace, since nothing is forthcoming from a vacuum outside human awareness.  It is at this juncture of the clash between naturalism and transcendence that, in view of the unique event of the Transfiguration, the hesychast experience of the Divine and Uncreated Light begs clarification.

    There is no basis upon which it can be argued that an hesychast mystical experience does not occur.  The matter is a personal experience that can only be attested to by the individual involved.  Denial of the event by others cannot be supported, and acceptance of its existence must be taken at face value based on the credibility of the declarant.  And, although the resulting effect is the product of divine grace, the pursuit of that result is initiated at a natural level—i.e., the individual in prayer.  To equate that personal experience with the event of the Transfiguration is only valid in connection with the Divine and Uncreated Light that occurs in both instances.  Otherwise stated, the human-based practice, despite its possible favorable outcome granted by divine grace, is not tantamount to the witness of the Transfiguration.  The difference lies in the fact that the result grounded in a natural setting is a manifestation of Grace; whereas, the Holy Transfiguration is an emanation of Grace of the Divine Source—Christ.

    The hazard in contradicting the above relationship, which is to equate the personal hesychast productive outcome with the Transfiguration, is that it provokes the following: a) either it elevates the natural person to godhood—a presumption—rather than to assign one as the recipient of grace; or, b) it subordinates The Christ to a natural state, which in effect is a reversion to any or all of the aforementioned three disavowed notions of naturalism.


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No law must exist that defines marriage

Commitment to enduring intersexual human union constitutes marriage and is the manifestation of natural law.
Natural law is immutable and unaffected by civil law.


Civil law is malleable and competent to regulate social initiative such as is
intrasexual union—which is, however, outside natural law and thus
not a marriage.
___________________________

No law can be decided or legislated that dictates when the sun shall rise or set: That event is the outcome of natural law set forth by the Creator.  Marriage of male and female is the outcome of natural law.

Legal considerations are a social device separate from natural law.  In the case of intersexual involvement, legal considerations serve a marriage.  In the case of  intrasexual involvement, legal considerations serve a civil unionwherein rearing of children may be forbidden.

 

 

On the
ERROR  OF  COMPULSORY  CELIBACY

&
THE  UNREPENTANT  ATTITUDE  OF  PERPETUATION

Compulsory and pretentious celibacy at all levels of religious life is not a substitute for voluntary and unadulterated celibacy.  It is coercive and unnatural.  Not mandated by the CHRIST teaching, it is often the cause of hypocrisy and aberrant behavior.  It is irrelevant to true faith and religiosity.  It is self-serving and abusive and a traditional frequent administrative device for power and control.
____

The grandest of all marriages is the union of Jesus The CHRIST with His Holy Church.

The Church is not a  POSSESSION of Her People nor of Her Priesthood.
Both are children gathered in Her fold to be ministered to and to minister
-- all by grace, and the latter by the calling and by the common wish.

 

The institution of marriage in physical terms and within human social order is a natural event toward procreation.  Jesus  excludes its existence beyond the threshold of perishable life:

 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Matt. 22:30-32).

The Apostle Paul is reserved, disclaiming authority on the matter and only offers personal judgment in hope of guidance by God's Spirit.  He recommends conscience to dictate each occasion, and in his opinion favors celibacy when matters hang in the balance.

IN  NO  INSTANCE,  HOWEVER,   DOES  SAINT  PAUL  IMPOSE  CELIBACY  AS  AN  IMPERATIVE.
Therefore:

 It is stealth, deception, and an attempt on
The CHRIST Kingship --
thus, a Major Sin
-- for any one or more ecclesiastics,
under cover of the Holy Church
as though in possession of Divine authority,
to IMPOSE the practice of celibacy
either upon the Laity or as a condition toward
Ordination or Consecration in the Clergy.

Saint Paul's words (I Cor. 7:25-40) are:

25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, [I say], that [it is] good for a man so to be. {distress: or, necessity}
27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a  wife.
28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
29
But this I say, brethren, the time [is] short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
31 And they that use this world, as not abusing [it]: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please thee Lord: {that belong...: Gr. of the Lord}
33
But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife.
34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, thatt she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband.
35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and thatt ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of [her] age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
38 So then he that giveth [her] in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth [her] not in marriage doeth better.
39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

______________

Γ. Δ. ΧΑΤΖΗΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΟΥ

ΤΟ  ΖΗΤΗΜΑ  ΤΟΥ  ΓΑΜΟΥ  ΓΕΝΙΚΩΣ
ΑΠΟ  ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗΣ  ΑΠΟΨΕΩΣ

ΤΟ  ΖΗΤΗΜΑ  ΤΟΥ  ΓΑΜΟΥ
ΤΩΝ  ΚΛΗΡΙΚΩΝ  ΕΙΔΙΚΩΣ


ΑΘΗΝΑΙ  1967

ΣΗΜΕΙΩΣΕΙΣ: 

            Ο Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Ιωάννης ο Γλυκύς και γυναίκα έχων και παίδας, ευθύς ως εγένετο Πατριάρχης ενέκλεισε την γυναίκα του εις Ιεράν Μονήν. [1316-1320]
            Κατά το έτος 1851 η Ιερά Σύνοδος της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος προέβη εις εκλογήν Αρχιεπισκόπου Ζακύνθου του Νικολάου Κατραμνή όντος εγγάμου μετά τέκνων.  Ούτος υπήρξεν ο τελευταίος έγγαμος Μητροπολίτης της Ελλάδος.

[Translation]

G. D. Hatziapostolou

THE  SUBJECT OF  MARRIAGE  IN  GENERAL
FROM  A  CHRISTIAN  STANDPOINT

THE  SUBJECT  OF  MARRIAGE
OF  THE  CLERGY  IN   PARTICULAR

ATHENS 1967

NOTES:

    The Patriarch of Constantinople John Glykys, having both a wife and children, immediately  upon being made Patriarch cloistered his wife in a holy Convent. [1316-1320]

    In the year 1851 the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece proceeded in the election of Archbishop of Zante Nikolaos Katramnes who was married with children.  He was the last married Metropolitan of Greece.


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Expansion of Western Civilization: from Constantine the Great to Constantinople and Byzantium and onward to America

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Constantine the Great began his eventful climb in York, England and reached the apex of his achievement in Constantinople, the City that he founded and named after himself (Constantine+Polis [city]=Constantinople).  By means of these pages, our readers travel through time, touching upon the early periods, including that of Constantine, of historical Constantinople, and of Hagia Sophia—the nexus of the Christian world—to arrive at places and events of our present day.  Our readers reach the outermost limit to which both Eastern and Western Christian groups expanded, bringing forth the flower of Western Civilization.  That limit is the Western Hemisphere as a whole, and in particular the coast of California near San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge where the two groups converged  as they approached from the North and from the South.