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Christian Discussion Thread XII: Soter? I hardly know her!

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

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What is your denomination?

Roman Catholic
234
33%
Eastern Orthodox
58
8%
Non-Chalcedonian (Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, etc.)
75
11%
Anglican/Episcopalian
39
6%
Lutheran or Reformed (including Calvinist, Presbyterian, etc.)
68
10%
Methodist
16
2%
Baptist
55
8%
Other Evangelical Protestant (Pentecostal, Charismatic, etc.)
43
6%
Restorationist (LDS Movement, Jehovah's Witness, etc.)
29
4%
Other Christian
90
13%
 
Total votes : 707

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Sordhau
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Postby Sordhau » Sun May 15, 2022 11:27 pm

Lower Nubia wrote:
Prima Scriptura wrote:Is there any good retorts to Christian deism?


Jesus is the antithesis of Deism.


Deists: "God doesn't get involved in earthly affairs."

Jesus: "Am I a joke to you?"
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Lower Nubia
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Postby Lower Nubia » Mon May 16, 2022 3:57 am

Sordhau wrote:
Lower Nubia wrote:
Jesus is the antithesis of Deism.


Deists: "God doesn't get involved in earthly affairs."

Jesus: "Am I a joke to you?"


Jesus to Deists:

"I'm about to end this man's whole career."
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 12:21 am

So Numbers 22:18-32 doesn't really make sense. Why would God send an angel to kill Balaam for going out to serve Balak, when God specifically told Balaam to go there?
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 12:42 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvhZGIs ... zbk0h00410

So this Orthodox YouTube channel seems to suggest that it's an offense (possibly to the point of excommunication) to criticise an Orthodox Emperor, which, woah, that doesn't seem right. I find that very hard to believe. Does that mean we should commend Putin and his war in Ukraine because Putin happens to be Orthodox? That seems very, very wrong to me, and I don't believe that that's what God would want. I mean, I know that the New Testament clearly states that you need to obey the law, sure, but most would believe that that's only the case if the law is benevolent. And in either case, I don't think disobeying the law would be an excommunicable offense. This pretty much means that Orthodox Emperors are infallible, which seems really wrong to me. Do any other Orthodox NSers care to weigh in?

On another, unrelated note let's discuss Matt: 12:31–32. All sins will be forgiven, except Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit. Many Orthodox interpret this as either one of two things:
1. Actively refusing God's forgiveness
2. Using God's name to commit evil.

If the latter is the correct interpretation, then does that also apply to non-violent evils, such as Televangelists, who, despite being extremely wealthy, use God's name to solicit vastly amounts of money from poor people (you know, the reverse of the Bible actually says), and if so, is it only those Televangelists who deliberately abuse God's name in such a manner, or does it also apply to those who are genuinely misguided enough to believe that Televangelism is correct?
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Tue May 17, 2022 12:55 am

Australian rePublic wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvhZGIs4poA&lc=z23ogbopnoqey5gy104t1aokggggyq50j03brifso4jzbk0h00410

So this Orthodox YouTube channel seems to suggest that it's an offense (possibly to the point of excommunication) to criticise an Orthodox Emperor, which, woah, that doesn't seem right. I find that very hard to believe. Does that mean we should commend Putin and his war in Ukraine because Putin happens to be Orthodox? That seems very, very wrong to me, and I don't believe that that's what God would want. I mean, I know that the New Testament clearly states that you need to obey the law, sure, but most would believe that that's only the case if the law is benevolent. And in either case, I don't think disobeying the law would be an excommunicable offense. This pretty much means that Orthodox Emperors are infallible, which seems really wrong to me. Do any other Orthodox NSers care to weigh in?


You're making two fairly basic errors here:

1) Attempting to draw detailed conclusions on Orthodox theology on the basis of a very basic YouTube animation posted by an account called 'Orthodox Meme Squad' doesn't strike me as particularly helpful. The video doesn't even begin to make a link between its content and Vladimir Putin.

2) Putin isn't an emperor; he's a secular president. Emperors have a very specific role in Orthodox history and theology, and not every Orthodox ruler is an emperor. The last recognised pan-Orthodox emperor died in 1453, and the last Orthodox emperor with any pretence of universality was deposed in 1917 (though the very last Orthodox monarch to have the title 'Tsar' is, remarkably, still alive)
Last edited by The Archregimancy on Tue May 17, 2022 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 1:51 am

The Archregimancy wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvhZGIs4poA&lc=z23ogbopnoqey5gy104t1aokggggyq50j03brifso4jzbk0h00410

So this Orthodox YouTube channel seems to suggest that it's an offense (possibly to the point of excommunication) to criticise an Orthodox Emperor, which, woah, that doesn't seem right. I find that very hard to believe. Does that mean we should commend Putin and his war in Ukraine because Putin happens to be Orthodox? That seems very, very wrong to me, and I don't believe that that's what God would want. I mean, I know that the New Testament clearly states that you need to obey the law, sure, but most would believe that that's only the case if the law is benevolent. And in either case, I don't think disobeying the law would be an excommunicable offense. This pretty much means that Orthodox Emperors are infallible, which seems really wrong to me. Do any other Orthodox NSers care to weigh in?


You're making two fairly basic errors here:

1) Attempting to draw detailed conclusions on Orthodox theology on the basis of a very basic YouTube animation posted by an account called 'Orthodox Meme Squad' doesn't strike me as particularly helpful. The video doesn't even begin to make a link between its content and Vladimir Putin.

2) Putin isn't an emperor; he's a secular president. Emperors have a very specific role in Orthodox history and theology, and not every Orthodox ruler is an emperor. The last recognised pan-Orthodox emperor died in 1453, and the last Orthodox emperor with any pretence of universality was deposed in 1917 (though the very last Orthodox monarch to have the title 'Tsar' is, remarkably, still alive)

1. Fair enough
2. What's the difference in practice?
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Tue May 17, 2022 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Tue May 17, 2022 2:45 am

Australian rePublic wrote:2. What's the difference in practice?


One is - in Byzantine state ideology - God's anointed vice-gerent on Earth, whose Orthodox imperial court reflects (however imperfectly) God's heavenly kingdom, and who has a special role in summoning and overseeing Ecumenical Councils as the acknowledged head of Christendom. Other parts of Christendom may regrettably lapse into heresy or schism, but there can only ever be one true Christian Roman emperor.

The other is merely a head of government who happens to be Orthodox.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 3:10 am

The Archregimancy wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:2. What's the difference in practice?


One is - in Byzantine state ideology - God's anointed vice-gerent on Earth, whose Orthodox imperial court reflects (however imperfectly) God's heavenly kingdom, and who has a special role in summoning and overseeing Ecumenical Councils as the acknowledged head of Christendom. Other parts of Christendom may regrettably lapse into heresy or schism, but there can only ever be one true Christian Roman emperor.

The other is merely a head of government who happens to be Orthodox.

I see. So by the looks of things, Orthodoxy supports a theocracy which will never exist again? I mean, even if we re-take Constantinople, it wouldn't be reformed as the Orthodox theocracy as it was. I still think it serves as a dangerous precedent, I mean, if secularist Putin could invade a country claiming that he's divinely inspired, why wouldn't the same powers apply equally, if not, moreso, to a theocratic emperor? Not to mention that it would make the church orders of magnitude more able to get away with corruption than it is now. And that's even assuming an emperor even believes and isn't pretending to in order to hold on to power. And wouldn't the concept of having a theocratic empire contradict the whole concept of the New Testament? I mean, emperors in the Byzantine Empire were warlords who deposed previous emperors for power. How could a man who deposed God's annointed on Earth become the new appointed on Earth by virtue of being wealthier and having a larger army? I mean, for that man to become emperor in the first place, he would have had to obey many of the New Testament commands. Not to mention that Jesus existed in a time when no body would have ever dreamed of any of His followers raising to power, and Jesus never mentioned what should happen if any of them did. And if Jesus were here to choose between dictatorship and democracy, surely he'd go for democracy. Unless there was an emperor who was to have authority over the religious matters of the world and have no input in secular matters, to which I reply, how is that different to the current status of Patriarch Bartholomew?
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Tue May 17, 2022 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lower Nubia
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Postby Lower Nubia » Tue May 17, 2022 8:00 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:So Numbers 22:18-32 doesn't really make sense. Why would God send an angel to kill Balaam for going out to serve Balak, when God specifically told Balaam to go there?


“If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only what I bid you, that shall you do.”

It's clear to me, if the proceeding chapter is anything, that Balaam wanted to go, but for himself (verse 13), thus when Balaam set off he wanted to go for his gain and the possible wealth (verse 18), not for the Lord, which is where the anger proceeds from - Balaam goes but for him.

After the rebuke through the angel of the Lord with the Donkey, the angel says:

"Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak."
Last edited by Lower Nubia on Tue May 17, 2022 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Salus Maior
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Postby Salus Maior » Tue May 17, 2022 8:20 pm

Sordhau wrote:
Lower Nubia wrote:
Jesus is the antithesis of Deism.


Deists: "God doesn't get involved in earthly affairs."

Jesus: "Am I a joke to you?"


Deists tend to think that Jesus wasn't God.
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 8:29 pm

Lower Nubia wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:So Numbers 22:18-32 doesn't really make sense. Why would God send an angel to kill Balaam for going out to serve Balak, when God specifically told Balaam to go there?


“If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only what I bid you, that shall you do.”

It's clear to me, if the proceeding chapter is anything, that Balaam wanted to go, but for himself (verse 13), thus when Balaam set off he wanted to go for his gain and the possible wealth (verse 18), not for the Lord, which is where the anger proceeds from - Balaam goes but for him.

After the rebuke through the angel of the Lord with the Donkey, the angel says:

"Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak."

Aha. Makes sense. So it's either poorly written and/or translated poorly
Last edited by Australian rePublic on Tue May 17, 2022 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lower Nubia
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Postby Lower Nubia » Tue May 17, 2022 8:34 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:
Lower Nubia wrote:
“If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only what I bid you, that shall you do.”

It's clear to me, if the proceeding chapter is anything, that Balaam wanted to go, but for himself (verse 13), thus when Balaam set off he wanted to go for his gain and the possible wealth (verse 18), not for the Lord, which is where the anger proceeds from - Balaam goes but for him.

After the rebuke through the angel of the Lord with the Donkey, the angel says:

"Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that thou didst stand in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in thy sight, I will go back again.” 35 And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but only the word which I bid you, that shall you speak.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak."

Aha. Makes sense. So it's either poorly written and/or translated poorly


I think it's a combination of two things, one, we know from the previous verses why Balaam wanted to go, and he went for him, and second, in this time period and culture: mind, words, and actions are a whole unit, not separate. So with the prior context and then him leaving in that verse, it would be intuitive to a reader in that ancient society that even him following the command "go with the men" he was not doing so as the Lord had requested, thus he was doing so against the will of God.
Last edited by Lower Nubia on Wed May 18, 2022 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue May 17, 2022 8:42 pm

Lower Nubia wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:Aha. Makes sense. So it's either poorly written and/or translated poorly


I think it's a combination of two things; one, we know from the previous verses why Balaam wanted to go, and he went for him, and second, in this time period and culture, mind, words and, actions are a whole unit not separate - so with the prior context and then him leaving in that verse, it would be intuitive to a reader in that ancient society that even him following the command "go with the men" he was not doing so as the Lord had requested, thus he was doing so against the will of God.

I see. So it should have gotten better translated
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Lower Nubia
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Postby Lower Nubia » Tue May 17, 2022 8:49 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:
Lower Nubia wrote:
I think it's a combination of two things; one, we know from the previous verses why Balaam wanted to go, and he went for him, and second, in this time period and culture, mind, words and, actions are a whole unit not separate - so with the prior context and then him leaving in that verse, it would be intuitive to a reader in that ancient society that even him following the command "go with the men" he was not doing so as the Lord had requested, thus he was doing so against the will of God.

I see. So it should have gotten better translated


A footnote.
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The Archregimancy
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Postby The Archregimancy » Thu May 19, 2022 1:43 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:
The Archregimancy wrote:
One is - in Byzantine state ideology - God's anointed vice-gerent on Earth, whose Orthodox imperial court reflects (however imperfectly) God's heavenly kingdom, and who has a special role in summoning and overseeing Ecumenical Councils as the acknowledged head of Christendom. Other parts of Christendom may regrettably lapse into heresy or schism, but there can only ever be one true Christian Roman emperor.

The other is merely a head of government who happens to be Orthodox.

I see. So by the looks of things, Orthodoxy supports a theocracy which will never exist again? I mean, even if we re-take Constantinople, it wouldn't be reformed as the Orthodox theocracy as it was. I still think it serves as a dangerous precedent, I mean, if secularist Putin could invade a country claiming that he's divinely inspired, why wouldn't the same powers apply equally, if not, moreso, to a theocratic emperor? Not to mention that it would make the church orders of magnitude more able to get away with corruption than it is now. And that's even assuming an emperor even believes and isn't pretending to in order to hold on to power. And wouldn't the concept of having a theocratic empire contradict the whole concept of the New Testament? I mean, emperors in the Byzantine Empire were warlords who deposed previous emperors for power. How could a man who deposed God's annointed on Earth become the new appointed on Earth by virtue of being wealthier and having a larger army? I mean, for that man to become emperor in the first place, he would have had to obey many of the New Testament commands. Not to mention that Jesus existed in a time when no body would have ever dreamed of any of His followers raising to power, and Jesus never mentioned what should happen if any of them did. And if Jesus were here to choose between dictatorship and democracy, surely he'd go for democracy. Unless there was an emperor who was to have authority over the religious matters of the world and have no input in secular matters, to which I reply, how is that different to the current status of Patriarch Bartholomew?


I really think you're overthinking this.

Again, this all stems from a brief YouTube cartoon that was deliberately presented as a meme and which you then inexplicably used to make a point about Vladimir Putin, who was at no point mentioned in the video.

The Byzantine Empire hasn't existed for nearly 600 years. Clearly Orthodoxy is capable of existing without an emperor; the point that there's a significant distinction to be made between a medieval Orthodox emperor reflecting the ideology of a medieval state that inherited Classical traditions on the one hand, and a ruler of a modern secular republic who happens to be Orthodox on the other is nonetheless an important one. The entire point is that these are not the same things.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Thu May 19, 2022 3:01 pm

The Archregimancy wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:I see. So by the looks of things, Orthodoxy supports a theocracy which will never exist again? I mean, even if we re-take Constantinople, it wouldn't be reformed as the Orthodox theocracy as it was. I still think it serves as a dangerous precedent, I mean, if secularist Putin could invade a country claiming that he's divinely inspired, why wouldn't the same powers apply equally, if not, moreso, to a theocratic emperor? Not to mention that it would make the church orders of magnitude more able to get away with corruption than it is now. And that's even assuming an emperor even believes and isn't pretending to in order to hold on to power. And wouldn't the concept of having a theocratic empire contradict the whole concept of the New Testament? I mean, emperors in the Byzantine Empire were warlords who deposed previous emperors for power. How could a man who deposed God's annointed on Earth become the new appointed on Earth by virtue of being wealthier and having a larger army? I mean, for that man to become emperor in the first place, he would have had to obey many of the New Testament commands. Not to mention that Jesus existed in a time when no body would have ever dreamed of any of His followers raising to power, and Jesus never mentioned what should happen if any of them did. And if Jesus were here to choose between dictatorship and democracy, surely he'd go for democracy. Unless there was an emperor who was to have authority over the religious matters of the world and have no input in secular matters, to which I reply, how is that different to the current status of Patriarch Bartholomew?


I really think you're overthinking this.

Again, this all stems from a brief YouTube cartoon that was deliberately presented as a meme and which you then inexplicably used to make a point about Vladimir Putin, who was at no point mentioned in the video.

The Byzantine Empire hasn't existed for nearly 600 years. Clearly Orthodoxy is capable of existing without an emperor; the point that there's a significant distinction to be made between a medieval Orthodox emperor reflecting the ideology of a medieval state that inherited Classical traditions on the one hand, and a ruler of a modern secular republic who happens to be Orthodox on the other is nonetheless an important one. The entire point is that these are not the same things.

Fair enough
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Postby Nationalist Northumbria » Thu May 19, 2022 3:38 pm

Greetings, Christians. As a long-time Catholic, almost since my birth in fact, I am interested in reading the Bible. Technically I have already read the Bible, Lion First translation, but I would like to read a version more appropriate to my age. Looking around, there are a lot of versions out there. Which would the users of this thread recommend?
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Postby Salus Maior » Thu May 19, 2022 7:26 pm

The Archregimancy wrote:
I really think you're overthinking this.

Again, this all stems from a brief YouTube cartoon that was deliberately presented as a meme and which you then inexplicably used to make a point about Vladimir Putin, who was at no point mentioned in the video.

The Byzantine Empire hasn't existed for nearly 600 years. Clearly Orthodoxy is capable of existing without an emperor; the point that there's a significant distinction to be made between a medieval Orthodox emperor reflecting the ideology of a medieval state that inherited Classical traditions on the one hand, and a ruler of a modern secular republic who happens to be Orthodox on the other is nonetheless an important one. The entire point is that these are not the same things.


This topic is tangentially related to something I've been thinking a bit about lately.

Do you think that Orthodoxy's historic relationship to the state can explain much about the Russian Orthodox Church's present relationship to the Russian state?

Of course, Putin and the Tsar are not interchangeable as you've said, I'm referring more to the Orthodox Church's attitude towards the state.
Last edited by Salus Maior on Thu May 19, 2022 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby New Visayan Islands » Thu May 19, 2022 7:30 pm

Nationalist Northumbria wrote:Greetings, Christians. As a long-time Catholic, almost since my birth in fact, I am interested in reading the Bible. Technically I have already read the Bible, Lion First translation, but I would like to read a version more appropriate to my age. Looking around, there are a lot of versions out there. Which would the users of this thread recommend?

Personally, I would recommend the NAB (NABRE, now), but Douay-Rheims (or, as some might put it, "King James Version, but for Catholics") is also a good version to consider.
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Postby Prima Scriptura » Thu May 19, 2022 7:45 pm

New Visayan Islands wrote:
Nationalist Northumbria wrote:Greetings, Christians. As a long-time Catholic, almost since my birth in fact, I am interested in reading the Bible. Technically I have already read the Bible, Lion First translation, but I would like to read a version more appropriate to my age. Looking around, there are a lot of versions out there. Which would the users of this thread recommend?

Personally, I would recommend the NAB (NABRE, now), but Douay-Rheims (or, as some might put it, "King James Version, but for Catholics") is also a good version to consider.


I love the NAB. It reads a lot like the NIV.


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Lower Nubia
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Lower Nubia » Thu May 19, 2022 9:48 pm

Salus Maior wrote:
The Archregimancy wrote:
I really think you're overthinking this.

Again, this all stems from a brief YouTube cartoon that was deliberately presented as a meme and which you then inexplicably used to make a point about Vladimir Putin, who was at no point mentioned in the video.

The Byzantine Empire hasn't existed for nearly 600 years. Clearly Orthodoxy is capable of existing without an emperor; the point that there's a significant distinction to be made between a medieval Orthodox emperor reflecting the ideology of a medieval state that inherited Classical traditions on the one hand, and a ruler of a modern secular republic who happens to be Orthodox on the other is nonetheless an important one. The entire point is that these are not the same things.


This topic is tangentially related to something I've been thinking a bit about lately.

Do you think that Orthodoxy's historic relationship to the state can explain much about the Russian Orthodox Church's present relationship to the Russian state?

Of course, Putin and the Tsar are not interchangeable as you've said, I'm referring more to the Orthodox Church's attitude towards the state.


I think it's just good ol'fashioned corruption.
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Australian rePublic
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Australian rePublic » Fri May 20, 2022 12:13 am

Lower Nubia wrote:
Salus Maior wrote:
This topic is tangentially related to something I've been thinking a bit about lately.

Do you think that Orthodoxy's historic relationship to the state can explain much about the Russian Orthodox Church's present relationship to the Russian state?

Of course, Putin and the Tsar are not interchangeable as you've said, I'm referring more to the Orthodox Church's attitude towards the state.


I think it's just good ol'fashioned corruption.

Perhaps. As much as I believe in Orthodoxy, I am not ignorant enough to believe that there's no corruption in the church
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Australian rePublic
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Australian rePublic » Fri May 20, 2022 12:15 am

Are there any Orthodox saints for any of the following?:

1. Business
2. Snow
3. Infrastructure
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The Archregimancy
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Founded: Aug 01, 2005
Democratic Socialists

Postby The Archregimancy » Fri May 20, 2022 1:06 am

Salus Maior wrote:
The Archregimancy wrote:
I really think you're overthinking this.

Again, this all stems from a brief YouTube cartoon that was deliberately presented as a meme and which you then inexplicably used to make a point about Vladimir Putin, who was at no point mentioned in the video.

The Byzantine Empire hasn't existed for nearly 600 years. Clearly Orthodoxy is capable of existing without an emperor; the point that there's a significant distinction to be made between a medieval Orthodox emperor reflecting the ideology of a medieval state that inherited Classical traditions on the one hand, and a ruler of a modern secular republic who happens to be Orthodox on the other is nonetheless an important one. The entire point is that these are not the same things.


This topic is tangentially related to something I've been thinking a bit about lately.

Do you think that Orthodoxy's historic relationship to the state can explain much about the Russian Orthodox Church's present relationship to the Russian state?

Of course, Putin and the Tsar are not interchangeable as you've said, I'm referring more to the Orthodox Church's attitude towards the state.


Regrettably (in this case), yes.

Apologies; I don't have time to offer a more developed answer as I'm about to chair an online conference. I'll try and find some time over the weekend.

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Nationalist Northumbria
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Founded: Apr 27, 2019
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Nationalist Northumbria » Fri May 20, 2022 3:46 am

New Visayan Islands wrote:
Nationalist Northumbria wrote:Greetings, Christians. As a long-time Catholic, almost since my birth in fact, I am interested in reading the Bible. Technically I have already read the Bible, Lion First translation, but I would like to read a version more appropriate to my age. Looking around, there are a lot of versions out there. Which would the users of this thread recommend?

Personally, I would recommend the NAB (NABRE, now), but Douay-Rheims (or, as some might put it, "King James Version, but for Catholics") is also a good version to consider.

Much appreciated.
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