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Re: [IndianOrthodox] Re: JESUS' CURSE

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  • John Thomas Alummoottil
    ... From: John Thomas Alummoottil Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 4:40 PM To: IndianOrthodox@egroups.com Subject: Re: [IndianOrthodox] Re: JESUS CURSE Dear
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 15, 2000
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: John Thomas Alummoottil
      Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 4:40 PM
      To: IndianOrthodox@egroups.com
      Subject: Re: [IndianOrthodox] Re: JESUS' CURSE

      Dear Alexander and Sujith, May I hear more about you. Where do you stay? Where are you originally from. I am Fr. John Thomas from Tiruvalla. But I was in Kottayam from 1986 to'99 as tge General Secretary of MGOCSM. Before that I was working with Grindlays Bank in Bangalore and Salalah. At present I'm in New York. May I know your details.
      Lovingly,
      Fr.John Thomas
      > > > >






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    • John Thomas Alummoottil
      Dear Sujit. I would like to see you and talk U more. My phone no. is 516-328-2977 Thanks. Fr.John Thomas Get your FREE download of MSN
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 15, 2000
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        Dear Sujit.
        I would like to see you and talk U more. My phone no. is 516-328-2977
        Thanks. Fr.John Thomas



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      • Alexander Pollayil
        Hello Sujit, It is perfectly okay to disagree with me. I would be surprised if you agree with me complete. Because It took many years of effort gather all
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 16, 2000
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          Hello Sujit,
          It is perfectly okay to disagree with me. I would be surprised if you agree with me complete. Because It took
          many years of effort gather all these information. Truth is more difficult to believe than the made up story.
          Jesus sent Thomas to the east (India) was not an Accident It was after about 300 years after Alexander's
          Conquest Visit to India. about 600 years after Sakya Muni Buddha. Jesus did not discouraged Thomas when
          he asked the Corporal Evidence that he want to have personal Experience. Thomas represent the Intellectual Faculty of
          the Human Nature which is very Important. The hindu way of religion is not blind belief Neither the Buddhist or Any eastern religion.
          I do not Believe any thing Blindly because It was Said by the Pope or By any Methran. I have really great respect for Osthathios
          Thirumeni and many Others from Kerala, Paulose Mar Koorilose was really a Mahatma. Now a days It become a trend to be liberal
          because otherwise people do not respect them. When I was in the School in 1960' and 70 s I had visited some retreats as Sunday
          school Student. What I heard from the church was Prejudices. It was taught that only those follow the Church dogma and all the rituals will be eligible
          to go to heaven after death. Those who died in an accident was not considered as a proper death and buried in the
          special place in the cemetery because that person did not take the Anthyakoodasha. Any ladies wear any dress other than
          The Old Chatta and Mund was not allowed inside the church.

          Many of the jesus teachings was explained by Swami Vevekanandas Speech when he was in the USA more
          than a 100 years ago. Actually after reading his speech I started having a better understanding about the Bible. Because
          Swami mostly used the Bible verses to explain the Vedhantha philosophy. Later I studied Lot of materials
          in the Vedic philosophy, and from the Middle east too.

          Even now in Kerala on Pothuyogam in the church Women are not allowed to participate. It is good news that MGOCSM is
          happening now a days.   During the Crucifixion only one of the Disciple (John) was near Jesus all others were women.
          There were 4 or 5 Mary's there near the cross.

          With out facing challenges  faith is not purified. Debating and Challenging questions will provide answers.

          regards
          alexander
           

          Sujit Thomas wrote:

          Dear Fr. John and Alexander,
            Fr. John, I am in New York as well. I attend St. Thomas Long Island Church. I am originaly from Adoor. I am still a student in College.
            Alexander, I understand where you are coming from but I disagree with you on many points. Before I even state them I wanna say I am simply a
          student and am not prepared to talk about much of the theological and historical topics. I am sure others on the list can help us with that.
            First about the church's teaching that all are born sinners. I think this the truth of human condition. St. Paul says all have fallen short of
          the glory of God. Jesus says I came to call the sinners not the righteous (he came to call all of us).  that does point that people are not nessessarly born sinner Jesus also pointed a child and told that unless you become like a child, you will not enter to the kingdome of heaven. So the child was innocent.
          Now I dont think that the church says only Christians are saved or in particular only Malankara Orthodox are saved. If one person in the church makes some silly remarks dont assume it is the Church view. ask some of the thirumani about the official kanon of the church  One of the Bishops of the church that I think you will find appealing is Mar Ostathios Thirumeni of the Niranam Diocese. he show courage to tell the truth He [like many others in the church] says, no human has the right to say who will and will not go to heavan. That is god's right. The orthodox way has always been to acknowledge the mercy of God as the primary factor in salvation. Its b/c we have been too affected by Western Christianity and Atonement that these problems come up. Ostathios Thirumeni continues to say that there is a certain amount of truth in all the great religions of the world. In fact one his speeches that I heard he ends it with a prayer. In the prayer he addresses God as Allah, Satchitananda, Jesus Christ. Thirumeni also speaks of the invincible church which is quite like the Lord's church you mentioned. I dont know if I agree with you about the many incarnations of Jesus or the historical validity of his journeys to India. I dont however deny that the great religions of the world have truth to them. All truths spoken are inspired by teh holy Spirit b/c God is truth.  I dont think that anyone has purposely tried to hide the truth from us. The Holy Spirit has revealed certain truths to us via the Church and we hold on to these truths.   Church is 1) The body of Christ 2) the body of believers 3) Institution. (and many other things as well)    Unfortunately some put the institution above the first 2. BUT Christ did intend for us to have communities where we worship him. THat is what the we see in the new testament days. Churches in Rome, Antioch, COlossia, COrith, Kerala... The institution is a natural out come of that.  There is also no question in my mind that Episcopate (Bishop), Presbyter(Priest), Deacon are orders instituted by God. I would argue about that because these are worldy positions. Jesus told do not call any one on the earth Father, Only heavenly father is father. They are supposed to be our spiritual leaders and our servants. Sure some forget their role but MOST dont. I know that I would not be where I am with out the spiritual guidance of the ones that Lord has blessed me with. You will see this same idea in Hinduism with their Guru. In certain hindu sects Enlightenment cannot be attained without the Guru   In order for the body of Christ to be stront church needs participation from teh laymen not apathy and cynicism. with love,Sujit -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor -------------------------~-~>
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        • Alexander Pollayil
          Hello Sujit, Glad to hear from you, thank for your interest and I appreciate it. Weather you agree or disagree with me is not Important. The Quest is more
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 19, 2000
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            Hello Sujit,
            Glad to hear from you, thank for your interest and I appreciate it. Weather you agree or disagree with me is not Important. The Quest is more Important.
            A true scientist will begin as Earthiest and will end up being a Philosopher, It is true about any one who sincerely search for truth he will reach there finally if he continue. The Origin of Light as far as this planet is concerned is Sun. Sun Light is White shining Light. We know that the source of all the 16 million colors
            we use to print including the Color of the Shining Gold and silver are from the Three color RGB, Seven colors of the rain Bow comes from the sun.

            Jesus said He will continue his work as long as Sun shines on the sky. He does not have much power in the dark.

            Let me try to explain my point. I have to make some thing Clear. The Evangalion of Lord is the proper reference. The Closest
            One to Jesus was Saint John. The Essence of the Theology and Philosophy is Explained in this  Book. Then Saint Matthew,
            the reason I prefer this is They were direct disciples of Jesus.

            The Acts of Apothullus are much edited from its original teachings. I have some source of information about the complete life of Paulluse (Saint Paul) It will take about 30 pages of information for a brief  explanation of Apothullus Paulluse 2 pages are added here below the copy of your email.

            He had been a close friend and direct in contact with Jesus since he was about 19 years of age when he moved from Tharsus to Jerusalem for business.
            Jesus used to come to the Great Temple  of Solomon and talk to crowd of people and do healing on people many occasions while he was
            in Jerusalem. Saint Paul  never married Thimothiyos was not his biological son. Markose and Lukose was also not among  the 12 Apothullus.

            Before 325 AD there was no such thing as organization of Church. There were Jews Synagogue, disciples gathered and shared and lived as one family community. There were Lot of Pagan Temples in Rome, Macedonia, Athens, Egypt, Assyria, Parsia, Hindusthan, and all over the World, The Emperor Constantine ( remember the Thubden in malayalam sunday "Nikyayilum Kusthanthenosepolisilum, Ephesosilu vachundaya 3 pothu sunnahadose) was the one Initiated the organization. It will take many pages to explain this. If any one  really interested I can scan the pages from those historical books and send it to any one. The name of the Book is A short
            History of Early church. By Harry R Boer.

            When some people wanted to show Jesus the Construction of the great Temple of Jerusalem, Jesus Said I will rebuilt the temple with in three days after the destruction. And also fore told the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple of Bricks and Stone. Please Note the word "Aalayam" in malayalam. Each and every one of
            Us is an Aalayam of Lord. He insisted that he is "Son of Man" many times you can see Jesus use the word Son of Man (Manushya Puthran) I do not remember the original Aramaic word now.
             
            Pathriyarkees ( Pathere + Arch = PathreArch ), Metrapolitha and all these costumes Thirumenies (Thiru + meni) weare, are the Dress of Authorities of Greco-Roman states plus Church. They were those one handled lot of wealth.  The priesthood order also adopted from Jews customs. ( PuroHithan =  Puro + Hithan the one who would wish to be in the front.) Then there is Maha Purohithan too.

            Jesus said Listen to them because they are siting on the seat of Moses. But do not follow them because they do not  follow.
            Parumala thirumeni and many others are exemptions. Our relation to Jesus is not through any of these people.

            These church and the priests are very important for the society any way I am not Ignoring this Fact. Religious institutions are like
            Eggshell,  it is needed for the Embryo to grow. These institutions work as a protection Like and Eggshell for the Embryo to Grow. But once
            it is grown,  it has to break the shell and come out. Other wise it will die in side. It is good to be born in the church environment and grow there,
            but if the Fence of the church does not allow the plant to grow to become a tree then the church become offense for the
            growth. Remember Jesus said Unless a seed falls into tilled earth (my english!!! help me!!) and die the tree cannot grow.
            These authorities of the church are suppose to help the growth. 
             

            My problem was When ever I got opportunities I have asked Thirumenies and Achans to explain some things in the Bible
            For example, When I read the book of Job( Ieyob or Ayyub) I find that he had been gone through lot of problems, What was the fault  of Job?. The story explains that ultimately God  gave Job every thing. there is a key lessen from the Jobs story. The Prodigal Sun, The merchant was leaving for Journey and he gave 3 thalanth to one 2 to another, and 1 to yet another of his servants, and many stories and parables told by Jesus. And specially about other children of Mary. All these happened 1970s and 80s. I have asked something to Barnabas Thirumeni and Makarios and the Niyuktha Catholica ( I do not remember the name right now ) who visited Los Angeles 2 or three years ago.  Many of my questions about the bible were answered after reading Swami Vevakanada's Karma Yoga, JnanaYoga, Bakthi Yoga, Uthista Bhartha, Thathwa Darsanam, and Books from Parama Hansa Yoganandas (SRF) Publications CA, and ARE books (Atlantic University, Virginia Beach).  

            Dear Alexander and all,
            You disagreed with me about the point of ordination. You referred to the passage of Jesus telling us not call anyone on earth their father.  All are children of God, (Heavenly father & mother God) God do not have grand children and niece and and nephews. Jesus is our Eldest Brother. That is why he said When you pray, You pray to your heavenly father. Our father Who art in Heaven. In malayalam early translation was a more correct which says "Aakaashangalil Irikkunna Njangalude Baava" In Sanskrit, and Ancient Indo Aryan Language, Aakasham is the Fifth Element, Which is Beyond physical sense and all other elements came from that which is the Source and the final destination. God has name no form and is Beyond Definition. Swargam is an Imaginary place you are happy. These changes were made recently. I remember I use to pray Aakaashagalil Irikkunna..... Christ is the head and Church is the body. Christ is Groom and the Church is his Bride. It is Symbolic I can understand that. How about all these nuns (the so called virgins) they does not get married and they devout them self for Christ as Manavaalan? Imagine all these thousands of manavaties for one Jesus. Here it is explained the 16008 wives of Lord Krishna ( All are the Gopikas ) This does not come from me but from scripture.  But what is the church? That is one of the questions that we on this list must constantly ask ourselves. Each one of us are the church (I prefer the word Temple) The problem is when we see Thirumenis, Priests and Deacons as the Church. Then when one of them says something that we disagree with  people's reaction is to flee from the church and say that Orthodoxy says such and such. Each one of them represent the Organization, The Teachers do not train them properly and does not teach the Truth. They should be Called by their name. or Just like Mr. President, or some thing like that. Never should be Called Bava Thirumeni. Because Theologically speaking the Name Bava thirumeni has very depth meaning. If we call Lord Jesus, Bava Thirumeni I can agree. Like the Pope also should not be called by the name pope. Any women can be called mother. Because all women represent the mother hood. ( I am not talking about the usual every day society) The community of individuals is the Church and the individuals of the Holy Order are part of that body. Acts, and 1 Timothy and others make it clear that the Orders were established in teh NEw Testament.( Heb 5:6,  1 Tim 3:8-13, Acts 20:17 )  I would more depend on Saint John and Saint Matthew Just because all the Acts of Apostles are in relation with individual problems and Solutions, also I have lot of reasons to believe that these writings were misinterpreted and wrongly translated. I have noticed most of the time All the speakers quote from Acts and Hebrews and Thimothiyos etc. All these came many years after Jesus. Why can't we go directly to to Jesus through Saint Matthew and Saint John? In india specially In kerala we did not have any of the situations like in the Greeco Roman Kingdom. I would be glad to Quote from Thomasleeha. When the christians follow the one month lend by avoiding Meat and eggs etc... there is communities in India they never eat any meat, and those who believe Manasa, Vacha, Karmana must not Hurt any Living being. Did you ever come read an Upanishad which is called 'IshaaUpanishadh'?.  
            The problem happens when we see these orders as positions of power and not as Sheperds.  About Jesus' passage on calling people Father. When I call a priest, father I recognize first that I can do so only because he is the Vicar (representative) of Christ particularly in the Eucharist and Confession. The main thing about Orthodoxy What is orthodoxy? it means we follow the anciant tradition. Sathya Vishvasathil Adiuracha Paarampryam. Remember? Eshaaya nabikke dhoodhan kodutha... that is the teaching.
            When Abraham met Malkisadek and Malkisadek brought Bread and Wine and Abraham Gave him one tenth of what he got from the Raid. That is the Orthodox Tradition.   though is that we live under the constant inspiration of the HOly Spirit. The Holy spirit was also mis- explained by the church, I do not know whether they done it knowingly or unknowingly. The whole trinity and Four gospel is parallel of Eastern religions. Thrimurthy and Four Vedas. The church when I was in the high school restricted us from reading any other religious scriptures other than Christian Bible. In the Bible we were suppose to only read those versions which was instructed by the church. The Actual Trinity which the early christian teaching Corresponds to Soul, Mind, Body (Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge,) Father = Wisdom, Rooha Khudash = Understanding, Sun = Knowledge.  None of these people told me about this.  And remember those Wise men brought Gifts when Jesus was newborn Baby? Gold, Frankincense, Moore ( The oil Mier ?) it also represents the Trinity. These three gifts represented three Lands too India, Persia(Iran), and Egypt.

            The events of the pentecost hasnt stopped. The wisdom of the Bishops and Priests come because Holy Spirit is
            leading us through them. Read John 20: 19 - 23 the holy spirit was given to apostles much before the Pentecost.

            Holy Spirit continues to pour itself on us (Eucharist is probably the best example of this).
            It is considered as the Body and Blood of Jesus. The bread is prepared from the same continuation from the last supper. The Holy spirit was there already. If you carefully watch the Orthodox Qurbana instead of Just saying Aameen and Kuriyelaisson, It is a dramatization of the whole story From Adam to the Last supper and resurrection and every one who attend should eat from it and Drink from it. If you go to Our Malankara Orthodox Church, most of the people does not do it because the Customs "Prathyekam Kumbasarichaal mathrame Kurbana kaikkollan paadullu" it was not like that in the middle east. I had been there 1n 1989 the bread and wine was distributed to all who attend the Qurbana.  Lord said Eat and drink from this this is for the redemption. (We were bought by that)

            Church is simply the communal way in which this happens and our personal lives this happens too and the beauty is that both complement each other. I do agree with you about a sexist element to our church.
            The reason women was not allowed that They have more Emotional attachment. You see the Mary of Magdalana she was so attached to Jesus, she followed him so close that Jesus first appeared to her after the Crucifixion. Women is Both Male and Female (Womb + Men = Women ) Men does not know much of women but Women know everything about men Being his mother. Men make Intellectual adjustments and all that with their Head.  Women feels with their heart. What  Jesus taught was difficult to make much sense to men. He said those who understand my teaching and keep it in their hart they will never die. It is Literally True! But the Intellectuals did not understand. If they put women in front, they will reach to heaven before men. Then this world is going to be with out any people. (that is funny?)

            When Jesus was Born, Wise men from the East was Saw the Birth star of Jesus in the east (There is lot more than that), And the shepherds was informed by the Angeles. None the Intellectuals in the Jerusalem was informed. In their Book it was mentioned that the Masheekha will come from Bethlehem. But some one should read it(?)
              
            Women should be allowed in the Pothu yogam. Some churches have already allowed this. Remember though that change happens when we want it to. This is why I said it is only through cooperation with Bishops and Priests can growth of the church take place.

            About the sin of humanity. The Sin of Humanity is very necessary element of the Constitutionalised Churchianity. It in not necessary for humanity or Christianity. The sin explained in the Bible was the Law of Moses. Jesus paid the debt and redeemed the whole Humanity. That is why he said those who wish to enter The Kingdom of heaven Take your Cross ( Kurishu) and Follow him. Follow him. ONLY HIM!.  all the saints are like the Sign Board we see when we go on a Journey which will tell us this many miles to This this town and so on. The Destination is one. We can be sure that we are going in the right direction. 

            There is again no doubt that we have sin in us. The root of evil is not outside the man but inside him. Christ says let he who is with out sin cast the first stone.
            They accused her of breaking Moses Law. Here the sin is braking Law. He said those who never broke any of the Law through the first stone. That does not mean that they were Born with sin. They were born with the Bondage of Law. Breaking any Law is a sin.

            Children are innocent but an alienation from GOd exist for all humanity. God created man in his Own Image. Man is the Dust of Earth + The Breath of God ( The Creation of Man need many Pages to be Explained but It is Explainable no UnExplained Mystery is needed because God Lives in Man) Do you remember Jesus Said Do not think that I came to bring Peace on earth I came with A sword, to split men from men, Daughter from mother ( 10: 34 - 42) he came here to claim the Divine part in Man.

            To remind us about our source of Origin so that we can stop being playing blind. It is like Kids went to visit amusement park like Disney Land and watching all the Shows and all these and forgot about going back home,  no one want to Go back to their home. Even though you have to wait in long Lane for hours for a one or Two minute Fun ride We like to stay here for that one minute fun ride. Jesus comes and says Hi! Common guys let us go home and shows the way out which was forgotten for many life times.

            I dont have to look further than my own life to see this fact.  Can I suggest that you check the link below about the church.  http://www.goarch.org/access/orthodoxfaith/church.html I have visited this Link, When I clicked the Link Orthodox Faith it was  an 'Http error 404 not found'. I will try again. Read Matthew chapter 23 specially verses 15. to those who travel continent to continent to convert people from one religion to another.
            I hope everyone has an excellent Christmas!

            Sujit

            This is scanned copy of 2 pages from one of my source book
             
            Paul converted many pagans to Christianity.  He also exposed himself many times to anger, hostility, and danger.

            it was during this time that Paul made some very important decisions that are still affecting our world today.  As Paul went to one region after another, he would leave one or more of his apostles behind to become ministers and administrators of his newly found churches.  His new church leaders, both men and women, were charismatic, filled with enthusiasm and looked up to by the new followers who had converted to Christianity.  Unfortunately, Paul found that in too many cases his ministers had developed carnal relationships with the local people, even though in some cases his ministers were married.  Also, in some cases, the local people who became involved with them were also married.  This oftentimes created scandals, not unlike the scandals that we read and hear about in our own contemporary times.

            So Paul made some decisions.  He declared from that time on that, if ministers were married, they must have fidelity to their spouses. infidelity would not be tolerated.  And if they were not married, the single ministers would pledge to be celibate.  Should they fall in love and have need for a carnal relationship, he insisted that they should marry rather than being involved sexually with another, which could cause embarrassment and defeat the purpose of their missions.

            Approximately three hundred and fifty years later, the early Roman church declared that their clergy could not marry.  They claimed that these were the rules established by Paul, and they were continuing to abide by them.  But they were not the rules of Paul.  Paul said they had to be celibate if they were not married, but they had permission to get married, if they so desired.
            In truth, the early Roman church adopted these practices because the church had tremendous wealth.  They feared that, if the clergy married, when they died they would leave their wealth to their wives and children rather than to the church.  That was the reason they would not allow those of the cloth to get married, not because Paul had made that decision, which he had not.  In reality, the pre medieval church leaders were notorious for the number of mistresses they had, even though they had no wives.

            Regarding the issue of women, Paul had been unfairly blamed for sixteen hundred years of being prejudiced against women.  It is not true.  Many women were involved in Paul's ministry every place he went. in fact, if you read the last paragraph of his letters, you will find in every case he thanks his administrators and key people in each city he writes to, and you will see the names of almost as many women as you will see of men.  The decision to create a fraternity exclusively of men, in essence, "an all boy's club," was made by the church leaders of the fourth and fifth century and by their successors, not by Paul.

            Following the decision to allow heathens to become Christians, Paul began his second mission.  In addition to visiting places he had already been, he also went across the sea to Greece.  In Greece, he converted many pagans and founded the churches in Neopolus, Phillipi, Appolonia, Thessalonika, Athens, and Corinth.  He then went into Ephesus and many other places and eventually returned to Palestine.  Paul was now preaching to heathens as well as to Jews. in spite of the hostility and anger caused by his efforts, and at times being physically attacked and thrown into prison, he was rewarded with substantial success.  Now there existed in the world, not only Jewish Christians, but also Gentile Christians.  He completed this mission at the age of fourtynine.
            History claims Paul took two more journeys before he ran into serious problems in Jerusalem, at the age of fifty-eight, upon the return from his fourth mission.  Paul did not think of his journeys or excursions in terms of numbers.

            There is some information about the Actual Date of Berth of Jesus christ. I will share with it
            later.

            Wish every one Happy Holidays! and Merry Christmas!

            alexander

          • Alexander Pollayil
            Hello sujit, wish you Happy Vacation In India. I do not have much disagreement with you. I do not Disregard any part on the bible. But when there is some doubt
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 19, 2000
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              Hello sujit,
              wish you Happy Vacation In India. I do not have much disagreement with you.
              I do not Disregard any part on the bible. But when
              there is some doubt comes I go to the Gospels specially saint Matthew
              and and John. and I am sure You will learn about the Editing done by
              the church during  AD 325 to the 12 the Century. And How Karma and
              ReIncarnation Important part of Jesus Teachings. If the The Gospel of Thomas
              included, It will make lot of Changes to the present way. Theologians Scholars
              Archeologist are working for and As Jesus said the time is near by to Reveal
              a whole lot You will read Books Published and Scientific and Medical Journals
              about this  with in Few years.
              Bye Bye now
              with Love and regards
              alex

              stt8@... wrote:

                Hello Alexander,
               I am definitely interested and in search of Answers.
              Couple of things first about the bible. I dont think it is such a
                great idea to dismiss the some of the works of the Bible and then to
                choose others. .Sure even in the Bible we can make a semi-Heirarchy
                and say that the Gospels are more importance than something else but
                the statements in the other works must be taken into consideration
                too. Otherwise we enter a dangerous slippery slope of wondering about
                the authenticity of each word in the bible.
                    About constantine and the Church. The early church was organized;
                sure not as much today's church but it was organized. Every city/town
                that had Christians was organized into their own church. From this is
                the expansion we see today in the Orthodox Church (the church of
                Alexandria expanded into the Coptic church). And Bishops, Priests and
                Deacons were present at these Churches. The book I suggest is The
                Early Church by E. Glenn Hinson. Constantine called the Bishops of
                the different churches together for the Council of Nicaea. Sure these
                councils and events of the 4th and 5th century put the Bishops and
                Priests at a position that they were not at before, but the orders
                existed prior to this. And Sure the Priest's kuppayam is reminiscent
                of the Emperor's outfit but it also represents several other things
                (HEre is suggest Barnabas Thirumeni's book Spiritual Meditations on
                the DIvine Liturgy). Christianity has always been able to adopt non
                Christian elements if they were inocous to the Message of Christ.
                   Let me quote you "Jesus said Listen to them because they are
                siting on the seat of Moses. But do not follow them because they do
                not  follow." I absolutely agree with you. There is only one person I
                follow that is Jesus Christ. Every one else like you yourself said is
                a signpost. (I personally would put Gandhiji as one of my "Saints" to
                use as signpost). But it still doesnt change their role as teachers
                and sheperds. See I agree with your point of man as temple. But I
                feel that there are two parts to my relationship with Jesus Christ.
                One personal and other Communal. Jesus himself didnt preach in the
                dark to individual by individual he formed communities based on LOVE.
                For me my friend in church who I can talk to about Light and Physics
                and how that relates to GOd or my friend in church who I can talk to
                about the Poverty and Christ's solution for it or my friend who
                counsels me through difficulties, this to me is CHURCH!  The
                historical and the institutional aspects are much secondary.
                   About Women. Will all due respect Alexander you seem to be
                repeating some sentiments that the patriarchial leader say. "Men make
                Intellectual adjustments and all that with their Head.  Women feels
                with their heart." I dont think these generalizations are intrinsic
                to gender; we have been cultured to behave in certain ways. But
                Christ is above culture. Also we have to realize that if sexism must
                stop it must begin with the attitudes of us men and not the
                institutions. When I watch movies, listen to popular music (whether
                it be Malayalam or American) the fact is I denigrate women! This is
                what Christ came to change: MY HEART!
                    About Tradition, this is something for me also pushed me away
                from the church for a while. THe problem is a misunderstanding of it.
                Tradition neither begins nor ends with Milchezedich. I quote Meletius
                Thirumeni:
                Thirumenis words are in [ ]
                ["For Orthodox tradition is much valued.  In fact Tradition is the
                only normative that we accept.  But the question is how do you define
                tradition? People many times mis- understand tradition as a bunch of
                things that occurred or said or did in the past.  This is a very
                wrong understanding of tradition.  Tradition of the continued work of
                the holy spirit in the life of the Church.  So it is always dynamic
                and on going.  It is never static. Holy Spirit works with people and
                not with concepts and ideologies.  They are continuously being
                revised as time goes on and the challenges that people face every day
                take new shapes.  Tradition is some thing that is in response to the
                need of the people and the time where people live.  So as we go on
                lot of changes will happen to old concepts and ideologies.  Jesus
                said to his disciples that "when the spirit of truth comes it will
                lead you to all truth" (John 15:26).  When this happens there shall
                remain nothing that can not be questioned in this world except 'love'
                which is the cardinal principle in this world according to Jesus.  He
                said "I give to you a new commandment, love one another" (John 13:34;
                15:12).  Nevertheless even this love in a given situation need to be
                reinterpreted.  Expression of love is quite a task.  What you do in
                love according to you may not be an expression of love for others who
                receive it. What I mean is things are always on the move and this
                momentum is to be respected lest you are old and outdated and dead.
                Church is something which is always alive, it can not be dead; so
                also the tradition of the church.  One problem with Eastern Orthodox
                people ... is that they are very good in retelling what the fathers
                of the church has said, but fails to reinterpret it in the context
                and to re-articulate  according to the time.  Because of this the
                church becomes irrelevant for the young and the thinking and freedom
                loving people." ] The problem i feel is a lack of understanding of
                Tradition and misunderstaning profane customs (such as the clothes
                worn by the laymen to Church) for Tradition. We the laypeople must
                educated ourselves on Tradition and make it Relevant.
                    About Sin of humanity. Again I quote Meletius Thirumeni: "The
                whole question of original sin is to be taken differently than what we
                have been usually told.  In Orthodox faith there is concept of
                original sin in the sense of Adam's sin is being inherited by every
                one born in to this world.  This is what the Catholics teach.  We
                have no part in it. .... When human failed to respect the unique
                personality of nature and an element in nature, it  started not
                respecting human.  This caused suffering for human.  Here the
                corporate nature of individual act comes to light.  This is how the
                Adamic sin works today.  But we should also understand that we can
                try to overcome it by (1) not repeating the old fault and (2) trying
                to reestablish the cut off relationship.  This is the whole purpose of
                religion.  It should help people to do these two things.  On the
                contrary many times religion tries to make us people of prejudices by
                inducing in to us boundaries and fences.  Rather it should help us
                break the barriers. This is particularly true with Christian
                religion.  It is a religion of corporate and individual salvation
                simultaneously." He goes onto state that we should not even call it
                Original Sin since it is an Augustinian term. ALso check out Bishop
                Kallistos Wares' book The Orthodox Church. Here there is an excellent
                discourse on the difference between Latin and Orthodox views on Sin
                of humanity.
                   Everything above is matter that I am still questioning and
                searching.
                   I have taken up too much of your time. I will be leaving for India
                on thursday and will not get a chance to respond to you Alexander
                till next year.
                    Enjoy the HOLY days.

                Sujit

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            • Alexander Pollayil
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 19, 2000
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                John Thomas Alummoottil wrote:
                Thanks Sujith, for taking much pain to study on these subjects.
                Love and greetings. Fr.John Thomas

                Hello John Achan,
                I am the Black sheep is in't it? and you would be wondering why "Aarengilum enne thallikkonnilla?
                But I do not know it is Fortunate or Unfortunate.
                Lord keep me alive and Give me strength send me to places many could not go or they fear to go. I thank God for
                all those Greate Souls Came to Earth and Swim against the flow and persecuted by the Church and other Institutions and later church said many of them are Saints.... Also greate ones those who worked for the freedom, Worked for the seientific reason and recent Developments in the Computerfield for these Internet based communication devices.

                Wish you Merry Christmas.
                alexander
                 


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              • Sujit Thomas
                Dear Alexander and all, You disagreed with me about the point of ordination. You refered to the passage of Jesus telling us not call anyone on earth their
                Message 7 of 25 , Dec 19, 2000
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                  Dear Alexander and all,

                  You disagreed with me about the point of ordination. You refered to the
                  passage of Jesus telling us not call anyone on earth their father.
                  Christ is the head and Church is the body. Christ is Groom and
                  the Church is his Bride. This does not come from me but from scripture.
                  But what is the church? That is one of the questions that we on this list
                  must constantly ask ourselves. The problem is when we see Thirumenis,
                  Priests and Deacons as the Church. Then when one of them says something
                  that we disagree with people's reaction is to flee from the church and
                  say that Orthodoxy says such and such. The community of individuals
                  is the Church and the individuals of the Holy Order are part of that body.
                  Acts, and 1 Timothy and others make it clear that the Orders were
                  established in teh NEw Testament.( Heb 5:6, 1 Tim 3:8-13, Acts 20:17 )The
                  problem happens when we see these orders as positions of
                  power and not as Sheperds. About Jesus' passage on calling people Father.
                  When I call a priest, father I recognize first that I can do so only
                  because he is the Vicar (representative) of Christ particularly in the
                  Eucharist and Confession.
                  The main thing about Orthodoxy though is that we live under the
                  constant inspiration of the HOly Spirit. The events of the pentecost hasnt
                  stopped. The wisdom of the Bishops and Priests come because Holy Spirit is
                  leading us through them. Holy Spirit continues to pour itself on us
                  (Eucharist is probably the best example of this). Church is simply the
                  communal way in which this happens and our personal lives this happens too
                  and the beauty is that both complement each other.
                  I do agree with you about a sexist element to our church. Women should
                  be allowed in the Pothu yogam. Some churches have already allowed this.
                  Remember though that change happens when we want it to. This is why I said
                  it is only through cooperation with Bishops and Priests can growth of the
                  church take place.
                  About the sin of humanity. There is again no doubt that we have sin in
                  us. The root of evil is not outside the man but inside him. Christ says
                  let he who is with out sin cast the first stone. Children are innocent but
                  an alienation from GOd exist for all humanity. I dont have to look further
                  than my own life to see this fact.
                  Can I suggest that you check the link below about the church.
                  http://www.goarch.org/access/orthodoxfaith/church.html
                  I hope everyone has an excellent Christmas!

                  Sujit
                • stt8@columbia.edu
                  Hello Alexander, I am definitely interested and in search of Answers. Couple of things first about the bible. I dont think it is such a great idea to dismiss
                  Message 8 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                    Hello Alexander,
                    I am definitely interested and in search of Answers.
                    Couple of things first about the bible. I dont think it is such a
                    great idea to dismiss the some of the works of the Bible and then to
                    choose others. Sure even in the Bible we can make a semi-Heirarchy
                    and say that the Gospels are more importance than something else but
                    the statements in the other works must be taken into consideration
                    too. Otherwise we enter a dangerous slippery slope of wondering about
                    the authenticity of each word in the bible.
                    About constantine and the Church. The early church was organized;
                    sure not as much today's church but it was organized. Every city/town
                    that had Christians was organized into their own church. From this is
                    the expansion we see today in the Orthodox Church (the church of
                    Alexandria expanded into the Coptic church). And Bishops, Priests and
                    Deacons were present at these Churches. The book I suggest is The
                    Early Church by E. Glenn Hinson. Constantine called the Bishops of
                    the different churches together for the Council of Nicaea. Sure these
                    councils and events of the 4th and 5th century put the Bishops and
                    Priests at a position that they were not at before, but the orders
                    existed prior to this. And Sure the Priest's kuppayam is reminiscent
                    of the Emperor's outfit but it also represents several other things
                    (HEre is suggest Barnabas Thirumeni's book Spiritual Meditations on
                    the DIvine Liturgy). Christianity has always been able to adopt non
                    Christian elements if they were inocous to the Message of Christ.
                    Let me quote you "Jesus said Listen to them because they are
                    siting on the seat of Moses. But do not follow them because they do
                    not follow." I absolutely agree with you. There is only one person I
                    follow that is Jesus Christ. Every one else like you yourself said is
                    a signpost. (I personally would put Gandhiji as one of my "Saints" to
                    use as signpost). But it still doesnt change their role as teachers
                    and sheperds. See I agree with your point of man as temple. But I
                    feel that there are two parts to my relationship with Jesus Christ.
                    One personal and other Communal. Jesus himself didnt preach in the
                    dark to individual by individual he formed communities based on LOVE.
                    For me my friend in church who I can talk to about Light and Physics
                    and how that relates to GOd or my friend in church who I can talk to
                    about the Poverty and Christ's solution for it or my friend who
                    counsels me through difficulties, this to me is CHURCH! The
                    historical and the institutional aspects are much secondary.
                    About Women. Will all due respect Alexander you seem to be
                    repeating some sentiments that the patriarchial leader say. "Men make
                    Intellectual adjustments and all that with their Head. Women feels
                    with their heart." I dont think these generalizations are intrinsic
                    to gender; we have been cultured to behave in certain ways. But
                    Christ is above culture. Also we have to realize that if sexism must
                    stop it must begin with the attitudes of us men and not the
                    institutions. When I watch movies, listen to popular music (whether
                    it be Malayalam or American) the fact is I denigrate women! This is
                    what Christ came to change: MY HEART!
                    About Tradition, this is something for me also pushed me away
                    from the church for a while. THe problem is a misunderstanding of it.
                    Tradition neither begins nor ends with Milchezedich. I quote Meletius
                    Thirumeni:
                    Thirumenis words are in [ ]
                    ["For Orthodox tradition is much valued. In fact Tradition is the
                    only normative that we accept. But the question is how do you define
                    tradition? People many times mis- understand tradition as a bunch of
                    things that occurred or said or did in the past. This is a very
                    wrong understanding of tradition. Tradition of the continued work of
                    the holy spirit in the life of the Church. So it is always dynamic
                    and on going. It is never static. Holy Spirit works with people and
                    not with concepts and ideologies. They are continuously being
                    revised as time goes on and the challenges that people face every day
                    take new shapes. Tradition is some thing that is in response to the
                    need of the people and the time where people live. So as we go on
                    lot of changes will happen to old concepts and ideologies. Jesus
                    said to his disciples that "when the spirit of truth comes it will
                    lead you to all truth" (John 15:26). When this happens there shall
                    remain nothing that can not be questioned in this world except 'love'
                    which is the cardinal principle in this world according to Jesus. He
                    said "I give to you a new commandment, love one another" (John 13:34;
                    15:12). Nevertheless even this love in a given situation need to be
                    reinterpreted. Expression of love is quite a task. What you do in
                    love according to you may not be an expression of love for others who
                    receive it. What I mean is things are always on the move and this
                    momentum is to be respected lest you are old and outdated and dead.
                    Church is something which is always alive, it can not be dead; so
                    also the tradition of the church. One problem with Eastern Orthodox
                    people ... is that they are very good in retelling what the fathers
                    of the church has said, but fails to reinterpret it in the context
                    and to re-articulate according to the time. Because of this the
                    church becomes irrelevant for the young and the thinking and freedom
                    loving people." ] The problem i feel is a lack of understanding of
                    Tradition and misunderstaning profane customs (such as the clothes
                    worn by the laymen to Church) for Tradition. We the laypeople must
                    educated ourselves on Tradition and make it Relevant.
                    About Sin of humanity. Again I quote Meletius Thirumeni: "The
                    whole question of original sin is to be taken differently than what we
                    have been usually told. In Orthodox faith there is concept of
                    original sin in the sense of Adam's sin is being inherited by every
                    one born in to this world. This is what the Catholics teach. We
                    have no part in it. .... When human failed to respect the unique
                    personality of nature and an element in nature, it started not
                    respecting human. This caused suffering for human. Here the
                    corporate nature of individual act comes to light. This is how the
                    Adamic sin works today. But we should also understand that we can
                    try to overcome it by (1) not repeating the old fault and (2) trying
                    to reestablish the cut off relationship. This is the whole purpose of
                    religion. It should help people to do these two things. On the
                    contrary many times religion tries to make us people of prejudices by
                    inducing in to us boundaries and fences. Rather it should help us
                    break the barriers. This is particularly true with Christian
                    religion. It is a religion of corporate and individual salvation
                    simultaneously." He goes onto state that we should not even call it
                    Original Sin since it is an Augustinian term. ALso check out Bishop
                    Kallistos Wares' book The Orthodox Church. Here there is an excellent
                    discourse on the difference between Latin and Orthodox views on Sin
                    of humanity.
                    Everything above is matter that I am still questioning and
                    searching.
                    I have taken up too much of your time. I will be leaving for India
                    on thursday and will not get a chance to respond to you Alexander
                    till next year.
                    Enjoy the HOLY days.

                    Sujit
                  • John Thomas Alummoottil
                    Thanks Sujith, for taking much pain to study on these subjects. Love and greetings. Fr.John Thomas
                    Message 9 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                      Thanks Sujith, for taking much pain to study on these subjects. Love and greetings. Fr.John Thomas

                      -----



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                    • abe.george@onebox.com
                      We have gone a great length with this discussion. Thanks for all the information. It looks like this is a good place to break and talk about a different topic.
                      Message 10 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                        We have gone a great length with this discussion. Thanks for all the
                        information. It looks like this is a good place to break and talk
                        about a different topic.

                        What are the major charity works Indian Orthodox church do now? Do we
                        have any charity mission in the U.S.? What percent of our church
                        budget is allocated for charity? Anyone with information on this,
                        please provide answers. Thanks.
                      • deaconaju@juno.com
                        Dear Alexander and my friends, First, let me apologize for not being moer vocal in his group. I have not been finding time to do so. In any case, I have been
                        Message 11 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                          Dear Alexander and my friends,

                          First, let me apologize for not being moer vocal in his group. I have not
                          been finding time to do so. In any case, I have been follwoing this
                          gentlemanly debate between Alexander and Sujit. Just curiou, Alexander,
                          have you had any seminary training. It seems as though you may have had
                          some. There were a kit if things duscussed, and I don't have the time to
                          comment oneverything, but I would just like to shed some light on some of
                          the things discussed.

                          1. We must understand that since Jesus Himself didn't write, no writing
                          about Him or His life is exactly pure and unbiased. Alex said that we
                          must refer to Matthew and John for more valid accounts. However, Biblical
                          scholars all agree that Matthew was not written by the Apostle Matthew,
                          but rather by a Jewish rabbi, a follower of Christ. His Gospel is baised
                          in the sense that it play to the Jewish audience, having numerous
                          references to the Davidic line of Kingship in Jesus, and well as Jesus
                          fulfilling the prophecies of the OT prophets. St. John, is the last of
                          the Gospels to be written (c. 90-100 AD). Since our Lord ascended in
                          approx. 27-30 AD, he writes 60 years apart from Christ's life. Also John
                          was in the last days of his life, so he may have beena little senile,due
                          to his long exile in Patmos. Also, it is important to note that these
                          Gospels along with various others floated around teh Empire in different
                          versions,and editing styles, with numerous authors til St. Irenaeus wrote
                          down the first Canon of the New testament in the 3rd century. So, we must
                          accept that the Gospels are God-inspired but are not are pure as we would
                          like them to be,adn the they are not the only sources of info on Christ's
                          life. His apostles knew Him the best, so you have John saying that not
                          everything the Lord did was recorded in his Gospel,and that in Acts, you
                          read that teh early Church, spent time in prayer, fellowships, breaking
                          of bread, and the APOSTLES' TEACHINGS. This continuation of apostolic
                          teaching is only continued in the Orthodox Chruches, and very loosely in
                          the Roman Church.

                          2. I don't think that any scholar would agree that Saul andJesus
                          actually knew each other, but there is no facts to prove either way.
                          However, speculations can lead us down the wrong paths. Also, we don't
                          knwof ro sure about Paul's married life. Timothy was not his son, and
                          Markand Luke are not part of the 12. these are also not endorsed by the
                          Church.

                          3. The organizational idea of teh Church was not started at Nicea in 325
                          , but rather from the very get go. The Lord commissioned the Apostles as
                          equals who are one with Him. In 49 AD, according to the book of Acts, the
                          Apostles when faced with the issue of Gentile conversion to Christianity,
                          met togetherin Jerusalem for the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem. St.
                          James presided, being the Brother of our Lord, and Peter and Paul argues
                          their cases. The Council unanimously decided that Circumcisoion was not
                          neccesary for Baptism. Also, when the various apostles established
                          chruches, they remained teh "father" of that Church, always checking up
                          onthose parishes. That was teh success of Paul's missions. He always did
                          checks on all his parishes. We also read that Deacons, or "servants" were
                          ordained toserve the Greek speaking people and widows. In each parish
                          (community), and elder (presbyteroi from which we get the word priest)
                          was left incharge. When the Apostles died, they also left behind
                          successors, who were called episkopoi, who maintained the large
                          jurisdictions. In early manuscripts, there are records saying that
                          certain areas were under the jurisdiction of a particular Apostle. So,
                          the Churc naturally developed into a formal organization later on, but
                          the seeds were planted in teh beginning.

                          4. As far as the putfits of teh various clergy go, Bishops maintain a lot
                          of the vestments of the early empirical garb, but this is more so inthe
                          West than inthe east. After the 5th century, bishops took on the garb of
                          the monks as celibacy was made mandatory by the Council for Bishops. As
                          for priests, our vestments aer identical to that of teh priestood of the
                          Jews. What the Lord has ordainmed for us to come closer to HIm, has not
                          been destroyed by Christ,but rather fulfilled. Christ has shown us, that
                          it is humanly possible to Love God and to Love others in various ways:
                          service, worship, miracles, etc. When Christ said "Listentothem because
                          tehy sit on teh seat of Moses, but do not follow them, because they do
                          not follow what they teach", he was referring to Pharisees and the like,
                          who had the honor of Moses' seat,but did not fulfill it. He said not to
                          be like those people who do not practice what they preach. He did not
                          altogether condemn the priesthood. Also, Pharisees are not priests. they
                          are merely teachers of theLaw.
                          We cannot say that our relationship to Jesus does not go through the
                          priests and teh saints. Salvation for the Jews and early church, was a
                          communal thing. One person alone does not receive salvation (see Abraham
                          pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah). Also, we are taught by the scriptures
                          that intercession through saints and the priesthood is valid and is
                          helpful. (see story of Miriam's sickness and Moses' intercession; see
                          story of Wedding of Cana adn Mary's intercession).

                          5. Oneis to grow within the Church and always be the fruit of the Church.
                          Never to grow outside of it. The analogy is not right. We are not
                          individuals trees in teh Church, but rather are fruits and flowers of teh
                          same tree, that is based onthe Root of Jesse, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our
                          growth depends upon the growth of teh whole Church, and one bad apple
                          spoils the bunch, but never spoils the tree. This the story of our
                          Church. Sujit was right when he said that a few people, misguided, make
                          silyl ocmments or do sillythings,and then everyone blames the Church.
                          Alex is right, that our priests should be trained,and should reflect the
                          teacher, but are we human, or superhuman, just because we learn about
                          Christ or go through seminary. In my experience, ihave learned that we
                          come face to face with our own extreme humanness. If Judas was a member
                          of the 12, and he was a the betrayer, does this not mean taht all those
                          Apostles should have been betrayers? Or does this not mean, that Jesus
                          did not do His job well? Not at all. rather, Man has the choice to sin.
                          And the mjority of thetime, we do not have the strength to not sin.

                          6. The Orthodox chruch does not teach the concept of Original Sin,that
                          man was born with sin. This is a teaching of teh Roman Catholic Church
                          created by Augustine. Rather, we teach that all mankind are subject to
                          death because of Adam's fall, but not to sin. we have the Choice to Sin.
                          that is the gift given to us by God.

                          7. About the critical reviewing of Christianity in the light of other
                          faiths: it cannot be unbiased. You cannot learn about Christ through a
                          Hindu philosopher, nor throughMalayalam originals. If one wants to learn
                          about Christ, read teh writings of teh Desert Fathers or the early
                          Doctors of the Church. For people of other faiths, Christ is nothing more
                          than a Guru. For us, Christ is God. Christ is not one form of God, but
                          God. IF I wanted to learn about Biology, would I go learn it trhough a
                          Physics teacher? No, because what I am learning is separate from the
                          original. One can never understand Christ and God trhough human
                          philiosphy and human knowledge. that is the greatest setback of mankind.
                          The trinity is not a map of the Trimurthi in Hinduism. Though similar,
                          the differences are distinctly opposed to Christianity. (Brahma, Vishnu,
                          and shiva, have distinct roles,and are three different gods, who together
                          control life. One control,s Life, one sustains it, and the other destroys
                          it. In the Trinity, all three are one essence, but three hypostasis,
                          where allthree partake in allof life, together without confusion, without
                          conflict, in harmony. In the trimurthi, one god can override thedecision
                          of the other god). The four vedas and the four gospels may be coincidence
                          if anything. There is nothing similar about them. Now, I also have heard
                          that there are writings about Jesus inthe Hinu philiosophy. I have not
                          read them, but i stress again my point, that only the Church can teach me
                          about Christ, not Hindu scripture. I have studied basic Hinduism as well
                          as Buddhism, Islam, Judiasm, and other eastern Religions. But never have
                          a tired to judge Christianity by the other faiths. there is something
                          non-commonsensical about that. I respect allfaiths and i believe "to each
                          his own", but my respect doesn't turn into faith of those deities.

                          8. If anyone wants to read original texts, it is better toread the
                          original Greek and Hebrew texts and understand them within its cultural
                          contexts, rather than trhough, english, Malayalam or other translated
                          languages. They take on a new and lively meaning...

                          You also talk about a lot of other things, that I do not have the time to
                          write upon. You all must excuse that. I enjoy reading all your ideas. We
                          must remember taht our goal as Christians is to imitate the lifeof
                          Christ, as teh perfect man-perfect God. WE can onyl dothat trhough God's
                          grace and the Holy Spirit. Many times, we try to do it onour own, but we
                          fail to see tht the Body of Christ the Church, was inspired by the Holy
                          spirit,adn still is to guide to the perfect light. that light is the Word
                          of God,the Logos, the Christ.

                          Merry Xmas to all,and a prosperous Ne w year.
                          +++++ Rev. Dn. Aju Mathews +++++
                          St. George Malankara Orthodox Church of Staten Island, New
                          York
                          PHONE: (732) 938 7365/ CELL: (732) 586 3223
                          "The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him." - Psalms
                          25:14

                          ________________________________________________________________
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                        • John Thomas Alummoottil
                          To Alexander Pollayil: Alex, Don t call anyone Abba/Appa/Father.. in this earth. What do you call your Father? Mr................. You call Abba, Bava,
                          Message 12 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                            To Alexander Pollayil:
                            Alex,
                            Don't call anyone Abba/Appa/Father.. in this earth. What do you call your Father? Mr................. You call Abba, Bava, Moran,or anything....But the Heavenly Father is the Father of all.That attribution shouldnot be given to any of your  masters.
                             
                            The Church didnot restrict you from reading other books. May be some of the elders at home. Before printing of the Bible, our ancestors had only portions of the Bible through Thaliyolas (You may see it in Niranam Church  and may be in the archives of Old Seminary etc) or some other sources. Elamkulam Kunjanpillai  in his research history "Kerala Charithram"  shows that Christians used to read Bible portions and other good books like Geetha in their homes. There were Christian believers and non christian believers in the same family. They used to erect churches and temples jointly. There were churches and temples side by side. ex:Piravam. 
                             
                            The Christian Church was organised in the first century itself.  It wouldnot have been in the order we see now.  As you wrote, the present order must have been inherited from the time of Constantine.  But the Jewish religion was well disciplined and it was in good form (still!). The pattern of our worship is Synagogue worship. Each Synagogue was well organised under a Rabbai.  They were waiting for a Massiah(and are still).  But a group of Jews foundout that the Historical Jesus was their expected Massiah and they changed their liturgy in that way.
                             
                            More than 4oo synagogus were there in Bethlehem only-at Jesus' time  (ref:Josephus).  A good number of synagogues became ' protestants' accepting the Historical Jesus as their Massiah. Then how can you say that the church was not organised. (The organised Jewish religion only crucified Jesus - Now we are in that place and still crucifying!!!!!)
                             
                            What you say is a teaching from the Brethren Church.  According to them all are brothers. Once it was powerful in Kerala too. Mahakavi Simon Sir is a product of that - who questioned the Mar Thoma Church Heirarchy and even priests from the Mar Thoma Church followed him. They only started the Mission Hospital in Tiruvalla (Since it was started by NOEL 'SAIPU'- still it is called SAIPINTASUPATHRY)  Because of their teaching, no leaders could grow up and the church came to a diminishing point. Now their remnants are coming up with the 'mighty dollar'.
                             
                            Pentecostal people questioned the tradition.  Now their newly consecrated Overseer (Bava!) Mr. Itty says we must hold tradition. But he forgot that when he says tradition, he means tradition of only 100 or 150 years.
                             
                            No doubt there are lot of evils and power struggles in our church.  But don't be upset.
                            Let us humble ourselves to the One Who Humbled Himself and came to us.
                             
                            May His Love guide all of us in this Christmas Season and in the coming years.
                             
                            Lovingly,
                             
                            Fr.John Thomas



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                          • Abraham Chirackal
                            You can find some mission activities at http://www.icbs.com/makodiya/ by H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the Metropolitan of the Calcutta. If you find something
                            Message 13 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                              You can find some mission activities at http://www.icbs.com/makodiya/
                              by H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the Metropolitan of the Calcutta.
                              If you find something else please add at
                              http://www.egroups.com/links/IndianOrthodox.

                              Abraham Chirackal

                              --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, abe.george@o... wrote:
                              > We have gone a great length with this discussion. Thanks for all the
                              > information. It looks like this is a good place to break and talk
                              > about a different topic.
                              >
                              > What are the major charity works Indian Orthodox church do now? Do
                              we
                              > have any charity mission in the U.S.? What percent of our church
                              > budget is allocated for charity? Anyone with information on this,
                              > please provide answers. Thanks.
                            • Raji Mathew
                              St. Paul s Mission is doing a lot of charity work. As far as my knowledge it is an initiative of Osthathios thirumeni. I don t know who heads it now. There
                              Message 14 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                                St. Paul's Mission is doing a lot of charity work. As far as my
                                knowledge it is an initiative of Osthathios thirumeni. I don't know
                                who heads it now. There is Karunya centre in Trivandrum along the
                                similar direction.

                                I think all the charity work is done in isolation. Even individual
                                churches are doing lot of charity work typically don't get much
                                attention beyond their church members.

                                R. Mathew

                                --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, "Abraham Chirackal"
                                <chirackal@h...> wrote:
                                > You can find some mission activities at
                                http://www.icbs.com/makodiya/
                                > by H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the Metropolitan of the Calcutta.
                                > If you find something else please add at
                                > http://www.egroups.com/links/IndianOrthodox.
                                >
                                > Abraham Chirackal
                                >
                                > --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, abe.george@o... wrote:
                                > > We have gone a great length with this discussion. Thanks for all
                                the
                                > > information. It looks like this is a good place to break and talk
                                > > about a different topic.
                                > >
                                > > What are the major charity works Indian Orthodox church do now? Do
                                > we
                                > > have any charity mission in the U.S.? What percent of our church
                                > > budget is allocated for charity? Anyone with information on this,
                                > > please provide answers. Thanks.
                              • Kmole@aol.com
                                St. Paul s Brotherhood, is currently headed by Very Rev.Thomas Ramban and Very Rev.Philipose Ramban. They have some information on the web at
                                Message 15 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                                  St. Paul's Brotherhood, is currently headed by Very Rev.Thomas Ramban
                                  and Very Rev.Philipose Ramban. They have some information on the web
                                  at http://www.providenceusa.com/balagram/st.paul's%20brotherhood.htm.
                                  Also you can find other works they are involved on their web site at
                                  http://www.providenceusa.com/balagram/index.htm

                                  --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, "Raji Mathew" <Raji_A_M@h...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > St. Paul's Mission is doing a lot of charity work. As far as my
                                  > knowledge it is an initiative of Osthathios thirumeni. I don't know
                                  > who heads it now. There is Karunya centre in Trivandrum along the
                                  > similar direction.
                                  >
                                  > I think all the charity work is done in isolation. Even individual
                                  > churches are doing lot of charity work typically don't get much
                                  > attention beyond their church members.
                                  >
                                  > R. Mathew
                                  >
                                  > --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, "Abraham Chirackal"
                                  > <chirackal@h...> wrote:
                                  > > You can find some mission activities at
                                  > http://www.icbs.com/makodiya/
                                  > > by H.G. Stephanos Mar Theodosius, the Metropolitan of the
                                  Calcutta.
                                  > > If you find something else please add at
                                  > > http://www.egroups.com/links/IndianOrthodox.
                                  > >
                                  > > Abraham Chirackal
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In IndianOrthodox@egroups.com, abe.george@o... wrote:
                                  > > > We have gone a great length with this discussion. Thanks for all
                                  > the
                                  > > > information. It looks like this is a good place to break and
                                  talk
                                  > > > about a different topic.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > What are the major charity works Indian Orthodox church do now?
                                  Do
                                  > > we
                                  > > > have any charity mission in the U.S.? What percent of our church
                                  > > > budget is allocated for charity? Anyone with information on
                                  this,
                                  > > > please provide answers. Thanks.
                                • John Thomas Alummoottil
                                  As far as I know, 50% of our charity missions - organisations are headed by H G Geevarghese Mar Osthatheos Metropolitan. The latest project under completion
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Dec 20, 2000
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                                    As far as I know, 50% of our charity missions - organisations are headed by H>G>Geevarghese Mar Osthatheos Metropolitan.  The latest project under completion is the Orissa Project. We could give 107 houses for the homeless due to cyclone - each house costs Rs.40,000/- hen this project was started, many oif us were in a confusion; how could we collect 4crores. Mr. Idicclla alone could support the project with 28lakhs. 100 houses were the target., since we are getting encouragement, the Church is aiming another 107 more. The Orissa Governor's speech was enthusiastic "Your presence is less in this state; but your contribution is great." 
                                    These days the Church is aware of the charity works. You must have noticed our Bavathirumeni's speech while he was giving the 80th house for the homeless from the Parumala Seminary Fund:  "If the court cases were stopped and the money spent for the disputes had been used for the homeless!"  There are Balabhavans headed by almost all the Metropolitans in almost all the dioceses.  All these are supported by our own people.- not through some mercy from the West. 
                                     
                                    I know many of our Youth from the States are contributing money to the above works.    MGOCSM OF INDIA has a scholarship fund, which was first raised by the American Youth. While I was the General Secretary and Mar Theophilus was its President Rev.Dr.C.K.Rajan sent Rs.83,000/- for the Scholarship fund on completion of 83 years of the president.  Later he sent the difference and made it 1 lakh rupees. Now that is a fund of about 4 lakhs. Scholarship as well as student loan is given from the interest of that amount. Gulf parishes are promoting a number of charity funds; but I doubt whether we could promote such a fund from the States. E'ry month we give for charity; but not in ou label - that's all. Let the left hand doesnot know what the right hand is doing!!!    -JT



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                                  • Alexander Pollayil
                                    Hello John achan, To Alexander Pollayil: Alex, Don t call anyone Abba/Appa/Father.. in this earth. What do you call your Father? Mr....... You call Abba, Bava,
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Dec 22, 2000
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                                      Hello John achan,

                                      To Alexander Pollayil:
                                      Alex,
                                      Don't call anyone Abba/Appa/Father.. in this earth. What do you call your Father? Mr....... You call Abba, Bava, Moran, or anything....But the Heavenly Father is the Father of all.That attribution shouldnot be given to any of your  masters.

                                      How about Appane . . . . . .  Ousep chetta?

                                      Don’t you read he told to Peelathose that his world is not of this world? or In his world there is no giving for marriage and relationship like that? Don’t you read who ever want to follow him has to leave all these worldy possessions? (Ashta Bandhangal, There are 8 types of Bondages in this world ) I wounder what Orthodox principles are you teaching to your parish?

                                      Do you know why it is said that unless one born again can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven?. And why it is said once you put your hand on the “Nukam” don’t look back, Or Let the Dead burry their dead!? All these are pointing to the same direction. Also when A priest is given a new name and the Responsibility of the so called God father. All our thirumenies are given New Names you are aware that. Once you decided to Follow him you will have to leave every thing of this world. (Slowly but surely). The Final part is Surrendering the self ( Personal or False Ego) that is the significant in the Crucifixion of the self. Do you think If Jesus does not allow him self, any one can touch his Body?  Surrendering ones Identity is the most difficult part. That is why It is said that It is easier for a Prostitute or A chungakkaran to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. To surrender the self, it is Difficult for A Dhanavan or A Politician Because their Ego and their Position in the Socity.

                                      The Church didnot restrict you from reading other books. May be some of the elders at home. Before printing of the Bible, our ancestors had only portions of the Bible through Thaliyolas (You may see it in Niranam Church  and may be in the archives of Old Seminary etc) or some other sources. Elamkulam Kunjanpillai  in his research history "Kerala Charithram"  shows that Christians used to read Bible portions and other good books like Geetha in their homes. There were Christian believers and non christian believers in the same family. They used to erect churches and temple! s jointly. There were churches and temples side by side. ex:Piravam.

                                      I am not much far from Piravam and am aware of these (Pampakkada too). The Old Vadakara Palli looked like a Temple. In Kodungallore there was a muslim Palli which looked like a Hindu temple. Hindu believe in Ista Devaaradhana so they did not have any problem of having one more Devan Named Eeshoo.

                                             The Christian Church was organised in the first century itself.  It would not have been in the order we see now.  As you wrote, the present order must have been inherited from the time of Constantine.  But the Jewish religion was well disciplined and it was in good form (still!). The pattern of our worship is Synagogue worship. Each Synagogue was well organised under a Rabbai.  They were waiting for a Massiah(and are still).  But a group of Jews foundout that the Historical Jesus was their expected Massiah and they changed their liturgy in that way. More than 4oo synagogus were there in Bethlehem only-at Jesus' time  (ref:Josephus).

                                      I do not believe Josephus like that! what did he mentioned about Jesus? Nothing! Most of the historical maters was corrupted (Remember a kavitha “Charithram Otticha vilambarangali thiruthukal Vettithiruthukal”) None of the Historians mentioned any thing about Jesus. Look in the Britanica Encyclopedia. Most of the doccuments in Alexandrian Library those were not in agreement with Romans were destroyed, later by Roman Church, and Whatever left was Distroyed be the Muslims. All these time There was Secret Communities foresaw all these and preserved all the Teachings. More over there another Book which can not be deleted once it is Written. (Read the Book ‘The Living Energy Universe’ writern by Two Scientists Harward and Yele University) In the Bible we Call the Book of Life. (It is also Called the Aakashic Records)

                                      The time of the Greate Flood and Nohas Arch was About  22000 years Ago. The recent underwater research in the
                                      In the Black sea confirming these facts. I have Yeshu’s date of birth calculated from Different sources, as March 19,4 BC the Time is Just after Midnight. The wedding in the Cana was June 3rd Ad 27. Do you know why the Wine was finished Unexpected? Because it was a Full moon and it was about 9 PM. And People was in party mood Drinking and dancing outside. It was in Summer and the Weather was a bit warm. If you Visited the Mediterraneans You may better understand how the party was. (Now a days Greeks, Jewish, Armanians, and Egyptian Weddings are  some what similar) ( Remember the present english Calendar (Kaalandar in Sanskrit Kalandaram in Malayalam) was prepared by Pop Gregory in the late 15th century (1568?) so It is actually called the Gregorian Calander. There was Old Egyptian, Roman, and Chinese Calanders which will go back to many thousand years (No need to say Indian, Go to Britanica Encyclopedia and find out your self).

                                      A good number of synagogues became ' protestants' accepting the Historical Jesus as their Massiah. Then how can you say that the church was not organised.

                                      The protestant Church was Protested from Rome many centuries Later. The first Split was Jews Vs Non Jews, The Next Big one, The Roman Bodily Pleasure Vs Greeks Philosophical Head. Romans Can’t live with out eating Pork and the Pigy life. In the East There was influence from Nestorians. In the west Protestant Lutheran etc. In Malabar area early time Bavas Came from Persia, Assyria and Turkey too. (please visit http://www.thomasleeha.org  the site is under construction   sorry for the lack of time I will do it more fast now.) I have seen Exactly the Same Kapa (those malayalee achans usually wear when they are not in the church, the white Long sleeved Big Shirt and White pants) Now a days I do not see them any more ) Persians Muslims and Sufis weare same as that.  (The organised Jewish re! ligion only crucified Jesus - Now we are in that place and still crucifying!!!!!)

                                      Actually Jesus was Crucified by Romans not by Jews. There was reason behind that. Jews way to Execution was throwing stones until the person die! (I am sure you know that) and many later Jews were scared to write things against Romans because the fear of death. What you say is a teaching from the Brethren Church. I do not have any connection with Brethren Church, I visit one Egyptian Coptic Monastery about a 100 miles north east in the Yermo Desert, I frequently go one of the Assyrian (Babylonian) Orthodox Church to Hear the Qurbana in Aramaic. The people here in the church knows one Bishop
                                      Who came here (Themothios) from India. In the Syrian Church most of the time it is in Arabic because of the Arabic speaking majority.

                                      According to them all are brothers. Once it was powerful in Kerala too. Mahakavi Simon Sir is a product of that - who questioned the Mar Thoma Church Heirarchy and even priests from the Mar Thoma Church followed him. They only started the Mission Hospital in Tiruvalla (Since it was started by NOEL 'SAIPU'- still it is called SAIPINTASUPATHRY)Because of their teaching, no leaders could grow up and the church came to a diminishing point. Now their Pentecostal people questioned the tradition.  Now their newly consecrated Overseer (Bava!) Mr. Itty says we must hold tradition. But he forgot that when he says tradition, he means tradition of only 100 or 150 years. No doubt there are lot of evils a! nd power struggles in our church.  But don't be upset.
                                      Let us humble ourselves to the One Who Humbled Himself and came to us. May His Love guide all of us in this Christmas Season and in the coming years.
                                      Lovingly,
                                      Fr.John Thomas
                                      Time does not permit me write more now
                                      Regards and wish you happy Holidays
                                      Alexander

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