Re: [ MOSC ] Judging Others Part -3
- I find Mr John's effort to present our spirituality, theology, doxy and practices in light of diverse systems such as scientific inquiry or vedic scriptures, is praiseworthy. Though I find it difficult to concur with Mr John's observations and postulations, they definitely expand my horizon of vision. Therefore, I have to disagree with Ms Alice's view that we run the risk of straying from the Bible as the Bible contains everything that is to know.
In end end, there can be only one truth, whether it is obtained from scriptures, experimentaion, intuition, scientific inquiry or from anywhere else; they must all converge..though there will be occassional colorings or concealment which may make it look impaired. Therefore, Bible and true believers have nothing to fear from different avenues of search.
Then again, Bible, as we see now, is the product of the traditions of the Judaic civilization, and of our early fathers; however technical this may sound, it is the truth. The very fact that multiple narrations of the "creation of first man" are tolerated in Bible, we know that plurality is built in. Christ asking the scribes upon their criticism of his telling the paralytic that 'his sins are forgiven' - "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, `Arise, take up your bed and walk'? (Mk 2) - shows that many inflections for the same idea are viable. Bible does not record everything that happened during our Lord's earthly ministry, the disciples categorically state.
Oriental orthodoxy has been blessed in one way, that, it did not enjoy the previleges derived from political patronage. HH Paulose Mar Gregorios makes the point that the patronage of Constantine may be one possible reason for the spiritual decay of the western church. It is not a difficult idea to comprehend. The most important christian tenet as prescribed by Jesus is to "love your neighbor and forgive your enemies" that which can only be achieved with internal discipline("Yama" in vedic, or restraint). When the same is implementated as external constraints (rules), the very principle is at odds with the established sense of justice where each offense is always paid back in kind with a punishment -another offense though legal- which is highly unlikely to balance the universe where the underlying Godly force is of said to be "Love and Charity". A politically powerful church will find itself to be at odds with the most important tenet of the christianity, and history is strewn with proofs of this! Even in our current church, we can see that legalistic and self-righteous attitudes give rise to violence and hatred.
The oriental fathers empowered by Holy Spirit gave us the doxies. It would be wrong to think that the Holy Spirit stopped working in the church by 4th or 5th century CE. (I am not making any of these up, please read our sunday school books..which I find to be quite liberating). The quest must go on.
There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the social sciences, as we see now, derived out of the western scientific pursuit have hit a cul-de-sac, while the natural sciences have made tremendous headway. The streams of inquiry that require analysis, intuition, and conceptualizations of subtle elements have already created massive misconceptaions in areas of economic theories, gender studies, health systems, entertainment and other areas affecting our day-to-day life. We are at a stage where we need to reconcile and aid such sciences and continually correct them. We must be willing to be insprired by the Holy Spirit, willing to go beyond the regular boundaries and let experiment, without which we deprive ourselves of the possible solutions that the scriptures can give us. This is not the the time to stiffle thought, this is the time to spur it. This is not the time to put constraints around, but to let think boldly while staying within the spiritual restraints of the Holy Church.
- Dear mrs.Alice Mathai,
My initial reaction was not to reply, yet on 2nd thoughts thinking that biting the bait may iron out our few differences. Jesus didn't have to take baptism, or going to the synagogue or going to the Mount Olives for nocturnal prayer. Prayers to the Father that goes through the Son is enough. But first we have to see that our prayers have reached the destination. All our babbling and claims may not give forth fruits because we are dealing with a remote control that is not accessible to our visual sense. The bible is not infallible; we believe that the church is infallible. The church that is older than the bible teach us to have a sacramental life in the church, as Jesus also started His public ministry with baptism and other rituals like tabernacle feast Passover etc.
The bible has many layers of meaning, and to understand a bit of the right one it needs whole our life. In order to understand the real meaning one will have to learn the whole universe in literal term because the bible is a miniature cosmos. But the poor fishermen grasped and lived with the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. If one reaches to that stage, nothing else is needed. but I am a common man who understands bit by bit from here and there, so as to know whether the finger of Christ has any print in other culture or literature also. If I can talk and make them realize that christ is the perfect cup that is full in itself, my one coin work finds some satisfaction. "Teacher we saw a man casting out demon in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us, Mk.9: 38. They should follow us, WHO? 2,400 DENOMINATIONS AND UNCOUNTABLE NUMBER OF CULTS. Christianity has lost its vitality because of following a path that is the culture of
hate and feuding within itself. We don't understand the bible; we read it and select what suits to us at that point of time. The apostolic church that kept the sanguine and pure sterling faith is lost by our trampling over it. There is only Bride, can you show her now? where? Unless we spill the leavened bread from our religious menu, we are digging our own grave. The bible is not enough, but christ is enough. But where is christ? Simple faith and simple prayer is enough. But our prayer is too much because it contains all our passions and fashions of the flesh. As we preach a different christ what apostles have never taught, the penalty is its multiplication. In order to gain others we have to go to them with their gears and see whether it will fit to us or not, if not bring them back to our gear, 1.Cor.9: 20-27.
God loves every human being. so He informed His redemptive plan to all the human races from time to time. He informed His plan to the Hindus also. They waited for Prajapathy, but slept like the women who went without oil to receive Mahabali, the greatest sacrifice, but couldn't recognize Him like the Jews. But there is one more chance left to receive when He comes as Janardanan, Redeemer. They may see Him, but not christians because of their caricaturing of the Lamb in a million way. I can grasp the meaning of the apostolic christianity to an atom, hence I may open up other literature and understand how the finger of the Lord write the truth in the classical literature in manifold symbols of figurative usages. Our first parents were with God, yet they fell down to the abysmal bottom. st.peter also denied and suffered enough, despite he made a different clain some hours before. Judas made a suicidal end, though he was with the Lord till the last hour.
Please don't make bold claim that read the bible and pray and the golden way is opened for the whole 6 billion people. All great men like King David, abraham, Jacob and so on all failed, but the grace and mercy of the Lord saved them. so humbly kneel at His feet for His blessings for not denying or betraying Him at the appointed time. We are all great zeros, but may increase the value if christ the ONE is on the left of it.
ES John, Australia
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- Dear Mr. B.Kuriakose,
I do support you in saying that the Church and the bible is enough for our salvation. But my question is that how many are capable of practicing the faith and go in tune with the biblical line. Meant only one church and one bible, how many of them are in the market now. Religion has become a pattern or culture that has nothing to do with spirituality; it has only a religious flavour. Our culture of celebrating the worship in a set paradigm is good, but how many of us live in the spirit of the Indian concept of not to hurt a person in thought, word and deed. Multiplication as denominations prove that we are a feuding group of many tribes. Thus we are living far away from our home of christian worships and ethics. As we are not living in the christian spirit of loving, learn many things from other religions and cultures. We borrow voraciously anything palatable to our Passions of the flesh, then why don't we copy some morals and values and principles
from other religions and cultures.
The church and the bible is enough for a christian life, but we have failed in living in that standard because we threw everything while fleeing for the pleasures of life. we have, therefore, to come out of our self and live a life of the soul.
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- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10 : 24-26
Confession of our faith, Exhortation to one another and Assembling of bretheren are all to be practiced.
We have a chaste faith which is based on the words and life of our Lord Jesus and his apostles. We call it the orthodox faith and practice it.
Exhortations : Just a sample from one of our holy fathers.
"Blessed children, even if I leave you physically, I will be with you spiritually. Remember every blessing, specially. Pray for me. Thirumeni dwelt on the patience, long suffering, noble deeds, prayer and fasting and told them. It is your duty to tell those who succeed you that Pampady Thirumeni had told you these things, especially.
~St. Kuriakose Mar Gregorios
We all join for qurbana every time we come to church. Nowadays it has become a social event or a trademark event but it was not so before. May God raise up believers who commune for Qurbana and not other agendas.
Finally: It is but logical to ask. How long shall we await??
For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10 : 37-38
Let us not draw back but live by faith .