I do not think that any of us should apologise. We are perfectly
entitled to debate as we do. This is even what a forum like this one
is all about. You do not irritate me at all. Please forgive me if I
gave you this impression.
Why refrain from discussing by fear of lacking sufficient or unbiased
information? Why just leave it to the Commission? Usually, we,
humans, do not have the information we want. Moreover, the
information we want is not the information we need and the
information we need is not available. Available information is always
incomplete and biased. Nevertheless, it is vital for us that we
constantly think. This is where the "discernment" (that you like)
takes all of its importance.
In medicine, we know that we know nothing (as Socrates did). We do
not know the pathologies that we deal with, we do not know the people
that we treat, we do not know the drugs or treatments that we
administer and yet, we manage to be quite useful. Some people get
even cured (I treated him and God cured him, as Ambroise Paré used to
Let God inspire Commissions. As members of the Church however, we
have a say too, and even a duty to take part in the thinking. We are
part of the Church thinking. Taking an active part in the Church life
is a duty for a Christian. As members of our community in Christ, we
judge one another (with love, understanding and compassion) and so
help one another with advice, encouragement, disapproval, and
condemnations even if applicable. In other words, we live together,
we support one another, we talk and pray the Holy Spirit together.
How could Commissions integrate the thinking of the laity if the
latter does not think?
You are entitled to disagree with me, of course, since a discussion
can only stem from a disagreement. As they say in French: "Du choc
des idées jaillit la lumière" (light spouts out from the shock of
Those opinions of mine (those with which you disagree) are not even
mine. After all, opinions are not that numerous. You just choose
among the few available that make sense. I just borrowed mine from
very respected hierarchs and clergymen like Met Philaret or Met
Vitaly to name just two. These opinions have been traditionally held
by ROCOR for a long time, so it was easy for me to adopt them. They
never deceived me.
I feel certainly no enmity to you. I would like, on the contrary, to
express my very warm feelings to you, dear brother in Christ. I love
exchanges with people of different background or nationality from
mine, especially if they are Rossiyanie.
--- In email@example.com, "vjb" <tompkins440@v...> wrote:
> I apologize in front of everyone on this list for the turn this
discussion has taken.
> Vladimir, I sense frustration and bitterness in your posts directed
at me personally.
> I realize that I reproached people on this list. I regret it and I
acknowledge it. I am also aware that I am in no position to reproach
or teach you or anyone else. God will judge everyone according to
> I made no comments on the passages I quoted. However, it seems that
I was able to get the point across. I made no definition of the
Church at all (I only said that the opinion of the Council is the
only expression of the 'sobornoe' opinion of the Church). There was
nothing else to disagree with. I did not disagree with your
interpretation either, I simply refused to accept your authority to
interpret. I accept the authority of the Church. Let me repeat that I
am not opposed to the statement that "We are the Church"; I am
troubled with how the word "we" is applied. I do not take it as a
valid argument either because it sounds as if since we all are the
Church then each one of us can interpret the scriptures anyway we
want and claim that it is a 'sobornoe' opinion.
> Further, I disagree with your assessment of the situation in
Russia, and refuse to accept your judgment. I do not feel obliged to
judge anyone in the MP for fear of making a mistake due to lack of or
biased information. I think that the Commission created by the Synod
is made of competent and worthy men and I will accept the ultimate
decision of the Council.
> "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the
will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost." (2 Peter 1:20-21)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: vkozyreff
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 10:59 PM
> Subject: [orthodox-synod] Judging
> Dear List, dear Viacheslav
> I like to quote the Sriptures, and am often accused of usurpating
> right to interpret them. Recently, Viacheslav told me
> that "Interpretation of the Scriptures belongs to Church alone.
> we try to give our own interpretetion we come up with all kinds
> of "ideas."
> Of course, I disagreed about his definition of the Church.
> Interestingly, Viacheslav nevertheless told me "Do not judge". In
> doing so, he was quoting the scriptures, and thus interpreting
> I suggested that his interpretation was not correct. There is an
> enormous confusion about the meaning of this command.
> Moreover, by telling me "do not judge", Viacheslav was judging
> I wrote this to him, when he recently acused (judged) Father
> Yakimov of appointing himself as a judge.
> Below is a sound and useful discussion about the meaning of "do
> judge". You will see that Christ did not dispute that the
> woman was rightly judged and rightly condemned for being guilty,
> since he told her not to sin again.
> What Christ disputed was the application of the death sentence,
> is to say the lack of mercy. Never forget: "The spiritual man
> all things".
> Please read below. I am sure however that people will continue to
> quote erroneously the command of "not judging" in this forum. The
> confusion is really a stubborn one.
> Of course, we must judge the MP and conclude that it is in sin
> apostasy, sergianism and ecumenism. "Do not judge" does not
> us from doing so.
> In God,
> Vladimir Kozyreff
> judgmental, non-judgmental This is one of those words which I
> to call autocatacritical (Greek: auto [self] + catacrisis
> [condemnation]; hence, self-condemning). Only airheads (i.e., the
> cerebrally insolvent) use this word. It is found most frequently
> applications such as the following:
> "you're being judgmental"
> "you shouldn't be judgmental"
> "you shouldn't be so judgmental"
> "you should be non-judgmental"
> Every time I hear one of these expressions, or any resembling
> my first reply is "Thine own words condemn thee." The person
> any of these phrases is behaving inconsistently with his own
> for he himself is being judgmental when he accuses you of being
> judgmental. They reply often in words such as these: "Judge not
> ye be judged1." My counter-reply then takes the following
> have quoted this passage out of context.
> The verse actually reads, 'Judge not, lest ye be judged; For with
> what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure
> mete, it shall be measured back to you.' But,
> why beholdest thou the sliver that is in thy brother's eye, but
> considerest not the log that is in thine own eye? Or how will you
> to thy brother, "Let me pull the sliver out of thine eye," and,
> behold, a log is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first remove
> log out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to
> the log out of thy brother's eye.'" Arguing from incomplete
> can lead only to invalid arguments: they may possess rhetorical
> to the unwary, but cannot form the basis of a sound argument.
> What is at issue here can easily be demonstrated by a pair of
> scandals played out in the last decade. A notorious televangelist
> the name of Jim Baker was caught in adultery. Another
> by the name of Jimmy Swaggert severely castigated Mr. Baker for
> sin, insisting that the ecclesiastical denomination that had
> Mr. Baker revoke their ordination and excommunicate him, to make
> public example of him so that other ministers of the Gospel may
> Not long afterward, it was revealed that Mr. Swaggert himself had
> committed acts of sexual perversion with a woman who was not his
> wife. The richly deserved obloquy and contempt (not to say
> subsequently heaped upon Mr. Swaggert was much greater than what
> greeted Mr. Baker's adultery. We needn't ask why: no one likes a
> pompous and sanctimonious hypocrite.
> Another, more recent, example was the public clamor that arose as
> result of the Monica Lewinski Affair. Several Republican
> subsequently were forced to resign their seats in Congress
> they themselves apparently had been Lewinskized.
> The point is, the injunction quoted did not proscribe judging
> absolutely; it enjoined only that we exercise our judgement with
> care, and especially that we do not judge more harshly than
> circumstances (including our own) will reasonably allow.
> My interlocutor's next reply is likely to be another citation
> Holy Writ, to wit, "Let him who is without sin cast the first
> This one is more difficult to overcome. This is partly because
> context of discourse is incomplete; certain details whose bearing
> upon interpretation may be crucial are not revealed.
> My opponent's intention in quoting this passage is almost
> to insist that it completely forbids any judgement whatsoever on
> grounds that
> 1) since "all have sinned2,"
> 2) none can cast the first stone.
> My reply is that a complete reading of this passage reveals that
> stone-throwing has nothing to do with judgement, per simpliciter.
> woman was adjudged to be guilty of committing adultery (she
> was "caught in" the act -- in flagrante delicto, as the saying
> Jesus did not say that their judgement was incorrect or invalid
> even unjust.
> It was not their judgement that was at issue, but their execution
> the prescribed sentence: death by stoning. He acknowledged her
> but, as subsequent events abundantly clarify, insisted on the
> application, in at least this one case, of mercy instead of
> Notice, moreover, that mercy does not effect the judgement
> for He afterward said to her, "Go thy way, and sin no more." The
> latter words fully confirmed the judgement upon her, but enjoined
> repeat of her sin.
> Common sense and universal human experience alike attest to the
> that not only do we judge the persons and acts of others, but
> must, to ensure our own survival and to secure the commonweal.
> We are appointed to juries to judge our peers; we judge both
> and circumstances against our fund of experience to determine a
> provident course of action, and in doing so, often employ prudent
> prejudice (Lat: pre + judicium; to pre-judge) and appropriate
> discrimination (dis + cernare = thoroughly perceive; discriminare
> that which separates). Wise and intelligent JUDGEMENT is
> both to longevity and rectitude.
> 1 Matthew 7:1a
> 2 Romans 3:23; 5:12
> 3 Throughout the Scriptures, mercy is always distinguished from
> pardon or remission in this: the former affects only the sinner
> himself and his relation to the law; the latter affects the sin
> itself, eradicating it and thus removing all ground for judgement.
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