note about hell
by Hans G. Lundahl on Sunday, 21 November 2010 at 15:45
link and answers:
Fr Timothy Curtis posted this link:
"The same fire, the love of God, that ignites in the hearts of the faithful transmutes in the experience of those who reject it into the fire of hell; it purifies the former, but burns the latter."
OK: God is a natural force without will or direction. He does not inflict punishment but is automatically punishment. Hmmm ... no, I do not think this makes God more mercyful than the view of St Augustine and St THomas Aquinas.
Or than that of Dante, obviously.
And it is not what St Isaac the Syrian says, either.
St Augustine says as much as St Isaac: God has so much love for the hardened sinners, he refuses to destroy them - and so much hatred for their unjustice, he refuses to make them happy.
If tormenting someone eternally is "love" give me hate.
Ch A G:
It's more to do with the fact that your decisions/actions in this life (if they are, for want of a better term "bad") mean that God's fire burns you instead of nourishing you, as is God's intention.
Since God has not made us automata, and we are free to think and feel as we wish, he does not force us, even in eternity, to accept His love. A crude analogy might be music: a classical music lover might find sitting through a pop concert a really unpleasnant experience, and vice versa. People who have spent murderous lives might find a Kingdom of Love very painful
[@ Ch:] Well, that is Eric Simpson's view, I think it wrong.
St Augustine says: God loves everything he has created, but the spiritual creation (angelic and human creatures) more than the irrational one, the blessed and elect more than the damned and foreknown, and most of all the Humanity of Christ whose members the elect are.
Fr Timothy Curtis:
Therein lies an important difference between Orthodox and western forms of Christianity
Not between St Augustine and St Isaac, as far as I can see.
Eric Simpson takes a summing up of two patristic quotes that do not add up to his conclusion. Even if St Isaac the Syrian is a saint and a Church Father.
To take this a bit further (risking to be thought of as a lover of diatribe), there is a certain connexion to hypercorrectness and to V ec. Council.
The emperor asked that council to condemn 15 Origenist theses. All bishops except the Pope did so.
Hypercorrectness: over-emphasising a difference. When learning Latin syntax, I once was told I was too much avoiding the Latin constructions that correspond exactly to Swedish ones. A risk I think Orthos are running in the West, when relearning their own confession after getting used to Western thought sometimes as if they were learning it for the first time, as I was learning Latin.
There is also a real diatribe against Christianity, some people talk about a vengeful God. Some Christians try to please them, as some try to please Evolutionists and Heliocentrics.
But that is brought out not only by eternal damnation, but also by Flood and destruction of Sodom, and by Egyptian army sunk in the Red Sea. And one early Church Father says that in the era of NT this is stricter, since punishment is no longer death but precisely damnation.
We are not automata - it is now that I am answering Gillian Crow, yesterday at 10:30 was @ Ch. - but neither is God. Someone who has lead a murderous or harrassing life might be considered bad company in Heaven by the ones God wants to have there. Such a one not getting to Heaven might in one way be his own free decision, but in another way God's decision according to His justice.
Thinking of God's love as an automaton, as a natural force without intention, as something that hurts without ever intending to hurt anyone, because the hurt ones are those that are not agile enough to get the right angle of contact, is debasing the divine majesty. That is why I am against Eric Simpson's "alternative Orthodox view". And will have no communion with people calling it Orthodox.
A note about Hilarion Alfeev
by Hans-Georg Lundahl on Friday, 19 November 2010 at 18:09
which I posted on blog Eirenikon:
My dear diane, I was very pro-Hilarion until I read his polemics against the Catholic view of marriage as the sensuality of sex being primarily compensated by the good of offspring. He argues (in the Catechism in his website) that if so one would only have sex once a year or so. Which is wrong.
The attitude “primarily for offspring” requires us not to use any means of preventing conception while a couple is enjoying sex. Not to limit sex to “the only coitus in which a child is conceived” since it cannot be foreseen in each case if a child will be conceived or not, not even if a child has been conceived until menstruation does not come as usual.
St Robert Bellarmine was sure no Pope would legislate for what was in itself wrong. Contraception clearly belongs as much to that as usury or even more, and it is notorious that Orthodox used to be more lax on usury and are more lax on contraception than Roman Catholics.
MY problem with orthodox Church is not whether their sacraments have grace or not, but whether I need and will get these graces from their Sacraments. If ecumenic faction requires me to accept contraception and anti-ecumenic faction requires me to regard any Papism, including counterreformation and St Robert Bellarmine, as vile heresy, even requiring me to misconstrue like what St Robert Bellarmine says and loathe his theology for what they think is and I know is not in it, obviously I am no-where near getting any Orthodox Sacraments.
Especially if both factions require me to regret as heavily sinful what I think was righteous in my past and is righteous in my present.*
This sunday I celebrated the Feast of Christ the King, last sunday before All Hallows day, instituted by Pope Pius XI in St Nicolas de Chardonnet. I have not been to an “Orthodox” liturgy since Pentecost, in the sermon of which it was probably Benedict XVI who was maligned as scandalously uncharitable, without the mention of a name, but with clear reference to recent media hubbub.
I know that being in communion with maligners will not get me to heaven.
*Since then I have had reasons to wonder whether that is not also the case with Romans.