Arian Christology

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by muhammad_isa, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I'm not sure I understand you, maybe because English is not my first language - Are you saying it is perplexing to be faced with decisions and choices? Or that there are no good choices? Do you mean to express a kind of double-bind or "Catch-22" which you feel looking back at choices you made, or uncertainty regarding future consequences?
     
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  2. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Thank you for the dialogue, you are a very paitence person, I see your frustration with my approach to conversation. Also well done that you have more than one language.

    To me, In the end, it boils down to why we are here. If we are looking for that purpose, faith is just the first step from a material existence into a journey of spiritual discovery. It does not mean we will immediately make good choices and it does not make us exempt from bad choices and in fact, I see it makes our choices that much harder, as we become aware of our true potential.

    Now there is the what if. What If Baha'u'llah is as claimed, then we can see the people of the world have made many bad choices. We could have embraced peace in the knowledge that there is only One God and that we are one human race.

    The other choice is that I am making a bad choice, but in the end I ask what is bad about unity and world peace?

    Logically if we are to achieve unity, at some time we have to make an effort using universally excepted criteria and I would venture to say, that the list would mirror mostly what Baha'u'llah said we need to do, but it has already been offered, most will not see that is so.

    Regards Tony
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    There is the practicality. For the world to change, first human nature has to change. How likely is that to happen, anytime soon? There will always be a few elevated individuals, but the majority are just trying to survive and get on. Not talking about educated city people, but Indian subsistence farmers close to starving and African people abused by their own governments, etc.

    Christ was careful to make it clear he wasn't trying to change the world: To Ceasar what is Ceasar's. He was not concerned with setting up a new world order. He was concerned with the individual soul of ordinary people?

    IMO the world will never change. In a way, the material world is the proving ground for the soul.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  4. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Change can happen overnight, we live in a universe that has debris passing us all the time. The history of this planet has seen widespread destruction of species.

    I see we have has fair warning prior to another great change. If we had managed to implement change, we may have been unified enough to tackle what lies ahead, but it seems that we need events to show us how to work together.

    Baha'u'llah has asked us;

    “How long will humanity persist in its waywardness? How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society? The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divides and afflicts the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be lamentably defective.”

    "In another instance, Bahá'u'lláh writes:

    " After a time, all the governments on earth will change. Oppression will envelop the world. And following a universal convulsion, the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm."

    These are powerfully written warnings.

    More here

    " Commenting on such a world spectacle, Bahá’u’lláh wrote: “Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.” “After a time,” He further wrote, “all the governments on earth will change. Oppression will envelop the world. And following a universal convulsion, the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm.”

    When we turn to His other writings to learn more of His warning that this “present-day order” is to be “rolled up,” we read statements and predictions such as these: “The time for the destruction of the world and its people hath arrived.” “The hour is approaching when the most great convulsion will have appeared.” “The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: ‘Taste ye what your hands have wrought!’” “Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you and the dust of hell enshroud you.” “And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake.” “The day is approaching when its [civilization’s] flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!’” “The day is approaching when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him.”

    Regards Tony
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    As long as human nature is what it is, imo ...
    People have been predicting the end for two millennia.
     
  6. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Correct as God only wants our hearts and tells us to rend unto ceasar what is ceasars. That does not change.

    God leave the rule of the world to us, to create and ever advancing civilization and gives us guidance in spirit.

    How are people still starving, if we have embraced what Christ offered?

    Regards Tony
     
  7. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Yes the quandary mentioned above, the choices we all have.

    God always guides, but are we always looking and listening?

    Regards Tony
     
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    It comes from a misunderstanding of what Christ offered, imo:
    The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
    Matthew 26:11


    He was not trying to change the material world. He was there for the individual soul. Which does not mean man should ignore his brother's suffering. But wanting to impose a one world government theocracy doesn't sound at all like what Christ was doing?

    Please forgive me if I do not continue this particular discussion
     
  9. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    That's OK, I am happy to conclude this discussion. You should be made aware though, as you also do not yet know what Baha'u'llah offerd, that you have drawn an incorrect conclusion as to what was offered.

    Regards Tony
     
  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Fair enough, Tony. But if you are asking me to have to read through hundreds of 'tablets' of flowery language, it's not going to happen. If you could concisely explain in a few sentences what he offered, I would be interested to know. Hopefully that's what these forums are here for.

    Of course the peasant living from hand to mouth under a corrupt government which keeps stealing even that little from him, is never going to read through all the writings of Baha'u'llah. It needs to be concisely explained in a way the average person can immediately get a handle on, imo.

    It seems Baha'i believe Baha'u'llah is the returned Christ, come to bring peace to all the world, initiated by global disasters, unless the people of the world can be convinced to turn to Baha'u'llah before the disasters happen, in order to prevent them? I understand it may not be quite that simple.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  11. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Bahais are no different than Don Quixote. They have their eyes focused on the windmill. :D
    Bahaollah offered many things in his writing but no evidence of Allah or his ministry.
     
  12. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    “The time for the destruction of the world and its people hath arrived.” “The hour is approaching when the most great convulsion will have appeared.” “The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: ‘Taste ye what your hands have wrought!’” “Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you and the dust of hell enshroud you.” “And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake.” “The day is approaching when its [civilization’s] flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!’” “The day is approaching when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him.”

    Oh, Bahaollah also was a Dooms-day prophet! If Allah had to give us his heritage, why did not he give it in the first instant? Why did he wait for all this chaos? I am just trying to learn.
     
  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Ah, that's what you meant by quandary. Thanks for clarifying.

    I don't think working towards world peace depends on everybody adopting the same faith, though. For one, there is a long history of people of the same faith butchering each other. The topic of this thread is an example, actually - Christians disagreeing and persecuting and killing each other over highly specific details of their common beliefs, breakaway kingdoms of the Roman Empire, it's like a textbook example. I think world peace would rather depend on tolerance than demands for unity in belief.
     
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  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Baha'i are persecuted in many places. They are sincere and no-one is trying to belittle their right to believe in Baha'u'llah as the promised saviour of the world.
    Here

    Of course they could be right. They certainly have the right to believe and to tell others. I personally find the new one-world-order aspect of the faith disturbing, for all the obvious reasons. It doesn't appear to be a side effect of Baha'u'llah's teaching, but to be the main central thrust of it. These things have a way of going badly wrong, imo.

    Many other faiths are more primarily concerned with the eternal 'soul' existing in the transitory material world, than with changing the world itself. Not to say the Baha'i ignore the fact. But the large part of Baha'i dialogue seems to be around promised world peace in our time?

    It involves a spiritual transformation of nature and for the lion to lie down with the lamb, in our own time. There is no shortage of end-of-the-world beliefs and predictions out there. Not to belittle Baha'i belief or those millions who hold to it but, as I said, it just doesn't resonate with me, especially if it comes down to me making a 'rational choice' of what to believe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  15. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Well, do we really "butcher each other" due to creed, or is it more about power and wealth?
    That is one reason why I'm highly suspicious of a creed, that was enforced by a failing empire, being the truth.
    The fact that the majority of Christians today were raised believing it does not make it true.
    Citing early-church history to prove that Jesus taught the trinity becomes political, imo.
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Christology of the Arian Controversy:

    Arius Letter to Eusebius of Nicomedia, c318AD:
    "... But what do we say and think and what have we previously taught and do we presently teach? — that the Son is not unbegotten, nor a part of an unbegotten entity in any way, nor from anything in existence, but that he is subsisting in will and intention before time and before the ages, fully God, the only-begotten, unchangeable. Before he was begotten, or created, or defined, or established, he did not exist. For he was not unbegotten." (para 4 & 5)

    Letter of Eusebius of Caesarea to Euphration of Balanea: (uncertain, between 318-323AD)
    "But he (Jesus) teaches that that one (the Father) is alone true when he says, "that they may know you, the only true God" (John 17:3), not as if one only is God, but that one is the (only) true God, with the very necessary addition of true. For also he himself is Son of God, but not true, as God is. For there is but one true God, the one before whom nothing existed. But if the Son himself is true, it is simply as an image of the true God, and he is God, for (Scripture says) "and the Word was God" (John 1:1), but not as the only true God." (para 3)

    Arius Letter to Alexander of Alexandria (320AD) He also writes The Banquet (Thalia), a verse collection perhaps to popularise his doctrine.
    "We acknowledge One God, alone unbegotten, alone everlasting, alone without beginning, alone true, alone having immortality, alone wise, alone good, alone sovereign, judge, governor, and provider of all, unalterable and unchangeable, just and good, God of the Law and the Prophets and the New Testament; who begat an only-begotten Son before time and the ages, through whom he made both the ages (Hebrews 1:2) and all that was made... that he made him (Son) subsist at his own will, unalterable and unchangeable, the perfect creature of God, but not as one of the creatures; offspring, but not as one of the other things begotten ... but, as we say, he was created at the will of God, before time and before the ages, and came to life and being from the Father, and the glories which coexist in him are from the Father. (para 2-3)

    Letter of Eusebius of Caesarea to Alexander of Alexandria (320AD):
    Your letters have misrepresented them (the Arians) as though they were saying that since the Son came into being from nothing (ek tou mē ontos), he must therefore be just like the rest of creation (‘eis tōn pantōn). But they have brought forth their own document, which they have written for you, in which they explain their faith, confessing it with these very words: "The God of the Law and of the Prophets and of the New Testament begat an only begotten son before time began (pro chronōn aiōnōn), through whom he also made the ages (aiōnas) (Hebrews 1:2) and all things, begetting him not in appearance but in reality, causing him to exist by his own will. He is unchanging and unchangeable, God’s perfect creation, but not a creation in the same way like one of God’s other creations."

    "And so surely indeed their writings speak the truth, since these opinions are certainly held by you also when they confess that the son of God existed before time began, that God also made the ages through him, that he is unchanging, God’s perfect creation, but not like God’s other creations. But your letter surely misrepresents them as saying that the son is the same as the other created things. They are not saying this! But they clearly draw a distinction, saying that he is, "not like one of the created things." (para 2-3)

    Letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia to Paulinus of Tyre (321AD):
    "We have never heard that there are two unbegotten beings, nor that one has been divided into two, nor have we learned or believed that the unbegotten has ever undergone any change of a corporeal nature. On the contrary, we affirm that the unbegotten is one. One also is that which exists in truth by him, yet was not made out of his substance, and does not at all participate in the nature or substance of the unbegotten, entirely distinct in nature and in power, and made after perfect likeness both of character and power to the maker. We believe that the mode of His beginning not only cannot be expressed by words but even in thought, and is incomprehensible not only to man, but also to all beings superior to man." (para 3)

    Fragment of a letter of Presbyter George to Alexander of Alexandria (322AD):
    "Don’t find fault with Arius and his followers for saying, "There was a time when the Son of God did not exist." For Isaiah became the son of Amos, and, since Amos existed before Isaiah came to be, Isaiah did not exist prior, but afterwards came into being."

    Fragment of a letter of Presbyter George to the Arians (322AD):
    "Why do you find fault with Bishop Alexander for saying that the Son is from the Father? For you also should not be afraid to say that the Son is from God. For if the Apostle wrote 'All things are from God' (1 Corinthians 11:12), (though all things have clearly been made from nothing), and if also the Son is also a creature (κτίσμα), and he too was made, then the Son can can be said to be 'from God,' just as all things are said to be 'from God'."

    Finally, Emperor Constantine wrote to them both (Spring, 325AD):
    "So when I found that an intolerable spirit of mad folly had overcome the whole of Africa, through the influence of those who with heedless frivolity had presumed to divide the religion of the people into diverse sects, I was anxious to stop the course of this disorder. After I had removed the common enemy of mankind (Licinius, who was Emperor of the East, and was defeated by Constantine, Emperor of the West) who had interposed his lawless sentence which prohibited your holy synods, I could discover no other remedy equal to the occasion, except to send some of you churchmen to aid in restoring mutual harmony among the disputants." (para 2)

    ".... now that I have made a careful enquiry into the origin and foundation of these differences, I have found the cause to be of a truly insignificant character, and quite unworthy of such fierce contention. I feel compelled to address you in this letter, and to appeal at the same time to your unity and discernment. I call on Divine Providence to assist me in the task, while I interrupt your dissension as a minister of peace..." (para 4)

    "I understand that the origin of the present controversy is this. When you, Alexander, demanded of the priests what opinion they each maintained respecting a certain passage in Scripture, or rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question. You then, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been speculated about at all, or if pondered, should have been buried in profound silence. Hence it was that a dissension arose between you, fellowship was withdrawn, and the holy people were rent into diverse factions, no longer preserving the unity of the one body. And so I now ask you both to show an equal degree of consideration for the other, and to receive the advice which your fellow-servant impartially gives. What then is this advice? It was wrong in the first instance to propose such questions as these, and also wrong to reply to them when they were presented. For those points of discussion are not commanded by the authority of any law, but are rather the product of an argumentative spirit which is encouraged by the idle useless talk of leisure. Even though they may be intended merely as an intellectual exercise, they ought certainly to be confined to the region of our own thoughts, and not hastily produced in the popular assemblies, nor unadvisedly entrusted to the ears of the general public. For how very few are there able either accurately to comprehend, or adequately to explain subjects so sublime and difficult to comprehend in their nature? Or, granting that one were fully competent for this, how many people will he convince? Or again, who in dealing with questions involving such subtle distinctions as these can be sure he is not dangerously departing from the truth in some point? We ourselves may be unable, through the weakness of our natural abilities, to give a clear explanation of the subject before us, or, on the other hand, our hearers understanding may prevent them from arriving at an accurate understanding of what we say. Lest that be the case, it is our obligation to be sparing with our words, so that neither of these situations will cause the people to be reduced either to blasphemy or to schism." (para 6-8)

    "Now forgive one another for both the careless question and the ill-considered answer. The cause of your difference has not been any of the leading doctrines or precepts of the Divine law, nor has any new heresy respecting the worship of God arisen among you. You are really of one and the same judgment; and so it is fitting for you to join in communion and fellowship." (para 9)

    Suffice to say both parties chose to ignore the Emperor's wishes in the matter.

    Constantine calls an Ecumenical Council (ie 'of the whole world') for which he will foot the bill for travel costs and accommodation. He invites 1,800 bishops to attend, each allowed to bring two priests and three deacons – 10,000 participants! He convenes this council at Nicaea, so he can keep an eye on proceedings.

    Numbers are uncertain, but generally agreed that around only 200 or so bishops attend. Mostly Easterners, notably the Bishop of Rome did not attend, although he sent delegates.
     
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  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I don't understand you @Thomas
    Why are you producing essays in a discussion forum? Oh well .. each to their own.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    What is a creed?

    Originally in Christianity, the term was 'Symbol' :
    from σῠμβάλλω (sumbállō, 'I throw together, dash together, compare, correspond, tally, come to a conclusion'), from σῠν- (sun-, 'with, together') +‎ βάλλω (bállō, 'I throw, put'). So a 'confession' or 'statement' of faith'.

    It later became called a creed because the opening word 'Credo ... ' I (or we) believe.

    The Nicene Creed, for example, was actually called the Symbol of Nicaea'.

    The oldest credal elements are derived from Scripture, but apart from that we have the "Interrogatory Creed of Hippolytus" (c215AD), a series of questions the catechumen would be asked at his or her baptism:

    Do you believe in God the Father All Governing?
    Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Who was begotten by the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary, Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died (and was buried) and rose the third day living from the dead, and ascended into the heavens, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?
    Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Church, and in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting?

    +++

    Whether Judaism is creedal in character has generated some controversy, and most would say not.
    However, the Shema Yisrael can be seen as a creedal statement of Israel's strict monotheism: "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One".

    In Islam, the shahada: "There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of God" is popularly called "the Islamic creed".

    In Islamic theology, the term most closely corresponding to "creed" is aqīdah (translated as 'creed'). Much like Christianity, the first such creed was written as "a short answer to the pressing heresies of the time".

    Iman denotes a believer's religious faith. Its most simple definition is the belief in the six articles of faith, known as arkān al-īmān:
    A belief in God, in the Angels, in Divine Books, in the Prophets, the Day of Judgment and in God's predestination

    -- wiki --
     
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  19. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Great to see you Aupmanyav, good to see I have pulled you out for a comment or two. :D:)

    Regards Tony
     
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  20. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    Like all Messengers Baha'u'llah offered the way to peace, showed us how to achieve it and when rejected warned us of the consequences.

    This is a world of opposing forces, where humanities foundation is layed upon the twin pillars of Reward and Punishment.

    It is our choices that fulfill the warnings, God does not want that for us. It is only through God's Mercy and Justice that we are warned.

    Regards Tony
     

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