Re: Nicene Creed

Date: Wed Jun 18 2003 - 20:25:09 EDT

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    In a message dated 6/18/03 4:22:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

    > Although several posts have alluded to it, it may help to state exactly
    > what the difference is between eastern (Orthodox) and western (Roman
    > Catholic/Protestant) versions.
    > Originally, the Spirit was described as proceeding from the Father. In
    > response to a particular heresy, the western churches changed this to proceeding
    > from the Father and the Son. However, this was done without a formal church
    > council and with no input from the Orthodox church. Thus, to the Orthodox
    > the western version is improperly ammended, whereas the western churches saw
    > the Orthodox version as omitting an important phrase.
    > As far as I know, there is no objection to the concept that the Spirit
    > proceeds from the Son. Conversely, the original does not say He does not proceed
    > fom the Son. Thus, I do not think there is much theological import to the
    > choice of version.

    These are from the Tome of Damascus - principal canons of the Catholic Church:

    Canon 289 - “If anyone denies that the Son of God is true God, just as the
    Father is true God, having all power, knowing all things and equal to the
    Father: he is a heretic.”

    Canon 290 - “If anyone says that He [The Son] made flesh was not in heaven
    with the father while He was on earth: he is a heretic.”

    If the Spirit proceeded from the Father to the Son and then from the Son to
    us, at some point the Son was without the Spirit. Canons 289 and 290 say that
    is heresy. You must believe that Jesus is God from the get go.

    Now, I am just musing, but if the Spirit proceeded from the Father to the Son
    and then to us, that means Jesus was not born divine, and a gnostic
    interpretation of the gospels could be entertained, much like the enlightenment or
    sartori of the Eastern religions, a discipline first realized by a human Jesus who
    became divine as a result of human effort and the inspiration of the Holy
    Spirit (who proceeded from the Father), and taught the discipline to his
    followers, the way the Buddha did in the East. But if the Spirit proceeds from the
    Father and Son simultaneously, then Jesus was born divine, is God first and
    always and Canons 289 and 290 are satisfied.

    Catholicism has been fighting gnosticism a long time. gnostics don't need a
    church. They are with God NOW. The same religious experience Judaism conjured
    up in the hasidic renewal, the 'devekut' or communion with God. Gnostics would
    be unwilling to support centralized authority, because their Temple is ONLY in
    the heart.


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