Race in Heaven

Posted by 2 on December 07, 2007
Ethics, Politics

There are a variety of topics in our current discourse, such as racial linguistic reference, and the question of the desirability of integration in church or state, to which our disputants often have a ready argument: “there will be no race in heaven; therefore we should operate as if that were the case now.” As will prove to be the case again and again, both the major and minor premises of modern truisms are generally dubious. Here I wish to analyze a premise that functions as the “minor” in that argument, and is taken as “obvious” even by intelligent people today. Namely, the idea that “there will be no race in heaven.”

Speculation always puts us on tenuous ground, and most discourse on heaven is based on speculation. Scripture reveals surprisingly little about the details. But the modern speculation, which without stating it implies that we will become stamped reproductions of a generic humanity, is without any foundation. In contrast, I offer some reflections that I suggest have greater intuitive appeal, and are anchored in Scripture even if not fully explicated there.

(1) C. S. Lewis may offer some help. His basic thesis is that things in heaven are more real, not less. Dogs, if there will be dogs in heaven, will be real dogs. Cats, real cats. And even grass and trees will be more real. When it comes to humans, the same principle applies.

Men will be more masculine and women more feminine. We will not be de-gendered in heaven, but become super-gendered. In paradise, God made man male and female. After the fall woman was cursed in her calling as a wife and mother and man was cursed in his calling as a worker. The curse of the fall will be finally erased in heaven. Woman will be a perfected helper and nurturer and Man a perfected laborer and cultivator. This does not mean that we will return to the Edenic state. There was an implied telos for Adam and Eve that would necessarily develop in one direction or another. (This is a great theme that deserves more elaboration than this essay could devote to it.) As it is, because of Christ’s redemptive work heaven must be something other than Eden. But by other we should intend something greater than what was.

In heaven, races will still exist. That is clear from Scripture. And following Lewis’s line of thought, the races will be even more distinct. True Anglo-Saxons, true Chinese, true Negroes. It is the theology of babel that teaches monistic humanity: one race, one language, one culture. Christianity teaches a plurality of human beings and yet unity in Christ: One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

This, I believe, is what is being played out in history. The millennial kingdom will be a time when all races and tribes will be redeemed. There will be Mongoloids in Asia, Negroes in Africa, and Aryans in Europe. Their cultures will be advanced and their differences exaggerated. It will not be a vanilla world in which every place is the same as all others. Germany will be more German, Spain more Spanish and Japan more Japanese. And yet, again, all will be unified in Christ.

History on earth, culminating in the millennium, is itself an exploration of themes that will be recapitulated in fulfilled form in the eschaton. The eschaton takes up themes that were “planted” at the very beginning, and developed in redemptive history — think of the tree of life in Genesis and its reappearance in Revelation — and through eternity fully actualizes each of them, with a differentiation that was only hinted at. (Aristotle’s entelechy groped after this truth.)

How exactly this will look goes beyond my imagination. But it goes against our Trinitarian theology to think that distinctions will be obliterated. God did not create a drab world, but one of dazzling complexity and distinctions. The more we discover about it, the more we become awed at its creator. It is Satan who is the monist. If Satan played an instrument it would be a drum; and it would drone on monotonously. God is the creator of a symphony. Theme is introduced, contrapuntally developed and unified. (Tolkien offers a beautiful dramatization of this in Silmarillion.)

(2) In the same vein, think about our families in heaven. It borders on the absurd to think that a man will not have a special relationship with his wife in heaven; that she will be just another woman, no different from, say, a Greek saint from the First Century or a Chinese saint from the 19th. Our experiences on earth will not be lost in heaven. History matters. Of course, the relationship will not be the same as it was on earth. But this is because it will be a deeper one.

Extend this out to parents, children, aunt and uncles. My mother and father will still be my mother and father in heaven. My children will still be my children. My bond to them will not be lessened but strengthened. Blood ties will not be eradicated in heaven. Blood will not be the strongest tie in heaven, but it will still be there. It will be at once transcended and sublimed.

Now extend this to our ancestors, our clans, our tribes, our race and you will get the idea. We will be tied in closer to them. As we grow closer to them, other clans, tribes and races will grow closer to each other as well. But this will not estrange the races, but draw them closer. We will not only accept our difference but rejoice in them.

We may even laugh at them. Lewis gives us a hint of this in The Last Battle. A Calorman recounts his meeting Aslan:

“And this is a marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog–”
“Eh? What’s that?” said one of the Dogs.
“Sir,” said Emeth. “It is but a fashion of speech which we have in Calorman.”
“Well, I can’t say it’s one I like very much,” said the Dog.
“He doesn’t mean any harm,” said the older Dog. “After all, we call our puppies Boys when they don’t behave properly.”
“So we do,” said the first Dog. “Or girls.”
“S-s-sh!” said the Old Dog. “That’s not a nice word to use. Remember where you are.”

This may seem like a minor point, but actually reveals something primal. In the closest relationships I have had with people of other races, there has always been a running joke about our differences. I find humor in their way of speaking, their attitudes and their appearance. And I have become the butt of their jokes as well. No offense intended or taken.

In conclusion, when thinking about a variety of racial topics, the commonplace view of heaven as a gathering place for an undifferentiated multitude, like a bag full of marbles, has more in common with Communism’s vision of the proletariate than it does with the Bible. When reasoning through topics of current discourse, remember that the unspoken assumptions are also usually wrong.

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25 Comments to Race in Heaven

  • M,

    I agree that heaven will not destroy all differences and distinctions among people. You made an excellent point when you said,

    “But it goes against our Trinitarian theology to think that distinctions will be obliterated. God did not create a drab world, but one of dazzling complexity and distinctions. The more we discover about it, the more we become awed at its creator. It is Satan who is the monist. If Satan played an instrument it would be a drum; and it would drone on monotonously. God is the creator of a symphony.”

    While this is a great point, it seems as though you are arguing against your own view. The “No races and no distinctions in heaven” view seems to be the best way to support your view. Why? You say that when African Americans come together with Whites, they act like Whites, and vice versa. Differences are seemingly lost when people come together. If this is true, and it is also true that the picture of heavenly worship includes bringing together people from every earthly tribe, tongue, people, and nation, then seemingly heaven erases our differences and distinctions, according to the logic of your view.

    The problem is that in this post you argue against the idea that heaven will destroy our differences and distinctions. If this will not occur in heaven, and in heaven the picture of worship is multi-ethnic, then I see no good reason why it should not also be the case here on earth. Should not the perfection of heaven be something we strive for here on earth?

    Also, as I said in a previous comment, will this integration of sorts in heaven be difficult? If yes, then what biblical evidence is there for this view? If no, then what causes the difficulty here on earth? We all know that one clear difference is that ‘sin’ will be no more in heaven. Is not ‘sin’ what keeps us from coming together with people different than ourselves? Col. 3:8-11 says,

    “But now you also, put them all aside; anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of One who created him—a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”

    According to Paul, there is a sinful distinction made between different races and cultures that belongs to the old self. The new self that is being renewed involves a renewal the does away with this sinful distinction. Although, Paul is certainly not saying that all cultural, ethnic, and racial differences should be obliterated or that they no longer have any significance. John Piper says this,

    “The point of Colossians 3:11 is not that cultural, ethnic, and racial differences have no significance; they do. The point is that that they are no barrier to profound, personal, intimate fellowship. Singing alto is different from singing bass. It’s a significant difference. But that difference is no barrier to being in the choir. It’s an asset. When Christ is all and in all, differences take an important but subordinate place to fellowship.”

    Piper seems to be making a similar point that you made. God did not make a drab world, but one of complexity and distinctions. Satan is the monist and God is the Creator of the symphony. But isn’t this the very reason we should seek to have racially diverse congregations!!! By simply having white people in our congregations and black people in other congregations, are we not in essence saying altos should only sing with each other and basses should only sing with each other, or that drummers should only play with each other and violinists should only play with each other? Are we not giving in to satanic monism if we do this?

    Of course, some people will say that the differences are too great between white people and African Americans. The problem with this is that it neglects the most important commonality we can ever have with someone, namely, Christ. And if people think that their cultural, racial, or ethnic differences are too great so that even our commonality in Christ is swallowed up, then how can we not conclude that our cultural, racial, or ethnic family is more meaningful and significant to us then our spiritual family? Are we white, Americans first, and Christians second?

  • “In heaven, races will still exist. That is clear from Scripture.”

    M,

    I know that God will redeem men from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. I also feel confident that our outward appearance in glory will bear resemblance to our appearance in this life. Accordingly, racial aspects that are found in outward appearance I expect to remain in eternity. Obviously the races are being blurred today with a continuum of color, as opposed to a stark white, yellow, brown, etc. of yester-year. One could argue that today we are seeing more colors and, therefore, even more diversity, not less. Does God group the population according to all the former categories, just some of the former categories, or does he create additional categories?

    “And following Lewis’s line of thought, the races will be even more distinct. True Anglo-Saxons, true Chinese, true Negroes.”

    I’m not sure we may extend Lewis’s trajectory of thought through that point on the plane. Femininity and masculinity is one thing, but what is a true Chinese after all and how does one justify that answer?

    “It is the theology of babel that teaches monistic humanity: one race, one language, one culture.”

    I would draw the opposite conclusion based upon babel. Wasn’t it due to sin that God confounded the languages and scattered the masses? Wouldn’t redemption reverse the affects of the curse of babel? Didn’t we get a taste of that at Pentecost when each man at the same moment heard God in his own tongue? If I were to draw any conclusions from that OT story, I’d conclude that redemption will undo many of the differences, which is not to say that there will not be diversity. As we become more sanctified, I expect that we’ll be able to see (and rejoice in) greater diversity among what we now consider as being very similar. In other words, we won’t need stark and obvious differences to rejoice in the diversity that we yet do not appreciate.

    Christianity teaches a plurality of human beings and yet unity in Christ: One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

    How do we get from the premise of a plurality of human beings to the conclusion of a plurality of distinct races? Indeed, can’t it even be argued that the more diverse we become, the less achievable it would be to categorize by race?

    “The millennial kingdom will be a time when all races and tribes will be redeemed. There will be Mongoloids in Asia, Negroes in Africa, and Aryans in Europe.

    That seems to be the thesis but I don’t yet grasp the argument.

    “But it goes against our Trinitarian theology to think that distinctions will be obliterated.

    I agree. Notwithstanding, there are infinite distinctions within plain vanilla, so I can’t say that obvious distinctions secure the diversity of which you speak. Maybe the eschatological telos is that we’ll see unity and plurality in what we once imagines drab.

    That’s enough for now my dear brother.

    Hi to the family.

    Ron

  • Precisely without all the interesting races, cultures and languages we would be without all the great laughs. Good racial jokes need only be honest observations. We are naturally hilarious. The other evening I happened across this Indian comedian whose entire routine is based on it. It’s particularly fun hearing it from an Indian after all Indians are so very funny. This clip is a cut and paste piece coving several different people groups. There is another funny clip to the right of him making fun of Asians entitled Russell Peters – Asians (caution both clips have some strong language)

  • Troy –

    You write: “You say that when African Americans come together with Whites, they act like Whites, and vice versa. Differences are seemingly lost when people come together.”

    (1) No, I said Negroes not “African Americans.” Don’t take this as pedantic, but “African American” is too vague to be useful. Afrikaners, Egyptians, and Algerians are from Africa. But you obviously are not referring to them. My thesis, moreover, applies to Anglo-Saxons and Negroes living in Canada, Australia, or South Africa. The word Negro, or if you prefer, black, avoids much of this vagueness.

    (2) Your summary misses my point. Negroes and whites are different so they usually don’t come together. When they do, one dominates and so one race loses its distinctives while the other does not. Nowhere do I say that they both lose their differences. Thus the conclusion that you draw from this does not follow.

    (3) That one race always dominates is a matter of public record. But presumably no race will dominate in heaven.

    At this point you maintain that heavenly worship should be our goal. There is something both right and wrong about this.

    Yes, we should be striving to live at peace with all men. In those occasions we worship with those of other races (say we are traveling in foreign lands) we should not make a fuss about our differences. But we should also not make a fuss when we are home about there being no racial differences in our congregations.

    In the eschaton or Millennium (depending how you read it), the wolf will dwell with the lamb. But don’t try this now. Just because something happens in heaven does not mean that it will happen on earth.

    (4) Let’s remember my thesis. I’m not against integration in principle (if it happens spontaneously and without external pressure), but racial integration should not be one of our goals. Nowhere in Scripture are we enjoined to this.

    Indeed, separation is what we find in Scripture. “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Our Lord told his apostles to go and make disciples of all nations. There is nothing in this command about integrating the nations.

    (5) America as a multi-racial state is an anomaly. Granted it is an anomaly in the providence of God, but it is still an anomaly. Let’s not turn it into the norm.

    Living in such a racially mixed-up country provides us with unique problems. But to simply say that the solution is that we should integrate during the worship service is not thinking through the issue in a thorough and nuanced manner.

    It is not a sin for Negro Christians to choose to worship with Negroes or Chinese Christians with Chinese. Only the guilt-ridden 20/21 Century white man wrings his hands about there not being a few token Negroes or Chinese sitting next to him in the pew. My contention is that the solution to his “problem” is for him to realize that the problem only exists in his mind.

  • And to (1): “black” won’t do because that might pick out dark-skinned continental Indians, which however are not being referenced by the term “Negro.”

  • I agree with some of the other posters. You state that Heaven will be MORE ‘incarnational,’ not less, (as God is a God of Incarnations- first Adam, ‘made in the image and likeness of God’ and then Christ, both YHWH God and Perfect Adamic Man) but you don’t tell us HOW.

    Both Christ, and the BVM, as his most Holy Mother, came from a specific, delineated, covenantally elected RACIAL stock! If there are negroes and chinamen in heaven, why are they there, if Christ, as the “Second Adam” said “I am come ONLY to the lost sheep OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL?” Who truly is that “Israel” that Christ is the ‘kinsman-redeemer” of?

    As Scripture and the witness of the Catholic/Orthodox Church show, it certainly is NOT the ‘Jews.’ [Rev. 2:8,9, John 8:44- cf. also the late Charles Provan’s “The Church is Israel now,” and Jew Arthur Koestler’s “The Thirteenth Tribe.”]

    If not them, then whom? You want to state that miscegenation is nowhere approved of in the Bible (which is correct) yet you do not draw the inevitable conclusion, that to ‘forbid it on Earth,’ is to de facto, ‘bind it in heaven’ something Christ says God has ALREADY done!? And thus, every mixed-race child is a de facto ‘mamzer’ as the Scripture and the Decalogue and the Law-Word of God in the Pentateuch states it is, as Rushdoony noted in his Institutes, over thirty years ago!

    If Christ came only for ‘Israelites,’ and yet the “Jews” are NOT included in that ‘call’ – and are, instead, the focus of much of Christ’s righteou, earthly wrath, (cf. John, Chapter 8) then how do you, how CAN you, ‘define’ Israelit, and yet be SCRIPTURALLY CONSISTENT? What of St. Peter’s first letter, in which he addresses the CHURCH with the words, ‘to the sojourners of the DIASPORA…” What of St. James, who is even more clear?”…to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad…”.

    Twelve Tribes? Oh yes, that bugaboo of the ‘lost ten tribes’ joined with Judah, etc. Who are they? they are NOT “Jews.”

    Yet the Apostles NOTE THEY ARE STILL EXTANT, and FORM THE BODY OF CHRIST, the CHURCH!

    You want the modern heresy of multiculturalism, (“all men FROM each race (e.g., Negroes, Chinese, Aborigines, Caucasians) will be saved, but not all men (numerically) OF each race”) and yet at the same time you go just so far, and halt in letting your readers know that your position and the liberal multiculturalist differs, not in ‘kind,’ but only in ‘degree.’ You are no better than the ICR idiots, who praise multiculturalism as much as the most rabid atheist, who is all for race-mixing, and the annihilation of the Adamic race!!

    For, in acknowledging that Scripture and history mean something, you must clearly state that God HAS a ‘chosen People’ that exhibits certain racial characteristics, which OTHER RACES ON EARTH DO NOT, (and which YHWH God took on for ALL TIME in HIS INCARNATION, and cannot repudiate, as the Godhead is indissoluably joined to his Racial Manhood) yet you then do not draw the INEVITABLE CONCLUSION- FIND WHO that “Israel” is, and you have the ETHNICITY of the “Chosen People.’!!!

    IT was this dichotomy within Kinism, that led me to investigate the Orthodox doctrines pertaining to the Incarnation,(HOW is Christ joined to the Theotokos, and for what reason?) and to then read (with fresh eyes) the works of the older, less ‘dispensationally-minded’ Christian Identity folk.

    Whether they are correct or not, they at least try to be CONSISTENT racial Biblicists. You want your cake and eat it, too. You want to have your lily-white enclaves, yet when someone accuses you of being ‘racist’ you can say, “Oh, but we believe all races will be in heaven.”

    God hates a ‘double-tongued man.’ Why did He say, ‘come out from among her, my people., and BE YE SEPARATE,’ if not to include racial purity [Ez. 9:2] among those behaviors?

  • Fr. John,

    Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have many problems, but teaching salvation by race is not one of them. Please give me just one example of a church father who taught anything like this.

    I have not desire to wrestle with a tar baby and from your comment, I would guess you are one. But Scripture is clear that salvation is not through race. Think of Pentecost, think of the Ethiopian eunuch.

    It is obvious that our views of Christianity are quite different. And your version is quite different from Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

    There are many fish to fry, but yours is too small to bother with. Please use the padded room to post any further comments along these lines.

  • Well, I’m thinkin’… I’d like it if Fr John would come over to our way of thinking. And maybe this could happen through the process of rebuttal. But we need to catalogue the theses along with answers. I am going to start serializing them so we don’t have to keep coming back.

    First, Fr John, you quote MB as making some point about heaven being more or less “incarnational.” However, MB never used that word or concept. We are not divine beings that “take on flesh,” nor are we flesh that is to be divinized. It is bad enough to think that way; even worse to falsely impute that way of thinking to someone else.

    Now, to your theses:

    1. Jesus said “I am come only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” thus, salvation has to do with race.

    Answer. I believe the quote comes from Matt 15:24, the incident with the “woman of Canaan.” But it is clear that she was, in the end, received and accepted for her faith. Why Jesus put her through such an ordeal would be an interesting discussion, but not relevant to our point here. Likewise, the question of why Jesus began his ministry with an exclusive Israel-focus would be interesting, but quickly take us into redemptive-historical themes that do not lend themselves to the pithy character of blog posts. But again, such a digression is not needed to overthrow thesis #1. A little later, Jesus said (Matt 21:43) “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” When you recall that the word for nation (ethnos) basically means “tribe,” no clearer proof could be asked that salvation was not confined to Israel, nor limited tribally. But if you take it that “the jews” were imposters rejected in Matt 21:43 in favor of the “real” Israel which had been scattered to the four winds and not regathered, then that model is still shown to be wrong by the first reference (Matt 15:24) as well as Ezra/Nehemiah.

    2. The witness of the church is that the jews are not the Israel of God.

    Answer. The church when it is sound testifies that jews cannot lay claim to Abraham as a sufficient way to God, apart from Christ. In this sense, the church is, and always has been the Israel of God. But “Israel” is obviously metaphorical in such a usage. It is just as obviously not identical to tribal Israel.

  • M: I have been busy with Christmas celebrations (both eastern and western), and I would be glad to engage you on this, but your slander of saying I am something akin to a ‘n***er’ (for what else IS a ‘tar baby,’ if not a black man? lol) is grossly insulting. But I’ll let that pass, in the interest of the subject at hand.

    I am not making this frustration over issues that are Foundational to Christendom, because it is some sort of ‘adiophora’; as I stated, it was only after I had read the Fathers, did I come to see that the Roman model of a ‘multicultural,’ (yet monolithic statist approach to Christianity) was in complete contrast to the ethnic, ‘each nation her own church’ model of Holy Orthodoxy.

    As to ‘quoting the Fathers,’ I have done that over at my blog in a recent 13-part series on the subject of the Incarnation of Christ. I also have in my files a URL for an amazing website that clearly shows/quotes the early church, which was clealry racially exclusionary in the main. But I have to search an entire hard drive for that. Give me time on that one.

    For now, how about my 13-part series? I know that you, (as a protestant) are not going to believe anything I say in it, for the Fathers and the Councils mean nothing to you (Nor will the Novus Ordo Orthodox, who already are papists in everything but name only). But I am willing to lay that branch down, in a gesture of hope that your salvation from the sin of mamzerism may yet be curable on your part.

  • “nor are we flesh that is to be divinized. It is bad enough to think that way; even worse to falsely impute that way of thinking to someone else.”

    T. this is PRECISELY what the fathers think.
    And this is why Protestantism is in the mess it is. Being unwilling to believe that Christ came to redeem our humanity, to ‘make us gods’ as the Fathers teach, means that we are no different from the ‘nations round about us.’

    And the Evolutionist is true, and the Sacraments are not efficacious, for they do not feed that humanity that is being divinized by the undcreated energies of the trinity, something that rationalist, Filioquist Westerners just don’t get….

  • Pursuant to our discussion, at least here is an article on the Race of the Antichrist, drawn from the Fathers. I know it is not saying who IS in heaven, but is sure points out who is NOT! and the comments after the note to footnote 1 at this address clearly alludes to blacks being foreign to the people of God — I will look for that web page I mentioned. Happy New Year!

  • What about people who do not want to be reunited with their parents or families. I have family that verbally and psychologically and physically abused me. I do not want to ever see them again, in this life or the next.

  • T, here’s just one statement on the concept of Scripture ‘knowledge’ and ‘divinization.’

    St. Maximus the Confessor:
    “The scriptural Word knows of two kinds of knowledge of divine things. On the one hand, there is relative knowledge, rooted only in reason and ideas, and lacking in the kind of experiential perception of what one knows through active engagement; such relative knowledge is what we use to order our affairs in our present life. On the other hand, there is that truly authentic knowledge, gained only by actual experience, apart from reason and ideas, which provides a total perception of the known object through a participation by grace. By this latter knowledge, we attain, in the future state, the supernatural deification that remains unceasingly in effect.” (Ad Thalassium 60)

  • FJ (#11) (continuing from the list begun in #9):

    Thesis #3. The fathers believed that Christ came to make us gods.

    Answer: well, evidently not the fathers that approved the Chalcedonian Creed, which speaks of our Lord “to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably…” And if the divine Person of our Lord has taken on human nature that will never be either confused or changed into the divine, then a fortiori the same must be said of us.

    Any “father” that would contradict this is actually heterodox at that point.

    There may be a moderate use of “divinization” that would refer to ethical conformity to the divine nature, or the image of God, but I don’t think that’s what you mean.

  • FJ (#12, 2nd ref) — If this is a quote from Theophylact (1055- 1107), it hardly counts as a “father” (unless Anselm also counts as a father).

    Second, let’s look at the quote you apparently want us to go to:

    For in the font of baptism a man can trip up and vanquish the devil, because there the Lord has crushed the head of the dragon and given him as food to the Ethiopian people. [See Ps. 73:15] For no others have been nourished and gladdened by this dragon except those who are darkened and black in soul and have no share in the divine light.

    First the LXX mistranslates masoretic text “leviathan” as “dragon” and “desert people” as “Ethiopians.” Thus the better English AV at Ps. 74:14: Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

    Second, even if you want to say that the LXX translation is inspired, it is still a very great leap to conclude from this verse that all negroes are children of the devil.

    Moreover, it is not clear that Theophylact intends his exegesis to refer to literal Ethiopians, since he refers to a universal spiritual condition, “those who are darkened and black in soul” which could apply metaphorically (of course) to persons of any tribe or nation.

    I commend a couple of nearby psalms to your attention as well:

    Ps 72:10-11 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

    And above all, clinching our point:

    Ps 68:31-32 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord.

    Both which clearly indicate that millennial hope that all nations will come to God and worship him in spirit and truth.

  • ‘All nations’ WILL come to worship Him. But that is not saying that the prior statement is included in this latter statement: ‘ The “world” is/means ALL geo-political entities of the 21st century will come to worship Him-‘

    Where is your consistent approch to Context? I have not had time to venture back here for some time- but the basic thrust of this discussion boils down to a) an unwillingness to submit to True Authority (in this case, Protestant eisogesis that assumes ‘every man his own pope’) – which is a nice rock to hide behind, because it’s a convenient way to avoid the things you don’t like, or don’t want to ‘conform yourselves’ to [Rome. 12:2] – say, like the Patristic Church?

    The LXX is considered THE text of the OT, and why not- Where did the Church arise? in a Greek-dominated language/culture (Rome’s Latinate predominance only took over, sometime in the 150-200 AD) Secular historians such as Runciman, etc. corroborate that. the Seven Ecumenical Councils were all in Greek-speaking lands, indeed all took place in Byzantine lands! So, whats wrong with the LXX. The AV has Serious issues that (while I love it) must always be compared to something that the CHURCH has decided is ‘authentic.’
    And that doesn’t mean Wescott and Hort, who were both liberals to begin with!

    Also, the idea that: ‘But if ‘the Israel of God’ means only whites, what about the rest of the world’ is what is behind your desire for ‘inclusion’ rests on no biblical theological premise- now does it? This idea is, instead, nothing less than racial Wesleyanism, (i.e, semi-Arminianism) that ‘offers’ the gospel to the Negro, and makes one feel good- while at the same time giving nothing- not the Gospel, not the sacraments, nothing.

    Moreover, such ‘incipient universalism’ is heretical, (especially if you call yourself a Calvinist!) and shows how little, EVEN INCONSISTENT CALVINISTS regard the idea of Election. If God can elect individuals, why not a RACE?

    Why NOT see the Election of God’s People in racial/ national/ geographical terms, and then confine it to Europe? We allow it of the OT, but refuse it in the New, for what BIBLICAL reason? Simply because “Great Commissions Press” has the Gospel in Swahili, or Urdu, or that Steve Schlissel has a racially ‘diverse’ (read mamazerim’) mega-church in Babylon-on-the -Hudson? Come on!

    The WORLD of Jesus’ day (as well as of the authors of the OT) was CONFINED to Europe, and a bit of North Africa, and the Levant. Oh, they ‘knew’ about China, but only as ‘pagans with which to trade.’ Not as ‘converts’ – did missionaries go there? Surely, but the lands where such missionary endeavors happened, soon fell into the major heresies, preciesly because they were not the ‘Christendom’ which YHWH God delineated in Christ’s ‘go ye ONLY to the ‘lost sheep of Israel’ statement. Those non-Caucasoid lands gave us, instead, Monophysitism, Arianism, Nestorianism, and all the other ‘isms’ that plagued the EUropean Church before Rome’s schism.

    I can’t believe you don’t see this. The ‘World’ spoken of in the Scriptures you so wrongly quote as corroboration of your position, is/are coterminous with the ‘known world’ of the Prophets, Apostles, and Martyr’s own age! This is the CONTEXT in which such prophecies must be read. The fact that you don’t, shows how much you have wandered from the Biblical Weltanschauung. Or are being consciously duplicitous. WHich I would not have thought of you…..

  • Father John — it is obvious you “have not had time to venture back here for some time” — for we have patiently answered every one of your arguments. And once we do… silence.

    Let’s cut to the chase on this “elect nation” business. 1. It contradicts what we see empirically. 2. It cannot be deduced as a “good and necessary consequence” of Scripture. Therefore, above all, (3) even if true, it is not a doctrine that can be declared by the church.

    Indeed, no known and recognized church does declare it. You claim Orthodoxy, but only under the cloak of anonymity.

    Call my bluff. Take off your mask. Proclaim your real name, your date and place of ordination, and your ordaining bishop. Then we will take your claims seriously — after a bit of investigation!

  • I find it amusing that Fr. John rails against the synergism of Wesleyanism/Arminianism while he himself is (allegedly) Eastern Orthodox.

  • I rail against the Wesleyans, not because they understand the synergism of the Orthodox (for the Wesleys were studied clergymen) but that they do so, as foreign to the very ecclesiology that gave them that idea, in the first place!

    As to T’s ad hominem arguments, I follow the Fathers, when they say, ‘After the second or third exchange with a heretic, if he does not see the light, leave him in his heresy.’ That these posts date back to 2009, clearly pointed out that I was willing to do exactly that. That’ ‘T’ (or Siegfried) had to have the last word (at that time) is also corroboration of the fallacy of the theologically combative, rather than those who seek Truth above all things.

  • Father,
    I seriously doubt the Wesley’s got their synergism from EO. Synergism is the natural religion of man. One doesn’t need to read about it.

    The “after two rebukes” comes from Scripture (Titus 3:10) not the Fathers. But the point is directed to a valid church court, not any anonymous blogger. Sorry, you don’t get to declare what is heresy — and certainly not under the cloak of anonymity!

    As I said, I believe we have answered every single one of your substantive points — that hardly qualifies as ad hominem.

  • Atually, I DO get to decide. For I speak the words of the Fathers, and am part of the voice of the Church. You, however, are at best, a layman, and at worst, outside the covenant.

    Anonymity? My fellow clerics and bishop know who I am. That is all I am required to do by canon law.

  • Oh, so “canon law” allows you to run a little inquisition without your victims having any right of defense nor even to know who their accusers and judges are?

    Remember, as long as you are anonymous, your claim to credentials has no more validity than my claiming to be the rightful czar of Russia. You could be a 14-year-old boy living in your mother’s basement, for all that we really know.

    We need a date, place, and presiding bishop of your ordination. Until then, o Thundering Son of Wotan, you will have to rely on arguments, not pulling rank.

  • lol. Do you have a copy of the Rudder? I doubt that. They are no longer in print, and are rather expensive to find online. Moreover, the Reformation Churches are in flagrant violation of so many of the Apostolic and Conciliar canons, that to begin to number them, would be a Herculean task.

    My comment was not that I ‘alone’ (the wrong kind of ‘sola’) get to decide, but that, standing on the shoulders of the Saints, martyrs, Hierarchs, etc. of Catholic Europe, I can see the forest for the trees, as it were.

    And anonymity – that much treasured posession- in an age of miniscule drones, racist presidents and AG’s, and salviating Jewish Lawyers searching for ‘hate crimes’ to charge Whites with- merely for espousing merely the sentiments of my father’s generation, that all of Christendom once knew about, is something worth respecting, “Mr. T.”

    As to being 14, and in a basement, ummm. No. And what father, who loves his son, would want him to live in a basement? Mine doesn’t!

    (which makes me a father, ‘sqared’ I guess) LOL

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