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Homilies from the Heart, St.John Chrysostom [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus] ^ | September 2010 | Gregory K. Roa

Posted on 09/16/2010 6:35:36 PM PDT by Salvation

Homilies from the Heart

The Life of John Chrysostom

Homilies from the Heart

Lent of the year 387 was an anxious season for the Christians of Antioch.

They lived in one of the largest, wealthiest, and most magnificent cities in the Roman Empire, and their numbers had multiplied since Peter and Paul’s missionary work there. Their main church was one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.

Antioch’s archbishop made two fateful decisions. First, he raced to the capital to plead for mercy. Second, he left behind his assistant, John, with the charge of calming the terrified citizens.

Homilies from the Heart. Over the next few weeks, John gave a series of sermons that captured the public’s attention. He skillfully wove traditional Lenten themes of repentance and self-reflection together with exhortations to turn to God for spiritual and civic deliverance. But John was not just trying to raise morale; he used the crisis to raise people’s minds and hearts to God.

In these Homilies on the Statues, John called his hearers to the heroic holiness that characterized his own life. He urged them to see the impending disaster as a call to prayer, penance, and unwavering trust in God. His preaching was so moving that even non-Christians took his words to heart. The riots ceased, and after several anxious weeks, the emperor agreed to spare the city.

The episode made John famous and became part of the lore that later helped to earn him his nickname: Chrysostom, Greek for “golden mouth” or “golden tongue.” It was also his first brush with imperial politics—a foreshadowing of clashes that would eventually cost him his life.

A Foundation for Holiness. John was born in Antioch around the year 350 and raised by his widowed mother, Anthousa, a pious Christian. He received a classical education from a famous pagan scholar who praised his talents, saying that John should have become his replacement—if only he had not chosen Christianity.

It had not been a simple decision for John. He loved the cultural attractions of Antioch’s courts and theaters. But when his close boyhood friend joined a local monastery, John knew he had to take a more serious approach to his own faith.

As he was considering his choices, a courageous bishop named Meletios took charge in Antioch. Together, these three witnesses—mother, friend, and bishop—moved the young man to make holiness his great ambition.

John, too, became part of a community of ascetic monks. He lived in seclusion in the hills outside the city and devoted himself to studying the word of God. According to one of his contemporaries, he “fell in love with sacred studies,” and learned the Old and New Testaments by heart. He might gladly have remained a monk forever, but after six years, the ascetic rigors proved too much for his system. Bad health forced him back to the city and caused him suffering for the rest of his life.

Aiming High. The monks’ loss was Antioch’s gain. John soon became active in the local church, first as a deacon and then as a priest. He began to produce writings—a defense of monasticism, lives of the saints, and an important treatise, “On the Priesthood.” But John also exhorted the lay people he encountered as he worked among the public. His writings display a deep conviction that people from all walks of life can and should live in close union with Jesus. For example, he counseled newly baptized adults to establish a routine: They should start each day with morning prayer, and they should conclude each evening by asking God’s forgiveness for any sins.

Thanks, perhaps, to his mother’s influence, John strongly defended the sanctity of marriage and family life. He went so far as to call the home “a little church” and underscored the importance of the marriage vocation: “By becoming good husbands and wives, it is possible for us to surpass all others.” Parents should train their children as “athletes for Christ,” he urged. “When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving, … we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them.”

Reveling in the Liturgy. John became Antioch’s chief homilist, often preaching on Scripture, and especially on Paul’s letters. Those who heard him marveled that he quoted from memory and never used notes. His homilies were so good that people even had them transcribed and published. Consequently, much of John’s preaching has survived to become a resource for preachers down through the centuries.

John also reveled in celebrating the liturgy and its cycle of feast days. He enthusiastically organized gatherings for saints’ festivals, all-night vigils, and processions to martyrs’ shrines. For him, such events were occasions to call people to God—the devout, to celebrate their faith, and the sinful, to receive mercy.

In the following excerpt from an Easter sermon, we can almost picture him looking around the congregation, wholly aware that he is addressing some who have seriously prepared throughout Lent, but also many who have not. Evoking Jesus’ parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), he exhorts one and all to “come enjoy this good and cheerful festival”:

Whoever is weary of fasting, let him now receive his earnings.

Whoever has labored from the first hour, let him today accept his just reward.

Whoever has arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not fear the delay, for the Master is gracious: He receives the last even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that has labored from the first, and to him that delayed.

Therefore let everyone enter into the joy of the Lord! The first and the last, receive your wages. Rich and poor, dance with each other. The temperate and the slothful, honor this day. You who have fasted and you who have not, rejoice this day!

Let no one bewail his transgressions, for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.

Bishop and Reformer. John became so popular that around 398, a new emperor, Arkadios, and his wife, Eudoxia, had him forcibly escorted to Constantinople and consecrated as bishop. They felt that their capital deserved the empire’s most renowned orator. Accepting this as God’s will, John strove to be the best pastor he could for the city.

John was never cowed by the prestige and wealth of his new congregation. He wanted to see their hearts set on heavenly treasure. As he had done in Antioch, he preached compassion and denounced the lack of charity he saw in Constantinople’s so-called “Christian” society.

The poor are not like marble statues that one can simply walk past and ignore, he said. “There is nothing so cold as a Christian who does not care about the salvation of others.” Rather than just preaching about the Christian life, John also led by example. He lived simply and sold off extravagant decorations from the episcopal palace to feed the hungry and build hospitals.

John called on other church leaders to reform. He decried sexual scandals among the clergy, chided certain monks for unruly behavior, and deposed several bishops convicted of financial abuses. Understandably, these reforms earned him many enemies.

“Whom Shall I Fear?” None of John’s enemies was more powerful than the Empress Eudoxia. Friendly at first, she came to resent the outspoken bishop. Court intrigues and factions played a part. Sometimes, too, when she attended his services in the great cathedral, he denounced the extravagance of women’s fashions—a not-too-subtle dig at her wardrobe. Once, after Eudoxia had underhandedly appropriated a widow’s estate, John publicly compared the empress to the infamous biblical queen Jezebel (see 1 Kings 21).

The rift with Eudoxia might have been repaired, had it not been for a dispute with Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria. When John ordered him to Constantinople to answer various charges of abuse, Theophilus allegedly sought help from some of Eudoxia’s advisors. The group orchestrated a council of clerics who were disgruntled by John’s earlier reforms. Together, they exacted revenge by voting to depose him from office.

Persuaded by this sham council, Arkadios sentenced John to exile. There was a brief “cease-fire” period, but John’s efforts to vindicate himself did not succeed. As the feud broke out anew, he likened Eudoxia to Herod’s wife, who had connived in John the Baptizer’s murder: “She seeks to have John’s head on a platter!”

When Arkadios again decreed that John must go, in 404, the people of Constantinople were outraged and threatened a revolt. John averted a tragedy by agreeing to leave peacefully. Just before he slipped away, he consoled his congregation with a statement of faith:

If Christ is with me, whom shall I fear? Though the waves and the sea and the anger of princes are roused against me, they are less to me than a spider’s web… .

If God wants me to stay here, I am grateful. But wherever he wants me to be, I am no less grateful. Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body… . Distance separates us, but love unites us, and death itself cannot divide us. For though my body die, my soul will live and be mindful of my people.

Exile and Return. John began a long and painful journey. As he was shuttled from one frontier outpost to another, his frail health worsened. Still, he found the energy to write letters of encouragement to his supporters, who were being persecuted; he worried more about their sufferings than his own.

He never ceased appealing to the pope and other bishops for help, but it was already too late. In 407, as John was being transferred to yet another remote site on the Black Sea, death overtook him. Appropriately, he died in the chapel of a shrine to a local martyr—another “athlete for Christ” whose pursuit of holiness had cost him his life.

More than thirty years afterwards, John was vindicated. The heir to Arkadios and Eudoxia bowed to the will of Constantinople’s citizens by returning Chrysostom’s relics to the capital and publicly asking God to forgive his parents’ sins.

Today, John Chrysostom is honored as a Doctor of the Church, and one of the greatest fathers of the early Eastern church. His life more than matched his preaching, and his works have inspired Christians down through the ages. Cardinal John Newman, an avid scholar of church history, summed up his influence in this way: “A bright, cheerful, gentle soul; a sensitive heart, a temperament open to emotion and impulse; and all this elevated, refined, transformed by the touch of heaven—such was St. John Chrysostom.”

Gregory Roa lives near Washington DC, with his wife and three children.

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; ministry; preachers
**John became Antioch’s chief homilist, often preaching on Scripture, and especially on Paul’s letters. Those who heard him marveled that he quoted from memory and never used notes. His homilies were so good that people even had them transcribed and published. Consequently, much of John’s preaching has survived to become a resource for preachers down through the centuries.**

From the golden mouthed preacher and Doctor of the Church.

1 posted on 09/16/2010 6:35:40 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...

Catholic Ping! (A little late for his Memorial Day!)

2 posted on 09/16/2010 6:42:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Kolokotronis; don-o

You might be interested in this.

3 posted on 09/16/2010 6:43:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Like John Chrysostom. One of those who managed to say what needed to be said.
4 posted on 09/16/2010 6:54:11 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

BUMP for those whose mouths are given to preach the inexpressible riches of God’s mercy in Christ Jesus to all who have inherited Adam’s sin and fear death. The heart fails at such a thought that God would give up everything out of love for those who reject Him. Those who preach Christ Jesus as He has revealed Himself in the biblical texts are given to marvel that they have been granted such grace.

Absolution under the merits of Christ Jesus is essential to life. All praise to God on high for His unfathomable grace toward the poor, and that means *all* of us.

6 posted on 09/16/2010 6:58:41 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew
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To: Tzfat
From the golden foul mouthed preacher and Doctor anti-Semite of the Church. There. Fixed it. I haven't been a member here long, but from a long time of lurking I don't think this is the proper etiquette for a religious thread, denigrating a revered religious figure. I don't think it would be any more welcome for a Christian to go on to a Jewish thread and call Maimonedes out for his anti-gentilism. I think it's called having manners.
7 posted on 09/16/2010 7:23:04 PM PDT by triumphant values
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To: Tzfat

You might want to check your sources for historical accuracy. Maybe you don’t care. What you said about +Chrysostom is a slanderous untruth.

9 posted on 09/16/2010 7:36:42 PM PDT by Yudan (Living comes much easier once we admit we're dying.)
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To: Salvation

The Paschal Homily of +John Chrysostom is a fixed piece in the Paschal (Easter) liturgy of the Eastern Churches.

In recent years I have been including a substantial excerpt in my own on Easter Day.

10 posted on 09/16/2010 7:39:21 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzfat; Religion Moderator
This is a Caucus thread. So no attacks allowed.

If you want, post an open thread.

12 posted on 09/16/2010 7:40:06 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: triumphant values; Tzfat; Kolokotronis; kosta50
I haven't been a member here long, but from a long time of lurking I don't think this is the proper etiquette for a religious thread, denigrating a revered religious figure. I don't think it would be any more welcome for a Christian to go on to a Jewish thread and call Maimonedes out for his anti-gentilism. I think it's called having manners.

Well said,dear friend.

Those not living in that time period have a disconnect of the culture and relationship to Christianity of that period of time

From Homily of Saint John of ST. MATTHEW On the Beatitudes.

For whereas the greatest of evils, and those which make havoc of the whole world, had their entering in from pride:--for both the devil, not being such before, did thus become a devil; as indeed Paul plainly declared, saying, "Lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil:" [1 Tim. 3:6] --and the first man, too, puffed up by the devil with these hopes, was made an example of, and became mortal (for expecting to become a god, he lost even what he had; and God also upbraiding him with this, and mocking his folly, said, "Behold, Adam is become as one of us" [Gen. 3:22]; and each one of those that came after did hereby wreck himself in impiety, fancying some equality with God:--since, I say, this was the stronghold of our evils, and the root and fountain of all wickedness, He, preparing a remedy suitable to the disease, laid this law first as a strong and safe foundation. For this being fixed as a base, the builder in security lays on it all the rest. But if this be taken away, though a man reach to the Heavens in his course of life, it is all easily undermined, and issues in a grievous end. Though fasting, prayer, almsgiving, temperance, any other good thing whatever, be gathered together in thee; without humility all fall away and perish. It was this very thing that took place in the instance of the Pharisee. For even after he had arrived at the very summit, he "went down" with the loss of all, because he had not the mother of virtues: for as pride is the fountain of all wickedness, so is humility the principle of all self-command. Wherefore also He begins with this, pulling up boasting by the very root out of the soul of His hearers. -ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

14 posted on 09/16/2010 7:45:49 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Tzfat
Click here for guidelines to the Religion Forum.
15 posted on 09/16/2010 7:46:23 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Religion Moderator

Thank you for clarification. Apologies to all.

17 posted on 09/16/2010 7:49:23 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Tzfat

I don’t read tons of Catholic (noun) history. I’m not a member of the Church of Rome. I am an Orthodox (catholic adjective), and the parish I attend is under the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Good for you, reading +Chrysostom - I hope you are doing it in Greek, as most English translations of +Chrysostom are like watching paint dry on a very humid day, sadly. An organization has actually originated in our parish to remedy that.

You’re simply wrong. +Chrysostom railed against the Judaizers, early Christians who tried to live in both traditions and insisted that converts had to become Jews before being baptized.

+Chrysostom spoke bluntly, and his words could really cut when he was trying to make a point.

But if you choose because of that to find his writings to be anti-Jew as opposed to anti-Judaizer, in my opinion (as you said, it’s an open forum and I am therefore entitled to give an opinion), you are likely LOOKING for anti-Semitism. If I am correct, that’s frankly your choice and your problem.

18 posted on 09/16/2010 7:55:51 PM PDT by Yudan (Living comes much easier once we admit we're dying.)
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To: Tzfat; Kolokotronis; kosta50
Now with that, I would whole agree. That is a word worth of a name such as "Chrysostom." Too bad he didn't stick to more like that.

He lived it out.

Blessed Chrysostom condemned heresies in his day that don't ring popular in the modern world of pluralistic Christian thought. He was Holy defender of Christ and His Church that you ought to be thankful for .

Bedtime for me!

I wish you a peaceful evening!

19 posted on 09/16/2010 8:02:11 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Yudan

Would you be good enough to drop us a line when the translations are done? I don’t speak Greek (a little Latin and German only), but some of the translations seem a bit forced even for me.

20 posted on 09/16/2010 8:12:54 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Yudan

I do study the NT in Greek, although I have not read Chrysostom in Greek. I am spend most of my time in Hebrew and Aramaic. Todah!

21 posted on 09/16/2010 8:24:28 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Salvation
John Chrysostom [SAINT] [DOCTOR]
  - Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew
  - Homilies on Acts
  - Homilies on Romans
  - Homilies on First Corinthians
  - Homilies on Second Corinthians
  - Homilies on Ephesians
  - Homilies on Philippians
  - Homilies on Colossians
  - Homilies on First Thessalonians
  - Homilies on Second Thessalonians
  - Homilies on First Timothy
  - Homilies on Second Timothy
  - Homilies on Titus
  - Homilies on Philemon
  - Commentary on Galatians
  - Homilies on the Gospel of John
  - Homilies on the Epistle to the Hebrews
  - Homilies on the Statues
  - No One Can Harm the Man Who Does Not Injure Himself
  - Two Letters to Theodore After His Fall
  - Letter to a Young Widow
  - Homily on St. Ignatius
  - Homily on St. Babylas
  - Homily Concerning "Lowliness of Mind"
  - Instructions to Catechumens
  - Three Homilies on the Power of Satan
  - Homily on the Passage "Father, if it be possible . . ."
  - Homily on the Paralytic Lowered Through the Roof
  - Homily on the Passage "If your enemy hunger, feed him."
  - Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren
  - First Homily on Eutropius
  - Second Homily on Eutropius (After His Captivity)
  - Four Letters to Olympias
  - Letter to Some Priests of Antioch
  - Correspondence with Pope Innocent I
  - On the Priesthood
22 posted on 09/17/2010 4:33:25 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
But if it seems well let me rather indicate in the first place what is the virtue of a man, beginning by dealing with the subject in the case of existences of another kind so as to make it more intelligible and plain to the majority of readers.

3. What then is the virtue of a horse? Is it to have a bridle studded with gold and girths to match, and a band of silken threads to fasten the housing, and clothes wrought in various colours and gold tissue, and head gear studded with jewels, and locks of hair plaited with gold cord? Or is it to be swift and strong in its legs, and even in its paces, and to have hoofs suitable to a well bred horse, and courage fitted for long journies and warfare, and to be able to behave with calmness in the battle field, and if a rout takes place to save its rider? Is it not manifest that these are the things which constitute the virtue of the horse, not the others? Again, what should you say was the virtue of asses and mules? Is it not the power of carrying burdens with contentment, and accomplishing journies with ease, and having hoofs like rock? Shall we say that their outside trappings contribute anything to their own proper virtue? By no means. And what kind of vine shall we admire? One which abounds in leaves and branches, or one which is laden with fruit? Or what kind of virtue do we predicate of an olive? Is it to have large boughs, and great luxuriance of leaves, or to exhibit an abundance of its proper fruit dispersed over all parts of the tree? Well, let us act in the same way in the case of human beings also: let us determine what is the virtue of man, and let us regard that alone as an injury, which is destructive to it. What then is the virtue of man?

[...] if the devil who is full of such great malice, after having set all his instruments in motion, and discharged all his weapons, and poured out all the evils incident to man, in a superlative degree upon the family and the person of that righteous man nevertheless did him no injury, but as I was saying rather profited him: how shall certain be able to accuse such and such a man alleging that they have suffered injury at their hands, not at their own?

No One Can Harm the Man Who Does Not Harm Himself

6. You see, my excellent friend, that the man who is powerful in preaching has peculiar need of greater study than others; and besides study, of forbearance also greater than what is needed by all those whom I have already mentioned. For thus are many constantly springing up against him, in a vain and senseless spirit, and having no fault to find with him, but that he is generally approved of, hate him; and he must bear their bitter malice nobly, for as they are not able to hide this cursed hatred, which they so unreasonably entertain, they both revile, and censure, and slander in private, and defame in public, and the mind which has begun to be pained and exasperated, on every one of these occasions, will not escape being corrupted by grief. For they will not only revenge themselves upon him by their own acts, but will try to do so by means of others, and often having chosen some one of those who are unable to speak a word, will extol him with their praises and admire him beyond his worth. Some do this through ignorance alone, some through ignorance and envy, in order that they may ruin the reputation of the other, not that they may prove the man to be wonderful who is not so, and the noble-minded man has not only to struggle against these, but often against the ignorance of the whole multitude; for since it is not possible that all those who come together should consist of learned men, but the chances are that the larger part of the congregation is composed of unlearned people, and that even the rest, who are clearer headed than they, fall as far short of being able to criticize sermons as the remainder again fall short of them; so that only one or two are seated there who possess this power; it follows, of necessity, that he who preaches better than others carries away less applause, and possibly goes home without being praised at all, and he must be prepared to meet such anomalies nobly, and to pardon those who commit them in ignorance, and to weep for those who acquiesce in them on account of envy as wretched and pitiable creatures, and not to consider that his powers have become less on either of these accounts. For if a man, being a pre-eminently good painter, and superior to all in his art, sees the portrait which he has drawn with great accuracy held up to ridicule, he ought not to be dejected, and to consider the picture poor, because of the judgment of the ignorant; as he would not consider the drawing that is really poor to be something wonderful and lovely, because of the astonishment of the inartistic.

On the Priesthood (Book V)

23 posted on 09/17/2010 4:41:24 AM PDT by annalex
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To: Yudan; Tzfat
Let us not forget that it is easy to read the Gospel as an anti-Semitic book if one chooses to. It surely is

Nothing is more miserable than those people who never failed to attack their own salvation. When there was need to observe the Law, they trampled it under foot. Now that the Law has ceased to bind, they obstinately strive to observe it. What could be more pitiable that those who provoke God not only by transgressing the Law but also by keeping it? On this account Stephen said: "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart, you always resist the Holy Spirit", not only by transgressing the Law but also by wishing to observe it at the wrong time.

Eight Homilies Against the Jews

St. John was a segregationalist, in a city where religions mingled, perhaps, too freely.

(4) Let me tell you this, not from guesswork but from my own experience. Three days ago-believe me, I am not lying-I saw a free woman of good bearing, modest, and a believer. A brutal, unfeeling man, reputed to be a Christian (for I would not call a person who would dare to do such a thing a sincere Christian) was forcing her to enter the shrine of the Hebrews and to swear there an oath about some matters under dispute with him. She came up to me and asked for help; she begged me to prevent this lawless violence-for it was forbidden to her, who had shared in the divine mysteries, to enter that place. I was fired with indignation, I became angry, I rose up, I refused to let her be dragged into that transgression, I snatched her from the hands of her abductor. I asked him if were a Christian, and he said he was. Then I set upon him vigorously, charging him with lack of feeling and the worst stupidity; I told him he was no better off than a mule if he, who professed to worship Christ, would drag someone off to the dens of the Jews who had crucified him. I talked to him a long time, drawing my lesson from the Holy Gospels; I told him first that it was altogether forbidden to swear and that it was wrong to impose the necessity of swearing on anyone. I then told him that he most not subject a baptize believer to this necessity. In fact, he must not force even an unbaptized person to swear an oath.

(Homily III.4)

To put this in perspective, the Church today advises against combined prayers and mixed marriages, even though exceptions are sometimes made. However, the Church does not teach that "No Jew adores God" (III.2), quite the opposite: to the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ ... for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable." (The Church and non-Christians , scroll to 839-845)

24 posted on 09/17/2010 5:05:43 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Let us not forget that it is easy to read the Gospel as an anti-Semitic book if one chooses to

I would be the last person to say NT was anti-Semitic in it. I have written numerous books debunking what some say are anti-Semitic passages.

However, many of the ante-Nicean leaders did read anti-Semitism in the NT, and used it as proof for their own writings which are in fact anti-Semitic. Chrysostom was not the first, he is simply one of the more notable of his era. Certainly, the Nicean and Laodicean councils were anti-Semitic, both historically, and in the canons themselves. Men like Chrysostom were influenced by their own environment (Antioch had a lot of interaction between the church and Jews); their perverted view of the New Testament; and over a hundred years of anti-Semitism in the writings of ante-Nicean leaders (where it was systemic). I understand the causes, but I don't make excuses for it, wherever it is. From Justin Martyr to Luther - Catholics and Protestants alike share the shame of persecuting and murdering the brothers and sisters of Messiah.
25 posted on 09/17/2010 7:49:08 AM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Tzfat

I do not think that hostility to the Jews (using the term in its religious meaning) is in itself anti-Semitism, no matter how unpleasant it may be. It is simply a rejection of a religion which on several important points is opposed to Christianity. Anti-Semitism is a sin because it is a judgement on a person’s intrinsic worth based on ethnicity or faith, something we as Christians are told not to do by the very Gospel that also is in stark opposition to the Judaism of the time.

For example, may today feel great hostility to Islam. Many would say that the Muslims should be avoided, thet their presence is undesirable in our society, that the Muslims are inclined to violence, do not share our view on human dignity, seek to subdue the West, etc. So long that one is holding to these views because he is opposed to the tenets of Islam, he may be right or he may be wrong on the facts, but he is comitting no sin. A sin analogous to anti-Semitism (in fact, properly speaking that would often BE anti-Semitism since Arabs are Semites) would be when one, based on his hostility to Islam, preaches violence against innocent Muslims or thinks Arabs and other predominantly Muslim nations to be genetically inferior regardless of faith.

26 posted on 09/17/2010 4:38:38 PM PDT by annalex
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