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12:00 AM
I'm pretty sure @MonicaCellio is asking about the general teaching of Christianity and not how to apply it to her individual situation.
@DavidStratton @wax had a helping hand in the chat here.
12:16 AM
@fredsbend Coolio. It never asked me to restart my browser. Must be that clever update-on-the-fly thing Chromium has.
Still, time for bed here.
A: Why can't I suggest edits on SE meta sites?

Jon EricsonMeta review queues should be integrated into the main site's review Low meta participation is a problem. Since a policy is decided in meta, it can be discouraging to discover that people don't know about meta or simply ignore it. But even as a meta-junkie, I was surprised to see that this is a...

@DavidStratton it's not a pastoral-advice question. I'm not Christian so it doesn't apply to me directly. But I interact with a lot of Christians, some quite devout, and I found myself wondering what their approach to this area is. I'm asking for the, err, halacha, not personal advice. Is there an edit that you think would make that clearer? (Also, I came here first to ask for help formulating the question.)
@JonEricson correct. I want to know what Christianity teaches in this area.
@MonicaCellio I hope it stays open until tomorrow. My answer is not going to be finished until then. ;)
G'night all!
@JonEricson if there's something you think could be done to address David's concern, please feel free to do it.
@JonEricson oh. Or not. :-)
12:34 AM
@MonicaCellio If you don't mind, I can take a crack at editing it. Please don't take my comments as a negative. Like I said, the question had potential, and is something I'd like to see answered, but within this particular S.E. site, we have had a history of having answers that are purely personal opinion...
@DavidStratton go for it. I'm not interested in personal opinion and certainly didn't intend to attract that. (Does this site expect sources like many do? If not, let's edit that request into the question.)
The "Pastoral Advice" rule came from such questions/answers. I don't mean to offend, I just saw that you were a new user, and as I'm always telling people, it took me a while to get what the site is and isn't, so I try to help. It would take a week of reading the right META posts to cover it all.
Will do. Thanks!
@DavidStratton FYI, I'm a mod over on Mi Yodeya, so I do have some experience, but every site is different. I read your FAQ, then came in here to ask for help, then posted the question. But still didn't hit it spot-on; ah well. Thanks for the help.
@MonicaCellio halcha; fiqh. Wouldn't Christianity be so much simpler if it had them?
I saw you were a mod over there. If I ever wander over to that site, I'd hope for your assistance as well. :-) By the way, on this question, are you looking for a particular denominational view? Catholic, Protestant, etc.? It helps to know which angle to ask for. There are so many different interpretations of "what the Bible says" on a subject that it is often helpful to focus on a specific doctrinal or denominational view.
12:41 AM
@DavidStratton As I recall, she asked that, and was advised that this was a place where denominations did not much differ. But don't mind me. I'm not really here. I'm just popping by as I catch up on my webcomics.
@DavidStratton you're welcome to join us at Mi Yodeya any time, and I'll be happy to help you there. For the question here I'm particularly interested in Protestant perspectives; I know that's big but I don't know enough to meaningfully subdivide. @waxeagle had thought I could ask it generally (he thought there'd be commonality there), but I defer to y'all on this.
@TRiG They don't just make things up so they've got some rules, presumably including things "lower level" than papal decrees (for the Catholics). I just don't know how it works or what words to use.
@MonicaCellio - He's probably right on that. I may have been hasty in my comments... I'm re-reading it and giving it some thought...
@MonicaCellio - hmph. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to re-phrase it myself. I think this is one occasion where the burden will fall on the answerer to phrase the answer in a way that fits site guidelines. I've made a minor edit, but I don't think it significantly changes or improves the question.
I presume you're looking to compare the Christian teaching to the Jewish one? Is that a safe assumption? If so, it might help to add that, and post a link to an article that explains the Jewish teaching...
@DavidStratton I'm interested in comparing to the Jewish view, yes, but assumed that comparative-religion questions were off-topic here (as they are on Mi Yodeya), so synthesizing/comparing would be my job, not answerers' jobs. I could add a short overview plus link, but would it help?
@DavidStratton your edit looks fine to me, thanks. If you (or anyone else who's been part of this discussion) think of further improvements, please feel free to edit. (You would be free to anyway, but since some people are touchy about editing and you don't know me, I'm saying it outright. If I think you've changed my meaning I'll edit or roll back, but otherwise we should be trying to improve things for the good of the site and future visitors, not any one poster.)
@MonicaCellio - Perhaps. Perhaps not. I think I'll stop trying to look at the question, and try to provide a decent answer. I think I was wrong to comment as I did, now that I have more information. I'll just follow my own advice (meta.christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1466/…) and give the best answer I can.
12:57 AM
@DavidStratton I look forward to your answer. Thanks for the help. (I deleted my comment, by the way.)
1:54 AM
Q: Delete a flag or un-flag before a moderator reviews it

David StrattonEvery so often, I flag a question or answer for moderator attention, and then want to take it back. Perhaps someone edited the question into a better one, or I've personally edited, or maybe I just realized I read the question wrong. Has this been discussed as a feature request? T he ability ...

2:20 AM
@DavidStratton forgot to mention to check to make sure your flag isn't already handled first :P
LOL I'm sorry, I thought I checked before adding the "please ignore previous flag". Either I didn't actually check it, or you handled it while I was typing it up. Gotta learn to slow down.
@DavidStratton I'd probably just cleared it :)
I was only just clearing flags
but I thought I'd needle you just a bit...mostly just cuz
Not a problem. I got my StackExchange start on StackOverflow, and I seriously suffer from the Fastest Gun in the West problem. meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/9731/… It's one reason I am glad, for now, that I'm not a moderator, and that you, Caleb, and El'ndia are. I tend to "shoot" too soon.
@DavidStratton the good news is that almost everything you can do as a mod is reversible, and the one big thing that you can't is actually in the works (undeleting comments).
2:46 AM
Apropos of nothing, to what does "the upper room" refer?
@MonicaCellio it's the name of the room in which Jesus and his disciples celebrated passover the night before he was crucified.
@MonicaCellio On the night before Jesus was crucified, he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. That room is called the Upper Room - and there are buildings in Jerusalem that claim to be it
@MonicaCellio In re: reconciliation - my understanding is that the emphasis on reconciliation is greater, but the actual implementation would not be unlike Judaism
To be reconciled is to no longer be in conflict with your fellow man
@AffableGeek oh! I know about the last supper, but didn't make the connection that it was upstairs somewhere. (Upstairs from what? Was this someone's private home or what? Or don't they know?)
It was the upper room to an inn of some kind
Let me find the reference
Hmmm.... I'm finding that more dificult than I thought. Perhaps it should be a question :)
@AffableGeek thanks! Judaism (as I have learned it) holds that, basically, God won't touch the case until you've made teshuva, which includes making amends and seeking forgiveness from the person you wronged. (If he's stubborn you can eventually give up.) Teshuva is complete when you not only do that but change your ways (such that, in a similar situation, you don't repeat the error). That's hard, obviously, and not a barrier to forgiveness.
2:58 AM
Teshuva being reonciliation, meaning an attempt to end the conflict between two individuals?
Sort of a non-sequitur, I've always thought the religion sites in particular would be so much better if certain words (fiqh, halacha, shirk, eucharist) could be automaticatically turned into hyper links that always took you to a definition page, sort of like the tag wikis...
Getting these definitions right - as described by adherents, really would be a boon to the internet, and crowd-sourcing seems like a good way to do it.
Teshuva is best translated as "return" or "repentance". The parts are: you regret the action, you make amends for any damages, you seek forgiveness from the person you've wronged, and you pray to God. (And the final step, the proof, is not doing it again, but that test comes later.) You don't actually have to become best buddies with the guy you wronged, but you need to "settle up" so that he has no cause to hold a grudge.
That to me sounds like a pretty good definition of reconciliation too :) Regret, Restitution, Requesting forgiveness - they all go into the idea of falling out of hate
@AffableGeek yeah, totally. We have a glossary on the Mi Yodeya meta and encourage people to link to entries there, but it's hit or miss. And the really common words, like "halacha", wouldn't get links there because most people (in that context) know what they mean. But the next level down, words like "asur" (forbidden), we can't assume.
So, for the total neophytes like myself, its exactly those most common ones that are the barrier for me from reading MiYoda on a regular basis :)
@AffableGeek ok, I can see that. I wasn't sure if there was a Christian-specific meaning of "reconciliation" that goes beyond that (with respect to the other person).
3:02 AM
In fact, I hate to admit it, but even after a year of Hebrew, I couldn't tell you what Mi Yodeya is referring to :)
@AffableGeek short of the automation that would have to come from SE, what can we do to make this easier? Would a link to a basic glossary (not the full-on one but a targeted one) from our FAQ help? Can you think of other things we can do to be more accessible?
Knowing where the glossary is would help :)
@AffableGeek the name? It means "who knows", like in "echad mi yodeya" ("who knows one"), a seder song.
Q: Mi Yodeya Glossary

msh210A glossary! This is for Judaism-related terms that come up on the main site whose meanings people may well not know. To search this glossary for (e.g.) משנה, type is:answer inquestion:this משנה in the search box at the top-right corner of this page and hit Enter. Note, though, that that e...

3:06 AM
@MonicaCellio someone should write a chat bot that edits and auto links :) but that could get hyper annoying
@MonicaCellio That's a really good start :) I've got some reading to do. My only two initial sugggestions would be (1) make that a permanent part of the faq or highlight it in some fashion, and (2) keep adding the baby terms. I can see where it won't scale, though, which is why I think ultimately an SE CSS fix is in order...
@AffableGeek btw, a comment from that page:
Im pretty sure I saw this being discussed somewhere, but has anybody asked SE if we can get some kind of roll-over expansion feature? It beats having to send people to another page, and would be useful for many sites. — HodofHod Dec 28 '11 at 19:47
And yeah, I'm seeing some links now, and it does help
Looks like it's time to bring this up again. :-)
I'm on board. Do we ping Marc Gravell?
3:09 AM
@AffableGeek thanks for the FAQ suggestion!
(and the other terms)
Now, I just need to start something like this over here.
It's only fair
In its ideal implementation, anyone should be able to nominate a term for definition (maybe just create a page), and then multiple definitions can be given. Just like a question / answer, definitions should be voted on, give rep, and be just like questions. The only difference would be that a parser would ocassionally scrape all posts looking for these words, and turn them into links automagically.
But I agree, that would be a feature request
We should also (all) try to make sure our tag wikis are solid.
Yeah - at one point, I actually went on a spree there. Personally, I would have thought to put the definitions in the tag wikis first, but I didn't know how one would link to the tag wiki in the answer.
3:19 AM
I was thinking that, at least for the ones that end up as tags on the question, you get roll-over text so let's make sure we provide it. It's been a while since I've done a sweep through Mi Yodeya for that; I think we're in decent shape there, but I should check.
I'd be surprised if it's that much different from the Jewish view. Has a similar question been asked over on judaism.stackexchange.com? — David Stratton 6 mins ago
@DavidStratton - probably, need to look. We have 51 questions with the relevant tag and I need to go to sleep soon, but I'll try to follow up tomorrow. G'night all!
@MonicaCellio - I'm just reading on your conversation with @AffableGeek and teshuva sounds exactly like the Christian understanding that should be understood. Repentance is exactly the heart of the matter.
@DavidStratton I had an impression (from the outside) that being "right with God" was more important than being right with the other person, that you could reconcile with God even if you hadn't reconciled with the person you wronged, and it got me wondering. Which is why I came here instead of just bumbling along on my own. :-)
@MonicaCellio I'm in the same time zone, and yeah, i need to sleep too :)
Anyway, gotta drop off now. Thanks and see y'all tomorrow (I trust).
3:35 AM
@fredsbend I tend to be arrogant. It's not good that I am, but changing that is a slow process. Notice, though, that I often try to direct my criticism at content, rather than at people. Usually I'm in a pretty tight spot. The site in general is pretty anti-Catholic, and the mods/higher-rep members don't take kindly to people (especially "new people") expressing disagreement. Should I "explain myself" over why I didn't accept some answer of yours, and appear to be the one starting trouble?
Out of curiosity, do I come across as anti-Catholic? If so, I promise, i don't mean to. Truthfully, I am more interested in learning about what Catholicism teaches than in refuting. My problem 90% of the time is that I just don't understand a lot of it. Reading the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example, reminds me of a story I read where someone gave a friend a book, and that person had to buy a dictionary just to understand most of the words in the book.
Every time I look up something on that site, I end up following links to definitions of terms that take me to more links that take me to more... But I honestly want to learn about Catholic doctrine, even if I don't agree with all of it.
At any rate, if I am coming across that way, please let me know so I can attempt to correct it.
@fredsbend I made a friendly suggestion to you - why not give an answer? In return I get a stream of messages where you're sharing your suspicions of my voting patterns with the rest of the people here. Perhaps I am stingy, though I've given almost 200 upvotes. There might be a good reason I'm not accepting whichever answer you're upset I'm not accepting that goes beyond me "being stingy".
@DavidStratton I don't think you do, no. At least I don't have that conception of you. I scanned through a few of your posts just now too and they seem to be pretty fairly put together.
2 hours later…
5:24 AM
Just when I thought I'd heard it all. I'm sure there's a good question or two in here somewhere. foxnews.com/science/2013/03/13/…
@DavidStratton I don't think you're anti-catholic in the least. Catholic Encyclopedia is exceptionally terse but it might be the best Catholic resource outside the Catechism.
@Alypius I don't think the site is anti-catholic. I do agree that the mods and high reps can be aggressive in 'correcting' you. No, I don't really want an explanation why you did or did not choose an answer, whether mine or not. That is not fair for me to ask, unless I think I can do better, which I might think I can but I don't think I can according to you.
I simply see a pattern; you rarely accept and more often than not have some sort of objection. I guess I am saying your standards are too high for me. I don't think I can give you an answer you would like, which is my ultimate goal. I like the rep but I care more about answering your question. You are probably a good guy and I would say 90% of our misunderstandings are due to the mode of communication: text only.
So I quickly admit that I might have come off as (put in your own words). I suppose a private conversation would have been better but there is no such thing on this site. I do see on your profile that you have two badges that indicate that you might upvote regularly, but how you upvote and the rep are the smaller issues to me. Not too important.
@Alypius I just don't think I can answer any of your questions to your own satisfaction, hence, I am highly disintrested in presenting well-thought answers on your questions. I am still interested in the posts themselves, however, so I am still compelled to comment. Maybe sometime in the future, but not currently.
@DavidStratton Shape shifting! This is crazy stuff.
6:06 AM
@fredsbend When I said "hey maybe give an answer", I wasn't inviting pages of your speculative and public criticism. If you feel that my "unreasonable inability to be satisfied" isn't a good fit for how much you "care to craft your answers to the utmost satisfaction" (or whatever), then just don't give an answer. Keep your thoughts about others to yourself. I'm in no position to defend myself here.
6:24 AM
@MonicaCellio AYE! :P :D
6:51 AM
@Alypius ok. I guess we need another timeout from each other. Sorry I have upset you. I did not mean to; I was only being candid.
7:01 AM
@fredsbend We don't need "another time out". We're not children. We didn't both do something wrong. You didn't upset me, you simply posted a bunch of unsolicited critical messages that made me out as "someone who can't be satisfied" and who "is probably stingy with votes", and doing that isn't called "being candid".
7:32 AM
@Sibu I want to delete that post itself.
8:09 AM
@TRiG the English site labeled my question that I posted earlier for you to check out as a duplicate. It is closed. Oh, well. I will note that at least one other person thinks it sounds sexist. Still doesn't really click like that for me. english.stackexchange.com/questions/107116/…
Saw some interesting answers in the two linked posts. One was a woman asking about her boyfriend. She seemed content with 'my man' for informal use and no one thought it sexist. Maybe I should post this junk on the english chats, huh?
I see now that you post there occasionally. I'll take this over there if it comes up again. Or ping me there if you have an opinion you would like to share.
Is the new Pope aware of the stuff about "Peter of Rome"? May be he chose that name "Francis" to avoid suspicions about that prophecy.
1 hour later…
9:20 AM
@Mawia I think it is wise of anyone to avoid dubious prophecies. Let history decided if the prophecy is genuine and applies to you or not.
9:46 AM
@Mawia No pope has ever chosen the name "Peter II". This is out of respect for the first pope, Saint Peter, and has nothing to do with those prophesies, which were published in 1595
It says "Theories include a vague connection with Francis of Assisi, whose father was named Peter."
10:31 AM
> The site in general is pretty anti-Catholic
@Alypius Could you explain what exactly you base that ^^^ impression on?
2 hours later…
1:02 PM
It's good to see more people in chat :-)
1 hour later…
2:12 PM
@Mawia That's reaching a little, isn't it?
@TRiG Right hand, behind neck, grabs left ear...
far better theories are that he was relating to his own simple lifestyle and trying to indicate he wants healing between his order and the Franciscans. Both of which are quite noble. I personally love the name choice. And I really love what I've heard about him so far (though some of the stuff coming out of his dealings with Argentinian dictators is potentially alarming).
2:37 PM
@MonicaCellio I had an impression (from the outside) that being "right with God" was more important than being right with the other person. I've seen that attitude expressed (sorry, can't think of any examples right now), but I'm not sure where it comes from.
@TRiG I've definitely heard people complain about the problem of "wait, that {murderer, thief, whatever} can make a deathbed confession and get into heaven, just like that?!". But I don't assume that's an informed complaint, just a possibly-common one.
I don't think that's how it really works. I do recognize that you can't make amends for certain sins (like murder), but for the ones where you can, do you have to? Hence my question.
@MonicaCellio The problem is that with the concept of grace there essentially is no have to in Christianity. The basic concept is that when Christ forgives you all sins past present and future are forgiven. Thus while making amends for sins is encouraged and considered a fruit of one's conversion, no one would (or at least should) argue that not making amends would keep one out of heaven. Does that make any sense?
@waxeagle so making amends is meritorious but not strictly required?
@MonicaCellio yes, because works (action on the part of the sinner of any kind) are not required for salvation. They will come as an outpouring of the change in one's life and are evidence of a conversion, but they are not part of the salvation process.
(but that's partly where traditions start to diverge). My tradition indicates that the Christian plays very little to no part in their conversion and is irresistibly drawn to repentance, whereas other traditions indicate that the Christian makes a choice to repent.
2:53 PM
@waxeagle ah, thanks. Is that common among Christians or is that a difference between Catholics and Protestants? (The whole works-versus-faith thing was significant in the split, right?)
@waxeagle what is your tradition, if I may ask?
@MonicaCellio Calvinist, Presbyterian specifically.
@MonicaCellio yes, although the Catholics I think might argue that they are not nearly as works based as Luther made them out to be.
Let me see if I understand. Grace means you're already forgiven. Making up for your wrongs is evidence that you really believe (conversion). But the absence of that evidence in some cases (wrongs you've done but haven't made up for) doesn't count against you; it's just something you should pay attention to as part of your spiritual self-monitoring?
@MonicaCellio that's the basic jist of it.
3:08 PM
@waxeagle ok, thanks! This has been quite educational. Does that mean you disagree with this answer, or is this the difference between "should" and "must"?
3:23 PM
@waxeagle Yeah, the Catholic Church teaches that doing Penance is necessary for the sacrament of reconciliation (going to confession), but the priest gives absolution prior to someone doing penance.
@MonicaCellio still thinking about it. I really hesitate to put any "must" because that implies that there is a works aspect to things. I'd argue that a christian would feel compelled to do it by the Holy Spirit.
@waxeagle ok, thanks. I'm not trying to press anybody into a semantic corner; I'm just trying to understand the nuances involved.
@PeterTurner what kinds of things can the assigned pennance include, besides saying certain prayers?
@MonicaCellio no doubt and I don't feel painted in :). Just that it's a hard question to answer well :). There is a lot of nuance and things get interesting when you have to deal with interactions between the law and works and grace and faith...churches split over these issues.
3:53 PM
@MonicaCellio It's not so much a Catholic-v-Protestant split as a Calvin-v-others split, I think. (I'm not sure how many Protestants are Calvinists. Most of them, I think.)
My own background is JW, which is a distinctly odd branch of Christianity, but here's how they'd approach it. 1. Works are not necessary for salvation, but some attempt at them is,
You cannot earn salvation (it depends on "undeserved kindness", which is their rough equivalent of what other Christians call "grace"), but if you aren't making some effort to be a decent person, Jesus won't save you.
Roughly. (Their terminology in this (and many other areas) is distinctive, so it's hard to make the concepts match up neatly to see the similarities and differences.)
And 2. Salvation is a free gift, freely offered to anyone who wants to take it. (They very definitely disagree with the Calvinistic notion of predestination.)
The Witnesses do expect some effort on the part of the person being "saved". (Again, "saved" isn't a word they'd actually use often in this way.)
4:10 PM
@TRiG thanks, that's interesting. I was expecting a two-part approach like you've described: grace (or whatever you want to call it) is available but you also have to act; you can't just show up and say "save me", do nothing else, and be ok in the end. Again, outsider perspective based on inadequate inputs.
@MonicaCellio Calvinism takes the, no action on your part up front, but you'll start to want to do something after you're saved. You don't just say a prayer and live like a heathen the rest of your life. Works (in the case of this topic, making amends) are a product of grace not a means of achieving it.
@MonicaCellio you can't just show up and say "save me" According to Calvin, never mind "can't just" and try "can't even".
In their theology, the whole thing is God-initiated, not only in general, but also in each specific case.
@MonicaCellio The whole issue is complicated because most people aren't talking about the "simple issue". The simple issue is that Christians don't tally up points like the stereotypical view of saw, Buddhism, where your deeds determine (just 'cus nature "works that way") whether you'll be reborn as a dung beetle or a graceful swan.
Calvin is quite extreme on this, more so than Calvinists in general
@waxeagle yes, that's a perspective that hadn't occurred to me before, and it makes a great deal of sense. I thank you for introducing me to it.
4:19 PM
@TRiG but to be clear though to a Calvinist there is no apparent difference between wanting to be saved and being compelled to want to :). There is no want to without a compulsion.
@MonicaCellio the price has already been paid, and there's no sense in trying to pay it again, not that we could pay it in the first place. God is entirely in control of salvation, and in one very important sense, we just don't have a say.
@waxeagle in my view the difference between these is about giving God the glory. And in general I would rather think in terms of soli Deo gloria than total depravity.
because total depravity is so negatively phrased
@MonicaCellio The real issue, though, (and I'm glossing over things here) is that we still have to decide on how we're going to behave. For example, if you say "do I have to go to Church every Sunday to go to heaven?" then the answer is, well, yeah. One of the commandments is to keep this day holy. This isn't something mentioned in passing, it's a commandment.
@JamesT intentionally so.
@MonicaCellio I don't actually know what Calvinists say about that, maybe one can chime in, but going to church (and not some heretical sect, but Church) looks, confusingly, a lot like something you are obligated to do (must, should) to not end up separated from God.
4:31 PM
@Alypius we'd say that grace is sufficient and that if any sin could separate you from God we long since would have all been so separated :)
@waxeagle What do you mean by separation there? In one sense, we are separated. We're not up in heaven yet (may we all end up there), not part of the Church Triumphant.
@Alypius I'd taken the exact same sense of the word you were taking in your comment immediately before it.
@Alypius, just to help me keep the perspectives straight, which is yours if I may ask?
@MonicaCellio Christian ;) (I'm a Catholic)
I'm trying to think of a good analogy here, and I'll probably err somewhere, but... imagine you're outside a building, and there's a party inside. The sign says "knock to enter". If you want to go to the party, you have to knock. Your knock doesn't do anything to the door, but the host takes notice, comes over, unlocks the door, and is very happy to see you.
(unless it's too late... after a certain unknown-to-us hour, the doors are closed forever, and you can't knock anymore because you're dead, in all senses of the word)
The stereotypical Catholic sees the stereotypical (Calvinist) as sitting there and pointing out that the door is locked, so hey, what's the point of knocking? There's even a view out there that the host will come out before the set hour, take your hand, use it to knock on the door, and then let you in.
@Alypius the calvinist view in a nutshell: "Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full"
4:47 PM
The simple fact of the matter is that to get in, you must knock, you should be pounding on the door with rocks (not that you'll have any effect on the door), you are even obligated to be doing this. You must go to Mass, you must go to Confession, you must do everything that is in your power to knock on the door. And it will be opened. That's a promise.
@waxeagle You accept mortal sin, an act such that it mortally wounds your soul?
@Alypius no.
@waxeagle then you don't mean what I meant by "separated from God"
I see scriptural support for exactly one case of such (blaspheming the holy spirit), and I wouldn't build my house on that verse either.
@Alypius No. I mean the same thing, because my response to you was that if it could have happened it already would have, for everyone.
@waxeagle That's also the Catholic view, though not in a nutshell. A Catholic interpretation here. I don't see yet why it would be a good summary of Calvinism, though...
@waxeagle Neither do Catholics. I think you might be assuming that Catholics think that God can't heal mortal wounds to the soul.
He can. He's the Divine Physician.
His preferred operating table is the confessional, His scalpel the voice of the priest.
@Alypius indeed, we just disagree on the implementation of said structure.
5:04 PM
@waxeagle God can heal your soul with a word if He chooses. But if we're talking about one of those people who hates doctors and hates hospitals, and is insisting on a house call when in fact they can just walk over to a modern medical facility, staffed by millions of trained physicians...
@waxeagle I don't think we actually disagree. Catholics also believe that you can be saved even without ever going to the hospital. You just need to have Perfect Contrition for your sins (a deep sorrow over all your sins arising from a pure love of God).
Catholics worry that they don't have perfect contrition. They worry that the cancer is still there (which it is, we are sinners), and go regularly to receive free medical care. But the stereotype Catholic view is that Protestants simply assume they have perfect contrition. (I'm including the word "stereotype" frequently because I want to get a rough idea of Catholic attitudes towards these views across)
I have a difficult time understanding exactly what sort of mental framework Protestants have that leads them to disagree. But I can't exactly just ask a random Protestant, because soon I'd be asking "but how can you think that if...!" I really wish I could know, though.
5:22 PM
@Alypius that's because of the way we (calvinists, not all protestants) understand grace. We're fully forgiven past present and future from the moment of salvation. It's not perfect contrition because that's unacheivable, it's salvation.
That happens with Catholics at, say, the moment of Baptism, and at the moment of Absolution (when one has contrition).
@Alypius right protestants argue for it only ever happening one time.
I'm imagining a Calvinist going about her day, and it's like there's a long, drawn out "absolution". How can this person even sin if she is immediately forgiven (not even immediately, but temporally before she committed the sin)
@Alypius it's like a debit card with an infinite account backing it.
(to be clear I'm not arguing that it's a license to sin willfully, because like I mentioned earlier, we believe that works are a product of grace)
So if you spend a few trillion it's still ok? I don't have a fix on that analogy yet...
5:30 PM
@Alypius essentially yes. That's not to say that repentance and contrition aren't a part of it. But the Calvinist believes that justification (payment for sins) was completed at Christ's death and is complete for the believer at the time of their salvation. Repentance and contrition are an outflow of sanctification (becoming holy) which goes on throughout a believer's life.
Yes. Out of His Blessed Body flowed blood and the waters of salvation. Catholics also believe that our sins (today) almost literally nail the Lord, our Saviour, to the cross (a long time ago).
What's the effect of indiscriminate sin for Calvinists? None? Your actions have no bearing on whether God will take you in or cast you out?
Is it like... the door is wide open, you don't need to knock?
@monica It's at the discretion of the priest I think. Since the early 20th century the big penances that require some sort of humiliation) have been more or less fallen into disuse. The most I've ever gotten is taking my wife on a date or something.
@Alypius Calvinism is weird. Deeply deeply weird. It's also morally incoherent. Don't try wrapping your head around it: you will fail, and you will not be the better for the experience.
If you do something like steal though, you have to make reparation (sorry for coming in to the middle of something)
@PeterTurner Which message is that a reply to? (curious about context)
5:41 PM
@Alypius sin has consequences to the believer, just not necessarily eternal ones. but indiscriminate sin isn't really all that different from what you're already forgiven for? But like James says "you will know them by their fruit" indiscriminate sin might call into question the sincerity of the conversion in the first place.
ok, I really gotta go do some work, I'll be back later and will respond to any @replies then.
@TRiG Well, if it's against the teaching of the Church, I can trust that it's wrong (people smarter than I and much more dedicated, and all that). But people still manage to coherently believe it, and the Holy Spirit dwells in those people too, and I'm interested in how it is that they do believe it.
@waxeagle Catholics believe the same, that all sins might not have eternal consequences. Are some people unsaved, and unforgiven?
@Alypius no
5:57 PM
Does my free will make any difference as to whether I end up in heaven or hell, according to Calvinists?
design update from Jin: "I was in the process of designing it, got an overall look and feel done for the home page, but the logo isn't finalized. i was pulled to other projects this past couple of weeks so i haven't spent any time on it | doesn't look like i'll be able to work on it next week either."
@PeterTurner thanks, appreciated! (@Alypius, Peter was responding to my question about what pennance could include.)
6:14 PM
@TRiG it will be interesting to see what further information comes out surrounding that, everyone will be digging now.
6:30 PM
@Caleb More like trying to lick your elbow.
@TRiG My impression is the opposite. You cannot be right with God if you are not right with a fellow believer. Some would say anybody.
@TRiG dunno about you, but I'm really excited about Pope Francis! I'm a little worried he's going to die in the first few months like Pope Lando and Pope John Paul I, but other than that he seems pretty cool.
@MonicaCellio: If I may, allow me to potentially confuse you further by giving my own view on the subject of salvation and forgiveness that's different from every other view expressed so far. :P
@TRiG On the whole, Calvinism is hard to reject. I would say most protestants take a heavy Calvinist view, but typically don't like to preach too much on what that really means, especially considering free will. The main points of it are summed up in this acronym TULIP
The verse about Jesus knocking on the door asking to be let in is well known, but it is only the starting point of the metaphor I like to use. I picture a person's heart as like a whole house. While Jesus is still outside, the various rooms in the house (corresponding to temperament, romance, etc...) can be dirty or cleanish or somewhere in between, but basically every single wall is rotting (i.e. appearances may be good, but the reality isn't).
Once the person lets Jesus into the house (their heart), then they are..."saved". This is the start of their relationship with Jesus, and the person presumably wants to be with Jesus and would like to be with Him forever, so He would bring them to Heaven when they died, largely regardless of the state of the house/heart at the time.
@Alypius Yes, insofar as any of us has a truly "free" will. Many would agree that it is God's grace that allows us to "freely" choose good over evil; that we have the moral obligation to believe and act as he wishes; and that while we cannot by our actions constrain God to act in a certain way, his promises of salvation can be trusted. Moreover, without grace we are sunk.
(though bear in mind that I am very bad at being a Calvinist)
6:42 PM
@JamesT I think people underestimate the Spirit's ability to make us want to do things.
However, while the person is living, salvation is more properly a process. Jesus will ask to help the person clean up the various rooms of the house. The person has free will, so they may let Him help them, or they may refuse the offer. The refusal might be because they are embarrassed, or because the memories related to that "room" are painful, or quite possibly because they don't believe that the room is dirty.
In my worldview, a Christian can become unsaved, but for that to happen, they would have to kick Jesus out of the house, or maybe if they let Jesus in and then refuse every single offer to help and just don't interact with Him.
So, the important thing here is the intent of the person. Does the person want to clean up their house? If so, then the actual state of the house doesn't really matter. It's like that "narrow road that leads to salvation". Looking forward and moving forward is ideal, yes, but oftentimes, people will be looking forward and moving backwards. That's still better than looking backwards, regardless of which direction you're moving.
@waxeagle when I mentioned soli Deo gloria earlier, this is what I was thinking about
Okay, now to answer your original question related to forgiveness. If you do not try to make amends for wronging someone...why? If it is because of some obstacle such as distance or because the other person died, then there isn't really anything you can do about it. If you do have the opportunity to make amends, but you back off because of fear or a similar reason, well, okay, that's not ideal, but at least you wanted to. If you don't want to make amends, then did you really forgive them?
@PeterTurner I must admit that your approval of the man does little to move me one way or the other. (We've had our run-ins on morality before, and I know you've admitted donating money to scumbags.)
So, @MonicaCellio, the gist of all of what I just said is that intent matters. God looks at the heart, not the outside. In a real sense, every sin you commit, even if it's directly against another person and not against God, is still a sin against God. So, I would think that apologizing to God would probably happen first, explicitly or implicitly. And then, the response to being forgiven should be along the lines of making amends.
Back to salvation - good works are not a requirement for salvation, but rather, a result of slavation.
Whoo. Okay, that was a lot of writing. And now I have to run off and take care of an errand. I'll be back soon though!
@waxeagle So, the design might ACTUALLY be done in 6-8 weeks! :D
6:55 PM
@El'endiaStarman from today, perhaps :)
I think Jin's busy this week with the MY stuff that is time sensitive
@El'endiaStarman The actual question is specifically about making amends for a wrongdoing, but the chat has mainly been about works/faith. (But then, @MonicaCellio, any discussion at all of what Chrisitians "should do" is going to lead to a faith/works debate.)
@TRiG yes, definitely this.
@waxeagle MY stuff? Is Mi Yodeya having some special event?
@TRiG he's designing some promotional material for them related to passover. it sounds kind of awesome
@El'endiaStarman Sounds about right. Catholics have the view that the house becomes spotless after confession. Also, if you die, you undergo very unpleasant cleansing unless you've made reparation for all the ways you've messed up the house.
7:04 PM
@El'endiaStarman thanks for adding to the discussion. It's interesting that your house metaphor is Jesus trying to get in, while (if I understand correctly) the others who talked about a house metaphor are talking about the person trying to get in (pounding on the door to get into Jesus's fold, IIUC).
@MonicaCellio I'll take mine a step farther and say that Jesus takes us by the nape of the neck and drags us into his house :)
@El'endiaStarman gotcha. And since I've been asking everybody else (so I can fit the puzzle pieces together), what is your doctrinal perspective, if you don't mind my asking?
@TRiG "any discussion at all of what Chrisitians "should do" is going to lead to a faith/works debate" - yeah, I'm starting to see that now. :-)
@TRiG meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1501/… (and other posts with the same tag)
@MonicaCellio Yep. El'endiaStarman is making a reference to Rev 3:20. I had made a reference to certain parables involving feasts. The former is focused on accepting Jesus, and the latter, the parables, have to do with the kingdom of heaven (e.g. usccb.org/bible/matthew/25 ).
@TRiG Even to the Calvinist it is weird and very difficult to understand. When the logic abruptly stops, rather than re-evaluate they call it antimony, which is similar to a paradox.
7:21 PM
@Alypius ah, thanks.
@TRiG My bad. A misspelling. Antinomy not antimony. I keep doing that with this word.
@fredsbend Aha. This begins to make a little more sense.
I made two answers that hint on the topic. They were some of my first so they are not that great. First and Second. Both are about Lutheranism, which takes a very Calvinist view on most things. HAHA. I actually spelled it wrong in both those posts too.
@TRiG ^^^
@fredsbend if you hover over your own message there's a dropdown that lets you edit
@Alypius Not that far back in time there isn't, unless you're a moderator.
7:35 PM
@TRiG the messages seem to be 0 minutes apart, am I looking at the wrong thing?
@TRiG You linked to this post on Daniel not being a prophet according to Jewish tradition, which I thought was interesting. That logic does coincide with my answer here.
@fredsbend When did I link to that?
Oh boy. I saw it earlier today but I have seen about 100 posts.
I'll try to find it.
@fredsbend Ah, yes. I recall that now.
@TRiG I would think to say that Christians would list Daniel with the Prophets because we consider that most of the prophecy has happened. But I don't really know what the Jew thinks about Daniel. Could just be a slight difference in definition.
@Alypius No, I didn't realize that it could be edited (within a time frame anyway). Thanks
7:44 PM
@fredsbend you might enjoy watching this: rockadoodee.com/whats-wrong-with-calvinism (shameless link to my own blog, but actually linking to a video by an Arminian scholar)
I want pie.
@fredsbend but don't forget that Lutherans are single predestinationists, not double
@TRiG thankyou and nom :)
will watch in full later. I didn't realize until today that the pi v tau debate existed
@waxeagle me neither
7:52 PM
think geek's contest made me aware of it, then things in diy chat now videos...
@waxeagle I wonder how many times Vi Hart has been linked to in this chat room so far.
@TRiG Well, I'll take two pies every day of the week. Math be supporting it or not! I had actually considered something like this my self before (when once upon a time I cared), but not even half to the extent of this. Very interesting.
@TRiG Two inspired meals worth by my count
@fredsbend Vi really knows how to make maths interesting. And her videos have excellent production values, too. She scripts and composes them well.
@TRiG Yes. A rare combination of someone who understands math and is creative enough to make an interesting video.
That aint me
The other day, I was asked how many sides a banana had. My immediate response was "Well, it would have to be a Fibonnacci number". And then we ended up watching Vi Hart's video on Fibonacci spirals in plants.
7:59 PM
@DanO'Day This is interesting. I may watch it. That's a pretty long lecture. The problem with Calvinism, as far as the believer is concerned, is not really its logic or points. It's that nearly every popular published theologian today is one. There are very few publishers that will print an Arminian perspective book.
@TRiG The correct answer is two. The inside and the outside. One you can eat and the other you can't. Again with the food!
@fredsbend no, bananas are 100% edible, the whole entire plant.
@waxeagle, @TRiG: numberphile had my favorite take on the pi vs. tau debate:
It gets hilarious near the end.
@El'endiaStarman cool, will check that out too. If I can pull myself away from Sequence tonight
or The Doctor
actually no, I forgot I've got errands to run tonight...dagnabbit...
@El'endiaStarman I'll watch that, then head to Toastmasters. (Today I'm grammarian, so I choose the word of the night. I've gone for dystopia.)
@waxeagle Can/Can't or can-and-is-enjoyable-and-socially-acceptable/can-but-is-likely-not-enjoyable-and-would-make-you-appear-socially-odd. Call me crazy but I'm a friend of literary value at the cost of exactness.
8:04 PM
@fredsbend /me needs to find some recipes for banana peels and post them here :P
@MonicaCellio I....don't really have a doctrinal perspective. I grew up Wesleyan, but I drifted away into non-denominationalism starting three or four years ago. Nowadays, I'm pretty much fully non-denominational, although my "doctrinal perspective" is such that all the rules and commandments that we have today are at worst legalism and at best simply expressions of a simpler reality. For instance, the thing about "intent matters" covers a wide range of distinct topics.
@TRiG Dystopia. Surely that would lead into Clockwork Orange and 1984 with a bit of Terminator, Right?
@waxeagle 1) Throw banana peel onto ground. 2) Wait. 3) Watch someone slip on it. 4) Laugh. 5) Run.
@waxeagle Being serious now about the subject. Amazonians eat the leaves of the banana tree ... with the guts of tarantula abdomen squished inside.
8:06 PM
@waxeagle cool
@fredsbend cool, I'd try it.
@El'endiaStarman A good recipe ... For disaster and and good times.
@El'endiaStarman ok, thanks! I'm just trying to match up theologies and labels to the extent I can. :-)
pennilessparenting.com/2010/11/… intrigues me...but I'm not sure I'd really be on board based on how it looks (the photography isn't very good on the blog which is a turn off for me)...
@waxeagle What about the rest ... The main body is seared on an open fire to burn off the abrasive hairs then eaten much how you would eat the heel of a loaf of bread without eating the crust. Then the fangs are used as toothpicks.
8:09 PM
@MonicaCellio It's good that you're making the effort. I think even seasoned Christians could have a hard time keeping straight all the theological positions <-> denominational labels.
@El'endiaStarman definitely
most of us have trouble explaining our own doctrinal positions concisely, let alone someone else's
@El'endiaStarman Those points are being assigned almost at random.
> Tau gets you nowhere.
@TRiG [laughs] Yeah, it's mostly for fun.
@El'endiaStarman Yes. Often you see books with the word theology in the title that are nearly 1000 pages. They also tend to have words like introduction and handbook in the title too.
@TRiG I love that one. Just wait a bit though, my absolute favorite is a bit later...
8:11 PM
@fredsbend lol, the college I went to had two different texts for doctrine and I ended up changing profs so I had to buy both :(.
@El'endiaStarman Insufficiently right.
@waxeagle Ouch! Your wallet is bleeding!
@fredsbend wasn't too bad and they are both good books. One was more readable than the other, but both were solid
@waxeagle What were they?
@El'endiaStarman I count in base 16, which, being a power of 2, is even better than base 12.
8:14 PM
@fredsbend I know one was JM Boice's book. Can't remember the other one, I'd have to go hunting. Boice's book is very good if you can get your hands on it. Lemmie amazon it
@TRiG Base 12 has more factors though. numberphile did a video on that too: Base 12
@El'endiaStarman Can't watch it now. Must head to Toastmasters.
@TRiG Seeya! Have fun!
@DanO'Day you might be interested in this question: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/14920/…
@fredsbend this was the other one: amazon.com/s/…
trying to find the Boice book still
8:25 PM
@MonicaCellio thanks for sharing!
@TRiG "Tau supporters are just hipster mathematicians." -Youtube comment
@waxeagle nice. thanks.
@fredsbend That's because it has become "Coolvinism"
@fredsbend note that both are texts used to teach doctrine at a PCA college so they are definitely Calvinist texts :)
@DanO'Day you're welcome. I suspect you may have an interesting perspective to add.
@MonicaCellio well, Orthodox folks have a unique way of doing this. We even have a forgiveness service once a year where everyone actually prostrates themselves before on another and begs forgiveness, but this has fallen into disuse among some ;)
8:28 PM
@DanO'Day wow, interesting. I assume it's a group thing, not pairwise with everyone in the congregation?
@MonicaCellio depends on how it is practiced, generally everyone goes up to everyone individually (we usually have smaller congregations)
@fredsbend it(calvinism) tends to be more cerebral. There are Armenian scholars, but I might hypothesize that a lot of Armenians eschew traditional theological scholarship in favor of writing more touchy feely books (that's a VERY broad generalization, and should be taken as nothing more than a hypothesis)
@MonicaCellio it is actually this Sunday
@DanO'Day is it always during lent?
@MonicaCellio so perhaps stop by your local Orthodox church and check it out :P
@waxeagle Lent starts on Monday for us, it is the Sunday before Lent
8:31 PM
@DanO'Day oh right, forgot that the orthodox keep a different calendar
@waxeagle ever heard of Jerry Walls?
@DanO'Day can't say I have, will look him up though
@DanO'Day lol. Yep. people just want to fit in.
@waxeagle I just posted a link to a video where he refutes Calvinism:
@DanO'Day inter-religion anthropology: the Jewish season of repentance is in the month of Elul leading into the high holy days (Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur). During that time we focus on making amends with anyone we've wronged (and haven't already set things right with), individually, and ask for forgiveness. Then on Yom Kippur we are in a position to ask God for forgiveness. The day of Yom Kippur is a really powerful experience; I really do feel scrubbed clean at the end.
8:33 PM
@DanO'Day dangit I forget the Dallas is an Arminian school :) some good stuff (and good folks) come out of there.
@waxeagle Maybe. It think you are saying that traditional theology takes the humanity out of it. It is just bare fact seeking. I do just want the facts often, but at the end of the day I want application too.
@DanO'Day y'know, I have no idea if we have one... (But also, I might feel weird going somewhere to watch, sit in the audience so to speak, when I'm clearly not there to participate.)
@waxeagle like @swasheck , although I don't know his soteriological perspective :P
@MonicaCellio Listening is participating.
@fredsbend in Orthodoxy, that is very true
8:35 PM
@DanO'Day thanks!
@DanO'Day In anyone with wisdom, I say.
@MonicaCellio @fredsbend but it probably would be uncomfortable because everyone usually goes up and confesses before the priest and then each other, so I can see not wanting to go
@fredsbend ah, well in that case that could pose a problem for me. Participating in someone else's worship is...complicated. I suppose I'll need to wait for the video. :-)
@MonicaCellio If you are worried about sin against God for going to a ceremony that teaches heresy, in your opinion, then I surely understand that. However, I always argue that if you are only truly seeking God then your motive is righteous. Trust that he will not tempt you beyond anything that you cannot handle.
Or I should say allow you to be tempted.
Before you all hop on top of that ;)
@MonicaCellio yeah video is probably best, but there are plenty of options around you if you ever want to check out a normal service. We go into Lent this week so maybe wait till after early May again when we go back to semi-normal :P
8:40 PM
gotta go.
@fredsbend adios
8:52 PM
@fredsbend @DanO'Day - it's something like that, yes. Foreign worship is taken pretty seriously in Judaism; it's not that God is going to smite me for it, but He will be very very disappointed and I don't want to do that. I wouldn't be seeking God there, just going as a student/observer, and of course God knows that, but it still feels kind of like jaywalking in front of the bus that you know should be able to stop in time, y'know? Why risk it?
I'm having trouble expressing this in a way that doesn't make it sound like my soul is fragile and easily corrupted. It's not that. It's about following God's commandments as they have come to me.
@MonicaCellio I get what your saying if that helps
(Among all the commandments there are only three that we must not break even at the cost of our lives. Idolatry is one of them. So if Christianity qualifies (and that, too, is complicated), then we have a problem.)
@waxeagle thanks. Not trying to offend anyone but just to explain. I'm curious about lots of things, but this may be one where that curiosity has to go unsatisfied. Unless, as I said, there's a video I can watch. :-)
@MonicaCellio makes sense to me.
And appreciate you hanging out and asking questions and trying to get a handle on our complicated mess :). I'm sure you've got similar complicated messes in Judaism :)
@waxeagle @MonicaCellio same here, no worries
@MonicaCellio I think I've actually had an experience similar to what you describe. I and my dad once went to the Sunday service at an Eastern Orthodox church that a friend-family attended. They use lots of icons and imagery and they use them to worship, so they are not idols. I still wouldn't have been able to worship they way they did because it would've felt too much like idolatry.
9:05 PM
I need to make it a point to answer this and this later
@waxeagle oh, certainly! We have plenty of differences among ourselves too. :-)
@DanO'Day Youtube is blocked at work so I'll have to check that out later. Is that what I think it is? Cool!
@MonicaCellio you've managed to stumble into one of ours that has basically raged for last half millennia :)
@waxeagle thanks. This question was my first venture into your community (other than cross-site mod-stuff that we've discussed elsewhere). I appreciate the welcome and everyone's willingness to answer my beginner questions.
@waxeagle well, why start small? :-)
@MonicaCellio :)
@MonicaCellio ...it would be a terrible joke to use the example of Cain and Abel...
9:14 PM
@El'endiaStarman well, I was thinking more like our internal theological differences. Cain and Abel aren't specific to us; you get to deal with them too. :-)
@MonicaCellio short video shows one way of doing, pretty common way
@MonicaCellio I think he meant the starting small part :)
@MonicaCellio I know. I was ma- waxeagle beat me to it.
@MonicaCellio but it is a great example of our perpetual theological strife in all of the abrahmic religions.
home time. I'll pop back through later. but probably not actually here again til 10 edt
@waxeagle Seeya!
9:24 PM
@waxeagle see ya! I'm going to need to drop off soon too; one more bug to address before tomorrow morning's code freeze, then Shabbat prep. I'll try to pop in later.
@MonicaCellio Have good squashin's! :P
9:41 PM
@El'endiaStarman @waxeagle any chance of posting my pope post before it becomes old news?
@PeterTurner ...now that you've told us, yes. :P
@fredsbend Really? I'm a latecomer to Calvinism that arrived (protesting the whole way) because nothing was really making sense. This is where logic meets faith, where reason and faith can cooperate instead of putting the other down.
Mind you logic doesn't save, faith does, but it does it without trampling all over logic.
And like math which is boring in a textbook but spectacularly beautiful in nature, catching a glimpse of the constructs of theology adds richness and spark to otherwise gloomy details.
@Caleb For me, the jury is still out on full Calvinism. I fully agree that antinomies do not necessarily imply a problem with the premises. In fact the very definition implies that the premises cannot be denied. Yes, this is where faith steps in. You would say "I don't and cannot understand how both of these can be true BUT I have reason to believe it so I do." I have never been one to pit faith and reason against each other. In fact I say they go hand in hand.
@Caleb Yes. Very true. I would go further to say that faith is made through logic, or it is at least strengthened if made through logic.
@Caleb I appreciate that description of math. ^_^
@Caleb I like the description of math here too, but I am having trouble with the analogy to theology. What do you mean 'a glimpse of the structure'?
9:56 PM
@DanO'Day I'm 12 minutes in and started to get annoyed. There is a lot of theatrics and it feels like he's poisoning the well before he's even started making an actual argument.
@fredsbend I personally would say that faith is strengthened by logic. In practice, we never have all of the information, so oftentimes we need to make a leap of faith that would be supported by logic, but may appear to be illogical.
@El'endiaStarman However, and why I chose my phrasing, is that sometimes we find that we were wrong all along because we ignored logic and jumped to faith too soon. I am alluding to the idea that we should always be open to being proven wrong.
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