In every instance when the Church has been assailed by one or another heresy, we find that many people are fooled by the heresy without actually understanding what is happening. Heresy is always presented as the truth and in this way many are misled.
-- Metropolitan Ephraim, Holy Orthodox Church in North America, 2001
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Created Names and Uncreated God
Reply to Mr. Tom Deretich, no.1
Mr. Deretich repeats his arguments that HOCNA is not preaching the heresy of Name Worshipping, which arguments circle about the accusations without giving a sound, dogmatic answer, while making a complete hash of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which only Name Worshippers would be so ignorant of Orthodoxy to believe. He also does not explain the physical proof of HOCNA's distorting their translations to reflect Name Worshipper's doctrine's. Anthony Bulatovich was also proven to have done the same to patristic and biblical texts.
The Name Worshippers / Glorifiers claim: “All the Fathers say that the Name of God is an Energy of God". But they never give the quotation or reference, because no Father has ever said that "the Name of God is an Energy of God".
Nowhere in any of the Old or New Testament Scriptures, nowhere in the Prophets and Apostles, nowhere in any of the Fathers and Great Theologians of the Church is there any expression or doctrine of the existence of an uncreated name. God has no name; indeed He is unnamable for He cannot be limited or comprehended and is ineffable. He alone is uncreated. A name is an intellectual process obviously created in the material mind of man by bioelectrical energy and expressed either in writing or sound in the air. It has no other existence: it is the creation of a creation.
Names have been understood, described, and explained as being of a created nature by all the saints and great Fathers, especially by St. Dionysius the Areopagite, the Three Hierarchs, Ss. Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor, John of Damascus and Gregory Palamas. God does not need words to communicate with man.
The doctrine of uncreated names is found in Platonic, Gnostic, Cabalistic, Talmudic and Magic teachings, but has not only never been accepted or taught by the Church of God, it has been anathematized many times.
Another claim of theirs is that they alone really know and understand St. Gregory Palamas. In fact, they do not understand him, but also do not know his writings. If they quoted him, they would see that he overturns their doctrines, because he follows the Fathers of the Church.
St. Gregory Palamas concludes, along with St. Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximus the Confessor, whom he quotes, that God's Energies are uncreated. St. Gregory proves this in his many works, with quotations from the Scriptures and the Fathers. He calls them "God's inherent and essential energies, which are uncreated". [St. Gregory, 150 Chapters in the Philokalia #92] How can a created name be an Energy of God?
The divine omnipresence is also an Energy of God. He sustains the creation, He is everywhere in it, yet not bound or limited by it, or identified with it. Creation and the uncreated divinity can never be confused. Ibid, #104]
[ St. Gregory, quoting St. Dionysius: "'The creative procession and energy whereby God creates individual essences' [Divine Names, 5:1] loosely and inexactly named from all things since it contains all things in itself." No name is an energy. [Ibid, #105]
"Grace, here distinguished from the Divine Nature, is not created, for no one would suppose a created thing to be the Nature of God". Isn't a name created? Here St. Gregory Palamas is commenting on a quote from St. John Chrysostom. [Ibid, #108].
St. Gregory the Theologian says, "He is 'Christ' the anointed on account of the Divinity; for it is the Divinity that anoints His human nature". [Theological Oration, 4, 21]
St. Gregory Palamas says, "Creation is the single work of the Trinity, no hypostasis has His own particular effect. The Divine Energy is one and the same for all Three: One God: They do not possess an individual power or will or individual energy. There is one impersonal power". [St. Gregory, 150 Chapters in the Philokalia #112] If the energy is personal or has a name, we introduce a fourth person into the Trinity. Since this newly named person must exist from eternity, as they do, and since it has a name, it has its own existence. What of the many Divine Names, as the Holy Fathers call them? Do we then have many gods as do the idolators? If this name has its own existence, it is equal to the Trinity, contrary to what Mr. Deretich declares.
"Divinity is also an appellation of the Divine Energy, according to the theologians", says St. Gregory Palamas. Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky and the 1913 Russian Synod based their position on this quotation. Yet, Anthony Bulatovich's followers declared this statement to be heretical.
If the name Jesus is uncreated, as the Name Worshippers say, then this name existed before creation. It is then a creation which God did not will to create, nor did create. God did not say, "I will create My Name, and it will make the world".
If the existence of the Name is before all eternity in God’s foreknowledge, as the new Name Worshippers claim, then since He foreknew all things, all creation existed before eternity and before being created. The foreknowledge of God differs from His Will and His creative Energies. If He did not will this creation, then God is a creator in spite of Himself, unwillingly. In such a case creation is Divine since it is before all eternity, although unwilled, then there is no difference between created and uncreated, "for only God is uncreated". This is clearly pantheism.
St. Dionysius the Areopagite declares, "…in Scripture, all the names appropriate to God are praised regarding the whole, entire, full, and complete Divinity, rather than any part of it. They all refer indivisibly, absolutely, unreservedly, and totally to God in His entirety…Indeed, as I pointed out in my Theological Representations, anyone denying that such terminology refers to God in all that He is may be said to have blasphemed. He is profanely daring to sunder absolute unity". [Divine Names, 2:1] The words, "all the names appropriate to God are praised regarding the whole, entire, full, and complete Divinity" and "they all refer…to God", and "such terminology refers to God", proves that the Fathers do not consider the Divine Names to be the Divine Energies, but human labels and names and terms for the Ineffable.
Name Worshippers / Glorifiers do not follow the doctrines of the Holy Fathers, and reject their doctrines and explications. Their “sainted” founder, Anthony Bulatovich declared that any one who did not accept his doctrines was a heretic, and outside the Orthodox Church. I am glad that I would be considered a heretic by them.