CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-15 - Kieran Lisney

Author Streamed Saturday February 15th, 2020

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I've had Kieran on my pre-recorded podcast several times and he has become a dear friend. We decided to catch up and just chat about whatever faith-related issues come up.

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Under Construction

These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
so we are live I'm with Karen Liz NIC here and say hello how's it going what do you been up to what you want to talk about today oh there's been a ton going on but I don't know I just we haven't we haven't had a conversation broadcasted before live I thought it would be kind of interesting to do watching my boy Matt go on a couple of times and some of the previous guests that you did like scheduled you know edited interviews with was kind of cool to see it in like a live context so I thought it'd be pretty cool plus sir there has been a lot going on as far as that transition and the orthodoxy and leaving Protestantism and also a growing interest I guess you could call it a growing interest a growing interest in young Earth Creationism because you and I never really discussed that before and since he came out as you know ye see I mean I've pretty much always held that position I've never bought into to evolutionary theory or you know people like to differentiate between Darwinian evolutionary theory and it's just it's all the same to me and I that what's his name Nicholas Critic that's yeah yeah yeah but that dude and I share a lot of the same beliefs so we connected slightly through the comments on your channel and yeah I don't know that's an interesting topic as well yeah so do you believe in the firm and firmament and geocentrism that um so I'm hazy on that stuff however what I do find interesting is the Van Allen radiation belt if that would potentially be some sort of like archetype of the the firmament or whatever you want to call it whatever scripture calls it because supposedly we don't have the technology now to go back to the moon which is why we haven't gone back to the moon since like 73 or whatever it is supposedly like NASA's been documented saying it video saying essentially that we just don't have the technology to do it anymore yeah we pour billions upon billions of dollars into the NASA space program every single year but we don't know where it goes right so the question is essentially where does that money go is it is it simply being pushed into a propaganda machine to make us think that they're doing a whole bunch of research in the ISS and all this stuff like it just it doesn't add up so we know like given supposedly there's no way that we can traverse the Van Allen radiation belt because it would just destroy every single ship that we have and if that's true then you look at the you look at like the the lunar module the one that landed on the moon and it's like essentially just tinfoil and like almost looks like PVC and tin foil put together somehow that got through the Van Allen radiation belt but now we can't surpass it for some reason which to me doesn't really make a whole lot of sense so I question it the like I said before the the details of it I'm hazy with but I'm typically skeptical of anything that they say oh we found this black hole in space or we found this Sattar the other it's like yeah we don't know you know 97% of what's in our oceans but we know more about space which is infinite seemingly infinite it's not really but you get what I'm saying it's big just yeah it's real big so I don't know that's interesting allegedly it's big but yeah you know I used to work in the Canadian Space Agency here in Quebec Canada and I was working on a small part of the Odin project which was an international just a small part of an International Space Station program and everything was coordinated code-named with the Norse gods you know Cyrus and it's interesting I mean my my little piece of the puzzle was so small I was just basically calibrating and testing one tiny piece of equipment that was going to be part it's hard to know what ultimate reality is especially if you approach it from a naive secular point of view if you have religion if you have gotten religion then these questions fade into insignificance as san agustin famously said we don't need to know about the stars in order to go to heaven and but it is you know I do agree that the truth is important every single aspect of the truth is important including the spatial coordinates and orientation of every single particle in the universe it is important and but in terms of conspiracy theories and all that sort of thing it's fun but I think a lot of its most of it is for referral I think it's demonic actually most of it it's just distraction yeah sure absolutely I think that it is super easy to get hung up on you know what's the Luciferian plan going on behind X Y & Z and really it is I mean speaking from experience it is a distraction from what's actually important which is your relationship with Christ and and following his statutes and commandments the one thing that I will say though a lot of people speculate are still like why would you even lie about something like that like why would you lie that space is you know just as gigantic as they tell us is you know that it is and essentially what I've come to the conclusion of is that it's essentially just to make us feel like we're insignificant and that if there is a God he's so far removed from us that it's impossible to communicate with him it's impossible to have a relationship with them so a lot of it has to revolve around essentially dismantling this idea of a personal God and I mean essentially that's all you have to know you know and but beyond that getting into the details it does just become a distraction at a certain point so yeah Salvation history what is what it's all about what is your particular role in Salvation history and what's your one-on-one relationship with God and with the Godman Jesus Christ in particular since we are man and God took on flesh and became a man and all things worse in its it becomes very central to the Christians life to have that personal relationship with the god man Jesus Christ and when it comes to judgment your particular judgment you're going to be alone with God and you can't blame Hitler or Nassau or any of the bad guys we won't be able to blame anyone we're gonna have to deal with the choices we made and you know the the evil that we did willingly and knowingly so yeah that's why yeah that's why I don't get too excited about conspiracy theories I'm a bit wary of them but I do admit that it's fun to get to think about it it's it's it's a sort of a comfort comfortable place you can sink into on your couch and say okay we understand the the big picture they're good guys bad guys and I'm on the good guys team and let's round up the bad guys but it's a little bit more complex complex than that because Christ died for the bad guys too right yeah absolutely absolutely what about hell did you have any reaction to Chris Bates interview do you believe in hell oh of course I believe you know yeah I don't right it's just unconvincing like there's there's it seems to be a growing trend to be honest with you I believe in annihilationism I just don't really understand the the want or the need to to rid that I think it comes from a an improper understanding of Hell altogether we do have like we have certain descriptive what I guess what could be called descriptive passages about help in in Scripture but we don't have a whole lot about it you simply know that it's eternal and that it's where you go if you don't want to be with God yeah this is CS Lewis said he said that the gates of hell are locked from the inside and learning from the Orthodox perspective of heaven and hell and not so much as a spatiotemporal place but more or less the state of being that you're in after you leave this life it's interesting because I think I've heard you even say before that hell is filled with the love of God is it my rights to fire yeah that's the fire that burns it and so hearing that before as a Protestant you don't really understand that but as an Orthodox Christian you realize that actually no that's the that's the classic Christian view is that it's it's not about being punished by God simply that you're not able to be in his presence and so rather than refining you and glorifying you it just burns you up and it destroys you essentially not in a nihilistic way but in a way that essentially just this is you're in a constant trajectory towards God from the moment that you say yes to Jesus Christ in this in this life now and then continuing on in heaven it's the same way with with the opposite you know we we can go into a constant trajectory to away from God and hell is no different so it is everlasting it's just a constant degradation of yourself because you don't want anything to do with God and so when you think about it in terms of that you know it's not just as simple as saying well yes I choose God but really if you do choose God I mean you're gonna follow him that's going to lead to salvation scripture says as much drew did tradition says the same thing the church universal has always said that and so it is your decision whether or not you want to go there so I don't really see the need to to castigate the person that says that you know hell exists and you can go there I just don't see I just don't see the reason behind that so what about purgatory because most Orthodox say there's no such thing or there's no explicit teaching a worth in orthodoxy of purgatory but nothing impure can stand before God do you think everyone is purified on earth before their death that ends up in heaven or do you believe in some sort of purgatory is there a form of Orthodox teaching that accomplishes the same thing as purgatory in the Catholic teachings yes so there's no like definitive teaching on purgatory as the Catholic Church would define it in the Catechism now we wouldn't we certainly would not say that every soul is is automatically per gated on this earth and then the minute that they that they are separated from their body they're with the Lord we we don't really make a claim on what exactly happens afterwards that's why we still pray for the dead because we believe that prayer is ultimately timeless it's outside space and time so people kind of get confused they say oh well you're praying for souls that must mean that you're you believe in purgatory and it's it's more nuanced than that there is a generalized view of what are called toll houses in in orthodoxy which essentially is a final testing allowed by God to see if you're ready to enter the kingdom of heaven but it's not dogmatic so you're gonna find orthodox that believe in it and some that don't there have been orthodox saints that have attested to it and there have been Orthodox Saints that haven't said anything about it at all so we don't we don't really know but as far as the one thing that orthodoxy I think would explicitly denies that there's ongoing suffering after death as a means of purgation it would essentially just be a test of some other form but we don't know the exact mechanics of it if God wants to somebody and obviously God he can do that so we just we don't make any definitive pronouncements on it we don't deny purgatory flat-out it's just like the unions in the Catholic Church you know the Eastern Catholics lots of them don't hold the purgatory they're allowed to believe in something sort of alternative to it so oh really it's a yeah yeah if you look there's actually there's a few doctrines that the are kind of split on like for instance st. Gregory Palamas he was condemned by the Catholic Church a number of years ago but then in in the recent future of the Catholic Church he was uncondensed at were because of his famous debate with bar Leone and the essence energies distinction and so there are a lot of Eastern Catholics when they first came to the Catholic Church and under the safety of the the Roman pontiff that essentially just threw out tons of Eastern Catholic tradition but have started to readapt a lot of it so you have Eastern Catholics that don't believe in purgatory that don't believe in absolute divine simplicity the way that Thomas Aquinas would state it etc etc it's very it's very complicated it's very nuanced and I don't have a great understanding of it but yeah interesting very interesting I'll have to look into that with the the Uniate churches that came back I just want to give a quick shout out to my friend lo Lord Mozart 308 I love that Dean he's in the live chat now and my new friend converse contender he's in the live chat just want to give a shout out I don't know if you listen to my interview he interviewed me on his channel Congress contender I just look so sweet guys it's great sweet pie it's Fanta yeah yeah that was fantastic he really opened minded it was really cool yeah so let's dig in a little bit to the divine energies what are the real distinctions between the Orthodox position and the the Catholic position because as we said in email we went back and forth a couple of times and I said there's that whole Franciscan school which takes a different approach to the divine of simplicity and different different subtle questions like that and Blessed John Duns Scotus makes some sort of formal distinction between the the reason the rational part of God and the volitional part of God so between free will and reason and God there's some sort of formal distinction that SCOTUS makes that Thomas Aquinas was unwilling to make or unable to make for whatever reason but just because you're a saint or and blessed doesn't mean that you're infallible it doesn't mean that you know everything that you can unravel all the mysteries of God certainly but just talk a little bit from your perspective where you think there might be a real difference between orthodoxy and Catholicism today that's really hard to say because I've gotten so many different opinions on it and it seems like a lot of people like I mean there there are Catholic dogmatic references reference books that you can go to like dens in ER is one of the most famous that have been use to to reference Catholic dogma and to be honest I'm not as familiar with what they would say on absolute divine simplicity simplicity if they take a more to Mystic sort of viewpoint on it I'd say that the Orthodox understanding of absolute divine simplicity is that there's no distinction between essence and energies so that might be a misconception on the Orthodox Christians art and so I'm trying to like wade through that and figure out is that actually what Catholic doctrine teaches if that if they do teach that dogmatically that there is no separation between essence and energy which I would find hard to believe because the Cappadocia pne's taught it many of the early church fathers taught the essence energies distinction and then it culminated in like the 13th or excuse me err there has always been this held belief that there is a divine simplicity to God but whether it's absolute and what absolute actually means is one of those things where it's kind of hard to parse out from a lay perspective somebody that's just looking into it so like my understanding of the essence energies distinction would be that we never interact with the essence of God his simple form we can only participate in the energies and the simple dumbed down analogy is essentially that if I were to come in direct contact with the Sun I would burn up and die I wouldn't actually be able to enjoy it or to communicate with the Sun but I can go outside and feel its rays and the energy of the Sun just as the plants do they use it to photosynthesize and make oxygen for us and so we're constantly in contact with the energies of the Sun and so the energies that are permeating off the Sun technically are the Sun but it's not it's not the essence of the Sun it's just the energy thereof and so that's what we would essentially say about God and so when you start to get into this distinction between essence and energies it affects pretty much everything about your theology it affects the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ it it has something to say about whether or not the Holy Spirit spy rates from both the father and the son or just the father you're the classic Filioque different difference in between Orthodox and Catholic it affects your so curiata G so how do you view heaven how do you hell it affects your eschatology I mean it literally touches upon everything so if there's an actual substantial difference between the Catholics and the Orthodox I've yet to really understand what that is because I get so many different opinions from both Orthodox and Catholics on that does that make sense yeah well when I look at these issues are so nuanced and subtle I what comes to mind is that sort of distinction between monism and monotheism is the infinite is the infinite distinct from the finite or is the infinite the source of the finite and there therefore the light is part and parcel of the infinite or you know I'm putting it in sloppy terms very sloppy terms but deification you know becoming you know heaven is partaking in the life of of God and entering into the life of the Trinity so that subtle distinction well is it like participation or is there a you know a real real entering into that essence and unification in a deeper level I I for one don't have a preference and whatever is true is good right and yeah I mean I could see dangers on both sides if we if we lean too far towards pantheism and monism well yeah we're every good monotheists ends up being a pantheist because that's all there is is God so in heaven expand theism but here below we were sort of being tested and if you're if you're a panther a pantheist here below you don't make it but if you're a monotheists here below then you get to enter into monies and more pantheism there's no if you if you lean too far that way then it would seem I think to obliterate our unique identity as individual persons and if so if you go too far the other way where there's you know you end up with something like Islam where the sovereignty of God is just sort of alienating so the the actual truth will be I think we should expect the unexpected when it comes to God and to heaven and our relationship with God but there are certain principles in the Catholic Church such that God in His sovereignty he's imperfectly simple but yeah and when he acts when he acts outside of the outside of the Godhead like in creation when God acts in creation it's always all three persons of the Trinity that are acting and what we have this attribution that were able to attribute to each of the three persons but there's the formal distinctions like this and when I think about the the perfections of God being identical among themselves and in God and with God all the perfections you know all the transcendental goodness truth beauty justice mercy life itself when we think about that infinite those infinite perfections how they're all identical among themselves and identical with God in the Godhead and then how here below we're able to parse them and treat of them separately when we talk about justice we're not necessarily explicitly dealing with issues of health even though they are connected and when we're talking about health were not necessarily explicitly addressing concerns about beauty but they are obviously connected and so all of the perfections here below can be treated piecemeal but at the same time they're all United and identical among themselves it would be we're not in a position here in this finite world to treat of each infinite perfection as as being I all of them as being identical among themselves we sort of we're sort of forced by our finite nature to treat them piecemeal so those are just some of my reflections on this whole question of essence and energies but it really it's really bullet really beyond me for the most part same yeah I would agree so are you happy with your orthodox journey have you got a spiritual director that you're continuing with talk a little bit about that yeah and I apologize if I'm shaking at all I'm super cold it's my basement oh my wife and my wife and my son are upstairs and he's about ready to go to sleep so you want to grab a sweater uh I don't want to go upstairs and disturb him so I'm just gonna kind of wing it I have mice I have my space heater right next to passive yes I do have a spiritual director father Hector he is the head pastor whatever you want to call him there's three priests at my church and the father deacon Theo dossier was just ordained like two and a half months ago so he's like a baby priest and father Hector is an arch priest so he's my father or he's my father confessor my spiritual director the whole nine but I'm still technically not a catechumen there is it's a delicate situation because of my wife she has no interest in becoming Orthodox so the ideal the ideal way to enter the church would be for my son and for my wife to come with me but yeah we're slowly starting to see that that might not be a possibility so yeah yeah I sympathize obviously you know my situation my wife's anti-catholic so that's never gonna happen or well it might happen but it'll be one of the greatest surprises one of the greatest miracles that ever happened yeah on God's green earth but I think I think your wife is probably a little bit more amenable given the fact that she's at least a Christian I an acting Christian oh yeah yeah she's like just a church yeah right she goes to that Baptist Church that I used to go to I still go with her on Sundays to support her but I do alternate like tomorrow I'm going to liturgy because I want to see sounds like yeah so there is the the the compromise on both ends I'll spend you know most Saturdays going to Vespers if I know that I can't go the liturgy on Sunday or whatever so it's a nice it's a it's usually a good occasion when I get to go to liturgy which is like once or twice a month it's also difficult I have a ten-month-old so like taking him to church my wife's church is at 10:45 and that's like right around it's nap time so like if I can't go with her to help take care of the baby because he's gonna be fussy and ornery and all that stuff like she just pretty much opts out of going because to go by herself is really a pain in the butt with you know our son and she doesn't get anything out of it anyhow so I like to I like to go with when I can so that I can at least encourage her to continue searching and that kind of stuff though yeah do you mind if I ask a couple of questions about your your move away from Protestantism into orthodoxy and how it bears on your relationship do you mind if I ask you about that yeah go ahead knit your one flesh because of the sacrament of marriage you agree yes so you should be able to communicate with your wife on a deep level and a very meaningful level about spiritual things and so it would seem to me that given the fact she's a practicing Christian you would be able to explain very clearly what opened up for you in your heart and mind that brought you to where you are today and so is the impediment that it's impossible to communicate or is it that everyone has to chew on and digest these ideas and come to it on their own or what's what's happening because it's very frustrating to me that people don't that people take a lot of time to adjust their position even if they are one flesh with their spouse and they they see a beautiful transformation or maybe they maybe she doesn't see it as a beautiful transformation but I certainly do but just talk a little bit about that intimacy that you have and why there is still a barrier and maybe free will is the key there I don't know but maybe you could just talk with that yeah I've talked a lot about a lot in my spiritual director about this you know what's the best way to communicate what I'm going through with my wife because my wife and I are best friends you know I spend all my time with her we know each other like the back of our hands we're gonna be together until the day we die so there is an intimacy there but I think when we're talking about up can you hear me I can hear you but your camera went off there that's okay it's a low power mode on my phone I might have to plug it in soon but I'm good for right now but essentially my my wife is she's basically just confused by the whole thing because she saw me as a Catholic then she saw me as a Protestant now she's seeing me as an Orthodox Christian and so you have to understand in in seven years that's a lot of change and transition and so she's just not I think she's kind of preparing herself for me to not be Orthodox in a year is if that makes sense and also I have a tendency to try and over explain to my wife and that doesn't really get us anywhere because my wife is very unfamiliar with Scripture and with theology as a whole so when I try converse with her and to explain the position in the area that I'm coming from to her it's basically like I'm starting from step 100 instead of step 1 and I don't know how to get back to the basics if that makes sense I don't know how to get back to the to the basics of even what the gospel is because even my view on what the gospel is has changed a little bit if that makes sense and yeah so I'm trying moreso to communicate my transition into Orthodoxy through my actions as opposed to my words and hopefully she'll see that and and notice hey there's something different about Kieran and I want a part of that is that the advice you got from your spiritual director yeah yeah pretty much actions speak louder than words absolutely yeah but the I understand everything you said then it makes sense but the the kernel of it really is the love and the union that you have to become one but you're still two you still have free will I mean this is the the essential the central point I want to focus on is the fact that you are one you do you do love each other in a very intimate way there's a DVD out there's a deep knowledge but there's still freewill and she's able to think her own thoughts and she has a different set of assumptions and much of the knowledge that you have is not really communicable because you need a certain basis for that knowledge you need a certain context for a knowledge sure yeah so there there will always be a little bit of a barrier this is what I'm this is what I'm getting at really is that barrier between husband and wife is it is it important is it important to you to get to the point where you could be on the same page because it will increase your intimacy even more or spiritually oh dude that's what I desire more than anything that's what I want for my wife and I but I think behind all of this is something that might even be a little bit more important which is that even if her and I aren't on the same wavelength spiritually right now it's the level of respect that her and I can still have for one another in allowing us to go and explore and do our the level of understanding that my wife has for me as a human being let alone a human being that changes his mind on things pretty regularly it's astounding the kind of patience that she has and so it's it's no different with this the fact that she says yeah go do your thing go go to liturgy go to best brews join the church do do what you want to do I think to me it means a lot though I do greatly desire to have her there with me but I think in the Liz new family specifically you know all the men are sort of I don't want to say cursed that's not the right word but we we all have the same with my father and my stepmother she's not a Catholic it's the same with my brother and his wife she's not a Catholic they're all Christians of some form or another but there's something about the Liz Neiman where we are very strong and this I don't want this to sound you know like it's most you know yeah like it's boasting or anything like that but essentially the Liz Neiman do have a very strong spiritual sort of sort of side to us and ironically enough it comes from the matriarch of the family my dad's mom so for some reason she passed on to all of us men the the strong spiritual side that she had and so that's where all of our hearts lie that's what we see is the most important and we tend to attract women that don't necessarily have the same sort of thing and maybe that's good because otherwise we might be tempted into pre lust or something like that but you know for us it just seems to be the pattern and and I think that's what I think that's ultimately what God has called us to because sometimes I look at people like couples at church and I'm like man I'm envious of that like they have their whole family here the husband and the wife are both receiving communion together with the same sort of reverence that's really beautiful but I have an awesome opportunity to really be saved essentially through my wife and through my son because now I have an extra cross that I have to carry that God has given me and so I fully believe that God has given me my my wife for a reason and if that's you know if if this is a part of that which I'm sure that it is then I wanted exactly how it's supposed to be I don't want it I don't want it manipulated so that it can temporarily benefit me or make me feel better or comfort me or whatever so yeah what about I want to ask a sort of peripheral question about your transition into Orthodoxy have you encountered a lot of animosity between those you may be on social media or maybe in real life more likely in social media but the truth the two camps fighting each other Orthodox and Catholic there's some sort of Facebook group that someone invited me to and I'm on it and I see some of the back and forth which is not terribly productive it's a lot of antagonism animosity how much of that are you exposed to and what's your attitude toward that sort of Bible it is it's prevalent everywhere on social media now there are the occasional what it's sort of this thing where it's like the the one Orthodox are the one Catholic that says like hey guys like you know it's probably not the most productive thing for us to be calling each other papists and you know divided Orthodox and all this kind of stuff and heretic and schismatic and bla bla bla bla bla the first person that says that gets chastised and eventually is said like oh you're just a liberal you know you're just a liberal thinking person and you want to compromise on the faith and so it is everywhere and it's really easy to be sucked into that sort of mentality and for me like I do like the first thing I do when I look at a video is scroll through the comments haha like I don't know if you do that yeah sure a lot of I'm sure a lot of people do that but dude I scroll through the comments I'm like all right let's see what trolls are out today and it's like my immediate response is like dude I want to totally just destroy them but that's been part of that's been part of my my growth right now like I don't know as much as I think I know you know what I mean and so like I should probably especially especially if it's at the expensive I want to debate you like what it what has I mean has debate really ever in the history of the world changed the opponent's mind it might have changed like one of the viewers mind of that particular debate or whatever but they're they're definitely speaking polemics that that sort of thing when you get into that area it just is like yeah I don't know if Christ would have been speaking like this like I don't get help even when he rebuked the Pharisees called them brood of vipers and you know essentially just destroyed them and ripped them up one side down the other it really it was a different flavor than a Christian who's totally imperfect and not God doing even worse than what Jesus did to the people that were unbelievers and so like I don't know dude it's it's a fine line like it's really hard like yes the truth matters yes we have to stand for what we believe is the Orthodox faith both Catholic and the Orthodox and Protestant even I'll throw them in even though I mean come on Protestantism but still like everybody is convinced of their own beliefs and it's we're just trying to figure that out and we should have a spirit of loving and kindness rather than trying to just rip each other apart it's it's really it's really tempting to do that though yeah I evolved into a sort of state of mind where I don't see argumentation as useful in apologetics I see argumentation as useful for those who are already committed to their worldview so if I were a good Hindu I'd want to look at all the arguments for Hinduism and hopefully I would look at also at the arguments against Hinduism right and I think if you're you know I think God God God loves the Hindus and Christ died for Hindus and every Hindu that goes to heaven is saved by Jesus Christ right and there's no other name under heaven that can save so I'm not worried about the Hindu but I want them to to dig into their faith and to find arguments for and against their faith and it's sort of an in-house project same thing with the Protestant ask you know I like to ask questions about Authority obviously as you know and about Canon of Scripture and these sorts of things but making arguments I don't find that useful in apologetics where you try to change someone's position but just having questions or conditional statements like if this then the implications are that and if yeah if the other then there implications this way and you know food for thought rather than making an argument and the reason one of the reasons I think argumentation is not very productive in apologetics when it comes to changing someone's mind to change camps is that you won't be you won't have converted them from their world view to your world view you will have converted them from their world view to some human reasoning I think st. Paul said something about this in perhaps in the book of Acts or one of his epistles but I don't think about the human reasoning can't save you and only Jesus Christ in save you and it's the power of God and argumentation for that reason I see argumentation as good for you when it comes to testing your faith questioning your faith and not only that but bolstering your faith and building a confidence in the faith if I meet if I meet someone with a different world to you and they're very very confident of their worldview and they're not interested in converting me and they're not you know asking me to convert them then I'm very happy to just admire the confidence that they have to the extent that it's rational self consistent and to explore the common ground and you know it's a different mindset altogether from that sort of polemic mindset and so yeah my my attitude has changed a little bit over the past couple years doing these doing these podcasts and being exposed to so many different people with different worldviews yeah I can imagine because it's not like especially you know in your position and the opportunities that you get to speak with other people it's not like you run into a Hindu every day or what was that lady that you recently had on she was a universalist and near-death experiences yeah yeah yeah it's like whoa I mean I guess maybe without knowing it you do run into people yeah yeah that was wild and some of the some of the things that you said were just like oh yeah okay can say good points there but like it's funny how immediately the first thought is oh I just want this person to be dismantled basically and it's like that's really not a good attitude to have like I had a conversation yesterday one of my Protestant buddies and he was like whoa we were trying he was just asking me like okay so like what what is it that you believe now as an Orthodox and etc etc we started talking about this what about once saved always saved he's a big proponent of eternal security and I was like yeah I don't believe it and I took him to the passages in scripture where it clearly shows that we don't have eternal security just by once at one point in time believing in Jesus and we kept going back and forth and by the end of it I was like dude like you're the one that said you believed in Sola scriptura and I'm showing you these passages in context and you're not listening like you're just you're using your feelings to try and argue your point and by the end of it it was like we didn't come to any agreement like I didn't make him see my side of it he was just obstinately in in this position of like yeah I'm going to stick with my position no matter what and I kind of had to be like okay yeah like that just is what it is like it's only the power of God that's gonna change somebody's mind in a lot of cases and that can beat God I can use it through debate you can use it through conversation you can use it through simple dialogue you can use it through books through the internet through I mean for me for for believing Protestantism with this podcast you know you use you the change my mind them a lot of things and so it's just a matter of as to whether or not we're gonna be honest with ourselves and say yeah maybe I should read some of the positions I'm holding because the first thing that we're tempted to is pride and we have this idea that like while at least I do I know that pre less gets to me a lot where it's like oh I'm worlds above everybody else as far as spirituality goes it's like hearing the fact that you just thought that thought completely self refutes it just totally refutes everything you just said and it's like yeah that's true I'm actually nothing's like legitimately nothing there's nothing there's there's there's basically nothing that I have to offer to anybody else so why I think like oh you know I have all of these answers it's just ridiculous like it's the position that I'm starting to understand that I need to take is one of humility but my my flesh doesn't want to let me do that in a lot of ways because I want to try and think my way out of things I want to try and you know pride my way out of things it's a it's definitely difficult like trying to work past all that into admit like yeah I'm not as great as I actually think I am and I could be wrong about a lot of stuff yeah I think another idea to bear in mind when you're talking with people who have opposing views and especially those who want to force their opposing views down your throat or to prove a point with you the approach that I like to take is one of prayerfulness where you're just you just looking at the salvation history that you're here and now and that this person Christ died for them and they're on a journey there on a faith journey with a lot of twists and turns and they're gonna end up ultimately in heaven or in hell and so any time that you spend in focusing on this human being is a time of prayer for their eternal salvation and of course for your own eternal salvation like they are a means of sanctification for you and you are a means of sanctification for them especially if you're praying for them you know praying for their eternal salvation and not not judging the heart I mean if someone says Kieran I'm a young person and all my friends are doing sex orgies with lots of nasty drugs and making snuff films and seems like a lot of fun should I join in I want say no don't join it but you know we need to have some sort of discretion when it comes to guiding people we have to we have to correct people when they're going astray in a way that is obviously dangerous for them and if we have some sort of relationship with them or we're able to correct them or to guide them that's a necessary component of of your interaction with them but for the most part of here and I don't talk with another adult I think the emphasis really should be prayer and they're in their eternal salvation your eternal salvation and how this moment this particular moment right now is playing out in front of all the angels and saints in heaven that are watching and it's going to be played back right at the general judgement everyone's going to see what your intentions were what your yeah you know were you being manipulative what are you being vain were you being self seeking everyone's gonna see everything so you may as well get in the habit every moment in every interaction I get in the habit of making it a good interaction and a good interaction is a prayerful interaction which is focused on the eternal salvation of yourself and the people that you're interacting with so what do you think of that idea and I think that any any Christian that's seeking after God and truly based their faith seriously would still admit that all of that sounds really nice and it can be wrapped up in a in a pretty little bow but it's so hard to like when you're in the moment dude yeah like you know how many times I have to catch myself and I'm like okay dude bite your tongue like stop and like this stop and I that's one thing that I've loved about my journey into orthodoxy is like I mean I'm always sort of done and held to an examination of conscience but I mean like I don't know if you have you ever tried just like as you go throughout your day writing down sins of omission sins of sins of thoughts sense of word sense of gene as you go throughout your day I did this for like a few days in a row and like usually by the afternoon it was like this is countless like I can't even I can't even look at this but it's like I'm so acutely aware that I'm sinning anymore when and it's and it's things that like you know all the big stuff I mean I come from history of drug abuse and and alcohol addictions and so my past is really shoddy like it's not the best and I think about like you know God delivered me from these huge sins in my life and now that I'm pursuing him it's kind of like when you're a kid and you know like I don't know about you but like when I was five years old spilling a cup of juice was like the equivalent of not being able to pay my mortgage today it was like just astronomically huge like oh my gosh dude trouble this is the most serious thing that's ever happened to me I'm literally going to die if I don't fix this I I don't I don't want my mom to see this and sin is kind of the same thing where it's like looking at it and trying to balance like God is completely full but it's a it's a good thing that now I'm starting to see some of these sins I didn't care about before like whether it's whether it's talking you know behind somebody's back some gossip or whether it's losing my temper and small things just losing my patience or maybe thinking I thought that is is less than admirable from a Christian standpoint it's like before these things wouldn't have really bothered me but you know it's like yeah I need to start working on these things because they are serious like these are actual things and this it all centers around pride and a lot of it does and so interactions with people my biggest temptation is to be right is to be correct and so making that into a prayerful dialogue is something that in retrospect looking back to a conversation I can sort of say like yeah I hope some good came from that god please use that for good but in the moment it's sort of like that you're wrong so like here's why you're wrong and so it's it's an ideal and treating conversation that way I think is you know especially adult to adult having that prayerful sort of dialogue it's something that's really important but I think as most Christians would admit unless you're a saint it's easier said than done for sure sure so what else do you want to touch on before I let you go because I do have another interview I need to prepare for is there any other topic that's been burning on your mind with respect to orthodoxy or Catholicism or differences that still exist between you and your brother and your father in terms of theology that you think feature I can email you about but yeah I mean the one thing that I will say is that there's been some interaction between myself and that Lord Mozart character we had were his real name is really nice guy yeah I wanted to formally extend the offer to him we are and and you me and Aiden have spoken to you about this before for people that are listening that don't know Aidan's my brother and we're doing the novenas like we've just been doing that continuously for a few months now and then just picking an attention after nine days and a lot of people saying like oh we're like they're bringing a fool you know five decades a day of the Rosary but we're not we're just doing one Hail Mary and prayer the st. Joseph's terror of demons and so the next round is gonna be for Lord Mozart for his transition into Catholicism finding the truth and etc etc Thanks but I did I did extend the invitation that if he wants to get in on that action that he should definitely do that because dude it's already my mom I think I told you maybe the last time we spoke I don't know but uh it was sort of off the record that we were praying for my mom and she she yeah she contacted me and was like hey I want to go to church with you and Title II hasn't thought about Church in years and years and I'm fully convinced that it's and it's definitely Theotokos definitely this day is focused but I think that st. Joseph's is really just like working on some generational and family family you know tree demons in our in our tool is new family we have a laundry list of you know the same kinds of sins throughout the Lizzie history yeah and I think he's starting to work on those and break down barriers and stuff and it was just amazing that my mom call didn't want it to be uh wanted to come up to my church that she did that and she said cool I'm gonna come back which I was really I was really surprised that yeah so like yeah I mean it's really powerful so I think that we all need to get behind prayer but it'd be really cool if we could get like a whole group of men women who ever people that are interested on having an active prayer life I don't know I know if I know how hard it is from experience to establish a prayer rule but once you get your prayer rule going once you had your daily you know your daily practice the main thing is to keep it as consistent as possible yeah so if you're gonna set aside your time in the morning whether it's 20 minutes whether that's 15 minutes maybe 10 minutes that night just make sure that you don't miss it no matter what and the consistency is what counts and finding that more and more like if I miss you know one session of prayer or whatever it might be it's like you can definitely feel the difference and so anybody listening that that is that is interested in getting in on that action and maybe need some guidance in that area get a spiritual father and they can help you better like it but at the same time there is stuff that you can do from a lay perspective that if we if we unite in prayer it really really helps especially to the last thing I'll say is that we might have these doctrinal differences or whatever my brother and I are a perfect attestation to that fact that he's Catholic I'm Orthodox but we do community gather in prayer and that keeps the true spirit of a human is alive as opposed to this faucet we don't deny that we have differences we don't deny that we belong to separate canonical churches that's not that's not the point the point is is that we still want to commune together in some way and this is the way that we're told to do that so yeah that's it amazing well the last thing you're gonna say is you're gonna talk a little bit about your your own podcast you guys yeah just just talk us through what we can expect when we can expect it and what sort of content you're gonna have and how you and your brother are gonna play different roles or you're going to play the same role in the podcast just talk a little bit about it please it's gonna be called ascending the ladder from east and west and essentially it's playing off what I was just speaking about communion together between the Orthodox and and Catholicism but more than that I think gaining Christian traditions and we're going to emphasize the importance of extra biblical reading because a lot of a lot of Protestants don't like extra biblical reading but as Catholics and Orthodox absolutely love it and it's important and it's good I know that your mentoring into the Philip Kalia yeah I started reading that a little bit but I'm sticking with st. Anthony Chaisson the Incarnation reading ladder of divine ascent by it's by st. John clematis and so we're the idea is we're gonna pick it's gonna be kind of like a study group we're gonna have we're gonna pick one one book one spiritual book by a father of the church and we're going to go through it semi meticulously and we'll pick a new book for each series in the podcast as a whole so the first series that we're going to be doing is on st. john climacus --is ladder of divine ascent and we're gonna go it has 30 steps in it so what could be the equivalent 30 chapters all in all releasing a podcast I think on I think we agreed on a bi-weekly basis right now would take about eight months and the first podcast is gonna be we did a couple trial runs like I was telling you before we went live and got some good cakes but work we're gonna rerecord the intro episode Aiden's finishing up some schooling and then he's gonna start reading the ladder divine essence-- so as he's reading it we plan to start going through it and so we'll have the first introductory episode recorded by this weekend and I'm hope with next like two weeks or so once I get the RSS feed going and all that squared away everything edited I would hope within the next two weeks or so we would have the first episode posted but I also don't want to post an episode and wait another month or so until Aiden can start reading the book before we release it so that'll all be hammered away but you know I'll keep y'all fresh on the updates noms they answer yeah we'll put a link in the description once you have the link and we'll definitely I mean I will definitely be looking forward to that and I look forward to it I'm going to read that book too I bought the book because of you the latter of ascent and what which century did he write that book so st. john climacus was i believe in the fifth century he was around the I believe he was the fifth or fourth century yeah very very early on but basically john climacus was essentially a hermit living in the caves in the desert and so after after years and years and years solitude and extreme asceticism people started catching wind about him and so he was he was commissioned by I don't know if it was a Metropolitan from his area yeah I think metropolitan Metropolitan Phil arete I think that he commissioned that the that st. John would write this as like an instruction manual for ascetics and so he took it to upon himself to write that yeah and so the details of that that could be fuzzy it's been a little while since I've read the introduction and all that kind of stuff but basically the really revered father that churches looked at sort of along the lines of st. Anthony the great who's kind of like the pioneer of the desert monasticism and monasticism as a whole because this all kind of corresponds with the Edict of Milan and the legalization of Christianity and of course with that the end of martyrdom and so people were looking for a way to continue on because they were seeing that Christianity was becoming this super nominal thing and so st. john climacus st. anthony saint moses the black like all these guys are pioneers of the the ascetic life and where we get all different forms of monasticism from so this book is kind of it's kind of similar to the imitation of Christ for the Catholic lay person that knows what that is which is also fantastic it's kind of like that only it's much earlier and it's a it's a different foot yeah I'm reading st. Maximus the Confessor is that are you saying he's uh he's a little bit of a departure from the other writings in the Phil Oakey Lea so far he's going more philosophical more into depth about theology and yet which century did he live do you know he was I think in the heat but were the ninth century he had a he had a participation I believe in the seventh ecumenical council if I'm if I'm not mistaken now don't anybody quote me on that cuz I'm not a church historian but if I remember correctly its its eighth through ninth century that Maximus the Confessor lived so i because i if i'm not mistaken he's actually he actually is venerate the west and so if that's the case it's a great indication that it was pretty schism but off the off the top of my head I'm pretty sure it's eight or nine if I'm mistaken on that I'll write it in the comments or mean I'm excited about it but it's a so um this is about you but I wanted to get your feedback on our friend Matthew Murdock what do you think is happening how is his voyage going I don't say too much because we're alive I can't edit but he's a dear friend and he's he's still a Christian but he's exploring a lot of avenues you know pertaining to annihilationism has some doubts has some doubts about some pretty fundamental doctrines of Christianity such as the Trinity Eve and that's being called into doubt somewhat he's open to the idea that God's not a Trinity so what are your impressions of his journey it's been a long and a very long and complicated journey for our dear friend what do you think where do you think he's at today well I just spoke with him last Sunday my son and I were on the way to the grocery store I was like dude I got to call that man in talk to him because I watched his livestream the day before and I was like I was kind of bummed out because I came in on the portion where he was speaking about the Trinity and you guys were talking about the essentialism of specific doctrine you know like what constitutes a quote unquote saves person if you want to use the term saved which I don't I'm just kidding but uh Matthew is like that's a good dude I love Matt and he's so he's so genuine and he just wants to know it's true just like we all do but there is it's weird because he was on such a spiritual high from his retreat and it was really cool to hear him like that like calling him while I was on a jobsite and talking to him the one day and I was like dude it sounds like a totally different person and so to see like kind of coming back and in questioning things like it's okay to question but I just want Matt to get out of his head for a little bit he has the Kiran syndrome you know he has this syndrome where it's like I need the answers and I need them now and if I can't get them then all is lost and I'm just gonna basically dig myself into a hole and die and that's like dude it's it's difficult it's really difficult I I do worry about some of the some of the positions that he could potentially wander off into especially when it comes to annihilationism or obviously more importantly the Trinity and the Trinity is the basis of of the faith I mean I I think the one thing that I would say to Matthew if he's listening which at some point I know he's going to be because he's a CBS junkie is that dude if if the Trinity is not in the same way that it's already stated true three persons one being and God is love as Saint John says I mean love is not just like it's not just a flat attribute of somebody there has to be an object of that love in order for it to be true and so if you're being tempted into some sort of modalism or some form of Arianism or whatever the case might be who was it that God loved before the foundations of the world and I think that a lot of people don't think about that maybe that's not as strong as a point as I think that it is but to be honest like it it is kind of a strong point god did God just love the one person in the one being or did he love if he loved the others in the triune Godhead that he loved the Holy Spirit that he loved Christ the son from all eternity to Eternity and like that's a question that's not really ever answered by people that don't believe in the Trinity because there's not really a good answer for it if God just loved himself in the way that you or I love ourselves well that sounds that there's not really a whole lot to that that's kind of easy to do but loving loving the other persons of the Holy Trinity is something that I think has immense significance and if God is love then an object of his love has to be there and I posit that it's the three persons of the Trinity and so and and he he was a it's not even not even two months ago with that other Protestant fella that you had on that like celebrating Jewish holidays and all that kind of stuff forget his name Jeremy Jeremy yet yeah I mean he's a he's a modal list though he doesn't like to admit it he's dead his position is modalism and it's been condemned for 1500 years and so Matthew at that point was like man that's really sad that he would go into modalism so it's just kind of like oh gosh that sucks because now Matthews kind of in the same boat mm-hmm and uh breaks my heart but you know yeah I'm a little bit I'm a little bit disappointed too but you have to it's like having a child you have to let the child play and if Ric is you know scratches knee and all that I've never had a child that I know of so I can't really relate to parenting but you know when you love someone you want them to to be okay and the feeling that I get as a Christian is that I have a loving father in heaven I have a loving mother the mother the mother of God Mary yeah I have my mother the church I have my brothers and sisters the Saints and there's zero anxiety about doctrine with me if I don't know if I don't know the answer I have zero anxiety I think to myself well my loving mother has the answer I don't need to worry about it you know if I want to look it up I know where to look up the answers what does Mother Church teach what is she always taught and what sort of wait does that particular teaching have if it has a lot of weight then I give it a lot of weight if it doesn't have a lot of weight I don't need to give it a lot of weight you know and so yeah it's there's no anxiety for me to know everything about Catholicism I never I never said to myself I if I'm gonna be a Catholic I have to know know and understand and memorize every answer every question I just thought I have I have a father in heaven I have a mother I have brothers and sisters and it's I'm within the safety of the arc and I'm on my way to heaven I'm I'm a fallible sinner and my energy should go into you know saying yes saying yes to grace and no to sin that's where I focus all my energy it's not about doctrine for me it really isn't and people might be surprised to hear me say that because I spend a lot of time talking about doctrine and when I talk to non Catholics I tend to you know sort of contrast their doctrine with my doctrine but it's it's only with a view to getting them into the safety of the Ark so they can relax kick their feet up on the table like I am and enjoy being loved loved by God the Father being having the comfort of Mother Church having the comfort of all the saints and all the beautiful writings and teachings but yeah it's really not about a doctrine frame but with Matthew I feel don't feel like I'm picking on you or whatever I know you're you're such a good sport and I love you and I wish you lived close to me so that we could hang out because we'd probably do metal heads and play like super crazy music together and talk about God all day which would be awesome but like I just want you to think about not only what David just said as as far as not getting so hung up on the minutia of theological points and doctrine and and all that kind of stuff and just sort of giving it up to to the heavenly host unto God but this take the understanding that the East has of what it means to be a true theologian you know there have been absolute morons according to the world's definition of what is of what it is to be intelligent that are considered true theologians of the Orthodox Church because to be a theologian it's not just what you definitionally know about God but it is what you know God to be it is how you know God it is what you experience from God and so there is unfortunately a level of subjectivism with it from I guess a purely philosophical standpoint but dude it's either I mean you have to admit like there's there's there's a form of of cyclical thinking and reasoning to every worldview and so if you get hung up on the fact that these sorts of problems are cyclical in nature you're just gonna drive yourself mad because of course they are but every every single worldview is cyclical yes or not there I mean eventually you have to appeal to Authority that's not something that you can comprehend with your five senses like it just it just doesn't work like that Nathan you can't name one single person that can prove anything from their worldview that's not cyclical in reasoning for a thought and so we don't need to be ashamed as Christians to say that yes we do unfortunately have to admit a level of that sounds kind of contradictory not that we unfortunately have to admit but we do have to admit that we do have a level of cyclical thinking that we have to appeal to in order to believe the things that we believe but guess what so does the the the person believing in scientism so does the atheist so there's the Buddhists so there's the Hindu so does the nyla so there's the materialist I mean it on and on and on and on and on so you need to get into prayer like just to beyond you get into prayer and when I was talking earlier about prayer wool and really really just placing yourself under the mantle of the mother of God that's that's what has to be done and if you're not comfortable with doing that with the Theotokos then just do it with Christ this is st. Pius II o said he is a great saying that the of the Orthodox Church he was a monk on Mount Athos and he died in the 94 he was recently canonized I think back in 2015 or something like that and when he was a little boy and he would he was aspiring to become a monk and one of his brothers who was envious of him because he was sort of like the golden child about one of his friends who believed in Darwinian evolution it convinced him that Darwinism is true and this greatly disturbed this 11 year old st. and so he ran off into the woods into a stay bird spot to pray and so he prayed and prayed for hours upon hours prostrating himself before God and saying please if this is true if Darwinian evolution is true like give me a sign if you are actually the son of God Jesus please sign and for hours and hours nothing happened and so we fell down exhausted and he finally said to himself you know even if you are only a man even if you aren't actually God in the flesh I still I'm going to follow you I still I'm going to give my life to you because you are what you are a remarkable man and from that moment minute that he gave that up Christ appeared to it and let him know that he was actually who he said he was that he was God in the flesh and from then on out from that crisis of faith that's very saintly man he went on to do the most miraculous things in the Orthodox Church and so many miracles and blessings came from this man and this was a man that even he as a devout Christian at such young age had questions and was really perplexed by this existential crisis and when he gave it up to God his prayers were answered and I feel like Matthew you had a taste of that when you went on your retreat and then you started it got bogged down again I think he maybe jumped back into the minutiae of theology and what's true and what's not true maybe a little bit too soon but I could be wrong about all that but that's just like that's just 90 cents yeah well it's good advice what comes to mind obviously for me I'll always with religion is romance and marriage and we don't I could not answer many questions about the quantitative aspects of my wife her exact height her exact weight or how many had how many hairs on her head and the dimensions of her different organs and stuff like that but I'm not that interested I'd rather just sit next to her looking look at her beautiful face look into her eyes and serve her you know like I mean I know what pleases her I know what doesn't please her I know what foods she likes I know what foods she doesn't like I know what what temperature she wants the room to be at I know how she wants things arranged so that she's comfortable so she's happy I know I know how to please this woman because that's what I care about I don't know a lot of scientific facts about her because I don't care about those I want to know I want to know her and love her and serve her in a way that is relational in a way that is romantic and in a way and it is a mutual self giving and so it's the same thing with God thought it's not going to be impressed if you have memorized a bunch of technical theological fact factoids yet many of them many of those will be wrong anyway when we're we have to expect the unexpected with God just like I have to expect the unexpected with my wife that's part of the that's part of the charm of a human being that's why these people that want to marry their life like sex dolls and there are speed there are people that are doing t