Author Topic: Debunking common falsehoods about the liturgy, from Orthodox and others  (Read 432 times)

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Offline Alpha60

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There are a number of brain-bugs about the liturgy which greatly annoy me, in part because some of those floating around within Orthodoxy caused me confusion in my neophyte years, and in part because others floating around outside the church put people off to us, and to other liturgical churches.  To energize my brain before a technically demanding procedure, I thought I would enumerate some of these:

Internal falsehoods

- There is only one Typikon, or only one valid Typikon (untrue, owing to the variations between the Typikons even in churches not using the Violakis Typikon, and also, in the case of Russian Orthodoxy, the acceptance of the pre-Nikonian Old Rite typikon as used by the Edinovertsie and other canonical Old Rite churches); furthermore, it is a long held privilege of monasteries to define their own typikon (for an extreme example, see OCA's New Skete monastery).

- The error of Balsalmon, repeated in the Pedalion and elsewhere, that the Divine LIturgies of St. James and St. Mark are heterodox importations from the Oriental Orthodox.

- The idea that the Oriental Orthodox form of the Trisagion is Patripassian; rather, unlike in Eastern Orthodox usage, the Oriental Orthodox Trisagion is not understood as a Trinitarian hymn but a Christological hymn, and thus, Peter Fullo's addendum to it, "Who was crucified for it", the Theopashcite Clause, is entirely Orthodox and is in agreement with the prevailing Eastern Orthodox Theopaschite theology, which triumphed over the Apthartodocetism preferred by St. Justinian (largely due to external influences from St. Severus of Antioch).

- The idea that St. Justinian wrote the hymn Ho Monogenes; in fact, at most, he merely added it to the Eastern Orthodox liturgy; this hymn rather having originated among the Oriental Orthodox of Antioch or Alexandria; it is most frequently attributed to St. Severus of Antioch, and this makes the most sense in light of the construction of the Syriac Orthodox liturgy, which begins with Ho Monogenes, although some also attribute it to St. Cyril or St. Athanasius of Alexandria.

- The idea that Byzantine Chant is inherently good and all other forms of Orthodox music are rubbish; and the related musical iconoclasm in Slavonic Orthodoxy which deprecates the four part harmony compositions of Bortniansky, Tchernenkov, and other brilliant composers of the 18th century and more recent times.   Also, the related idea that all organs are inherently heterodox, which is absurd, given that the Hagia Sophia had one in the Narthex (which would at the very least seem to legitimize the use of an organ in the Narthex, perhaps for preludes or postludes); it also discriminates against the beautiful organ-accompanied music of the Corinthian Orthodox, and Tikey Zes, and also similar music in the Armenian Church.  That said, attempts by the Syriac, Assyrian and Slavonic Orthodox communities to use the organ in liturgical services have been unsuccessful, but the retention of vintage pipe organs for use during sacred classical concerts, such as Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev's setting of the passion according to St. John, is useful.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 07:55:47 AM by Alpha60 »

Offline Alpha60

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Now for some external falsehoods:

- How many times have we heard a Protestant accuse us either of "vain repetition" or worse, of "idolatry?"   

- Some of these Protestants refuse to use the term Theotokos, but nonetheless consider themselves Chalcedonian Christians, despite the fact that this, via Ephesus, anathematizes the refusal to use the term Theotokos.

- On the more bizarre end of the spectrum, I met the impressively incompetent musical director of an Episcopal parish (who did a lousy job with traditional music and a lousier job with contemporary music), who expressed to me the idea that the liturgy of Christian churches constituted ritual magic. 

- The idea that our liturgical rites are theurgies and not liturgies is also inadvertantly implied by Martin Luther; one wonders what Martin Luther would have thought about the use of the term Liturgy by almost all, if not all, contemporary Lutherans, given that his preferred terminology for Lutheran worship was the "Gottesdienst", or God's Service, which can be translated as "Theurgy," something that God does for us, rather than vice versa.

- The offense of liberal Protestants and Catholics in the WCC, who should know better, that we won't communicate them or participate in joint Eucharistic services, is pure arrogation on their part, although when an ordinary Protestant or Catholic feels this way, it is due to ignorance on their part resulting from the pernicious influence of casual communion, certain aspects of Western ecumenism, and poor catechesis by liberal church leadership.

Offline Deacon Lance

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Now for some external falsehoods:

- How many times have we heard a Protestant accuse us either of "vain repetition" or worse, of "idolatry?"   

- Some of these Protestants refuse to use the term Theotokos, but nonetheless consider themselves Chalcedonian Christians, despite the fact that this, via Ephesus, anathematizes the refusal to use the term Theotokos.

- On the more bizarre end of the spectrum, I met the impressively incompetent musical director of an Episcopal parish (who did a lousy job with traditional music and a lousier job with contemporary music), who expressed to me the idea that the liturgy of Christian churches constituted ritual magic. 

- The idea that our liturgical rites are theurgies and not liturgies is also inadvertantly implied by Martin Luther; one wonders what Martin Luther would have thought about the use of the term Liturgy by almost all, if not all, contemporary Lutherans, given that his preferred terminology for Lutheran worship was the "Gottesdienst", or God's Service, which can be translated as "Theurgy," something that God does for us, rather than vice versa.

- The offense of liberal Protestants and Catholics in the WCC, who should know better, that we won't communicate them or participate in joint Eucharistic services, is pure arrogation on their part, although when an ordinary Protestant or Catholic feels this way, it is due to ignorance on their part resulting from the pernicious influence of casual communion, certain aspects of Western ecumenism, and poor catechesis by liberal church leadership.

The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC.  Unless you meant Old Catholics of the Utrecht Union.
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Offline Iconodule

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- The idea that our liturgical rites are theurgies and not liturgies is also inadvertantly implied by Martin Luther; one wonders what Martin Luther would have thought about the use of the term Liturgy by almost all, if not all, contemporary Lutherans, given that his preferred terminology for Lutheran worship was the "Gottesdienst", or God's Service, which can be translated as "Theurgy," something that God does for us, rather than vice versa.

Not sure how you're defining "theurgy" but Dionysius the Areopagite uses precisely this term to describe the divine liturgy, as does Origen. I don't remember if Maximus uses the term but he also obviously talks about liturgy with theurgic language shared with (or borrowed from) Proclus and Iamblichus. In The City of God Augustine also talks about the eucharist in Latin terms equivalent to the Neoplatonists' language surrounding theurgy such as signum paralleling the Greek theurgists' symbola. In their demonstrating the superiority of the eucharist to the Neoplatonists' theurgic rites, they also show that it is the same sort of thing, only whereas the Neoplatonists' can only evoke lower spirits, the divine liturgy unites us with the true God.
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Offline Alpha60

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Now for some external falsehoods:

- How many times have we heard a Protestant accuse us either of "vain repetition" or worse, of "idolatry?"   

- Some of these Protestants refuse to use the term Theotokos, but nonetheless consider themselves Chalcedonian Christians, despite the fact that this, via Ephesus, anathematizes the refusal to use the term Theotokos.

- On the more bizarre end of the spectrum, I met the impressively incompetent musical director of an Episcopal parish (who did a lousy job with traditional music and a lousier job with contemporary music), who expressed to me the idea that the liturgy of Christian churches constituted ritual magic. 

- The idea that our liturgical rites are theurgies and not liturgies is also inadvertantly implied by Martin Luther; one wonders what Martin Luther would have thought about the use of the term Liturgy by almost all, if not all, contemporary Lutherans, given that his preferred terminology for Lutheran worship was the "Gottesdienst", or God's Service, which can be translated as "Theurgy," something that God does for us, rather than vice versa.

- The offense of liberal Protestants and Catholics in the WCC, who should know better, that we won't communicate them or participate in joint Eucharistic services, is pure arrogation on their part, although when an ordinary Protestant or Catholic feels this way, it is due to ignorance on their part resulting from the pernicious influence of casual communion, certain aspects of Western ecumenism, and poor catechesis by liberal church leadership.

The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC.  Unless you meant Old Catholics of the Utrecht Union.

I should have clarified; I meant to type “Roman Catholics, and Protestant and Old Catholic/Liberal Catholic members of the WCC.” 

And by the way, I am not, in theory, anti-WCC, but I think Rome is right to merely be an Observer; I think the Orthodox churches should have resigned as full members and become Observers following the travesty that was the Imagine! conference.  What the WCC was originally, what it became in the 1960s, and what it is now, are quite different, and neither the 1960s version nor the current version strike me as being very likable.   I think a new, more Christo-centric, traditional alternative to the WCC is needed, or a traditionalist takeover of the WCC, something that acknowledges genuine differences of doctrine and does not appear to be an entity seeking to create United or Uniting Churches in various countries; in particular something without a Faith and Order Committee.   

The latter committee, responsible for the Lima Liturgy and other horrors, to me is a synecdoche for what is wrong with the WCC as a whole, and the Church of Georgia was justified in leaving because of abuses like that, but alas, many of the reasons for Georgia’s departure I would disagree with.

Offline Alpha60

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- The idea that our liturgical rites are theurgies and not liturgies is also inadvertantly implied by Martin Luther; one wonders what Martin Luther would have thought about the use of the term Liturgy by almost all, if not all, contemporary Lutherans, given that his preferred terminology for Lutheran worship was the "Gottesdienst", or God's Service, which can be translated as "Theurgy," something that God does for us, rather than vice versa.

Not sure how you're defining "theurgy" but Dionysius the Areopagite uses precisely this term to describe the divine liturgy, as does Origen. I don't remember if Maximus uses the term but he also obviously talks about liturgy with theurgic language shared with (or borrowed from) Proclus and Iamblichus. In The City of God Augustine also talks about the eucharist in Latin terms equivalent to the Neoplatonists' language surrounding theurgy such as signum paralleling the Greek theurgists' symbola. In their demonstrating the superiority of the eucharist to the Neoplatonists' theurgic rites, they also show that it is the same sort of thing, only whereas the Neoplatonists' can only evoke lower spirits, the divine liturgy unites us with the true God.

This is a very interesting and valid point.  Specifically I am objecting to the idea of the liturgy-as-theurgy concept understood in two ways, monergistically or in an occult sense, specifically, which are not semantically equivalent to the use of the term or equivalent language by Sts. Dionysius, Maximus, Augustine and Origen, and other Fathers and Saints of the church, and I should have clarified this point.

The two uses of the word which in my opinion represent an idea incompatible with the Orthodox faith would be, firstly, the Monergistic idea that God alone is acting, which we see in Luther but could expect to encounter implicitly or explicitly in any monergist version of Christianity (in practice, many of the monergists of the Zwinglian Reformed traditions, by reducing the idea of the Eucharist to a mere sign or worse, the Memorialist interpretation, manage to exclude theurgy by removing the possible scope for anything miraculous to occur).  And thus in doing this they embrace the alternative form of monergism, where worship becomes a purely human activity rather than a meeting of the human and divine, an idea a stalwart Reformed Protestant heretic might sniff and dismiss with great arrogance and condescension as Papist superstition or Oriental mysticism.

Secondly, the word theurgy has taken on an occult connotation in the past two centuries, being used to refer to occult ceremonies in which gods or spirits perform an action in response to some form of invocation.  And this is why I bristled at the suggestion, by this Episcopalian idiot, that the liturgy of the Christian church is in any sense properly understood as ritual magic.

~

On the other hand, it would obviously be an error, a monergistic error at that, to deny the action of God in the liturgy.  Indeed, in the Byzantine Rite the deacon addresses the priest at the appointed time and says “It is time for the Lord to act.”  And the very nature of the prayer of an epiklesis is, in this sense, theurgistic.

However, there exists a balance between the rational sacrifice offered by the people, and divine blessings bestowed upon them, which is so beautifully expressed when the priest or bishop intones “Thine own of thine own, we offer unto Thee, on behalf of all, and for all.”*  We offer a rational sacrifice of bread and wine to God, and the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of our Lord and returned via the actions of the Holy Spirit, for the remission of sins and life everlasting, and in the other mysteries a similar process occurs; I would argue a bestowing of grace upon the people, what one might call a theurgical component, occurs even in the Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Services, where we offer a sacrifice of praise, and in which we are blessed with the presence of Christ in our midst (“for when two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them”).

Now, my understanding of the Greek tongue is not good enough by a substantial margin to answer this question, so my apologies if this seems trivial or dimwitted, but, out of curiosity, since we define God as consisting of three divine persons, could the people, referenced in the word leitourgia, be understood to include the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in addition to the angelic and human participants?  If so, that would be rather nice, because we could then use the word to embody both the divine and human aspects, but failing that, the alternative terminology of the office, of mystery, and of holy sacrifice remains available and is in active use.

*One of my great frustrations with contemporary language settings of the Divine Liturgy is how poorly this phrase renders into contemporary vernacular English.  Thou and Thine seem to be needed here, and in a few other places.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 11:38:52 AM by Alpha60 »

Offline Iconodule

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Secondly, the word theurgy has taken on an occult connotation in the past two centuries, being used to refer to occult ceremonies in which gods or spirits perform an action in response to some form of invocation.

Well that's what theurgy was for Iamblichus et al as well. And does not God act in response to invocations in the liturgy? Doesn't the whole debate about the words of institution and epiclesis assume this? And the understanding that the priest's personal worthiness has no bearings on the efficacy of the rite? So I'm not sure where your "Episcopalian idiot" went wrong here. Now if the idea is that we are forcing God to do something, then that conception is alien to the Christian mystery, where we rather trust God's faithfulness to his promises and his unchanging goodness. But Iamblichus likewise argues that the divine being cannot be so compelled- the gods are not being pulled down, but rather the theurgists are being lifted up to participate in the divine. A big difference is of course the incarnation- something inadmissible for the pagan neoplatonists- wherein the divine willingly descends to matter and communes with us directly and completely bypasses the mediation of daemons.
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Offline augustin717

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« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 02:39:42 PM by augustin717 »
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Offline Alpha60

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Secondly, the word theurgy has taken on an occult connotation in the past two centuries, being used to refer to occult ceremonies in which gods or spirits perform an action in response to some form of invocation.

Well that's what theurgy was for Iamblichus et al as well. And does not God act in response to invocations in the liturgy? Doesn't the whole debate about the words of institution and epiclesis assume this? And the understanding that the priest's personal worthiness has no bearings on the efficacy of the rite? So I'm not sure where your "Episcopalian idiot" went wrong here. Now if the idea is that we are forcing God to do something, then that conception is alien to the Christian mystery, where we rather trust God's faithfulness to his promises and his unchanging goodness. But Iamblichus likewise argues that the divine being cannot be so compelled- the gods are not being pulled down, but rather the theurgists are being lifted up to participate in the divine. A big difference is of course the incarnation- something inadmissible for the pagan neoplatonists- wherein the divine willingly descends to matter and communes with us directly and completely bypasses the mediation of daemons.

The distinction being between the demonic intervention in the Pagan, occult theurgy and the lack thereof in the Christian reciprocal theandric interaction.

Offline Iconodule

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Well, the difference is that we do not have to climb a hierarchy of angels to commune with God (the neoplatonic daemons are more or less equivalent to our angels).
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Offline Alpha60

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Well, the difference is that we do not have to climb a hierarchy of angels to commune with God (the neoplatonic daemons are more or less equivalent to our angels).

Indeed so; I agree entirely, and this sets our liturgy apart from “ritual magic”, with which it should not be compared in my opinion.  What do you think?

~

Your contribution to this thread has been wonderfully edifying, and an absolute delight; I hoped but did not expect anything like this when I posted it this morning.  :)

Offline Iconodule

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 I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.
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Offline WPM

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You would go to the church liturgy because it's prayers benefit you.

Offline ialmisry

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I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.
If we have an idea of the consecration like the Vatican, i.e. the Words of Institution rendering the Epiclesis superfluous.

Magic is closer to empirical science than to religion as generally taken. Nature cannot say "no" if you follow the proper procedure. God can.
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Offline Alpha60

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I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.

Indeed so, and in this case we are talking about the precentor and chief liturgist of a parish, speaking to another Christian, outside the case where any thought of special pleading might apply, someone who ought to know better, and who also lacked your erudition on the matter.  So when he described the liturgy as ritual magic, it was clear that he was talking about magic and in no sense disavowing or disclaiming any personal participation in the occult.  The context was creepy, which I will admit may have biased my own thought on this point to the extent that the points you raised had not been evaluated, given general queasiness over the topic induced by encountering someone who liked the idea of the liturgy as something occult, in a manner I found dark and disturbing.

I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.
If we have an idea of the consecration like the Vatican, i.e. the Words of Institution rendering the Epiclesis superfluous.

Magic is closer to empirical science than to religion as generally taken. Nature cannot say "no" if you follow the proper procedure. God can.

This is an interesting point as well, and we do know from the lived experience of the Orthodox faith that there is a distinction, which is in some cases extremely obvious, between the liturgy and what happens during it, in the Orthodox church, vs., for example, a random Episcopalian parish.  What St. Augustine wrote about the sacraments contra the Donatists strikes me as something that could be interpreted, like much of what Augustine wrote, as meaning something which we would not want it to mean, hence his unpopularity among Orthodox scholars of theology compared to their Latin counterparts.  It is one thing to say the sacramental efficcy does not depend on the worthiness of the priest, but another thing entirely to say that any random Lutheran or Baptist or Anglican presbyter is capable of confecting them unconditionally.  Particularly in light of the opinion on the validity of ordination of St. Cyprian of Carthage vs. St. Augustine.

My own experience has been that what happens at a proper liturgy in the Church is not happening elsewhere, and certainly was not happening in that particular Episcopal parish.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 06:38:28 AM by Alpha60 »

Offline Alpha60

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I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.

One other thought on the historic concealment of the liturgy from the unbaptized; it seems like the desire was to protect the mysteries from profanation and deny the Gnostic heretic-pretenders like the disciples of Simon Magus easy knowledge of what occured inside the Church Catholic, and the famous observation of St. Clement that schism is worse than heresy becomes particularly poignant in this respect (because the schismatic heresiarch like Marcion or Tatian or Tertullian is betraying Christ by sharing knowledge of His mysteries with His enemies, the antichrists).

Offline Deacon Lance

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If we have an idea of the consecration like the Vatican, i.e. the Words of Institution rendering the Epiclesis superfluous.

I don’t think the Latins think it superfluous since they added an explicit Epiclesis to their new Eucharistic Prayers.
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Offline augustin717

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I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.

One other thought on the historic concealment of the liturgy from the unbaptized; it seems like the desire was to protect the mysteries from profanation and deny the Gnostic heretic-pretenders like the disciples of Simon Magus easy knowledge of what occured inside the Church Catholic, and the famous observation of St. Clement that schism is worse than heresy becomes particularly poignant in this respect (because the schismatic heresiarch like Marcion or Tatian or Tertullian is betraying Christ by sharing knowledge of His mysteries with His enemies, the antichrists).
except that  it was the practice off all mystery cults to keep the uninitiated out. Read Asinus Aureus.
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline Alpha60

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I wouldn't go around telling people, "Come see our magickal theurgic rite this Sunday!" (unless maybe I was trying to entice some Thelemites) but I look at the following:

* the neoplatonic, theurgic concepts Christian apologists used to talk about the eucharist, which was natural in the religious, intellectual, cultural context;
* the eucharistic mystery being reserved to initiates (the baptized) and, for a while, concealed from outsiders- which would fit one of the standard definitions of occultism;
* the broadness of the term "magic" which can include anything from parlor tricks and demon summoning to high, contemplative religious rites;

and so I would have a hard time arguing that the divine liturgy is not ritual magic, especially to someone who is not already a Christian. Yes, our God is not like those gods but this would probably look like special pleading to anyone who didn't already accept our creed.

One other thought on the historic concealment of the liturgy from the unbaptized; it seems like the desire was to protect the mysteries from profanation and deny the Gnostic heretic-pretenders like the disciples of Simon Magus easy knowledge of what occured inside the Church Catholic, and the famous observation of St. Clement that schism is worse than heresy becomes particularly poignant in this respect (because the schismatic heresiarch like Marcion or Tatian or Tertullian is betraying Christ by sharing knowledge of His mysteries with His enemies, the antichrists).
except that  it was the practice off all mystery cults to keep the uninitiated out. Read Asinus Aureus.

We are well aware of this and our point stands, indeed I reason the other mystery cults were mysterious for similiar reasons.