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Other Topics / Re: Does Orthodoxy make you happy?
« Last post by Minnesotan on Today at 12:02:31 PM »
What is "happy"?

Inb4 someone makes a Pharrell reference.
Other Topics / Re: Does Orthodoxy make you happy?
« Last post by Arachne on Today at 12:02:00 PM »
Happy, no. Content, definitely. As in, no matter how things pan out, I'm where I'm supposed to be. At the end of the day, especially if it's been one where everything has gone wrong, that's what matters.
All I know is that some of my relatives do it, but my immediate family generally don't.
The ancient and direct connection to the apostles and Jesus!

I find that there are problems you face when you use the argument, "Well I believe in the Bible!"--like a lot of people at the church I went to when I was in college. I was amazed to find the OC church and its ties to the Traditions of the apostles. You won't find that direct connection at a Methodist or Baptist church for example.

"I just follow the Bible. I just follow the obvious meanings of a 400 year old translation of a document written originally in languages I don’t speak, influenced heavily by cultures I don’t begin to understand, and by people who I assume looked, acted, thought and dressed just like I do.

I just follow the Bible. It’s not only a road map for life and God’s love letter to everybody who isn’t an Amalekite but it also apparently contains an uncanny number of direct statements about how much beat is acceptable in music and how one should pledge to the country’s flag — even though countries didn’t have flags when it was written.

I just follow the Bible. And the Holy Spirit. And my pastor who God sent to tell me what the Holy Spirit says the Bible means. Just last Sunday I learned that Job 31:10 is a seven-thousand year old sermon against twerking.

I just follow the Bible. And my cultural predispositions. And my inherent biases. And my economic expedients. And my filters of time, place, biology, psychology, technology, and personal experience.

I just follow the Bible. You’d better follow me too."
Religious Topics / Re: Horoscope
« Last post by Jonathan Gress on Today at 11:59:31 AM »
How come Horoscopes are so accurate then? I mean the personal ones?

What do you have in the Church that tops that?

They're not.

Prove it!

They're a bunch of foggy-headed pagan garbage.

The stars are gas, millions of miles away.

Pumbaa, with you, everything's gas!
The problems are as follows:

1. Lack of education - Standard practice in the Coptic Church is to ordain the most enthusiastic and dedicated servant without sending him to seminary or disabusing him of any heterodox ideas he may hold.  After ordination, many priests are left casting about on their own with very little guidance or structure, and virtually no support system when it comes to something like "mission", so they end up sprinting down the dead end alleys of Evangelicalism and Charismatism.  Since no one has articulated Orthodox ecclesiology to them, they think the Evangelical megachurch they see on TV is in some imperfect way part of the Church and therefore worthy of emulation.

2. Lack of episcopal oversight - Notice that most of the problem areas in the Coptic Church (see qawe's post) are in unicorporated territory, i.e. territory without a seated bishop belonging to the nebulous "Archdiocese of North America".  The bishop of these priests is nominally the Pope of Alexandria, but in reality each is, for all intents and purposes, his own bishop.  No one can call him on his errors in any authoritative way.

3. Scholasticism - The idea that worship is theology hasn't penetrated here, so the idea that as long as I maintain a minimum of intellectual ideas I hold to be Orthodox somewhere up in the old memory banks (the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, praying with the saints, etc.) I can worship any way I like prevails.

4. Lack of courage - Other than H.G. Anba Abanoub, H.G. Anba Suriel, and a handful of other courageous hierarchs (may God preserve their lives), most authority figures are afraid to call priests they disagree with out in public for fear of upsetting their rabid teenage fanclub (or more accurately, the rich parents of said teenage fanclub - thanks for the correction, Stavro!) and are fearful of causing a schism, so they allow the wound to fester rather than taking decisive action.

It's truly a sad state of affairs.  Conscientious laity have to begin to get involved.  I'm truly loathe to name names - I'd rather address the problem than the man - but the conversation needs to take place.  Orthodoxy and heterodoxy can't coexist in the same body, and the Coptic Church needs to decide which side of the fence it is on.

Is this a common problem in Oriental Orthodoxy?
Its about unity, actually. I myself dont like holding hands when praying together. I always refuse it, especially when holding sweaty hands
Other Topics / Re: Does Orthodoxy make you happy?
« Last post by Alpo on Today at 11:55:50 AM »
What is "happy"?

Feel free to define it yourself. I think the word has an intuitive meaning.
Other Topics / Re: Does Orthodoxy make you happy?
« Last post by Jonathan Gress on Today at 11:54:04 AM »
I would say "happy" in this context means that you feel eager to carry out your Christian obligations, like go to church, confession, fasting, almsgiving etc. For me, the answer is sometimes yes, but sometimes I admit I feel like they are just an extra weight on top of the ordinary obligations of responsible adulthood.
Just got back from a long weekend at the family cabin where they are all Protestants (some ELCA, but the rest pretty much non-denom).  Why do Protestants insist on holding hands (e.g. in a circle) when praying (e.g. before a meal)?  I've never gotten that.  We can't be unified without holding hands (as if we are anyway if not everyone holding hands believes the same, or even believes in God)?

It's a Calvinist custom that was originally invented to keep people from making the sign of the cross. 

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