I am astounded at the arrogance in this thread -- not that I have any place to judge, or anything
Orthodoxy will survive whether or not we become ultra-Orthodox, anti-Christmas tree Christians or not. Where is the faith in the gates of hell not prevailing? I am not concerned with "saving Orthodoxy" against those "heathen pagans" any more than I am concerned about well... *insert something trivial here*. I find it fascinating that some people think that if they don't teach their children "proper" Orthodox behavior that Orthodoxy will vanish off the face of the planet. Not that I'm advocating not teaching your children, but really...I think Holy Orthodoxy will be just fine with or without a Christmas tree.
/end poorly written rant
As for your situation, aserb -- I probably would be off put if I had a child and s/he came home with a menorah they made at school, too.
I am sorry that you feel that "defending" the orthodoxy
of the universal church is of no concern to you and that for people who are concerned with defending our orthodoxy are arrogent.
The Church is established by Christ for the rightious in Him on earth for us men (people) who are in Christ by His grace.
The gates will not prevail against it is because first It is His Body and His Blood and next becuase their will always be TRUE FAITHFUL in HIM (The Church) until He returns. This second part is prophetic. It says that God knows that His true beleivers even if they are the smallest group on earth; rather 5 or 10 or 1 million will remain true and unchanged in the lord no matter what. The greek term is "Orthodox" ...straight. true, doctrine
It is much too cavalier and presumptious for you or anyone else to think that "we" can live with and accept conflicting behaviors and activities that are NOT the ways of the Holy fathers and yet still be orthodox (straight, true) people.
We can loose our orthodoxy. One person at the time.
Yes! you are right their will always be true orthodox faithful in the Holy Church which hell shall not prevail against. But
that number may not inlcude you or your kids or me or my kids.
Thats the fear.
I am not of the beleif that simply being baptised and attending services in an orthodox church is the only duty of our lives in Christ's church on earth. The Holy Church is our home and this home is our life. It defines our whole
life on earth. This life keeps us separated from the ills of this world and those who love the ills. We are thus orthodox based on all aspects of our lives not just sunday church services.
I must say we fool ourself if you think otherwise.
Allowing our kids as well as ourselves and others who are influnced by us to participate in activities and behaviors that were not designed to glorify God and were not the product of our Holy fathers is a dangerous practice.
Such is the cause of disallusionment and fall into secularism and a wordly life.
The Orthodoxy imparted to us by our fathers so provide for us that we may edify God correctly and properly in spirit and in truth
to enrich ourselves in Him and His grace by removing ourselves from the ways of THIS world and freeing
us from the prison
of worldly lusts so that we may keep His great and immortal gift in us and un-tainted for those coming after us.
This takes hard work. A daily committal. a strong focus on what we include in our lives and what we do not. Being popular or accepted as such is not a requirement for us.
The current attitude of 'we can do what we want; it does not matter'
which is seen with many orthodox particularly those who are very influenced by western traditions is a sign of the new age of acceptance among our ranks to individuality and self help
we see so prominent among protestants and RC's today. If we track the progress of these two groups we can see today that they have very little connection to what they formelry were. They have migrated into very complex cristiosocio-econopathasies
(my own word or 'neologism') which is to say: more centered on the world and how we can live better
even feel better
albeit in the name of God.
The decorated pine trees, flying reindeer, santa the elf, candy canes, wreaths, misle toe, fruit cakes, chest nuts roasting, jack frost, slay bells ringing, HO HO Ho, deck the halls...etc. All this stuff is very pretty and fun. But all lies at this time of fasting and advent and any other time.
These are blasphemous activities mainly because God is not and can not be glorified, edified nor worship within these colorful and fanciful highly appreciated and widely loved and excepted pagan activities and idolic symbols. Read about the Norse worship of winter with the pine trees, masks, yule logs, barn fires etc. All purely western as western can which may be O.K. but that they are heathen and pagen to the core is the problem. You can read many books today on this fact. There are people today who are now trying to take back these traditions to be seen for what they "really are". These are people who are fully faithful to the new up-surge in the religions of the Germanic past. They are putting out many more books and films and whatever they can to re-take what they call "their pagan religion" from those who are using these idolic elements as christian.
We see today that all kinds of people observe these traditions. Even the enemies of the Holy Church and the faith in Christ. I see people where I live spending hundreds of dollars on all these things with much favor and attention to detail. I know that certain of these people are heretics and God haters.
They say to me that "this is really not christian".
I am have to respond.."you are right".
If I say.. "it is" ..they say "show me in the bible santa and the north pole and frosty the snowman". I would have to.."say I can not".
I had one guy ask me... "is there even a church supported "canonical" tradition you can sight which establishes these activities as "church" sanctioned"? Then before I could answer that he said... "I do not mean a statement of approval from a bishop or two or three at some past point which the orthodox always site on different; I mean a true universal
establishment like most orthodox tradtions" .. I said.."well put Sir". I must get back to you". I have'nt yet. But that happened long ago.
I learned this: I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BE TAKEN APART LIKE THAT FROM A NON-BELEIVER EVER AGAIN. IF I CAN NOT SUPPORT THE ACTIVITY I UNDERTAKE WITH SOUND ORTHODOXY THEN I WILL NOT BE CAUGHT SUPPORTING IT.
I stopped putting up trees and all the other idolic elements that can be associated with pagans and loved by non-believers.
I also stopped telling the children the fantastic and foolish stories associated with these idols.
This was a personal choice.
The more I studied the origin of these things however the more concerned about them I became. I have not found anything good to date associated with these idols.
Maybe their was a chance for these idolic symbols and activities but if their were that chance is long gone.
I know everybody wants and loves these traditions and many I did not name and as I usually find I expect to get a beating for my view. I will say that I am sorry in advance only because this may be hurtful to some no matter how true my point is.
I do not want to hurt but help us all to protect our orthodoxy.
I want to help each person I know (and myself) see the path we must
keep in order to be true to orthodoxy which is the life
of those who are living on earth within the Church which is one Holy, universal and apostolic in the Lord Christ Jesus our Savior.
The menorah is a jewish symbol today yes. It is our duty to respect our neighbor and in that we must understand our differences and remain focused. And as I said; if we are going to protect the kids from the menorah than protect them from santa (during advent), from peter cotton tail (during resurrection or pascal) and from hallows-eve which occurs during the feasts of the Virgin Mary Mother of God in many orthodox communities.
Then read in scripture when Christ taught the apostles plainly "suffer the little children unto me
How can that be done if little 'suzy' is in a witches costume because her orthodox parents thinks its cute and that they are in line with the other kids and what they want. Christ said "suffer"
them. This is a charge that does not allow room for interpetation. It means even if it hurts.
God bless all during this advent time and may the fast be completed in safety and in
Dcn Amde Tsion
(Pronounced: Ah-m-deh Se-yone)