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Author Topic: My Daughter's Menorah  (Read 9361 times) Average Rating: 0
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2006, 06:33:26 AM »

Wow.  I'm impressed.  This is the absolute first time that I've heard collecting stuff to give the poor described as invented to make rich people feel good.  Next Amdetsion will be telling us that medicine was invented by healthy people so they could feel good about not being sick and feel superior to ill people.  Roll Eyes

Thats funny....

I hope you are not as lost as this response to my post makes me believe.

I have already recieved positive personal messages on what I said.

What did you miss?

I am always supporting clothing drives, food drives etc. all year long. NOT JUST AT CHRISTMAS.

I am talking about people (which may include you) that give at christmas time only. They never consider the poor in thier daily lives all year. And should be now more concerned with the giving the poor (in spirit) the truth of GOd and HIs advent at this time. Toys are not really helping the poor. Poor kids do not need toys they need real help mostly spiritual but also materially. This help you cannot put in a bag and think "O.K. I did my part" as you go about your day stretched out in your 750 BMW.

Christ taught "you will have the poor with you always". So the season of giving is all year everyday.  And we must nourish the spirit and the needs of the body of all people who are needy. This is true Christianity.

The "toy drive" example I used is a corporate invention. American office buidings are packed with toys in the lobbies. The example here is meant to show mainly how the poor is given "toys" instead of the gift of the advent of God the true food and gift of light. This gift can heal and enrich.

But you were just being funny right?

You do not believe that toy drives at Christmas reallly helps poor kids.
 
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 06:40:24 AM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2006, 08:21:35 AM »

Amdetsion, you can start off by reading this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

After that, we can talk about your arrogated duty to judge everyone you come across.

 Roll Eyes This is getting seriously off-topic...
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« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2006, 09:15:21 AM »

Amdetsion:

There are some protestant sects that believe that we shouldonly celebrate the Jewish holidays because they are the only one's mentioned in the Bible. (Did you convert from one of these sects?)

I am Orthodox and Christmas celebrations are part of our tradition.
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« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2006, 09:40:28 AM »

From Fr. Stephen Freeman's blog

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/?s=why+pagans
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« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2006, 01:52:10 PM »

All this blah blah blah about jewish tradition. I think you were looking for solutions and validation about your reaction?  Cheesy Grin Cheesy Wink

Your child attends a private school. Private school means that it is probably costing you more to send her there than to a public or charter school. Private schools tend to take parental concerns pretty seriously and probably consult with them heavily through a board and various subcommittees. Bottom line? You have direct impact with your dollars therefore you have a say in what happens with your child's education

Solution? Visit the teacher in person and say something to the effect of: "I apologize for overreacting, I overreacted because we feel that you are not fairly representing Christians in your current curriculum. I would really like to see Christianity representated in some form in your holiday curriculum, here are some materials that may help you. Locate age appropriate materials and bring them to her. In addition to what I have suggested, offer to read the story of the The Nativity, create a puppet show or any other thing that you would feel  would be good to share with a bunch of 4 year olds about the birth of Christ.


PCness boils down to "Look at the neat stuff the brown people in funny clothes are doing" and fails to recognize human diversity as a whole. I find those who chant the mantra "If we just try to understand we would all just get along". Easier said than done. 
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« Reply #50 on: December 22, 2006, 02:19:58 PM »


I find your sense of removal from the Jews from the above post quite powerful.

Todays Jews have very little to do with the Biblical people and their religion. Most people who refer to themsleves as Jews today have little in common with the people of scripture in every aspect. It is very very hard to see todays Jews as Jews. When I think "Jew" in all seriousness I can only imagine the 2000 years ago nation and before.

I donot agree with how you worded yourself but I think that if I understand what you mean we both may share the same Orthodoxy.

<large snip>

Please remember:

Love your neigbhor as yourself.

This does not mean be Jewish or muslim but struggle to respect those around us hoping and praying that we all may be one in Christ.

May God have mercy on us all..Amein

Dcn Amde



Father Deacon, I believe that you understood my point.  I do tend to be somewhat barbaric in the making of some points as I am far more used to arguing labor law than I am theology.  I agree with nearly everything you said.  Good points!
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I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.
Amdetsion
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« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2006, 02:36:50 PM »

Amdetsion:

There are some protestant sects that believe that we shouldonly celebrate the Jewish holidays because they are the only one's mentioned in the Bible. (Did you convert from one of these sects?)




I am an Orthodox Christian. As were my fore-parents.

I never celebrate "Jewish" holidays.

I celebrate Christmas and all other Church Holy days in accordance with the traditions of the Holy Orthodox church which includes observing the current ongoing advent fast.

I have found some converts who are more dilligent and faithful more knowledgeable about the Holy Church than many of us who are from long Orthodox pasts. I have learned from them as well. This forum is a great place to hear the opinions of views from converts in a fresh perspective.

I have very little knowledge or exposure to protestant sects or thier religious ideas. These people need our prayers.

They worship and pray in the name of Christ and the "holy ghost" but are not Christians although they are commonly referred to as such.  That is the main thing I know about these groups.

I have however reason to believe that some things that are from the Holy Church they keep in some form or another. and use as they see fit.

I find it interesting that how hard it is to tell a protestant from a catholic or from some orthodox. Especially at this time of year. The stories that are told to the children about flying reindeer and and santa coming down the chimney and so on seems to be the universal canon for christmas. These are all lies but are used to make the "season" bright.  

It does not surprise me that protestants adhere to these traditions and keeps pasing them on to thier children considering the situation they are in. But it shocked me when I found that their are orthodox christians that maintain these same traditions.

I was like you at first. I thought these orthodox christians were converts from protestantism. I learned quickly that I was wrong.

As they say you live and learn.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2006, 02:39:04 PM »

speaking of diversity in Noth America, its a shame that ppl don't really know about our religion. It's either we're Easternized Catholics, westernised Muslims with some Catholicism shaken on top, Jewish, or some earthy Bhuddist religion...I mean Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, and that girl from Friends are (Greek) Orthodox, as well as a slew of other celebrities.

As an aside, I think part of the reason we're not known too much is as simple as the fact that I won't bring my friends to liturgy knowing that they won
 understand about 70% of whats going on. No exposure- no knowledge.

END RANT.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2006, 02:44:56 PM »

Amdetsion, you can start off by reading this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

After that, we can talk about your arrogated duty to judge everyone you come across.

 Roll Eyes This is getting seriously off-topic...

I re-read my previous posts.

I guess thier an aire of 'over confidence' in my wording. I would not think arrogent.

Never-the-less please accept my apology.

I am only trying to provide some guidance and defend the purirty of the Holy Orthodox faith.
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"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
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« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2006, 02:48:10 PM »

You've really gone and done it this time aserb!
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2006, 02:51:45 PM »

speaking of diversity in Noth America, its a shame that ppl don't really know about our religion. It's either we're Easternized Catholics, westernised Muslims with some Catholicism shaken on top, Jewish, or some earthy Bhuddist religion...I mean Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, and that girl from Friends are (Greek) Orthodox, as well as a slew of other celebrities.

As an aside, I think part of the reason we're not known too much is as simple as the fact that I won't bring my friends to liturgy knowing that they won
 understand about 70% of whats going on. No exposure- no knowledge.

END RANT.

I agree.

But like I have posted already "we" fall into a social pattern witch is by nature protestant in America. We think that we are becoming "more" American which we are but the error is we are doing it at the expense of giving away our Holy Orthodox traditions.

We are happy acting like them. So 'they' wonder why this strange religion?
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« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2006, 03:01:02 PM »

Never-the-less please accept my apology.

And please forgive me if I have given offense, as well.
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« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2006, 03:09:11 PM »

Lawrence Welkodox - I loved Fr. Stephen's blog  Cheesy

Well, we are nearing the Nativity as it is observed on the New calendar and with that thought I ask forgiveness of all here if I have offended you in any way and pray for peace on earth, good will to men.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Wink
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« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2006, 03:27:02 PM »

They worship and pray in the name of Christ and the "holy ghost" but are not Christians although they are commonly referred to as such.

According to Jesus, they are.

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« Reply #59 on: December 22, 2006, 03:57:56 PM »

speaking of diversity in Noth America, its a shame that ppl don't really know about our religion. It's either we're Easternized Catholics, westernised Muslims with some Catholicism shaken on top, Jewish, or some earthy Bhuddist religion...I mean Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks, and that girl from Friends are (Greek) Orthodox, as well as a slew of other celebrities.

Well, you certainly wouldn't want people to learn about Orthodoxy from Jim Carrey, Tom Hanks and Jennifer Aniston, would you? Jim Carrey, by the way, is not Orthodox. He was raised Catholic, but I don't know if he practices still.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #60 on: December 22, 2006, 11:51:45 PM »

According to Jesus, they are.



O.K.

But thats for Him to say.

I only know that He said " Leave them be; who is not against us are for us". This is in acts of the Apostles. He does not disregard those who worship in His name but are not in line with the apostolic authority. I do not interpet that reading as meaning that these people are also Christian. By Orthodox definition a Christian is a person who has excepted Christ as thier Lord and Savior and are baptised in accordance with the Holy Universal Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.

All others are not Christian. These people can be considered or call themselves christians. that is not my concern. People can do all kinds of things without it being correct or proper.

I do not mean that these people are not worthy of salvation. I can not judge this. I am saying that they are outside the Holy Church which is Orthodox and thus NOT Christian. Thus Holy communion is not given to these people in the Holy Church. Actually NO sacrament is given to a protestant in the Holy Church unless the person has repented and is baptised in the Holy Church.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 11:59:24 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

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« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2006, 01:45:12 AM »

I only know that He said " Leave them be; who is not against us are for us". This is in acts of the Apostles. He does not disregard those who worship in His name but are not in line with the apostolic authority. I do not interpet that reading as meaning that these people are also Christian. By Orthodox definition a Christian is a person who has excepted Christ as thier Lord and Savior and are baptised in accordance with the Holy Universal Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.

All others are not Christian. These people can be considered or call themselves christians. that is not my concern. People can do all kinds of things without it being correct or proper.

I do not mean that these people are not worthy of salvation. I can not judge this. I am saying that they are outside the Holy Church which is Orthodox and thus NOT Christian. Thus Holy communion is not given to these people in the Holy Church. Actually NO sacrament is given to a protestant in the Holy Church unless the person has repented and is baptised in the Holy Church.

Is this the "official" Orthodox opinion? Didn't the early Church Fathers refer to the heterodox as "Christian heretics"? How can people of faith, who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, not be considered Christian - even if they are for the time-being outside the Church?
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« Reply #62 on: December 23, 2006, 02:50:16 AM »

I am astounded at the arrogance in this thread -- not that I have any place to judge, or anything  Tongue

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.
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« Reply #63 on: December 23, 2006, 05:23:12 PM »

Oh I thought tha Carrey was Orthodox since he's apparently Greek (Othodox) but maybe not...
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« Reply #64 on: December 23, 2006, 05:34:05 PM »

O.K.

But thats for Him to say.

I only know that He said " Leave them be; who is not against us are for us". This is in acts of the Apostles. He does not disregard those who worship in His name but are not in line with the apostolic authority. I do not interpet that reading as meaning that these people are also Christian. By Orthodox definition a Christian is a person who has excepted Christ as thier Lord and Savior and are baptised in accordance with the Holy Universal Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ.

All others are not Christian. These people can be considered or call themselves christians. that is not my concern. People can do all kinds of things without it being correct or proper.

I do not mean that these people are not worthy of salvation. I can not judge this. I am saying that they are outside the Holy Church which is Orthodox and thus NOT Christian. Thus Holy communion is not given to these people in the Holy Church. Actually NO sacrament is given to a protestant in the Holy Church unless the person has repented and is baptised in the Holy Church.

The millions of devotees to CS Lewis will be shocked to learn that he was not a Christian.
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« Reply #65 on: December 23, 2006, 05:43:18 PM »

Quote
All others are not Christian. These people can be considered or call themselves christians. that is not my concern. People can do all kinds of things without it being correct or proper.

This seems somewhat extreme, even by traditionalist standards. IIRC, even Justin Popovich didn't deny that, in some way, those outside the Orthodox Church were Christians.

Quote
The millions of devotees to CS Lewis will be shocked to learn that he was not a Christian.

Very true. Lewis is one of the few modern Christian writers that Catholics, Orthodox, and (non-calvinistic) Protestants can all enjoy greatly. There are others (Chesterton, Pelikan, etc.), but Lewis is probably the best known one.
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Amdetsion
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« Reply #66 on: December 23, 2006, 07:13:08 PM »

I am astounded at the arrogance in this thread -- not that I have any place to judge, or anything  Tongue

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
peace.

Dcn Amde Tsion

(Pronounced: Ah-m-deh  Se-yone)

« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 08:23:25 PM by Amdetsion » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: December 23, 2006, 07:42:17 PM »

I do not know who CS Lewis is.

Is he Orthodox?

I have the impression that he is not.

Maybe those who would be surprised would be even more surprised that he is not a Christian by any Orthodox Communion on earth.

Thsi would be revealed as soon as he tries to partakeof the Body and blood of Christ in a true Orthodox Communion.

NO Orthodox priest whois in line with the Holy Church will administer communion to this person.

I imagine he is a bright guy who has allot of good teachings. I have read good teachings from various preachers and speakers which help with the faith in Christ.

I have yet to consider them Christians.

If the Orthodox Church recognize these people as correct Christians than I will also.

What bishop has accepted this person "Lewis"?

As Orthodox in my community the Church instructs on ALL matters of the faith. We thus are very cautious about reading and listening to people such as protestant preachers and the like. Thus as a practice, I do not read the writtings of modern day religious writters.

If these people reject the Holy fathers they reject me and what I stand for.

If they are so good and christian why are they outside the holy church?

I can not judge them. Christ is the judge.

I generally provide a common christian opinion and treatment to these people. But do not actual see them as Christian.
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« Reply #68 on: December 23, 2006, 10:22:10 PM »

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.

Christ is born!

Amdetsion,

If you choose not to follow the Western custom of decorating a Christmas tree to celebrate the birth of Christ, that is your prerogative. However, any claim that such a practice is pagan exposes the superficial thinking that is found in modern Fundamentalism. Modern Fundamentalism is anti-history and quite foreign to Orthodoxy and does, in fact, fail to recognise the very ancient Christian practice of inculturation; the practice of transforming something that was previously pagan into that which is Christian; to the glory of God.   

For example, in 609, Pope Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon as the Church of Mary and the Martyrs. The Pantheon is one of the greatest architectural achievements of Rome, and it was built as a place of worship to honour all the Roman gods. In this step of transforming the Pantheon from a temple to all the gods to a church of all the martyrs, we see an ultimate act of inculturation. What was once a pagan temple becomes a Christian Church; to the glory of God.

There is also story of how St. Patrick, when preaching to some soon-to-be converted Irish Druids, was shown a sacred standing stone that was marked with a circle that was symbolic of the moon goddess. St Patrick made the mark of a Latin cross through the circle and blessed the stone making the first Celtic Cross. Celtic Christians didn't hesitate in seeing the circle of the Celtic Cross as a symbol of eternity that emphasises the endlessness of God's love as shown through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  Here, a pagan symbol was Christianised; to the glory of God.

It is true that we also find pagan remnants in many Christian feasts; Halloween for instance. However, this merely shows that what was good and holy in pagan tradition always has found its home in Christian tradition.
 
Why was December the 25th chosen as the Feast of the Nativity of Christ? It is likely that early Christians saw the truths present in the pagan festivals of that time; above all the Natalis Invicti, or the feast of the ‘invincible’ sun, which was celebrated on the 25th itself. The Fathers of the Church, notably Cyprian, declared that this ‘anniversary of the invincible’ was made actual in Christ’s Birth; the only ‘invincible’ One and the Sun of Justice. In this act of inculturation, a pagan festival is overlaid with the Christian; to the glory of God.

Because of the ancient Christian practice of inculturation, decorating a tree to celebrate the Birth of Christ has nothing to do with anything that is either pagan or idolatrous. To claim it is, is to overlook the intention to glorify God. However, if you consider such an act would be sinful for yourself, you must follow your conscience – but in so doing, it might be advisable to leave others to follow theirs.

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« Reply #69 on: December 23, 2006, 11:26:48 PM »

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.

I do not see or comprehend how a fruit cake or mistletoe or pine trees or bells on a sleigh are "lies" rather then a food or plants or a musical bit of metal on a means of transport.  How does a food "lie" at any point in time?

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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.

May one ask what are your sources of information on the Norse and the customs of those people and of which part of their history?  Thank you.

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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.

And what books can you cite as sources for this information that you are putting forth, please? Why do you count any such works are trustworthy?  If you are referring to the "neo-pagans" how do you know that they are reliable sources as opposed to records of Christian customs, albeit perhaps "western Christian" ones that have come down through recorded history?

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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.

How do *you* know that they are "God haters"? Why should your opinion of other Human Beings be accepted, please?

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They say to me that "this is really not christian".

I am have to respond.."you are right".

Why do you believe them?  What makes them correct?  An idea that one likes is not necessarily True.

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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.

Why would someone ask for Biblical evidence of something that did not exist until a song was written in 1950, which is to say "Frosty"?  In places where it snows, people have built snowmen or other sculptures and it's not limited to Christmas; what is wrong with doing that?  What is wrong with play? I'm sorry, but that does not make sense to me.  As to the North Pole, it exists as a geographical place even if it isn't mentioned in the Bible.  Japan isn't mentioned in the Scriptures either, nor Australia, nor many other things and places and customs on this planet, but why does that matter?  It doesn't make them wrong or evil because of that absence.

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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.

Again, I ask, what is the material that you have studied, please?  Can you give authors and titles and can their arguements and source material be tested?

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Maybe their was a chance for these idolic symbols and activities but if their were that chance is long gone.

Who are you to say that and on what authority please?

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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.

It is your opinion.  Others have other opinions.  On what grounds should your opinion be taken as true for all people in all places please?

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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.

You seem to think that "Suffer" in this passage from the Gospel of Mark means pain and sorrow and unhappiness.  I have seen this misinterpretation before.  It means nothing of the kind.  The quote from Mark 10:14 is from the King James Version and reads

 "But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

It is in the context of the disciples rebuking, that is to say being hard on people who had brought children to Our Lord for him to touch.  In the English of the early 1600's "Suffer" had the meaning of to "allow" or "permit" or "let".  This can be seen in the same passage in the Revised Standard Version:

"But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs."

and the New American Standard:
"But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

This does not mean doing things to children so that they "hurt" or are treated cruelly.  I'm sorry, but your interpretation of the passage and how it applies to real human beings is in error.  It is important to read scriptural passages in context in order to get the meaning more clearly, it would seem.

With respect

Ebor
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« Reply #70 on: December 23, 2006, 11:45:31 PM »

I do not know who CS Lewis is.

Perhaps you might want to find out a bit about him and what he wrote before you make any blanket statements about someone of whom you know nothing?

Clive Staples Lewis, author, scholar and Christian, an Anglican 1898-1963.

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I have yet to consider them Christians.

 Roll Eyes Sad

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Thus as a practice, I do not read the writtings of modern day religious writters.

That is your perogative.  But then you can hardly have any understanding or honest idea or opinion of them, I might suggest.

Ebor
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« Reply #71 on: December 23, 2006, 11:51:10 PM »

That is your perogative.  But then you can hardly have any understanding or honest idea or opinion of them, I might suggest.

Ebor,

You're wasting your breath. He won't listen. After all, you are not a Christian.  Wink
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« Reply #72 on: December 23, 2006, 11:55:26 PM »

Incidentally, Mr. Lewis has been dead 43 years, and his books continue to sell over a million copies a year. There are over 100 million copies of his Narnia books alone in print. Many thousands of people came to know Christ through his works.

He was (and is) a Christian's Christian.
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« Reply #73 on: December 24, 2006, 12:13:03 AM »

Incidentally, Mr. Lewis has been dead 43 years, and his books continue to sell over a million copies a year. There are over 100 million copies of his Narnia books alone in print. Many thousands of people came to know Christ through his works.

He was (and is) a Christian's Christian.

Completely off-topic, but it's not going to be the first post to be so.... I absolutely love C.S. Lewis' "Til We Have Faces".

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« Reply #74 on: December 24, 2006, 12:22:31 AM »

Completely off-topic, but it's not going to be the first post to be so.... I absolutely love C.S. Lewis' "Til We Have Faces".



It is a brilliant book and iirc Lewis himself thought that it was his best fictional work.

Ebor
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« Reply #75 on: December 24, 2006, 12:29:47 AM »

Ebor,

You're wasting your breath. He won't listen. After all, you are not a Christian.  Wink

 Smiley

To paraphrase Captain Barbossa "I'm disinclined to aquiesce to his opinion."

Ebor
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« Reply #76 on: December 24, 2006, 12:31:03 AM »

It is a brilliant book and iirc Lewis himself thought that it was his best fictional work.

Ebor

I must say that I totally agree with him. An amazing book. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #77 on: December 26, 2006, 02:16:23 PM »

O.K.

I see as usual that the love for paganism is strong based on the last few responses to my previous post.

I beleive that this is normal for sinners such as we all are.

I know I am a great sinner and I have had a hard time accepting (in pratice) the fruitful and rightious ways of our fathers on various matters. I have learned the hard way on some things and have simply conformed on others (without resistance) and on some I still struggle. I am thus no better than the next person.

I will as I hope anyone else would sher what I have learned. We each have to make choice on what we are ready to accept. And naming something "christian" is by no means acceptance.

Sound orthodoxy prevails.

This all seems reminisent of the Hebrews in the wilderness who after having been given certain things to keep from thier prior captivity and having been told to not look back at others failed when it mattered the most on both blessings. They took the things they could keep and gave them over to the Pagan Gods they were to ignor in great disrespect for God.

Today we want to believe we can arbitrarily drag pagan idolitry into the Holy Church because WE do not find it a problem. WE even challenge anyone who does not agree with this folly.

To state that pantheon is an example of something pagan being christianized is pointless. We all know that a bishop can consecrate a building and as such reneder it sacred. We know that a bishop such as St. Patrick who I hold in great respect (not like the drunken pagans (so-called christians) that consider themselves venerating him in the USA and other places with lehprocons and magic and booze); can take a pagan image of the sun worship and renew it making it symbolic of the sun (SON) of man Jesus Christ. These are clearly actions of the Holy Church and not common practice of lay people.

The cross was a pagan idolic symbol of death. Christ removed its pagan "practices" and established it in Him giving the cross the true power of God where anyone who beleives no longer keeps the OLD WAYS but are NEW. So Thus trhe cross is death for people who use it now along with the former "pratices" it represented in the past even if they have a belief in Christ.

Those who worshipped diannah and all the various gods associated with the pantheon after its christianization no longer keeps ANY of the previous practices. Everything is NEW in Christ.

All those who worshipped the sun once they were baptised in Christ are NEW; ALL things are NEW. The former lusts and practices once enjoyed are gone. Each person is now a new soul in Christ.

Thus we are to deny our former lives and remove ourselves from our former lusts.

Christ gives us a new life.

The decorating of trees and the fantastic dreams of gifts and magic which we teach our kids are from our former lusts. These pagan activities are not christianized with us they were left behind when we accepted God. As I said before I have not heard of any bishop or bishops who have established tree decorating, flying reindeer and all the other things named previously as "christian". These are local western pagan traditions that are still being praticed among people who are Christian. These christian people (not the Holy Universal and Apostolic Church) has maintained these pagan activities albeit with a "christianess".

Certain request for me to present authoritative back-up on my posts is anwered this way:

1. Read the teaching of the Holy Church on Advent.

2. Read on any website regarding the winter soltice celebrations. Type keyword: Christmas Trees, Wreaths etc. you will get all the info you need. BUT NONE of the information will point you to any teachings of the Orthodox Church. The common point of reference will be "pagan"

3. Ask your deacon or priest about the "christian origins" of the tree decorating etc.

4. The History Channel (USA) has a website for which I purchased a 2 hour video which details all of the so-called christmas traditions. I watched the whole thing already. ALL of the tradtions are secular and of pagan origins. See it for yourself.

Like the scripture teaches: 'Get wisdom get knowledge but of all your getting "get" understanding'.

The scripture also teaches: 'Study to make thyself worthy'...

As for CS Lewis; I do not know him as I said. And I may never know him since I am only drawn to teachings from the church fathers. People outside the Church may have good "chirstian" ideas or thoughts but they (the person) not of the Holy Church. I am hopeful that they find the true faith in Christ which can only be found in the Orthodox. We have the highest degree of understanding since we teach from the unbroken line from Christ to the present.

Also when I consider what the world knows as the anglican church; the CS Lewis (person) becomes more ignorable (for me). I have read the very sad story of how the world got we call the "anglican church". Quite an unfortunate situation. I surprised that intelligent people still connect with this situation.

I pray that those who learn from them will find Christ in all truth and His One Holy Universal and Apostlic Church Orthodox in the Lord. I recently met some former anglicans who are now Orthodox.


I pray that all who celebrated the nativity on Dec. 25, 2006 be blessed with a renewal and regeneration in the faith of Christ the savior of the world.

Peace

Dcn Amde Tsion
 
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« Reply #78 on: December 26, 2006, 04:59:46 PM »

What I find odd is that, apparently (for some), Christianity was able to take pagan things and "baptize" them for Christian use 1,500 years ago, but is unable to do so today. Perhaps Christianity is less potent or competent today, eh Amdetsion? I guess the Church is just stuck in the past now, unable to cope with the present, actively transforming society. Such a shame.

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I do not know him as I said. And I may never know him since I am only drawn to teachings from the church fathers.

Ok, how about this one...

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Into the life eternal the Holy Scriptures lead us, which teach us through divine words. But so long as our immaturity forbids our understanding their deep thought, we exercise our spiritual perceptions upon profane writings, which are not altogether different, and in which we perceive the truth as it were in shadows and in mirrors. Thus we imitate those who perform the exercises of military practice, for they acquire skill in gymnastics and in dancing, and then in battle reap the reward of their training. We must needs believe that the greatest of all battles lies before us, in preparation for which we must do and suffer all things to gain power. Consequently we must be conversant with poets, with historians, with orators, indeed with all men who may further our soul's salvation. Just as dyers prepare the cloth before they apply the dye, be it purple or any other color, so indeed must we also, if we would preserve indelible the idea of the true virtue, become first initiated in the pagan lore, then at length give special heed to the sacred and divine teachings, even as we first accustom ourselves to the sun's reflection in the water, and then become able to turn our eyes upon the very sun itself.

If, then, there is any affinity between the two literatures, a knowledge of them should be useful to us in our search for truth; if not, the comparison, by emphasizing the contrast, will be of no small service in strengthening our regard for the better one. With what now may we compare these two kinds of education to obtain a simile? Just as it is the chief mission of the tree to bear its fruit in its season, though at the same time it puts forth for ornament the leaves which quiver on its boughs, even so the real fruit of the soul is truth, yet it is not without advantage for it to embrace the pagan wisdom, as also leaves offer shelter to the fruit, and an appearance not untimely. That Moses, whose name is a synonym for wisdom, severely trained his mind in the learning of the Egyptians, and thus became able to appreciate their deity. Similarly, in later days, the wise Daniel is said to have studied the lore of the Chaldaeans while in Babylon, and after that to have taken up the sacred teachings. - Basil the Great, Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature
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« Reply #79 on: December 26, 2006, 05:27:50 PM »

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it puts forth for ornament the leaves which quiver on its boughs
Ornaments on trees? ......Clearly a "lover of Paganism"! Wink
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« Reply #80 on: December 26, 2006, 06:20:10 PM »

What I find odd is that, apparently (for some), Christianity was able to take pagan things and "baptize" them for Christian use 1,500 years ago, but is unable to do so today. Perhaps Christianity is less potent or competent today, eh Amdetsion? I guess the Church is just stuck in the past now, unable to cope with the present, actively transforming society. Such a shame.

Asteriktos,

Fortunately, it is only a shame for some, as you so succinctly point out.

This is, of course, all down to perspectives. In his essay "Meditation In a Toolshed, C.S.Lewis offers this parable for two ways that people "see". Standing in his dark shed, he noticed a beam of light shooting through a crack. If he looked at the beam, all he saw was the light. If he looked along the beam, he saw through the light to the garden outside. Lewis compared these twin perspectives to the human capacity for objective analysis and subjective experience. Human beings view phenomena from either outside or inside, but not both simultaneously.

In his era, Lewis said, those who looked at things dominated. The analytical Modern viewpoint, in the words of the poet, Wordsworth, "murdered" experience in order to "dissect" it.

We have witnessed the overthrow of the Modern worldview, but those who still view the world through that lens, however, continue to look at not along; understanding art, poetry and myth - and even Christmas trees - primarily as vehicles of doctrine, which they presume to graph as one-to-one correspondences, i.e. the Star Wars' Force = Eastern religion, the magic in books like Narnia, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter connects precisely with dark supernatural powers, the Christmas tree somehow honours pagan deities that no Christian believes exists.

We witness this kind of thinking all the time, when Roman Catholics and the Orthodox are accused of idolatry for venerating holy statues and icons. Interestingly, though it has been suggested by Amdetsion that laypeople are somehow seperated from the Holy Church and have no say in such practices, it was due to laypeople that Iconoclasm was finally overthrown; and, as you are aware, the Empress Theodora (a layperson) is honoured every "Sunday of Orthodoxy".







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« Reply #81 on: December 27, 2006, 02:50:32 AM »

Daniel, Moses;

These people are Gods elect.

Who would question the work of these men?

Even Moses' sister was at deaths door due to her beligerent questions regarding Moses' Ethiopian Wife. Only his prayers loosed her from Gods rath.

The decorated tree, elves, wreaths and all the other so-called christian activities and idols are not a part of life today because of REAL Holy men.

These non-biblical advent idols are from pagans. NOT Holy men.

If the Church consecrated the trees and other pagan idols we see  piled up in and around peoples homes during advent than I would have no point. But the Holy Church has NOT.

You will never see an image of santa the elph and rudolph the red nose reindeer in an Orthodox Church sanctuary. If you do I suggest you find a real Orthodox Church to worship in. These images are pagan and donot belong around orthodox christians no matter what age they may be; in or outside the Church sanctuary.

Thus those who are into these things are doing them for themselves. These things are not Church sanctioned at all.

Maybe you CS Lewis lovers should request that he be sainted?

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« Reply #82 on: December 27, 2006, 04:08:14 AM »

You will never see an image of santa the elph and rudolph the red nose reindeer in an Orthodox Church sanctuary.
Good heavens! I've never seen a cow in an Orthodox Church Sanctuary either! I've been committing idolatry by eating beef all these years!
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« Reply #83 on: December 27, 2006, 04:46:44 AM »

OK I have to comment. This thread has gotten way off base from its original intent and I would like to request that it be shut down.

Thank You
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My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #84 on: December 27, 2006, 06:02:10 AM »

Done.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
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