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« on: June 09, 2007, 01:40:32 PM »

More craziness from the Episcopalians.  And these are some of the people the Orthodox are in dialogue with?  It's more funny than shocking.  Actually, it's downright hysterical.  Lord, have mercy! (x40)

The webcast can be found here:

http://anon.trinity-global.speedera.net/anon.trinity-global/ondemand/service050522M.asx
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 10:25:09 PM »

I so blew it on my criticism of the recently posted dancing catholic mass.  That was downright reverential compared to this pathetic farce.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 10:30:20 PM »

More craziness from the Episcopalians.  And these are some of the people the Orthodox are in dialogue with?  It's more funny than shocking.  Actually, it's downright hysterical.  Lord, have mercy! (x40)

The webcast can be found here:

http://anon.trinity-global.speedera.net/anon.trinity-global/ondemand/service050522M.asx

The Russian Orthodox Church broke off all relations with the national Episcopal Church, including the Diocese of New York where this happened, after Gene Robinson, a practising homosexual, was approved and consecrated as Bishop of New Hampshire a few years ago.

It still talks to about seven or eight conservative dioceses that opposed Robinson's consecration and might leave the Episcopal Church.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 12:43:00 AM »

That's about the fruitiest thing I have ever seen. I guess these fruitcakes have no shame to be pulling this garbage in a Church. I would seriously be popping some of these fools in the head if I had the chance. This is pure perversion at it's best. 
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2007, 12:56:39 AM »

And these are some of the people the Orthodox are in dialogue with?
Dialogue does not mean that one agrees with the other's opinion. Why shouldn't the Orthodox Church dialogue with the non-Orthodox?

I would seriously be popping some of these fools in the head if I had the chance.
Is that more Christian than dialogue? Not only expressing a desire to kill, but calling your brothers "fools"?
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2007, 01:05:23 AM »

Quote
Is that more Christian than dialogue? Not only expressing a desire to kill, but calling your brothers "fools"?

Did I express a desire to kill...? I'm expressing what's more in line with righteous indignation. So it would be wrong to slap these clowns around a bit in the house of God for their vile perversions? 
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2007, 01:16:56 AM »

So it would be wrong to slap these clowns around a bit in the house of God for their vile perversions? 
Absolutely, yes. It would be wrong.
First of all, you can never be sure that your indignation is "righteous".
Secondly, what exactly is their "vile perversion"? That they worship their God in a way different to yours? Don't Hindus do so? Don't Pentecostals do so? Why don't you want to "pop" them in the head as well?
I put it to you that your indignation is not "righteous", but rather is a personal aversion for personal reasons.
What has their worship style have to do with you that you feel the need to make a whip and drive them out of the Temple? Is it even your Temple?
Christ drove the moneychangers out of the Temple in indignation because He is the God who was worshipped in the Temple. The righteousness of His indignation cannot therefore be questioned. But your indignation at the goings on in a Temple in which you do not even worship is questionable to say the least.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2007, 01:35:49 AM »

Quote
Absolutely, yes. It would be wrong.
First of all, you can never be sure that your indignation is "righteous".
Secondly, what exactly is their "vile perversion"? That they worship their God in a way different to yours? Don't Hindus do so? Don't Pentecostals do so? Why don't you want to "pop" them in the head as well?
I put it to you that your indignation is not "righteous", but rather is a personal aversion for personal reasons.
What has their worship style have to do with you that you feel the need to make a whip and drive them out of the Temple? Is it even your Temple?
Christ drove the moneychangers out of the Temple in indignation because He is the God who was worshipped in the Temple. The righteousness of His indignation cannot therefore be questioned. But your indignation at the goings on in a Temple in which you do not even worship is questionable to say the least.

You make some great points, but just viewing the video made feel really sick and disgusted with what they were doing. I would think that most Christians would feel angry at what these people are doing. It almost seems they are doing this in a very mocking manner. Just look at their mannerisms and the lack of professionalism by the clergy. I don't see any reverence in the whole thing, and what is the point? If this is what they want to turn a church service into, aren't there much better things they could be doing? Clowning around at Church is about the last thing I would think you would want to do at church. I don't think you can just say, "well, this is the way they want to worship and God will honor that." They obviously don't care about worship from viewing that video, they must think it's cutting edge to dress in clown attire and act like a bunch of weirdoes. I for one would be very angry if I saw this going on, and probably would have some very harsh words for these people. I'm sure I would have to control my anger enough to not physically hurt any of these clowns also.   


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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2007, 01:47:15 AM »

Nice avatar, Nacho.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2007, 02:30:20 AM »

You make some great points, but just viewing the video made feel really sick and disgusted with what they were doing. I would think that most Christians would feel angry at what these people are doing. It almost seems they are doing this in a very mocking manner. Just look at their mannerisms and the lack of professionalism by the clergy. I don't see any reverence in the whole thing, and what is the point? If this is what they want to turn a church service into, aren't there much better things they could be doing? Clowning around at Church is about the last thing I would think you would want to do at church. I don't think you can just say, "well, this is the way they want to worship and God will honor that." They obviously don't care about worship from viewing that video, they must think it's cutting edge to dress in clown attire and act like a bunch of weirdoes. I for one would be very angry if I saw this going on, and probably would have some very harsh words for these people. I'm sure I would have to control my anger enough to not physically hurt any of these clowns also.

When I first heard of "Clown Masses", (which, by the way, was here on OCnet), I asked a Roman Catholic nun friend of mine about them, and she introduced me to a Catholic Priest who has served "Clown Masses". He talked about the clown's make-up which is a completely whitened face on which colour is painted to accentuate the features. He likened this to the journey through Death and Resurrection. In Death, our face becomes the ashen-white of a corpse, like the white face of the clown, and in Resurrection, we are given a new body full of the Fullness of Life, and this is represented by the colour on the clown's face. We die with Christ in order to Rise with Him in Baptism. We throw off the old man and become New. This is what the Priest explained was represented by the Clown.
Now, I may not agree with his mode of expression of this theological notion, but we in the Orthodox Church also signify Death and Resurrection in Baptism: we take a new name, we are immersed in water and rise up again, we wear new clothes etc. So while it may appear to us as "mockery", Clown Masses are in fact not intended to be mockery, but rather, a new way of expressing an old idea.
The idea of the "Jester" may not be as foreign to Orthodox as one might initially suppose. Let's not forget the vital role played in the Orthodox Church by the "Fool for Christ" or "Holy Fool", who often were the only ones who were able to express the Truths of the Faith to the worldy powers.  St. Basil Of Moscow was a Holy Fool who once approached Ivan the Terrible with a lump of beef dripping with blood during Lent and said to him: "Why abstainest thou from meat when thou dost murder men during the Fast?" The Holy Fool was so respected that even Ivan the Terrible would not punish him for his forthrightness.
In Shakespeare's plays, the Fool or Jester is often one of the central characters, and the one who shows great insight, and is at liberty to tell the king when he is going wrong. Fools and Jesters were once respected members of the Court given liberty to say what other's feared to say.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that Clown Masses can be equated with Holy Fools, but what I am suggesting is that the Clown may not be as foreign an idea to Christianity as might first appear, and there is some reason to think that non-Orthodox Christians might be trying to do something other than mock the Faith with Clown Liturgies. Whether they succeed is another question. But it is the intention which is important to understand, and we can only do this with dialogue. We can't dialogue with someone we "pop in the head". Wink
BTW, I misunderstood you. In Australian English, to "pop someone in the head" means to shoot them in the head. Someone who commits suicide with a firearm is said to have "popped themselves in the head". See? Even speaking the same language we can have misunderstandings, which is why dialogue between people is so important, rather than simply "popping them in the head".
I'm glad we had this chat. Wink
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 03:53:38 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2007, 09:32:44 AM »

Old news-- I think this service was two years ago.

Of course, this being an Episcopal clown mass, you can be sure that every "impromptu" minute was rehearsed out the wazoo.

I don't like clown masses. Not because of the supposed irreverence, but because (a) they fit into the gestalt that the way to make church more winning is to make it more juvenile, and (b) because they are so painfully self-conscious.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2007, 05:35:40 PM »

Having started this whole thread, I feel that I should make some meae culpae as to how this discussion has gone. 

Dialogue does not mean that one agrees with the other's opinion. Why shouldn't the Orthodox Church dialogue with the non-Orthodox?

I agree OzGeorge.  Dialogue does not mean endorsement, but I do wonder where the common ground can be found. But you seem to give an indication in another post where you wrote:
Now, I may not agree with his mode of expression of this theological notion,

I came from a Lutheran denomination where the so-called "worship wars" were in full engagement.  There were many casualties and many passions on both sides.  This just reminded me of the irreverance I saw so many times.  Now, I do not know if they were trying to be irreverant or just trying to present the same message in new make-up.  But how far should one accommodate such things.  In another thread, if I recall correctly, you were musing about how far Orthodoxy should be accommodating to various cultural practices.  I think, if I recall correctly, you made specific reference to how in Aboriginal society, to speak of the name of the dead is disrespectful and a common name is used if you are speaking of a dead person.  So whenever a dead saint is referred to or when a Scripture is read mentioning a deceased apostle that name is inserted instead.  However, I feel that the difference here is that what the Aborigines do is an intrinsic part of their culture where as the circus is, at best, an affectation of our culture which can be easily discarded.  Thus I think the difference.

Yet, at the same time, I have been asking myself why I should even care.  I'm not Episcopalian and have no intention of ever becoming one. Why should I care what one church does on one day of the year?  If anything, that should embolden me to speak the truth with greater conviction, but not at the expense of mocking what is different.

As a corollary, my friends who are not Orthodox ask me why the Church does not bless same-sex couples and then tell me how the Church should work.  I always ask them why, if they are not Orthodox, why they even care?  If they were Orthodox, maybe then they can express an opinion.  I suppose I should take my own advice.  I'm not Episcopalian so why should I concern myself with what they do.  Now, perhaps, if they were actually using this as a way specifically targeted to drag Orthodox away from the Church, then perhaps my indignation and chastisement would be a little more "righteous."

But, still, should we dialogue with them?  I don't even know where to begin?  But since our theology is so strictly tied in with our liturgical practice (lex orandi, lex credendi), I suppose that it would be a necessity to say that such innovations will not enhance dialogue and any chance of reconciliation.

I'm sorry if I'm rambling, but since I started this thread I thought I should offer a mea culpa if it seems like I offered a thread that was too rooted in a chance to bash the Protestants.  I think I've done that a few times and I'm starting to regret it.

OK, I'm done now.  Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2007, 07:04:40 PM »

Quote
When I first heard of "Clown Masses", (which, by the way, was here on OCnet), I asked a Roman Catholic nun friend of mine about them, and she introduced me to a Catholic Priest who has served "Clown Masses". He talked about the clown's make-up which is a completely whitened face on which colour is painted to accentuate the features. He likened this to the journey through Death and Resurrection. In Death, our face becomes the ashen-white of a corpse, like the white face of the clown, and in Resurrection, we are given a new body full of the Fullness of Life, and this is represented by the colour on the clown's face. We die with Christ in order to Rise with Him in Baptism. We throw off the old man and become New. This is what the Priest explained was represented by the Clown.
Now, I may not agree with his mode of expression of this theological notion, but we in the Orthodox Church also signify Death and Resurrection in Baptism: we take a new name, we are immersed in water and rise up again, we wear new clothes etc. So while it may appear to us as "mockery", Clown Masses are in fact not intended to be mockery, but rather, a new way of expressing an old idea.
The idea of the "Jester" may not be as foreign to Orthodox as one might initially suppose. Let's not forget the vital role played in the Orthodox Church by the "Fool for Christ" or "Holy Fool", who often were the only ones who were able to express the Truths of the Faith to the worldy powers.  St. Basil Of Moscow was a Holy Fool who once approached Ivan the Terrible with a lump of beef dripping with blood during Lent and said to him: "Why abstainest thou from meat when thou dost murder men during the Fast?" The Holy Fool was so respected that even Ivan the Terrible would not punish him for his forthrightness.
In Shakespeare's plays, the Fool or Jester is often one of the central characters, and the one who shows great insight, and is at liberty to tell the king when he is going wrong. Fools and Jesters were once respected members of the Court given liberty to say what other's feared to say.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that Clown Masses can be equated with Holy Fools, but what I am suggesting is that the Clown may not be as foreign an idea to Christianity as might first appear, and there is some reason to think that non-Orthodox Christians might be trying to do something other than mock the Faith with Clown Liturgies. Whether they succeed is another question. But it is the intention which is important to understand, and we can only do this with dialogue. We can't dialogue with someone we "pop in the head". Wink
BTW, I misunderstood you. In Australian English, to "pop someone in the head" means to shoot them in the head. Someone who commits suicide with a firearm is said to have "popped themselves in the head". See? Even speaking the same language we can have misunderstandings, which is why dialogue between people is so important, rather than simply "popping them in the head".
I'm glad we had this chat. Wink

Dam Son, you straight laid down the clown knowledge on me.... Grin I guess from your explanation, I feel a little better understanding there is more to this than just 'clowning' around... Cheesy

I would still disagree though that the Church is the place for such things. If they want some drama and art, why not go to the opera or something? From what you are saying, they aren't necessarily doing it to be new age whackos, but for other purposes. I can except your well thought out explanation, but I still feel that this should not be incorporated in a church service. This is the slippery slope that can lead to other things....

Sincerely,
Nacho   Cool
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2007, 08:25:01 PM »

A century or more ago I might have ended up Episcopalian.  I didn't even give the Episcopalians serious consideration when I was looking at different churches.

Whatever you think of communion clowns, it's sad to see what has become of the Episcopalian Church.
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2007, 10:20:03 AM »

Do Any of your remember the play "Godspell"?  I have been told that it was the inspiration for the "clown" masses.  As a teen Episcopalian, I saw it---thought the music was beautiful, hated the clown act.

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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2007, 11:30:44 AM »

Do Any of your remember the play "Godspell"? 
"Earth might be fair
And all men glad and wise.
Age after age their tragic empires rise.
Built while they dream
And in that dreaming weep
Would man but wake
From out his haunted sleep."

But, still, should we dialogue with them?  I don't even know where to begin? 
When people are "not on speaking terms", it's because love has waxed cold, and if this is the case with us, then we who claim to be the Church would have nothing to offer anyone anyway since: "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." The place to begin dialogue with anyone is from the existing common ground, and that is, our common humanity.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2007, 12:47:37 PM »

Thank you OzGeorge for the very well thought out and persuasive "Theology of Clowns".  However, aside from the trivializing of reverential worship, clowns and mimes are just plain creepy and unnatural.  Maybe "popping them in the head" is not the phrase of choice.  Down here in the South, you could either "slap 'em upside the head" or "take a big stick to 'em".  Let's let the obviously more touch-feely, clown-centered Episcopalians keep those inhuman things.  I'll opt for a big stick.


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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2010, 12:24:39 AM »

What is your opinion of how some US-assimilated Orthodox churches (I know of one such particular wealthy, conservative church where the priest surprised me by encouraging people to vote this way for a certain president) that have Halloween events, and where people wear clothes with bats pictures and other decorations?

How about the Catholic "Halloween Mass" at the 2.00 minute mark at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WadbbxPoBlk&mode=related&search=?

Parishioners defended it on the site, saying that the photographer risked a lawsuit because he slandered a wealthy parish by making the video. Does this suggest that wealthy parishes are more likely to do halloween stuff? Does poverty and wretched circumstances compel people to piety on the other hand?
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 01:22:24 AM »

Quote
Absolutely, yes. It would be wrong.
First of all, you can never be sure that your indignation is "righteous".
Secondly, what exactly is their "vile perversion"? That they worship their God in a way different to yours? Don't Hindus do so? Don't Pentecostals do so? Why don't you want to "pop" them in the head as well?
I put it to you that your indignation is not "righteous", but rather is a personal aversion for personal reasons.
What has their worship style have to do with you that you feel the need to make a whip and drive them out of the Temple? Is it even your Temple?
Christ drove the moneychangers out of the Temple in indignation because He is the God who was worshipped in the Temple. The righteousness of His indignation cannot therefore be questioned. But your indignation at the goings on in a Temple in which you do not even worship is questionable to say the least.

You make some great points, but just viewing the video made feel really sick and disgusted with what they were doing. I would think that most Christians would feel angry at what these people are doing. It almost seems they are doing this in a very mocking manner. Just look at their mannerisms and the lack of professionalism by the clergy. I don't see any reverence in the whole thing, and what is the point? If this is what they want to turn a church service into, aren't there much better things they could be doing? Clowning around at Church is about the last thing I would think you would want to do at church. I don't think you can just say, "well, this is the way they want to worship and God will honor that." They obviously don't care about worship from viewing that video, they must think it's cutting edge to dress in clown attire and act like a bunch of weirdoes. I for one would be very angry if I saw this going on, and probably would have some very harsh words for these people. I'm sure I would have to control my anger enough to not physically hurt any of these clowns also.   



yes. That's my take on it  also. I don't see where Church is the place for joking around or for clowning around.  Is religion supposed to be a joke or what? I think all this clowning around promotes a casual attitude toward sin.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 01:26:44 AM »

I was an Episcopalian 1970-91.  Glad I left when I did.
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2010, 01:46:48 AM »

Do Any of your remember the play "Godspell"? 
"Earth might be fair
And all men glad and wise.
Age after age their tragic empires rise.
Built while they dream
And in that dreaming weep
Would man but wake
From out his haunted sleep."

But, still, should we dialogue with them?  I don't even know where to begin? 
When people are "not on speaking terms", it's because love has waxed cold, and if this is the case with us, then we who claim to be the Church would have nothing to offer anyone anyway since: "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." The place to begin dialogue with anyone is from the existing common ground, and that is, our common humanity.

That's n interesting verse.  Was it from Godspell or somebody else?
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2010, 01:49:06 AM »

That's n interesting verse.  Was it from Godspell or somebody else?

ozgeorge no longer participates at this forum, though maybe someone else knows the answer... I assume it would be though *shrugs* Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2010, 01:51:38 AM »

Quote
What is your opinion of how some US-assimilated Orthodox churches (I know of one such particular wealthy, conservative church where the priest surprised me by encouraging people to vote this way for a certain president) that have Halloween events, and where people wear clothes with bats pictures and other decorations?

I'm no fan of Halloween, but there's a wee bit of difference between a social gathering like a Halloween party in the church hall, and a DL in the church itself. Somehow I doubt if even the most "assimilated" Orthodox parish would get far in holding a Halloween/clown/whatever liturgy.
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2010, 04:17:16 AM »

Sorry, I meant where the people dress with regular clothes but with Halloween decorations like bats on them at liturgy, in addition to the church Halloween parties?
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2010, 04:55:47 AM »

Sorry, I meant where the people dress with regular clothes but with Halloween decorations like bats on them at liturgy, in addition to the church Halloween parties?

Have you seen this yourself, or relying on hearsay?
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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2010, 01:55:43 PM »

Quote
What is your opinion of how some US-assimilated Orthodox churches (I know of one such particular wealthy, conservative church where the priest surprised me by encouraging people to vote this way for a certain president) that have Halloween events, and where people wear clothes with bats pictures and other decorations?

I was surprised to hear the priest at the wealthy church's service encourage voting for the certain president, saw the person in front of me wearing the decorations, and was told by parishioners about the Halloween party, which they viewed as normal.

(Regarding voting, the priest may have referred to abortion or patriotism, but I suspect the real reason is that different parishes vote differently based on their wealth, and this president is considered to better represent business interests.) Anyway, my question is about the Halloween stuff.

Halloween Mass, (see minute 2.00)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WadbbxPoBlk&mode=related&search=
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2010, 02:07:46 PM »

That's n interesting verse.  Was it from Godspell or somebody else?

ozgeorge no longer participates at this forum, though maybe someone else knows the answer... I assume it would be though *shrugs* Smiley

If you're asking about "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love", it's 1 John 4:8.
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2010, 04:53:12 PM »

How about the magazine The Cross and the Clown? ( http://www.clowning4christ.com , http://www.clown-ministry.com )
http://www.clowning4christ.com/images/web%20cover.jpg Is this supposed to be funny? Or are they so wrapped up in the "clown community" that they think it is normal?
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2010, 05:04:09 PM »

Do Any of your remember the play "Godspell"? 
"Earth might be fair
And all men glad and wise.
Age after age their tragic empires rise.
Built while they dream
And in that dreaming weep
Would man but wake
From out his haunted sleep."

But, still, should we dialogue with them?  I don't even know where to begin? 
When people are "not on speaking terms", it's because love has waxed cold, and if this is the case with us, then we who claim to be the Church would have nothing to offer anyone anyway since: "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." The place to begin dialogue with anyone is from the existing common ground, and that is, our common humanity.

That's n interesting verse.  Was it from Godspell or somebody else?

 Somebody else, namely an obscure collection of books called, I think, The Bible; to be more precise-  1 John 4:8.  Funny how Orthodox Christians poke fun at Sola Scriptura but rarely read said Scriptura.  Undecided
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2010, 05:06:58 PM »

More craziness from the Episcopalians.  And these are some of the people the Orthodox are in dialogue with?  It's more funny than shocking.  Actually, it's downright hysterical.  Lord, have mercy! (x40)

 It's founded upon lies and rebellion.  Whaddaya expect?  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2010, 06:42:08 PM »

How about the magazine The Cross and the Clown? ( http://www.clowning4christ.com , http://www.clown-ministry.com )
http://www.clowning4christ.com/images/web%20cover.jpg Is this supposed to be funny? Or are they so wrapped up in the "clown community" that they think it is normal?

As someone who spent his childhood and teenage years on the "evangelical clown" circuit (it's a family thing), it can be normal.  Granted, we never did "clown communion" at church (more on the one I participated in in a second), but we did do clown sketches and such ("evangelical illusions" is the euphemism I believe is used these days, back then we called it "gospel magic", and also ventriloquism) in between the praise and sermon portions of the services at very many churches across the Bible belt.  We also did, of course, many children's churches and vacation bible schools, but it was not rare for me to be up on stage during the "adult service" in full grease paint and brightly colored costume.  I don't know if it was particularly reverent, but it did present a welcome change of pace from the rather dusty routine of Evangelical churches (this being back before the hey-day of the non-denom mega-church).  We ensured that all sketches had a point, with children's church being aimed at such themes as "obeying your parents" and adult messages that basically dealt with the clown and "straight-man", where the "straight man" would present a sermon and the clown getting the message wrong with comic results. 

As far as it goes, I believe it is possible we reached more people this way in 5 minutes than the pastors' 30-45 minute monologue which followed.

The only "clown communion" I ever participated in was, I believe, with Clowns 4 Christ (or some precursor, but this was 15 years ago and the memory is spotty) at a clown conference.  The conference aimed at honing skills and workshops on presenting the Gospel messages in sketches, and we all attended in full costume.  At the end of the conference an interdenominational communion service was held, with one line for grape juice another for wine, and leavened bread.  I would like to emphasize the only people involved in the service were clowns, the clowns distributing the elements were indeed ordained ministers, and the service was held with as much (if not more) reverence and decorum as any communion I had seen celebrated as a young Baptist.  There was no, if you will pardon the expression, clowning around where this was concerned.  It stands out as the first communion I ever had where I was able to have wine (something I believed in quite firmly and got into arguments about with every pastor and youth pastor from Mississippi to Florida), and thus a possible stepping stone on my long road to the Orthodox church.
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