I'm going to split our discussion into its own thread in a minute...
Of course it is accurate. Regular people in the world are surrounded by all sorts of evil temptations and impressions that cannot but scar their souls.
Haven't you read the fathers? Monks - especially the Holy Ones - are surrounded by demons, by temptation, by physical manifestations of evil. They fight temptation on both the spiritual and physical levels, often being assaulted by demons in a very tangible way. And they are tempted and drawn away by their fellow monks. I've had this conversation with monks who have lived on Mt. Athos, men who have traveled there, priests, bishops, students - you name it. The consensus is that while the monastic lifestyle is one to be aspired to, it is not easy, not designed for most people, and there are many monks within the lifestyle that are not holy.
Monks are surrounded by things reminding of us of God, of death and repentance. A lot of regular people do not even say their morning and evening prayers or read the Bible everyday. Monks spend much of their day in prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures.
Monks are indeed surrounded by Church and obedience and icons and prayer. But it doesn't mean that they follow it. Like those who enter the priesthood, they've chosen to walk the narrowest of paths- and there is more peril that awaits them for stumbling than those who are in the world.
Most of the Saints are monastics...Does that not say something?
Prove it. There are many Holy Fathers who have become recognized as Saints - but to claim that most of the Saints in the Orthodox Church are monks either (a) ignores that we don't know even 1/10000th of the saints in heaven, or (b) is a sweeping overgeneralization based on facts you haven't gathered.
How is it "certainly not edifying" to state what the Orthodox Church has always believed?
Because most people aren't monks - so what is edifying is teaching people how to live pure lives where they are, in their homes and cities. If you say it can't be done, then you're the one practically blaspheming the Holy Spirit by denying It's Power.