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Author Topic: Music and Ridding things from your life?  (Read 26849 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: June 22, 2008, 08:34:16 PM »

Ok, recently have had more inspiration to remove some things from my life, mainly video games (as i've been addicted for 15 years or more) as well as possessions, books, etc... that I have no use for anymore.

I've also been thinking about narrowing down the music I listen to. I love various sorts of music other than Orthodox. Including Country, Rock (modern and classic), Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Alternative, etc...
One of the main bands I've been listening to is Disturbed. However, as I go on, i've been wondering if I should eliminate all types of music from my list except for Orthodox.
_________________________
Disturbed is a great band with great tunes, but sometimes it can be certainly dark. The lead singer, David Draiman is Jewish, but isn't really in connection with his faith as much as his family members.
One of their songs, Prayer is basically a conversation between David and God after his grandfather (whom he never got close to after separating from) died, it's basically him telling God that after everything bad that has happened to him, he is saying simply to hit him harder. The main chorus goes:
"Let me enlighten you
This is the way I pray
[Chorus]
Livin just isn't hard enough
Burn me alive, inside
Livin my life's not hard enough
Take everything away "

Inside the Fire is a song about the suicide of his girlfriend. It's a conversation between him and Satan. And how Satan was tempting him to kill himself to "rejoin" his love in "hell". At the beginning of the video, he says if someone is considering suicide to seek out the suicide hotline and get help. He isn't advocating suicide but expressing his grief and struggle he had with the event. (as he was the one to find her)

Stricken is a song presumably about a girlfriend that has betrayed him or caused him harm. The beginning words and chorus goes:
"AH! AH! AH! OW!
You walk on like a woman in suffering
Won't even bother now to tell me why
You come along, letting all of us savor the moment
Leaving me broken another time

You come on like a bloodstained hurricane
Leave me alone, let me be this time
You carry on like a holy man pushing redemption
I don't want to mention, the reason I know

That I am Stricken and can't let you go
When the heart is cold, there's no hope, and we know
That I am crippled by all that you've done
Into the abyss will I run!-"
__________________________

While these songs do have meaning and even sometimes positive morales, I sometimes don't think they are really benefiting me.
I wonder if I should just remove the majority of my music from my life.

What does everyone else think? Should I take the step now and remove them?
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 09:22:51 PM »

I can't speak for anyone else but myself, but just recently I sold off a lot of my music, because I've been thinking along the same lines. I sold off all the Black Sabbath, Mastodon, Megadeth, etc. that I had. I don't think that this is something that you have to do to be a good Orthodox Christian, I just decided that the time was right to do it, and that I was at a place in my life where I wanted to do it. What I have left is mostly Christian music, bands like Tourniquet, Six Feet Deep, and so forth. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 10:31:24 PM »

I would be careful not to cut everything out of your life at once. If you realize it's destructive, then remove it slowly, but trying to do it all at once can make one feel overwhelmed. And for myself, I think that's when a truly slip into self-destructive habits.

I used to listen to rock (Franz Ferdinand and alternative stuff), but once I became Orthodox I lost the enjoyment and listen almost entirely to chant. Of course, I still like some songs from Tool.  Wink
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 10:51:59 PM »

I don't think you necessarily need to give up all non-Christian influences in your life. The shadows can mislead and frighten, but they can also reveal to us the source of light. For my part, I've been listening to calmer music. My recent finds have been the Killers and Death Cab for Cutie, and I've been known to while away a lazy Saturday with non-stop U2. Could just be that I'm getting older, though.

Chant is beautiful, and I've always had a soft spot for choirs, but you've got to remember that we're not monastics. We still live in the world, with people of the world. Perhaps God could actually use Pink Floyd to help someone straighten their life out. Stranger things have happened.
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2008, 11:14:20 PM »

Perhaps God could actually use Pink Floyd to help someone straighten their life out. Stranger things have happened.

Something is wrong with Pink Floyd!!!  Shocked
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2008, 11:55:07 PM »

 I asked my spiritual father this question years ago and he said not to listen to secular music.

Music has a way of penetrating the soul. I don't know about you, but when I listen to musical lyrics the words tend to go around and around in my mind. This can more of a negative impact on your life than you might think since the feelings and emotions that modern music often focuses on is not exactly uplifting stuff.

On the other hand the more you listen to liturgical music and chanting, you will have God pleasing words going through your mind throughout your day, even when you aren't focusing on praying.

I know it's hard to separate from the world around us, but it's ultimately what we are called upon to do as Orthodox Christians. Giving up secular (and often spiritually harmful) music its just another choice we have, and one more opportunity to become closer to God. It's probably unrealistic to drop everything at once. Try to weed out the most overtly offensive things first and then work your way down from there. Eventually with God's help you'll have detached yourself from all those unnecessary and worldly things.
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 12:19:03 AM »

mariner, I sure can identify with that... My mood and everything is effected by the music I listen to...

I want to be as close to the Saints and Monastics as I can. I don't ever want to become a monastic, but I'd still like to become like many of them spiritually.
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2008, 08:15:26 AM »

(snip) i've been wondering if I should eliminate all types of music from my list except for Orthodox. (snip)

No, don't  Grin The sudden change might end you up in a mental institution (worst case scenario).  Cheesy

Seriously though. There are a few people I know that has gone trough a radical conversion at a Pentecostal church in my area. They have ceased drinking any kind of alcohol, thrown away all their music, and done all kinds of other more or less strange things. They have been able to keep up with this a few months to a few years before suffering the backlash. At that point they start going to night clubs to drink heavily, sometimes take drugs and generally behave immorally. I really do blame the Pentecostal church for encouraging this sudden and total "commitment to Christ".

The only words of wisdom I can provides is "You do not find God by fleeing the devil, but you might flee the devil if you find God" (please note that I am horribly unqualified to give any sort of advice).

My line of thought is that I should strive to do what is good instead of focusing my energy on abstaining from unnecessary things. In time the unnecessary things seems to get left behind.

My best wishes,
Robert
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008, 09:17:34 AM »


My line of thought is that I should strive to do what is good instead of focusing my energy on abstaining from unnecessary things. In time the unnecessary things seems to get left behind.

My best wishes,
Robert

This is so true. Slowly, slowly, was my first spiritual father's advice. All things in God's good time.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008, 10:16:03 AM »



The only words of wisdom I can provides is "You do not find God by fleeing the devil, but you might flee the devil if you find God" (please note that I am horribly unqualified to give any sort of advice).



I have been looking for an aphorism to describe my feelings on the subject and you, dear sir, have it.  I have a friend who has recently returned to his Christian faith after years of spiritual wandering and am afraid he'll end up burning out with all the stuff he's doing.  Your words are the perfect panacea for him, I think.

And for the OP.  Instead of automatically tossing things aside, I would advise to focus on the "good things" (ie prayer, attending services, etc) and soon enough, all the bad, negative things will fall away as your mind gets properly attuned to the things of God.  You'll eventually have little interest in anything but that which edifies and is profitable for your soul.

And make sure you do it all in concert with a spiritual director.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2008, 10:38:11 AM »

Greetings Forum,

The godly Russian Patriarch Joasaph I, in the year 1636 (perhaps we would call him an Old Believer) banned all foreign musical instruments. Joasaph I said that "only bells, drums and horns call the angels, all other musical instruments call the demons". So, by going house to house he had all the devilish instruments loaded up and ceremoniously drug across the river where once there they were all destroyed.

Forgive, John
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2008, 10:51:24 AM »

Greetings Forum,

The godly Russian Patriarch Joasaph I, in the year 1636 (perhaps we would call him an Old Believer) banned all foreign musical instruments. Joasaph I said that "only bells, drums and horns call the angels, all other musical instruments call the demons". So, by going house to house he had all the devilish instruments loaded up and ceremoniously drug across the river where once there they were all destroyed.

Forgive, John

Interesting.  Did the good Patriarch have any kind of catechesis to explain Psalm 71: 22 in light of his prohibitions?

Quote from: KJV
I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel.

The psaltery is, of course, a stringed instrument.
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2008, 11:21:20 AM »


Quote
I would be careful not to cut everything out of your life at once. If you realize it's destructive, then remove it slowly, but trying to do it all at once can make one feel overwhelmed. And for myself, I think that's when a truly slip into self-destructive habits.


Yes, this is how I felt when I gave up all my Engelbert Humperdinck records  Cheesy

j/k
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2008, 11:42:01 AM »

While I would agree some music is harmful to the soul I would be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
This kind of zeal could lead to burn out in just a couple of years.

I remember a monk-priest years ago telling my friends and I never to attend ballets, operas or the circus because they were inherently evil. He ended up disobeying his own bishop and being defrocked and excommunicated a few years later.

You know, most ethnic Orthodox have listened to other types of music through the centuries and have still maintained their faith. If you go to any ethnic Orthodox festival you will hear folk music and modern music. They have traditions of dancing.

Moderation is key if you plan to stay Orthodox for the rest of your life.

ps. a word of advice: take what other young, male converts tell you about Orthodoxy with a grain of salt. Especially if they are unemployed.


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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2008, 11:46:59 AM »


Quote
I remember a monk-priest years ago telling my friends and I never to attend ballets, operas or the circus because they were inherently evil. He ended up disobeying his own bishop and being defrocked and excommunicated a few years later.

What if in following the monks' advice, you miss an opportunity to witness our faith?

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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2008, 12:49:25 PM »

What if in following the monks' advice, you miss an opportunity to witness our faith?



I never did follow his advice. If I had I would have ended up an "Orthodox" fundamentalist who would have been excommunicated by the Church. He took some folks with him.
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2008, 05:04:51 PM »

Forgive, John
We forgive you for not knowing the difference between godliness and xenophobia.

Oddly enough, a Google search for this patriarch yielded only one result, a post you yourself wrote here: http://oldbelievers.wetpaint.com/thread/1013675/Vera+Strochilina/post/8307651/Vera+Strochilina. What evidence do we have that he even existed (besides your word of course)?
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2008, 05:06:16 PM »

Hi Devin,

I come from perhaps the very opposite background as you; my church forbid even listening to tapes of religious music with instrumentation! So not only could we not listen to any secular music, but even religious instrumental music was verboten.

We were not monastics, but still in no way did it harm us, except now I have huge gaps in my musical repertoire which even time alone will never restore.

Having said that, I agree with what the majority have advised on this thread: don't do anything extreme-don't throw it all away in some impulsive act of righteous destruction! Just because something is secular doesn't mean it can't be helpful in some way. We as Christians must be light and salt, yes, but it's not wrong to admit that we also live in the world. There may come a time when your knowledge of current music may be a source of common ground between yourself and some lonely soul who might be seeking God. Who knows?  

I don't know if any of this makes sense, but please don't be rash! Just as I've tried to gradually ease into a more "permissive" lifestyle, you should ease into growing in Christ. I didn't feel it wise to go out suddenly and buy myself a tv, an ipod, all those decades of music I missed out on etc., but rather to slowly make the transition, not doing anything in a reactionary fashion.

Best wishes to you as you grow in wisdom, grace and humility!
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« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2008, 05:27:39 PM »

We forgive you for not knowing the difference between godliness and xenophobia.

Oddly enough, a Google search for this patriarch yielded only one result, a post you yourself wrote here: http://oldbelievers.wetpaint.com/thread/1013675/Vera+Strochilina/post/8307651/Vera+Strochilina. What evidence do we have that he even existed (besides your word of course)?

Mr. Y., the Patriarch Ioasaph I actually existed. He was enthroned in Moscow after the death of the Patriarch Filaret (who was known, before becoming a monk, as Prince Theodore Romanov, the father of the first Tsar of the Romanov dynasty, Michael I Romanov). It was in the year 1634, when Tsar Michael was still young, so Ioasaph was a kind of "father figure" to him, replacing his biological as well as spiritual father, Filaret. Ioasaph was from the city of Pskov, in Northwestern Russia, near the border with what now is Estonia and Latvia. From the description of his life and activities (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/arhiv/040601103214), it looks like he was a pretty decent man. I would think that one reason why Ioasaph was so strongly against musical instruments etc., was that at that time, in the 1620's-1630's, there appeared to be a great disorder in the way services were conducted in Russian churches. For example, a weird custom emerged, allowing several choirs to chant different elements of the liturgy at the same time (sometimes up to 6 choirs chanted simultaneously), creating an impression of a total wild chaos. So, maybe people began to associate church services with something racy Smiley. The Patriarch wanted to put an end to this, and his total ban on musical instruments could be a sort of "side effect." 
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« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2008, 05:30:55 PM »

Thank you for the information. This was most helpful.
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« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2008, 06:24:43 PM »

Thank you for the information. This was most helpful.

You are most welcome. I am sorry if I "side-tracked" this discussion. I knew nothing about Ioasaph I, so I became curious and, knowing Russian, quickly found this information. Closer to the topic, I think this is an illustration of how good intentions of good people sometimes lead to unpredicted consequences. I have a feeling that Ioasaph had nothing against good music, musical instruments, etc. - he just desperately tried to return some order and dignity to church services. Also, I can imagine that the people of Muscovy, having heard this weird simultaneous chanting of several choirs, started to give up on church singing, and sought their aesthetic fulfilment in secular music. Maybe that was another reason for Ioasaph's austere move against musical instruments.
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« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2008, 07:10:52 PM »

Thanks everyone!

It isn't that I think I need to do it, but I feel like I ought to. I got rid of most of my gangster rap music a couple months ago and I've been better for it. And while I've gotten rid of video games (which were hurting me bc of my addiction) and other things, it's given me time to do other things, such as learn more about Orthodoxy, or about my profession and job.

I figure that if I cut this music from my life, I will listen to Orthodox music more... Recently i haven't listened to the music and have begun listening to Orthodox music a lot more.
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« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2008, 07:17:26 PM »

^ Hey, maybe you could take up listening to classical music. Grin
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« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2008, 07:18:59 AM »

^ Hey, maybe you could take up listening to classical music. Grin

I second this. Devin, classical music is a world, a beautiful world... Maybe if you just listen patiently to Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53 in A flat major (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZGi49Bnghs), just once, you will be "hooked" to it and you won't need any "gangsta" stuff for the rest of your life? Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2008, 07:35:44 AM »

I second this. Devin, classical music is a world, a beautiful world... Maybe if you just listen patiently to Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53 in A flat major (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZGi49Bnghs), just once, you will be "hooked" to it and you won't need any "gangsta" stuff for the rest of your life? Smiley

^^LOL - I love classical music, and Chopin is one of my favourite composers, but I still have my moments with Iron Maiden ( amongst others! )  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2008, 09:21:27 AM »

^^LOL - I love classical music, and Chopin is one of my favourite composers, but I still have my moments with Iron Maiden ( amongst others! )  Grin

You mean Georges Sand? Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2008, 09:56:20 AM »

You mean Georges Sand? Smiley

LOL!!
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« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2008, 08:53:47 PM »

You are most welcome. I am sorry if I "side-tracked" this discussion. I knew nothing about Ioasaph I, so I became curious and, knowing Russian, quickly found this information.
No, John Alden (Hopeful Faithful) did. You brought it back on topic.

And seriously, thank you for the information. I found nothing about him in English, so your Russian sources were unknown to me. I really do appreciate it.

Quote
Closer to the topic, I think this is an illustration of how good intentions of good people sometimes lead to unpredicted consequences. I have a feeling that Ioasaph had nothing against good music, musical instruments, etc. - he just desperately tried to return some order and dignity to church services. Also, I can imagine that the people of Muscovy, having heard this weird simultaneous chanting of several choirs, started to give up on church singing, and sought their aesthetic fulfilment in secular music. Maybe that was another reason for Ioasaph's austere move against musical instruments.
Perhaps. None of us can know the future with any certainty, and certainly if he acted with good intentions, others' misunderstanding and misusing his commands would not injure his good name.
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« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2008, 09:12:03 PM »

As for the music scene, I am basically in to Liturgical, Classical and Big Band. I also enjoy some folk and ethnic periodically.

Regarding the decumulating.....

Don't go "crazy convert" and rid yourself of everything at once, do so gradually. Perhaps get rid of your "darkest" and some of the most addicting stuff first. Then take it from there gradually. It will allow you time to adjust spiritually and otherwise without going into "burn out".

Personal Story:

I did a "crazy convert" great purge of all my electronics (stereo, television, VCR, DVD, computer, &c.) and most of my modern kitchen appliances six years ago. I did fine for about two weeks then I about went off my trolley. It was even worse considering I was on disability at the time, thus spending most of my time at home (a small apartment) with little to do. I finally managed to replace many things, but I hadn't yet learnt the lesson and purged again a few years later. I am just now recovering from this last purge of four years ago. Once again I am considering decumulating, but I am going to do it "slow and steady" accompanied by prayer! I will likely keep a few modern electronic things around, at least for a time.

As one poster mentioned... yes music does have an effect on the soul. It can also stimulate the passions. Thus, one of the inherent problems in much of rock/pop music.
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« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2008, 09:21:54 PM »

When I decided to become Orthodox, I went through and got rid of some Christian music which was so blatantly Protestant in the theology that it was now like nails on a chalkboard.  IE, Carman with the "word-faith" theology, One Bad Pig with some songs that sounded very Calvinist.  I also realized that some of the Christian music I had just wasn't very good, so I got rid of that as well.  I kept most of the secular stuff, however, including Disturbed.  Haven't regretted it.  Smiley  Of course, I've been Christian all my life, so I had very little in my collection that might be considered "Satanic" in the first place.  There might be the occasional song on a CD, but I just skip past it.
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2008, 06:02:45 PM »

Devin, I think you should do what you're comfortable with doing - there's a lot to be said for giving up everything you thought you needed, at least once or twice in your life.  I learned this from my godmother and my experience.  She is kind of an ex-hippy and gave away everything she owned twice before coming to Orthodoxy.  She says it was a great experience. 

I went through what you are going through, too, but I didn't give up all my music.  I chucked what was obviously rotten, and really quit listening even to everything I kept for a long time.  In fact, for months I listened only to chant and to one particular recording of Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil.  I had too much in my head to be processing anything else.  This was in the first months I started exclusively down the path to Orthodoxy.  I didn't need anyone else's suggestions in the form of musical lyrics to influence me - I had enough to work through.

I'm a distance runner, though, and so it wasn't long before I added some alternative back into the mix just for my workouts - mostly goofy stuff like They Might Be Giants (and actually, there are some Rachmaninov pieces that are great to run to!).  I ran in silence for quite some time, but then I decided just to try listening to that stuff again, with interesting results.  I find that with most art, it is what you bring to it.  I was listening to the local alternative station when Social Distortion's song "Ball and Chain" began to play, and I realized in some ways how spiritual it really is - in a way totally compatible with Orthodoxy.  It basically recounts my experience of coming to faith (not that I drank and found myself in the county jail or anything!).  It's about realizing that nothing satisfies you - it even mentions sitting in your broken down Chevrolet praying and thinking "there's got to be another way."  "Take away this ball and chain" sounded like my experience of losing the feelings of pointlessness I'd always had.  Anyway, enough poetic explication/literary criticism (sorry, I am an English grad student).  But even if listening to a song just makes you say, "huh.  That isn't right.  God tells us [insert here] is true," it can help develop your thinking.  You're going to get confronted with non-Orthodox thoughts out there in the world.  Art is grist for the mill, IMHO.
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« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2008, 07:21:18 AM »

All who would be like Christ are called to be ascetic, to practice virtue and to practice dispassion.

In a list of passions to be avoiding, we read in vol. 3 of the Philokalia, pg 206, "fluteplaying" along with many other similar passions, such as "...laughter, jokes, immodest dancing, clapping, improper songs..."

From the Domostroi (Rules for Russian Households) trans. by Pouncy, on pg 181, about women's responsibilities it reads: "She should not allow any Devil-inspired songs...or foul mouthed messages"

More references and documentation to arrive later.
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« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2008, 08:48:53 AM »

All who would be like Christ are called to be ascetic, to practice virtue and to practice dispassion.

In a list of passions to be avoiding, we read in vol. 3 of the Philokalia, pg 206, "fluteplaying" along with many other similar passions, such as "...laughter, jokes, immodest dancing, clapping, improper songs..."

From the Domostroi (Rules for Russian Households) trans. by Pouncy, on pg 181, about women's responsibilities it reads: "She should not allow any Devil-inspired songs...or foul mouthed messages"

More references and documentation to arrive later.

You see, that's exactly what worries me in discussions like this one. Why should we assume that Philokalia and Domostroi are Gospel Truth and guidance for all of us?

In Philokalia, if I am not mistaken, Simeon the New Theologian writes that if your wife is an unbeliever (like it is in my case), you should immediately run away from her, without ever looking back.

In Domostroi, husbands are instructed to beat their wives "not with a stick, but politely, with a horsewhip."

I think we should take this with a grain of salt, no?
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« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2008, 08:52:50 AM »

Mr. Alden, just a question:

Why are you so intent on all of us living our lives in the way you feel we should? Does it make you uncomfortable that we choose to laugh, use the Internet, and play chess? There are Saints who were polygamists; can God not save a chess-playing person as well?

Life according to the religion you describe would be a life anaesthetised. If this is Christianity, I want out now.
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« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2008, 02:03:28 PM »

More references and documentation to arrive later.
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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2008, 07:33:09 PM »

Mr. Alden, just a question:

Why are you so intent on all of us living our lives in the way you feel we should? Does it make you uncomfortable that we choose to laugh, use the Internet, and play chess? There are Saints who were polygamists; can God not save a chess-playing person as well?

Life according to the religion you describe would be a life anaesthetised. If this is Christianity, I want out now.

Yes!  It sounds like the old Methodist Blue Laws (some of which still survived in the Nazarene Church until the last couple of decades), or the Amish restrictions, or the old-fashioned restrictions we read about in books: no acting, no laughing on Sunday, no playing on Sunday, etc.  It sounds like a very dour way of life.  I still wish I'd been allowed to go to dances like "normal" kids when I was a teenager.
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« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2008, 08:49:30 PM »

Yes!  It sounds like the old Methodist Blue Laws (some of which still survived in the Nazarene Church until the last couple of decades), or the Amish restrictions, or the old-fashioned restrictions we read about in books: no acting, no laughing on Sunday, no playing on Sunday, etc.  It sounds like a very dour way of life.  I still wish I'd been allowed to go to dances like "normal" kids when I was a teenager.

Sigh. I SO hear you, OFQ!! Cry
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« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2008, 03:06:24 AM »

Quote
Life according to the religion you describe would be a life anaesthetised. If this is Christianity, I want out now.

Life would be dragged by its hair back to the Puritan Age. Perhaps Hopeful Faithful also wishes us to change the traditional icons because they're "too colorful"? Wink

(as Captain Kirk) Too..much..color! I'm becoming..a...blind man...of Biblical proportions! Tongue

Hey Devin, try Divna Ljubojevic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcpUnZ_ghdA&feature=related
                                           http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7tKexc4wSM&feature=related
                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHJY0T9RsQ&feature=related
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2008, 08:51:50 PM »

...along with many other similar passions, such as "...laughter, jokes..."

I want no part of YOUR Orthodoxy. Celtic paganism is more Godly than this.
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« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2008, 10:31:00 PM »

I want no part of YOUR Orthodoxy. Celtic paganism is more Godly than this.

Yes, it's hard to imagine that the Celts would have so readily converted had they been presented with such a lifeless Chrsitianity. When I was an inquirer, a young Orthodox fanatic told me that we shouldn't laugh; that Christ never sinned by laughing. I laughed!
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2008, 11:21:31 PM »

Quote
Yes, it's hard to imagine that the Celts would have so readily converted had they been presented with such a lifeless Chrsitianity. When I was an inquirer, a young Orthodox fanatic told me that we shouldn't laugh; that Christ never sinned by laughing. I laughed!

All this seriousness is turning Jesus into a Ben Stein! I'm just waiting for the day some Orthodox young'un claims Jesus would have accidently turned people to stone if He cracked a smile... Tongue
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« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2008, 10:40:05 AM »

Spare us. Roll Eyes

Considering Mr. Alden's pattern in the past, I would not hold my breath waiting for any reliable "references and documentation" and if anything purporting to be such were to be posted, I would not trust them to be accurate.  And as a side note, there are ellipses in the passages he seems to be quoting; following previous habits I would not trust them until the full sentence(s) could be found and checked.  Undecided

Also, I have a copy of the "Domostroi" in translation on my shelves.  I do not see why it should be accounted as applicable to all persons in all times and all places. 

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« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2008, 03:45:13 PM »

My opinion is: go sell everything you have and give the proceeds to someone in need.  Who?  Perhaps a single mother in your parish or even one you know of who isn't even Orthodox (recall Elijah helped a widow who was not an Israelite)?   

Then....here comes the more difficult part....every payday begin to set aside an equivalent amount as you once spent on your music collection passion and then begin slipping her the cash without any fanfare and if possible without her knowing it, but this last part is not always possible.

This will reveal a spiritual battle within yourself as you learn to hear the rejoicing of the Angels whose voices refrain every time a soul enters the contest to bring all he or she is into captivity to the knowledge of knowing Christ Jesus.  Pray to hear their songs which encourage the struggling soul to endure in walking in the good works which only you were ordained to walk in...that means do not judge the choices you make by what everyone else is doing around you. 

Do not be dismayed by temptations which entice you to give up your battle...which is not against music or the hearing thereof, but against a passion which you have yourself already recognized hinders your attentiveness to that one thing most important...hearing the voice of Christ in you teaching you how to keep his commandment to love your neighbor as yourself as you struggle to have pure and undefiled religion...which as you know St. James has defined for us saying: "...to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to KEEP ONESELF UNSPOTED FROM THE WORLD."

By beginning to perform the 1st action [as quoted] required by the apostle, you will have already begun to keeping after the latter.

Remember this most importantly, if your going to clean your house, after doing so fill it with good things lest the demons return to find it empty and use you as a location for a block party.

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« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2008, 04:43:59 PM »

I asked my spiritual father this question years ago and he said not to listen to secular music.

Music has a way of penetrating the soul. I don't know about you, but when I listen to musical lyrics the words tend to go around and around in my mind. This can more of a negative impact on your life than you might think since the feelings and emotions that modern music often focuses on is not exactly uplifting stuff.

On the other hand the more you listen to liturgical music and chanting, you will have God pleasing words going through your mind throughout your day, even when you aren't focusing on praying.

I know it's hard to separate from the world around us, but it's ultimately what we are called upon to do as Orthodox Christians. Giving up secular (and often spiritually harmful) music its just another choice we have, and one more opportunity to become closer to God. It's probably unrealistic to drop everything at once. Try to weed out the most overtly offensive things first and then work your way down from there. Eventually with God's help you'll have detached yourself from all those unnecessary and worldly things.


A caveat: I am not disputing what your spiritual father told you, but as far as applying it to a principle, I have some reservations which I will address.

I think it depends on the type of music...my bishop once remarked that traditional folk music often flows from the same source as Church music and has the same characteristics. I've noticed even some monasteries at their feast days play folk music even "in the Old World."

I enjoy listening to chant but not all the time. Some Greek island music, Pontiaka, some Arabic melodies, some forms of Latin American music like Vallenato and *some* modern American music all fit the bill. But I can't listen to a lot of the music I used to listen to as a teenager; even the stuff with clean lyrics just provokes passions.

The idea that we should weed out all secular music is strange to me and I think more fundamentalist than Orthodox; God's creation is not evil, and the positive aspects of created things lift the mind up towards God. A beautifully composed kritika song with the violin (or even better, a lyre) often instills a true sense of awe and majesty and peace when I listen to it.

Discretion is advised and moderation is important.
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« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2008, 06:27:40 PM »

Such a balanced post, Father! Thank you!
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