Good job, Seraphim. Very nice baptism of the day. Even gave a nod to the western liturgical calendar. Cool beans.
If this had been the first time I had encountered Orthodoxy, there never would have been a second time.
Wow. Why the harsh words, pray tell? What is so infuriating about it that it deserves immediate condemnation? What horrible crime has he committed?
Not to mention inappropriate and presumptuous for a layman to offer blessings...but hey, to each their own.
My priest said that making the cross over my girls with my fingers done like I do when I make the cross over myself is perfectly fine. Like you say, though, to each (bishop) his own; we'll defer to our respective authorities on that one.
On the other hand, I am not sure that in that neighborhood, there will be any reaction to what Seraphim did with his home, except maybe "wow, we used to have our evangelical wacos and now we also have some Eastern religious wacos."
Or, Seraphim might do what he does quietly and unassumingly, offering but not pushing. And someone might actually come away having learned something. And might think about God and His holy ones. And a seed might get planted which might grow to bear good, lasting fruit. Openmindedness is called for here; perhaps folks just need to get a thicker skin and take something in the (gentle!) spirit in which it was intended (not criticizing you specifically here, Heorhij).
Or maybe Seraphim will make a few converts who would join the Orthodox Church and continue to turn it into another evangelical group, just with icons and prayers to the saints...
Or maybe he will start a custom that takes a pre-existing cultural celebration, find the Orthodox proclamation of truth within it, and celebrate it. Ss. Cyril and Methodius and Ss. Herman and Innocent of Alaska did similar things with pagan folk traditions.
Honestly -- just because a lot of folks who first came to this country didn't know much about holidays, culture, etc when they first got here (and who could blame them?) doesn't mean that we can or should continue in a habit of cultural disengagement because someone, somewhere
be too easily offended at an innocent gesture. We can't hide behind the attitude of "Well, it's not something we've been doing, so it's not something we ever SHOULD be doing, ESPECIALLY if those inherently wacky and ne'er-E'ER-do-well evangelicals
have been known to do something similar."