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Author Topic: Why don't Protestants celebrate more religious holidays?  (Read 23277 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 03, 2009, 12:50:46 AM »

In tonight's Bible Study, Father mentioned how each of the 12 feasts we celebrate on the Liturgical calander are on the calander to remind us of how each part of Christ's life plays a role in our salvation.

This reminded me of a question I've always had, even in my days in the Baptist church.

Why does the Protestant church water down the Liturgical calander to Christmas and Easter?

While I understand your reasoning for throwing out the days that honor the Saints and the Theotokos, why throw out the days that honor Christ?

Specifically I am referring to Theophany (Christ's Baptism) (Luke 3:21-22), the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 1:22-24), Transfiguration (Mark 1:1-13), Palm Sunday (John 12:13-15) and the rest of Holy Week, Pentacost (Acts 2:3-5), and Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).

All of these events are recorded in the Bible, and are worthy of our praise. On Christmas and Easter you celebrate what Christ did for your salvation; why not include the other dates in the year?

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 01:36:03 AM »

So you're asking why Protestants do not embrace certain aspects of the True Faith?

I'm only a catechumen right now, but I assume this is what the Orthodox call a Mystery...  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 01:45:54 AM »

Are you asking about "Protestants" or Evangelical Protestants? I was an Episcopalian most of my life and the Episcopal, Lutheran and to a certain extent the Methodist Church celebrated all the major feasts as well as special feasts of Mary and some saints.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_of_saints_(Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutheran_calendar_of_saints
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 06:24:46 AM »

What you say is right: we observe Christmas and Easter, and perhaps some minor acknowledgement when it is Whitsun, but we have nothing like the Orthodox church calendar. As I put on another thread, I am currently reading day by day (i.e. really at the wrong times) Sergei Bulgakov's "Churchly Joy: Orthodox Devotions for the Church Year". (I think that is the exact title: it is not to hand here where I am.) It has made me think what a good thing a church year is, if observed under grace and not legalistically of course - but that applies to all aspects of our religion. It is the first time I remember when I have exposed myself to the concept of a church year.

I can only speak about the sort of church that I tend to circulate among most, and what I say will not apply to all Protestants of course. Every age seems to have a "canon within the canon": for the mediæval West it was the Gospels and Psalms; for the Cistercians it seems to have been the Song of Solomon. The sort of Evangelical church I go to most often (that is, go to with my Albanian work, mainly in England and Wales but sometimes in Scotland) has the epistles of Paul as its "canon within the canon", especially the Epistle to the Romans. There is more preaching from Romans and the other pauline epistles than from anywhere else.

Now I see this as a defect, not a strength, which a church calendar such as yours, marking the events in the Gospels, would help us to put right. We hear preaching from the Gospels far too seldom, and I wish we had more. When we do get ministry from the gospels, it tends to be John more than the synoptics. I think we like to hear didactic rather than narrative preaching - or at least, our preachers like to give that sort! I love to hear good preaching which presents Christ to me from the record of his life and words. Of course we believe all the narratives, in all the Gospels, and all the events, works and words of our Lord find mention scattered throughout the year in our sermons and Bible studies. But you have something there which we would be well advised to learn from.

You ask why we lack it. That is harder to answer, and I have no idea. It is of course easier to give teaching from the epistles than from the Gospels, for the revelation was complete at the time the epistles were written, and our Lord himself said that his disciples did not understand everything, but would do so after the Comforter was sent following his ascension. It takes more thought and divine help to present a fully evangelical message (small e-) from the Gospels than from the epistles, where the precepts are set out more explicitly and more fully. But why don't we devise some means, such as you have, of ensuring that we do turn to the Gospels more? I don't know.

A church historian could probably tell us (you and me) when the idea or use of the church calendar was discontinued. He would perhaps find it harder to say why.

On a personal note, I have made some attempt over the last year or two to rectify this to some extent in my own preaching by turning to the Gospels for passages to preach from. The influence of my Orthodox reading? Who knows?
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 01:47:02 PM »

Crucifer beat me to it. There's no such thing as "Protestants" as a monolithic bloc.  I've been Episcopalian for over 30 years and we have all the feasts mentioned in our Book of Common Prayer.  Palm Sunday through Easter is "Holy Week" with lots of services for example.

Ebor
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 02:24:45 PM »

Crucifer beat me to it. There's no such thing as "Protestants" as a monolithic bloc.  I've been Episcopalian for over 30 years and we have all the feasts mentioned in our Book of Common Prayer.  Palm Sunday through Easter is "Holy Week" with lots of services for example.

Ebor

And Episcopalians are also a small minority of Protestants, so it's not like that actually refutes the fact that the bulk of Protestants don't observe any feasts.  Even among those mainline Protestant denominations that do observe them, Episcopalians are again the exception in that they actually have special services.  For Methodists and the like, the acknowledgment is often confined to the topic of the sermon and a couple of the hymns.  Even then, however, we're still only talking about a plurality of Protestants (at best). 
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 05:13:13 PM »

What you say is right: we observe Christmas and Easter, and perhaps some minor acknowledgement when it is Whitsun, but we have nothing like the Orthodox church calendar. As I put on another thread, I am currently reading day by day (i.e. really at the wrong times) Sergei Bulgakov's "Churchly Joy: Orthodox Devotions for the Church Year". (I think that is the exact title: it is not to hand here where I am.) It has made me think what a good thing a church year is, if observed under grace and not legalistically of course - but that applies to all aspects of our religion. It is the first time I remember when I have exposed myself to the concept of a church year.

I can only speak about the sort of church that I tend to circulate among most, and what I say will not apply to all Protestants of course. Every age seems to have a "canon within the canon": for the mediæval West it was the Gospels and Psalms; for the Cistercians it seems to have been the Song of Solomon. The sort of Evangelical church I go to most often (that is, go to with my Albanian work, mainly in England and Wales but sometimes in Scotland) has the epistles of Paul as its "canon within the canon", especially the Epistle to the Romans. There is more preaching from Romans and the other pauline epistles than from anywhere else.

Now I see this as a defect, not a strength, which a church calendar such as yours, marking the events in the Gospels, would help us to put right. We hear preaching from the Gospels far too seldom, and I wish we had more. When we do get ministry from the gospels, it tends to be John more than the synoptics. I think we like to hear didactic rather than narrative preaching - or at least, our preachers like to give that sort! I love to hear good preaching which presents Christ to me from the record of his life and words. Of course we believe all the narratives, in all the Gospels, and all the events, works and words of our Lord find mention scattered throughout the year in our sermons and Bible studies. But you have something there which we would be well advised to learn from.

You ask why we lack it. That is harder to answer, and I have no idea. It is of course easier to give teaching from the epistles than from the Gospels, for the revelation was complete at the time the epistles were written, and our Lord himself said that his disciples did not understand everything, but would do so after the Comforter was sent following his ascension. It takes more thought and divine help to present a fully evangelical message (small e-) from the Gospels than from the epistles, where the precepts are set out more explicitly and more fully. But why don't we devise some means, such as you have, of ensuring that we do turn to the Gospels more? I don't know.

A church historian could probably tell us (you and me) when the idea or use of the church calendar was discontinued. He would perhaps find it harder to say why.

On a personal note, I have made some attempt over the last year or two to rectify this to some extent in my own preaching by turning to the Gospels for passages to preach from. The influence of my Orthodox reading? Who knows?


How has preaching from the gospels changed the perspective of the congregation, if at all? 

Also, would you ever preach from a feast day theme?  Or do you just not acknowledge them at all. 

For example, February 2 (yesterday) is the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, to the Elder Symeon (which is in the gospels).  How would that work out for you?  Would you have to explain then where you got the date from, and how you know it happened on this day, etc.  Or would you rather just preach on that topic and let it go? 

Just curious.  thank you in advance! 
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 06:07:31 PM »

How has preaching from the gospels changed the perspective of the congregation, if at all? 

I can't really say. In churches where I preach only occasionally, I do not know the congregations well enough to judge. In the church where I am a member, which I joined in 1977, I am grateful to the Lord that my preaching is appreciatively and warmly received, but I have not sensed a difference between the people's response whether I am preaching from the Old Testament, Gospels, Acts, epistles, or Revelation. The fact is that a high proportion of the services I take there are Communion services, so I tend to take a passage and theme related to the Eucharist and its meanings; and a further high proportion have tended to be at special times like Good Friday or Christmas, so again the theme was sort-of predetermined. When there are no such constraints - or rather, pointers - I have a freer choice, but I suspect the difference in feeling about the sermon is within me more than in my hearers. There is something inwardly satisfying in preaching direct from the Gospels. I hasten to add that I hope and pray that all my sermons point people to Christ.

Quote
Also, would you ever preach from a feast day theme?  Or do you just not acknowledge them at all. 

Yes. I would need to explain what the day was, as people probably wouldn't know other than Christmas, Easter and Whitsun. I suspect people would think it was largely coincidental that the theme I had fixed upon happened to fall on a day which in other churches had significance for that theme. They wouldn't mind, but they wouldn't deem the coincidence of any significance. I would be more likely to do it in a church where I am known and trusted from long acquaintance.

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February 2 is the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, ... Would you have to explain then where you got the date from, and how you know it happened on this day,

Yes, I would have to explain. It is however highly unlikely that I would know about it myself, unless someone told me. I did sent a text message to a friend who lived in Worcester on St Wulfstan's Day, wishing him the blessing of Wulfstan's God. He is a Pentecostal and knows of my admiration for Bishop Wulfstan. If I had an opportunity, I would gladly give a talk on the life of Wulfstan on that day, but that wouldn't be a Sunday sermon, but a 'paper', 'talk' or 'lecture', more likely a midweek evening.

Quote
Or would you rather just preach on that topic and let it go? 

We probably do cover the whole gamut of themes as time passes. Most pastors, that is, men who preach regularly to the same congregation, devise their own systems. For example, ours is currently going through Acts in the morning and Malachi in the evening. This sort of thing is the more usual pattern.

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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 04:33:58 AM »

RED EGGS

When we arrived in Albania in 1991, immediately after the fall of Communism, people left us puzzled by telling us earnestly, "We always kept the Faith - we never stopped making red eggs." We had no idea what red eggs mean, although it was plain they were a paschal thing. Someone put a post on another thread recently, saying what great risks people took if they continued to make red eggs at Easter during Communism. Now nobody is going to risk their goods and liberty for eggs: it must have a powerful religious significance.

Please explain to me: and I can explain to others. I assume it refers to the blood of Christ. But so does the cup at the Eucharist; and we can call gratefully to mind, in our hearts, the value and power of that blood whenever we want. We don't need the eggs as well. Why are they so important?

We are bidden to give honour where honour is due, and it is good that I should come to understand - even if it is 17½ years late.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 08:36:49 AM »

here is the wiki site to that explanation.  It's actually pretty good, and fairly thorough.  The major thing you want to look into is the example of Mary Magdelene. (it's on the site). 

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


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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2009, 09:45:15 AM »

here is the wiki site to that explanation. 

Most informative. Thank you. I wish I'd known that years ago.
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 09:58:26 AM »

David Young,

You said this above: 
Quote
We probably do cover the whole gamut of themes as time passes. Most pastors, that is, men who preach regularly to the same congregation, devise their own systems. For example, ours is currently going through Acts in the morning and Malachi in the evening. This sort of thing is the more usual pattern.

Is that a standard thing, with NT in the morning and OT in the afternoon?  That would be very interesting if true...
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2009, 12:49:12 PM »

Is that a standard thing, with NT in the morning and OT in the afternoon? 

Not standard, but probably opted for quite often.

Sometimes the minister of a congregation will take a doctrine rather than a book of the Bible - say, for example, "The Last Things" or "The Atonement", and will expound that by means of a series of sermons on different aspects of the theme. Or he might take a series on a more devotional, hortatory theme, such as "Finding God's Guidance" or "Coping with Doubt".

Often, of course, his sermon will be a one-off, not part of a series at all. This might happen if something special arises, like the tsunami, and he wants to help Christians deal with the problem of wide-scale suffering or whatever the event might relate to; or if he preaches on a short book, like Obadiah, which only has one chapter.

People like to hear, and pastors like to give, consecutive ministry, and there is a host of ways of devising it.

Preaching is always from the Bible, but biographical or historical talks are sometimes given at mid-week meetings. They will have a spiritual application, and can make an interesting and refreshing change. Most mid-week meetings however will consist of a Bible study, and these are seldom taken by visiting speakers, so I am familiar only with how it is done at our church; but we are probably fairly typical. Usually we sit in a circle and whoever is leading the study will guide a discussion on it, asking questions, probing for people's understanding of the passage, inviting them to ask questions, express insights, and so on. This is an excellent way of discovering what the people know and think, and don't know and don't think - their strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and difficulties - and this knowledge can then be built into Sunday preaching from other passages as well. These can also, of course, take the people gradually through a book of the Bible, or into a theme (such as Prayer, Worship, or whatever). In this way, we build each other up; it is different from listening to preaching.
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2009, 02:05:21 PM »

Is that a standard thing, with NT in the morning and OT in the afternoon? 

Not standard, but probably opted for quite often.

Sometimes the minister of a congregation will take a doctrine rather than a book of the Bible - say, for example, "The Last Things" or "The Atonement", and will expound that by means of a series of sermons on different aspects of the theme. Or he might take a series on a more devotional, hortatory theme, such as "Finding God's Guidance" or "Coping with Doubt".

Often, of course, his sermon will be a one-off, not part of a series at all. This might happen if something special arises, like the tsunami, and he wants to help Christians deal with the problem of wide-scale suffering or whatever the event might relate to; or if he preaches on a short book, like Obadiah, which only has one chapter.

People like to hear, and pastors like to give, consecutive ministry, and there is a host of ways of devising it.

Preaching is always from the Bible, but biographical or historical talks are sometimes given at mid-week meetings. They will have a spiritual application, and can make an interesting and refreshing change. Most mid-week meetings however will consist of a Bible study, and these are seldom taken by visiting speakers, so I am familiar only with how it is done at our church; but we are probably fairly typical. Usually we sit in a circle and whoever is leading the study will guide a discussion on it, asking questions, probing for people's understanding of the passage, inviting them to ask questions, express insights, and so on. This is an excellent way of discovering what the people know and think, and don't know and don't think - their strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and difficulties - and this knowledge can then be built into Sunday preaching from other passages as well. These can also, of course, take the people gradually through a book of the Bible, or into a theme (such as Prayer, Worship, or whatever). In this way, we build each other up; it is different from listening to preaching.

Firstly, thank you so much for this! 

Secondly the reason why I thought it was interesting is b/c during Great Lent (in the EOC tradition), we have readings from the Old Testament during the Vespers service (late afternoon), as well as in the morning.  BUT the interesting thing is that on REGULAR days, we have NT readings in the mornings.  I wonder if there is some kind of inherant connection there with night time and OT, and morning with NT.  Just curious. 

Also, do you do anything different for Lent (along the lines of the original post), or do you not celebrate lent at all?  how does that all work out in terms of celebrations and etc.?  Do you have Holy Week, etc. ? 
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2009, 02:07:17 PM »

Crucifer beat me to it. There's no such thing as "Protestants" as a monolithic bloc.  I've been Episcopalian for over 30 years and we have all the feasts mentioned in our Book of Common Prayer.  Palm Sunday through Easter is "Holy Week" with lots of services for example.

Ebor

Crucifer, Ebor,

After I submitted the post and left the thread I thought "I'm gonna get some 'heat' for putting all Protestant groups in one bucket."  Wink By then it was very late in the evening, and it was too late for me to edit my post.

I want to apologize for doing so, for I know better, and know that there are some Protestant groups that do have a Liturgical calander.

Please forgive me,

Maureen
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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2009, 02:15:20 PM »

What you say is right: we observe Christmas and Easter, and perhaps some minor acknowledgement when it is Whitsun, but we have nothing like the Orthodox church calendar. As I put on another thread, I am currently reading day by day (i.e. really at the wrong times) Sergei Bulgakov's "Churchly Joy: Orthodox Devotions for the Church Year". (I think that is the exact title: it is not to hand here where I am.) It has made me think what a good thing a church year is, if observed under grace and not legalistically of course - but that applies to all aspects of our religion. It is the first time I remember when I have exposed myself to the concept of a church year.

I can only speak about the sort of church that I tend to circulate among most, and what I say will not apply to all Protestants of course. Every age seems to have a "canon within the canon": for the mediæval West it was the Gospels and Psalms; for the Cistercians it seems to have been the Song of Solomon. The sort of Evangelical church I go to most often (that is, go to with my Albanian work, mainly in England and Wales but sometimes in Scotland) has the epistles of Paul as its "canon within the canon", especially the Epistle to the Romans. There is more preaching from Romans and the other pauline epistles than from anywhere else.

Now I see this as a defect, not a strength, which a church calendar such as yours, marking the events in the Gospels, would help us to put right. We hear preaching from the Gospels far too seldom, and I wish we had more. When we do get ministry from the gospels, it tends to be John more than the synoptics. I think we like to hear didactic rather than narrative preaching - or at least, our preachers like to give that sort! I love to hear good preaching which presents Christ to me from the record of his life and words. Of course we believe all the narratives, in all the Gospels, and all the events, works and words of our Lord find mention scattered throughout the year in our sermons and Bible studies. But you have something there which we would be well advised to learn from.

You ask why we lack it. That is harder to answer, and I have no idea. It is of course easier to give teaching from the epistles than from the Gospels, for the revelation was complete at the time the epistles were written, and our Lord himself said that his disciples did not understand everything, but would do so after the Comforter was sent following his ascension. It takes more thought and divine help to present a fully evangelical message (small e-) from the Gospels than from the epistles, where the precepts are set out more explicitly and more fully. But why don't we devise some means, such as you have, of ensuring that we do turn to the Gospels more? I don't know.

A church historian could probably tell us (you and me) when the idea or use of the church calendar was discontinued. He would perhaps find it harder to say why.

On a personal note, I have made some attempt over the last year or two to rectify this to some extent in my own preaching by turning to the Gospels for passages to preach from. The influence of my Orthodox reading? Who knows?

This is very interesting, as I never noticed this "canon of the canon" in the Baptist church I attended. (Just speaking from my personal experience.) To their credit, the pastors and leaders there were very effective in using the entire Bible for a sermon. It was not uncommon to have the whole congregation flipping back in forth from one part of the Bible (whether it be Old or New Testament) to another section of the Bible.

But back to my original question, was there a point during the Reformation where one of the Reformers felt the need to throw out the Liturgical calander, and if so, why? Did they just see it as another one of the "distractions" that needed to be tossed out?

To me, this is just another example of the proverbial "throwing the baby out with the bath water."
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2009, 02:21:07 PM »

do you do anything different for Lent ?  Do you have Holy Week, etc. ? 

No. We have no Lent, and (as I wrote on a different post) we probably don't even know when it's on. Around Easter, we only have a morning service (Communion) on Good Friday, and the theme of at least one of the two Sunday services will be the Resurrection. It ought to be a much bigger thing.

Mind you, we are likely to have preaching and Bible studies on the Resurrection, both Christ's and ours, a number of times during the year. The motif is constantly there, but Easter ought to be a much bigger celebration.
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2009, 02:30:41 PM »

Firstly, thank you so much for this! 

Secondly the reason why I thought it was interesting is b/c during Great Lent (in the EOC tradition), we have readings from the Old Testament during the Vespers service (late afternoon), as well as in the morning.  BUT the interesting thing is that on REGULAR days, we have NT readings in the mornings.  I wonder if there is some kind of inherant connection there with night time and OT, and morning with NT.  Just curious. 

Also, do you do anything different for Lent (along the lines of the original post), or do you not celebrate lent at all?  how does that all work out in terms of celebrations and etc.?  Do you have Holy Week, etc. ? 

While I can't speak for David Young's church, I can say that this is more of a church by church practice, not something that "All Baptists" or "All Protestants" do. Each church will have it's own way of approaching the Bible, and how they study it.

In the Baptist Church I grew up in, there was no particular rhyme or reason as to why we would be studying a particular passage/theme. I mean around Christmas you always look at the Christmas story and the prophetic readings of the Old Testament, and on Easter we would read of Christ's ressurection, but the rest of the year was based on the whim of the Pastor. In speaking with other family members who are of various Protestant groups, they have said the same thing.

As far as any recognition of "Holy Week," this always upset me because there was no recognition of it. Here was an event that was clearly Biblically based and we wouldn't talk about it until Sunday. Sometimes on Good Friday we would have an evening service where they would read about the crucifixion and give everyone a nail to take home. The nail was supposed to be similar to one they would have used to nail Christ to the cross, and to give us an image of how he suffered. We were supposed contemplate on His suffering all weekend and then bring the nail back on Sunday to be symbolic of His Ressurection. Personally speaking, I always thought it was kind of lame, and looked forward to spending Holy Friday with my father in the Orthodox Church. I didn't feel like the service captured the intensity of the day, and just left me feeling kind of empty. (One of the advantages of having divorced parents of different faiths was that most of the time the issue of "who do we spend the holiday with" didn't exist because of the different church calanders. Spent Easter with Mom, Pascha with Dad, and the two never conflicted.)

Perhaps Cleopas would also like to weigh in?
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2009, 02:30:59 PM »

do you do anything different for Lent ?  Do you have Holy Week, etc. ? 

No. We have no Lent, and (as I wrote on a different post) we probably don't even know when it's on. Around Easter, we only have a morning service (Communion) on Good Friday, and the theme of at least one of the two Sunday services will be the Resurrection. It ought to be a much bigger thing.

Mind you, we are likely to have preaching and Bible studies on the Resurrection, both Christ's and ours, a number of times during the year. The motif is constantly there, but Easter ought to be a much bigger celebration.

How do you know when Easter is, if you don't have a lenten period? 
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2009, 02:33:18 PM »

do you do anything different for Lent ?  Do you have Holy Week, etc. ? 

No. We have no Lent, and (as I wrote on a different post) we probably don't even know when it's on. Around Easter, we only have a morning service (Communion) on Good Friday, and the theme of at least one of the two Sunday services will be the Resurrection. It ought to be a much bigger thing.

Mind you, we are likely to have preaching and Bible studies on the Resurrection, both Christ's and ours, a number of times during the year. The motif is constantly there, but Easter ought to be a much bigger celebration.

This is very interesting because the only day of the Liturgical year where it is forbidden to have Divine Liturgy (which is a Eucharistic service) is Holy/Good Friday.

As my post prior to this one indicates, I agree with you, it does need to be a bigger thing.
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2009, 02:34:31 PM »

How do you know when Easter is, if you don't have a lenten period? 

They use the same method the Catholic Church does to calculate the date. Once the date is calculated, they know which day to have the Easter service, but that's it. There's nothing that leads up to it.
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2009, 06:07:46 PM »

How do you know when Easter is, if you don't have a lenten period? 

They use the same method the Catholic Church does to calculate the date. Once the date is calculated, they know which day to have the Easter service, but that's it. There's nothing that leads up to it.

Not entirely true. We keep the Orthodox date in an Orthodox environment and the Catholic one in a Catholic environment. In Britain, the government announces bank holidays at Easter and it is always printed in secular diaries and calendars. And the shops lead up to it by selling chocolate eggs and other things - just to make money, no religious motive that I can discern.

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From Handmaiden: Personally speaking, I always thought it was kind of lame... I didn't feel like the service captured the intensity of the day.


I feel the same.
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2009, 06:33:37 PM »

In tonight's Bible Study, Father mentioned how each of the 12 feasts we celebrate on the Liturgical calander are on the calander to remind us of how each part of Christ's life plays a role in our salvation.

This reminded me of a question I've always had, even in my days in the Baptist church.

Why does the Protestant church water down the Liturgical calander to Christmas and Easter?

While I understand your reasoning for throwing out the days that honor the Saints and the Theotokos, why throw out the days that honor Christ?

Specifically I am referring to Theophany (Christ's Baptism) (Luke 3:21-22), the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 1:22-24), Transfiguration (Mark 1:1-13), Palm Sunday (John 12:13-15) and the rest of Holy Week, Pentacost (Acts 2:3-5), and Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).

All of these events are recorded in the Bible, and are worthy of our praise. On Christmas and Easter you celebrate what Christ did for your salvation; why not include the other dates in the year?



Puritanism. Read up on the British civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and what happened during those years. Puritanism was transplanted to North America, and their modern day decendants are Congregationalists(United Church of Christ, Uniterians, Universalists, Harvard University.....ect), Prespyterians(PCUSA,PCA,OPC, Yale, Princeton,....ect), Baptists(Southern Baptists, National Baptists, American Baptists, Free will Baptists, 7nth Day Baptists, Primative Baptists, Missionary Baptist.......ect.), Quaker, and uhm.....who else? The Pilgrims...but they later merged with their Congregationalists counter parts. Infact, the english separatists came from congregationalism. You had puritans that were Episcopalian too, but I'm not including them in this. The Church of Christ(the cambellite movement) mostly came from Prespyterianism, but they were also mixed with Baptists, and Methodhists. Alot of the other groups that came later seemed to be influenced by them too. Like the Holiness movement(Church of the Nazerine, and Church of God cleveland tenessee) came from the Methodhists(United Methodhists, weslyian churches, and other methodhists groups), Most Pentecostal groups came from your Holiness churches. And most Americans are from this background. So this is probably why they don't have church calanders.


But yeah, my bet would be Puritanism....I would point the finger at that movement.


It took a long time for Puritans in this country to tolerate and accept Christmass. But Christmass and Easter are part of our "National Holidays"........so they are embeded in our federal government.


I could be wrong about this......so please double check me on this........but I don't think the churches that have their roots in puritanism care about church calendars.

They just don't have them. I could be wrong about this, but it seems to be a "puritan" thing.






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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2009, 07:23:18 PM »

How do you know when Easter is, if you don't have a lenten period? 

They use the same method the Catholic Church does to calculate the date. Once the date is calculated, they know which day to have the Easter service, but that's it. There's nothing that leads up to it.

Not entirely true. We keep the Orthodox date in an Orthodox environment and the Catholic one in a Catholic environment. In Britain, the government announces bank holidays at Easter and it is always printed in secular diaries and calendars. And the shops lead up to it by selling chocolate eggs and other things - just to make money, no religious motive that I can discern.

Quote
From Handmaiden: Personally speaking, I always thought it was kind of lame... I didn't feel like the service captured the intensity of the day.


I feel the same.

Forgive me for being so ignorant with this....what do you mean by "orthodox invironment"??  Like Protestant churches in orthodox countries?  Sorry...that was fairly confusing. 
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2009, 08:22:10 PM »

Not all Protestants are aliturgical.  I don't know about Europe but in the US the besides the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches do keep a liturgical calendar with most of the usual feast altrhough those of Christ will often be transferred to the nearest Sunday.

http://www.pcusa.org/calendar/seasons09.htm
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2009, 07:13:16 AM »

what do you mean by "orthodox invironment"??  Like Protestant churches in orthodox countries? 

Actually I had southern Albania in mind, where the population is at least nominally Orthodox or Moslem, and not many Catholics, and (apart from Korçë) no Protestants before 1991 that we know of for sure. As I understand it, Protestant churches in northern Albania observe Easter on the RC date, and in southern Albania on the Orthodox date. I have only been in Greece once at Easter, and I suppose it could have been one of those years when the two dates fell at the same time, but as far as I am aware the Evangelicals and Pentecostals observe Easter on the Orthodox date in Greece. I shall in fact, after this post, send an e-mail to my pastor friend in Corfu, Miltiades Pantelios, and ask him, and shall post a correction if it turns out I am wrong.
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2009, 08:48:08 AM »

FROM GREECE

Hi
All Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Greece observe Easter according to the Orthodox date.
 
God bless
Miltiades
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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2009, 12:07:45 PM »

Crucifer beat me to it. There's no such thing as "Protestants" as a monolithic bloc.  I've been Episcopalian for over 30 years and we have all the feasts mentioned in our Book of Common Prayer.  Palm Sunday through Easter is "Holy Week" with lots of services for example.

Ebor

Crucifer, Ebor,

After I submitted the post and left the thread I thought "I'm gonna get some 'heat' for putting all Protestant groups in one bucket."  Wink By then it was very late in the evening, and it was too late for me to edit my post.

I want to apologize for doing so, for I know better, and know that there are some Protestant groups that do have a Liturgical calander.

Please forgive me,

Maureen

I assure you that I didn't mean to give you any "heat".  I meant no offense to you either.   Smiley

It seems sometimes that between the "Protestants are all alike" in some posts and "Protestants are all split up because they're all different in everything" that there isn't a middle ground.. a via media (sorry I gave into temptation and put that in.) 

Ebor
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2009, 07:45:55 PM »

FROM GREECE

Hi
All Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Greece observe Easter according to the Orthodox date.
 
God bless
Miltiades


Very very interesting.  So the celebration of Easter, and it's precise date is not a big deal to you? 

I definitely want to keep in line with the OP, but I might be stretching it at this point....the Mods might have to move this discussion to a new thread (just wanted to let you know in case they do it)  Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2009, 04:05:26 AM »

FROM GREECE

Hi
All Evangelicals and Pentecostals in Greece observe Easter according to the Orthodox date.
 
God bless
Miltiades


So the celebration of Easter, and it's precise date is not a big deal to you? 

To celebrate it is important, though we are not very good at doing so, alas! But we believe it with all our hearts, for without the Resurrection of Christ, we are of all men most miserable, as it is somewhere written. But the precise date on which it occurred does not engage our hearts.
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« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2009, 04:37:48 AM »

But the precise date on which it occurred does not engage our hearts.
Really? That's in Scripture, you know--the Sunday after Passover.
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« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2009, 05:51:42 AM »

in Scripture, you know--the Sunday after Passover.

To be honest, it's not something I have ever looked into. Even at the fateful Synod of Whitby it seems that the debate centred more on the tactical advantages of Roman practice than on how to calculate the correct date. I imagine that both Rome and Lindisfarne (or if you prefer, Rome and Byzantium) had reasons which are sufficient to convince each that he is right. But I cannot debate it, for I have never studied it. Rightly or wrongly, it seems that we Evangelicals are content to observe the date of the dominant surrounding church, and in Protestant or formerly Protestant countries that means the Roman date, as we sprang from Rome not Constantinople. I do not say we are right: I merely answer the question that was put as to what we do.
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« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2009, 07:07:00 AM »

it seems that we Evangelicals are content to observe the date of the dominant surrounding church, and in Protestant or formerly Protestant countries that means the Roman date, as we sprang from Rome not Constantinople.
I suspect this is correct. There are very few Protestant churches with a liturgical calendar; in fact, most Protestants I know have no idea how Easter is calculated.
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« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2009, 07:07:12 AM »

in Scripture, you know--the Sunday after Passover.

To be honest, it's not something I have ever looked into. Even at the fateful Synod of Whitby it seems that the debate centred more on the tactical advantages of Roman practice than on how to calculate the correct date. I imagine that both Rome and Lindisfarne (or if you prefer, Rome and Byzantium) had reasons which are sufficient to convince each that he is right. But I cannot debate it, for I have never studied it. Rightly or wrongly, it seems that we Evangelicals are content to observe the date of the dominant surrounding church, and in Protestant or formerly Protestant countries that means the Roman date, as we sprang from Rome not Constantinople. I do not say we are right: I merely answer the question that was put as to what we do.

Sorry brother if this is insensitive, my ignorance might come through!  

Doesn't this seem rather ticky-tacky?  You just look at the "christians" next to you, and say "hey you celebrate pascha too?  We do too!  Why don't we just do it together!"  without ever knowing who these people are, what they believe in, etc.??  What happens if you're in an area where there are SEVERAL celebrations of Pascha?  For example, i'm not sure how good of an example the US is, but there are 2 groups with 2 Pascha's that are in the "mainstream" culture (for the most part).  Or what about areas like Ethiopia and Egypt, where you not only have ORthodox, Roman Catholics, but also COpts who have their own calendar and etc., PLUS the Muslims.  What do Protestants do there?  See where i'm getting at with this?  

It seems like the date of the resurrection is not important, but rather just celebrating it, in concert with other local christians.  Is this correct?  
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« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2009, 08:24:10 AM »

you... say "hey you celebrate pascha too?  Why don't we just do it together!"  without ever knowing who these people are, what they believe in, etc.??  

Not quite. The fundamental reason is that we don't tend to observe dates. Each church will probably hold its own services in its own building, though some will doubtless mount a joint service. I don't think anyone believes that Jesus was born on 25th December, or for that matter on 6th January. We just don't know, and as one of those dates has been used to celebrate his birth, they are as good as any. This is probably a contributing factor to our lack of interest in correctness of the date. Also, the whole idea of a church calendar has no place in our practice, apart from Christmas and Easter (and probably Whitsun).

With the Resurrection, I am aware that people believe they can calculate it correctly, though either Rome or Byzantium must be mistaken. But the actual date does not hold importance for us. The fact does: so we are happy to accept the ambient dominant date.

Quote
What happens if you're in an area where there are SEVERAL celebrations of Pascha?  

In Kosova where currently all the Evangelicals are Albanian and there is no Albanian Orthodox Church but there is a 4% Albanian Catholic minority and perhaps a 5% Serbian Orthodox minority, the Evangelicals follow the Catholic practice, but I suspect that is because it is Albanian rather than because they have given much thought to the actual date. In any case, the Albanian community is 96% Moslem, so the question of a dominant ambience does not come into play. In southern Albania, where there are some Catholics but 20% Orthodox, the Orthodox date is followed. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Republic of Macedonia (if I may use that name without offence) when an Evangelical church is established, for there are, as far as I know, no Albanian Catholic churches in the Albanian area and I have heard rumour of only one Albanian Orthodox church, in the deep south somewhere if it exists. There are probably fewer than a dozen Evangelical believers and no church, but if the community grows, it will be interesting to watch what they decide upon. You get the idea, but in regard to...

Quote
Ethiopia and Egypt, where you not only have ORthodox, Roman Catholics, but also COpts

I have no idea, but I guess they follow the dominant practice, especially in places where the secular government awards a national holiday on the same date.

Quote
It seems like the date of the resurrection is not important, but rather just celebrating it,

Correct.

Quote
in concert with other local christians

Less correct: it depends how ecumenically minded each congregation is. Some will have nothing to do with Catholics or compromised Liberal congregations. Personally, I would be quite happy, here in Wrexham, to join the open-air witness in which Catholics and Protestants join (we have no Orthodox church), because the only thing that event testifies to is the fact the Christ is risen from the dead. I can see no harm in joining with others to testify publicly to what we all agree on: but some would frown upon even that.

As ytterbiumanalyst says, "There are very few Protestant churches with a liturgical calendar; in fact, most Protestants I know have no idea how Easter is calculated." He is right: I have no idea how the date is worked out, and I suspect that 99% of my fellows haven't any idea idea. If someone were interested in that question, I think it would be regarded as a rather odd but harmless pursuit, perhaps akin to my reading the homilies of Ælfric in the original.
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2009, 01:28:49 PM »

you... say "hey you celebrate pascha too?  Why don't we just do it together!"  without ever knowing who these people are, what they believe in, etc.??  

Not quite. The fundamental reason is that we don't tend to observe dates. Each church will probably hold its own services in its own building, though some will doubtless mount a joint service. I don't think anyone believes that Jesus was born on 25th December, or for that matter on 6th January. We just don't know, and as one of those dates has been used to celebrate his birth, they are as good as any. This is probably a contributing factor to our lack of interest in correctness of the date. Also, the whole idea of a church calendar has no place in our practice, apart from Christmas and Easter (and probably Whitsun).

What does that mean you "don't tend to observe dates"...?  You do have Christmas right?  Well, Christmas was changed to December 25 to reflect the Annunciation which is March 25, to make it exactly 9 months, in order to reflect the perfection that is God (explanation from our liturgics class).  Do you celebrate NO other days or feasts or celebrations, etc. - that are in your calendar?? 

Quote
With the Resurrection, I am aware that people believe they can calculate it correctly, though either Rome or Byzantium must be mistaken. But the actual date does not hold importance for us. The fact does: so we are happy to accept the ambient dominant date.
There are several threads on this forum dealing with this topic if you want to educate yourself on the issues.  I would go through them, but the Mods are not big fans of rehashing stuff.  Let me know if you need any help on that. 

Quote
I have no idea, but I guess they follow the dominant practice, especially in places where the secular government awards a national holiday on the same date.

I would assume that the dominant practice is that of the Copts, but that's why I brought it up b/c it's an interesting case.  Also, in general, all of the christians in that area (eastern orthodox and oriental orthodox) do things in conjunction, b/c of the Muslim presence, so how do the Protestants fit into that (I wonder)?

Quote
Less correct: it depends how ecumenically minded each congregation is. Some will have nothing to do with Catholics or compromised Liberal congregations. Personally, I would be quite happy, here in Wrexham, to join the open-air witness in which Catholics and Protestants join (we have no Orthodox church), because the only thing that event testifies to is the fact the Christ is risen from the dead. I can see no harm in joining with others to testify publicly to what we all agree on: but some would frown upon even that.

It's interesting that you say this, and in conjunction with everything else we have said, because in the ancient church celebrating Pascha, or the Lord's Resurrection was of PARAMOUNT importance.  The problem was that many people celebrated it based on different "calculations" (see the other threads to the details on this).  When all of the "churches" or patriarchs or etc. saw this they decided that it could no longer happen.  EVERY christian had to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord on the SAME day, for the same reasons, and with the same calculation, etc.  For details on this, just read the acts of the first ecumenical council (www.ccel.org)


 

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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2009, 01:44:04 PM »

You do have Christmas ... Do you celebrate NO other days or feasts or celebrations? 

Only Easter and Pentecost (Whitsun). Whitsun is very low-key. Of course we get plenty of preaching and teaching about the Holy Spirit, but again the date is not greatly marked.
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« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2009, 06:25:19 PM »

In tonight's Bible Study, Father mentioned how each of the 12 feasts we celebrate on the Liturgical calander are on the calander to remind us of how each part of Christ's life plays a role in our salvation.

This reminded me of a question I've always had, even in my days in the Baptist church.

Why does the Protestant church water down the Liturgical calander to Christmas and Easter?

While I understand your reasoning for throwing out the days that honor the Saints and the Theotokos, why throw out the days that honor Christ?

Specifically I am referring to Theophany (Christ's Baptism) (Luke 3:21-22), the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 1:22-24), Transfiguration (Mark 1:1-13), Palm Sunday (John 12:13-15) and the rest of Holy Week, Pentacost (Acts 2:3-5), and Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).

All of these events are recorded in the Bible, and are worthy of our praise. On Christmas and Easter you celebrate what Christ did for your salvation; why not include the other dates in the year?


Because, among those of us who are not liturgical, we feel that unless the days are shown or commanded to be observed in Scripture they are not held to be necessary to the faith. They are additions. Indeed they can detract from it (this is along the lines of DY's accretions and encrustations thought). Therefore, except NT practice or instruction dictates it, we typically shy away from observance of days, dates, weeks, years, etc.

Why? Well because of these...

Galatians 4:10-11
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.


Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


For those who find they can observe such things without becoming ritualistic, indeed who feel they can edify by such, so long as they do not compel it of other believers, they are perfectly within their right to observe such via...

Romans 14:5-6
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.



That said, there are a couple of other reasons we tend to avoid the most liturgical dates and/or observances.
1. They seem to us to come from (even inadvertently) a paganistic influence within Christianity (i.e. the name "Easter" itself), when it should be vice versa.
2. There is an obvious undercurrent of antisemitism (just read Eusibius), and what seems a dismissal, if not rejection, of the Hebraic roots of the faith (i.e. an admitted break from the observance of the Lord's Supper on the God ordained OT date of Passover as calculated among the Jewish authorities to the Nicene fixation of the date for "Easter").
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« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2009, 08:28:58 PM »

Because, among those of us who are not liturgical, we feel that unless the days are shown or commanded to be observed in Scripture they are not held to be necessary to the faith.

I do not understand. Every single event I listed is noted in scripture. Each of these events has a bearing on our salvation. I'm not talking about celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I'm talking about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, the Baptism of Christ, the Transfiguration, etc.

Therefore, except NT practice or instruction dictates it, we typically shy away from observance of days, dates, weeks, years, etc.

The Bible doesn't specifically say to show up to Church on Sunday or to observe Christmas, Easter, or your birthday. Do you do any of these things?

The Bible also doesn't say to celebrate the 4th of July, your wedding Anniversary, or Thanksgiving. Do you do any of these things?

If so, why not celebrate the events that celebrate Christ?

Why? Well because of these...

Galatians 4:10-11
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.


Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


For those who find they can observe such things without becoming ritualistic, indeed who feel they can edify by such, so long as they do not compel it of other believers, they are perfectly within their right to observe such via...

Romans 14:5-6
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

These were written to Jews who were continuing to observe the law of the Torah and to Gentiles who were continuing with Pagan practices. What I am suggesting does not fall under either category.


That said, there are a couple of other reasons we tend to avoid the most liturgical dates and/or observances.
1. They seem to us to come from (even inadvertently) a paganistic influence within Christianity (i.e. the name "Easter" itself), when it should be vice versa.


While it is true that some holidays did replace Pagan holidays in an effort to turn people's attention from Pagan gods to Christ, I hardly see how that is a bad thing. If a child was watching a rated-R film that had lots of pornography, violent content, and foul language in it, and I walked over and switched the program to "Veggie Tales" (a children's cartoon program that has Biblically based stories) would you say that was wrong? The Church did the same thing with the holidays. They replaced celebration of the winter solstice with Christmas, and celebration of the Spring solstice has been replaced with Pascha. (We don't call it Easter. We call it "Pascha" as in "New Passover", since Christ came to fulfill the law.)

2. There is an obvious undercurrent of antisemitism (just read Eusibius), and what seems a dismissal, if not rejection, of the Hebraic roots of the faith (i.e. an admitted break from the observance of the Lord's Supper on the God ordained OT date of Passover as calculated among the Jewish authorities to the Nicene fixation of the date for "Easter").


Wha-wha-wha-huh?  Huh

We no longer observe the Jewish holidays of the Old Testament because all of those holidays pointed towards the coming of Christ. Now that He has come and fulfilled the law, the holidays we celebrate now commemorate this event, and have us look to His second coming. In regards to "rejection of the Hebraic roots of the faith" if you exam the architecture of an Orthodox church and our Liturgy you will see the obvious similarities between an Orthodox CHRISTIAN temple and a Jewish temple. This is because we have built upon the faith that was handed to us from the Old Testament. This is why we have Liturgical worship. Just as the Jews did; so do we. The differance is that they are still waiting for Christ and we are celebrating His Resurrection.
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« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2009, 09:02:29 PM »

In tonight's Bible Study, Father mentioned how each of the 12 feasts we celebrate on the Liturgical calander are on the calander to remind us of how each part of Christ's life plays a role in our salvation.

This reminded me of a question I've always had, even in my days in the Baptist church.

Why does the Protestant church water down the Liturgical calander to Christmas and Easter?

While I understand your reasoning for throwing out the days that honor the Saints and the Theotokos, why throw out the days that honor Christ?

Specifically I am referring to Theophany (Christ's Baptism) (Luke 3:21-22), the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 1:22-24), Transfiguration (Mark 1:1-13), Palm Sunday (John 12:13-15) and the rest of Holy Week, Pentacost (Acts 2:3-5), and Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).

All of these events are recorded in the Bible, and are worthy of our praise. On Christmas and Easter you celebrate what Christ did for your salvation; why not include the other dates in the year?


Because, among those of us who are not liturgical, we feel that unless the days are shown or commanded to be observed in Scripture they are not held to be necessary to the faith. They are additions. Indeed they can detract from it (this is along the lines of DY's accretions and encrustations thought). Therefore, except NT practice or instruction dictates it, we typically shy away from observance of days, dates, weeks, years, etc.

Why? Well because of these...

Galatians 4:10-11
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Oi Vay.  Saint Paul said this because they were observing feast days and new moons over and against their faith.  Of course this is a problem.  But to remove them altogether (when the apostles did not) is heresy.  If Paul had meant for us to never observe a feast, then he himself would not have observed the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16), and specifically needed to "keep this coming feast in Jerusalem" (his own words in Acts 18:21).

Quote
Colossians 2:16-17
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hmmmm... I think there is someone who can address this better than me:
Quote
He said not, “Do not then observe them,” but, “let no man judge you.” He showed that they were transgressing, and undoing, but he brought his charge against others. Endure not those that judge you, he saith, nay, not so much as this either, but he argues with those persons, almost stopping their mouths, and saying, Ye ought not to judge. But he would not have reflected on these. He said not “in clean and unclean,” nor yet “in feasts of Tabernacles, and unleavened bread, and Pentecost,” but “in part of a feast”: for they ventured not to keep the whole; and if they did observe it, yet not so as to celebrate the feast. “In part,” he saith, showing that the greater part is done away. For even if they did keep sabbath, they did not do so with precision.
Emphasis mine
St. John Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.vii.html

Quote
For those who find they can observe such things without becoming ritualistic, indeed who feel they can edify by such, so long as they do not compel it of other believers, they are perfectly within their right to observe such via...
If this is your interpretation of the above passage from Colossians, I would say that it is innovative.  See St. John Chrysostom above, a rather older and more traditional interpretation than yours.

Quote
Romans 14:5-6
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Again, someone else can say this better than me:
Quote
In Orthodox Christianity, there are things that cannot be compromised, and there are areas of flexibility.  God is gracious and allows diversity in doubtful things (v. 1), matters not related to essential doctrines and moral teachings.  The weak in faith are people who assign primary importance to secondary matters.  The two examples of flexible areas given here involve food restrictions (v. 2) and the observance of liturgical calendars (v. 5), things which the weak might try to use to judge others or to divide the Church.  In both cases, we are commanded to give flexibility to others, just as God Himself does (v. 3).
This passage is read on the eve of Great Lent, reminding the faithful that the main focus of the season is not on the details of fasting restrictions, but rather on overcoming passions of the soul (13:14).
The Orthodox Study Bible pg. 1545.  Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Quote
That said, there are a couple of other reasons we tend to avoid the most liturgical dates and/or observances.
1. They seem to us to come from (even inadvertently) a paganistic influence within Christianity (i.e. the name "Easter" itself), when it should be vice versa.
Yeah, okay, prove that please.  Prove to me how CHRISTIAN holidays come from pagan holidays.
And we don't refer to it as Easter, by the way.  It's "Pascha," which is the transliteration coming from the Hebrew.  It means "Passover."  "Easter" is a strictly Western innovation and influence.  See the following:
Quote
The origin of the term Easter comes from the Germanic name for the month in which the Christian feast usually fell, and so, just as the American civic holiday of the Fourth of July has nothing to do with Julius Caesar for whom July was named, neither does Easter have anything to do with the pagan goddess Eostre, the namesake of the month in which Pascha fell. This potential difficulty only exists for speakers of Germanic languages, however. Most languages in the world use a cognate form of the Greek term Pascha and so are free of any pagan connotations for the name of the feast.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Pascha

Quote
2. There is an obvious undercurrent of antisemitism (just read Eusibius), and what seems a dismissal, if not rejection, of the Hebraic roots of the faith (i.e. an admitted break from the observance of the Lord's Supper on the God ordained OT date of Passover as calculated among the Jewish authorities to the Nicene fixation of the date for "Easter").
Obvious?  Really?  Cause I have NO CLUE how you arrived at that!  Again, you'll have to explain and prove this one for me, too.  We jumped from an observance of the calendar (which has its roots in Judaism and is derived from the Jewish dating of Passover), to antisemitism.  How was that, exactly?

Here is a little bit about how Pascha is dated:
Quote
The determination of the date of Easter is governed by a computation based on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon. According to the ruling of the First Ecumenical Synod in 325, Easter Sunday should fall on the Sunday which follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox. If the full moon happens to fall on a Sunday, Easter is observed the following Sunday. The day taken to be the invariable date of the vernal equinox is March 21.

Herein lies the first difference in the determination of Easter between the Orthodox Church and the other Christian Churches. The Orthodox Church continues to base its calculations for the date of Easter on the Julian Calendar, which was in use at the time of the First Ecumenical Synod. As such, it does not take into consideration the number of days which have since then accrued due to the progressive inaccuracy of the Julian Calendar. Practically speaking, this means that Easter may not be celebrated before April 3 (Gregorian), which had been March 21--the date of the vernal equinox--at the time of the First Ecumenical Synod. In other words, a difference of 13 days exists between the accepted date for the vernal equinox then and now. In the West, this discrepancy was addressed in the 16th century through the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, which adjusted the Julian Calendar still in use by all Christians at that time. Western Christians, therefore, observe the date of the vernal equinox on March 21 according to the Gregorian Calendar.

The other difference in the determination of Easter between the Orthodox and other Christian Churches concerns the date of Passover. Jews originally celebrated Passover on the first full moon following the vernal equinox. Christians, therefore, celebrated Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the other tragic events, which gave rise to the dispersal of the Jews, Passover sometimes preceded the vernal equinox. This was occasioned by the dependence of the dispersed Jews upon local pagan calendars for the calculation of Passover. As a consequence, most Christians eventually ceased to regulate the observance of Easter by the Jewish Passover. Their purpose, of course, was to preserve the original practice of celebrating Easter following the vernal equinox.

As an alternative to calculating Easter by the Passover, "paschal (Easter) cycles" were devised. The Orthodox Church eventually adopted a 19-year cycle, the Western Church an 84-year cycle. The use of two different "paschal cycles" inevitably gave way to differences between the Eastern and Western Churches regarding the observance of Easter. Varying dates for the vernal equinox increased these differences. Consequently, it is the combination of these variables, which accounts for the different date of Orthodox Easter, whenever it varies from the rest of Christendom.
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7070
I apologize for the length.  Summarizing this would be nearly impossible for me.  But please note the highlighted part.  I think it speaks for itself. 
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« Reply #40 on: February 06, 2009, 09:11:18 PM »

I apologize for the length.   Summarizing this would be nearly impossible for me.  But please note the highlighted part.  I think it speaks for itself. 

Presbytera, you know I say this with love, but when have your posts EVER been short?  Grin  laugh  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: February 06, 2009, 09:52:06 PM »

I apologize for the length.   Summarizing this would be nearly impossible for me.  But please note the highlighted part.  I think it speaks for itself. 

Presbytera, you know I say this with love, but when have your posts EVER been short?  Grin  laugh  Wink

LOL!  True, though I was actually speaking of the length of the quote that I posted... laugh
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« Reply #42 on: February 06, 2009, 10:14:59 PM »

You do have Christmas ... Do you celebrate NO other days or feasts or celebrations? 

Only Easter and Pentecost (Whitsun). Whitsun is very low-key. Of course we get plenty of preaching and teaching about the Holy Spirit, but again the date is not greatly marked.

I think some of the other posts have bearing on our conversation as well.  Do you care to comment?  Especially about the celebration of strictly biblical events like Transfiguration and etc. 

I know you've tried to explain this to me in several ways, but i'm still not getting it.  Please forgive me! 

I think that the understanding is that you just celebrate the EVENT...sort of whenever...right?  Again, please forgive me! 
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« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2009, 03:19:26 AM »

I do not understand. Every single event I listed is noted in scripture. Each of these events has a bearing on our salvation. I'm not talking about celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I'm talking about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, the Baptism of Christ, the Transfiguration, etc.

The fault here I think is mine. I was not as clear as I needed to be. Please permit me to clarify.
It is not the validity of the event being commemorated that we would oppose. It is the commemoration itself we would oppose, UNLESS we have an explicit example of the church doing so in the NT and/or a command to do so in the NT.

That said, I must clarify further, we would not oppose the voluntary observance of such an event, so long as it was not forced or compelled or otherwise used as a source of judgment of other "non-commemorating" believers.


Quote
The Bible doesn't specifically say to show up to Church on Sunday or to observe Christmas, Easter, or your birthday. Do you do any of these things?
The Bible also doesn't say to celebrate the 4th of July, your wedding Anniversary, or Thanksgiving. Do you do any of these things?
If so, why not celebrate the events that celebrate Christ?

Please see reply to quote above.

Quote
These were written to Jews who were continuing to observe the law of the Torah and to Gentiles who were continuing with Pagan practices. What I am suggesting does not fall under either category.

Yes, but the principle remains, transcends, and is thus applicable. Regard the days if you like, just realize they are not necessary to the faith universal.


Quote
While it is true that some holidays did replace Pagan holidays in an effort to turn people's attention from Pagan gods to Christ, I hardly see how that is a bad thing. If a child was watching a rated-R film that had lots of pornography, violent content, and foul language in it, and I walked over and switched the program to "Veggie Tales" (a children's cartoon program that has Biblically based stories) would you say that was wrong? The Church did the same thing with the holidays. They replaced celebration of the winter solstice with Christmas, and celebration of the Spring solstice has been replaced with Pascha. (We don't call it Easter. We call it "Pascha" as in "New Passover", since Christ came to fulfill the law.)

Yet, paganistic leaven used such holy, just, and good endeavors to infiltrate the church (here I speak generally, not exclusively of Orthodoxy).

Quote

Wha-wha-wha-huh?  Huh

We no longer observe the Jewish holidays of the Old Testament because all of those holidays pointed towards the coming of Christ. Now that He has come and fulfilled the law, the holidays we celebrate now commemorate this event, and have us look to His second coming. In regards to "rejection of the Hebraic roots of the faith" if you exam the architecture of an Orthodox church and our Liturgy you will see the obvious similarities between an Orthodox CHRISTIAN temple and a Jewish temple. This is because we have built upon the faith that was handed to us from the Old Testament. This is why we have Liturgical worship. Just as the Jews did; so do we. The difference is that they are still waiting for Christ and we are celebrating His Resurrection.

Again, recall Eusibius. Indeed such anti-Semitic undertones carried over into the reformation, even via that mighty disciple and teacher of Our Lord, Luther himself.

Now in saying that I do not mean to say all generations, teachers, or adherents following those who made such statements or judgments were or are antisemitic. Only that, historically speaking, antisemitism is indicated if not explicitly articulated as at least part of the reason for deciding to standardize a different means of calculating "Easter" from that method of the Jewish people themselves.

I am glad to see that Orthodox and Catholics both have been more embracing of the Hebraic roots of the faith. They are important to the continuity of the revelation of God in both Testaments, as you yourself have rightly pointed out.


I hope these responses help better clarify my thoughts and intentions from earlier. Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2009, 03:46:45 AM »

Oi Vay.  Saint Paul said this because they were observing feast days and new moons over and against their faith.  Of course this is a problem.  But to remove them altogether (when the apostles did not) is heresy.  If Paul had meant for us to never observe a feast, then he himself would not have observed the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16), and specifically needed to "keep this coming feast in Jerusalem" (his own words in Acts 18:21).

Agreed! However, the inherent danger of ritualism is hereby inferred. He was afraid of them because they clung to the rituals instead of the object they were intended to indicate. Once in the light they preferred the shadows.  Likewise, even "Christian holy days" can become ritualistic observances that obscure and shadow when one looks ot them rather than the source of light.

Quote
Hmmmm... I think there is someone who can address this better than me:
Quote
He said not, “Do not then observe them,” but, “let no man judge you.” He showed that they were transgressing, and undoing, but he brought his charge against others. Endure not those that judge you, he saith, nay, not so much as this either, but he argues with those persons, almost stopping their mouths, and saying, Ye ought not to judge. But he would not have reflected on these. He said not “in clean and unclean,” nor yet “in feasts of Tabernacles, and unleavened bread, and Pentecost,” but “in part of a feast”: for they ventured not to keep the whole; and if they did observe it, yet not so as to celebrate the feast. “In part,” he saith, showing that the greater part is done away. For even if they did keep sabbath, they did not do so with precision.
Emphasis mine
St. John Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.vii.html

I see not where he differs with me. Sure Paul did not say do not observe them. Neither did he say you must observe them. My contention is not over whether such is a permitted practice within the faith, bur rather whether such is a required practice of the faith.

Quote

If this is your interpretation of the above passage from Colossians, I would say that it is innovative.  See St. John Chrysostom above, a rather older and more traditional interpretation than yours.

Actually it is my application of Romans 14:5-6 to the observances brought in question by the OP.
One man esteems the day. Another does not. Let each be persuaded. Let each recognize that God receives both.
Hence, the observance is not a necessary component of the faith, but rather at best a permitted "trapping" if you will.

Quote
Again, someone else can say this better than me:
Quote
In Orthodox Christianity, there are things that cannot be compromised, and there are areas of flexibility.  God is gracious and allows diversity in doubtful things (v. 1), matters not related to essential doctrines and moral teachings.  The weak in faith are people who assign primary importance to secondary matters.  The two examples of flexible areas given here involve food restrictions (v. 2) and the observance of liturgical calendars (v. 5), things which the weak might try to use to judge others or to divide the Church.  In both cases, we are commanded to give flexibility to others, just as God Himself does (v. 3).
This passage is read on the eve of Great Lent, reminding the faithful that the main focus of the season is not on the details of fasting restrictions, but rather on overcoming passions of the soul (13:14).
The Orthodox Study Bible pg. 1545.  Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Okay. Like I said it is insisting on the observance of days and weeks and practices that are not explicitly delineated by word or example of the NT church , or insisting on a form or method of observance not delineated thereby, that we would disagree with.  We see no need to have to keep so many days, and God accepts us without them. So, no biggie.

Quote
And we don't refer to it as Easter, by the way.  It's "Pascha," which is the transliteration coming from the Hebrew.  It means "Passover."  "Easter" is a strictly Western innovation and influence.

I meant to share this with handmaiden. However, I was glad to learn this (re-learn actually). I had forgotten that the Orthodox called it Pascha. Someone linked me to the minutes of Nicaea the other day and the article they linked used the terminology easter. I was working from that framework here.

Quote
Obvious?  Really?  Cause I have NO CLUE how you arrived at that!  Again, you'll have to explain and prove this one for me, too.  We jumped from an observance of the calendar (which has its roots in Judaism and is derived from the Jewish dating of Passover), to antisemitism.  How was that, exactly?

see reply above to handmaiden^
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« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2009, 03:51:16 AM »

The Church did the same thing with the holidays. They replaced celebration of the winter solstice with Christmas, and celebration of the Spring solstice has been replaced with Pascha.

This is just a technical correction, but an important one.  This event is referred to as the Spring Equinox, not the Spring Solstice.
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« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2009, 04:39:27 AM »

The fault here I think is mine. I was not as clear as I needed to be. Please permit me to clarify.
It is not the validity of the event being commemorated that we would oppose. It is the commemoration itself we would oppose, UNLESS we have an explicit example of the church doing so in the NT and/or a command to do so in the NT. That said, I must clarify further, we would not oppose the voluntary observance of such an event, so long as it was not forced or compelled or otherwise used as a source of judgment of other "non-commemorating" believers.

Good grief man! So you're telling me you don't observe these events for fear of offending those who don't observe these events?   Huh

Also, there are plenty of activities that we all do daily and in our worship (Orthodox, Baptist, or otherwise) that are NOT listend in the New Testament. Are pews listed in the New Testament? How about Hymnals? Heck, the word "Bible" isn't even listed in the NT! I could go on and on...

The Orthodox Church does not observe these events to stand in judgment of other faiths. They observe these events because they proclaim the salvific truth that comes with knowing Jesus Christ as Lord! Each and every single event had a bearing on creation and our salvation.

For example, Christ being baptized in the Jordan wasn't just about setting an example that we should be baptized. It was also the beginning of restoring nature back to its perfected state PRIOR to the Fall.

Christ didn't just come to save man; He came to save THE WORLD.

The events in Christ's life are demonstrative to this. You don't observe the event, you miss the importance that goes along with it.

Yes, but the principle remains, transcends, and is thus applicable. Regard the days if you like, just realize they are not necessary to the faith universal.

So because the slightest risk that something may become ritualistic you avoid it completely? You realize your odds of dying in a car crash are roughly 1 in 100? Does this mean you avoid going anywhere in a motorvehicle? Did you ever consider what the benefit would be of observing these feasts?

As I said on the other thread. Ritualism and dead faith can happen whether you're waving your arms to the latest Praise & Worship song or saying the Jesus Prayer.

That is where free will comes in my friend. And no Pastor or Priest can control that.


Yet, paganistic leaven used such holy, just, and good endeavors to infiltrate the church (here I speak generally, not exclusively of Orthodoxy).

Cleopas, just what do you think I am suggesting? Haven't we told you already that we only sacrafice virgins every other month and children on alternating months?  Grin JOKING -- I kid, I kid

Seriously though, WHAT do you think I am suggesting? What is it you fear by introducing the commemeration of an event that is recorded in the Bible?

I mean, if you got behind the pulpit last Sunday and said, "Today I am going to talk about the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and how it applies to you and me," what do you think would have happened? Would snakes come out of women's heads?

Be reasonable here.

I don't know what you think goes on in our churches but I can gaurantee you there is no pagan worship involved.

Do you celebrate Christmas? I am asking honestly because there are some Christians who don't.

Do you think Christmas is a pagan holiday?

Be honest.



Again, recall Eusibius. Indeed such anti-Semitic undertones carried over into the reformation, even via that mighty disciple and teacher of Our Lord, Luther himself.


Okay, I am going to openly claim ignorance here. The Eusibius I'm familiar with defended the writings of Origen, and overall wasn't that popular of a guy. Not familiar with any anti-Semetic stuff, and still not sure what this has to do with celebrating festivals of Christ.

Now in saying that I do not mean to say all generations, teachers, or adherents following those who made such statements or judgments were or are antisemitic. Only that, historically speaking, antisemitism is indicated if not explicitly articulated as at least part of the reason for deciding to standardize a different means of calculating "Easter" from that method of the Jewish people themselves.

I am glad to see that Orthodox and Catholics both have been more embracing of the Hebraic roots of the faith. They are important to the continuity of the revelation of God in both Testaments, as you yourself have rightly pointed out.

Okay I really have no idea what you're saying here. The Orthodox calculate the date for Pascha based on the Spring Equinox, when the full moon is, and when Passover is. How that has anything to do with anti-semitism I have no idea.

If you study the history of the Church, you will see that we've been pretty much doing things the same way for over 2000 years. Been carrying on traditions that were handed down to us from Apostles who were Hebrews for over 2000 years.

Also, I would prefer if you refrained from lumping us with the Catholics. They have their own way of doing things.

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« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2009, 07:42:49 AM »

You do have Christmas ... Do you celebrate NO other days or feasts or celebrations? 

Only Easter and Pentecost (Whitsun). Whitsun is very low-key. Of course we get plenty of preaching and teaching about the Holy Spirit, but again the date is not greatly marked.
I have noticed that about Pentecost. Even in the Pentecostal church, which emphasized Pentecost more than any other church, they still didn't do much for it other than preach about the Holy Spirit. Most of the time they didn't even mention Pentecost was coming up until it occurred. If you've not been to an Orthodox Pentecost, you should--it's one of our biggest parties. That's how I describe most Orthodox holidays to others. Never have I seen such celebration as I have in Orthodoxy. There's a genuine excitement in the Church not fueled by loud music or oratorical skill but actually by the event itself. People want to celebrate the things Christ does for us. It's amazing.
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« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2009, 08:25:18 AM »

Do you care to comment?  Especially about the celebration of strictly biblical events like Transfiguration

I think that the understanding is that you just celebrate the EVENT...sort of whenever...right? 

No need for me to explain further - you've got it right already. We observe Christmas and Easter, and in a low-key way mention Pentecost.

I cannot of course imagine successfully what would happen if the secular government did not grant national holidays at Christmas and Easter, and the shops didn't cash in on it to make stacks of lovely money. Maybe if there were no secular celebration, we wouldn't be so strongly attached even to those dates as we are. To get an answer, we'd need to look at Scotland where, till recently I believe, New Year was far more important than Christmas, and for England to the time of Oliver Cromwell. Nowadays Scotland is shifting towards the English practice, no doubt driven by the money-makers again.

But it is very interesting that you mention the Transfiguration, because this ought to be one of the items on the "Challenge to you Orthodox from a Baptist" thread. I went up and down the road from Ioannina to Kakavia many times, and always wondered why we went through a village called Metamorphosi. Then I was taken to the lovely village of Sotir (if I have the spelling right - I have no map to hand) and enjoyed the stream, trees, sunshine and shade in Metamorphosis Square, with the Church of the Metamorphosis on it. (Greek hospitality again: a local family, seeing us taking a stroll, invited us to abandon the stroll and take coffee and raki on their verandah, which we did for quite a long enjoyable visit: though we all had to speak Albanian, as we English had insufficient Greek and they probably no English.)

It began to dawn on me:  all this "Metamorphosi(s)" is referring to the Transfiguration. I began to realise you make far more of the Transfiguration than we do.

Then I began reading Orthodox theology and devotion. This very morning after prayer and Bible reading, I was reading Sergei Bulgakov's "Oration on the Feast of the Lord's Transfiguration", and was again moved to attempt some future further and deeper meditation on the theme as opportunity and means come. The Transfiguration is one event on which we very seldom hear any preaching and teaching, and (as they say), "I think you're on to something." Thank you.  Smiley
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« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2009, 10:39:09 AM »

Do you care to comment?  Especially about the celebration of strictly biblical events like Transfiguration

I think that the understanding is that you just celebrate the EVENT...sort of whenever...right? 

No need for me to explain further - you've got it right already. We observe Christmas and Easter, and in a low-key way mention Pentecost.

I cannot of course imagine successfully what would happen if the secular government did not grant national holidays at Christmas and Easter, and the shops didn't cash in on it to make stacks of lovely money. Maybe if there were no secular celebration, we wouldn't be so strongly attached even to those dates as we are. To get an answer, we'd need to look at Scotland where, till recently I believe, New Year was far more important than Christmas, and for England to the time of Oliver Cromwell. Nowadays Scotland is shifting towards the English practice, no doubt driven by the money-makers again.

But it is very interesting that you mention the Transfiguration, because this ought to be one of the items on the "Challenge to you Orthodox from a Baptist" thread. I went up and down the road from Ioannina to Kakavia many times, and always wondered why we went through a village called Metamorphosi. Then I was taken to the lovely village of Sotir (if I have the spelling right - I have no map to hand) and enjoyed the stream, trees, sunshine and shade in Metamorphosis Square, with the Church of the Metamorphosis on it. (Greek hospitality again: a local family, seeing us taking a stroll, invited us to abandon the stroll and take coffee and raki on their verandah, which we did for quite a long enjoyable visit: though we all had to speak Albanian, as we English had insufficient Greek and they probably no English.)

It began to dawn on me:  all this "Metamorphosi(s)" is referring to the Transfiguration. I began to realise you make far more of the Transfiguration than we do.

Then I began reading Orthodox theology and devotion. This very morning after prayer and Bible reading, I was reading Sergei Bulgakov's "Oration on the Feast of the Lord's Transfiguration", and was again moved to attempt some future further and deeper meditation on the theme as opportunity and means come. The Transfiguration is one event on which we very seldom hear any preaching and teaching, and (as they say), "I think you're on to something." Thank you.  Smiley


You're welcome!  i'm glad my bumbling around actually led to something productive!!! lol. 

I just remember an ex-Protestant friend of mine here at seminary saying "you guys have no idea how much my life changed when I came to the Orthodox church and actually had a LECTIONARY!!!"  He said that because they had no lectionary and just preached on whatever they wanted, it was like walking blind in the forest.  You just did what you wanted. 

In the orthodox church the lectionary takes you through the ENTIRE NT in one year, with all of the parables and all of the epistles. 

I'm wondering if you'd take up a challenge I have for you:  I will be willing to provide you with a lectionary, and you try to implement it at your church.  you don't have to tell them what you're doing if it's uncomfortable, etc.  but just take the bible passages prescribed and preach on them.  I wonder what kind of change is any would happen. 

Interested?  Please let me know...
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« Reply #50 on: February 07, 2009, 12:07:56 PM »

I will be willing to provide you with a lectionary, and you try to implement it at your church.  ...
Interested? 

The offer is most kind, but I am not in a position to accept it, as I have no church. I left pastoral ministry in 1988 and I work full-time for the Albanian Evangelical Mission. This takes me to a lot of churches in England and Wales, mainly to speak about the work but sometimes also to preach, plus doing most of the admin at the mission's office here in Wrexham. In this area, where I live, I do some preaching locally in a small number of churches, and I preach a number of times in the year at the church which my wife and I attend. That is probably only about eight times in the year, and as maybe half of these fall on Communion service days (we have communion twice a month, not weekly), the theme is sort-of predetermined. I also take about the same number of Bible studies on Wednesdays at our church, but these tend to come in groups of three with long gaps of some months whilst others take them, and I have already given the first two of a series taking us through the book of the prophet Joel, which they are expecting me to continue.

So I must decline your thoughtful offer, as the opportunity for me to accept it is not there.
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« Reply #51 on: February 07, 2009, 01:15:46 PM »

I will be willing to provide you with a lectionary, and you try to implement it at your church.  ...
Interested? 

The offer is most kind, but I am not in a position to accept it, as I have no church. I left pastoral ministry in 1988 and I work full-time for the Albanian Evangelical Mission. This takes me to a lot of churches in England and Wales, mainly to speak about the work but sometimes also to preach, plus doing most of the admin at the mission's office here in Wrexham. In this area, where I live, I do some preaching locally in a small number of churches, and I preach a number of times in the year at the church which my wife and I attend. That is probably only about eight times in the year, and as maybe half of these fall on Communion service days (we have communion twice a month, not weekly), the theme is sort-of predetermined. I also take about the same number of Bible studies on Wednesdays at our church, but these tend to come in groups of three with long gaps of some months whilst others take them, and I have already given the first two of a series taking us through the book of the prophet Joel, which they are expecting me to continue.

So I must decline your thoughtful offer, as the opportunity for me to accept it is not there.


Thanks for at least considering it!  That was very kind of you.  I still think it would be a REALLY interesting case study, to see how the Orthodox lectionary would work in a Protestant church.  Anyway!  back to your regularly scheduled programing...
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« Reply #52 on: February 07, 2009, 02:22:44 PM »

Thanks for at least considering it! 

It would have been a good and worthwhile challenge. It is very rare for a church to invite a preacher and to give him either the theme or the passage to preach on. It is left to him. I only remember one Sunday when I was given the theme, and that was in Prishtina, Kosova/Kosovo. It was a challenge to devise a sermon on a theme I had not chosen myself. The lectionary would have been that much greater, as being not only one Sunday.

We tend to achieve something similar, of course, by selecting a book of the Bible and going systematically through that - a bit like my studies in Joel, though they are discussional Bible studies not preached sermons. But the idea is similar.
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« Reply #53 on: February 07, 2009, 04:36:49 PM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2009, 04:49:17 PM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives. Just not to the point of "ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth."
Ya know what I mean? BTW...
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible.

However, let me turn the tables.  Tongue
Would you be open to using or following a conservative evangelical study guide in your personal study?

If you'd be willing to use that then I'd be willing to use the lectionary. Wink
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« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2009, 05:02:16 PM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives. Just not to the point of "ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth."
Ya know what I mean? BTW...
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible.

However, let me turn the tables.  Tongue
Would you be open to using or following a conservative evangelical study guide in your personal study?

If you'd be willing to use that then I'd be willing to use the lectionary. Wink

I already have. I spent half my life in a Baptist church my friend.  Grin

I've read Beth Moore, studied the Bible with James Vernon McGee, grew up listening to Charles Stanley on the radio, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll... I still have my NIV Study Bible and Zondervan Women's Study Bible on my book shelf...next to my copy of the Orthodox Study Bible. When I was a kid, my mother's sister in Pittsburgh (we lived in NJ) worked for Family Christian Bookstores. (For those that don't know Family Christian Bookstores is owned by Zondervan Publishing, a HUGE Evangelical Publishing house.) Every year we would drive out to see my Aunt, and a large part of the journey was spent taking advantage of her employee discount at the Bookstore.

I've already done the "Evangelical" route. I've seen Billy Graham live twice. My sister even responded to his altar call once. My cousin used to work for Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day, and The Newsboys, so I'm very familiar with the Christian Music scene. I grew up listening to Christian radio.

So yeah, I'm extremely familiar with what it means to be an "Evangelical." But in the end, I came back to Orthodoxy.

So since I've already "walked a mile in your mocassins," are you willing "walk a mile in mine"?


P.S. My sister also came back to Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2009, 06:27:28 PM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?
However, let me turn the tables.  Tongue
Would you be open to using or following a conservative evangelical study guide in your personal study?

If you'd be willing to use that then I'd be willing to use the lectionary. Wink
Our parish uses Lutheran Sunday School curriculum. I'd say that's a step above personal study.
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« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2009, 06:37:54 PM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives.
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible (if I knew where to find one).
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« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2009, 06:52:09 PM »

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives.
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible (if I knew where to find one).

Excellent! I'm happy to oblige:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Orthodox-Study-Bible/dp/0718003594/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234046957&sr=1-1

Good price, plus free shipping! And there's a lectionary in the back of the Bible so you can read the entire Bible in a year.  Grin

The above link is for our friends in the UK.

Here's a link for our friends in the US:

http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Study-Bible-Ancient-Christianity/dp/0718003594/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234047091&sr=1-1
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2009, 09:16:56 PM »

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives.
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible (if I knew where to find one).

Okay. Now you're confusing me. 
Cheesy Who's posting what here.  laugh
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« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2009, 09:26:19 PM »

I would. I love information and fresh perspectives.
I am also considering buying a copy of the English Orthodox Study Bible (if I knew where to find one).

Okay. Now you're confusing me. 
Cheesy Who's posting what here.  laugh

So how about it Cleopas?

I already walked the Evangelical walk.

David is willing to follow our lectionary and purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.

Are you up to the challenge?
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« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2009, 11:01:22 PM »

Oi Vay.  Saint Paul said this because they were observing feast days and new moons over and against their faith.  Of course this is a problem.  But to remove them altogether (when the apostles did not) is heresy.  If Paul had meant for us to never observe a feast, then he himself would not have observed the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16), and specifically needed to "keep this coming feast in Jerusalem" (his own words in Acts 18:21).

Agreed! However, the inherent danger of ritualism is hereby inferred. He was afraid of them because they clung to the rituals instead of the object they were intended to indicate. Once in the light they preferred the shadows.  Likewise, even "Christian holy days" can become ritualistic observances that obscure and shadow when one looks ot them rather than the source of light.
Please... Smiley  I think y'all make a WAAAAAYYYYY bigger thing out of ritualism than is necessary.  There's no BALANCE in your view!  You run screaming from the room any time there's a hint of ritual in the air.  As David Young has already said (and you may have to, I can't remember), ritualism is also a risk in Protestantism.  But no one has YET to prove how OUR services "obscure" our "view of Christ!"  No one has yet proven how OUR ritual is more risky!  Just because our ritual is different from yours (you kid yourself if you think you have none-- the refusal of ritual in itself is a ritual!), doesn't make it more risky or wrong.  Prove to me that it is.
As I've said several times (but you have not acknowledged or addressed), throwing out the services and the feast days altogether because of some perceived minute risk of ritualism is nothing more than throwing the baby out with the bath water...

Quote
Quote
Hmmmm... I think there is someone who can address this better than me:
Quote
He said not, “Do not then observe them,” but, “let no man judge you.” He showed that they were transgressing, and undoing, but he brought his charge against others. Endure not those that judge you, he saith, nay, not so much as this either, but he argues with those persons, almost stopping their mouths, and saying, Ye ought not to judge. But he would not have reflected on these. He said not “in clean and unclean,” nor yet “in feasts of Tabernacles, and unleavened bread, and Pentecost,” but “in part of a feast”: for they ventured not to keep the whole; and if they did observe it, yet not so as to celebrate the feast. “In part,” he saith, showing that the greater part is done away. For even if they did keep sabbath, they did not do so with precision.
Emphasis mine
St. John Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.iv.iv.vii.html

I see not where he differs with me. Sure Paul did not say do not observe them. Neither did he say you must observe them. My contention is not over whether such is a permitted practice within the faith, bur rather whether such is a required practice of the faith.
St. John Chrysostom was a liturgist... we celebrate EVERY WEEK (and in some places every day) the DIVINE LITURGY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM.  And we celebrate it on feast days (including his).  And he is partly responsible for the keeping of feast days (as one of the Fathers of the Church).  So no offense, but I would say he STRENUOUSLY disagrees with you.

Quote
Quote

If this is your interpretation of the above passage from Colossians, I would say that it is innovative.  See St. John Chrysostom above, a rather older and more traditional interpretation than yours.

Actually it is my application of Romans 14:5-6 to the observances brought in question by the OP.
One man esteems the day. Another does not. Let each be persuaded. Let each recognize that God receives both.
Hence, the observance is not a necessary component of the faith, but rather at best a permitted "trapping" if you will.
Trapping?  Tell that to St. Paul, who himself observed the feasts.  I tend to think that nothing St. Paul did was a "trapping."  I could be wrong, though...

Quote
Quote
Again, someone else can say this better than me:
Quote
In Orthodox Christianity, there are things that cannot be compromised, and there are areas of flexibility.  God is gracious and allows diversity in doubtful things (v. 1), matters not related to essential doctrines and moral teachings.  The weak in faith are people who assign primary importance to secondary matters.  The two examples of flexible areas given here involve food restrictions (v. 2) and the observance of liturgical calendars (v. 5), things which the weak might try to use to judge others or to divide the Church.  In both cases, we are commanded to give flexibility to others, just as God Himself does (v. 3).
This passage is read on the eve of Great Lent, reminding the faithful that the main focus of the season is not on the details of fasting restrictions, but rather on overcoming passions of the soul (13:14).
The Orthodox Study Bible pg. 1545.  Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Okay. Like I said it is insisting on the observance of days and weeks and practices that are not explicitly delineated by word or example of the NT church , or insisting on a form or method of observance not delineated thereby, that we would disagree with.  We see no need to have to keep so many days, and God accepts us without them. So, no biggie.
There are many things which are not insisted upon in the NT but, as faithful Christians, we do.

Quote
Quote
And we don't refer to it as Easter, by the way.  It's "Pascha," which is the transliteration coming from the Hebrew.  It means "Passover."  "Easter" is a strictly Western innovation and influence.

I meant to share this with handmaiden. However, I was glad to learn this (re-learn actually). I had forgotten that the Orthodox called it Pascha. Someone linked me to the minutes of Nicaea the other day and the article they linked used the terminology easter. I was working from that framework here.
Yeah... again, maybe you want to stick to Orthodox sources to learn about Orthodoxy.  Maybe it's just me, though...  Tongue

Quote
Quote
Obvious?  Really?  Cause I have NO CLUE how you arrived at that!  Again, you'll have to explain and prove this one for me, too.  We jumped from an observance of the calendar (which has its roots in Judaism and is derived from the Jewish dating of Passover), to antisemitism.  How was that, exactly?

see reply above to handmaiden^
Please forgive my ignorance (or my thickheadedness, whichever it is), but I'm still totally lost on this one, even after reading your reply to Handmaiden. 
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« Reply #62 on: February 08, 2009, 12:02:17 AM »


So how about it Cleopas?

I already walked the Evangelical walk.

David is willing to follow our lectionary and purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.

Are you up to the challenge?

I already said I was intending to purchase an Orthodox study bible.
So, if one of you guys want to spring for the lectionary (in English), I'd be happy to have it and would certainly use it.  Grin

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« Reply #63 on: February 08, 2009, 12:11:45 AM »


So how about it Cleopas?

I already walked the Evangelical walk.

David is willing to follow our lectionary and purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.

Are you up to the challenge?

I already said I was intending to purchase an Orthodox study bible.
So, if one of you guys want to spring for the lectionary (in English), I'd be happy to have it and would certainly use it.  Grin



Conveniently enough the Lectionary is in the back of the Orthodox Study Bible.  Grin

Also, if you go to http://goarch.org/ it will show what the Daily Readings are right there on the home page. (No purchase necessary.)
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« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2009, 12:57:49 AM »

Would you be open to following an Orthodox lectionary for personal study?


However, let me turn the tables.  Tongue
Would you be open to using or following a conservative evangelical study guide in your personal study?

If you'd be willing to use that then I'd be willing to use the lectionary. Wink

Forgive my ignorance, but what is conservative evangelicalism?  I honest to God have no idea there was a distinction...

Anyway, I would LOVE to take you up on this.  However I think it would be a disadvantage to you because i'm not going to preach NEARLY as much as you are.  Like..i'll give 3 sermons THIS YEAR...at best.  But i'll put in the work.  I'll come up with  sermon once a week and submit it to you if you want, and you can do the same with me.  I'd be interested in the dialogue.  My e-mail is in my profile, but if you have issues feel free to just PM me. 
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« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2009, 09:36:19 AM »

Who's posting what here. 

I am repeating your words, because I am repeating your sentiment. Looks like we'll both be having our Quiet Times in the same passages for a while.  Smiley
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« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2009, 11:25:17 AM »

Forgive my ignorance, but what is conservative evangelicalism?  I honest to God have no idea there was a distinction...

The adjective "Conservative" put before "Evangelical" denotes a stricter view of the nature of the inspiration of scripture. It tends to be used to describe people who believe in inerrancy - the theory that the original manuscripts of the scriptures were without error and fully reliable in fact as well as doctrine, so that the many minor, insignificant discrepancies between various parallel books of the Bible (such as Kings/Chronicles, or the four Gospels) were absent from the originals, and have only crept in through scribal errors.

I am not defending that view: I am only answering your question.
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« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2009, 11:28:10 AM »

David is willing to ... purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.

Conveniently enough the Lectionary is in the back of the Orthodox Study Bible. 

Advice, please: I note that the Study Bible is quite expensive; I also note that Theodore Stylianopoulos has promised a Volume 2 to his book on scripture, Tradition and hermeutics. He says in Vol. 1 that the Study Bible is written in a popular style. Would I be better advised getting Stylianopoulos Vol 2 (which would probably be just as expensive, but perhaps better?)?
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« Reply #68 on: April 04, 2009, 01:33:23 PM »

David is willing to follow our lectionary and purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.
... the Lectionary is in the back of the Orthodox Study Bible. 

I ordered the Study Bible (New Testament) and it has finally come. The lectionary seems to start with Easter (presumably Orthodox Easter), so I may as well start then. However, it all looks rather overwhelming to one who belongs to a church where the church year is not observed beyond Christmas and Easter. I would appreciate some explanation, some lead-in, some advice. Can y'all volunteer to provide it? Don't be shy to state the obvious, as I shall probably not know it already whatever it is: better to say too much than too little. For example, I assume that it will not always be obvious why certain passages are set for certain days.

Over to you...
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« Reply #69 on: April 04, 2009, 02:07:45 PM »

The actual Church founded on the day of Pentacost and alive today in the Eastern Church was an outgrowth of Judaism and it's piety. Judaism was liturgical and followed a festal calendar. So too the Church. Protestants  are very far afield from this original ethos and have little to no grounding in the form or content of Christianity as practiced by the Apostles and early Fathers. 
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« Reply #70 on: April 04, 2009, 02:40:20 PM »

David is willing to follow our lectionary and purchase an Orthodox Study Bible.
... the Lectionary is in the back of the Orthodox Study Bible. 

I ordered the Study Bible (New Testament) and it has finally come. The lectionary seems to start with Easter (presumably Orthodox Easter), so I may as well start then. However, it all looks rather overwhelming to one who belongs to a church where the church year is not observed beyond Christmas and Easter. I would appreciate some explanation, some lead-in, some advice. Can y'all volunteer to provide it? Don't be shy to state the obvious, as I shall probably not know it already whatever it is: better to say too much than too little. For example, I assume that it will not always be obvious why certain passages are set for certain days.

Over to you...


This is exciting!  What page are you looking at...i'm having a tough time finding the "lectionary" section myself...
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« Reply #71 on: April 04, 2009, 04:36:05 PM »

What page are you looking at...i'm having a tough time finding the "lectionary" section myself...

Mine is the hardback NT+Psalms 1997. The lectionary starts on page 771. It seems fairly straightforward until one gets to Nativity (time for the "Evangelical Christmas" thread again!?) on page 774. Then I get lost.

Some days have a couple of shortish readings; others seem to prescribe hours and hours of readings.

Does anyone know how much of the NT one would read if one abode by the lectionary for the whole year? and which bits one would leave out?

My Study Bible has a suggested reading of the whole NT in a year, but that seems a bit ambitious, if one is to take time to meditate and pray over what one reads - short of taking the cowl. (I usually spend 30-45 minutes before I go to work.) Hitherto it has taken me two years to read the Bible, intercalating NT and OT one book at a time from each. As I have reached Ezra, Micah and Philemon, switching to the Orth St Bible at Easter in a couple of weeks is an easy transition, as I am in any case almost at the end of my own system, and can resume it at Easter 2010.
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« Reply #72 on: February 02, 2010, 06:10:46 PM »

My Orthodox Study Bible tells me you are near the transition from Meat Fare to Cheese Fare. I guess this is because cheese is deemed a deeper descent into austerity and self-discipline. What strikes me as ironic nowadays - I don't know whether this is true in the USA too - is that cheese is now more expensive than meat! So moving on to cheese, in terms of expense, could be deemed a step up to more luxury.

Tempora mutantur.
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« Reply #73 on: February 02, 2010, 06:22:08 PM »

My Orthodox Study Bible tells me you are near the transition from Meat Fare to Cheese Fare. I guess this is because cheese is deemed a deeper descent into austerity and self-discipline. What strikes me as ironic nowadays - I don't know whether this is true in the USA too - is that cheese is now more expensive than meat! So moving on to cheese, in terms of expense, could be deemed a step up to more luxury.

Tempora mutantur.

You're likely being facetious here. I always assumed it was about gradually ridding one's diet of various animal products. Cheesefare meaning not only cheese, but all milk products. At least that's how I always understood it.
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« Reply #74 on: February 02, 2010, 07:12:44 PM »

Anyway, I would LOVE to take you up on this.  However I think it would be a disadvantage to you because i'm not going to preach NEARLY as much as you are.  Like..i'll give 3 sermons THIS YEAR...at best.  But i'll put in the work.  I'll come up with  sermon once a week and submit it to you if you want, and you can do the same with me.  I'd be interested in the dialogue.  My e-mail is in my profile, but if you have issues feel free to just PM me. 


Kind sir,

It has just now come to my attention that I never replied, nor do I recall reading, the above quoted comment. My sincere apologies. Alas, due to some fairly serious intermittent health issues, I stepped down from the pastorate. I am currently a shepherd having no sheep. =P Thanks anyhow. It would have been a fun exchange.  Wink
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« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2010, 07:39:00 PM »

Kind sir,

It has just now come to my attention that I never replied, nor do I recall reading, the above quoted comment. My sincere apologies. Alas, due to some fairly serious intermittent health issues, I stepped down from the pastorate. I am currently a shepherd having no sheep. =P Thanks anyhow. It would have been a fun exchange.  Wink

I'm sorry to hear you're having health issues Cleopas. May the Physician of our souls and bodies grant you a quick and full recovery!
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« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2010, 07:40:52 PM »

My Orthodox Study Bible tells me you are near the transition from Meat Fare to Cheese Fare. I guess this is because cheese is deemed a deeper descent into austerity and self-discipline. What strikes me as ironic nowadays - I don't know whether this is true in the USA too - is that cheese is now more expensive than meat! So moving on to cheese, in terms of expense, could be deemed a step up to more luxury.

Tempora mutantur.

Yes, some have commented how it's ironic that fish with a vertabrate are not allowed during the fast, but shrimp and lobster are. The key to remember is when the rules of the fast were written, shellfish were cheap and plentiful whereas fish with a backbone were more of a luxury item.

So, how are you liking the Lectionary readings David?
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« Reply #77 on: February 03, 2010, 11:25:15 AM »

Oi Vay.  Saint Paul said this because they were observing feast days and new moons over and against their faith.  Of course this is a problem.  But to remove them altogether (when the apostles did not) is heresy.  If Paul had meant for us to never observe a feast, then he himself would not have observed the day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16), and specifically needed to "keep this coming feast in Jerusalem" (his own words in Acts 18:21).

Agreed! However, the inherent danger of ritualism is hereby inferred. He was afraid of them because they clung to the rituals instead of the object they were intended to indicate. Once in the light they preferred the shadows.  Likewise, even "Christian holy days" can become ritualistic observances that obscure and shadow when one looks ot them rather than the source of light.
Please... Smiley  I think y'all make a WAAAAAYYYYY bigger thing out of ritualism than is necessary.  There's no BALANCE in your view!  You run screaming from the room any time there's a hint of ritual in the air.  As David Young has already said (and you may have to, I can't remember), ritualism is also a risk in Protestantism.  But no one has YET to prove how OUR services "obscure" our "view of Christ!"  No one has yet proven how OUR ritual is more risky!  Just because our ritual is different from yours (you kid yourself if you think you have none-- the refusal of ritual in itself is a ritual!), doesn't make it more risky or wrong.  Prove to me that it is.
As I've said several times (but you have not acknowledged or addressed), throwing out the services and the feast days altogether because of some perceived minute risk of ritualism is nothing more than throwing the baby out with the bath water...


Yes, this has always puzzled me so perhaps someone would be kind enough to explain why "ritualism" is such a danger but (what shall we call it?), but "minimalism" is perfectly ok?


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« Reply #78 on: February 03, 2010, 12:04:50 PM »

explain why "ritualism" is such a danger but ... "minimalism" is perfectly ok?

I can only give a personal reply, maybe nothing particularly Evangelical, or even right, about it. The first part of the question is easy to answer, and though I am offering the answer I think you would get from most Protestants, I am not arguing for or against it: the danger of elaborate ritual is that a person can more easily get "stuck" at that stage and not press into the inner meaning of what the ritual is all about: robes, candles, incense, icons, kissing icons, etc, can make a person think he has done enough, without him having any true faith in, and response to, Christ himself. Even my Orthodox Study Bible comments said the same only today or a couple of days ago. Minimalism has two raisons d'être (again, I am stating them, not arguing for or against them): one is that there is less to risk diverting a person's attention from God himself; and the other is the so-called "regulative principle", according to which worship should contain only such things as are specifically written in scripture.

Personally, I feel we Evangelicals have, by and large, gone too far in excising symbolism. For example, the Sunday before "candlemas" when (as you know from another thread) my wife and I worshipped at the Church of England, the whole congregation gathered near the door of the church, at the end of the service, carrying lighted candles, which we extinguished simultaneously, saying words to the effect that we had worshipped the Light of the World in church during Nativity, and now, Nativity having ended, we extinguished the candles partly to show that Christmas was wholly and irrevocably over, but partly, as we had carried them to the exit, to remind ourselves as we went out that we too are the light of the world. Such "ritualism" is helpful in stamping something on one's mind memorably. But, as I say, that is a purely personal response.
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« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2010, 12:11:35 PM »

it's ironic that fish with a vertabrate are not allowed during the fast, but shrimp and lobster are.

Indeed. I greatly enjoy mackerel, and also trout, and both can be ridiculously cheap. A grilled mackerel, a good Greek salad, some small black olives, fresh crusty bread and a couple of glasses of retsina is a feast to relish. One is not giving up costly food by that!

But then, we Vangies don't have Lent anyway.  Wink
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« Reply #80 on: February 03, 2010, 01:23:20 PM »

explain why "ritualism" is such a danger but ... "minimalism" is perfectly ok?

I can only give a personal reply, maybe nothing particularly Evangelical, or even right, about it. The first part of the question is easy to answer, and though I am offering the answer I think you would get from most Protestants, I am not arguing for or against it: the danger of elaborate ritual is that a person can more easily get "stuck" at that stage and not press into the inner meaning of what the ritual is all about: robes, candles, incense, icons, kissing icons, etc, can make a person think he has done enough, without him having any true faith in, and response to, Christ himself. Even my Orthodox Study Bible comments said the same only today or a couple of days ago. Minimalism has two raisons d'être (again, I am stating them, not arguing for or against them): one is that there is less to risk diverting a person's attention from God himself; and the other is the so-called "regulative principle", according to which worship should contain only such things as are specifically written in scripture.
But aren't those things written in Scripture? I'm thinking of all the accouterments God commanded for the decoration of the Temple. He was certainly no minimalist!
Not having those things would seem to make it easy to sit there every Sunday like a bump on a log, thinking that simply by being there they have done enough, without having any true faith in and response to Christ Himself.
I'm sure you're not saying we can judge peoples' faith or response to Christ by outward means like that?
There is a danger either way, it seems to me.


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« Reply #81 on: February 03, 2010, 01:27:48 PM »

But aren't those things written in Scripture? I'm thinking of all the accouterments God commanded for the decoration of the Temple. He was certainly no minimalist!

If you want a defence of "the regulative principle", you'll need to ask someone else..

Quote
easy to sit there every Sunday like a bump on a log, thinking that simply by being there they have done enough, without having any true faith in and response to Christ Himself.

Absolutely right. Whatever the form, any form of Christianity can have the form of godliness but "lack the power thereof".
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« Reply #82 on: February 03, 2010, 01:33:40 PM »

So, how are you liking the Lectionary readings David?

Different ways. They are giving me almost a year almost entirely in the New Testament, which I enjoy. The comments are mainly no different from what you'd read in an Evangelical commentary of similar depth and style. Some of the comments, of course, advance a specifically Orthodox viewpoint, but the percentage is fairly small.

Soon they move on to Genesis, Isaiah and Proverbs, and as my Study Bible is only NT and Psalms, I'll probably abandon it at that point, as there will be no further commentary, and revert to my system of alternating an OT book (Genesis-Job), a NT book, an OT book (Song-Malachi) then the next NT book.

It has been refreshing to follow a different system, and encouraging to read of vast swathes of common belief between us.
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« Reply #83 on: February 03, 2010, 02:51:27 PM »

A church historian could probably tell us (you and me) when the idea or use of the church calendar was discontinued. He would perhaps find it harder to say why.

The why would be the whole "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" thing. And of course, that wouldn't be a baptized baby!  Wink
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« Reply #84 on: February 04, 2010, 09:10:14 AM »

What we've agreed, of course, - partly in somewhat light-hearted terms - is that it is quite possible as an Evangelical, Orthodox, or anything else, to keep to the letter of the law (that is, of the rules and forms), whilst keeping quite outside the spirit of those rules. May we all rather revere Christ in our hearts!
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« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2010, 10:07:24 AM »

What we've agreed, of course, - partly in somewhat light-hearted terms - is that it is quite possible as an Evangelical, Orthodox, or anything else, to keep to the letter of the law (that is, of the rules and forms), whilst keeping quite outside the spirit of those rules. May we all rather revere Christ in our hearts!

Then you would agree that so-called "ritualism" and "minimalism" are equally neutral, so to speak?
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« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2010, 10:50:40 AM »

I must say I found it strange, even when I was a Protestant, that my church would celebrate at least in some way Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving Day (like in US established by a secular government back in the days when there was general respect for Christianity), Remembrance Day (Veterans' Day, Armistice Day elsewhere), New Year's Day (civil, of course). Yet there was never any mention of Theophany/Epiphany, Ascension, Transfiguration, Presentation of the Lord, Annunciation, etc. even though these commemorate events recorded in the Bible!
The civil holidays filled the vacuum created by the elimination of the church calendar. There seems to be something inherent in human society that makes us want to celebrate.
I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?
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« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2010, 10:59:35 AM »

I must say I found it strange, even when I was a Protestant, that my church would celebrate at least in some way Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving Day (like in US established by a secular government back in the days when there was general respect for Christianity), Remembrance Day (Veterans' Day, Armistice Day elsewhere), New Year's Day (civil, of course). Yet there was never any mention of Theophany/Epiphany, Ascension, Transfiguration, Presentation of the Lord, Annunciation, etc. even though these commemorate events recorded in the Bible!
The civil holidays filled the vacuum created by the elimination of the church calendar. There seems to be something inherent in human society that makes us want to celebrate.
I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?

Yes, this is so true. When I visit my father and attend his Baptist Church they celebrate many 'national' holidays (Holy Days). What we have to recognize is that Nationalism and the Secular National Calendar has effectively 'replaced' the Church Calendar. What I am interested in is 'when' did this 'really' start to happen? When did the Nations replace the Church Calendar and start making "holidays" instead of "Holy Days"?
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« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2010, 11:01:31 AM »

I think that's a good point, genesisone.

My former Evangelical church would hold patriotic hymnsings on the Sunday closest to Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. It always bothered me.

I went to a non-denominational megachurch for awhile, and they did pay lip service to the Church Year from time to time. We never studied (for instance) Our Lord in the Temple 33 days after Christmas, but at least there was an awareness of its existence.

I have found this to be the trend in some non-denominational branches of Protestantism - the "in" thing is to introduce liturgical elements such as the Church Year, the Daily Office, etc. Of course, when these things are divorced from tradition they are largely dead and hollow, cut off from the lifeblood of the Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #89 on: February 04, 2010, 11:59:00 AM »

I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?

Excellent point. Why is that?
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« Reply #90 on: February 04, 2010, 12:30:15 PM »

you would agree that so-called "ritualism" and "minimalism" are equally neutral, so to speak?

Hmm... I'd have to think about that one. I'm not sure that two neutralities can be equal, as neutrality is, surely, the absence of something. Can two people be other than equally absent from church one Sunday? Also, I have never been to a 'ritualist' church for more than the occasional one-off visit, whereas I was sent to Methodist Sunday School as a child, and have attended church ever since I left there. I'm not the one to make an assessment or first-hand comparison. Obviously Protestants think there is more risk of entrapment in ritual (as explained in an earlier post of mine) than in an absence of ritual, but whether that's right or not would need to be judged by someone who's spent years in both, and indeed years as a sincere worshipper, not being dragged along reluctantly to one, and going by choice to the other.
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« Reply #91 on: February 04, 2010, 12:33:42 PM »

I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?

Excellent point. Why is that?

Excellent point. Why is that?  I've never noticed it till you pointed it out here. We do of course mark Easter and Christmas, but we also have Remembrance Sunday and Mothers' Day, though not any others than immediately come to mind, unless you include Harvest (which is OT though not NT).
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« Reply #92 on: February 04, 2010, 01:17:23 PM »

I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?

Excellent point. Why is that?

Excellent point. Why is that?  I've never noticed it till you pointed it out here. We do of course mark Easter and Christmas, but we also have Remembrance Sunday and Mothers' Day, though not any others than immediately come to mind, unless you include Harvest (which is OT though not NT).

I have a sneaking suspicion that this anomaly, as well as the almost kneejerk horror of any hint of "ritualism," has more to do with anti-Roman Catholicism than anything else. Of course, I'm basing my opinion on my experience of Baptists and Evangelicals in the American South. The English variety may be (and probably is) a different kettle of fish altogether.
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« Reply #93 on: February 04, 2010, 02:57:53 PM »

you would agree that so-called "ritualism" and "minimalism" are equally neutral, so to speak?

Hmm... I'd have to think about that one. I'm not sure that two neutralities can be equal, as neutrality is, surely, the absence of something. Can two people be other than equally absent from church one Sunday? Also, I have never been to a 'ritualist' church for more than the occasional one-off visit, whereas I was sent to Methodist Sunday School as a child, and have attended church ever since I left there. I'm not the one to make an assessment or first-hand comparison. Obviously Protestants think there is more risk of entrapment in ritual (as explained in an earlier post of mine) than in an absence of ritual, but whether that's right or not would need to be judged by someone who's spent years in both, and indeed years as a sincere worshipper, not being dragged along reluctantly to one, and going by choice to the other.

Frankly I think the entire point is moot.

If someone is a Faithful follower of Christ, they are a faithful follower of Christ not because of the ritual or lack thereof, but because they love Christ.

Those on this forum who have converted from Protestantism to Orthodoxy didn't do so because they woke up one morning and said, "Ya know, I need more ritual in my life." They did so because they loved Christ and sought out His True Church. For some, they walked into Church, saw the burning candles, smelled the incense, and fell in love with the ritual. For others, it took time to accept and adapt. At any rate, in the end, they converted because they loved Christ and His Church.

You keep on saying that your Church doesn't include ritual for fear that people would just fall into the trap of doing the same ol' thing over and over, and would lose their zeal for Christ.

I want you to think for a second about someone in your church that is really "on fire" for God. Someone you know who's faith runs deep like a river, and has held fast to their faith through good times and through bad. Do you really think a few candles, some icons, and some incense would change this person's faith? Do you really think it would be a wet blanket on the fire of their faith?

My point is that both of our church's have people that are, what I like to call "Prayer Warrior's for God," and people who are just there because, well, they just are. I don't think ritual or lack thereof makes a person more on fire for God; I believe it's a personal choice. You are either going to hold fast to your faith because you believe in it, or you don't. It's that simple.
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« Reply #94 on: February 04, 2010, 03:20:59 PM »

Those on this forum who have converted from Protestantism to Orthodoxy didn't do so because they woke up one morning and said, "Ya know, I need more ritual in my life." They did so because they loved Christ and sought out His True Church.
LOL! Or, in my case, were dragged almost against their will into the True Church!

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You keep on saying that your Church doesn't include ritual for fear that people would just fall into the trap of doing the same ol' thing over and over, and would lose their zeal for Christ.
And, be honest, david, the Baptist and Evangelical churches certainly have their rituals and traditions - they just don't call them that.

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people who are just there because, well, they just are.
And even those people who just seem to be taking up space are in church worshipping God, in whatever way. They certainly have many other ways to spend their Sunday mornings. We don't know what is in their hearts.
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« Reply #95 on: February 04, 2010, 03:43:00 PM »


And, be honest, david, the Baptist and Evangelical churches certainly have their rituals and traditions - they just don't call them that.


I have always found it funny that they attack liturgical Christians on the ground that our prayers are repetative when they all have hymns and songs that they sing over and over again.
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« Reply #96 on: February 04, 2010, 05:45:06 PM »

to get back on topic:  some Protestants are antifestalists:  they believe that, because the Bible doesn't mandate most of the celebrations and feasts that have become established church tradition, they should celebrate nothing.
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« Reply #97 on: February 04, 2010, 05:51:41 PM »

The reason the full calendar of holy days has been replaced by secular holidays is because when a branch falls off of the Tree, it rots and dies.
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« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2010, 06:25:52 PM »

I must say I found it strange, even when I was a Protestant, that my church would celebrate at least in some way Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Canada Day, Thanksgiving Day (like in US established by a secular government back in the days when there was general respect for Christianity), Remembrance Day (Veterans' Day, Armistice Day elsewhere), New Year's Day (civil, of course). Yet there was never any mention of Theophany/Epiphany, Ascension, Transfiguration, Presentation of the Lord, Annunciation, etc. even though these commemorate events recorded in the Bible!
The civil holidays filled the vacuum created by the elimination of the church calendar. There seems to be something inherent in human society that makes us want to celebrate.
I'm certainly not trying to suggest that civil holidays should not be celebrated, but why do they get the priority among many Protestants to the (near) exclusion of Christian holidays?

Probably because we typically do not recognize the authority of your church, or of any similar festival based church models. We do recognize the authority of Scripture, and naturally gravitate toward the inferences about specific commemorations, feasts, and ordinances noted therein. We also recognize the authority of our respective national/state governments in the surrounding culture and society; not in any binding way on the church, and we naturally celebrate use such as is common to our culture (without being sinful) in and for the cause of Christ.

Plus, we do not feel a need for festivals, nor eucharistic observances, to enjoy the presence of the Lord, as we do so in the person of the indwelling Spirit both in our hearts and daily lives, and regularly as a corporate body of believers in our worship gatherings and observances of the ordinances, etc. Indeed, Christ has promised he would never leave or forsake us, and further that were two or three are gathered together in His name He is in our midst.
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« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2010, 06:26:03 PM »

this anomaly, as well as the almost kneejerk horror of any hint of "ritualism," has more to do with anti-Roman Catholicism than anything else.

I think to a large extent you're right; and of course, they haven't encountered Orthodoxy anyway, so they have no reaction for or against it. When they do encounter it, it looks like Catholicism, so they transfer their ideas about Catholicism en masse to Orthodoxy. This doesn't of course address the question of whether those ideas are right or wrong, only why they are probably specifically anti-Catholic and not in essence anti-Orthodox.
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« Reply #100 on: February 04, 2010, 06:28:16 PM »

they believe that, because the Bible doesn't mandate most of the celebrations and feasts that have become established church tradition, they should celebrate nothing.

Which, as I've said before, they call "the regulative principle".
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« Reply #101 on: February 04, 2010, 06:32:16 PM »

If someone is a Faithful follower of Christ, they are a faithful follower of Christ not because of the ritual or lack thereof, but because they love Christ.

think for a second about someone in your church that is really "on fire" for God... who's faith runs deep like a river, and has held fast to their faith through good times and through bad. Do you really think a few candles, some icons, and some incense would change this person's faith? Do you really think it would be a wet blanket on the fire of their faith?

My point is that both of our church's have people that are, what I like to call "Prayer Warriors for God," ... I don't think ritual or lack thereof makes a person more on fire for God

I think I agree with all of this.
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« Reply #102 on: February 04, 2010, 06:44:01 PM »

Baptist and Evangelical churches certainly have their rituals and traditions ... they all have hymns and songs that they sing over and over again

And more besides. There are churches which in principle practise open worship - that is, the service contains an extended time in which anyone may stand up and share some thoughts from the scriptures or lead in extemporary prayer. But in reality, you know who is going to stand up, and what he is going to say, because he has got (or gotten, if he's American) into the habit of saying the same things every week.

For myself, entirely personally and probably as a matter of taste not principle, I would prefer a more balanced mixture of both than is found (I think) in either your churches or ours. In ours I should like more liturgy - more set prayers prayed aloud in unison, more use of ancient, time-honoured prayers from the centuries of Christian worship. But I also cherish the possibility and practice of spontaneity, freedom and openness. This is why I enjoy worshipping with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer at an Anglican church if I get the opportunity when I am away on holiday; but equally - nay, even more - I rejoice when I am leading a Communion service at our Baptist church, include a time of spontaneous prayer open to all prior to the taking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, and people lead us one by one in an ex tempore manner, expressing their gratitude and appreciation to God for things the Lord's Supper points us to. Give me both - not either/or.
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« Reply #103 on: February 04, 2010, 08:23:21 PM »

Probably because we typically do not recognize the authority of your church, or of any similar festival based church models. We do recognize the authority of Scripture, and naturally gravitate toward the inferences about specific commemorations, feasts, and ordinances noted therein. We also recognize the authority of our respective national/state governments in the surrounding culture and society; not in any binding way on the church, and we naturally celebrate use such as is common to our culture (without being sinful) in and for the cause of Christ.

Plus, we do not feel a need for festivals, nor eucharistic observances, to enjoy the presence of the Lord, as we do so in the person of the indwelling Spirit both in our hearts and daily lives, and regularly as a corporate body of believers in our worship gatherings and observances of the ordinances, etc. Indeed, Christ has promised he would never leave or forsake us, and further that were two or three are gathered together in His name He is in our midst.

"Two or three of you."  "He who receives you, receives Me...he who rejectes You, rejects Me....."  One has to first receive Apostles to be in on that two-or-three gathered deal.

The boldfaced makes this interchange rather perplexing:
I understand what you are saying, however, since Scripture "cannot be broken" (John 10:35) any view thereof that causes the gospels (or any other book of Scripture) to disagree, rather than to harmonize, must be a false view or understanding. Besides, Paul is quite clear on the nature of the bread we are to use at the Lords table, and why (1 Corinthians 5:8).

"Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:8

As to the metaphorical nature of Paul's use of the phrase, again, the metaphor makes NO SENSE unless the basis is real, or in this case literal. Associations to Passover, keeping the feast, and eating unleavened bread must refer to the literal observance and use of such in order for any extrapolation Paul intends to hold. Else Paul is nonsensical here (as if Roll Eyes).

Rather odd that you are so dogmatic about that, as most Radical Protestants (as in Radical Reformation), hold that observances of feast days were abolished.  So you hold that celebrating Easter is required by the NT?  That passover has given over to Pascha?  As Hebrews shows, the Law has been changed.  And what of all the admonitions of St. Paul to "purge out the old leaven that you may be a new lump.

Quote
Besides, a cursory familiarity with Jewish festival customs

As they are celebrated now: it never ceases to amaze me how Protestants, who won't accept the Tradition of the Church, take the traditions that the present days Jews preserve from the pharisees as the Gospel truth, whether it be their preference of the late Masoretic text (fixed Nearly a millenium after the Church's Septuagint), or the preference of the Talmud's interpretation over the Fathers of the Church.

He is the Paschal lamb, not the paschal bread.

Per Paul, He is both.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

What feast are we keeping? Passover. Who is our lamb? Christ. Who is our bread? Christ. What is the bread? Christ's body, which He sacrificed for us. How then since Christ lived a sinless life in the body, and Paul says we are to keep the feast with unleavened bread, can one partake of Christ as the Passover and do so in the form of leavened bread?

Indeed, the unleavened passover bread holds special symbolism that further drives home this apostolic comparison and injunction. The bread is striped, as Christ was for our healing. The bread is pierced, as Christ was when he shed forth the fount of eternal life. The bread is broken as our Lord explained when he gave it to His disciples at the last supper. Beautiful!



Quote
And even if St. Paul meant unleavened bread, he can be pre-empted:

Not without "breaking" Scripture (which is an impossibility, proving the absurdity of any position staked on such a handling of the word).
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« Reply #104 on: February 04, 2010, 08:36:27 PM »

Baptist and Evangelical churches certainly have their rituals and traditions ... they all have hymns and songs that they sing over and over again

And more besides. There are churches which in principle practise open worship - that is, the service contains an extended time in which anyone may stand up and share some thoughts from the scriptures or lead in extemporary prayer. But in reality, you know who is going to stand up, and what he is going to say, because he has got (or gotten, if he's American) into the habit of saying the same things every week.

For myself, entirely personally and probably as a matter of taste not principle, I would prefer a more balanced mixture of both than is found (I think) in either your churches or ours. In ours I should like more liturgy - more set prayers prayed aloud in unison, more use of ancient, time-honoured prayers from the centuries of Christian worship. But I also cherish the possibility and practice of spontaneity, freedom and openness. This is why I enjoy worshipping with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer at an Anglican church if I get the opportunity when I am away on holiday; but equally - nay, even more - I rejoice when I am leading a Communion service at our Baptist church, include a time of spontaneous prayer open to all prior to the taking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, and people lead us one by one in an ex tempore manner, expressing their gratitude and appreciation to God for things the Lord's Supper points us to. Give me both - not either/or.

I know as a Catholic I appreciated a solemn Liturgy. However, I also appreciate prayers meetings outside of the Liturgy that are more spontaneous.
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« Reply #105 on: February 05, 2010, 12:01:59 AM »

this anomaly, as well as the almost kneejerk horror of any hint of "ritualism," has more to do with anti-Roman Catholicism than anything else.

I think to a large extent you're right; and of course, they haven't encountered Orthodoxy anyway, so they have no reaction for or against it. When they do encounter it, it looks like Catholicism, so they transfer their ideas about Catholicism en masse to Orthodoxy. This doesn't of course address the question of whether those ideas are right or wrong, only why they are probably specifically anti-Catholic and not in essence anti-Orthodox.

You definitely have a point. Someone once "corrected" me and told me that "The Pope is not infallible!" in a conversation. Fortunately, most of my friends know that Orthodoxy is not Roman Catholicism. Even if they don't what the differences are, they don't assume that what applies to one necessarily applies to the other.
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« Reply #106 on: February 05, 2010, 01:10:08 AM »

I just asked my Presbyterian friend about that. She replied, "Isn't every Sunday a celebration of Christ?" I suppose the logic is that this makes specific holidays superfluous. Her church doesn't even really celebrate Christmas or Easter.

We could extend the logic farther and say that every day should be a celebration of Christ, but theory doesn't often live up to reality. Yes, every day should be, but one day in particular should be more intently and intensely focused on that celebration. Something to keep us in mind of the rest we have every day in Christ. And I see nothing wrong with making one of those particularly-focused days even more particularly focused. For instance, her church doesn't celebrate the sacrament of communion every Sunday - not as a religious rule, but just the way her church's means extend. So it has that aura of 'specialness' when they do.
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« Reply #107 on: February 05, 2010, 02:20:07 AM »

In orthodox countries I would say that most Protestants keep and have in their calendars most of the 12 royal feasts.
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« Reply #108 on: February 05, 2010, 09:30:34 AM »

I just asked my Presbyterian friend about that. She replied, "Isn't every Sunday a celebration of Christ?" I suppose the logic is that this makes specific holidays superfluous. Her church doesn't even really celebrate Christmas or Easter.

My response to that would be "Of course, however the different feasts of the Church remind us how specific events in Christ's life play a role in our salvation."

The gravity of the Logos taking on flesh is too great for my finite mind to comprehend in its entirety all the time (or ever, to be honest.) The feasts of the Church help me "break it down" into digestable pieces. There is never a time when the Church does not celebrate Christ; it's just that the Church uses the various feasts and fasts to help us better understand Christ's life and how it shapes our lives today.

Also, speaking simply from my own personal experience, I noticed that when I came back to the Church and begin intently observing the Church calander, I enjoyed the seasons of the year more. The darkness of winter is illumined by the Light of the World at Christmas. January isn't so bleak as we observe the feast of Theophany. How much more meaning does the rebirth of creation carry in Spring, when we celebrate the restoration with it's Creator at Pascha?

Every day of the year has a purpose assigned to it, whether it be feast or fast. It reminds me every day that there is more to this life than what I may see in front of me.

I find it very encouraging.

Well, that's enough for now.
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« Reply #109 on: February 05, 2010, 11:39:29 AM »

In orthodox countries I would say that most Protestants keep and have in their calendars most of the 12 royal feasts.

This is very true. I know, for instance, that at least the more traditional elements of the Evangelical Baptist Church of those countries, celebrated Bright Week (the week following Pascha) by attending church nearly every day of that week, and by singing together triumphantly the Orthodox Paschal Troparion (Christ is Risen/From the dead). At Nativity too, they sang many of their own, but also standard hymns sung in the Orthodox Church at that Feast.  Likewise, they had church services on many of the lesser-known Orthodox feast days. These feast days were pretty huge events for them. Of course, they were much stricter than most American Baptists in that the married women covered their head with scarves in church, and dressed modestly. They did not partipate in war and were quite persecuted by the communists and barred from advancing their education during those days. They also were not traditionally Calvinists. Some succumbed to that heresy after being indoctrinated by visiting American Baptist missionaries, sadly.

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« Reply #110 on: February 07, 2010, 03:01:38 PM »

In tonight's Bible Study, Father mentioned how each of the 12 feasts we celebrate on the Liturgical calander are on the calander to remind us of how each part of Christ's life plays a role in our salvation.

This reminded me of a question I've always had, even in my days in the Baptist church.

Why does the Protestant church water down the Liturgical calander to Christmas and Easter?

While I understand your reasoning for throwing out the days that honor the Saints and the Theotokos, why throw out the days that honor Christ?

Specifically I am referring to Theophany (Christ's Baptism) (Luke 3:21-22), the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 1:22-24), Transfiguration (Mark 1:1-13), Palm Sunday (John 12:13-15) and the rest of Holy Week, Pentacost (Acts 2:3-5), and Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).

All of these events are recorded in the Bible, and are worthy of our praise. On Christmas and Easter you celebrate what Christ did for your salvation; why not include the other dates in the year?



We celebrate all the above feasts.
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« Reply #111 on: February 10, 2010, 07:49:09 PM »

The discussion on the authority of Scripture has been split to the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25879.0.html

The discussion on Agape love and non-Orthodox Christians has been split to the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25885.0.html

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