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?
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?
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?
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.