Author Topic: Paganism within Orthodoxy  (Read 30645 times)

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Offline genesisone

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #90 on: January 11, 2010, 10:01:23 AM »
Why is it mere superstition to sleep with a Bible or bury a Bible in the foundation of a house for protection?

Because it is putting one's trust in a physical object - in this case, paper pages bound together in a possibly black hardboard or leather cover - to secure a spiritual effect. Such objects cannot protect us from evil.
If the trust is in the object, then I definitely agree with you. However, is the practice itself necessarily superstition? Can it not be said that an act of this sort may be a declaration of faith, somewhat akin to "showing the flag". Perhaps it's a tangible reminder to ourselves of our faith in God. If it is truly an effort to use all possible means to draw closer to God, then it should be regarded as acceptable.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #91 on: January 11, 2010, 11:52:11 AM »
Why is it mere superstition to sleep with a Bible or bury a Bible in the foundation of a house for protection?

Because it is putting one's trust in a physical object - in this case, paper pages bound together in a possibly black hardboard or leather cover - to secure a spiritual effect. Such objects cannot protect us from evil.

Putting trust in the object itself, without any concern for what it represents, would be superstition. But to deny that God effects spiritual changes through physical signs and objects is to assume a dualist mentality. Many times God does in fact do this. For example, in Acts 19:11, handkerchiefs touched by St. Paul are used to heal the sick.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #92 on: January 11, 2010, 01:26:32 PM »
God acts through His creation. Scriptures record the uses of water, mud, human bones, and other objects as means through which He conveys His grace. Most certainly, the lives of the saints attests to this as well.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 01:28:36 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #93 on: January 11, 2010, 04:21:15 PM »
How many Protestants are Free Masons? I would say that masonry has tons of pagan and superstitious aspects to it. Many of our founding fathers (in the US) and presidents have been a part of this organization but they were also a part of some Protestant church. Free Masonry is condemned by the Orthodox and Catholics. How many Protestants also put up Christmas trees? I would also say that many Protestants have many superstitions about the Bible. I've talked to Protestants who believe that the "Word" spoken about in St. John's Gospel is actually the Bible and not Jesus Christ, the Logos and that leads me to believe that many of them trust the book rather than God.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 04:22:21 PM by Andrew21091 »

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #94 on: January 11, 2010, 04:43:58 PM »
The American founding fathers may have attended some sort of Protestant church, but I'm sure they only did so for the sake of convention. These men were closer to atheism than anything else-at any rate they were certainly freethinkers, who sneered at the Bible, and Christian doctrines. For some reason, Americans always like to think their country is founded on the Bible and Christian principles and that its founders were classical Christians,but that's not the way it was.

Probably most mainstream Protestants put up Christmas trees, but I've known some of the more old-fashioned, uber-conservative types who refuse to even acknowledge the day as a holiday, much less put up a Christmas tree. They also refuse to celebrate Easter.  But such humourless types are quite few and far between. However, they do indeed exist.

My grandfather was a Free Mason (and a deacon in a Protestant church!), and membership has been in the family for generations. It seems to be a sort of networking thing for people on the make. As far as I know, no one in my family is currently involved, although I have a sibling who takes a lot of interest in such things and would like to join the Masons.

My former church was evangelical, but membership in "secret societies" was strictly forbidden.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 04:52:52 PM by Rosehip »
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #95 on: January 11, 2010, 04:48:10 PM »
How many Protestants are Free Masons? I would say that masonry has tons of pagan and superstitious aspects to it. Many of our founding fathers (in the US) and presidents have been a part of this organization but they were also a part of some Protestant church. Free Masonry is condemned by the Orthodox and Catholics. How many Protestants also put up Christmas trees? I would also say that many Protestants have many superstitions about the Bible. I've talked to Protestants who believe that the "Word" spoken about in St. John's Gospel is actually the Bible and not Jesus Christ, the Logos and that leads me to believe that many of them trust the book rather than God.
How many Orthodox are Free Masons? Really, the better question would be "How many Free Masons are practising Protestants/Catholics/Orthodox?" Many Protestant denominations condemn Free Masonry as strongly as we do. Orthodox Christians put up Christmas trees. However, you are quite right in suggesting that the Orthodox don't have a monopoly on superstition!

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #96 on: January 11, 2010, 04:55:47 PM »
God acts through His creation. Scriptures record the uses of water, mud, human bones, and other objects as means through which He conveys His grace. Most certainly, the lives of the saints attests to this as well.

^ This is it right here. ^
« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 04:56:03 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Andrew21091

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #97 on: January 11, 2010, 05:17:04 PM »
How many Protestants are Free Masons? I would say that masonry has tons of pagan and superstitious aspects to it. Many of our founding fathers (in the US) and presidents have been a part of this organization but they were also a part of some Protestant church. Free Masonry is condemned by the Orthodox and Catholics. How many Protestants also put up Christmas trees? I would also say that many Protestants have many superstitions about the Bible. I've talked to Protestants who believe that the "Word" spoken about in St. John's Gospel is actually the Bible and not Jesus Christ, the Logos and that leads me to believe that many of them trust the book rather than God.
However, you are quite right in suggesting that the Orthodox don't have a monopoly on superstition!

That was my point.

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #98 on: January 11, 2010, 05:18:59 PM »
Why is it mere superstition to sleep with a Bible or bury a Bible in the foundation of a house for protection?

Because it is putting one's trust in a physical object - in this case, paper pages bound together in a possibly black hardboard or leather cover - to secure a spiritual effect. Such objects cannot protect us from evil.

If it was putting one's trust in a physical object, as if the object on its own possessed some magical power, I would agree with you. However, I think you have separated the action with the physical object from the faith of the person doing the action with what the object represents. (Hmmm, hope that makes sense.)
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #99 on: January 11, 2010, 05:31:27 PM »
However, you are quite right in suggesting that the Orthodox don't have a monopoly on superstition!

I'd certainly hope not; that would be rather greedy of us now, wouldn't it? ;)

Offline David Young

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #100 on: January 12, 2010, 04:30:15 AM »
You are right in saying that the nub of the matter is where the faith of the heart and mind are directed. I gain the impression from talking with people, that men of nominally Orthodox faith who bury Bibles in their foundations, hang garlic and teddy bears outside their homes to ward off or absorb curses, and put up a flag or a scarecrow on their roof to frighten off evil spirits, are really placing their faith in the book, the herb, the toy, the flag and the effigy. (I am not, in saying that, in any way saying that Orthodox have a monopoly of such people.)

I myself have prayed earnestly at the temple of Zeus at Dodoni, but my prayers were offered in the name of Jesus Christ to God the Father. More than that: I specifically went to the temple to pray, because I wanted it to be a special, memorable time of prayer for me - not to add greater influence upon God. I do not believe I was superstitious in doing so: my mind was towards the Lord.

And I have long loved that touch - divine touch, I would like to say - where on the night of the conversation which led to the conversion to Christ of C S Lewis, who was so steeped in the Classics, there was that strange rustling in the leaves of Addison's Walk as the three men spoke so earnestly of holy things.

But neither at Dodoni nor in Oxford would I look for the divine voice in the rustling of the leaves. That would surely be superstition. What God gives we take, I hope, with gratitude and awe. (He gave me none at the temple, but my prayers were answered, and I live in the answers to them to this day.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 04:33:51 AM by David Young »
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Offline jnorm888

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #101 on: January 12, 2010, 06:50:48 AM »
Why is it mere superstition to sleep with a Bible or bury a Bible in the foundation of a house for protection?

Because it is putting one's trust in a physical object - in this case, paper pages bound together in a possibly black hardboard or leather cover - to secure a spiritual effect. Such objects cannot protect us from evil.

I think they can. Those paper pages are sacred and holy you know! Didn't Moses take his shoes off when he was near the burning bush?

Also didn't Jesus say:
Matthew 23:16-20
"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it."



David,

Physical things can be sacred and holy, and thus can bring spiritual things about. Wasn't the Ark itself physical?

Ultimately, these things are holy and Sacred because of God.





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« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 06:57:59 AM by jnorm888 »
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Offline David Young

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #102 on: January 12, 2010, 07:29:33 AM »
Those paper pages are sacred and holy you know! Didn't Moses take his shoes off when he was near the burning bush?

Hmmm... interesting thoughts. But God was in the bush: surely he's not inside a book! Is this not rather an islamic attitude, whereby the holy book must not be placed on the floor?

It has been pointed out (I fear with some truth) that some Protestants seem almost to have a relationship with a Book rather than with the Holy Ghost. Do your words not tend in that direction?

And yet, 'tis true, we all treat the actual physical Bible with respect. I think this is because it is associated with holy things - it contains the divine revelation - it even tells us how we may find protection from evil, or from the Evil One. But the actual paper, ink and binding do not contain or convey that power.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 07:30:07 AM by David Young »
"But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." Galatians 5.15

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #103 on: January 12, 2010, 08:55:20 AM »
In the town where my fiancee's family is from, Freemasonry is so closely tied to Protestantism that you actually have to be a Protestant to join the Masons. They were shocked when I told them there were Masonic chapters in Catholic and Muslim countries.
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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #104 on: January 12, 2010, 04:39:10 PM »
Those paper pages are sacred and holy you know! Didn't Moses take his shoes off when he was near the burning bush?

Hmmm... interesting thoughts. But God was in the bush: surely he's not inside a book! Is this not rather an islamic attitude, whereby the holy book must not be placed on the floor?

If God was *in* the bush, why can't He be *in* other things? Wasn't it God at work in the Prophet Elijah's cloak, Prophet Elisha's bones, St Paul's hankies?

Quote
It has been pointed out (I fear with some truth) that some Protestants seem almost to have a relationship with a Book rather than with the Holy Ghost. Do your words not tend in that direction?

Why would we exclude any means that helps us have a relationship with God? There's a difference between having a solely intellectual relationship with God through His Book (as some Protestants seem to do) and a relationship that includes both intellectual and sacramental aspects.

Quote
And yet, 'tis true, we all treat the actual physical Bible with respect. I think this is because it is associated with holy things - it contains the divine revelation - it even tells us how we may find protection from evil, or from the Evil One. But the actual paper, ink and binding do not contain or convey that power.

Yet the items I mention above are also material and yet they contained or conveyed God's miraculous power. If the Holy Spirit worked through them; why not the pages of a book?

Although, I will add that I'm not suggesting that the bible under the pillow is necessarily a holy object - though it could be if God chose to work through that means. It seems to me, it's more possible that any protection arising from the bible under the pillow could come from it being a prayer in action. If the last thing one does before going to sleep at night is to perform a prayful act of supplication for protection to the One True God, why would we assume that it has to be an act of superstition?
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #105 on: January 12, 2010, 05:18:30 PM »
David,

The Holy Scriptures are themselves an icon of the Word of God, and as such are treated with the utmost respect and veneration in the Orthodox Church. There is no longer the old covenant separation between holy and unholy. Christ's perfect holiness bridged the gap between God and creation, thereby sanctifying the latter, and therefore allowing the potential of true eucharistic communion between us, God, and nature.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 05:19:20 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline jnorm888

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #106 on: January 12, 2010, 07:45:50 PM »
The American founding fathers may have attended some sort of Protestant church, but I'm sure they only did so for the sake of convention. These men were closer to atheism than anything else-at any rate they were certainly freethinkers, who sneered at the Bible, and Christian doctrines. For some reason, Americans always like to think their country is founded on the Bible and Christian principles and that its founders were classical Christians,but that's not the way it was.

Probably most mainstream Protestants put up Christmas trees, but I've known some of the more old-fashioned, uber-conservative types who refuse to even acknowledge the day as a holiday, much less put up a Christmas tree. They also refuse to celebrate Easter.  But such humourless types are quite few and far between. However, they do indeed exist.

My grandfather was a Free Mason (and a deacon in a Protestant church!), and membership has been in the family for generations. It seems to be a sort of networking thing for people on the make. As far as I know, no one in my family is currently involved, although I have a sibling who takes a lot of interest in such things and would like to join the Masons.

My former church was evangelical, but membership in "secret societies" was strictly forbidden.

The majority of our founding fathers were not diest. If you look at all the names of the ones who signed, then you will see that most of them were very religious protestants of some stripe or the other.....some even pastors. You may of had a roman catholic who signed as well......I have to review my sources to make sure.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 07:47:22 PM by jnorm888 »
"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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Offline jnorm888

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #107 on: January 12, 2010, 07:55:38 PM »
Quote
Hmmm... interesting thoughts. But God was in the bush: surely he's not inside a book! Is this not rather an islamic attitude, whereby the holy book must not be placed on the floor?

This was how I was raised as a black Baptist in the city of Pittsburgh.


Quote
It has been pointed out (I fear with some truth) that some Protestants seem almost to have a relationship with a Book rather than with the Holy Ghost. Do your words not tend in that direction?

Why can't it be a relationship with the Holy Spirit through His Book? Why can't it be both and, instead of either or? I mean isn't  Scripture "Inspired"? Isn't it God breathed? So why let it touch the floor? Why can't God make physical things sacred/holy? Isn't it called "The Holy Bible"?



Quote
And yet, 'tis true, we all treat the actual physical Bible with respect. I think this is because it is associated with holy things - it contains the divine revelation - it even tells us how we may find protection from evil, or from the Evil One. But the actual paper, ink and binding do not contain or convey that power.

Yes it does, Jesus in the scripture I gave said that the gift on the alter is sacred because the alter made it so. He also said that the stones on the temple were sacred because the temple made it so.

"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' 17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it."



So why caan't paper be sacred?





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« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 08:07:53 PM by jnorm888 »
"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/

Offline Keble

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The Founding Fathers
« Reply #108 on: January 13, 2010, 02:03:40 PM »
The American founding fathers may have attended some sort of Protestant church, but I'm sure they only did so for the sake of convention. These men were closer to atheism than anything else-at any rate they were certainly freethinkers, who sneered at the Bible, and Christian doctrines. For some reason, Americans always like to think their country is founded on the Bible and Christian principles and that its founders were classical Christians,but that's not the way it was.

There's no real common pattern among the FFs. One must remember, first of all, that the Second Great Awakening hadn't hit, so that the kind of in-your-face civil religion we are now accustomed to wasn't there yet. Except for certain outspoken individuals, it's hard find frank and unambiguous statements of faith, because that wasn't the tenor of the times.

The big issue, of course, is deism. Identification of individuals with these ideas is generally obscure and controversial, and only two figures-- Paine and Franklin-- can be definitely identified as deists. Locke was a deist, but whether his religious notions were carried through to others through his political notions is at least doubtful. Claims that Madison and Monroe were deists rely more on a paucity of evidence to the contrary than on any definite statement; as to the latter's religion, we really know nothing. Washington was certainly unconventional in some respects, but when push comes to shove the evidence is stronger that he was a fairly lukewarm Anglican. Adams was a Christian Unitarian, opposed to the Preistley-centered faction that came to dominate the group. Jefferson is sometimes labelled a deist, but he's really more of a Unitarian in the Preistley camp, though not formally affiliated.

Other figures were more orthodox. Patrick Henry, for example, was a prominent churchman. Language from the deists was used heavily, but I think in large part because it was language that all could agree on. Particularly striking to me is how Locke's ideas rest upon the Judaeo-Christian insistence on the sinfulness of men. The other side of the coin is that religion's biggest import in politics was state religion. New England was dominated by religious bodies who wanted out from under the state thumb; the only real push in the other direction was from the largely Tory Anglican clergy, who I think could be forgiven for their conflict of interest in the matter. The interpretation of 1st amendment rights as being freedom from religion is revisionist.

Offline jnorm888

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Re: The Founding Fathers
« Reply #109 on: January 13, 2010, 07:54:33 PM »
The American founding fathers may have attended some sort of Protestant church, but I'm sure they only did so for the sake of convention. These men were closer to atheism than anything else-at any rate they were certainly freethinkers, who sneered at the Bible, and Christian doctrines. For some reason, Americans always like to think their country is founded on the Bible and Christian principles and that its founders were classical Christians,but that's not the way it was.

There's no real common pattern among the FFs. One must remember, first of all, that the Second Great Awakening hadn't hit, so that the kind of in-your-face civil religion we are now accustomed to wasn't there yet. Except for certain outspoken individuals, it's hard find frank and unambiguous statements of faith, because that wasn't the tenor of the times.

The big issue, of course, is deism. Identification of individuals with these ideas is generally obscure and controversial, and only two figures-- Paine and Franklin-- can be definitely identified as deists. Locke was a deist, but whether his religious notions were carried through to others through his political notions is at least doubtful. Claims that Madison and Monroe were deists rely more on a paucity of evidence to the contrary than on any definite statement; as to the latter's religion, we really know nothing. Washington was certainly unconventional in some respects, but when push comes to shove the evidence is stronger that he was a fairly lukewarm Anglican. Adams was a Christian Unitarian, opposed to the Preistley-centered faction that came to dominate the group. Jefferson is sometimes labelled a deist, but he's really more of a Unitarian in the Preistley camp, though not formally affiliated.

Other figures were more orthodox. Patrick Henry, for example, was a prominent churchman. Language from the deists was used heavily, but I think in large part because it was language that all could agree on. Particularly striking to me is how Locke's ideas rest upon the Judaeo-Christian insistence on the sinfulness of men. The other side of the coin is that religion's biggest import in politics was state religion. New England was dominated by religious bodies who wanted out from under the state thumb; the only real push in the other direction was from the largely Tory Anglican clergy, who I think could be forgiven for their conflict of interest in the matter. The interpretation of 1st amendment rights as being freedom from religion is revisionist.




I agree!





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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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Re: Paganism within Orthodoxy
« Reply #110 on: November 13, 2010, 04:25:33 PM »
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