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Author Topic: "Revolutionary Road"  (Read 5124 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« on: July 31, 2009, 09:35:26 PM »

Lesya and I just watched it. Digesting...

What a sad story, a tragedy...
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 10:01:59 PM »

Lesya and I just watched it. Digesting...

What a sad story, a tragedy...

Oh boy, this is certainly gonna open a can of worms. I imagine you can anticipate some of my thoughts already Heorhij. But here's what I thought about it:

1. First, I was disappointed in the quality of the movie. I just didn't think the performances rang true. Not very good acting, not well directed.

2. The story/plot was believable enough on the surface, but it quickly revealed itself to be a thinly disguised piece of pro-abortion feminist propaganda.

3. I had hoped that it would be better. There are many movies that have a propagandistic agenda which I still enjoyed simply because of the quality of the film. This was not one of them.

Out of 5 stars, I give it about a 1 and half.

Selam
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 10:39:44 AM »

I did not take it as a pro-abortion feminist propaganda...

The way I understood the movie, it tried to depict an existential tragedy of two people who are completely alien, deep inside, to what they pretend to be on the surface. DiCaprio's hero is actually "maternal," but his life, which the society with its stereotypes impose on him, is one of a creerist and a bread-winner. Winslet's heroine is total opposite - she has this drive for accomplishment, achievement, but her life (again, imposed on her) is one of a cookie-baker in a small town kitchen, a wife and a mother (which she is not, neither).

There really are people out there, I do believe, who are not what they are "told" to be by societal stereotypes or religious dogmas or both. There are men who only dream about being "house husbands" (I personally knew one guy, a first generation immigrant to the USA from Norway, who was finally so happy when he achieved his dream - his wife became a postdoc, molecular biologist, and he was happy at home with their two kids). There are, on the other hand, women who do not have one "wife" bone in their body and no "mother" bone. And to that, the society and the religion says, "no... you SHOULD be this and this and that..." Hence deep tragedies, sometimes with a lethal outcome.
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 10:01:53 PM »

I did not take it as a pro-abortion feminist propaganda...

The way I understood the movie, it tried to depict an existential tragedy of two people who are completely alien, deep inside, to what they pretend to be on the surface. DiCaprio's hero is actually "maternal," but his life, which the society with its stereotypes impose on him, is one of a creerist and a bread-winner. Winslet's heroine is total opposite - she has this drive for accomplishment, achievement, but her life (again, imposed on her) is one of a cookie-baker in a small town kitchen, a wife and a mother (which she is not, neither).

There really are people out there, I do believe, who are not what they are "told" to be by societal stereotypes or religious dogmas or both. There are men who only dream about being "house husbands" (I personally knew one guy, a first generation immigrant to the USA from Norway, who was finally so happy when he achieved his dream - his wife became a postdoc, molecular biologist, and he was happy at home with their two kids). There are, on the other hand, women who do not have one "wife" bone in their body and no "mother" bone. And to that, the society and the religion says, "no... you SHOULD be this and this and that..." Hence deep tragedies, sometimes with a lethal outcome.

Your comments are very interesting. It is funny how you and I see the same thing but through opposite lenses. Whereas you see societal standards as confining people and hindering them from "finding themselves" or "pursuing their real purpose" (just as the movie was designed to lead you to believe), I see the reality being that society inundates us with the message that we should live by our own rules and forsake any religious authority. So we both see the dogmas and pressures of society as having a negative impact; but I see them as pressures of a relativistic and secular society rather than as pressures from a culture of religious dogma. Some examples:
 
-Young people today feel pressured to engage in premarital sexual activity.

-Society tells women that it is a waste of their true talent and abilities to be a wife and a mother, that they should strive instead to be CEO's and such.

-Many young women in college often feel pressured by today's society to have an abortion rather than interupt their college carreer in order to have their baby.

-The majority of our colleges and universties are bastions of secualrism, and Christian students who stand up for their beliefs are often ridiculed and mocked by their professors and peers.

-The entertainment industry inundates us with messages similar to the one portrayed by the movie we are discussing here. One cannot even watch the preview channel on cable TV without being bombarded with images of sex.

So, far from being a morally restrictive culture, our society is quite licentious. And this licentious and individualistic environment places far more dangerous pressures on us than a "puritanical' society would.

But ultimately we are individuals with a free will. We choose our spouses, we choose our careers, we choose our religion or lack thereof, we choose our friends, and a mother can even choose to kill her unborn child. Hardly what I would call a puritanical and restrictive culture. No one in this is country is forcing anyone to believe anything. Women who want to pursue the career path are free to do so. If they find themselves wealthy, powerful, childless, lonely, and miserable then they have no one to blame but themselves. Choosing to believe and conform to the secular values and godless morality of this culture is an individual decision just like choosing to trust in Christ and conforming to the teachings of His Church is an individual decision.

The movie would have you believe that if this poor woman had lived in a more liberated society, then this tragedy would not have occurred. Well, I can tell you one thing for sure: I don't see liberated women coming out of today's "safe and legal" abortion clinics. I see broken, bloody, and despondent women; and I've seen more than a few leaving via ambulance.

Selam     
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 04:07:48 PM »

The movie would have you believe that if this poor woman had lived in a more liberated society, then this tragedy would not have occurred.


Hardly. It's all far more complicated; the degree of the "liberation" of the society is very subjective and hardly correlates with the humanity of this society.

Well, I can tell you one thing for sure: I don't see liberated women coming out of today's "safe and legal" abortion clinics. I see broken, bloody, and despondent women; and I've seen more than a few leaving via ambulance.
 

But of course. No woman wants an abortion. Not one single person is FOR abortion.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 05:05:32 PM »

P.S. Oh, yeah. .the film. . .Well, I thought the acting was very good. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 05:11:51 PM »

The UK, for example, is in a complete mess.

Every society is.
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2009, 05:20:38 PM »

The UK, for example, is in a complete mess.

Every society is.


Agreed.
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2009, 05:28:06 PM »


I guess all we can do is to create little communities that are resisting the society. My extended family, for example, is my world, my everything. I believe I would always find protection and support there. In "society" - no. In no society, ever. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2009, 08:31:54 PM »


I guess all we can do is to create little communities that are resisting the society. My extended family, for example, is my world, my everything. I believe I would always find protection and support there. In "society" - no. In no society, ever. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...

This is why the Church exists.

Selam
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2009, 09:33:59 PM »


I guess all we can do is to create little communities that are resisting the society. My extended family, for example, is my world, my everything. I believe I would always find protection and support there. In "society" - no. In no society, ever. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...

This is why the Church exists.

Selam

I don't really know, I wish I knew. As quite a lot of messages on this forum tell me, the Church is full of ravaging fundies...
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2009, 10:04:15 PM »

. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...

I'm confused. Could you explain how you are "anti-societal, anti-cultural" but have no problem with society educating children, and are vehemently opposed to people who don't want society to educate their children and thus do it themselves.

Because it's not the society that educates - it's either professionals, or amateurs.


So what exactly do you consider "society" and "cultural" that you are so "anti"?
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2009, 10:23:50 PM »


 Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards. .

"I guess all we can do is to create little communities that are resisting the society."

Yes - I completely agree with you.
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2009, 10:26:58 PM »

But what does all this have to do with Revolutionary Road?
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2009, 02:36:32 AM »


I guess all we can do is to create little communities that are resisting the society. My extended family, for example, is my world, my everything. I believe I would always find protection and support there. In "society" - no. In no society, ever. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...

This is why the Church exists.

Selam

I don't really know, I wish I knew. As quite a lot of messages on this forum tell me, the Church is full of ravaging fundies...

My friend, you are too intelligent to resort to calling people "ravaging fundies;" although I confess I have used similar terms before. (But I'm not as bright as you, so I have an excuse.Wink)

I actually see quite a variety of views and perspectives on this forum. There are plenty on the far Left who counteract the views of the far Right. In fact, I get labeled as a "fundie" by people like you, and then I get called a "lefty" by those on the Right.

But I will agree that the Church is not perfect. And yet the Church is not coercive. The Church exists to intitiate and nurture us in the Christian Faith. It is the only true refuge from the philosophy of men and the seduction of the world. Although her children may be poor ecclesiastical representatives, the Teachings and Traditions of the Church stand alone as a stalwart shield against the "god of this world."

Now, as all this relates to the movie...
Perhaps the message we should take from this film is simply this: Those who attempt to find meaning and happiness apart from Christ and His Church will always be ultimately disappointed and disillusioned.

Selam
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2009, 11:10:23 AM »

The posts about abortion have been split into the following thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22595.0.html

The posts about home-schooling have been merged into this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8112.270/topicseen.html

Please keep this thread on topic.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2009, 12:30:35 PM »

. I am absolutely, terribly, vehemently anti-societal, anti-cultural. Maybe the heroes of the "Revolutionary Road" could be happy if they both found some community that would support them as they are, rather than cling to the "society" standards, I don't know...

I'm confused. Could you explain how you are "anti-societal, anti-cultural" but have no problem with society educating children, and are vehemently opposed to people who don't want society to educate their children and thus do it themselves.

Because it's not the society that educates - it's either professionals, or amateurs.


So what exactly do you consider "society" and "cultural" that you are so "anti"?


The spirit of greed, profiteering, consumerism; the euphoria about the military might of "my" country; the colossal power of mass media over people's minds; the paranoia about this "bad" government "interfering with my affairs;" the NIMBY ("not in my backyard") mentality; the mistrust in science and, broader, things "academic" and "elitist;" the general decline of professionalism, expertise, individual skill. Those are some hallmarks of the society and culture I find myself in at the moment. And I am not sure that the Church, as it is, can really efficiently oppose all that. But I do know that my little community, my extended family and my small group of friends, can.
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 12:33:58 PM »

Perhaps the message we should take from this film is simply this: Those who attempt to find meaning and happiness apart from Christ and His Church will always be ultimately disappointed and disillusioned.

Unfortunately, I know examples of those who sincerely tried ALL THEIR LIVES to find meaning and happiness in Christ and His Church, and are now very sorely disappointed. On the other hand, I know examples of unbelievers, agnostics, atheists who aren't disappointed at all. It's all very complicated...
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 01:34:50 PM »

Perhaps the message we should take from this film is simply this: Those who attempt to find meaning and happiness apart from Christ and His Church will always be ultimately disappointed and disillusioned.

Unfortunately, I know examples of those who sincerely tried ALL THEIR LIVES to find meaning and happiness in Christ and His Church, and are now very sorely disappointed. On the other hand, I know examples of unbelievers, agnostics, atheists who aren't disappointed at all. It's all very complicated...

Of course happiness or struggle in this life is temporary. All things will be set right on judgement day.
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 02:25:12 PM »

Perhaps the message we should take from this film is simply this: Those who attempt to find meaning and happiness apart from Christ and His Church will always be ultimately disappointed and disillusioned.

Unfortunately, I know examples of those who sincerely tried ALL THEIR LIVES to find meaning and happiness in Christ and His Church, and are now very sorely disappointed. On the other hand, I know examples of unbelievers, agnostics, atheists who aren't disappointed at all. It's all very complicated...

Of course happiness or struggle in this life is temporary. All things will be set right on judgement day.

Yes. And yet, we all strive for inner peace, acceptance, balance. And very often the society presses on us, forces its standards on us, and we accept them and wreck our lives. And the society also presses on the Church, and some people cannot find their peace in the Church either.
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2009, 03:17:58 PM »

Quote from: Heorhij
Quote
Unfortunately, I know examples of those who sincerely tried ALL THEIR LIVES to find meaning and happiness in Christ and His Church, and are now very sorely disappointed. On the other hand, I know examples of unbelievers, agnostics, atheists who aren't disappointed at all. It's all very complicated...

Again, unbelievers, agnostics, atheists who are finding this life enjoyable a peaceful might be quite surprised when this life comes to an end.

As for as those believers that are disappointed with finding meaning and happiness in Christ and His Church, perhaps they have a flawed view of what meaning and happiness in this life is?  Orthodox Christians unlike many western Christians do not belong to this world. We are merely given this life to prepare for the next. Of course we often have to play by the rules of this world but should never completely conform to them if they are contrary to our Faith. We will struggle and have disappointment but this is divine providence and a gift from God. Let us accept this an "ascetic podvig".

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Anthony
Quote
"Orthodoxy views Christianity as an eternal foundation of true life and demands that each break himself and his life until such time as it agrees with that norm, but the heterodox looks on the bases of contemporary cultured life as on an unshakable fact, and only in areas of its existing private options does he indicate which of them are most approved from the Christian viewpoint. Orthodoxy demands moral heroism—podvig; heterodoxy considers what elements of Christianity would be suited to us in our current way of life. For the Orthodox, a man called to life after death in which true life will begin, the historically-shaped mechanism of contemporary life is an insignificant illusion, but for the heterodox the teaching about the future life is an elevated, ennobling idea, an idea which helps to arrange our real life here better and better."

The late Metropolitan Laurus of ROCOR wrote a great article on this subject of The Ascetic Podvig of Living in the World: http://www.archangelsbooks.com/articles/spirituality/AsceticPodvig.asp?q=printme
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2009, 06:07:02 PM »

Orthodox Christians unlike many western Christians do not belong to this world. We are merely given this life to prepare for the next. Of course we often have to play by the rules of this world but should never completely conform to them if they are contrary to our Faith. We will struggle and have disappointment but this is divine providence and a gift from God. Let us accept this an "ascetic podvig".

You see, this is something I am trying to understand and believe, and yet I don't understand it and I don't believe it (or at least keep struggling). What we really don't want and what we really have to abandon is the life of hedonism, the life of pursuit of pleasure at all cost, the life of self-aggrandisement. Because there are so many temptations around us to live just this self-pleasing egotistical life, we need to be watchful and ready to make sacrificses, and to be really ready to make these sacrifices we are training ourselves, practicing some degree of ascesis. We fast, we observe daily prayer rule, we give alms.

On the other hand: do we all have to completely abandon everything that exists in this world, like art, music, poetry, nature, company of friends, professional growth, marital relationships? Or dating (for the unmarried of course)? It would be VERY EASY to do it, if we REALLY think that all that we currently see, feel, experience is something superfluous or even hostile. But is it? There is so much beauty IN THIS WORLD. Why? What for? Satan's tricks?

Ancient Fathers thought so. Quite a lot of modern Orthodox theologians and preachers seem to share this view, too. But the majority of people, and I mean real flesh-andblood and FAITHFUL Orthodox - are they this way?

I don't know. I somehow think that the vast majority of good, faithful Orthodox people love THIS WORLD. They live in it, they cherish their families, their careers, their hobbies, in short they live full, normal, earthly lives.

But back to the topic of this thread. What I saw in the movie is yet another example of how the society can force certain stereotypes on people and how that can completely destroy a person. If the heroine of Kate Winslet were Orthodox... I am not sure she would behave much differently, except well, perhaps she would not attempt to abort her fetus. But still, she would be thoroughly unhappy, miserable. And it does not have to be that way for an Orthodox person, just like it does not have to be that way for anyone.
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2009, 08:01:59 PM »

Orthodox Christians unlike many western Christians do not belong to this world. We are merely given this life to prepare for the next. Of course we often have to play by the rules of this world but should never completely conform to them if they are contrary to our Faith. We will struggle and have disappointment but this is divine providence and a gift from God. Let us accept this an "ascetic podvig".

You see, this is something I am trying to understand and believe, and yet I don't understand it and I don't believe it (or at least keep struggling). What we really don't want and what we really have to abandon is the life of hedonism, the life of pursuit of pleasure at all cost, the life of self-aggrandisement. Because there are so many temptations around us to live just this self-pleasing egotistical life, we need to be watchful and ready to make sacrificses, and to be really ready to make these sacrifices we are training ourselves, practicing some degree of ascesis. We fast, we observe daily prayer rule, we give alms.

On the other hand: do we all have to completely abandon everything that exists in this world, like art, music, poetry, nature, company of friends, professional growth, marital relationships? Or dating (for the unmarried of course)? It would be VERY EASY to do it, if we REALLY think that all that we currently see, feel, experience is something superfluous or even hostile. But is it? There is so much beauty IN THIS WORLD. Why? What for? Satan's tricks?

Ancient Fathers thought so. Quite a lot of modern Orthodox theologians and preachers seem to share this view, too. But the majority of people, and I mean real flesh-andblood and FAITHFUL Orthodox - are they this way?

I don't know. I somehow think that the vast majority of good, faithful Orthodox people love THIS WORLD. They live in it, they cherish their families, their careers, their hobbies, in short they live full, normal, earthly lives.

But back to the topic of this thread. What I saw in the movie is yet another example of how the society can force certain stereotypes on people and how that can completely destroy a person. If the heroine of Kate Winslet were Orthodox... I am not sure she would behave much differently, except well, perhaps she would not attempt to abort her fetus. But still, she would be thoroughly unhappy, miserable. And it does not have to be that way for an Orthodox person, just like it does not have to be that way for anyone.

My brother,

I think you are expressing honest questions and concerns that we all ask ourselves at times. I know I certainly do. Faith is not simple, easy, or even clearly understood. I fail in my Faith. I fail to be Christ-like in my actions, thoughts, and words. Sometimes I think I am the biggest hypocrite on earth, because I profess such strong spiritual opinions and yet I live such a weak spiritual life.

I want to be happy, and I want others to be happy. And we all see personal happiness and personal peace through a subjective lens. I think that's where faith comes in. We have to accept the teachings of God and His Church, regardless of the difficulty of those teachings or whether or not we even understand them. These teachings may seem hard, restrictive, and impossible to follow at times; but we must keep believing that Our Father has our best interest at heart. He shall not give his child a serpent when he asks for bread.

And it would be so much easier if Christ wanted our faith to be simply a personal matter. I have enough on my own plate to worry about without having to be concerned about the lives and morality of others. But Christ commands us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. And if we want others to be happy, then we should try our best to deter them from sinful choices and correct their erroneous beliefs. Things like abortion, pornography, homosexuality, and adultery make me angry because they bring harm to my fellow man. I hate to see people dying from AIDS. I hate to see families broken apart. I hate to see images of lust on full display in our culture, corrupting the innocence of youth and diverting my own mind from thoughts of prayer and peace. And the movie made me sad, because it was a portrayal of people who allowed society rather than Christ to determine their fate.

Christians perhaps fail as much as unbelievers. Even in the Bible we see that God's servants committed some horrible acts. David, Samson, and Solomon are three examples of righteous men who did some terrible things. So the Church is not a magic cure, as I said before. We still have to live in this world of temptaation and fight the spiritual fight. We may lose many battles along the way, but as long as we remain in the arms of the Church then we can have confidence that we will ultimatley win the war.

The only hope for success in this life is to go beyond ourselves. We have to trust in something greater than our own finite opinions and our own mortal understanding. We have to defer to Divine Mystery and humble ourselves under the Creator's hand. In doing so we find a measure of peace, for at least we won't have the perpetual agony of trying to figure this life out all by ourselves. So we give ourselves over to Christ, and then we go out and try to give of ourselves to others. Christ and His Church are always here for us, and God's children are always out there waiting for us.

"The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself. But the ends you serve that are for others, for all, will take you even into eternity."  -Marcus Garvery-

May we pray for each other, help each other, forgive each other, and love one another.

Selam
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2009, 09:01:46 PM »

Orthodox Christians unlike many western Christians do not belong to this world. We are merely given this life to prepare for the next. Of course we often have to play by the rules of this world but should never completely conform to them if they are contrary to our Faith. We will struggle and have disappointment but this is divine providence and a gift from God. Let us accept this an "ascetic podvig".

You see, this is something I am trying to understand and believe, and yet I don't understand it and I don't believe it (or at least keep struggling). What we really don't want and what we really have to abandon is the life of hedonism, the life of pursuit of pleasure at all cost, the life of self-aggrandisement. Because there are so many temptations around us to live just this self-pleasing egotistical life, we need to be watchful and ready to make sacrificses, and to be really ready to make these sacrifices we are training ourselves, practicing some degree of ascesis. We fast, we observe daily prayer rule, we give alms.

On the other hand: do we all have to completely abandon everything that exists in this world, like art, music, poetry, nature, company of friends, professional growth, marital relationships? Or dating (for the unmarried of course)? It would be VERY EASY to do it, if we REALLY think that all that we currently see, feel, experience is something superfluous or even hostile. But is it? There is so much beauty IN THIS WORLD. Why? What for? Satan's tricks?

Ancient Fathers thought so. Quite a lot of modern Orthodox theologians and preachers seem to share this view, too. But the majority of people, and I mean real flesh-andblood and FAITHFUL Orthodox - are they this way?

Struggling is not a made thing!! May God help all Orthodox Christians to struggle.

I don't know. I somehow think that the vast majority of good, faithful Orthodox people love THIS WORLD. They live in it, they cherish their families, their careers, their hobbies, in short they live full, normal, earthly lives.

But back to the topic of this thread. What I saw in the movie is yet another example of how the society can force certain stereotypes on people and how that can completely destroy a person. If the heroine of Kate Winslet were Orthodox... I am not sure she would behave much differently, except well,perhaps she would not attempt to abort her fetus. But still, she would be thoroughly unhappy, miserable. And it does not have to be that way for an Orthodox person, just like it does not have to be that way for anyone.

BTW, Does the Orthodox church teach that it is a fetus she aborted or a baby? By calling it a fetus and not a baby does it make it less of a sin? Perhaps this is another one of those pressures of society that we must use a certain language to be politically correct rather than morally correct, if so, let the truth set us free.
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2009, 10:15:51 PM »

Orthodox Christians unlike many western Christians do not belong to this world. We are merely given this life to prepare for the next. Of course we often have to play by the rules of this world but should never completely conform to them if they are contrary to our Faith. We will struggle and have disappointment but this is divine providence and a gift from God. Let us accept this an "ascetic podvig".

You see, this is something I am trying to understand and believe, and yet I don't understand it and I don't believe it (or at least keep struggling). What we really don't want and what we really have to abandon is the life of hedonism, the life of pursuit of pleasure at all cost, the life of self-aggrandisement. Because there are so many temptations around us to live just this self-pleasing egotistical life, we need to be watchful and ready to make sacrificses, and to be really ready to make these sacrifices we are training ourselves, practicing some degree of ascesis. We fast, we observe daily prayer rule, we give alms.

On the other hand: do we all have to completely abandon everything that exists in this world, like art, music, poetry, nature, company of friends, professional growth, marital relationships? Or dating (for the unmarried of course)? It would be VERY EASY to do it, if we REALLY think that all that we currently see, feel, experience is something superfluous or even hostile. But is it? There is so much beauty IN THIS WORLD. Why? What for? Satan's tricks?

Ancient Fathers thought so. Quite a lot of modern Orthodox theologians and preachers seem to share this view, too. But the majority of people, and I mean real flesh-andblood and FAITHFUL Orthodox - are they this way?

Struggling is not a made thing!! May God help all Orthodox Christians to struggle.

I don't know. I somehow think that the vast majority of good, faithful Orthodox people love THIS WORLD. They live in it, they cherish their families, their careers, their hobbies, in short they live full, normal, earthly lives.

But back to the topic of this thread. What I saw in the movie is yet another example of how the society can force certain stereotypes on people and how that can completely destroy a person. If the heroine of Kate Winslet were Orthodox... I am not sure she would behave much differently, except well,perhaps she would not attempt to abort her fetus. But still, she would be thoroughly unhappy, miserable. And it does not have to be that way for an Orthodox person, just like it does not have to be that way for anyone.

BTW, Does the Orthodox church teach that it is a fetus she aborted or a baby?

As a foetus is the unborn young of any vertebrate animal, particularly of a mammal; she aborted a baby.  Very sad storyline, by the sound of it.

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« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2009, 07:53:19 AM »

Struggling is not a made thing!! May God help all Orthodox Christians to struggle.

Yes, I agree! But struggle with SIN IN YOU. And again, who is more likely to be victorious in this struggle - one who lives the way his/her true self, true calling prompts to live, or one who simply yields to societal stereotypes? Again, the central point of the movie, as I understand it, is the idea that there often comes this moment in your life when you have to decide, will the life you are going to live REALLY YOUR LIFE, or will it be a total sham, a pretending, a "stealing," in a way, of somebody else's part in a play. In the case of Winslet's heroine, that moment actually comes at the very beginning of the movie, when she sees the hero of DiCaprio in that bar. She did not understand it, or understood it but never gave it a serious thought. And the rest was sliding down in a mud, a slow dying.

BTW, Does the Orthodox church teach that it is a fetus she aborted or a baby? By calling it a fetus and not a baby does it make it less of a sin? Perhaps this is another one of those pressures of society that we must use a certain language to be politically correct rather than morally correct, if so, let the truth set us free.

Sorry. My bad. Yes, of course baby. I was just kind of speaking from her non-Orthodox, non-Christian position. To us, of course a baby. But again, let's not depart from the topic. OK, if she were Orthodox, she would not have attempted to abort her baby. But what would it change? Her sliding in the mud would continue anyway. She was pretending to live someone else's life.
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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2009, 08:04:42 AM »

I want to be happy, and I want others to be happy. And we all see personal happiness and personal peace through a subjective lens. I think that's where faith comes in. We have to accept the teachings of God and His Church, regardless of the difficulty of those teachings or whether or not we even understand them.

Is it a teaching of the Church that a woman MUST be a good wife and a good mother at all circumstances, and never to pursue a career? You sure?

The only hope for success in this life is to go beyond ourselves.

Yes, of course, but again, doing ANYTHING (and especially sacrificing yourself for others) is perhaps extremely hard when you suddenly discover that you are just playing a part, pretending that you live. Remember the moment in the movie when this mentally disturbed young man ("John") says, pointing at Winslet's abdomen, "I am happy that I am not this kid." Indeed, children of a "mother" who is not really a mother, who never felt anything maternal inside her, will not be happy. (BTW, in a way, I know this perhaps a lot better than many other people, because of certain experiences in my own life.)

"The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself. But the ends you serve that are for others, for all, will take you even into eternity."  -Marcus Garvery-

No disagreement here. But people have DIFFERENT gifts (1 Cor. 12).
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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2009, 02:52:41 PM »

I think you have covered everything, Heorhij. I would like to be more articulate and therefore sound more intelligent, but I am not articulate so I'll just hide behind you and nod my head. In fact, I'll merely copy you. . Smiley

The story line seems to have several key points:

The main characters are living a sham life. So many today, including Christians, struggle to be themselves for all manner of reasons. Regardless of beliefs, all people should not live this way as it puts an incredible pressure on them.  Living a sham life is lying to everyone, including ourselves, and that is not a good thing. To perpetuate a lie is hard work for most people and eventually causes huge problems.  As a Christian, I should trust in Christ Jesus more and realise that He values me for who I really am, and not for the false image which society portrays - I should be more concerned with how Jesus views me than I am with how the world sees me.  Non-Christians should also try to break away from living a lie, as it will free them from this struggle.  I know quite a few people who by society's standards appear to be perfect, but inside they are screaming to be released from the facade. I think this sums it up nicely. .

Quote
But people have DIFFERENT gifts (1 Cor. 12).



I've covered abortion (I derailed another thread also  Roll Eyes).

Rejection or acceptance of the world. . .  I agree that Christians should reject the hedonistic and egotistic ways of the world, but should Christians be puritans? Please say no.  If someone chooses to live their life distanced from the world then that is their choice. Again, throughout Christian history there have always been Christians who live amongst others and those who live a reclusive life. Both are acceptable, although they are different. If I tell people that they must live in such a way then that would be wrong. Jesus came to give us life to the full. This life that Jesus gives is superior to that of the world's and there is much beauty in this world.. "God made the earth and said that it is good." Admittedly, some pleasures can be detrimental to us.

 I don't agree with this statement. .

"Not one single person is FOR abortion."

However, I think we are mostly agreed.


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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2009, 06:53:16 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 
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« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2009, 07:52:43 AM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.
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« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2009, 12:53:50 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

I say this respectfully, but your statement sounds very judgmental to me. Who are you to declare someones expressions of love and confessions "ostensible." Perhaps what you perceive as a "controlling" spirit is actually a "convicting" spirit. I myself do not dare speak on behalf of the Church, I simply proclaim what the Church teaches and strive to follow those teachings to the best of my ability. I fail, I fall short, and like most Christians in the Church I desperately need the sacraments of confession and penance. So don't let me educate your children in the Faith, let the Church do that. And perhaps you would do well to get the self-righteous beam out of your own eye and join those of us who are desperately clinging to Our Lord and His Church for hope and salvation.

Selam
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« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2009, 01:07:32 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

We have gone so far from the OP and I cringe at further deviating from it. However, I can't help but to wonder if your Soviet upbringing has made you so "cautious" or suspicious of the Church to the degree that you can not fully commit and trust in Her teachings? You describe the Church and Faith as if it is an enemy of the people.
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« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2009, 01:14:21 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

I say this respectfully, but your statement sounds very judgmental to me. Who are you to declare someones expressions of love and confessions "ostensible." Perhaps what you perceive as a "controlling" spirit is actually a "convicting" spirit. I myself do not dare speak on behalf of the Church, I simply proclaim what the Church teaches and strive to follow those teachings to the best of my ability. I fail, I fall short, and like most Christians in the Church I desperately need the sacraments of confession and penance. So don't let me educate your children in the Faith, let the Church do that. And perhaps you would do well to get the self-righteous beam out of your own eye and join those of us who are desperately clinging to Our Lord and His Church for hope and salvation.

Selam

What a wonderful example of what I was talking above, thank you.
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« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2009, 01:15:10 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

We have gone so far from the OP and I cringe at further deviating from it. However, I can't help but to wonder if your Soviet upbringing has made you so "cautious" or suspicious of the Church to the degree that you can not fully commit and trust in Her teachings? You describe the Church and Faith as if it is an enemy of the people.

To some extent yes. I grew to hate moralistic teachings of the Communist system where I was raised, and I can't help but detect similarities between the Soviet indoctrination and the "Christian" one. The lingo is different, the terminology is different, but the spirit sometimes seems to be the same.
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« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2009, 01:18:27 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

This makes a lot of sense to me, Riddikulus . . .


What really gets to people is the whole "plank in the eye hypocrisy" that has tainted Christianity. My aim should not be speculating on the situation of others, but on working toward my salvation. I must not be a people pleaser for the sake of it (I should not be afraid to stick up for what I believe in even if it makes me unpopular in some quarters) but I have to be careful, that is not the same as being a people pleaser, I need to recognise when and where it is my place to step in. You come across all sorts of scenarios in the workplace,  it is so easy to come over as holier than thou and judgemental, even if you don't mean it that way. I can support and offer my advice, or thoughts, without pointing the finger.

Back to the film and the topic of "living a sham," or feeling pressure from people to conform. . all we can do is stay close to those who are closest to us in the world; those who know the worst (and the best) about us and those who consistently and constantly demonstrate their unconditional love and support for us (that is, our priests, friends, etc).

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« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2009, 01:26:43 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

We have gone so far from the OP and I cringe at further deviating from it. However, I can't help but to wonder if your Soviet upbringing has made you so "cautious" or suspicious of the Church to the degree that you can not fully commit and trust in Her teachings? You describe the Church and Faith as if it is an enemy of the people.

To some extent yes.

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.
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« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2009, 01:53:05 PM »

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.

Oh, I not only can imagine, but I recall very brightly how it was...

And believe me, when I hear from Gebre (see his post above), "who are you to say this and that," I vividly recall the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting where some activist woud say to a local "dissident," "who are you, how dare you speak evil of our dearly beloved Communist Party and its teachings..."

A lot of high-ground rhetorics was the same, just the terminology different. Spirit oif Marxism-Leninism instead of the Holy Spirit. Generations of old guard revolutionaries instead of Holy Martyrs. Live your life in the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of the future shining of Communism in the whole world, etc. etc. etc.
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« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2009, 01:54:05 PM »

Back to the film and the topic of "living a sham," or feeling pressure from people to conform. . all we can do is stay close to those who are closest to us in the world; those who know the worst (and the best) about us and those who consistently and constantly demonstrate their unconditional love and support for us (that is, our priests, friends, etc).

Precisely. Thank you, Catherine.
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« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2009, 02:08:03 PM »

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.

Oh, I not only can imagine, but I recall very brightly how it was...

And believe me, when I hear from Gebre (see his post above), "who are you to say this and that," I vividly recall the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting where some activist woud say to a local "dissident," "who are you, how dare you speak evil of our dearly beloved Communist Party and its teachings..."

A lot of high-ground rhetorics was the same, just the terminology different. Spirit oif Marxism-Leninism instead of the Holy Spirit. Generations of old guard revolutionaries instead of Holy Martyrs. Live your life in the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of the future shining of Communism in the whole world, etc. etc. etc.


The big difference is that the Church with all of its downfalls asks you to sacrifice out of your own Free-will, while the Soviet Republic would throw you in prison if you fell short of what they expected.

C.S. Lewis complained, “The problem with Christianity is Christians”!
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« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2009, 02:55:44 PM »

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.

Oh, I not only can imagine, but I recall very brightly how it was...

And believe me, when I hear from Gebre (see his post above), "who are you to say this and that," I vividly recall the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting where some activist woud say to a local "dissident," "who are you, how dare you speak evil of our dearly beloved Communist Party and its teachings..."

A lot of high-ground rhetorics was the same, just the terminology different. Spirit oif Marxism-Leninism instead of the Holy Spirit. Generations of old guard revolutionaries instead of Holy Martyrs. Live your life in the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of the future shining of Communism in the whole world, etc. etc. etc.


The big difference is that the Church with all of its downfalls asks you to sacrifice out of your own Free-will, while the Soviet Republic would throw you in prison if you fell short of what they expected.
I agree to some extent (although actually the Soviet authorities acted in many different ways, not necessarily through direct terror - oftentimes simply by a psychological blackmail or flattering, bribery, offer of positions, etc. - and some people in the Church also exercise pressure of various kinds). But the most important thing is what you yourself wrote below.

C.S. Lewis complained, “The problem with Christianity is Christians”!

Yes. All of us. Myself first...

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« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2009, 06:49:57 PM »

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.

Oh, I not only can imagine, but I recall very brightly how it was...

And believe me, when I hear from Gebre (see his post above), "who are you to say this and that," I vividly recall the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting where some activist woud say to a local "dissident," "who are you, how dare you speak evil of our dearly beloved Communist Party and its teachings..."

A lot of high-ground rhetorics was the same, just the terminology different. Spirit oif Marxism-Leninism instead of the Holy Spirit. Generations of old guard revolutionaries instead of Holy Martyrs. Live your life in the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of the future shining of Communism in the whole world, etc. etc. etc.


The big difference is that the Church with all of its downfalls asks you to sacrifice out of your own Free-will, while the Soviet Republic would throw you in prison if you fell short of what they expected.

C.S. Lewis complained, “The problem with Christianity is Christians”!

Exactly right, the Church asks me to sacrifice our of my own Free-will. It doesn't ask me to make it my business that others are sacrificing their own Free-will. God is the Father of the Prodigal. We are the Prodigal and we should never forget that. Because of that, because of God's love for us, we should offer the same unconditional love to others, allowing them to make their own moral choices, without condemnation; always hoping that they will repent and take that path home to God the Father.

C.S. Lewis was, of course, correct. We are what is wrong with Christianity. We are the reason that people run away from the Church, rather than to Her. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ", said Mohandas Gandhi.

edited for clarity
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 06:55:24 PM by Riddikulus » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2009, 08:37:29 PM »

should Christians be puritans? Please say no. 

Heaven forbid!! We aren't supposed to be the moral police in anyone's lives but our own. I'm not sure when preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ was distorted into "poking our noses into someone else's business", but it seems to have been around for a very long time. Perhaps it's simply a common human failing to want to control others, to decide their destinies for them, and keep them on the straight and narrow. Even though people claim it's "for their own good", good seldom is the result. Too many surgeons with obstructed sight are too busy attempting eye-surgery and it's not a pretty sight. 

Exactly. And I feel this controlling spirit a lot when people speak on behalf of the Church, sometimes even on this site, overall good as it is. And it may be expressed in a very "passive-aggressive" fashion, with lots of ostensibly "humble" expressions and confessions in love. And I am afraid that it will be like this always in the Church, in all of Her parishes, and it keeps harming people and will continue to harm people. That's the reason I am so cautious, even maybe paranoid about becoming "involved" in "activities" of the Church, and also that's the reason I am so negative about "educating" children in faith.

I say this respectfully, but your statement sounds very judgmental to me. Who are you to declare someones expressions of love and confessions "ostensible." Perhaps what you perceive as a "controlling" spirit is actually a "convicting" spirit. I myself do not dare speak on behalf of the Church, I simply proclaim what the Church teaches and strive to follow those teachings to the best of my ability. I fail, I fall short, and like most Christians in the Church I desperately need the sacraments of confession and penance. So don't let me educate your children in the Faith, let the Church do that. And perhaps you would do well to get the self-righteous beam out of your own eye and join those of us who are desperately clinging to Our Lord and His Church for hope and salvation.

Selam

What a wonderful example of what I was talking above, thank you.

And a wonderful example of what I was talking about above. You continue to be judgmental in a self righteous way. I know it's uncomfortable to hear, and I don't mean it as an insult. But try showing a little tolerance to those of us who don't agree with you 100%.

Selam
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« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2009, 08:48:06 PM »

It is good to know for future dialogue with you on the forum. It can't imagine having had to grown up in such an ant-God society. Lord have mercy on you.

Jesus Christ loves you, and will not fail you if you put your trust in Him.

Oh, I not only can imagine, but I recall very brightly how it was...

And believe me, when I hear from Gebre (see his post above), "who are you to say this and that," I vividly recall the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting where some activist woud say to a local "dissident," "who are you, how dare you speak evil of our dearly beloved Communist Party and its teachings..."

A lot of high-ground rhetorics was the same, just the terminology different. Spirit oif Marxism-Leninism instead of the Holy Spirit. Generations of old guard revolutionaries instead of Holy Martyrs. Live your life in the spirit of self-denial and sacrifice for the sake of the future shining of Communism in the whole world, etc. etc. etc.

So you, Heorhij, are allowed to condemn me and yet you get offended when I simply challenge your points in a respectful way? You compare me to the Communists now? Just the other day you were calling me a "fundie." Which is it? And yet I have never called you names or compared you to Nazis or Communists, etc. Can you please try to afford me the same respect?

I understand that you hold many liberal views, but that doesn't make you evil in my eyes. I have many liberal views too, and I also have some conservative ones. (That's usually what happens when you think for yourself.) I enjoy reading most of your posts because they are interesting and stimulate good discussion. But I have noticed that you ignore all my charitable remarks and then pounce upon me unfairly whenever I express dissent to your opinions. I have a thick skin, so I don't worry about it. But I find it beneath you, and it does tend to obstruct good debate.

Selam
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