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Author Topic: Emotionalism vs . . .. other stuff  (Read 2673 times) Average Rating: 0
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NorthernPines
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« on: December 12, 2009, 12:52:46 PM »



Sorry for the lackluster title of the thread but I couldn't think of how to sum up what I'm about to ask in any other way.

Over the past couple of years I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on many different aspects of Christianity in general, Church history, the concept of faith, and what it is, all ending up within the context of Orthodoxy. I've also had a hard time dealing with the state of the Church (corruption and what not) and have wavered in my faith and belief in God from time to time. (or at least faith in "The Church") I know in these days in Orthodoxy I'm not entirely alone in this, and I've talked to friends at Church, as well corresponded with a few Orthodox people online, and one thing we all have in common (at least from my small sampling of fellow travelers) is no matter how bad things get in the Church, or in our lives, or how much anti-Westernism infiltrates some convert communities (I admit this is a big reason I struggle) we all say one thing albeit it different words, and that is When I'm in the Liturgy none of this stuff matters. Or perhaps another phrase like, "in the end it's about worshipping God/it's all about the Eucharist"...or any other number of various ways many of us might express the same feeling.

this happened just recently for me, a bad week in the faith department, but at Liturgy, all that went away for me. I've seen many people on here post over the years about this problem, or that problem they have in their lives, and almost always at least one person (maybe a number of people) will reply "just focus on God in the Liturgy" or something along that thought process. Then there is the famous line we use when talking to non-Orthodox, "come and see!" as if when that person comes to Liturgy the scales will  fall from their eyes and they will see the truth. And indeed, this does happen. I can say, in some ways it happened for me. But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?

I realize Orthodox theology claims to be "unemotional" and some Orthodox theologians, and laymen will kind of turn their noses up at Evangelical Protestant worship as being "purely emotional" or "with no depth"..."not like an Eastern Liturgy", but in the end isn't how we feel about our worship simply emotionalism as well? Maybe a more exotic form of emotionalism than rock bands etc, but isn't it emotionalism just the same?

The Catholic Church uses many of the same arguments FOR Liturgy that we do, but knowing a number of pretty devout Catholics like I do, i see the emotionalism in their experience as well. Particularly with Eucharistic Adoration. "i just want to be with the blessed Sacrament"...or "ah, the music is so beautiful"...I know Orthodox apologists will try and claim our music isn't "beautiful" in order to focus on God not our emotions, but all is in the eye of the beholder is it not? I personally think Byzantine chant is beautiful and soothing. But isn't this also emotionalism?

How can we claim our faith is free (or mostly free) from this aspect when it seems to be so clearly a big part of it? Are we just like everyone else just basing our faith on our emotions?

And if we are just basing our faith on our emotions how do we know we're not diluting ourselves into falsehood? How can we be sure our emotional experiences are the right ones? Yes the Liturgy "feels right" and all of the Church politics seem to slip away during the Liturgy, but is this a real "experience"? What is experience but an emotional reaction? One reason I cannot imagine ever NOT being Orthodox is Holy Week. I cannot imagine going through an Orthodox Holy Week....but in the end, if I'm truly honest with myself and tear down all the pseudo-mystical arguments, it really does simply feel like an emotional reaction.

I once listened to a lecture from a Jewish scholar who converted to Protestant Christianity when he was a teenager, then later in life returned to his Jewish faith. In this lecture he told his conversion story and the interviewer asked him something along the lines of "that seems like a very emotional reaction you had when you were born again, rather than any concept of thinking things out, studying, reading, learning the faith, etc..." And this scholar replied, "yes it was purely an emotional experience not based in any sort of rational thinking at all".....Now this is not a one to one comparison, but how are our ideas of our faith experience truly any different than say a young Jew "getting saved" because the family he went to Church with took him in when he had nothing? How is our dealing with Church politics, historical questions, doubts about theology, issues with Church history by simply brushing it aside because we "felt good in Church today" any less emotional than say someone getting caught up in the moment in a Pentecostal revival meeting and getting saved?

Is there an Orthodox (or Catholic) answer to these questions? Did the fathers of the Church ever write on such a topic or is it a phenomena  of the modern world?

One last example . . . what if someone has doubts about Christianity in general, (or any religion for that matter) but decided to stay Christian because "well I can't imagine not celebrating Christmas". Sometimes Western Christians will use a similar argument for not becoming Orthodox because they can't imagine giving up some Western Church practice or devotion or style of worship, (say rock bands) and the Orthodox reply that they are simply being too "emotional". Yet what if the shoe were on the other foot? what if an Orthodox said they'd like to join say the Mormon Church but can't imagine not celebrating Oxi day. (yes I'm being a bit silly here, but only to make the point) Wouldn't we then applaud their "emotionalism" in that case? And if it all boils down to emotional experiences how can we tell what is true and what is not? particularly when Orthodoxy claims to be less emotional than everyone else.

This is not an attempt to start an argument, but I'm really in need of an answer. Maybe I'm just approaching it from too rational a point of view, but then if so, doesn't that validate my point? That our faith is no more rational than any other Church?

This is a sincere question that I've been pondering for a long time and I just can't seem to find an answer...but of course Orthodox writings are so extensive I might not know where to look.

Thanks...

NP




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Rosehip
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 01:26:13 PM »

NP, I've had similar thoughts over the past few years. I've heard so many Orthodox scorning Protestant methods of preaching and worship, labelling it "pure emotional manipulation", but simultaneously I would wonder about Orthodox worship...I mean what plays stronger on one's emotions than  being surrounded by the beautiful singing, the flickering beeswax candle-light, the scent of the incense and all the other trappings? Does that not have a sort of tranquilizing effect?

I rather imagine Richard Dawkins attending his local Anglican church on Christmas. After all, he considers himself a "cultural Christian". And I understand this.
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2009, 03:42:17 AM »

Is there no difference between emotion as the basis for our faith and practice and emotion as the byproduct of our faith and practice?
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2009, 04:40:38 AM »

Hello NorthPines & Rosehip,

I'm not sure where you two are on the "conservative-liberal" scale theologically, but the issues you raised are directly raised and discussed in Philip Sherrard's "Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition."  Here are two articles I'd also like to share with you:

http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/2219.htm

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=8&ved=0CB8QFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.emergent-uk.org%2Fresources%2Falan_jamieson%2Fchurchless_faith%2Ffaith_stage_seminar_notes.doc&ei=OKgkS4-hLovrlAfNu-z2CQ&usg=AFQjCNHwl8i8MxOmJhepWjUsMvVM15spxQ
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 05:20:05 AM »

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts. It is this Dispassion in the Orthodox Eucharist which allows us to come together from our various and extremely diverse points of view for a common purpose which we hardly understand. And I believe this is the result of what the Eucharist actually is: a point at which Eternity and time intersect.

How is our dealing with Church politics, historical questions, doubts about theology, issues with Church history by simply brushing it aside because we "felt good in Church today" any less emotional than say someone getting caught up in the moment in a Pentecostal revival meeting and getting saved?
Good question, and I think there is no difference; which is why I worry when Orthodox converts start talking in emotional terms and how they chose a jurisdiction that "felt right" for them. I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away. Because the Eucharist is the coming together of the nun and the prostitute, the Capitalist and the Communist, the extortioner and philanthropist for a purpose which is infinitely beyond them all.

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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 12:37:28 PM »

Is there no difference between emotion as the basis for our faith and practice and emotion as the byproduct of our faith and practice?

If I knew the answer to that I probably wouldn't ask the questions I did. Smiley

I suppose in a sense there is a difference, yet in another sense I'd ask the question, which came first? The faith or the emotion?

The way I read your question is you're asking the chicken or the egg question. Does an individual have faith THEN because of that faith develops emotion? Or Does an individual have faith because they have an emotional experience? I assume you feel one type of faith is better than another. If I'm wrong in that assumption, please forgive me for said assumption. But I'm not so sure this is an chicken or the egg question. I'm sure everyone wants to really believe they had faith and that their emotions were simply a byproduct of that faith, but I'm just not sure that's really true. I think we'd all like to believe we have a more "rational" faith than someone else, but in the end it just seems like there is a lot more emotionalism within Orthodoxy than the apologists might like to admit. The issue I have is I've always been told that this emotionalism is "wrong" because it's "too Protestant", but is it really wrong? I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud I guess and asking question, because I simply do not have the answers.






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NorthernPines
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 12:54:11 PM »

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts.

I'm not sure the liturgy is offered dispassionately. Nor am I sure it should be offered dispassionately. However I may be using or understanding that word quite differently than you are using it. When I think of the phrase "offered dispassionately" I think of a few Liturgies I've been to over the years where priests basically intone and read the prayers like a lifeless robot. And the choir did the same thing. These were truly dispassionate Liturgies and they were . . . . strange and boring experiences. I don't mean boring in the sense I want to be entertained . . . lifeless would be a word I would use to describe them though. These priests are usually older and sometimes frail, or filling in for another jurisdiction when they aren't aware of the different rubrics etc... Is this what you mean by dispassionate or something else? Even after the Agios O theos (Holy God) the priest comes out and says "Dynamis".....and I've been taught the choir/chanter is supposed to put more heart into it at that point. But wouldn't that be passionate and not dispassionate? Or am I just thinking of that term all wrong?




How is our dealing with Church politics, historical questions, doubts about theology, issues with Church history by simply brushing it aside because we "felt good in Church today" any less emotional than say someone getting caught up in the moment in a Pentecostal revival meeting and getting saved?
Quote
Good question, and I think there is no difference; which is why I worry when Orthodox converts start talking in emotional terms and how they chose a jurisdiction that "felt right" for them. I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church

Thank you for such an honest answer. I do appreciate it. It gives me more to ponder, and that's what I was looking for. I'll wait to reply further until I clarify the issue of "dispassionate" and how you mean that so I don't say something stupid.

Thanks for such thoughtful answers and insights. Much appreciated




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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2009, 12:55:35 PM »

Hello NorthPines & Rosehip,

I'm not sure where you two are on the "conservative-liberal" scale theologically, but the issues you raised are directly raised and discussed in Philip Sherrard's "Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition."  Here are two articles I'd also like to share with you:


Thanks for the links! I read the first one and I seem to be somewhere in "step 4" but nearing step 5...Smiley

I look forward to reading the other link once it loads. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2009, 02:37:11 PM »

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts.
But wouldn't that be passionate and not dispassionate? Or am I just thinking of that term all wrong?
What I mean is that firstly, the Eucharist is the same Sacrifice as Golgotha. When we Commune, the celebrant says to each Communicant that they are eating and drinking Flesh and Blood. The Eucharist is the same thing as Golgotha (the Passion) offered bloodlessly (Passionless-ly). And secondly, the rigid rubrics of the Liturgy allow no wiggle room for the passions. The same tones are repeated in an eight week cycle. We sing the pre-determined hymns whether there is a war going on outside or whether it has begun to rain after a drought.
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2009, 04:49:45 PM »

Is there no difference between emotion as the basis for our faith and practice and emotion as the byproduct of our faith and practice?

If I knew the answer to that I probably wouldn't ask the questions I did. Smiley

I suppose in a sense there is a difference, yet in another sense I'd ask the question, which came first? The faith or the emotion?

The way I read your question is you're asking the chicken or the egg question. Does an individual have faith THEN because of that faith develops emotion? Or Does an individual have faith because they have an emotional experience? I assume you feel one type of faith is better than another. If I'm wrong in that assumption, please forgive me for said assumption. But I'm not so sure this is an chicken or the egg question. I'm sure everyone wants to really believe they had faith and that their emotions were simply a byproduct of that faith, but I'm just not sure that's really true. I think we'd all like to believe we have a more "rational" faith than someone else, but in the end it just seems like there is a lot more emotionalism within Orthodoxy than the apologists might like to admit. The issue I have is I've always been told that this emotionalism is "wrong" because it's "too Protestant", but is it really wrong? I don't know. I'm just thinking out loud I guess and asking question, because I simply do not have the answers.
To be honest, I think you may be thinking too much about my question and reading far too much between the lines.  I was thinking more in terms of giving God our loving obedience and letting whatever emotion may result come as a byproduct.  Obey merely because you love God and want to follow Christ's commandments.  You may not feel any emotions whatsoever as a result, and that's fine.  But if you do experience an emotional reaction, don't squelch it unless it distracts you from continuing to offer your loving obedience to God.  Emotion isn't the goal, but if it happens it happens, and if it doesn't it doesn't.
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2009, 10:17:20 PM »

I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away.


Are we to always feel uncomfortable in our Christian lives? At what time does the the peace of God come in?
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2009, 10:43:42 PM »

I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away.


Are we to always feel uncomfortable in our Christian lives? At what time does the the peace of God come in?
I sense a paradox here. Wink  My perception is that God wants us to be uncomfortable precisely to motivate us to seek our peace solely in Him.  Even when we find this peace only God can give, we are still to be hungry for it.
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2009, 10:51:45 PM »

I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away.


Are we to always feel uncomfortable in our Christian lives? At what time does the the peace of God come in?
Peace comes when two or more are gathered in His name and Christ is in our midst, that is, in the Liturgy as I've described above.
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2009, 12:09:54 AM »

OzGeorge- I have to say I really appreciate your input on this thread, thank you for contributing. (and I like your sick puppies lyric quote under your form name http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdFOemP1dR0 )

Post of the month!

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts. It is this Dispassion in the Orthodox Eucharist which allows us to come together from our various and extremely diverse points of view for a common purpose which we hardly understand. And I believe this is the result of what the Eucharist actually is: a point at which Eternity and time intersect.

How is our dealing with Church politics, historical questions, doubts about theology, issues with Church history by simply brushing it aside because we "felt good in Church today" any less emotional than say someone getting caught up in the moment in a Pentecostal revival meeting and getting saved?
Good question, and I think there is no difference; which is why I worry when Orthodox converts start talking in emotional terms and how they chose a jurisdiction that "felt right" for them. I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away. Because the Eucharist is the coming together of the nun and the prostitute, the Capitalist and the Communist, the extortioner and philanthropist for a purpose which is infinitely beyond them all.



(do you click "report" to make a nomination or do you just do it on the thread?)
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2009, 12:18:12 AM »

What I mean is that firstly, the Eucharist is the same Sacrifice as Golgotha. When we Commune, the celebrant says to each Communicant that they are eating and drinking Flesh and Blood. The Eucharist is the same thing as Golgotha (the Passion) offered bloodlessly (Passionless-ly).

Actually, it is the risen and glorified Christ who we receive in the Eucharist.  Of course, Golgotha is very much involved, since you cannot have the Resurrection without the Crucifixion, and Christ offered Himself for us on the Cross.
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 12:58:20 AM »

OzGeorge- I have to say I really appreciate your input on this thread, thank you for contributing. (and I like your sick puppies lyric quote under your form name http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdFOemP1dR0 )

Post of the month!

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts. It is this Dispassion in the Orthodox Eucharist which allows us to come together from our various and extremely diverse points of view for a common purpose which we hardly understand. And I believe this is the result of what the Eucharist actually is: a point at which Eternity and time intersect.

How is our dealing with Church politics, historical questions, doubts about theology, issues with Church history by simply brushing it aside because we "felt good in Church today" any less emotional than say someone getting caught up in the moment in a Pentecostal revival meeting and getting saved?
Good question, and I think there is no difference; which is why I worry when Orthodox converts start talking in emotional terms and how they chose a jurisdiction that "felt right" for them. I've been Orthodox all my life, and I still don't "feel right" in the Church (I'm 43). I feel quite "wrong" because I know my sin. I feel uncomfortable because I am not the man God meant me to be. But I think that is as it should be. When I am "comfortable" I am self-satisfied, and not challenged to grow. Yet when I join the Church for the Eucharist, even that falls away. Because the Eucharist is the coming together of the nun and the prostitute, the Capitalist and the Communist, the extortioner and philanthropist for a purpose which is infinitely beyond them all.



(do you click "report" to make a nomination or do you just do it on the thread?)
To nominate a post for Post of the Month, just report it to the moderators as you would an offensive post, but with something like "POM Nominee" as the reason.
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 12:52:38 PM »

But as I reflect back on that "scale falling moment" or whatever else that fits into the context I've begun to wonder how much of this is pure emotionalism?
Honestly, I don't think it is emotionalism, I think it is the result of the Orthodox Eucharistic Liturgy itself. The Eucharist is Dispassionate, it is offered Dispassionately, yet, it is the same event as Golgotha and we are eating Flesh and drinking Blood which are hardly dispassionate acts.
But wouldn't that be passionate and not dispassionate? Or am I just thinking of that term all wrong?
What I mean is that firstly, the Eucharist is the same Sacrifice as Golgotha. When we Commune, the celebrant says to each Communicant that they are eating and drinking Flesh and Blood. The Eucharist is the same thing as Golgotha (the Passion) offered bloodlessly (Passionless-ly). And secondly, the rigid rubrics of the Liturgy allow no wiggle room for the passions. The same tones are repeated in an eight week cycle. We sing the pre-determined hymns whether there is a war going on outside or whether it has begun to rain after a drought.

Thank you for your reply. I'm still not sure I fully understand what you're saying as I think I'm using the term emotionalism somewhat differently than you are. When I say emotionalism I don't mean spontaneity. (nor is that what the Jewish scholar was referencing in that story I told about his conversion) I know we celebrate Liturgy no matter what. The power can go out in Church, we still continue. Storms, hail, crap in our lives, a relative/friend dies or whatever else. I understand that. I also understand about the rubrics don't allow us to throw in something like rock bands, or amazing grace because it "feels good" at the moment. But I'm not really thinking of spontaneity or feeling like adding something to the Liturgy because the mood strikes me to shout "praise the lord" during the consecration. I guess I just don't know how to express what I'm trying to convey and that's my fault. But I'm really not talking about that. Until I can think of a better way of explaining what I mean I think I'm at an impass here. I do appreciate your answers though, and they've given me much to think about.


 


Maybe that's just my

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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 12:59:45 PM »

I've heard is said that Church should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 01:03:12 PM »


To be honest, I think you may be thinking too much about my question and reading far too much between the lines. 


I probably was. But as I said I didn't really understand the question to begin with...Smiley Sorry about that.


Quote
I was thinking more in terms of giving God our loving obedience and letting whatever emotion may result come as a byproduct. 

Ahhh...I understand now!

However my question is not  just about what happens "after" we have faith, but how one comes to have faith and/or how one maintains ones faith. Which is probably why I misread your post because that's kind of where my mind was already.

Anyways, I think I'm not expressing myself very well at all, and don't want to come across as being argumentative on some level. Because that wasn't my intention. Until I can get my thoughts together and expressed better I'll let it go for now.

Thanks for the replies though. Much appreciated.




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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 01:22:29 PM »

Thank you for your reply. I'm still not sure I fully understand what you're saying as I think I'm using the term emotionalism somewhat differently than you are. When I say emotionalism I don't mean spontaneity. (nor is that what the Jewish scholar was referencing in that story I told about his conversion) I know we celebrate Liturgy no matter what. The power can go out in Church, we still continue. Storms, hail, crap in our lives, a relative/friend dies or whatever else. I understand that. I also understand about the rubrics don't allow us to throw in something like rock bands, or amazing grace because it "feels good" at the moment. But I'm not really thinking of spontaneity or feeling like adding something to the Liturgy because the mood strikes me to shout "praise the lord" during the consecration. I guess I just don't know how to express what I'm trying to convey and that's my fault. But I'm really not talking about that. Until I can think of a better way of explaining what I mean I think I'm at an impass here. I do appreciate your answers though, and they've given me much to think about.

Maybe that's just my
NorthernPines,
My Mother (Eternal be her Memory) had three boys (poor woman). We were pretty rowdy kids. Whenever we got a bit too out of control, she would look us in the eye and say one word in Greek: "Phronema!" That one word was enough to curb any exuberance or high spirits. All our scattered energy was suddenly reigned in, and we would be focused on the task at hand- whether our studies, prayers, dinner etc. The word "Phronema" has a powerful effect in bringing about mindfulness. In another currently active thread in Convert Issues, what is being discussed is "The Orthodox Mindset". This word "Orthodox Mindset" is a translation of the word "Phronema". I think a better translation would be "Orthodox Mindfulness". This "Phronema" or "Mindfulness" is what all aspects of the Liturgy- sights, sounds, smells, movement-summon in us. It's not emotionalism, but rather its opposite- Mindfulness.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 01:25:59 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2009, 02:30:20 PM »

The word you may be looking for NorthernPines, is love and not emotionalism. Love is like a withering flower that when it basks in the sun and is watered it give beauty to the beholder and health to the flower. When our souls are bombarded by things of this world we loose touch with what love is. There is a veil or cloud that hinders us from seeing it.
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2009, 02:33:51 PM »

Thank you for your reply. I'm still not sure I fully understand what you're saying as I think I'm using the term emotionalism somewhat differently than you are. When I say emotionalism I don't mean spontaneity. (nor is that what the Jewish scholar was referencing in that story I told about his conversion) I know we celebrate Liturgy no matter what. The power can go out in Church, we still continue. Storms, hail, crap in our lives, a relative/friend dies or whatever else. I understand that. I also understand about the rubrics don't allow us to throw in something like rock bands, or amazing grace because it "feels good" at the moment. But I'm not really thinking of spontaneity or feeling like adding something to the Liturgy because the mood strikes me to shout "praise the lord" during the consecration. I guess I just don't know how to express what I'm trying to convey and that's my fault. But I'm really not talking about that. Until I can think of a better way of explaining what I mean I think I'm at an impass here. I do appreciate your answers though, and they've given me much to think about.

Maybe that's just my
NorthernPines,
My Mother (Eternal be her Memory) had three boys (poor woman). We were pretty rowdy kids. Whenever we got a bit too out of control, she would look us in the eye and say one word in Greek: "Phronema!" That one word was enough to curb any exuberance or high spirits. All our scattered energy was suddenly reigned in, and we would be focused on the task at hand- whether our studies, prayers, dinner etc. The word "Phronema" has a powerful effect in bringing about mindfulness. In another currently active thread in Convert Issues, what is being discussed is "The Orthodox Mindset". This word "Orthodox Mindset" is a translation of the word "Phronema". I think a better translation would be "Orthodox Mindfulness". This "Phronema" or "Mindfulness" is what all aspects of the Liturgy- sights, sounds, smells, movement-summon in us. It's not emotionalism, but rather its opposite- Mindfulness.

When the word "Phronema" didn't work. My mother used her "pandoffla" (her Slipper on my back side) laugh
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2009, 03:10:39 PM »

Thank you for your reply. I'm still not sure I fully understand what you're saying as I think I'm using the term emotionalism somewhat differently than you are. When I say emotionalism I don't mean spontaneity. (nor is that what the Jewish scholar was referencing in that story I told about his conversion) I know we celebrate Liturgy no matter what. The power can go out in Church, we still continue. Storms, hail, crap in our lives, a relative/friend dies or whatever else. I understand that. I also understand about the rubrics don't allow us to throw in something like rock bands, or amazing grace because it "feels good" at the moment. But I'm not really thinking of spontaneity or feeling like adding something to the Liturgy because the mood strikes me to shout "praise the lord" during the consecration. I guess I just don't know how to express what I'm trying to convey and that's my fault. But I'm really not talking about that. Until I can think of a better way of explaining what I mean I think I'm at an impass here. I do appreciate your answers though, and they've given me much to think about.

Maybe that's just my
NorthernPines,
My Mother (Eternal be her Memory) had three boys (poor woman). We were pretty rowdy kids. Whenever we got a bit too out of control, she would look us in the eye and say one word in Greek: "Phronema!" That one word was enough to curb any exuberance or high spirits. All our scattered energy was suddenly reigned in, and we would be focused on the task at hand- whether our studies, prayers, dinner etc. The word "Phronema" has a powerful effect in bringing about mindfulness. In another currently active thread in Convert Issues, what is being discussed is "The Orthodox Mindset". This word "Orthodox Mindset" is a translation of the word "Phronema". I think a better translation would be "Orthodox Mindfulness". This "Phronema" or "Mindfulness" is what all aspects of the Liturgy- sights, sounds, smells, movement-summon in us. It's not emotionalism, but rather its opposite- Mindfulness.

When the word "Phronema" didn't work. My mother used her "pandoffla" (her Slipper on my back side) laugh
LOL! Cheesy
Did you learn Phronema from the Pantoffla?
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« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2009, 03:21:52 PM »

You bet I did. Grin
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
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« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2009, 07:32:37 PM »

The word you may be looking for NorthernPines, is love and not emotionalism.

Maybe. All I know is what I do NOT mean . . . and I do NOT mean spontaneity or exuberance or being rowdy. Smiley 

 One can be emotional at NOT be spontaneous. I guess the closest thing I can come up with is "feelings"....love is definitely a part of it, but so can other things. Maybe I'm thinking of "warm fuzzy feelings" I don't know. But I appreciate the replies, very much. Again, when I get a better grasp of what I'm trying to say maybe I'll clear it up. Until then I'm at a loss. I guess it's an "east/west" thing. Smiley

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