Author Topic: Pearls Before Swine  (Read 785 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Pearls Before Swine
« on: February 03, 2011, 07:42:41 PM »
Even after Christianity had begun to be embraced by the masses in the 4th century there was a certain reticence regarding the Mysteries. St. Gregory the Theologian, for example, chastised those who "fling that which is holy to the dogs, and cast pearls before swine, by publishing divine things in the hearing of profane souls." (Oration 2, 79) And Sts. Basil and Cyril of Jerusalem speak likewise:

"And as to the other customs of baptism from what Scripture do we derive the renunciation of Satan and his angels?  Does not this come from that unpublished and secret teaching which our fathers guarded in a silence out of the reach of curious meddling and inquisitive investigation?  Well had they learnt the lesson that the awful dignity of the mysteries is best preserved by silence.  What the uninitiated are not even allowed to look at was hardly likely to be publicly paraded about in written documents." - St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 27

“These mysteries, which the Church now explains to thee who art passing out of the class of catechumens, it is not the custom to explain to heathen. For to a heathen we do not explain the mysteries concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, nor before Catechumens do we speak plainly of the mysteries:  but many things we often speak in a veiled way, that the believers who know may understand, and they who know not may get no hurt” - St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 6, 29

Even in the liturgy today people say: “I will not speak of Thy Mystery to thine enemies”. Yet people freely talk about all manner of things, to pretty much everyone. At what point did this secrecy begin to recede? And is Christianity better or worse for leaving behind the tendency to not speak so openly?

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 10:16:56 PM »
Oh, I get it, you're not casting your pearls before me because I'm swine! Well fine!  :P

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 10:21:34 PM »
Oh, I get it, you're not casting your pearls before me because I'm swine! Well fine!  :P

?

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011, 10:22:34 PM »
This is a hard lesson for me to learn, I'm still learning it. . .and probably always will on some level.  I have a very difficult time figuring out who in my life is swine, who are dogs.  . . .and when to keep my mouth shut.  I've been watching hoping for responses here as well.

I don't know when historically the Church began to feel more at ease about what should and should not be put into the public eye. . . so I'll keep watching. . .because I'd really like to see the feed back. 
In His Mercy,
BethAnna

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 10:23:29 PM »
Oh, I get it, you're not casting your pearls before me because I'm swine! Well fine!  :P

?

Just a joke. :) I'm not formally Orthodox at the moment, I'm sort of working my way back to traditional Christianity... since I'm not communing, confessing, etc., I'm probably technically still an apostate.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 10:24:23 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Melodist

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 12:17:57 AM »
I'm still trying to figure out when it is and is not appropriate to say certain things in certain circumstances with certain people regarding the faith. I have noticed that I will take different approaches in how I talk about things when talking to someone who is Orthodox than when talking to someone who is Protestant. I have a tendency sometimes to be that guy that St James writes about not being able to bridle the tongue.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 01:09:32 AM »
At what point did this secrecy begin to recede? And is Christianity better or worse for leaving behind the tendency to not speak so openly?

I say after the entire Roman Empire became officially Christian, the secret was sort of "out of the bag" and became common knowledge. With today's rapid spread of secularization and mass apostasy in traditionally Christian cultures, however, it seems apparent to me that many young people have no idea about Christian rituals and symbols, nor famous biblical characters and stories. What was once common knowledge is now slowly returning to obscurity because they are written off as "mere" fables and mythos, and thus not worthy of time or attention. Apparently only "real" information like fantasy entertainment everything is worth modern man's time.

Concerning the second question, Christianity is worse because mystery cults are sa-weet.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 01:10:11 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011, 09:35:56 AM »
Oh, I get it, you're not casting your pearls before me because I'm swine! Well fine!  :P

?

Just a joke. :) I'm not formally Orthodox at the moment, I'm sort of working my way back to traditional Christianity... since I'm not communing, confessing, etc., I'm probably technically still an apostate.

Thanks! and good luck with your struggles. I pray that you find the true path.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Pearls Before Swine
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 05:31:01 PM »
Concerning the second question, Christianity is worse because mystery cults are sa-weet.

Lol. FTW!

Anyway...on a serious note...who says there isn't still mystery in Orthodoxy?  ;)
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy