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Author Topic: Idle talk prohibition by the Orthodox church  (Read 2168 times) Average Rating: 0
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J. Maria
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« on: February 21, 2011, 12:02:19 PM »

As I have been delving deeper into the meanings of topics I took for granted before, I started wondering what constitutes idle talk. Is it pleasantries, break room talk, asking lame questions because you are either bored or shy or could it be talking via social networking sites? It is warned against by the Orthodox church so we need to know for sure.
What are your thoughts?
 
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 06:31:49 PM »

As I have been delving deeper into the meanings of topics I took for granted before, I started wondering what constitutes idle talk. Is it pleasantries, break room talk, asking lame questions because you are either bored or shy or could it be talking via social networking sites? It is warned against by the Orthodox church so we need to know for sure.
What are your thoughts?
 
Excellent question! I'll be interested to see what others think.
Personally, I think the Church's warning against idle talk is a reminder of Our Lord's warning that on the Day of Judgement, we will be held accountable for everything we have said, including every "idle word" (Matthew 12:36). An "idle word" (Gk: "ρημα αργον") seems to mean either a "lazy" word (i.e. one which achieves nothing good), or it could mean a word "spoken in idleness"- the image being of reclining in idleness and chatting. Whatever the case, it seems to indicate that we are supposed to be careful that what we say always achieves good and edifies, and that we should speak with the constant thought that we will be held accountable for what we say. So we need to "weigh" and "measure" our words before we speak them.
I don't think this necessarily includes things like exchanging pleasantries. Wishing someone a good morning can be a blessing if it comes from the heart and is spoken in love. Nor do I think it includes social networking sites altogether, but it does include what we say on them. It is just as possible to say something edifying on Facebook as it is to spread gossip on it.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 06:46:12 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 07:30:40 PM »

I get the impression that it could refer to anything that does not work toward edification, or even against it.
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 07:32:47 PM »

We won't be held accountable for things that have been forgiven right?
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 10:32:07 PM »

What is this prohibition on idle talk we are talking about? I've never heard of it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 10:35:30 PM »

I hear about it and realize I either have to remain silent my entire life or probably burn in Hell.

It is a dilemma. Will I get to talk in Hell? If so, I will prove to many Sartre's famous quip: Hell is other people.
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 11:11:56 PM »

What is this prohibition on idle talk we are talking about? I've never heard of it.

Matt 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 11:14:49 PM »

What is this prohibition on idle talk we are talking about? I've never heard of it.

Matt 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Easy for an introvert to say . . .

So do I get a pass on the BS that I type?
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 11:15:17 PM »

I hear about it and realize I either have to remain silent my entire life or probably burn in Hell.

It is a dilemma. Will I get to talk in Hell? If so, I will prove to many Sartre's famous quip: Hell is other people.

It's not a call to silence, only to watch what we say.
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 11:15:52 PM »

What is this prohibition on idle talk we are talking about? I've never heard of it.

Matt 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Seriously, this is one of those many lines of Scripture that scares me.
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 11:16:20 PM »

What is this prohibition on idle talk we are talking about? I've never heard of it.

Matt 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Easy for an introvert to say . . .

So do I get a pass on the BS that I type?

One can be just as responsible for being silent when in a situatino where they should speak.
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 11:16:29 PM »

I hear about it and realize I either have to remain silent my entire life or probably burn in Hell.

It is a dilemma. Will I get to talk in Hell? If so, I will prove to many Sartre's famous quip: Hell is other people.

It's not a call to silence, only to watch what we say.

It was an idle attempt at humor.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 11:23:54 PM »

I hear about it and realize I either have to remain silent my entire life or probably burn in Hell.

It is a dilemma. Will I get to talk in Hell? If so, I will prove to many Sartre's famous quip: Hell is other people.

It's not a call to silence, only to watch what we say.

It was an idle attempt at humor.

Sorry.
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2011, 12:07:38 AM »

Can someone give me a reference for this 'prohibition'?
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 12:48:50 AM »

Can someone give me a reference for this 'prohibition'?

Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, for one, entreats the Lord to save us from such a thing.
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 12:55:13 AM »

There's a Coptic priest in Queens who does not allow anyone to speak (within reason) when standing before the altar even if no liturgy is being done.  It's extremely strict, but I admire it.  There's a holiness to be maintained standing before the altar.  We must stand in awe, respecting the presence of God before us.  When one can imagine such presence, one then knows the proper professionalism that needs to be maintained.
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2011, 01:15:37 AM »

Can someone give me a reference for this 'prohibition'?

That it's better to be silent is all over the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Quote
Abba Ammoes

It was said of Abba Ammoes that when he went to church, he did not allow his disciple to walk beside him but only at a certain distance; and if the latter came to ask him about his thoughts, he would move away from him as soon as he had replied, saying to him, 'It is for fear that, after edifying words, irrelevant conversation should slip in, that I do not keep you with me.'

Quote
Abba Isaiah

(Abba Isaiah) also said that when there was an agape and the brethren were eating in the church and talking to one another, the priest of Pelusia reprimanded them in these words, 'Brethren, be quiet. For I have seen a brother eating with you and drinking as many cups as you and his prayer is ascending to the presence of God like fire.'

Quote
Abba James

He also said, 'We do not need words only, for, at the present time, there are many words among men, but we need works, for this is what is required, not words which do not bear fruit.'

Quote
Abba Pambo

The same Abba Theophilus, the archbishop, came to Scetis one day. The brethren who were assembled said to Abba Pambo, 'Say something to the Archbishop, so that he may be edified.' The old man said to them, 'If he is not edified by my silence, he will not be edified by my speech.'


http://en.orthodoxwiki.org/Sayings_of_the_Desert_Fathers#Abba_Ammoes


But then look what Abba Pimen says:

Quote
Abba Pimen

A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2011, 01:27:27 AM »

I agree that there is too much mindless babble all over the world today (how much on twitter and facebook could be classified as this?) We as Christians should learn to measure our speech so that people can respect and appreciate what comes out of our mouths (or fingers), as we are representatives of the Most High.

BTW, thanks for the quotes, Salpy! Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2011, 01:28:52 AM »

Can someone give me a reference for this 'prohibition'?

That it's better to be silent is all over the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Quote
Abba Ammoes

It was said of Abba Ammoes that when he went to church, he did not allow his disciple to walk beside him but only at a certain distance; and if the latter came to ask him about his thoughts, he would move away from him as soon as he had replied, saying to him, 'It is for fear that, after edifying words, irrelevant conversation should slip in, that I do not keep you with me.'

Quote
Abba Isaiah

(Abba Isaiah) also said that when there was an agape and the brethren were eating in the church and talking to one another, the priest of Pelusia reprimanded them in these words, 'Brethren, be quiet. For I have seen a brother eating with you and drinking as many cups as you and his prayer is ascending to the presence of God like fire.'

Quote
Abba James

He also said, 'We do not need words only, for, at the present time, there are many words among men, but we need works, for this is what is required, not words which do not bear fruit.'

Quote
Abba Pambo

The same Abba Theophilus, the archbishop, came to Scetis one day. The brethren who were assembled said to Abba Pambo, 'Say something to the Archbishop, so that he may be edified.' The old man said to them, 'If he is not edified by my silence, he will not be edified by my speech.'


http://en.orthodoxwiki.org/Sayings_of_the_Desert_Fathers#Abba_Ammoes


But then look what Abba Pimen says:

Quote
Abba Pimen

A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.


Wonderful examples.

For example of idle chatter, check out my blather in the chat room or anywhere else I am.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2011, 10:05:33 AM »

^I thought the chat room was for us to get all the idle chatter out of our system... Wink
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ozgeorge
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2011, 10:15:58 PM »

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." James 3:6

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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2011, 11:52:52 PM »

Good topic

One I have been struggling with and failing with so much. Embarrassed

St Ephraim's prayer is so humble and calming, and because of this I have been trying to pay attention to what I say before I say it.

 If only my heart and mind connected before I spoke.
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2011, 04:19:21 PM »

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." James 3:6



That is a neat picture. Just wanted to say that.
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2011, 04:23:29 PM »

For example of idle chatter, check out my blather in the chat room or anywhere else I am.

I just started working third shift. Now that my body's schedule is thrown off, you should hear some of things I say when my body is still physically operating but my mind stops properly functioning after being up past a certain time.
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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2011, 12:24:12 AM »

I tink we should interpret thisas a call against such things as gossip and slander of our fellow man and not necessarily a call to complete silence when not speaking of religious or matters of "absolute necessity".

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