Author Topic: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?  (Read 24896 times)

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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« on: October 11, 2011, 11:07:08 AM »
I'm wondering if incense really helps God out or makes your prayers more powerful to God.  I'm wondering if it is just the scent it makes.
Do the people in the icons smell the incense because the priest census the icons too. 

I guess I miss the point entirely of why incense is important, how it helps you achieve salvation, how it helps one believe in God more, how it helps you to be more forgiving, charitable, or a better Christian.

Thanks
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Offline sainthieu

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 11:13:51 AM »
The incense is strictly symbolic.

In my opinion--and it's only mine--you could dispense with all the ancilla of Orthodoxy (without, of course, changing one iota of doctrine), and it would still be Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 11:16:15 AM by sainthieu »

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 11:18:46 AM »
I'm wondering if incense really helps God out or makes your prayers more powerful to God.  I'm wondering if it is just the scent it makes.
Do the people in the icons smell the incense because the priest census the icons too. 

I guess I miss the point entirely of why incense is important, how it helps you achieve salvation, how it helps one believe in God more, how it helps you to be more forgiving, charitable, or a better Christian.

Thanks
Dont take this the wrong way, but I find your comment quite odd since the Jews have been doing it for a hyper long time.

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Offline stavros_388

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 11:23:06 AM »
In addition to having some symbolic significance, I would suggest that incense also helps prepare one's consciousness for worship, if only by way of association. When I am silently saying prayers on a bus, for example, I can sometimes distinctly smell incense. I assume this is because my brain associates worship with incense. Icons, incense, vestments, even church buildings are all just there to support and reinforce our life of prayer... aren't they?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 11:24:14 AM by stavros_388 »

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 11:39:19 AM »
You're obviously not using the incense properly, because every time I pray and light incense, God grants my prayer. PM me for instructions.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 11:42:44 AM »
The incense is strictly symbolic.

In my opinion--and it's only mine--you could dispense with all the ancilla of Orthodoxy (without, of course, changing one iota of doctrine), and it would still be Orthodoxy.

Very interesting thing you have said here.  I also think the same way believe it or not.  It's actually where people don't understand where I go with my theology.

After all the stuff... Icons... Incense... Crossing one's self.... iconostasis.... antimention.... etc.

What are you left with?

Are "these tools & symbols" only in existence because of the lack of faith?  Is their faith hijacked because they get artificially "fluffed" up by these things rather than seeking the core of the lessons of God?

Example "Let my prayer arise in thy sight as incense".  (beautifully sung no doubt) - but what the heck?  God hears you... He does!
but by symbolism one creates a mental symbolic link of their prayers to incense.  But God really knows the truth, that incense is often burning saps & resins and has nothing to do with the words of your prayer.  

Do we lack faith so much that we must attribute tranquil things that smell good with our prayer, faith, and/or belief in God?

Did the faith of Jonah cry out to God out of the depths with the attribution of incense?

Perhaps I'm missing the point, but I can't imagine God being fooled or even caring about incense.  Sometimes I wonder if he sees what is done and thinks "???".
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Offline Timon

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 12:19:22 PM »
Im not sure that it actually does anything, but it has been used for a LONG time and is a part of the culture of the Church.  The smell reminds me where I am and why I am there.  It also does symbolize prayers being lifted to heaven.  No, the prayers arent actually in the smoke.  Thats why its symbolic.

As far as using it in your home for prayer, I think it can be helpful.  I get distracted very easily during prayer.  The thing I like about Orthodoxy is that it uses so many of your senses to help you focus.  Now, I look at icons, touch the prayer rope, and smell the incense.  I also pray out loud so I can hear the prayers.  All these things help me stay focused, where as before I just thought a prayer to myself at 2 in the morning until my brain began to wonder somewhere else. 

I dont believe these things a 100% necessary for prayer, but they are gifts to help us in our prayer life.  This includes the incense.  They have certainly helped me.

*Ill add that I dont use incense every day because I live in a rental house and I dont want to permanently scent the room in case the owners dont like it.  I kinda need my security deposit back!!  ;D

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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 01:23:09 PM »

A rose is a flower.  However, what sets the rose apart from all the other flowers...her scent.

We tend to associate the "good" things in life with a pleasant aroma.

God created your sense of smell, in order for you to be able to enjoy more of life, as well as to discern good from bad.
How would you know the meat was rancid if you couldn't smell it?  You wouldn't wrinkle your nose in disgust when you cracked a rotten egg, if you couldn't smell it.

You also would not pause when passing a flowering lilac if you couldn't smell it....nor inhale deeply of the scent of the autumnal leaves.

Scent is a part of life.  All things are to glorify God.

We use incense because it is pleasing to our senses, and therefore, we share this gift with our own Creator.

When you have company coming over, do you not clean your house, and at the last minute run from room to room spraying Fabreeze or some other sweet smelling scent?

Same holds true in God's House.  We want to honor it as best we can.

Additionally, symbolism is important in every day life.  We know what the red pentagon sign means when we see it - STOP.  We know the symbol for no-smoking, toxins, radiation, etc.  We know the peace sign, we know what the shape of a heart represents, and we know what LOL means.

These are all symbols and are used to enhance our lives.

Why limit it to the secular?  The theological symbolism of incense is beautiful and very touching.  Not only does it smell good and pleasing, its tendrils slowly twist and turn and rise up towards the Lord....as we hope and pray our prayers do.   We hope our prayers are found worthy and pleasing to our Creator, as the incense is to our own nostrils.

It's a beautiful thing.

Not to say God doesn't hear your prayers when you sit in your own room behind closed doors without even an icon around.  He does.

However, why limit the experience when you can enhance and enjoy the Heaven on Earth, which is His Church?

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Offline Timon

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 01:25:18 PM »

A rose is a flower.  However, what sets the rose apart from all the other flowers...her scent.

We tend to associate the "good" things in life with a pleasant aroma.

God created your sense of smell, in order for you to be able to enjoy more of life, as well as to discern good from bad.
How would you know the meat was rancid if you couldn't smell it?  You wouldn't wrinkle your nose in disgust when you cracked a rotten egg, if you couldn't smell it.

You also would not pause when passing a flowering lilac if you couldn't smell it....nor inhale deeply of the scent of the autumnal leaves.

Scent is a part of life.  All things are to glorify God.

We use incense because it is pleasing to our senses, and therefore, we share this gift with our own Creator.

When you have company coming over, do you not clean your house, and at the last minute run from room to room spraying Fabreeze or some other sweet smelling scent?

Same holds true in God's House.  We want to honor it as best we can.

Additionally, symbolism is important in every day life.  We know what the red pentagon sign means when we see it - STOP.  We know the symbol for no-smoking, toxins, radiation, etc.  We know the peace sign, we know what the shape of a heart represents, and we know what LOL means.

These are all symbols and are used to enhance our lives.

Why limit it to the secular?  The theological symbolism of incense is beautiful and very touching.  Not only does it smell good and pleasing, its tendrils slowly twist and turn and rise up towards the Lord....as we hope and pray our prayers do.   We hope our prayers are found worthy and pleasing to our Creator, as the incense is to our own nostrils.

It's a beautiful thing.

Not to say God doesn't hear your prayers when you sit in your own room behind closed doors without even an icon around.  He does.

However, why limit the experience when you can enhance and enjoy the Heaven on Earth, which is His Church?



For some reason, I read this as if it were a poem.  Well said!
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2011, 01:27:55 PM »
Thank you for refraining from snark and being eloquent, Liza. Good response although I think it's for naught.
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Offline Elijah

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2011, 01:33:34 PM »
The point is how you view the incense. So, it is the perspective towards it that matters. 
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 04:19:10 PM »

A rose is a flower.  However, what sets the rose apart from all the other flowers...her scent.

We tend to associate the "good" things in life with a pleasant aroma.

God created your sense of smell, in order for you to be able to enjoy more of life, as well as to discern good from bad.
How would you know the meat was rancid if you couldn't smell it?  You wouldn't wrinkle your nose in disgust when you cracked a rotten egg, if you couldn't smell it.

You also would not pause when passing a flowering lilac if you couldn't smell it....nor inhale deeply of the scent of the autumnal leaves.

Scent is a part of life.  All things are to glorify God.

We use incense because it is pleasing to our senses, and therefore, we share this gift with our own Creator.

When you have company coming over, do you not clean your house, and at the last minute run from room to room spraying Fabreeze or some other sweet smelling scent?

Same holds true in God's House.  We want to honor it as best we can.

Additionally, symbolism is important in every day life.  We know what the red pentagon sign means when we see it - STOP.  We know the symbol for no-smoking, toxins, radiation, etc.  We know the peace sign, we know what the shape of a heart represents, and we know what LOL means.

These are all symbols and are used to enhance our lives.

Why limit it to the secular?  The theological symbolism of incense is beautiful and very touching.  Not only does it smell good and pleasing, its tendrils slowly twist and turn and rise up towards the Lord....as we hope and pray our prayers do.   We hope our prayers are found worthy and pleasing to our Creator, as the incense is to our own nostrils.

It's a beautiful thing.

Not to say God doesn't hear your prayers when you sit in your own room behind closed doors without even an icon around.  He does.

However, why limit the experience when you can enhance and enjoy the Heaven on Earth, which is His Church?

I know what you are saying.  But basically that's what I'm saying.
Other than being pleasing to OUR smell, it does nothing.

If we must associate prayer & worship with incense - even for the mood, preparing to pray - is it for a lack of faith?

Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage? 

Your response is pretty, but it's exactly my thoughts.  There isn't really a point other than to feast our nose on it.
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 04:29:57 PM »
In addition to having some symbolic significance, I would suggest that incense also helps prepare one's consciousness for worship, if only by way of association. When I am silently saying prayers on a bus, for example, I can sometimes distinctly smell incense. I assume this is because my brain associates worship with incense. Icons, incense, vestments, even church buildings are all just there to support and reinforce our life of prayer... aren't they?

Exactly.. It's not meant to "Help God". It's meant to help us. When we are ready for prayer, God is pleased.

Lets take the opposite situation. You come to Church smelling of the night before. You have flatulence. Is  your prayer as mindful? Is the prayer of those around you disturbed? Would that be as God Pleasing a situation as before?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:30:35 PM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2011, 04:33:33 PM »
In addition to having some symbolic significance, I would suggest that incense also helps prepare one's consciousness for worship, if only by way of association. When I am silently saying prayers on a bus, for example, I can sometimes distinctly smell incense. I assume this is because my brain associates worship with incense. Icons, incense, vestments, even church buildings are all just there to support and reinforce our life of prayer... aren't they?

Exactly.. It's not meant to "Help God". It's meant to help us. When we are ready for prayer, God is pleased.

Lets take the opposite situation. You come to Church smelling of the night before. You have flatulence. Is  your prayer as mindful? Is the prayer of those around you disturbed? Would that be as God Pleasing a situation as before?

I know what you are saying, but you are making my point.

What you are saying is that if you fart your prayers won't be as good than if you had something that smelled good. 
Isn't that a lack of true faith in your prayer?  Our prayers should be a heartfelt and dedicated to God whether we are in raw sewage or in a mansion?

The consensus of answers I have gotten is that incense is basically a faith crutch, because our prayers wouldn't be "in the mood" without it.
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 04:36:10 PM »
The incense is strictly symbolic.

In my opinion--and it's only mine--you could dispense with all the ancilla of Orthodoxy (without, of course, changing one iota of doctrine), and it would still be Orthodoxy.

Um... no.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2011, 04:38:14 PM »
In addition to having some symbolic significance, I would suggest that incense also helps prepare one's consciousness for worship, if only by way of association. When I am silently saying prayers on a bus, for example, I can sometimes distinctly smell incense. I assume this is because my brain associates worship with incense. Icons, incense, vestments, even church buildings are all just there to support and reinforce our life of prayer... aren't they?

Exactly.. It's not meant to "Help God". It's meant to help us. When we are ready for prayer, God is pleased.

Lets take the opposite situation. You come to Church smelling of the night before. You have flatulence. Is  your prayer as mindful? Is the prayer of those around you disturbed? Would that be as God Pleasing a situation as before?

I know what you are saying, but you are making my point.

What you are saying is that if you fart your prayers won't be as good than if you had something that smelled good.  
Isn't that a lack of true faith in your prayer?  Our prayers should be a heartfelt and dedicated to God whether we are in raw sewage or in a mansion?

The consensus of answers I have gotten is that incense is basically a faith crutch, because our prayers wouldn't be "in the mood" without it.

I'm glad that you have made it far enough on your faith journey that you can dispense with such things.  My faith is weak.  I need all the crutches I can get.

cf. Rom 14

Also, the liturgy of the Church Militant is a foreshadowing of that of the Church Triumphant as shown in the Apocalypse of John.  They use incense, we use incense.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:41:17 PM by Schultz »
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2011, 04:40:59 PM »
Are "these tools & symbols" only in existence because of the lack of faith?  Is their faith hijacked because they get artificially "fluffed" up by these things rather than seeking the core of the lessons of God?

Faith is not a mental exercise. It is not primarily about "lessons". Faith involves the entire person, from the nous down to the toes. And more than that -- it involves "ourselves, each other, and all our life".
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2011, 04:45:31 PM »
Did the faith of Jonah cry out to God out of the depths with the attribution of incense?

No. But the faith of, for example, Zachariah the father of John the Forerunner did. Incense was only offered in the Temple in Jerusalem.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2011, 04:46:35 PM »


If we must associate prayer & worship with incense - even for the mood, preparing to pray - is it for a lack of faith?



Nowhere did I say we "need to associate our prayer and worship with incense."  We choose to.

The use of incense does not negate the fullness of your faith.

It is precisely due to that faith, due to the love towards the Lord, that you wish to enhance the experience...to bring joy to the Lord with sweet smelling incense.

Did your mother truly profit in any way from the dandelion that you picked from your backyard and ran to the house and gave her?  She didn't need the flower, she already loved you and listened to you.

Nor did the gift of the flower to your mother show a lack of love on your side.  The gift of the flower, in fact, was an outward sign of your love to her.


« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:47:16 PM by LizaSymonenko »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2011, 04:50:25 PM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:51:07 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2011, 04:50:50 PM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2011, 04:52:10 PM »
Perhaps I'm missing the point, but I can't imagine God being fooled or even caring about incense.  Sometimes I wonder if he sees what is done and thinks " ???".

It appears God was expecting it:

Malachi 1:11 (KJV)
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline IXOYE

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2011, 04:53:01 PM »
I have heard the following:

“Incense has a double symbolism even in the Old Testament.  It is a symbol of purification and also of the Divine Presence.”


Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2011, 04:54:55 PM »
“Incense has a double symbolism even in the Old Testament.  It is a symbol of purification and also of the Divine Presence.”

Plus worshipping without incense when the option is available is just gay.

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2011, 04:56:29 PM »
If we must associate prayer & worship with incense - even for the mood, preparing to pray - is it for a lack of faith?

No. It is because of an abundance of faith, as Liza pointed out.

Quote
Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage?  

Yes. For the same reason that incense is called for when raw sewage is not available: "ALL OUR LIFE".
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 05:00:05 PM by JLatimer »
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2011, 04:58:41 PM »
Screws with my allergies. Did I already answer this? My doctor suggests not going to liturgy.


Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2011, 05:01:53 PM »
“Incense has a double symbolism even in the Old Testament.  It is a symbol of purification and also of the Divine Presence.”

Plus worshipping without incense when the option is available is just gay.
LOL!

Yeshuaisiam, do you not realize that you are displaying a large degree of spiritual pride here? Maybe you don't need incense, but it helps the rest of us (with the exception of my mother, who almost passed out during the Great Entrance).

Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship. I don't think prayer is invalidated without incense, but not all of us have a mustard seed of faith and can forgo all of these things like you apparently can. If I didn't need a spiritual crutch, I wouldn't need God.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 05:02:11 PM by IsmiLiora »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2011, 05:03:36 PM »
It's also kind of like asking why we have a funeral service instead of just dumping the body in the ground, or why someone makes the house nice before having company over. If you love the person, you make a fuss over them. You bring out all of the finest clothing (vestments), dishes (sacred vessels), music and aromas you can muster, because that person deserves your best.

It might not be very utilitarian, but when you don't it's kind of like giving out hunks of bread or toothbrushes for Christmas. They're useful, but not full of love. But then again, any kind of a gift doesn't really "do" much as the person just eventually dies anyway. No amount of bread or dental health will prevent death, so why bother?

Why do I mow the lawn? Why do I clean my room? Why are you wasting my time with this infantile level of faux-inquiry, as it's really just about you taking swipes at Orthodox praxis to make you feel more secure in your decision to be a kind of quasi-anabapist internet hero?

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2011, 05:07:38 PM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

+1
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2011, 05:13:18 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.

Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

It is a matter of how you enjoy using your senses.

Even in a Quaker meeting the sense of smell is engaged in worship to the degree they are worshiping.

We are always physically engaged. Only a being which always fundamentally engaged in a world in a physical manner can imagine the possibility of not being so.

It is not a matter of if, but how.

I deal with people's preferences on a global scale each deal in how they want to engage their sense in consumer products. Everyone does, just differently.

And the hows and whys of worship are those of God's. Man only understands what he does to the degree that he can.

The very title of this thread has a lot of theologically baggage.

But yeah, I don't like incense.










Offline augustin717

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2011, 05:13:50 PM »
it's for the remission of sins; it also drives the devil away, since he cannot stand the smell.
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2011, 05:15:59 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.

Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

You really do need to start your own religion... cause the one you're preaching lately ain't Orthodoxy ;)

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2011, 05:17:03 PM »
it's for the remission of sins; it also drives the devil away, since he cannot stand the smell.

That explains my problem with it.

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2011, 05:17:38 PM »
it also drives the devil away, since he cannot stand the smell.

I thought that was burning fish organs?


Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2011, 05:20:47 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.
Well, your last sentence explains your first one.

And the sense of smell senses something different than when I was in a hall full of sweaty Pentecostals and trying not to breathe in the air-conditioned air (not good for me).

Of course
you know what I mean, but I'm glad I gave you an opportunity to climb on this soapbox.  :P

I love incense, myself. Have several different kinds and I light them all the time.  I don't light frankincense unless I'm praying, though. It helps my spiritually weak soul connect the smell with worship.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2011, 05:21:51 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.

Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

You really do need to start your own religion... cause the one you're preaching lately ain't Orthodoxy ;)

He has a good point about it being impossible to disengage the senses, but I think he knows what Liora meant and is just doing his usual thing. It's how he rolls.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2011, 05:25:10 PM »
He just likes to pick on me because I'm short.
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2011, 05:27:05 PM »

Well, I am tall...and he loves to pick on me, too!

;)
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2011, 05:27:45 PM »
I perceive one commonality: Ukrainianness.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2011, 05:29:47 PM »
I wish!!!  :D
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2011, 05:35:11 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.

Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

You really do need to start your own religion... cause the one you're preaching lately ain't Orthodoxy ;)

He has a good point about it being impossible to disengage the senses, but I think he knows what Liora meant and is just doing his usual thing. It's how he rolls.

How I roll is I like to show people how they fall into false and subtle dichotomies which lie much deeper than they can imagine.

The psychologizing and physiologizing of the Orthodox experiences tires.

Alveus was hinting at similar but more elliptical because he takes on the non-Orthodox. I, not so much. More interesting to deal with the subtle problems which permeate the majority view.

YIW is out to lunch. We all agree.

Boring.



Offline orthonorm

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2011, 05:36:14 PM »
I wish!!!  :D

Srsly?

I'll have to determine which ethnic background is better and let you know if this wish makes any sense.

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2011, 05:36:22 PM »
Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

It is a matter of how you enjoy using your senses.

This is a very good point. Since our senses are always 'turned on', the question becomes, what are they sensing? Especially in the pre-deodorant world of antiquity, incense has a valuable practical function: the point of Orthodox 'smells and bells' is not so much to 'engage the senses', as they are already engaged, as you point out; it is rather to beautify the 'space' in which the senses are sensing. (For most people, incense is a beautiful smell, though there are always some, such as you, who disagree.) This reflects and reinforces the idea that God is beautiful.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2011, 05:36:37 PM »
Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship.

Hate to pick on you, but I am tired of this old saw.

Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

You really do need to start your own religion... cause the one you're preaching lately ain't Orthodoxy ;)

He has a good point about it being impossible to disengage the senses, but I think he knows what Liora meant and is just doing his usual thing. It's how he rolls.

How I roll is I like to show people how they fall into false and subtle dichotomies which lie much deeper than they can imagine.

The psychologizing and physiologizing of the Orthodox experiences tires.

Alveus was hinting at similar but more elliptical because he takes on the non-Orthodox. I, not so much. More interesting to deal with the subtle problems which permeate the majority view.

YIW is out to lunch. We all agree.

Boring.

I never said I didn't admire your style.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2011, 05:39:07 PM »
I concede on my explanation but not on the Ukrainian-ness. Take that.
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2011, 06:05:07 PM »
After all the stuff... Icons... Incense... Crossing one's self.... iconostasis.... antimention.... etc.

What are you left with?

Are "these tools & symbols" only in existence because of the lack of faith?
Origen would agree with you. He thought that all of material existence was a result of fallen spirituality.

But, you know, he was wrong.
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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2011, 06:09:38 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2011, 06:30:15 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm
Fascinating! Now I can finally get incense and say it's for depression and not hyperdoxy.  ;)
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Offline sainthieu

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2011, 06:42:08 PM »
The consensus of answers I have gotten is that incense is basically a faith crutch, because our prayers wouldn't be "in the mood" without it.

Uh, no. The incense is Tradition, and Tradition is important---it's an historical legacy and it has all the effects mentioned above---but it's not the essence of the faith. For example, if an atom bomb were to fall on my house and I had to worship without incense, or icons, or my prayer rope, or a covering on my head, my worship would be just as authentic. If you remember, many famous ascetics existed in the desert on 'nothing'; St. Mary of Egypt, for instance, didn't even wear clothes. (I wonder where she kept her incense.)

In order to understand why the subtraction of these items does not diminish the character of the Orthodox faith,  you have to develop a greater theological understanding of Orthodox Christianity and how it differs from what you may have experienced as "Christianity." Much of what passes for Christianity in the US is based on misinterpretation, misguided, or just plain wrong.

Many converts are too easily enticed by the aesthetics of the Orthodox Church, ignoring the fact that, in the final analysis, Orthodoxy calls on us to be reborn, empty ourselves, become dwelling places of the Holy Spirit, pick up our crosses, and follow Christ to martyrdom, if need be.

Quo vadis? Where are you going? Are you preparing yourself for the moment you will be called on to step in front of your enemy to take a bullet that was meant for him? Or are you headed to the store to buy more incense?

JALatimer:

Uh, yeah.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 06:54:02 PM by sainthieu »

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2011, 06:56:21 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The purpose of physical worship such as prostrations, incense, icons, buildings, books, chants, etc etc is not to get a person "closer to God" in the sense that proximity to God is limited by these.  God is not limited by Incense, however, as it has been explained, these kinds of physical worship are deeply ritualistic and symbolic of the deeper, underlying meaning and intent.  When a person offers Incense with their prayers, or prayers before the presence of Holy Icons, or performs certain prostrations or recites particular written prayers, these are symbolic of the underlying inner intention of that individual to get closer to God with prayer.  These should not be assumed to "force God's hand" or to earn God's Grace or favoritism in matters of our lives, that is not prayer.  Prayer is communication with God, not a wishlist or a complain department.  As such, physical attributes of prayer are highly symbolic of the inner feelings of yearning to get closer to God and to communicate.

Yes, incense and icons are sensory reminders of prayer, and they serve this function, but it is deeper than that.  After all, God can speak for Himself by His own power, He doesn't need incense to communicate with us, and we don't need it to remember Him, He is not merely a memory which we recapitulate on like the family photo-album, rather we can always know God in the present tense.  However, still there is a need for these symbolic actions and gestures, not merely to remind us our capture our attentions, but to manifest the deeper realities of our intentions.

If I want to communicate with you, I have to call you directly on the phone, or actually type up this email, or tap you on the shoulder and say, "hey" but I can rarely achieve good communion telepathically. In other words, I actually have to do something in verb sense, otherwise I am just thinking about communicating.  While we can communicate with God beyond physical, because He Himself is beyond physical, we still remain physical beings during our prayer.  This is why we use physical gestures and tools to accompany our prayer, not  because it benefits God, or enhances God's Grace, but because it benefits ourselves, and enhances our own sense of awareness.

God is beyond incense, but we are not.  God's Grace is beyond incense, but we must show God in our symbolic actions that our intentions are sincere.  In using the incense or the icons, we are showing God in a physical way our intentions.  God knows our hearts, but we ourselves need to use these physical gestures to keep our attentions focused.  God doesn't need them, we do.  That is what symbolism is.  Symbols are objects or actions which convey and communicate deeper, underlying, and hard to explain meanings.  It is further deeper than just trying to maintain a sense of awareness, rather like any kind of sport or dance, the purpose of the gestures is in the gestures themselves because these are the actions and activities.  Prayer is not limited by incense, but incense is definitely prayer in action, symbolic of our own hearts and intentions acting on God.



We don't worship God with incense, we symbolize our worship, but the symbols should not negate the power of God, and neither should the power of God negate the potency of the symbolism.  Actually, these cooperate.  The symbol is the manifestation in the verb sense of our worship, of our communicating efforts, of our prayer.  

Let me ask the flip side, what really is the harm with incense or icons in prayer?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2011, 07:02:58 PM »
what really is the harm with incense

Triggering of an allergic asthma attack which then triggers an episode of unstable angina which leads to death.

All that I've had, except that death part, I think . . .

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2011, 08:10:03 PM »
Selam all  :)

I will ask you if you would answer me, Yoshuwa, how you suppose that we are helping the LORD GOD via incense. I do not know the way you refer to, so if would clarify it,  then maybe i will understand what you mean enough respond to it if i can. In the mean time let us talk on the rest of your question. We cannot talk of the Faith without talking about relationships, and it has to do with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with God. So as   orthodox Christians this relationship is greatly highlighted in how we worship.

Incense, is sprinkled on burning coal to burn freely and emit abundant white smoke of very sweet fragrance.
 
It burns symbolizing the zeal that animates the faithful (notice it is referring to their lives in the fullest sense of the word that includes the body soul and spirit united with His Love)

The rising smoke symbolizes the ascent of prayer before the Throne of the Almighty (again prayer is life it is living, it’s not only talking, its meaning is far deeper than that so as such our prayer rises before God as we lift up our heart Revelation 8:3-4 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne the smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Psalm 141:2 ‘Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice’.   )


The sweet fragrance,( the fragrance of the Christian virtue :Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling fragrance., Colossians 3:4 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. So everything of ours that is offered in love  even to one another is symbolized as a fragrant offering , an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God  as st. Paul says to the Philippians 4:18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.)
 

MOST IMPORTANTLY IMHO this:

Ultimately it is God who accepts prayers, sacrificial offerings, who animates all, and this is why the wise men brought Him incense as one of the gifts at His Nativity, to indicate His Divinity: He that is Born is no ordinary human king, but the Eternal Logos Incarnate, who has the authority to accept prayers, sacrificial offerings, and IS the animator of all as the incense is animated by the fire. ) so it is the testament of Our Faith that we offer the incense to witness this fundamental statue of our faith. To God we offered incense in imperfect priesthood  before in the Old Covenant even more so now To the Same God who became our Highpriest and perfected our priesthood we offer Him incense in the fullness of the New and Everlasting Covenant!!! Glory be to God! This is the Orthodox Faith!
 
and to conclude:
Incense has other purposes as well, as already mentioned by many here, along with the bells with the icons, with the candle lights, etc. it helps our senses to actively engage and participate in the beauty, delight and mystery of worship.

This is not all thats there about incence, but this is all I could think of now. Hope this might help in some way though.

Selam hunu. :)

To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2011, 08:40:42 PM »
Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage?
Do you have this kind of faith?
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2011, 08:43:01 PM »
In addition to having some symbolic significance, I would suggest that incense also helps prepare one's consciousness for worship, if only by way of association. When I am silently saying prayers on a bus, for example, I can sometimes distinctly smell incense. I assume this is because my brain associates worship with incense. Icons, incense, vestments, even church buildings are all just there to support and reinforce our life of prayer... aren't they?

Exactly.. It's not meant to "Help God". It's meant to help us. When we are ready for prayer, God is pleased.

Lets take the opposite situation. You come to Church smelling of the night before. You have flatulence. Is  your prayer as mindful? Is the prayer of those around you disturbed? Would that be as God Pleasing a situation as before?

I know what you are saying, but you are making my point.

What you are saying is that if you fart your prayers won't be as good than if you had something that smelled good.  
Isn't that a lack of true faith in your prayer?  Our prayers should be a heartfelt and dedicated to God whether we are in raw sewage or in a mansion?

The consensus of answers I have gotten is that incense is basically a faith crutch, because our prayers wouldn't be "in the mood" without it.

Well.. you seem to an agenda so I wont waste too much time on this.

Yes, your seriousness and disposition all add or subtract to the depth of your prayer life. It is not a mechanical operation like turning over a car engine where it either turns over or doesn't start. Mindfulness, depth of prayer and your disposition and intent all go into your prayer.


« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 08:46:54 PM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2011, 09:18:03 PM »
what really is the harm with incense

Triggering of an allergic asthma attack which then triggers an episode of unstable angina which leads to death.

All that I've had, except that death part, I think . . .

wow! I am  so sorry to hear this orthonorm, there was one priest I know who suffers from asthma attack due to incense too, when he was doing service which is very rare, it was with as little incense as possible. even then you could hear him struggle sometimes and he was such a sweet person and we felt so terrible for him. your case seems to be a severe one , may be you need to tell your priest about this before you go to the DL, and do not stand close to the altar and find a more ventilated area, do not go to church without some epi- or albutrol or something in-case,your know, because allergies of that kind are very very serious. I pray the Lord protect you. Lord have mercy!
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2011, 10:36:40 PM »
Incense makes the Divine Liturgy all mystical, man.
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Offline Elijah

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2011, 09:18:09 AM »
Selam all  :)

I will ask you if you would answer me, Yoshuwa, how you suppose that we are helping the LORD GOD via incense. I do not know the way you refer to, so if would clarify it,  then maybe i will understand what you mean enough respond to it if i can. In the mean time let us talk on the rest of your question. We cannot talk of the Faith without talking about relationships, and it has to do with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with God. So as   orthodox Christians this relationship is greatly highlighted in how we worship.

Incense, is sprinkled on burning coal to burn freely and emit abundant white smoke of very sweet fragrance.
 
It burns symbolizing the zeal that animates the faithful (notice it is referring to their lives in the fullest sense of the word that includes the body soul and spirit united with His Love)

The rising smoke symbolizes the ascent of prayer before the Throne of the Almighty (again prayer is life it is living, it’s not only talking, its meaning is far deeper than that so as such our prayer rises before God as we lift up our heart Revelation 8:3-4 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne the smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. Psalm 141:2 ‘Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice’.   )


The sweet fragrance,( the fragrance of the Christian virtue :Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling fragrance., Colossians 3:4 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. So everything of ours that is offered in love  even to one another is symbolized as a fragrant offering , an acceptable sacrifice pleasing to God  as st. Paul says to the Philippians 4:18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.)
 

MOST IMPORTANTLY IMHO this:

Ultimately it is God who accepts prayers, sacrificial offerings, who animates all, and this is why the wise men brought Him incense as one of the gifts at His Nativity, to indicate His Divinity: He that is Born is no ordinary human king, but the Eternal Logos Incarnate, who has the authority to accept prayers, sacrificial offerings, and IS the animator of all as the incense is animated by the fire. ) so it is the testament of Our Faith that we offer the incense to witness this fundamental statue of our faith. To God we offered incense in imperfect priesthood  before in the Old Covenant even more so now To the Same God who became our Highpriest and perfected our priesthood we offer Him incense in the fullness of the New and Everlasting Covenant!!! Glory be to God! This is the Orthodox Faith!
 
and to conclude:
Incense has other purposes as well, as already mentioned by many here, along with the bells with the icons, with the candle lights, etc. it helps our senses to actively engage and participate in the beauty, delight and mystery of worship.
This is not all thats there about incence, but this is all I could think of now. Hope this might help in some way though.

Selam hunu. :)


Wonderful explanation; you almost 'interpreted' the traditional way of worshiping  God. Hiwot, thank you; the italicized part make sense.
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #57 on: October 12, 2011, 09:30:16 AM »
God helps us. 
God needs no help.
Incense is pleasing to God and to us.
I want to please God and draw closer to Him. 

I want to draw closer to Him - incense helps me to do that by helping me to focus and reminding me (smell attaches to memories very well in the brain) of His majesty.

He's worth pleasing.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2011, 09:55:25 AM »
I hope these verses will answer your questions…

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. (Ex 25:1-9)

“Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood… Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.” (Ex 30:1, 7-8)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.” (Ex 30:34-36)

Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched. (2Ki 22:17)

My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.  (2Ch 29:11)

May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. (Ps 140:2)

“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. (Mi 1:11)

When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Rv 5:8 )

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Offline Gypsy

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2011, 10:06:53 AM »
Father, thanks for posting all these verses.   The one from Revelation is my favorite, I have a question...does it refer to All the Saints including us who are alive today?  Thus is how I always understood this verse prior to being Orthodox.  But now I am wondering if it only means those who are dead but who are Saints as designated by the church.

I prefer that is referring to the offering of all our prayers!
Thanks for any light you can shed on this..
You included verses I did not know...thank you. 

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2011, 10:35:49 AM »
The Book of the Revelation of St. John is a complex book, and there are a variety of interpretations regarding its imagery.  In the Orthodox Church, this book is not read liturgically and is, in fact, not often cited.  Since I have not read enough on the topic, I'm not able to give you the answer you are looking for.

Incense is both a sacrificial offering and a grace-bearing object (c.f. Ex 30:34-36).  Part of the eternal worship of God is the offering of incense (c.f. Mi 1:11)


Father, thanks for posting all these verses.   The one from Revelation is my favorite, I have a question...does it refer to All the Saints including us who are alive today?  Thus is how I always understood this verse prior to being Orthodox.  But now I am wondering if it only means those who are dead but who are Saints as designated by the church.

I prefer that is referring to the offering of all our prayers!
Thanks for any light you can shed on this..
You included verses I did not know...thank you. 
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2011, 10:38:36 AM »
Not only does the scent of incense please your senses, allowing you to relax, find peace and center your attention; the physical aspect of the smoke adds enchantment, and otherworldlyness to the church.

All things Orthodox are so beautifully symbolic and satisfying to the soul.

I love incense...and am sorry to hear Orthonorm that you suffer so, from something so beautiful.

 
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Offline biro

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2011, 12:42:29 PM »
The angels offer incense to God in Heaven. (see the above verses from Revelation)

Also, it smells nice.

Have you ever used an air freshener at your house?  ;)
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2011, 12:53:35 PM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

Obviously prayer has some tendency to do something with God or else Yeshua would have not prayed.

Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?
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Offline LBK

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2011, 12:56:22 PM »
Quote
Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?

The censing of icons is a gesture of veneration and honor to the saints and holy ones depicted on them.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2011, 01:01:34 PM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.   I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).   The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »
“Incense has a double symbolism even in the Old Testament.  It is a symbol of purification and also of the Divine Presence.”

Plus worshipping without incense when the option is available is just gay.
LOL!

Yeshuaisiam, do you not realize that you are displaying a large degree of spiritual pride here? Maybe you don't need incense, but it helps the rest of us (with the exception of my mother, who almost passed out during the Great Entrance).

Your entire first post reeks with condescension to those of us who, like others said, like to engage all of our senses for a complete physical experience in worship. I don't think prayer is invalidated without incense, but not all of us have a mustard seed of faith and can forgo all of these things like you apparently can. If I didn't need a spiritual crutch, I wouldn't need God.

No not at all.   You are misunderstanding me (I think).   I'm not saying I have 100% faith or being boastful.

I'm wondering if incense is a "faith placebo" that people are using to feel they have better faith than they do.  As many pointed out "it's a crutch", "puts them in the mood" etc.   As you said "If I didn't need a spiritual crutch, I wouldn't need God".   That's twisting it.

If you had 100% faith in God, then you wouldn't need a spiritual crutch, which does nothing other than gives you the "experience" of 100% faith (sic).   

So no, don't mistake me for being boastful.  My point is my faith has trouble, but to fill it with incense could be fooling myself for the weakness in my faith & prayer.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2011, 01:11:50 PM »
It's also kind of like asking why we have a funeral service instead of just dumping the body in the ground, or why someone makes the house nice before having company over. If you love the person, you make a fuss over them. You bring out all of the finest clothing (vestments), dishes (sacred vessels), music and aromas you can muster, because that person deserves your best.

It might not be very utilitarian, but when you don't it's kind of like giving out hunks of bread or toothbrushes for Christmas. They're useful, but not full of love. But then again, any kind of a gift doesn't really "do" much as the person just eventually dies anyway. No amount of bread or dental health will prevent death, so why bother?

Why do I mow the lawn? Why do I clean my room? Why are you wasting my time with this infantile level of faux-inquiry, as it's really just about you taking swipes at Orthodox praxis to make you feel more secure in your decision to be a kind of quasi-anabapist internet hero?

Actually it's completely different. 

This is a direct issue with faith being crutched by incense.

Your ugly remark is forgiven, but to explain, eternity is a long freaking time, I want to be sure to get it right.  I'm not trying to be a hero, but remember this, often times people return answers in hostility because they'd rather answer in anger than having to admit that there just may be a valid point.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2011, 01:20:52 PM »
Your senses are usually engaged no matter what you are doing.

It is a matter of how you enjoy using your senses.

This is a very good point. Since our senses are always 'turned on', the question becomes, what are they sensing? Especially in the pre-deodorant world of antiquity, incense has a valuable practical function: the point of Orthodox 'smells and bells' is not so much to 'engage the senses', as they are already engaged, as you point out; it is rather to beautify the 'space' in which the senses are sensing. (For most people, incense is a beautiful smell, though there are always some, such as you, who disagree.) This reflects and reinforces the idea that God is beautiful.

The issue is why do we even need to engage our senses to have pure faith in God?    And as your last sentence stated "it reflects and reinforces the idea that God is beautiful" basically is my point.  Incense is being used as a "faith placebo".  Pointless and most probably meaningless to God who made the resins in the first place.

It's a fake faith crutch that people are using to persuade themselves of something they believe should exist (God's beauty).   When we need to be reminded of this by means of artificial mysticism, I see a horrifying issue in faith.

Why not just put some pot in the censor?  The smell of that and the effect is surely to get anybody into a great mellow mood for good prayer.

The type of incense is pointless (rose, pine, etc.)  So it's a crutch, placebo, and a use to get people in the mood so that they can "pray stronger" or more right.  I guess I'm wondering why people would not rather work on their true faith in God, where incense would not be needed.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #69 on: October 12, 2011, 01:26:13 PM »
Quote
Pointless and most probably meaningless to God who made the resins in the first place.

Yet God, through His prophets and the Apostle John, decreed the use of incense in worship, both in the OT and the NT.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #70 on: October 12, 2011, 01:26:23 PM »
After all the stuff... Icons... Incense... Crossing one's self.... iconostasis.... antimention.... etc.

What are you left with?

Are "these tools & symbols" only in existence because of the lack of faith?
Origen would agree with you. He thought that all of material existence was a result of fallen spirituality.

But, you know, he was wrong.

You know what's interesting?  Of all the early Christian authors, Origen makes the most sense to me.  I think of all the baffling things that one can conceive about the Holy Trinity, he really unravels it into a directly logical way.

By the way, have you ever considered who told you to call him wrong?  Because just (FYI) many Orthodox Christians don't even know whether to think of him as hertical, quasi heretical, or a church Father.  I've known many who thought that way.   I hope one day you have the time to read his books (if you have not already).  Very interesting stuff.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #71 on: October 12, 2011, 01:27:45 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2011, 01:29:26 PM »
Origen was anathematised at an Ecumenical Council. Good enough for me. Who am I to argue with the holy Fathers of that Council, who were guided by the Holy Spirit?
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2011, 01:30:32 PM »
Quote
I see that as a faith issue.

Then go argue the toss with God.

Quote
Pointless and most probably meaningless to God who made the resins in the first place.

Yet God, through His prophets and the Apostle John, decreed the use of incense in worship, both in the OT and the NT.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2011, 01:33:18 PM »
The consensus of answers I have gotten is that incense is basically a faith crutch, because our prayers wouldn't be "in the mood" without it.

Uh, no. The incense is Tradition, and Tradition is important---it's an historical legacy and it has all the effects mentioned above---but it's not the essence of the faith. For example, if an atom bomb were to fall on my house and I had to worship without incense, or icons, or my prayer rope, or a covering on my head, my worship would be just as authentic. If you remember, many famous ascetics existed in the desert on 'nothing'; St. Mary of Egypt, for instance, didn't even wear clothes. (I wonder where she kept her incense.)

In order to understand why the subtraction of these items does not diminish the character of the Orthodox faith,  you have to develop a greater theological understanding of Orthodox Christianity and how it differs from what you may have experienced as "Christianity." Much of what passes for Christianity in the US is based on misinterpretation, misguided, or just plain wrong.

Many converts are too easily enticed by the aesthetics of the Orthodox Church, ignoring the fact that, in the final analysis, Orthodoxy calls on us to be reborn, empty ourselves, become dwelling places of the Holy Spirit, pick up our crosses, and follow Christ to martyrdom, if need be.

Quo vadis? Where are you going? Are you preparing yourself for the moment you will be called on to step in front of your enemy to take a bullet that was meant for him? Or are you headed to the store to buy more incense?

JALatimer:

Uh, yeah.


Very much agree with you!  Now, as you said: Orthodoxy calls on us to be reborn, empty ourselves, become dwelling places of the Holy Spirit, pick up our crosses, and follow Christ to martyrdom, if need be.

Be reborn.  Partake of the Eucharist.  Make your body the Holy temple. Pick up your cross & follow to the point of martyrdom!
but then.....
Incense, Icons, bow, cross yourself , bow, cross yourself again, venerate, cross yourself yet again, bow, prayer rope, iconostasis... So much "fluff".  

By the example of our God, he didn't have any of this 'fluff'.  Nice as it seems, I think of it as a distraction that very well could guide people away from true faith with a placebo faith crutch.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2011, 01:41:30 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The purpose of physical worship such as prostrations, incense, icons, buildings, books, chants, etc etc is not to get a person "closer to God" in the sense that proximity to God is limited by these.  God is not limited by Incense, however, as it has been explained, these kinds of physical worship are deeply ritualistic and symbolic of the deeper, underlying meaning and intent.  When a person offers Incense with their prayers, or prayers before the presence of Holy Icons, or performs certain prostrations or recites particular written prayers, these are symbolic of the underlying inner intention of that individual to get closer to God with prayer.  These should not be assumed to "force God's hand" or to earn God's Grace or favoritism in matters of our lives, that is not prayer.  Prayer is communication with God, not a wishlist or a complain department.  As such, physical attributes of prayer are highly symbolic of the inner feelings of yearning to get closer to God and to communicate.

Yes, incense and icons are sensory reminders of prayer, and they serve this function, but it is deeper than that.  After all, God can speak for Himself by His own power, He doesn't need incense to communicate with us, and we don't need it to remember Him, He is not merely a memory which we recapitulate on like the family photo-album, rather we can always know God in the present tense.  However, still there is a need for these symbolic actions and gestures, not merely to remind us our capture our attentions, but to manifest the deeper realities of our intentions.

If I want to communicate with you, I have to call you directly on the phone, or actually type up this email, or tap you on the shoulder and say, "hey" but I can rarely achieve good communion telepathically. In other words, I actually have to do something in verb sense, otherwise I am just thinking about communicating.  While we can communicate with God beyond physical, because He Himself is beyond physical, we still remain physical beings during our prayer.  This is why we use physical gestures and tools to accompany our prayer, not  because it benefits God, or enhances God's Grace, but because it benefits ourselves, and enhances our own sense of awareness.

God is beyond incense, but we are not.  God's Grace is beyond incense, but we must show God in our symbolic actions that our intentions are sincere.  In using the incense or the icons, we are showing God in a physical way our intentions.  God knows our hearts, but we ourselves need to use these physical gestures to keep our attentions focused.  God doesn't need them, we do.  That is what symbolism is.  Symbols are objects or actions which convey and communicate deeper, underlying, and hard to explain meanings.  It is further deeper than just trying to maintain a sense of awareness, rather like any kind of sport or dance, the purpose of the gestures is in the gestures themselves because these are the actions and activities.  Prayer is not limited by incense, but incense is definitely prayer in action, symbolic of our own hearts and intentions acting on God.



We don't worship God with incense, we symbolize our worship, but the symbols should not negate the power of God, and neither should the power of God negate the potency of the symbolism.  Actually, these cooperate.  The symbol is the manifestation in the verb sense of our worship, of our communicating efforts, of our prayer.  

Let me ask the flip side, what really is the harm with incense or icons in prayer?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I understand what you are saying, and excellent post.

The harm that I can find with incense and icons is that they are used as a means of a spiritual crutch "to experience real faith and prayer".  If they are used as a mere crutch to set a mood and atmosphere for worship, they very well could be used as a means of filling an area of faith that we are lacking, rather than trying to correct the lack of faith with real faith.

So my original question of basically "What good does incense do for God", still truly stands.   If incense only does "good for us" and is used as a "mood setter" or "better prayer", then we are lacking the fundamentals of true faith in our prayer.

In that true faithful prayer we should be fully engaged in communication with God.  When we do this with all of our heart, mind, and soul, we shouldn't have to lean on such things.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #76 on: October 12, 2011, 01:43:01 PM »
Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage?
Do you have this kind of faith?

No I do not.  The question exists if I want to crutch it with incense or actually try to achieve this type of faith.  If I use incense will it only "fill" what is empty with a placebo.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2011, 01:49:20 PM »
I hope these verses will answer your questions…

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. (Ex 25:1-9)

“Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood… Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.” (Ex 30:1, 7-8)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.” (Ex 30:34-36)

Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched. (2Ki 22:17)

My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.  (2Ch 29:11)

May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. (Ps 140:2)

“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. (Mi 1:11)

When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Rv 5:8 )



I know of the verses, but I think the question goes around those a bit in terms of faith crutching and what good it does for God.  This would implicate tradition and some would argue "Jewish law". 
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2011, 01:56:31 PM »
Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage?
Do you have this kind of faith?

No I do not.  The question exists if I want to crutch it with incense or actually try to achieve this type of faith.  If I use incense will it only "fill" what is empty with a placebo.
Even the person who walks with a crutch walks. I think that better than trying to walk without a crutch when you clearly are not strong enough to even stand on your feet.
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2011, 02:05:21 PM »
Your ugly remark is forgiven, but to explain, eternity is a long freaking time, I want to be sure to get it right.  I'm not trying to be a hero, but remember this, often times people return answers in hostility because they'd rather answer in anger than having to admit that there just may be a valid point.

I am just tired lately. Forgive me, a sinner.

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #80 on: October 12, 2011, 02:17:30 PM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.   I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).   The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.

It sounds like you would be happier if you tried a different religion. Why are you wasting our time?
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #81 on: October 12, 2011, 02:21:50 PM »
Your ugly remark is forgiven,
Then why did you even bring it up? Is this some passive-aggressive way of pointing out wrongs done to you? Some prideful way of showing how magnanimous you are?
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #82 on: October 12, 2011, 02:29:56 PM »
Incense takes your senses out of every day reality and raises them to a heavenly reality. It reminds us that we are participating in the heavenly worship depicted in Revelation.

8:4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand

5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

So the question should be, why do you not model your worship after heavenly worship?

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #83 on: October 12, 2011, 02:36:26 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior!



So my original question of basically "What good does incense do for God", still truly stands.   If incense only does "good for us" and is used as a "mood setter" or "better prayer", then we are lacking the fundamentals of true faith in our prayer.

In that true faithful prayer we should be fully engaged in communication with God.  When we do this with all of our heart, mind, and soul, we shouldn't have to lean on such things.

Brother, again, the "good incense does for God" is inherent in the symbolic gesture.  As posters have already suggested, what good does a parent tangibly receive when their children pick wildflowers and bring them as a gift? The true gift if in the symbolism of the gesture, that in finding and giving the otherwise worthless flower to child sees and appreciates the parent, and sees the flower as a symbol of their love in action.  The benefit the parent then receives is seeing in the verb sense of action the love of their children.  When we offer incense with our prayers to the Father, or when we use prostrations, or pray before Icons, we are symbolizing our faith in action to the Father.  We are not limiting our faith, it is not a crutch, rather it is the very manifestation of our faith! To call it a crutch is like saying a baseball glove is a crutch to an outfielder, perhaps they can catch the ball barehanded, but isn't that what a mitt is for in the first place?  Incense is part and parcel of prayer, it is the symbol of our prioritizing God, of our manifested faith in the communication we anticipate and pray for. 

Further, remember where incense comes from? Only a very few places in the world, and so when we offer this to God, we are sacrificing time, space, money, resources, labor, transportation, effort, etc etc towards our God, so that the incense is also symbolic of all the actions and activities which brought about the incense.  When we offer it to God, all the steps of gathering and prepration leading up to it are converted towards prayer.  This is what the Father then benefits, in that He loves us as a Father loves His children, and therefore He enjoys from His Heart to see His children demonstrating their love and faith in Him, not just in their minds and hearts, but tangibly in their physical lives.  A parent knows their children love them, but the flower is just the icing on that cake :)


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #84 on: October 12, 2011, 03:02:51 PM »
If it did something 'good for God,' then He would not be God, but a demigod.

God is the source of all good, and nothing can be added to Him.  The offerings to Him are for our own sake, that we might live.  This was the original explanation of the Law, one that is the most forgotten.

Everything is a 'crutch'... we do everything to build up our weak faith so that we may draw close to the source of all strength, which is God.  If we could have a strong faith independent of 'crutches' or His divine intervention through outside means, then we would have no need of His intervention.  We could, quite literally, save ourselves.

Prayer, Liturgy, incense, icons, sacrifices... all crutches.  We are broken and weak and need these crutches.  They help us along to the very end.  I am ashamed of nothing that helps me grow towards God, and that growth is from His mercy that I have obtained in part by leaning on any crutch I can.

To think that a man can simply 'think' his way into heaven is just weird.



I know of the verses, but I think the question goes around those a bit in terms of faith crutching and what good it does for God.  This would implicate tradition and some would argue "Jewish law". 
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #85 on: October 12, 2011, 03:11:22 PM »
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.  For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.  We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.  To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;  when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.  (1Co 4:8-13)

I will gladly be weak in faith if it puts me in such exalted company...   ;)


If it did something 'good for God,' then He would not be God, but a demigod.

God is the source of all good, and nothing can be added to Him.  The offerings to Him are for our own sake, that we might live.  This was the original explanation of the Law, one that is the most forgotten.

Everything is a 'crutch'... we do everything to build up our weak faith so that we may draw close to the source of all strength, which is God.  If we could have a strong faith independent of 'crutches' or His divine intervention through outside means, then we would have no need of His intervention.  We could, quite literally, save ourselves.

Prayer, Liturgy, incense, icons, sacrifices... all crutches.  We are broken and weak and need these crutches.  They help us along to the very end.  I am ashamed of nothing that helps me grow towards God, and that growth is from His mercy that I have obtained in part by leaning on any crutch I can.

To think that a man can simply 'think' his way into heaven is just weird.



I know of the verses, but I think the question goes around those a bit in terms of faith crutching and what good it does for God.  This would implicate tradition and some would argue "Jewish law". 
You can't find wisdom in the mirror.

Offline xariskai

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #86 on: October 12, 2011, 05:11:27 PM »
I'm wondering if incense really helps God out or makes your prayers more powerful to God.  I'm wondering if it is just the scent it makes.
Do the people in the icons smell the incense because the priest census the icons too.  

I guess I miss the point entirely of why incense is important, how it helps you achieve salvation, how it helps one believe in God more, how it helps you to be more forgiving, charitable, or a better Christian.

Thanks
What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumscribed with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 05:35:58 PM by xariskai »

Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #87 on: October 12, 2011, 06:31:11 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.

If medicine heals you are healed by something other than God or are using God's gifts as he intends?  God gave us gifts to lift our spirits, heals us and nourish us.
 
"You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man's needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man's heart; oil, to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart" (Pslam 103: 14-15).

It is absurd to compare the mild anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effect of incense with the intoxicating effect of pot. 
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Offline biro

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #88 on: October 12, 2011, 06:42:10 PM »
Does Yesh go to church buck naked in the middle of a field?

Because if he doesn't, he's 'using' things to support his faith as much as anyone else. Sunday best clothes, the car you drive to get there (or the shoes you wear, if you walk), the church building itself, the copy of the Bible that you read, etc. The only way he could follow his own logic and be completely 'pure' in faith, by his own bizarre reasoning, is if he didn't let any inanimate objects get in the way of his worship of God.

Why is incense wrong but using air freshener at home is okay? Surely, you pray at home too?

 ???

My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #89 on: October 12, 2011, 06:42:52 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

   6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Mark 14

Much like this woman, incense is all we can do, the Greek of this passage more correctly reads "She used what she had" and in regards to incense, that is what we have to offer back to God with our prayers.  God doesn't need them, just as surely Jesus Christ didn't need to be anointed with this oil, and yet He still remarked of the act as her having "done a beautiful thing to me."

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 06:43:28 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #90 on: October 12, 2011, 07:28:21 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages[a] and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

   6 “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Mark 14

Much like this woman, incense is all we can do, the Greek of this passage more correctly reads "She used what she had" and in regards to incense, that is what we have to offer back to God with our prayers.  God doesn't need them, just as surely Jesus Christ didn't need to be anointed with this oil, and yet He still remarked of the act as her having "done a beautiful thing to me."

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Well said.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #91 on: October 12, 2011, 10:56:45 PM »
Selam All :)

Selam yoshua
I am trying very hard not to get worked up with your 'fluff' stuff, I will try to keep in mind that You do not know what you are talking about.


Since Icons have a theological Truth to affirm and it especialy has to do with the Incarnation, you miss the mark if you assume they are only there for aesthetic value only and  many people have already tried to tell you that it is not so . However, for now I would like to stick to the original question of your post. To the question Was incense used in the OT? Your answer is yes! As you have said you know most of the biblical verses. it is good that you know these verses since we are going to use them again and again to talk about this issue. However to the question Why was incense used in OT? Your answer seems to be very vague to put it mildly. My point is you should know, why it was necessary, and you should care.

First of all and most importantly Incense Marks who one believes to be The Almighty God. This is a testament of FAITH, If one believes Baal to be God then as a testament of that person’s faith in Baal to hear prayers and grant them, to accept sacrifice, and as creator and animator of all incense would be burned to Baal by that person. that was done in OT by the priests of the Idol Baal.

If you believe we need to pray, then does that mean God need us to pray in order to know what we want or what we think etc. certainly not, yet we pray, we adore ,we worship, He The LORD GOD does not need anyone of these from us , yet we need them. So when we choose to worship Him, in the OT there was the creed of faith ‘the Shema prayer” and Israel burnt incense to the ONE TRUE GOD! Who hears prayers who accepts sacrifices, who creates and animates all! This is the testament of Faith!!  Who we burnt incense to would have told the Whole world Who our God is !that we worship ONLY  Him, therefore we burn incense to Him testifying that He and only He grants prayers , accepts sacrifices, and animates all as the incense symbolizes while it burns , smokes  , and emits its sweet fragrance. Do you think this manifestation of our faith is not important, that we do not need to say The Creed of Our Faith? that We believe in the One God the Father Almighty creator of heaven and earth….  If so, you miss the point of what the LORD said about the importance of believing in the Truth and giving the right witness to the Truth.  This is how we glorify His Name,  day and night witnessing to the whole world that it is HE alone Who is God , that it is He alone we Worship as the Holy Spirit spoke through the Prophet Malachi 1:11 “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.”Even so let us see what burning incense meant, When some from Israel became apostates, not only did they deny the One True God, with their mouth with which they once prayed ‘the shema’, but they burnt incense to those whom they called “gods” in effect saying and demonstrating that those gods were the ones that accept prayer, and sacrifice, and animate all. That is the meaning of incense burning in expression of faith. Therefore they sacrifice for those gods; they built temples and worshiped them by burning incense to them. Hosea 2:13 I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baal; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the LORD.

Ezekiel 16:17-18 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. And you took your embroidered clothes to put on them, and you offered my oil and incense before them.

Hosea 11:2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.


Jeremiah 18:15 Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways and in the ancient paths. They made them walk in bypaths and on roads not built up.


Oh how the mighty have fallen, 1Kings 11: 4-13 4As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.
7On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.
9The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the LORD’s command. 11So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”


BTW I want to point out  here how the LORD speaks of David the father of Solomon who was already dead physically by this time. Yet the LORD speaks of him and says for the sake of David He will not tear the kingdom away from Solomon in his lifetime.One wonders how David must have interceeded for his son to save him from shame.

Ok so now we have seen what one of the ultimate signs of apostasy was burning of incense to false gods. Let us see that it is not only important  that you burn incense to the One True God but  that you do it in total obedience to All His commandments. Without which you offering is unacceptable, because the rejection of the Lord’s commandment is the rejection of the Lord Himself, pride and arrogance have no place before Love. Read Numbers 16:1-50, what happened to those who were proud and arrogant? who thought that they can tell God what is important and what is not, what and who needs to be included or not. as the Apostle warns of this way Jude 1:11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.

Let us see what happened to the king Uzziah who defied the LORD and treated him as if he was like one of those pagan gods that will not see into his heart and that will not act. he thought if the others can do it, why not he also. to him there was no mystery, there was no sacredness, burning incense , was just that burning incense nothing more to it, but he soon found out it was anything but, much to his horror.

2 chronicles 26: 16-21 16But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18They confronted him and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”
19Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. 20When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.
21King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate housed—leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.



Now let us see why the Wise-men of Orient came to worship him and as offering they brought him three things Gold, Incense, and Myrrh.
They brought him Gold in recognition of His Eternal Kingship; they brought Him incense in recognition of His Divinity that He is the One True God who is the animator of all deserving of worship and adoration. Myrrh, for His death that will be the Salvation of mankind.

Matthew 2:9- 12   9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

NO the God of Elijah does not need any help from us to hear our prayers, to accept our sacrifices, to animate and sustain all. Let the Prophet Elijah remind you that it is to the One True God that we will burn our incense in worship and we know he does not sleep, that we need to wake him up; he is not hard of hearing that we need to yell to be heard, NO! behold Our God is a Consuming Fire! 
1Kings 18:16-39   16So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”
18“I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
22Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”
25Elijah said to the prophets of Baal “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26So they took the bull given them and prepared it.
Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.
27At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, and no one paid attention.
30Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which was in ruins. 31Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34“Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”



so incense 'fluff?' ... I would be very careful what I say if I were you .
and Crutch? as you can see it is beyond crutch to the faith but it is the testament of the Faith. who do you worship? who do you burn incense to ? to Baal or to the LORD GOD? that is the question Orthodoxy answers.
Selam to all.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:04:47 PM by Hiwot »
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #92 on: October 12, 2011, 11:28:42 PM »
What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumscribed with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?

QFT!

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #93 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:30 AM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

Obviously prayer has some tendency to do something with God or else Yeshua would have not prayed.

Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?
Don't understand, or won't understand?  You pursue this line of "thought," and refuse to address the evidence and answers that have been precented to you, seeming to answer my question.

Christ received incense.  Being wonderous in His saints, the icons of His saints receive incense. 

You having any problem with the congregation getting censed?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #94 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:30 AM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.
 
No, you haven't.  At least you haven't mentioned any thus far.

I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.
Christ I know, and Paul I know and the Apostles I know, and the Church knows them, but who are you?
You can't even get the Lord's name right.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).

Anabaptists? LOL. A millenium and a half too late.  Christ said "I am with you all the days until the end of the age": where was he 33-1525?

Besides, they don't use incense, like the Apostles and their followers did.

The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.
You can't digest milk and you're going to take a slab of meat?  Btw, you won't be able to "fully understand" the Eucharist.  That's why it is a Holy Mystery.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.
Says who? You? LOL.  I'll stick with what Christ says.

Btw, why do you need such "mystic" elements as words.

This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #95 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:31 AM »
I hope these verses will answer your questions…

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell the sons of Israel to raise a contribution for Me; from every man whose heart moves him you shall raise My contribution. This is the contribution which you are to raise from them: gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goat hair, rams’ skins dyed red, porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece. Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it. (Ex 25:1-9)

“Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood… Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. When Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.” (Ex 30:1, 7-8)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. You shall beat some of it very fine, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you.” (Ex 30:34-36)

Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched. (2Ki 22:17)

My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.  (2Ch 29:11)

May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. (Ps 140:2)

“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. (Mi 1:11)

When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Rv 5:8 )



I know of the verses, but I think the question goes around those a bit in terms of faith crutching and what good it does for God.  This would implicate tradition and some would argue "Jewish law". 
Newsflash: your prayers do God no good. He doesn't need them.

Implicate tradition.  You assUme that is bad.  Christ did not so teach.

You are aware, btw, that Revelation is in the New Testament, not in the Old, no?

Btw, the prophecy of Micah quoted above is cited by many of the Fathers of that Early Christianity you claim to believe in.

What is "faith crutching"?

You are arguing "Jewish law"?  You? who says that circumcision is necessary?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #96 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:31 AM »
Wouldn't real faith involve absolute sincere 100% prayer and dialog with God even while sitting in raw sewage?
Do you have this kind of faith?

No I do not.  The question exists if I want to crutch it with incense or actually try to achieve this type of faith.  If I use incense will it only "fill" what is empty with a placebo.
Even the person who walks with a crutch walks. I think that better than trying to walk without a crutch when you clearly are not strong enough to even stand on your feet.
Excellent analogy.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #97 on: October 13, 2011, 01:11:47 AM »
I'm wondering if incense really helps God out or makes your prayers more powerful to God.  I'm wondering if it is just the scent it makes.
Do the people in the icons smell the incense because the priest census the icons too. 

I guess I miss the point entirely of why incense is important, how it helps you achieve salvation, how it helps one believe in God more, how it helps you to be more forgiving, charitable, or a better Christian.

Thanks
Now, how did I know that you were at the bottom of this thread, JesusisIAM?

This has been answered for you several times.

The saints in the icons do not smell the incense, but they do hear the prayers that arise with it.

Like the price of nard, this is something that Judas would worry about.

Jesus didn't say a word against the burning of incense, and He did it, and participated in the burning of incense in the Temple (and probably elsewhere).

If incense was an abomination, why does St. Matthew record that it was the first offering to Christ at Bethlehem?

And if it wasn't important, St. John wouldn't tell us of it being burned in heaven.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #98 on: October 13, 2011, 01:42:26 AM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.

If medicine heals you are healed by something other than God or are using God's gifts as he intends?  God gave us gifts to lift our spirits, heals us and nourish us.
 
"You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man's needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man's heart; oil, to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart" (Pslam 103: 14-15).

It is absurd to compare the mild anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effect of incense with the intoxicating effect of pot. 

JesusisIAM is a physician who insists on healing himself.  Of course, we know how well self medication usually works.  His comparison of incense to pot, he is showing symptoms.

The Fathers would call a work classifying heresies as a "Penarion" a medicine chest, as the Father has to diagnose the disease and what medicine should be applied to heal the heretic of it.  I think fumigation might be appropriate here.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #99 on: October 13, 2011, 01:42:26 AM »
Thank you for refraining from snark and being eloquent, Liza. Good response although I think it's for naught.
Right on all points.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #100 on: October 13, 2011, 12:15:14 PM »
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Love it!

Where is the second image from?
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Timon

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #101 on: October 13, 2011, 12:24:47 PM »
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Love it!

Where is the second image from?

I love it too.  Is it just me, or does it look like it has a bit of a western influence?  SOme of those icons look a little more detailed than typical EO icons...
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #102 on: October 13, 2011, 12:51:09 PM »
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Love it!

Where is the second image from?

I love it too.  Is it just me, or does it look like it has a bit of a western influence?  SOme of those icons look a little more detailed than typical EO icons...

There was a period in Orthodox history when Western-style icons were rather popular.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #103 on: October 13, 2011, 01:20:42 PM »
Isa, I love that photo!
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #104 on: October 17, 2011, 10:34:49 AM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

Obviously prayer has some tendency to do something with God or else Yeshua would have not prayed.

Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?
Don't understand, or won't understand?  You pursue this line of "thought," and refuse to address the evidence and answers that have been precented to you, seeming to answer my question.

Christ received incense.  Being wonderous in His saints, the icons of His saints receive incense. 

You having any problem with the congregation getting censed?

I don't have an issue with the congregation getting censed.  People actually smell it.

I do have a problem with people thinking that pieces of painted wood can smell it.  What's the point?
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #105 on: October 17, 2011, 10:37:14 AM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.

If medicine heals you are healed by something other than God or are using God's gifts as he intends?  God gave us gifts to lift our spirits, heals us and nourish us.
 
"You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man's needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man's heart; oil, to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart" (Pslam 103: 14-15).

It is absurd to compare the mild anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effect of incense with the intoxicating effect of pot. 

JesusisIAM is a physician who insists on healing himself.  Of course, we know how well self medication usually works.  His comparison of incense to pot, he is showing symptoms.

The Fathers would call a work classifying heresies as a "Penarion" a medicine chest, as the Father has to diagnose the disease and what medicine should be applied to heal the heretic of it.  I think fumigation might be appropriate here.

Look I'm not the one who is delusional and actually thinks that pieces of wood with paintings in egg tempera actually smell incense and actually care if you venerate it or not.

You do realize you mock the name of Yeshua merely trying to unsuccessfully get under my skin.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #106 on: October 17, 2011, 10:40:50 AM »
I'm wondering if incense really helps God out or makes your prayers more powerful to God.  I'm wondering if it is just the scent it makes.
Do the people in the icons smell the incense because the priest census the icons too. 

I guess I miss the point entirely of why incense is important, how it helps you achieve salvation, how it helps one believe in God more, how it helps you to be more forgiving, charitable, or a better Christian.

Thanks
Now, how did I know that you were at the bottom of this thread, JesusisIAM?

This has been answered for you several times.

The saints in the icons do not smell the incense, but they do hear the prayers that arise with it.

Like the price of nard, this is something that Judas would worry about.

Jesus didn't say a word against the burning of incense, and He did it, and participated in the burning of incense in the Temple (and probably elsewhere).

If incense was an abomination, why does St. Matthew record that it was the first offering to Christ at Bethlehem?

And if it wasn't important, St. John wouldn't tell us of it being burned in heaven.

Don't put words in my mouth.  I did not call incense and abomination.   You hate me so bad you completely see things in what I say as so much worse.
I ask "what is the point"
I ask "is it a crutch for poor faith"

Christ was here on Earth when offered it.  Also it wasn't burning.

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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #107 on: October 17, 2011, 10:43:56 AM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

No, you haven't.  At least you haven't mentioned any thus far.

I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.
Christ I know, and Paul I know and the Apostles I know, and the Church knows them, but who are you?
You can't even get the Lord's name right.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).

Anabaptists? LOL. A millenium and a half too late.  Christ said "I am with you all the days until the end of the age": where was he 33-1525?

Besides, they don't use incense, like the Apostles and their followers did.

The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.
You can't digest milk and you're going to take a slab of meat?  Btw, you won't be able to "fully understand" the Eucharist.  That's why it is a Holy Mystery.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.
Says who? You? LOL.  I'll stick with what Christ says.

Btw, why do you need such "mystic" elements as words.

This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Look you make a lot of attack points on me.  The bottom line is it is YOU that have the name of our savior Yeshua WRONG.   If you can't accept this point, there is NO point in talking to you.  It's like arguing with a stubborn child that can't see the error.  Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.  If you can't understand from books, internet sites, or anything else, watch "passion of the Christ".  Listen to what people call him.  Okie?

Your image of a God worshipper isn't what Christ or any apostle looked like getting the snot beat out of them.   It's easy to worship God when things are so tranquil isn't it?

So mystic, so mind numbing, so spiritually moving isn't it?  All that smoke, a cross, all things "holy" happening, so much ornateness, so much gold trim, such good smells, gold plate..... Ya know, I guess I just don't see it.

Because THIS to me LOOKS LIKE A REAL GOD WORSHIPPER:


So tell me.  What do you think God likes more?



« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 10:55:09 AM by yeshuaisiam »
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #108 on: October 17, 2011, 11:23:53 AM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

No, you haven't.  At least you haven't mentioned any thus far.

I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.
Christ I know, and Paul I know and the Apostles I know, and the Church knows them, but who are you?
You can't even get the Lord's name right.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).

Anabaptists? LOL. A millenium and a half too late.  Christ said "I am with you all the days until the end of the age": where was he 33-1525?

Besides, they don't use incense, like the Apostles and their followers did.

The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.
You can't digest milk and you're going to take a slab of meat?  Btw, you won't be able to "fully understand" the Eucharist.  That's why it is a Holy Mystery.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.
Says who? You? LOL.  I'll stick with what Christ says.

Btw, why do you need such "mystic" elements as words.

This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Look you make a lot of attack points on me.  The bottom line is it is YOU that have the name of our savior Yeshua WRONG.   If you can't accept this point, there is NO point in talking to you.  It's like arguing with a stubborn child that can't see the error.  Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.  If you can't understand from books, internet sites, or anything else, watch "passion of the Christ".  Listen to what people call him.  Okie?

Your image of a God worshipper isn't what Christ or any apostle looked like getting the snot beat out of them.   It's easy to worship God when things are so tranquil isn't it?

So mystic, so mind numbing, so spiritually moving isn't it?  All that smoke, a cross, all things "holy" happening, so much ornateness, so much gold trim, such good smells, gold plate..... Ya know, I guess I just don't see it.

Because THIS to me LOOKS LIKE A REAL GOD WORSHIPPER:


So tell me.  What do you think God likes more?

He loves us all equally. I dont think God shows favorites.


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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #109 on: October 17, 2011, 11:36:10 AM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

Obviously prayer has some tendency to do something with God or else Yeshua would have not prayed.

Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?
Don't understand, or won't understand?  You pursue this line of "thought," and refuse to address the evidence and answers that have been precented to you, seeming to answer my question.

Christ received incense.  Being wonderous in His saints, the icons of His saints receive incense. 

You having any problem with the congregation getting censed?

I don't have an issue with the congregation getting censed.  People actually smell it.

I do have a problem with people thinking that pieces of painted wood can smell it.  What's the point?

How do you then account for Fragrant Myrrh streaming Icons?

The HI Iveron Icon is coming this week to my Parish for the third time. We are very small so I have spent lots of time around this Icon. The Church fills up with the scent of Rose when it is here. The more we pray the more the scent comes up and the more the icon streams oil. I have seen it stream in copious amounts. I have stood next to it ( I alter serve) and have smelled the sent come up in the middle of a service. The smell of Rose is almost over powering it's  so strong. I have seem the droplets of Oil form and then run down.

What more can you ask for?
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #110 on: October 17, 2011, 11:40:24 AM »
Orthodoxy has a silly insistence on involving the entire person, since it is the entire person that is to be saved. They want as many senses engaged as is possible to put an exclamation point on this. This question about incense springs from the same mindset that makes people ask "but why ask a saint in heaven pray for you, why not just pray to God yourself?" It completely misses the point of the practice.

Yes agreed and understand.  The issue is at hand on the questioning of "what is the true faith".   Orthodoxy absolutely makes this claim and without doubt has many leads back to the true faith.   However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

No, you haven't.  At least you haven't mentioned any thus far.

I've also found many issues of direct disobedience to the commands of God that the church openly practices to the tune of excuses.
Christ I know, and Paul I know and the Apostles I know, and the Church knows them, but who are you?
You can't even get the Lord's name right.

However with this exists a paradigm that I've found.  Eastern Orthodoxy does hold some valid truths for sure.  But the same elemental truths to the EXACT I have found the Anabaptists widely practicing (Other than using the correct name of Jesus which is Yeshua).

Anabaptists? LOL. A millenium and a half too late.  Christ said "I am with you all the days until the end of the age": where was he 33-1525?

Besides, they don't use incense, like the Apostles and their followers did.

The huge caveat is the fundamentals of the Eucharist which I am trying to fully understand.
You can't digest milk and you're going to take a slab of meat?  Btw, you won't be able to "fully understand" the Eucharist.  That's why it is a Holy Mystery.

So from my question I'm basically trying to understand why people need such "mystic" elements such as incense and why.  To me its a tremendous faith issue because if one can "pray better" with incense or "get in the mood better" with incense, then their faith is lacking for true 100% prayer.
Says who? You? LOL.  I'll stick with what Christ says.

Btw, why do you need such "mystic" elements as words.

This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Look you make a lot of attack points on me.  The bottom line is it is YOU that have the name of our savior Yeshua WRONG.   If you can't accept this point, there is NO point in talking to you.  It's like arguing with a stubborn child that can't see the error.  Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.  If you can't understand from books, internet sites, or anything else, watch "passion of the Christ".  Listen to what people call him.  Okie?

Your image of a God worshipper isn't what Christ or any apostle looked like getting the snot beat out of them.   It's easy to worship God when things are so tranquil isn't it?

So mystic, so mind numbing, so spiritually moving isn't it?  All that smoke, a cross, all things "holy" happening, so much ornateness, so much gold trim, such good smells, gold plate..... Ya know, I guess I just don't see it.

Because THIS to me LOOKS LIKE A REAL GOD WORSHIPPER:








Love thy God with all your might and all your strength.
Love thy neighbor as thyself

Which part of this is confusing for you?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 11:41:14 AM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #111 on: October 17, 2011, 11:42:00 AM »
bump
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 11:42:30 AM by Marc1152 »
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #112 on: October 17, 2011, 12:12:41 PM »
Ah, a utilitarian approach.

What does prayer "do"? Please help me understand.

Do the vibrations of one's vocal chords and the expelling of air from the lungs cause a change in God or his plan? Do prayers somehow evoke cosmic sympathy as the number of vocal chords participating increase, or as silent mental activity and firings of synapses directed at God increase? Do the vibrations reach the giant Cosmic Ear and does he then wave his magic wand of providence and set things aright?

Do the icons smell the incense? Seriously? Way to slip that little kick-in-the-nuts in with your "question".

Obviously prayer has some tendency to do something with God or else Yeshua would have not prayed.

Not trying to kick anything, just don't understand the point because icons get censed.   What's the point?
Don't understand, or won't understand?  You pursue this line of "thought," and refuse to address the evidence and answers that have been precented to you, seeming to answer my question.

Christ received incense.  Being wonderous in His saints, the icons of His saints receive incense. 

You having any problem with the congregation getting censed?

I don't have an issue with the congregation getting censed.  People actually smell it.

I do have a problem with people thinking that pieces of painted wood can smell it.  What's the point?
That you have no point:no one but you thinks the icons can smell incense, or have to.  That's your ignorance, not ours.
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Offline biro

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #113 on: October 17, 2011, 12:35:49 PM »
What's funny is, they sometimes use incense and icons in Roman Catholic churches too, so Mother Teresa would have had no problem with it either.  ;)

Also, he doesn't seem to know that Orthodox people give food to the poor, as well.

Fact-checking: it's fun and easy.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 12:36:19 PM by biro »
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Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #114 on: October 17, 2011, 02:06:16 PM »
Look you make a lot of attack points on me.
No, just the igorance and nonsense you insist on.

You have shown yourself hostile to EARLY Christianity, in favor of belief in some bizarre Protestant concoction way down in 21st century Texas.  I'll stick with the Church of the 1st century Palestine and its worlwide 21st century form, and deal with the nonsense you are posting accordingly.

The bottom line is it is YOU that have the name of our savior Yeshua WRONG.   If you can't accept this point, there is NO point in talking to you.  It's like arguing with a stubborn child that can't see the error.  Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.  If you can't understand from books, internet sites, or anything else, watch "passion of the Christ".  Listen to what people call him.  Okie?

I respond to your posts so that the unwary not listen to the nonsense therein, as the silly arguments about Our Lord's name JESUS appears only as the tip of the iceberg.  Shining the light of Orthodoxy melts that frozen heap of error.

Unlike you, I can speak and read Aramaic, and have done so in one of the fews areas where it is still spoken (Ma'luula).  Syriac, a derived form of it, was my Masters language for my doctorate exams in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Chicago, one of top institution for this (and other) fields, in the world. As a friend on mine quipped, I am one of few people who can listen to the "Passion of the Christ" not only without subtitles, but also can critique the dialogue (one of the things that doesn't come out too much is the surprise when Christ meets Pilate.  Pilate speaks to Him, and He responds, and Pilate and the rest present show shock, although what He says is not so shocking.  What is shocking is that Pilate spoke to Him in Aramaic, and He answers in Latin.  When Mary Magdalene and the Theotokos say "Why is this night different...." just before John bursts in is in quoation marks in the subtitles, because there they are speaking Hebrew, not Aramaic, and I think quoting the text from Exodus in the Haggadah Sedar (though I've never checked)).

I bring this all up so others not so fortunate can also reject your agenda with full confidence.  I "can't accept this point" of yours because it is non-meritorious, baseless, and silly, and your insistence on it like "a stubborn child that can't see the error" just proves to all "there is NO point in talking to you."

Your image of a God worshipper isn't what Christ or any apostle looked like getting the snot beat out of them.   It's easy to worship God when things are so tranquil isn't it?
LOL.  Ah, the workings of providence are truely marvelous.  I had put off identifying the picture as it would take time to type up the whole story, and now He has given me reason to post it.

The picture is from a service in the memory of those Coptic Orthodox were were blown up going to Church New Years in Egypt (ironically, part of what got things started in Egypt for the fall of Mubarak).  In Egypt, just getting the snot beat out of you for going to Church is only if you are lucky.



"I am Egyptian."
21 died and scores were maimed.  Ironically, the picture is off of the "Byzantine, Texas" blogspot.
http://byztex.blogspot.com/2011/01/holy-blessing-of-prime-incense-be-with.html
Given the ease with which you "worship God" with your fellow Protestants in the tranquility of Texas, blending in with them, I can see how you can't relate to the thought of going to Church endangering your life, something the Orthodox know first hand and have known so since the Apostles, but it seems at least someone in Texas knows what is going on.

The Church itself is interesting.
 
It is not in Egypt, but Amman, Jordan.  It was built decades ago.  Nearby, in 1989, King Hussain built the King Abdullah I mosque, in honor of his predecessor, grandfather, and founder of Jordan.

as you can see here, they are rather close

which became apparent the first year the mosque opened: during Friday noon prayers (the equivalent of Sunday DL), it was discovered that the Cross on the bell tower cast a shadow across the dome of the mosque. Infuriated, the imam agitated for tearing the Church down, and gathered his rabble to do so after noon one Friday, preaching it from the minbar and going with the mob to do so to the Church.  At the gate they were met by the Priest (I can't tell if it is him in the photo.  He wouldn't tell me the story, and tried to downplay his action, but others told me) who told them that they would tear it down over his dead body (I've heard conflicting stories that he had a rifle at the time, which in any case wouldn't have mattered with a mob of thousands-the mosque holds 3,000).  Stunned by his defiance, the imam backed down and went to the King instead.  King Hussain simply asked "which was there first, the Church or the mosque?"  When the imam admitted the Church, King Hussain said "then the Church stays." Matthew 10:42.

I know that down in Texas, where you are free to build your megachurches that look like sports stadium and leave out the Cross "because it's a downer," you might not be able to understand the evangelizing power of having a Cross on a Church, and how just wearing a Cross is bearing the Cross.  You are the poorer for it.

The priest in the background of the picture I believe is the nearby Arab Orthodox priest of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, there in solidarity with our Coptic brothers, as we all know that just getting the snot beat out of you is good luck for the Churches that the Apostles founded in the Lands Christ JESUS tread.

So mystic, so mind numbing, so spiritually moving isn't it?

Your mind evidently could use some numbing so that it might be open to the Spirit.

All that smoke, a cross, all things "holy" happening, so much ornateness, so much gold trim, such good smells, gold plate..... Ya know, I guess I just don't see it.
of course not.  All that self righteousness has caused the growth of a Pharasaic tumor which has affected your ability to see.

Because THIS to me LOOKS LIKE A REAL GOD WORSHIPPER:


http://www.iocc.org/

So tell me.  What do you think God likes more?
I know He hates false dichotonomies.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #115 on: October 17, 2011, 02:06:17 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.

If medicine heals you are healed by something other than God or are using God's gifts as he intends?  God gave us gifts to lift our spirits, heals us and nourish us.
 
"You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man's needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man's heart; oil, to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart" (Pslam 103: 14-15).

It is absurd to compare the mild anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effect of incense with the intoxicating effect of pot. 

JesusisIAM is a physician who insists on healing himself.  Of course, we know how well self medication usually works.  His comparison of incense to pot, he is showing symptoms.

The Fathers would call a work classifying heresies as a "Penarion" a medicine chest, as the Father has to diagnose the disease and what medicine should be applied to heal the heretic of it.  I think fumigation might be appropriate here.

Look I'm not the one who is delusional and actually thinks that pieces of wood with paintings in egg tempera actually smell incense and actually care if you venerate it or not.
You are the only one who thinks it.  Honi soit qui mal y pense ("evil to him who thinks it").

God cares.

You do realize you mock the name of Yeshua merely trying to unsuccessfully get under my skin.
Not mocking the Lord's name JESUS, merely pointing out your attempts to mock our intelligence.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline mike

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #116 on: October 17, 2011, 02:23:13 PM »
However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

For whom should they be? For God? God doesn't need them, God doesn't need the Church. We need God.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #117 on: October 17, 2011, 02:43:48 PM »
Yes it really does help us.  It is a natural spirit-lifter, scientifically proven.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

So does pot but we should not put that in the censor.

If it really lifts the spirit, then our spirit is being lifted by something other than God.   I see that as a faith issue.

If medicine heals you are healed by something other than God or are using God's gifts as he intends?  God gave us gifts to lift our spirits, heals us and nourish us.
 
"You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man's needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man's heart; oil, to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart" (Pslam 103: 14-15).

It is absurd to compare the mild anti-depressant/anti-anxiety effect of incense with the intoxicating effect of pot.  

JesusisIAM is a physician who insists on healing himself.  Of course, we know how well self medication usually works.  His comparison of incense to pot, he is showing symptoms.

The Fathers would call a work classifying heresies as a "Penarion" a medicine chest, as the Father has to diagnose the disease and what medicine should be applied to heal the heretic of it.  I think fumigation might be appropriate here.

Look I'm not the one who is delusional and actually thinks that pieces of wood with paintings in egg tempera actually smell incense and actually care if you venerate it or not.
You are the only one who thinks it.  Honi soit qui mal y pense ("evil to him who thinks it").

God cares.

You do realize you mock the name of Yeshua merely trying to unsuccessfully get under my skin.
Not mocking the Lord's name JESUS, merely pointing out your attempts to mock our intelligence.

YOU MISSED THE POINT!

I hate saying this but even the length of your posts makes no sense.   The point of the photo wasn't for example of person specific, but for the activity the person is engaged in.

"What you do unto the least of all men, you do unto me".    

So you made an entire lengthy post attempting to bash Mother Teresa and the fact that Muslims had a shadow cross on the mosque and the suffering that came out of that.

OK but that situation did not involve the photo that you posted.  THEN people were suffering for God.
Mother Teresa was being charitable to the least of all people.

You re-iterate my point.

So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".     So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 03:00:34 PM by yeshuaisiam »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #118 on: October 17, 2011, 02:59:21 PM »
However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

For whom should they be? For God? God doesn't need them, God doesn't need the Church. We need God.

Agreed. 
WE NEED GOD.
That's why I believe these other things could exist as a crutch OR unfortunately as a placebo for our lack of faith.
I think many misunderstand me and what I am saying but I think by the nature of you question you may.
It's not even entirely the Eastern Orthodox I agree or disagree with.....

This can be best described by the prayers of St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF5qeVfdavY&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6ECr8tAdJs

We need God, and that's all we need.   This guy's faith in his prayers is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. 
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #119 on: October 17, 2011, 03:20:42 PM »
I still don't see any strength in your analogy.

What is wrong with a 'crutch?'  Are any of us healed and perfect?  Is your strength sufficient?

The man with the crutch still walks.  He is able to get by.  I don't see why something is bad if it helps get us along on our way in the Kingdom.

The man who carries the crutch even when he does not need it has help when he becomes weakened.


However through my journey I've found many things to be absolutely useless, pointless, and for man only.

For whom should they be? For God? God doesn't need them, God doesn't need the Church. We need God.

Agreed. 
WE NEED GOD.
That's why I believe these other things could exist as a crutch OR unfortunately as a placebo for our lack of faith.
I think many misunderstand me and what I am saying but I think by the nature of you question you may.
It's not even entirely the Eastern Orthodox I agree or disagree with.....

This can be best described by the prayers of St. Nikolai Velimirovic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF5qeVfdavY&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6ECr8tAdJs

We need God, and that's all we need.   This guy's faith in his prayers is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. 

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #120 on: October 17, 2011, 03:26:33 PM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #121 on: October 17, 2011, 04:57:40 PM »
YOU MISSED THE POINT!
There was none to miss.

I hate saying this but even the length of your posts makes no sense.   The point of the photo wasn't for example of person specific, but for the activity the person is engaged in.
That's why I gave you the IOCC link: you can look at that activity being engaged in by the Orthodox to your hearts content.

"What you do unto the least of all men, you do unto me".
Ah, JESUS.  My favorite quote producer.

So you made an entire lengthy post attempting to bash Mother Teresa
bash Mother Teresa?  Only for those idiots who think engaging in Apostolic worship brings disrepute.  Mother Teresa was not such a person.

and the fact that Muslims had a shadow cross on the mosque and the suffering that came out of that.
No, the witness that came out of that.

And yes, the Apostles and Christ did engage in such worship as they were "gettiing the snot beat out of them."  E.g. St. John at the beginning of Revelation, as he was imprisioned and in exile.

OK but that situation did not involve the photo that you posted.  THEN people were suffering for God.
the priest who is offering up incense in the photo can be the same whom the Muslims threatened (like I said, I can't make the identification definitely:it has been 20 years since I saw him, and the angle is not good for identification). It certainly is the same Church.  And those for whom they are praying certainly got killed while they were raising incense like in the photo.  Those in the photo certainly are standing there with a target on them:care to go over the statistics on attacks on Churches in the Middle East?

Most Orthodox don't suffer multiple personality disorder: they are the same person at Church they are outside.  The Copts perhaps more so than others.  JESUS didn't seperate corporate worship from spiritual worship.  Your protestant brothers did that.

Mother Teresa was being charitable to the least of all people.
and amazingly it didn't stop her from reciting her rosary, going to papal masses with all that gold and incense, kiss icons,etc.

You re-iterate my point.
hard to re-iterate what wasn't there in the first place.  If you hear the echo of your own voice ringing in your ears, I wouldn't be surprised.

So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ,
down deep in the safety of protestant Texas, I can see how you would see it that way.  Too much tranquillity for the disturbed.

Spreading his message,
II Cor. 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

or helping others be charitable.
 
Rev. 8:1. When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne;
4. and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.

Btw, it took about a half an hour to incense the Temple, which is what St. Zachariah was doing when Gabrial came to him to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist.

It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.
and you, knowing nothing of True worship, sneer at that, calling its reality "make believe." Rather odd charge, coming from someone who's faith is self made (up).

It's a crutch.
I Cor. 1:27 "God chose what is weak in the world to make the strong feel ashamed."

Better our "crutches" than your "strengths."  You're not even aware you are worshipped an idol of your own fashioning after the imagination of your heart.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.
I know all about the anabaptists, more than most of them know about themselves.  Not hard for most: they have no idea of their history, instead dealing with old fables running through clouds of misinformation amongst their works and make believe beam through a line representing a succession of heretics, in an effort to cover that they have no Apostolic succession, and St. John the Baptist of JESUS, has nothing to do with their beliefs.

I seem to recall that your definition of what you mean by "anabaptist" being rather open ended and anormophous. Care to ammend it with some specifics?

I hate to break it to you
you would love to break it to me, if only you could.

but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.
I can only take it that you haven't been around Copts all that much.

Again what "group" are you talking about?

Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century
You haven't even identified the trees or the orchard, and yet you want to sell us their fruit.  You should watch it: all that hot air will shrivel up all  those "fruits."

and their divorce rate is over 14% lower
yes, I do recall you making assertions, but I don't recall you ever documenting.

 "You will know them by their fruits".
Yes, and yours are not passing the smell test.

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
They don't, and IIRC, I directed you to the study (SUNY) on that. Oh, I forgot.  You don't let facts confuse you.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue,
since you don't, you wouldn't know, would you?

then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
don't know about your god, but on Ours:Matthew 1:21 "you shall call his name JESUS."
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #122 on: October 17, 2011, 07:32:08 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



it is this





So tell me.  What do you think God likes more?

[/quote]


Such arrogance, you realize that good folks like Mother Theresa would simply be appalled at your fictional dichotomy right?

Why does it have to be an either or? You're supposing that incense is not as valid as the charity, and yet both act together.  The priests pray and offer incense for the sake of the entire world, night and day, and this interacts in a mystical way towards those who act in God's grace.  Those who do charitable deeds do so in the Grace of God, and we in the Orthodox believe that our priests offering prayers and incense night and day cooperate in synergy with all God's Grace.  So they act together, further, how can you be so sure that one can exist without the other, because you've never known a time in history where they both didn't exist together. 

stay blessed,
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Offline xariskai

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #123 on: October 17, 2011, 09:56:41 PM »
Quote from: yeshuaisiam
Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.
Romans 6:23:
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Was the apostle Paul in error when translated rather than transliterated His name as Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ in various epistles in your view? These epistles were originally penned in Koine Greek, wouldn't you agree?

Can you tell us when historically the position you defend -that saying anything other than Yeshua is erroneous- is seen first explicitly affirmed historically? It seems to me that anyone holding your position would have to reject what they find in most of the New Testament.

What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumcised with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?

Does God have to meet your practical standards to be followed? Who then is really lord in your life, you or God?

Can you provide a scripture reference for your principle "do only what helps God or helps you do something" to allay our suspicions that it is arbitrary on your part, a mere product of your own individual imagination?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 10:08:20 PM by xariskai »

Offline LBK

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #124 on: October 17, 2011, 10:34:00 PM »
Romans 6:23:
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Was the apostle Paul in error when translated rather than transliterated His name as Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ in various epistles in your view? These epistles were originally penned in Koine Greek, wouldn't you agree?

Can you tell us when historically the position you defend -that saying anything other than Yeshua is erroneous- is seen first explicitly affirmed historically? It seems to me that anyone holding your position would have to reject what they find in most of the New Testament.

What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumcised with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?

Does God have to meet your practical standards to be followed? Who then is really lord in your life, you or God?

Can you provide a scripture reference for your principle "do only what helps God or helps you do something" to allay our suspicions that it is arbitrary on your part, a mere product of your own individual imagination?

POM nomination! And I'm putting Does God have to meet your practical standards to be followed? Who then is really lord in your life, you or God? in the Quotable Quotes thread.
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #125 on: October 18, 2011, 09:03:08 AM »
Yeshuaisiam,

I've got a question for you. Frankincense is a naturally occurring, highly aromatic resin. What do you think should be done with this resin?
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
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Offline Timon

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #126 on: October 18, 2011, 11:29:15 AM »
I havent been following along with all this, and I dont have time to read the whole thing, but someone really has this big of a problem with the use of incense???

Even protestant churches use incense... only it comes out of a fog machine so that the lights look cooler.  and it doesnt really smell like anything....
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Offline biro

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #127 on: October 18, 2011, 12:52:52 PM »
Meanwhile, they're doing nothing to abolish the use of air freshener and candles in the home. How dare they!!!?!!11  ;) Where are the protests in front of the Lemon Pledge headquarters?
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Offline Severian

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #128 on: October 18, 2011, 07:07:48 PM »
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Love it!

Where is the second image from?
Not sure if this question has been answered already, but...

It is an image of a Coptic Orthodox Priest, from what I can tell. It is probably during the service called "Raising up of the Incense". Firstly, he wears the cap and stole typical of Coptic Priests and also because that Iconostasis uses Western-style iconography which has, unfortunately, become very popular within the COC as of late.

ialmisry, am I correct?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 07:12:41 PM by Severian »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #129 on: October 19, 2011, 12:10:32 AM »
What's funny is, they sometimes use incense and icons in Roman Catholic churches too, so Mother Teresa would have had no problem with it either.  ;)

Also, he doesn't seem to know that Orthodox people give food to the poor, as well.

Fact-checking: it's fun and easy.

You don't understand what I am saying.  I am in a question session here, its how my mind works.  Which looks more "Christian" to you.   Mother Teresa as well as the Orthodox Clergy both can use incense, but what's the point when there are so many to help?

It wasn't mother Teresa specifically that I was "singling out".  Wow I post one thing and many a Catholic field day.

 
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #130 on: October 19, 2011, 12:22:24 AM »
Why do you live in the world of mutual exclusives?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 12:22:34 AM by IsmiLiora »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #131 on: October 19, 2011, 12:22:47 AM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Such arrogance, you realize that good folks like Mother Theresa would simply be appalled at your fictional dichotomy right?

Why does it have to be an either or? You're supposing that incense is not as valid as the charity, and yet both act together.  The priests pray and offer incense for the sake of the entire world, night and day, and this interacts in a mystical way towards those who act in God's grace.  Those who do charitable deeds do so in the Grace of God, and we in the Orthodox believe that our priests offering prayers and incense night and day cooperate in synergy with all God's Grace.  So they act together, further, how can you be so sure that one can exist without the other, because you've never known a time in history where they both didn't exist together. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I can't speak for Mother Teresa.  Her example of being a Christian in that photo speaks for her.   So whether or not she would be appalled at what you think is false I have no idea.

So what people are saying is "you don't really need incense but its nice".  People have said "it sets the mood for worship".  People have said "its an offering".  

I don't know if there is anything wrong with incense.  But I think its being used the wrong way in many cases.  When you speak of an offering its okay, but many folks here speak of it as a faith crutch.  

With that said in terms of offering, do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?  Did Yeshua ever ask for incense or was his messages clear for us in our actions and treatment towards each OTHER?

The offering issue is okay, although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it), but the deeds and sacrifices in charity and kindness we do for each other --- doesn't that show a much stronger Christianity?


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Offline Deacon Lance

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #132 on: October 19, 2011, 12:30:16 AM »

I can't speak for Mother Teresa.  Her example of being a Christian in that photo speaks for her.   So whether or not she would be appalled at what you think is false I have no idea.

So what people are saying is "you don't really need incense but its nice".  People have said "it sets the mood for worship".  People have said "its an offering".  

I don't know if there is anything wrong with incense.  But I think its being used the wrong way in many cases.  When you speak of an offering its okay, but many folks here speak of it as a faith crutch.  

With that said in terms of offering, do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?  Did Yeshua ever ask for incense or was his messages clear for us in our actions and treatment towards each OTHER?

The offering issue is okay, although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it), but the deeds and sacrifices in charity and kindness we do for each other --- doesn't that show a much stronger Christianity?

We are to do both.

"But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others" (Luke 11:42 NASB).
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #133 on: October 19, 2011, 12:33:18 AM »
Why do you live in the world of mutual exclusives?

I say this in kindness:

That boy in the photo sitting in shambles starving, while the priests pray for God's help in ornateness, it creates a horrendous world in irony.  I wonder if his undergarments say "made in India".  I'm the type of person who thinks I'm a hypocrite to sit in a church praying for God's help in protection and well being in an outfit made in sweatshops that have exploited people.   The thought of that is too extreme for many to accept.

So I have gotten to the point where I have exclusives and a lot of them.  If incense is very much needed for faith to exist, then it is a crutch and could possibly lead people to falsely believe they have more faith than they do.  If it is an offering, I'd question what type of offering God wants more -  Incense or "that which you do unto the least of all men, you do unto me".
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Offline LBK

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #134 on: October 19, 2011, 12:35:11 AM »
Quote
although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it)

You staunchly defend the Eucharist, yet you dismiss incense. What does an Orthodox priest pray as he raises the chalice at the Anaphora? Your own of Your own offering we offer You, on behalf of all and for all. God made the incense which we burn in His honor, He also made the bread and wine used in the Eucharist.

You can't have it both ways.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 12:35:42 AM by LBK »
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #135 on: October 19, 2011, 12:42:40 AM »

I can't speak for Mother Teresa.  Her example of being a Christian in that photo speaks for her.   So whether or not she would be appalled at what you think is false I have no idea.

So what people are saying is "you don't really need incense but its nice".  People have said "it sets the mood for worship".  People have said "its an offering".  

I don't know if there is anything wrong with incense.  But I think its being used the wrong way in many cases.  When you speak of an offering its okay, but many folks here speak of it as a faith crutch.  

With that said in terms of offering, do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?  Did Yeshua ever ask for incense or was his messages clear for us in our actions and treatment towards each OTHER?

The offering issue is okay, although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it), but the deeds and sacrifices in charity and kindness we do for each other --- doesn't that show a much stronger Christianity?

We are to do both.

"But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others" (Luke 11:42 NASB).

Thanks for the reply, but this has nothing to do with incense unless you are calling incense tithing.    Translations of this passage talk of "a tenth" but you can't give "a tenth" of incense.   I've never heard of incense being used as a tithe before, but I suppose it could.   
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #136 on: October 19, 2011, 12:55:33 AM »
Incense gets me in the mood to pray and it sometimes tricks God into granting my prayers.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #137 on: October 19, 2011, 01:01:20 AM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?

Sorry I thought this forum was called "free for all".   I was on "free for all" under "religious topics".  Not trying to troll at all or have a personal soap box.   I hope I have not conveyed myself that way.

The "fact" is true. http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth

Come on he baited me and you know it.   He argued that he knew much about the native language and called me "JesusisIAM" just to rub it in my face.    The fact is he was twisting the name of God on purpose to make a point to get under my skin.   It's "tidbits" of attacks, such as you calling the name of God incarnate a "thesis" that I feel obligated to defend the native name of our savior.
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #138 on: October 19, 2011, 01:02:51 AM »
selam all:)

Ialmisry Long LIFE for all the pictures and the wonderful explanations!!! that comparison between the the human brain and the mystical language of the rising of incense in worship was perfect!!!!!!! the language of worship is lost to many today, which is why they find it hard to understand or decode what they are seeing in worship. so quite naturally what they do not understand they speak against , which only serves to broadcast their ignorance in my opinion and does not alter one bit of reality and make it untrue.

yeshua, the either or argument does not work, especially in the case of Charity love of God and Love of neighbor are tied together, it is as a result of loving God that one loves Ones neighbor. what mother Teressa is doing is the extension of the Liturgy! it is love of neighbor , that came as a result of Loving God with all her might, the rising incense is her work/ liturgy ascending towards God, if you see clearly enough it is all the act of the royal priesthood the offering of  oneself in the act of charity and the offering of worship it is tied together. one can not do one perfectly without the other. so do not attempt to separate them. as without the Loving and Worshiping God( which means our sacrifices we make the burnt offerings to the True God who can receive them)  our good deeds are meaningless, and if we say we love God and worship Him yet we forget our neighbor then all our sacrifices and burnt offerings are meaningless to God. you see!This is the Commandment of LOVE!  it goes together!!! it all ties together!!! for this reason  we read in the Gospel
, Mark 12:28-34 "28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.e 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.



this is what he means when he commands us to do both! to Give what is due to God as he has commanded in worship and adoration, and uniting it with mercy love forgiveness etc towards others. the Pharisees tithed the people in keeping with the commandment of the law as they should, in obedience to God and His Law, yet the forgot the other commandment of Charity! so the Lord makes them face the error of their ways and says you should have done both!!! if you do one and negelect the other its hypocracy! love of God and love of neighbor again!

Mathew 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

yeshua we should do both!
 :angel:
selam to all. ;D
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #139 on: October 19, 2011, 01:45:03 AM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?

Sorry I thought this forum was called "free for all".   I was on "free for all" under "religious topics".  Not trying to troll at all or have a personal soap box.   I hope I have not conveyed myself that way.
Well, you have.

The "fact" is true. http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth
I didn't say it wasn't. I just argue that this "fact" doesn't mean what you say it means.

Come on he baited me and you know it.   He argued that he knew much about the native language and called me "JesusisIAM" just to rub it in my face.    The fact is he was twisting the name of God on purpose to make a point to get under my skin.   It's "tidbits" of attacks, such as you calling the name of God incarnate a "thesis" that I feel obligated to defend the native name of our savior.
Personally, I don't really care if he baited you. If the fish takes the bait and ends up getting hooked by the fisherman, we can give the fisherman some credit for knowing how to fish, but we also have to recognize that the fish acted rather stupidly to take the bait. You're just like the fish in this analogy, except that we can expect you to be smarter than the fish. You could have recognized that Isa was baiting you and ignored him.

Besides, your insistence that we're twisting the name of God by calling His Son Jesus instead of Yeshua makes you an easy target for such baiting. You make it very easy for others to know exactly what buttons to push to get you riled up.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 01:49:16 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #140 on: October 19, 2011, 02:24:03 AM »
Quote
although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it)

You staunchly defend the Eucharist, yet you dismiss incense. What does an Orthodox priest pray as he raises the chalice at the Anaphora? Your own of Your own offering we offer You, on behalf of all and for all. God made the incense which we burn in His honor, He also made the bread and wine used in the Eucharist.

You can't have it both ways.



*BUMP*
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #141 on: October 19, 2011, 08:51:16 AM »
Yeshuaisiam,

I've still got a question for you. Frankincense is a naturally occurring, highly aromatic resin. What do you think should be done with this resin?
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #142 on: October 19, 2011, 09:05:51 AM »
Yeshuaisiam,

I've still got a question for you. Frankincense is a naturally occurring, highly aromatic resin. What do you think should be done with this resin?

JLatimer,

Off the point completely, why do I forever think you are RC? Is there a sometime user with a similar username?

Offline Schultz

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #143 on: October 19, 2011, 09:41:32 AM »
There's JMichael, who is a Roman Catholic.
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #144 on: October 19, 2011, 11:37:32 PM »
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this


Love it!

Where is the second image from?
Not sure if this question has been answered already, but...

It is an image of a Coptic Orthodox Priest, from what I can tell. It is probably during the service called "Raising up of the Incense". Firstly, he wears the cap and stole typical of Coptic Priests and also because that Iconostasis uses Western-style iconography which has, unfortunately, become very popular within the COC as of late.

ialmisry, am I correct?
yes, but there is more to the story, halfway down here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40241.msg655723/topicseen.html#msg655723
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #145 on: October 19, 2011, 11:47:33 PM »
What's funny is, they sometimes use incense and icons in Roman Catholic churches too, so Mother Teresa would have had no problem with it either.  ;)

Also, he doesn't seem to know that Orthodox people give food to the poor, as well.

Fact-checking: it's fun and easy.

You don't understand what I am saying.
You don't understand what you are saying.

I am in a question session here, its how my mind works.



Which looks more "Christian" to you.
Both.

Btw, were Christ and the Apostles feeding the poor while they were "getting the snot beat out of them"?

Mother Teresa as well as the Orthodox Clergy both can use incense, but what's the point when there are so many to help?
Funny, Judas asked the same thing.  "The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me."

It wasn't mother Teresa specifically that I was "singling out".  Wow I post one thing and many a Catholic field day.
Mt. 12:36
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #146 on: October 20, 2011, 12:47:23 AM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Such arrogance, you realize that good folks like Mother Theresa would simply be appalled at your fictional dichotomy right?

Why does it have to be an either or? You're supposing that incense is not as valid as the charity, and yet both act together.  The priests pray and offer incense for the sake of the entire world, night and day, and this interacts in a mystical way towards those who act in God's grace.  Those who do charitable deeds do so in the Grace of God, and we in the Orthodox believe that our priests offering prayers and incense night and day cooperate in synergy with all God's Grace.  So they act together, further, how can you be so sure that one can exist without the other, because you've never known a time in history where they both didn't exist together.  

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I can't speak for Mother Teresa.  Her example of being a Christian in that photo speaks for her.   So whether or not she would be appalled at what you think is false I have no idea.
and it shows.

The pictures I posted show her at papal high mass, where there was lots of gold and lots of incense, but not a word from her against either.

Like biro said, fact checking.  You should try it some time.

So what people are saying is "you don't really need incense but its nice".  People have said "it sets the mood for worship".  People have said "its an offering".
They're not mutually exclusive.

I don't know if there is anything wrong with incense.  But I think its being used the wrong way in many cases.  When you speak of an offering its okay, but many folks here speak of it as a faith crutch.
you're the only one speaking about it as faith crutch (in addition to inventing the concept).  You still haven't explained, btw, how you do without that other faith crutch, the words said in prayer.  Is that soup Mother Teresa spooning out also a faith crutch?  After all, shouldn't she trust God to feed the poor, like the Hebrews and manna or Elijah and the ravens?

With that said in terms of offering, do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?
All of the above.  That you want to shortchange God in any of it is your shortcoming, not ours.


Did Yeshua JESUS
יֵשׁוּעַs spell it right, or don't spell it at all.
ever ask for incense or was his messages clear for us in our actions and treatment towards each OTHER?
"Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!""

Christ accepted the nard and rebuked Judas.

The offering issue is okay, although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it),
take it up with Him.  As they say "it's the thought that counts."  Otherwise, how could the widow's mite outdonate the riches of the wealthy, when He can make infinite more like it.

but the deeds and sacrifices in charity and kindness we do for each other --- doesn't that show a much stronger Christianity?
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 12:49:06 AM by ialmisry »
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #147 on: October 20, 2011, 01:02:39 AM »
Why do you live in the world of mutual exclusives?

I say this in kindness:

That boy in the photo sitting in shambles starving, while the priests pray for God's help in ornateness, it creates a horrendous world in irony.
Only in your imagination.

I wonder if his undergarments say "made in India".
More likely "made in Egypt." It's the best cotton in the world, although the real good stuff is exported, and the other grades left for the Egyptians who grow it.


I'm the type of person who thinks I'm a hypocrite to sit in a church praying for God's help in protection and well being in an outfit made in sweatshops that have exploited people.   The thought of that is too extreme for many to accept.
be more choosey where you shop then.  But don't project your self flagellation on us.

btw, I can guarentee that Abuunaa's undergarments were not made in a sweat shop.  That stuff is sent your way in Texas.  They don't waste sweat for those in the third world.

So I have gotten to the point where I have exclusives and a lot of them.
So it has been a progressive madness.  I see.

If incense is very much needed for faith to exist, then it is a crutch and could possibly lead people to falsely believe they have more faith than they do.
More than you do.  You think you have all the answers, all by yourself, two thousand years later and thousand of miles away.  What faith is that?  The rest of us have to depend on the Church.  I'd rather lean on its crutches rather than walk on my two good legs down the broad road through the wide gate.

If it is an offering, I'd question

but God doesn't
what type of offering God wants more -  Incense or "that which you do unto the least of all men, you do unto me".
""Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to Me?  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me."
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #148 on: October 20, 2011, 01:39:39 AM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?

Sorry I thought this forum was called "free for all".   I was on "free for all" under "religious topics".  Not trying to troll at all or have a personal soap box.   I hope I have not conveyed myself that way.

The "fact" is true. http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth
You are trying to squeeze orange juice out of apples, something that may have become apparent to you if you had read both articles and comprehended them, particularly the hellenic communication service.  The 15% rate is more accurate as to the divorces in Greece, where such things are in the purview of the Church and hence the existence of "civil divorce" doesn't skew the data by leaving out those who do not get recognition of their divorce by the Church.  On the other hand, it is skewed in that someone who was baptized Orthodox and wasn't back since except for his wedding is counted as Orthodox as much as someone who prays the Hours every day and has never missed a Sunday or Feast day.  The Amish (and evidently, that is what you mean by "Anabaptist", though I'd love to see them make a distinction between themselves and the Baptists (who have over 30% divorce rate)) are already skewed, in that 15% of their numbers (those who do not take up the Ordung) leave and are not counted Amish, although corresponding Orthodox would be still conisdered Orthodox, just not good/practicing ones.  Then the social controls of a small community of 40 or so families is not replicatable for a nation of 10 million or so, even in the most totalitarian of regimes, and the practice of shunning.  Most Amish divorcees I understand are shunned, and so wouldn't show up in the statistics, not being Amish any more, whereas although almost all Orthodox divorcees are under excommunication for at least a year, they are still considered Orthodox.  IOW, you judge the Amish fruits by only cherry picking the fruit, and ignoring all that fruit which has fallen off the tree.

Come on he baited me and you know it.   He argued that he knew much about the native language and called me "JesusisIAM" just to rub it in my face.    The fact is he was twisting the name of God on purpose to make a point to get under my skin.   It's "tidbits" of attacks, such as you calling the name of God incarnate a "thesis" that I feel obligated to defend the native name of our savior.
although you are utterly unqualified to do so.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #149 on: October 20, 2011, 12:09:07 PM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.

The 5,000
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #150 on: October 20, 2011, 12:35:59 PM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.

The 5,000
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #151 on: October 20, 2011, 01:08:22 PM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.

The 5,000
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

True enough.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline xariskai

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #152 on: October 20, 2011, 07:16:33 PM »


do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?
I responded to this at considerable length and received no reply whatsoever only to see that you simply repeated the same question again.

Alfred Peterson use to dodge responses like you at least seem to (whether intentionally or unintentionally). If there is a reason you are skipping my response to you might at least explain why that is instead of... well... just nothing. So I will respectfully ask for your response again. Neither did you respond to my response to your remarks about "Yeshua" so I will provide that for you again as well.

Quote from: yeshuaisiam
Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.
Romans 6:23:
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Was the apostle Paul in error when translated rather than transliterated His name as Ἰησοῦς in various epistles in your view? These epistles were originally penned in Koine Greek, wouldn't you agree?

Can you tell us when the position you defend -that saying anything other than Yeshua is erroneous- is seen first explicitly affirmed historically? It seems to me that anyone holding your position would have to reject what they find in most of the New Testament.

What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumcised with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?

Does God have to meet your practical standards to be followed? Who then is really lord in your life, you or God?

Can you provide a scripture reference for your principle "do only what helps God or helps you do something" to allay our suspicions that it is arbitrary on your part, a mere product of your own individual imagination?


Meanwhile, nice Dodge.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 07:34:42 PM by xariskai »

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #153 on: October 20, 2011, 08:00:23 PM »
I do not understand this liturgical minimalism. Are you a "four bare walls and a sermon" type, Yeshuaisiam? This thread is odd. "Does incense help God?" I don't know. Is He the one who needs help?  ???

I can't burn incense in my apartment because it's such close quarters (I would not want complaining neighbors, let alone to set off the building's sprinkler system), but when I pray I do light these three-wick candles I found at the local grocery store, and gather the few icons I have around them (can't nail stuff to the walls, either). Maybe it's a poor substitute, but it's the best that I can do right now to create an atmosphere that is helpful to turning my mind to prayer and worship of God. Orthodox Christianity is meant to engage the senses, is it not? We do not believe that such things are useless, and in my own little catechumen world they've proven quite helpful. I can only assume it will be more so as my understanding is deepened (God willing), as I know that if anyone were to tell the priest at the Coptic church that I attend not to burn incense because it doesn't help God, he'd probably be very confused.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #154 on: November 06, 2011, 01:31:32 AM »
I am confused by many of these answers.

First, I have been referenced like Judas because he asked if "the nard should be sold and given to the poor".  That was a different circumstance as I stated in an earlier post.  The nard was used as an anointment to the feet and was allowed because as he stated "The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me".   

This was put up as if I was speaking of incense as Judas to the nard.  Complete distortion.  Read what he said "you will not always have me".  He allowed it because he was going to be crucified.  There are times in life when special things can be done for people.  This is a far cry from what I am saying.   Seeing Christianity in feeding the poor seems more valid than incense to crutch a man's faith, because just about everybody says "It's really for us".   Just read the thread.

If you read above I've had many attacks on this subject.  Why?  What is it about smelling something that you need to complete your faith?  Is it a crutch that blinds you to your weakness?  Is it a placebo, that is "sense propaganda" that is being used as a stimulant for "something holy"?

Could it be dangerous because through prayer while using incense you were conditioning yourself to a delusional sense of faith that otherwise would have not existed without the incense?  Is your faith just as strong in a cess pool, or a sewage tank?  Could you pray just as well and devoutly if stuck in a great fish, in the depths, stinking and dark?  (memories of presanctified liturgy "Out of they depths I cry unto the lord" quoting Jonah & Psalms, except it was full of incense, pretty candles, and icons - yet I would hardly call a setting like that "depths")

If not, wouldn't that be faithfully dangerous to feel "satisfied" or "completed" in faith and prayer using incense as a "stimulant" for that feeling?

If you had your head buried in the sand (like the ostrich photo) would you be able to pray as strongly and faithfully without incense?   If that brick fell on your head would you have as devout faith & prayer without incense?

I know its a lot easier to poke fun at me rather than , but this is a serious faith matter if you must use incense to reach the intensity of faith & prayer that you want to give to God don't you think?
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #155 on: November 06, 2011, 01:31:32 AM »
Quote
although offerings are kind of ironic in logic (he created it, its his, and you give it back when he could make infinite more like it)

You staunchly defend the Eucharist, yet you dismiss incense. What does an Orthodox priest pray as he raises the chalice at the Anaphora? Your own of Your own offering we offer You, on behalf of all and for all. God made the incense which we burn in His honor, He also made the bread and wine used in the Eucharist.

You can't have it both ways.



*BUMP*
 

The Orthodox Eucharist believes that the body & blood are in the bread and wine.  That doesn't mean every last thing that is said in all the forms of worship follow the traditions of Early Christians, including those things said about incense.  Besides many of the Orthodox Christians here said they use it for themselves to "get them in the mood" for prayer.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #156 on: November 06, 2011, 01:31:32 AM »
Why do you live in the world of mutual exclusives?

I say this in kindness:

That boy in the photo sitting in shambles starving, while the priests pray for God's help in ornateness, it creates a horrendous world in irony.
Only in your imagination.

I wonder if his undergarments say "made in India".
More likely "made in Egypt." It's the best cotton in the world, although the real good stuff is exported, and the other grades left for the Egyptians who grow it.


I'm the type of person who thinks I'm a hypocrite to sit in a church praying for God's help in protection and well being in an outfit made in sweatshops that have exploited people.   The thought of that is too extreme for many to accept.
be more choosey where you shop then.  But don't project your self flagellation on us.

btw, I can guarentee that Abuunaa's undergarments were not made in a sweat shop.  That stuff is sent your way in Texas.  They don't waste sweat for those in the third world.

So I have gotten to the point where I have exclusives and a lot of them.
So it has been a progressive madness.  I see.

If incense is very much needed for faith to exist, then it is a crutch and could possibly lead people to falsely believe they have more faith than they do.
More than you do.  You think you have all the answers, all by yourself, two thousand years later and thousand of miles away.  What faith is that?  The rest of us have to depend on the Church.  I'd rather lean on its crutches rather than walk on my two good legs down the broad road through the wide gate.

If it is an offering, I'd question

but God doesn't
what type of offering God wants more -  Incense or "that which you do unto the least of all men, you do unto me".
""Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to Me?  The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have Me."

That's right do nice things for people on special occasions, as he was speaking closely to his crucifixion.   So you are using this example to dodge what you believe God would rather see?   Charity to starving kids, or clergy using incense to icons.   At least when the nard was applied, it was to an actual person rather than a piece of wood.   Of course, you find irony in what I'm saying.... Perhaps ask the child who he thinks is right.  As a parent, I don't even have to contemplate what is real Christianity when I look at those two photos.   
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #157 on: November 06, 2011, 01:31:32 AM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?

Sorry I thought this forum was called "free for all".   I was on "free for all" under "religious topics".  Not trying to troll at all or have a personal soap box.   I hope I have not conveyed myself that way.

The "fact" is true. http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth
You are trying to squeeze orange juice out of apples, something that may have become apparent to you if you had read both articles and comprehended them, particularly the hellenic communication service.  The 15% rate is more accurate as to the divorces in Greece, where such things are in the purview of the Church and hence the existence of "civil divorce" doesn't skew the data by leaving out those who do not get recognition of their divorce by the Church.  On the other hand, it is skewed in that someone who was baptized Orthodox and wasn't back since except for his wedding is counted as Orthodox as much as someone who prays the Hours every day and has never missed a Sunday or Feast day.  The Amish (and evidently, that is what you mean by "Anabaptist", though I'd love to see them make a distinction between themselves and the Baptists (who have over 30% divorce rate)) are already skewed, in that 15% of their numbers (those who do not take up the Ordung) leave and are not counted Amish, although corresponding Orthodox would be still conisdered Orthodox, just not good/practicing ones.  Then the social controls of a small community of 40 or so families is not replicatable for a nation of 10 million or so, even in the most totalitarian of regimes, and the practice of shunning.  Most Amish divorcees I understand are shunned, and so wouldn't show up in the statistics, not being Amish any more, whereas although almost all Orthodox divorcees are under excommunication for at least a year, they are still considered Orthodox.  IOW, you judge the Amish fruits by only cherry picking the fruit, and ignoring all that fruit which has fallen off the tree.

Come on he baited me and you know it.   He argued that he knew much about the native language and called me "JesusisIAM" just to rub it in my face.    The fact is he was twisting the name of God on purpose to make a point to get under my skin.   It's "tidbits" of attacks, such as you calling the name of God incarnate a "thesis" that I feel obligated to defend the native name of our savior.
although you are utterly unqualified to do so.

So you know
1) How the statistic was gathered for this, in which you are incorrect.
2) You know who I am, my education, my background, and what I am qualified to answer.

Assuming things doesn't prove, no matter how long a post is.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #158 on: November 06, 2011, 01:31:32 AM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
Yeshua didn't baptize either, but we still do that.

Quote
The 5,000
Quote
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

If you feel this way, I guess don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.  As for me, it resonates that God would want me to:

"do unto others as I would have them to do me, as this sums up the law of the prophets"
"that which you do unto the least of all people you do unto me"
"sell your possessions and give the money to the poor" - to the rich man
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #159 on: November 06, 2011, 01:55:17 AM »
I am confused by many of these answers.

...

If you read above I've had many attacks on this subject.  Why?  What is it about smelling something that you need to complete your faith?  Is it a crutch that blinds you to your weakness?
No. More like a crutch to help us in our weakness. The thing is, though, that it's better for us to know that we're weak and that we need crutches than it is for you to fool yourself into believing you're strong.

Is it a placebo, that is "sense propaganda" that is being used as a stimulant for "something holy"?
And if it is, why is that a bad thing?

Could it be dangerous because through prayer while using incense you were conditioning yourself to a delusional sense of faith that otherwise would have not existed without the incense?
Is it bad that it actually clears our senses to help us see how weak our faith really is? I would rather have this than a delusional faith that says you're so strong and mature that you don't need incense. Those of real faith are honest with themselves.

Is your faith just as strong in a cess pool, or a sewage tank?  Could you pray just as well and devoutly if stuck in a great fish, in the depths, stinking and dark?
I don't know. Could you?

If not, wouldn't that be faithfully dangerous to feel "satisfied" or "completed" in faith and prayer using incense as a "stimulant" for that feeling?
Wouldn't it be more dangerous to trick yourself into thinking you have a strong faith because you "don't" need incense?

If you had your head buried in the sand (like the ostrich photo) would you be able to pray as strongly and faithfully without incense?   If that brick fell on your head would you have as devout faith & prayer without incense?
I don't know. Would you?

I know its a lot easier to poke fun at me rather than , but this is a serious faith matter if you must use incense to reach the intensity of faith & prayer that you want to give to God don't you think?
I suppose it's no more serious than the thought that you must deny yourself incense to reach the intensity of faith and prayer you want to give to God.

BTW, what about the imagery in Revelation of incense being offered up to God even in heaven? If those in heaven need incense to draw closer to God, how much more so do we on earth need that incense?
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Offline biro

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #160 on: November 06, 2011, 08:35:24 AM »
Quote from: yeshuaisiam
If you feel this way, I guess don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.

Are you just trying to be offensive here? You can't be unaware of the fact that Orthodox people do indeed give to the poor, and go to church where there's incense. They do both. Please stop with the false dichotomy. 

My only weakness is, well, never mind

Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #161 on: November 06, 2011, 08:44:22 AM »
So the photo you posted of the incense though it be mystical has nothing to do with the suffering for Christ, Spreading his message, or helping others be charitable.  It has to deal with an old man running through clouds of incense amongst his congregations and make believe beam through window icons representing saints, Christ, and God.   It's a crutch.
If you want people to take you seriously, show more respect for their point of view. Using such invective against traditions with which you disagree shows that you're here only to hear yourself pontificate and to troll. This forum doesn't exist to be your personal soap box.

Also just FYI, you may actually want to know something about the anabaptists before you bash all their points.  I hate to break it to you, but I've never met a more wholesome group, with good children, and respectful people.   Their fruits have far exceeded Eastern Orthodoxy in this century and their divorce rate is over 14% lower.  "You will know them by their fruits".
Why are you bringing up the Anabaptists again? Can't you bring this up on those threads you have already devoted to the subject? Why do you need to bring it up here?

So tell me if Eastern Orthodoxy is absolutely correct, then why do the members have such a worse divorce rate on their sacrament?
You think we've forgotten all the discussions we've had on this "fact" already? The thing about the Internet is that we have a complete record of everything you've ever said here. There is no forgetting.

Also if you do read and/or speak Yeshua's native tongue, then you are purposely deviating the name of our God.
You've already started a number of threads to advance this thesis. Could you at least reserve your arguments in favor of the name Yeshua for those threads you've already devoted to the subject?

Sorry I thought this forum was called "free for all".   I was on "free for all" under "religious topics".  Not trying to troll at all or have a personal soap box.   I hope I have not conveyed myself that way.

The "fact" is true. http://www.helleniccomserve.com/divorceperspective.html http://www.examiner.com/frugal-living-in-national/amish-wealth
You are trying to squeeze orange juice out of apples, something that may have become apparent to you if you had read both articles and comprehended them, particularly the hellenic communication service.  The 15% rate is more accurate as to the divorces in Greece, where such things are in the purview of the Church and hence the existence of "civil divorce" doesn't skew the data by leaving out those who do not get recognition of their divorce by the Church.  On the other hand, it is skewed in that someone who was baptized Orthodox and wasn't back since except for his wedding is counted as Orthodox as much as someone who prays the Hours every day and has never missed a Sunday or Feast day.  The Amish (and evidently, that is what you mean by "Anabaptist", though I'd love to see them make a distinction between themselves and the Baptists (who have over 30% divorce rate)) are already skewed, in that 15% of their numbers (those who do not take up the Ordung) leave and are not counted Amish, although corresponding Orthodox would be still conisdered Orthodox, just not good/practicing ones.  Then the social controls of a small community of 40 or so families is not replicatable for a nation of 10 million or so, even in the most totalitarian of regimes, and the practice of shunning.  Most Amish divorcees I understand are shunned, and so wouldn't show up in the statistics, not being Amish any more, whereas although almost all Orthodox divorcees are under excommunication for at least a year, they are still considered Orthodox.  IOW, you judge the Amish fruits by only cherry picking the fruit, and ignoring all that fruit which has fallen off the tree.

Come on he baited me and you know it.   He argued that he knew much about the native language and called me "JesusisIAM" just to rub it in my face.    The fact is he was twisting the name of God on purpose to make a point to get under my skin.   It's "tidbits" of attacks, such as you calling the name of God incarnate a "thesis" that I feel obligated to defend the native name of our savior.
although you are utterly unqualified to do so.

So you know
1) How the statistic was gathered for this, in which you are incorrect.
2) You know who I am, my education, my background, and what I am qualified to answer.

Assuming things doesn't prove, no matter how long a post is.
So I'll keep this brief:
1) I only go by what your source says about how the statistic was gathered.  If you are privy contrary information that you are keeping secret, I can't help that.
2) I can only judge by what you post, and you so far have demonstrated no qualifications to answer even elementary questions, as you frequently contradict/ignore known facts.  You assUme you are correct.

Your ignorance of Aramaic being on display, it is an easy call your qualifications for the silly argument of JesusisIamity's issue on Jesus' name.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 08:53:56 AM by ialmisry »
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #162 on: November 06, 2011, 08:52:00 AM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
Yeshua didn't baptize either, but we still do that.
His Apostles baptized under His direct direction. We baptize under their, and His, direction.  I don't know what you do, or who the "we" is that includes you.

Quote
The 5,000
Quote
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

If you feel this way,
Not about feeling.  Just stating facts.

I guess
wrong
don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.
Or I can keep feeding starving people and buying incense like I have been as God wants, and just ignore your silliness.

As for me,
Who cares about you?  Christ I know and Paul I know, but who are you?
it resonates that God would want me to:
That's called an echo.  I happens when someone just likes the sound of his own voice and resonates in a head that has nothing in it to stop it bouncing around.

"do unto others as I would have them to do me, as this sums up the law of the prophets"
"that which you do unto the least of all people you do unto me"
"sell your possessions and give the money to the poor" - to the rich man
The woman with nard did unto Him, and He praised her for it, saying that it would be remembered where ever the Gospel would be preached. Since you seem not to have heard that, I can only conclude that you have not heard the Gospel.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #163 on: November 06, 2011, 09:16:04 AM »
I am confused by many of these answers.
And it shows.  You can't handle the Truth.

First, I have been referenced like Judas because he asked if "the nard should be sold and given to the poor".  That was a different circumstance as I stated in an earlier post.  The nard was used as an anointment to the feet and was allowed because as he stated "The poor you will always have, but you will not always have me".
 
Distinction without a difference.  "And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil."  It wasn't just allowed, it was praised.

This was put up as if I was speaking of incense as Judas to the nard.  Complete distortion.
 
yes, your posts are.

Read what he said "you will not always have me".  He allowed it because he was going to be crucified.
 
"Assuredly I tell you, whereever the Gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told as a memorial to her."

There are times in life when special things can be done for people.  This is a far cry from what I am saying.
   
Oh, so you feel qualified to determine the times and seasons of "special things."  You wouldn't mind showing some credentials, would you?

Seeing Christianity in feeding the poor seems more valid than incense to crutch a man's faith,
your false dichtonomy is invalid.  Christ and every generation of Christians since His earthly ministry had no problem doing both.  If you had any knowledge of or connection to early Christianity, you would know that.

because just about everybody says "It's really for us".   Just read the thread.
Just read the Gospel and the Fathers.

Does donation to charity for a tax write off count?

If you read above I've had many attacks on this subject.  Why?  What is it about smelling something that you need to complete your faith?  Is it a crutch that blinds you to your weakness?  Is it a placebo, that is "sense propaganda" that is being used as a stimulant for "something holy"?
Funny how you, who claim to be strong, whine about "attacks" by those who admit that they are weak.  Better to know you need a crutch than trying to run when you can barely crawl.

Could it be dangerous because through prayer while using incense you were conditioning yourself to a delusional sense of faith that otherwise would have not existed without the incense?  Is your faith just as strong in a cess pool, or a sewage tank?  Could you pray just as well and devoutly if stuck in a great fish, in the depths, stinking and dark?  (memories of presanctified liturgy "Out of they depths I cry unto the lord" quoting Jonah & Psalms, except it was full of incense, pretty candles, and icons - yet I would hardly call a setting like that "depths")
I'm afraid that you have demonstrated your expertise in delusion.  So, how often do you pray in fish, and how long have you been doing so?

If not, wouldn't that be faithfully dangerous to feel "satisfied" or "completed" in faith and prayer using incense as a "stimulant" for that feeling?
No.

If you had your head buried in the sand (like the ostrich photo) would you be able to pray as strongly and faithfully without incense?   If that brick fell on your head would you have as devout faith & prayer without incense?
So, you are a brick header.  Is that like snake handlers?


I know its a lot easier to poke fun at me rather than , but this is a serious faith matter
no, it is not, and you just make yourself look more ridiculous with such silly arguments.
if you must use incense to reach the intensity of faith & prayer that you want to give to God don't you think?
As someone pointed out, they seem to need it in heaven, if St. John is to be believed.  I'll take his word over yours any day.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #164 on: November 06, 2011, 09:24:10 AM »
That's right do nice things for people on special occasions, as he was speaking closely to his crucifixion.   So you are using this example to dodge what you believe God would rather see?
You are the one with the Dodge dealership. Not me.
Charity to starving kids, or clergy using incense to icons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dichtomy
educate yourself.
At least when the nard was applied, it was to an actual person rather than a piece of wood.
and that makes a difference how?
Of course, you find irony in what I'm saying....

no, just ignorance and arrogance.
Perhaps ask the child who he thinks is right.
Why not ask Mother Theresa to solve your false dilema?
As a parent, I don't even have to contemplate what is real Christianity when I look at those two photos.  
Those aren't the two photos on point.  These are:
This isn't the image God has of a worshipper:

it is this

« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 09:25:09 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #165 on: November 06, 2011, 11:24:19 AM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
Yeshua didn't baptize either, but we still do that.

Quote
The 5,000
Quote
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

If you feel this way, I guess don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.  As for me, it resonates that God would want me to:

"do unto others as I would have them to do me, as this sums up the law of the prophets"
"that which you do unto the least of all people you do unto me"
"sell your possessions and give the money to the poor" - to the rich man

Come to think of it, what is the record of your Amish friends in charity work?  I know that they are hosptitable folk, but how much feeding of the hungary do they do world wide, or even country wide?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #166 on: November 06, 2011, 01:20:25 PM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
Yeshua didn't baptize either, but we still do that.

Quote
The 5,000
Quote
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

If you feel this way, I guess don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.  As for me, it resonates that God would want me to:

"do unto others as I would have them to do me, as this sums up the law of the prophets"
"that which you do unto the least of all people you do unto me"
"sell your possessions and give the money to the poor" - to the rich man

Come to think of it, what is the record of your Amish friends in charity work?  I know that they are hosptitable folk, but how much feeding of the hungary do they do world wide, or even country wide?

If you really want to know this, please explore this.  The 3 Mennonite (roughly the same as Amish Anabaptists) churches near my home: 
One of the churches has 3 orphanages in Mexico.
One of the churches has 1 orphanage in Costa Rica.
One of the churches has 1 orphanage in another part of Mexico.
(By "has" I mean fully funds and routinely has a member of the church in attendance to orphanage operation)

Many members of the church adopt into their families extremely disabled children from the local area and out of the country.  When I say many I mean nearly 25% of the congregation.  They will take children off the floors left in decrepit state run orphanages and bring them to their home to be in their families.  Undergoing a lifetime of charity and love to these kids well into adulthood, sometimes requiring full services from feeding to changing their soiled garments.   Many of these families already have 5-7 children, and take on the responsibility to a fully disabled and mentally  handicap child.

They do all of this on their own dollar and never accept any type of government handout or disability checks etc.   

In the local area, there were several floods, and the Mennonite families in the church got together and rebuilt their homes for free as an act of charity within their community.   

They have routine food "drives" along with running full canning operations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpsrSV3s9aQ

I put "drives" in quotes because it's not just an every blue moon act of charity.  It's like an every week thing that is highly focused in their churches.

Then the Hutterites (Anabaptists that practice communal living and share in the same money bag) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KskX6LZYqv8 practice massive forms of charity from massive food distribution to the hungry to visiting and singing at rest homes.

http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/slavgorod_mennonite_orphanage
http://www.beachyam.org/charitable_org.htm
(Plenty more links if you google)

The charity of the Anabaptists is one of the things that I admire because I've never seen anything like it, down to the point of them giving to people their life savings who need it.





I learned how to be more frugal and save money at http://www.livingpress.com

Offline Babalon

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #167 on: November 17, 2011, 05:07:58 AM »
Perhaps it's been mentioned, perhaps not. I haven't read every post in this thread but in any case,  observe Genesis 2:7-

Quote
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

We can choose a number of ways to interpret this passage, mystical or otherwise.... Yet something in particular always struck me as peculiar about this passage in relation to Incense. Incense has always had a prominent role in religion. All religions.

Something worth noting is the fact that out of the 5 physical senses, it is most commonly our sense of smell that is "felt" before understood by the analytical faculties of the mind. When the molecules in incense smoke reach our nostrils they are transmitted through neuron receptors into a primitive part of the brain that has little to do with conscious thought or will. In a sense, odor's put us in a sort of passenger seat to the aroma itself- which in turn, may evoke several different types of emotions and/or memories depending on the person and odor in question. The staple of the mystical experience has always been the individual's "feeling" of the "Divine", or God. I find incense to be indispensable when it comes these experiences.

Offline xariskai

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #168 on: November 17, 2011, 12:45:41 PM »
Quote from: yeshuaisiam
Could you pray just as well and devoutly if stuck in a great fish, in the depths, stinking and dark?
Yes, but it was not predicted that all the non-Jewish nations would pray in every place in fish vomit. It was, however, predicted by the prophet Malachi regarding future Gentile nations spanning the whole earth the following:

"For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations (בַּגֹּויִ֔ם: "Gentiles/non-Jewish nations"), and IN EVERY PLACE ***INCENSE*** IS GOING TO BE OFFERED IN MY NAME, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations" says the LORD of hosts." -Malachi 1:11

If a future continual offering of incense among all the Gentile nations of the earth is predicted by the prophet Malachi, surely it is silly to argue it could not possibly be proper and right, and on no more basis than your own private interpretation of the scriptures and your philosophy of pragmatism ("how does it help God or you") which you are adding to the words of God and which no scripture or tradition ever said was or should be criteriological for what should or should not comprise the praxis of the Christian faith. If you prefer to pray in fish vomit I won't say Christ will not hear you; but your satisfaction with praying in fish vomit does not fulfill the prophecy of the holy prophet Malachi whereas Orthodox worship with incense clearly does. If you wish to pray in the middle of the ocean on a surfboard or in a metal garbage bin without incense I will not say God will not hear your prayer, but neither can I say it is the full picture of what worship was predicted to by among the Gentiles according to Holy Scripture, which is to say the worship you describe is less than the predicted *fullness* the faith would (and therefore should) attain. To the degree our earthly worship approximates the heavenly it will look something like that described by Isaiah when the smoke filled the heavenly Temple, or the Tabernacle with its God-ordained Table of Incense which was patterned after the heavenly Tabernacle.


That's right do nice things for people on special occasions, as he was speaking closely to his crucifixion.   So you are using this example to dodge what you believe God would rather see?
You are the one with the Dodge dealership. Not me.
:laugh:

BTW yeshuaisiam, by current count you have dodged my post for a total count of four times now. For convenience, here it is again:



do you think God wants incense more or your charity, love, and forgiveness to one another?
I responded to this at considerable length and received no reply whatsoever only to see that you simply repeated the same question again.

Alfred Peterson use to dodge responses like you at least seem to (whether intentionally or unintentionally). If there is a reason you are skipping my response to you might at least explain why that is instead of... well... just nothing. So I will respectfully ask for your response again. Neither did you respond to my response to your remarks about "Yeshua" so I will provide that for you again as well.

Quote from: yeshuaisiam
Saying "Jesus" is erroneous.  His name was Yeshua.
Romans 6:23:
τὰ γὰρ ὀψώνια τῆς ἁμαρτίας θάνατος, τὸ δὲ χάρισμα τοῦ θεοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιος ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Was the apostle Paul in error when translated rather than transliterated His name as Ἰησοῦς in various epistles in your view? These epistles were originally penned in Koine Greek, wouldn't you agree?

Can you tell us when the position you defend -that saying anything other than Yeshua is erroneous- is seen first explicitly affirmed historically? It seems to me that anyone holding your position would have to reject what they find in most of the New Testament.

What is your view of the usage of incense in the OT?

Had you lived in OT times, would you have similarly argued its usage be abolished in the Tabernacle if the pragmatic purpose of it was not evident to you?

Had it been you instead of Abraham who God asked to be circumcised with all your household, would you have demanded God explain how this helps you to believe in Him more? (Abraham already believed in God at the time He required Abraham to be circumcised). Was Abraham a more charitable or forgiving person after he was circumcised? Can you tell us exactly what the point of demanding Abraham, his household, and his progeny be circumcised was? Or do you think this was just a man-made command, and if so, why would Abraham have wanted to invent the command to circumcise himself and every male in his household so badly?

Does God have to meet your practical standards to be followed? Who then is really lord in your life, you or God?

Can you provide a scripture reference for your principle "do only what helps God or helps you do something" to allay our suspicions that it is arbitrary on your part, a mere product of your own individual imagination?


Meanwhile, nice Dodge.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 01:12:57 PM by xariskai »

Online ialmisry

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #169 on: November 17, 2011, 12:53:52 PM »
Christ founded the Church, not an almshouse.  Come to think of it, does JESUS ever feed the poor in the Gospel? We see Him worshipping in the Temple and Synagogue all the time.
Yeshua didn't baptize either, but we still do that.

Quote
The 5,000
Quote
there is no indication that they (or the 4,000) were poor. Just improvident.

If you feel this way, I guess don't feed starving people, buy some more incense, and you can find out later if that's what God wanted.  As for me, it resonates that God would want me to:

"do unto others as I would have them to do me, as this sums up the law of the prophets"
"that which you do unto the least of all people you do unto me"
"sell your possessions and give the money to the poor" - to the rich man

Come to think of it, what is the record of your Amish friends in charity work?  I know that they are hosptitable folk, but how much feeding of the hungary do they do world wide, or even country wide?

If you really want to know this, please explore this.  The 3 Mennonite (roughly the same as Amish Anabaptists) churches near my home: 
One of the churches has 3 orphanages in Mexico.
One of the churches has 1 orphanage in Costa Rica.
One of the churches has 1 orphanage in another part of Mexico.
(By "has" I mean fully funds and routinely has a member of the church in attendance to orphanage operation)

Many members of the church adopt into their families extremely disabled children from the local area and out of the country.  When I say many I mean nearly 25% of the congregation.  They will take children off the floors left in decrepit state run orphanages and bring them to their home to be in their families.  Undergoing a lifetime of charity and love to these kids well into adulthood, sometimes requiring full services from feeding to changing their soiled garments.   Many of these families already have 5-7 children, and take on the responsibility to a fully disabled and mentally  handicap child.

They do all of this on their own dollar and never accept any type of government handout or disability checks etc.   

In the local area, there were several floods, and the Mennonite families in the church got together and rebuilt their homes for free as an act of charity within their community.   

They have routine food "drives" along with running full canning operations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpsrSV3s9aQ

I put "drives" in quotes because it's not just an every blue moon act of charity.  It's like an every week thing that is highly focused in their churches.

Then the Hutterites (Anabaptists that practice communal living and share in the same money bag) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KskX6LZYqv8 practice massive forms of charity from massive food distribution to the hungry to visiting and singing at rest homes.

http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/slavgorod_mennonite_orphanage
http://www.beachyam.org/charitable_org.htm
(Plenty more links if you google)

The charity of the Anabaptists is one of the things that I admire because I've never seen anything like it, down to the point of them giving to people their life savings who need it.
Well, very nice. But you have seen it: you're the one who posted the picture of Mother Theresa, remember?

All of your Amish, Mennonites, Hutterites etc. add up to about 2 million worldwide.  How many are in the Vatican's religious orders like Mother Theresa?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline davdfoge

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Re: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?
« Reply #170 on: May 31, 2012, 02:48:41 AM »
I think different people have different opinions, many people believe that the fragrance from the incense take your prayer to the God, incense is traditionally used by many religious people and will be used forever. For me the incense is very useful, at-least it purifies the air giving great fragrance which helps me focus in my prayer and fell relaxed.  :)
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