Author Topic: Does incense help God, you, or really do anything?  (Read 28291 times)

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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!

Offline ialmisry

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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.
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 ialmisry

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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

Offline ialmisry

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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,
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 ialmisry

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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

Offline ialmisry

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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

Offline ialmisry

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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

Offline ialmisry

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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.
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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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Offline primuspilus

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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

Offline 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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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.

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« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 12:36:19 PM by biro »
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Offline 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.
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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Offline ialmisry

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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.
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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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Offline ialmisry

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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.
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 #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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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 »
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 #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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