Author Topic: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life  (Read 1273 times)

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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« on: December 08, 2012, 06:57:27 PM »
I'm so tired of actually believing that the world is in decline and feeling like I'm missing out on a lot of the great things that life has to offer. I feel like an honest and conscious taking on of the Christian worldview makes life a sort of valley of tears. The Kingdom is coming. I'm a sinner. Don't eat that delicious piece of fried chicken. Don't look at that hot piece of ass. Don't enjoy the brush strokes of that painting or the vibrant and proud colors the artist uses. Be plain and simple. Be humble, repentant and never forget that you're going to die soon. Be ready.

Oh, and feel guilty about enjoying the things that you do and be sure to give them all up.

Is there really glory if I surrender all, or do I just miss out on the good things in life?

Just thinking out loud. Though I was over these teenage stuff about 10 years ago, but apparently things run in cycles.

Am I imposing my pessimism onto Christianity, or it it really such a glum and cumbersome religion when taken seriously and devoutly?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 06:57:39 PM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Antonis

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 07:44:00 PM »
From Dee Pennock's "The Adam Complex."

"Despondency ... is given to people God is saving, not to those who are lost, say the saints. Despondency is like the belly of the whale, where Jonah landed to bring him around to being willing to do God's will. Being afflicted and deeply depressed at times is a normal thing for those whom God loves. Not being afflicted is what sounds an alarm for the saints--as John Chrysostom quotes, Woe to them that are at ease in Zion! (Am. 6:1). And as the prophet reports, I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease (Zech. 1:15)."

I hope this helps.  :)

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Offline Agabus

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 08:26:38 PM »
Don't mistake not enjoying life for deification.

Eat the damn chicken.

Repent when necessary.

Be ready. You might die.

...Is my philosophy.

Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 12:24:15 AM »
I'm so tired of actually believing that the world is in decline....
I thought only post-tribulation dispensational premillennialists thought that the world was in decline?
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 12:31:09 AM »
I'm so tired of actually believing that the world is in decline....
I thought only post-tribulation dispensational premillennialists thought that the world was in decline?

LOL thanks I needed a laugh.

Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 01:00:45 AM »
I know I'm not all that for into this as yet but, based on a year of reading and a second year of reading and experience, I'm wondering if the way of looking at things you've described is more cultural than Orthodox? I ask cause I've certainly encountered this way of looking at things in some of my reading but I haven't at all in Church.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 02:42:51 AM »
That sounds like Protestantism. I personally found Orthodoxy to actually be the most GLORIFYING of the material universe and flesh. We teach that the world has been REDEEMED because of Christ, and we even use elements from the material world to serve a higher purpose--like Iconography, and teach that men were created in the image of God and that God actually became matter and redeemed us. That is pretty glorifying buddy. Compare that to other religions like Buddhism or even western Christianity where the material world is always demonized as being bad, evil and inferior and their religious life consists of shunning the world. But as Orthodox Christians, we believe that the material world has been redeemed. Our religious life--opposed to theirs--consists in USING the material world for religious reasons, and even giving the material world a higher purpose and more potential by using it for religious things. God became man. What is more glorifying than that? Orthodoxy is the ultimate glorifier of the natural world. That's one of the reasons why I hated western Christianity because it always demonized and shunned the natural world.
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Offline Delphine

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 03:37:12 PM »
More than once, my priest has referenced Elder Zacharias from Essex, who talks about two approaches you can take when looking at the world: viewing yourself as the first among sinners, and giving thanks for all things. Either of these approaches serves the purpose of cultivating humility.

I have a problem with letting things go when I don't feel like I adequately understand. One time, and I don't even remember what the topic was (on how we should approach others, maybe?), my priest said something in a class he was holding that left me feeling confused and troubled. I asked question after question, and it wasn't helping, and I felt my face getting flushed and my voice rising in pitch with each question... until my priest stopped and said that for me, I should give thanks for all things. It was just what I needed to hear, and I found myself choking back tears from all the pressure that had built up inside me. Sometimes you just need to stop and give thanks.

I've seen some people twist giving thanks for all things into, "Thank you for sending me all of these devastatingly bad things because I deserve it, wretched sinner that I am," but I don't think that's the outlook thanksgiving is supposed to cultivate. You're giving thanks because there's something good there, even if you don't see it just yet. And if its goodness is obvious, all the more reason to give thanks! Why would guilt come into play for seeing what's good and enjoying it with gratitude?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 12:38:06 AM »
Don't mistake not enjoying life for deification.

Eat the damn chicken.

Repent when necessary.

Be ready. You might die.

...Is my philosophy.



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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 12:39:20 AM »
To not enjoy this life that God has given us is blasphemy. Christian ascesis and eschatology is to enjoy it more fully and more purely, removed from delusions and distractions. Fearful, mopey, gloomy Christians need to re-examine their lives and their faith and not presume that they're living the Gospel, because they are not.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 12:40:41 AM by Shanghaiski »
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Justin Kolodziej

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 06:49:05 PM »
To not enjoy this life that God has given us is blasphemy. Christian ascesis and eschatology is to enjoy it more fully and more purely, removed from delusions and distractions. Fearful, mopey, gloomy Christians need to re-examine their lives and their faith and not presume that they're living the Gospel, because they are not.
ow, that smarts!
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Online Jonathan Gress

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 11:31:14 PM »
St John of the Ladder talks about "joyful mourning". The "mourning" is certainly an aspect of how the believer sees the world, since the world is mired in corruption. Yet that is only one side; the believer is also joyful, because Christ is Risen!

Offline William

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 12:03:17 AM »
More than once, my priest has referenced Elder Zacharias from Essex, who talks about two approaches you can take when looking at the world: viewing yourself as the first among sinners, and giving thanks for all things. Either of these approaches serves the purpose of cultivating humility.

I have a problem with letting things go when I don't feel like I adequately understand. One time, and I don't even remember what the topic was (on how we should approach others, maybe?), my priest said something in a class he was holding that left me feeling confused and troubled. I asked question after question, and it wasn't helping, and I felt my face getting flushed and my voice rising in pitch with each question... until my priest stopped and said that for me, I should give thanks for all things. It was just what I needed to hear, and I found myself choking back tears from all the pressure that had built up inside me. Sometimes you just need to stop and give thanks.

I've seen some people twist giving thanks for all things into, "Thank you for sending me all of these devastatingly bad things because I deserve it, wretched sinner that I am," but I don't think that's the outlook thanksgiving is supposed to cultivate. You're giving thanks because there's something good there, even if you don't see it just yet. And if its goodness is obvious, all the more reason to give thanks! Why would guilt come into play for seeing what's good and enjoying it with gratitude?

Hey Delphine, any particular writings of Elder Zacharias you've found helpful?
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Offline Delphine

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 11:31:29 AM »
More than once, my priest has referenced Elder Zacharias from Essex, who talks about two approaches you can take when looking at the world: viewing yourself as the first among sinners, and giving thanks for all things. Either of these approaches serves the purpose of cultivating humility.

I have a problem with letting things go when I don't feel like I adequately understand. One time, and I don't even remember what the topic was (on how we should approach others, maybe?), my priest said something in a class he was holding that left me feeling confused and troubled. I asked question after question, and it wasn't helping, and I felt my face getting flushed and my voice rising in pitch with each question... until my priest stopped and said that for me, I should give thanks for all things. It was just what I needed to hear, and I found myself choking back tears from all the pressure that had built up inside me. Sometimes you just need to stop and give thanks.

I've seen some people twist giving thanks for all things into, "Thank you for sending me all of these devastatingly bad things because I deserve it, wretched sinner that I am," but I don't think that's the outlook thanksgiving is supposed to cultivate. You're giving thanks because there's something good there, even if you don't see it just yet. And if its goodness is obvious, all the more reason to give thanks! Why would guilt come into play for seeing what's good and enjoying it with gratitude?

Hey Delphine, any particular writings of Elder Zacharias you've found helpful?

I've only read snippets so far, but my priest recommended Remember Thy First Love and it looks fantastic. My to-read list is much too long. :)

Offline Schultz

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 11:59:51 AM »
I'm so tired of actually believing that the world is in decline and feeling like I'm missing out on a lot of the great things that life has to offer. I feel like an honest and conscious taking on of the Christian worldview makes life a sort of valley of tears. The Kingdom is coming. I'm a sinner. Don't eat that delicious piece of fried chicken. Don't look at that hot piece of ass. Don't enjoy the brush strokes of that painting or the vibrant and proud colors the artist uses. Be plain and simple. Be humble, repentant and never forget that you're going to die soon. Be ready.

Oh, and feel guilty about enjoying the things that you do and be sure to give them all up.

Is there really glory if I surrender all, or do I just miss out on the good things in life?

Just thinking out loud. Though I was over these teenage stuff about 10 years ago, but apparently things run in cycles.

Am I imposing my pessimism onto Christianity, or it it really such a glum and cumbersome religion when taken seriously and devoutly?

My turn to think out loud.  Referring to another human being as a "hot piece of ass" is indicative of a worldview that views another human being not as a person but as simply a material object that excites a particular hormonal reaction within.  The Church would rather see us look at another person as a whole being rather than just a material one.

And I write this as someone who looks at hot pieces of ass all the time.  Doesn't make it right, but I know that.
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 12:01:35 PM »
St John of the Ladder talks about "joyful mourning". The "mourning" is certainly an aspect of how the believer sees the world, since the world is mired in corruption. Yet that is only one side; the believer is also joyful, because Christ is Risen!

Amen!
"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen

Offline Opus118

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 12:45:15 PM »
St John of the Ladder talks about "joyful mourning". The "mourning" is certainly an aspect of how the believer sees the world, since the world is mired in corruption. Yet that is only one side; the believer is also joyful, because Christ is Risen!

Amen!

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Offline akimel

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Re: Christian Eschatology and Trying to Actually Enjoy Life
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 01:18:26 PM »
According to the Jerusalem Talmud, at the final judgment God will ask us this question:  "Did you enjoy my world?"