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Author Topic: Our Action in public  (Read 373 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthoreader
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« on: January 09, 2013, 07:20:33 PM »

I find one of the most difficult aspect of Christian life is how to deal with my own actions in society i.e. work or being around people who may or may not be Christian. Often I find myself being pulled into discussions that are perhaps not as pious as they should be as I tend to be someone who likes to be 'the life of the party.'

I was pulled aside by another Christian (non-Orthodox) co-worker who told me that I may want to consider not being so loose on language or conversation with regards to humor. And while I understand that I struggle with this Christian split-personality being one way in the parish another in the world - he said it in a way that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. He said we should not "Be like them."

My question: What do you all understand from an Orthodox point of view as "being in the world, but not of the world" and are we supposed to walk around thinking "I'm not supposed to be like them"?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 07:28:19 PM by orthoreader » Logged
Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 07:38:13 PM »

As far as I understand, we should think well of others, but not do things we know are wrong. And if we see or hear someone doing something that we believe we shouldn't engage in, we shouldn't judge them, only refrain as best we can from joining in.
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orthoreader
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 07:42:14 PM »

As far as I understand, we should think well of others, but not do things we know are wrong. And if we see or hear someone doing something that we believe we shouldn't engage in, we shouldn't judge them, only refrain as best we can from joining in.

This is difficult for me. I can be an entertainer Smiley
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 08:36:16 PM »

As far as I understand, we should think well of others, but not do things we know are wrong. And if we see or hear someone doing something that we believe we shouldn't engage in, we shouldn't judge them, only refrain as best we can from joining in.

This is difficult for me. I can be an entertainer Smiley

I don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with being an entertainer. But the "how' and "why" matter, from a Christian perspective.

As for not "being like those people," I cringe at this. Sometimes "those people" have real virtue which is hidden, but outweighs our ostentatious piety. Rather, I suppose I would say, asking forgiveness for cliche, instead be more like yourself. Sometimes, we can do a lot for laughs (and maybe even feel like we've crossed a line), and our motivation is to be accepted and thought well of by others. This I don't think is a good Christian motivation, per se. Likewise, if we are afraid to do anything because we're afraid of what people will say about us--I don't think that's Christian either. Think about what sort of behavior you can live with, what sort of behavior is honorable and authentic.

God knows, the world is full of fakery--people pretending to be different from what they are either for good or bad reasons. I think it behooves the Christian to be honest, as uncomplicated as possible, and as accessible to others as is possible for our individual sanity.
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orthoreader
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 09:53:00 PM »

As far as I understand, we should think well of others, but not do things we know are wrong. And if we see or hear someone doing something that we believe we shouldn't engage in, we shouldn't judge them, only refrain as best we can from joining in.

This is difficult for me. I can be an entertainer Smiley

I don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with being an entertainer. But the "how' and "why" matter, from a Christian perspective.

As for not "being like those people," I cringe at this. Sometimes "those people" have real virtue which is hidden, but outweighs our ostentatious piety. Rather, I suppose I would say, asking forgiveness for cliche, instead be more like yourself. Sometimes, we can do a lot for laughs (and maybe even feel like we've crossed a line), and our motivation is to be accepted and thought well of by others. This I don't think is a good Christian motivation, per se. Likewise, if we are afraid to do anything because we're afraid of what people will say about us--I don't think that's Christian either. Think about what sort of behavior you can live with, what sort of behavior is honorable and authentic.

God knows, the world is full of fakery--people pretending to be different from what they are either for good or bad reasons. I think it behooves the Christian to be honest, as uncomplicated as possible, and as accessible to others as is possible for our individual sanity.

I can appreciate what you say here. In fact, I was searching for these words. I think along with the struggle to be 'salt' and 'light' in the world, the struggle to be authentic and accessible for others is something that is valuable.

I think the problem is that I have grown up with a lot of this false piety around me where one was to act and behave a certain way in public but then behind the scenes it was something different. I even notice this in the Orthodox Church to a degree. I'm not really a big fan of acting sedated just to please the groups, but then get a bit carried away.

By the way, my co-worker meant well. He was looking out for my salvation. I should not have singled him out in that way.
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 01:59:19 PM »

As far as I understand, we should think well of others, but not do things we know are wrong. And if we see or hear someone doing something that we believe we shouldn't engage in, we shouldn't judge them, only refrain as best we can from joining in.

This is difficult for me. I can be an entertainer Smiley

No said this would be easy

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 02:59:56 PM »


I've actually asked and was granted, a change in departments, because the crew I was working with constantly swore, flipped the bird and reveled in unseemly jokes. 

When I started with them, I cringed at it all....then I tried to sit alone....then I tried to make fun of their silliness thinking I could get them to stop....then one day I came home and began swearing....I knew that was enough!  I had simply absorbed what I had heard all day and now was regurgitating it.  Since it wasn't possible to change the habits of these five people, and I was the one changing....I needed to get out.

They all had a good laugh...that they had corrupted Liz....so, Liz decided to risk employment and leave that group.

What was worse, the person who swore the most and acted the raunchiest was an Orthodox woman....who threw me for a loop.  I was thrilled to be working with a fellow Orthodox, until I worked with her for a couple of hours.

I say that each and every action of our's reflects who we are, and what we believe.  We need to emulate that which we wish to see in others.  Besides, our poor behavior reflects badly on everything we are associated with.

It is our duty to be the best we can and represent our Faith the best we can.  You never know....someone might be looking at you, at your actions, at your words....to judge whether or not they might wish to become Orthodox.

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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 03:46:54 PM »

I was always taught that if you wouldn't feel comfortable saying it in front of your mother or grandmother, that the best course of action was not to say it at all.

I think if we pay attention we always know when we are getting close to or have crossed the line. If we feel the least bit uneasy about our thoughts, actions, conversation or conduct, then we probably should avoid acting that way.
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