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FlickFlack
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« on: January 17, 2013, 06:47:19 AM »

I've always been amazed by christians who firmly said that they follow God independently, are born-again, Spirit-filled,Saved without any religious system.I have a few acquaintances who are like this and from outside they seem happy.My question is , are those category of people happy,joyful, satisfied, positive?Are those who worship God through religious systems happy,joyful,satisfied, positive?And most importantly who is more happier.I would like people from this two categories to say how and why.Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 08:34:59 AM »

There are (a lot of) people for whom system and spirituality are mutually exclusive, and any attempt at organisation invalidates spiritual claims. No, I don't get it either. While it is certainly possible to lose track of the spirit in the attempt to follow the letter, that is far from the rule, at least with the people I know. Just winging it feels like having to reinvent the wheel every single time, and so having no time to advance beyond that.
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 10:29:17 AM »

But who is more happier?

What kind of spirituality does one need to leed to be happy?

What do you think of those who say they have a personal relationship with Jesus and don't believe in rituals?

Those seem more happy than us Smiley.

I must say that kind of philosophy attracts me a lot.

Born-Again, Spirit Filled, Saved, a Personal relationship with Christ.

Is anyone here under this sign?I would like to get to know something from someone like that.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 10:52:19 AM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 10:54:19 AM »

Quote
What do you think of those who say they have a personal relationship with Jesus and don't believe in rituals?

Those seem more happy than us Smiley.

I must say that kind of philosophy attracts me a lot.

Born-Again, Spirit Filled, Saved, a Personal relationship with Christ.

Is anyone here under this sign?I would like to get to know something from someone like that.

The turnover rate from modern "happy-clappy" churches is quite high. In my neck of the woods, they change their stripes, names and logos about every couple of years or so, either as a marketing exercise, or because of fragmentation of the original group. There is no stability in them. The "feel-good" factor is temporary and fleeting, like the satisfaction we get from eating junk food. Fun when it's happening, regret and emptiness when the hormones rebalance.
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 11:41:33 AM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 11:52:14 AM »

The devil can fake "vivid and charismatic experiences"...he cannot fake true repentance and love for God and all creatures. Seeking such experiences is the fastest way to delusion.

Is it fair to say (since I am not Orthodox) the "charismatic" movement has not made its way into Orthodoxy as in every Western form of Christianity including Roman Catholicism?
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 11:52:51 AM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?

Your profile says you're Orthodox by baptism. Wouldn't it make more sense to seek and learn what your Church teaches and believes, and has done so since the Apostles walked the earth, rather than to chase after the shadows which are today's myriad of "charismatic" groups (each with its own version of the "Truth"), which are here today and gone tomorrow?
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 11:57:23 AM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?

Your profile says you're Orthodox by baptism. Wouldn't it make more sense to seek and learn what your Church teaches and believes, and has done so since the Apostles walked the earth, rather than to chase after the shadows which are today's myriad of "charismatic" groups (each with its own version of the "Truth"), which are here today and gone tomorrow?

What makes you think I haven't?

I did not meant the denomination.I like full of life things.I think a Christian with a full of life expression is very appreciative.Don't you?I see you are trying to cause distraction on all my threads with a switch and bait thing?Why?That makes me think if I want to continue taking your posts in considerance.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 11:59:02 AM »

My biggest objection to "charismatics" is that you have to have a particular kind of experience (which they define) in order to be considered a Real Christian (tm).
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 12:03:49 PM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?

Forgive me, I didn't mean to offend you. Your post just sounded that way.
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 12:05:32 PM »

The devil can fake "vivid and charismatic experiences"...he cannot fake true repentance and love for God and all creatures. Seeking such experiences is the fastest way to delusion.

Is it fair to say (since I am not Orthodox) the "charismatic" movement has not made its way into Orthodoxy as in every Western form of Christianity including Roman Catholicism?

I seek and appreciate full things.. full vivid things.. and I get some of those vibes from liberal Christians.. though, I am more interested in the ups and downs of this two types of worship.

I didn't mean the charismatic denomination, but liberal Christians.



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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 12:07:00 PM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?

Forgive me, I didn't mean to offend you. Your post just sounded that way.

Stay calm no offence taken.I am hardly offended, esspecially by sincere people.You can even give me the meanest insults and i'll appreciate you for your sincerity[speaking in general terms].
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 12:11:30 PM »

There are (a lot of) people for whom system and spirituality are mutually exclusive, and any attempt at organisation invalidates spiritual claims. No, I don't get it either. While it is certainly possible to lose track of the spirit in the attempt to follow the letter, that is far from the rule, at least with the people I know. Just winging it feels like having to reinvent the wheel every single time, and so having no time to advance beyond that.

Yes the Legalism of the Church seems to cause more death and craftiness, having always to submit to ritualism and dogma..  What I appreciate at those type of liberal Christians is their conviction, their liberty and their vivid experiences..

What is the positiveness of legalism, dogma and ritualism?

How does one get to live a more satisfying and vivid life?
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 12:14:43 PM »

Quote
What is the positiveness of legalism, dogma and ritualism?

Well, among other things, it prevents you from splitting into 40.000 different denomination.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with rituals, as long they are not empty.
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 12:25:09 PM »

As those who've followed my posting history here and elsewhere may know, I have gone back and forth from atheism to theism at least 3 times in my life (so far!).

Each time, I was repelled from theism by an overemphasis on theological rituals and minutia (totally my own fault btw, I don't blame anyone but me for my sins!); and when I eventually come back I'm drawn in not by any particular "system" but by some holy person I encounter who's living the Gospel and obviously loving God. Last time it was the late great "Internet Monk" Michael Spencer, who I'm sure many of you remember.

So I'll start out fresh with Jesus Christ at the center and then the religious "system" that helps me keep Him there. Which for me seems more and more to be some form of Eastern Christianity. Though I can see how others may find another "system" that works better for them, so I try not to judge too much. Especially since I know when I start judging too much, that's usually when my next bout of atheism starts brewing!
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 12:25:23 PM »

I don't understand why somebody thinks that you can't have a personal relationship with God and still be orthodox. We have thousands of people who have had a personal relationship with God. We don't need to turn all charismatic to do that.

I didn't say that.I just copied a line from someone who said the exact same words about himself from another non-orthodox forum.

I like vivid and charismatic experiences of christianity.

Anyway this thread is about those who worship God/Christ independently and those who do it through religious systems.My rephrased question is what are the advantages and disadvantages to both of them?

Your profile says you're Orthodox by baptism. Wouldn't it make more sense to seek and learn what your Church teaches and believes, and has done so since the Apostles walked the earth, rather than to chase after the shadows which are today's myriad of "charismatic" groups (each with its own version of the "Truth"), which are here today and gone tomorrow?

What makes you think I haven't?

I did not meant the denomination.I like full of life things.I think a Christian with a full of life expression is very appreciative.Don't you?I see you are trying to cause distraction on all my threads with a switch and bait thing?Why?That makes me think if I want to continue taking your posts in considerance.

If this is what you meant, and I've no reason to think otherwise, then I'd say that the most 'vivid and charismatic' experiences of Christianity I've had have come within Orthodoxy. Indeed had it not been for the sincere, loving, joyful and generous example of an Orthodox monk (and you couldn't get more part of a 'religious system' as you put it than in monasticism I'd say) in Romania, I can honestly say that I'd be highly unlikely to be Orthodox today. Since converting I can say that I have seen far more examples of genuine Christian faith in Orthodoxy. Not everyone, of course, but enough to be absolutely convinced of the Truth of Orthodoxy. I can't say I ever had the same experience of genuineness  with the more 'happy clappy' Christians at university - their happiness always seemed decidedly fake. To be honest it was often rather reminiscent of self-medicated euphoria.

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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 12:29:38 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 12:49:35 PM »

The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.
Emotions are transitory - so you feel good. Then what?

Quote
As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Agreed.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 02:51:36 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?
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« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 03:06:43 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.
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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 03:12:28 PM »

Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

My guess? No they are not the same thing, but people use the words as if they were.
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 03:13:58 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 03:19:38 PM »

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).

Ay-yup. In older texts, especially before the 18th century, 'happy' is used as a synonym for 'fortunate'.

Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

And doesn't even have to be outwardly manifest (unless one knows what to look for), so practically impossible to measure and compare between individuals.
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« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 03:27:42 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?
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« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 03:29:08 PM »

One thing that I never heard when I was still a Protestant, but it makes a lot of sense, is that one cannot follow the King outside of His Kingdom.
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« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2013, 03:31:49 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

No. Religious systems only care about themselves. Not about others. They want to survive even at the expense of people's happiness and even lives.
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« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2013, 03:34:00 PM »

NVM
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« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2013, 03:40:37 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

No. Religious systems only care about themselves. Not about others. They want to survive even at the expense of people's happiness and even lives.

Is Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy and Catholicism a religious system?
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2013, 03:54:02 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

If not that, than what?
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« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2013, 04:05:22 PM »

Joy is the highest form of Happiness.
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« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2013, 04:11:15 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

If not that, than what?

Your question seems to imply that you believe Christianity is a religious system.  I do not believe that it is, nor do I believe that temporal happiness is its purpose.  Perhaps I should have inserted the word "temporal" before "happy" in my post above.  I think Christianity is a relationship with a Person, that Person being Jesus Christ.  I think its purpose is to bring us, through knowledge, worship, and adoration of God to theosis and union with Him (please excuse my clumsy wording).  A result of this will be eternal joy with Him.  All assuming, of course, that we repent of our sins and don't end up eternally separated from Him.  Grin
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« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2013, 04:39:18 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

If not that, than what?

Your question seems to imply that you believe Christianity is a religious system.  I do not believe that it is, nor do I believe that temporal happiness is its purpose.  Perhaps I should have inserted the word "temporal" before "happy" in my post above.  I think Christianity is a relationship with a Person, that Person being Jesus Christ.  I think its purpose is to bring us, through knowledge, worship, and adoration of God to theosis and union with Him (please excuse my clumsy wording).  A result of this will be eternal joy with Him.  All assuming, of course, that we repent of our sins and don't end up eternally separated from Him.  Grin

what is this eternal joy?
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« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2013, 04:43:34 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

If not that, than what?

Your question seems to imply that you believe Christianity is a religious system.  I do not believe that it is, nor do I believe that temporal happiness is its purpose.  Perhaps I should have inserted the word "temporal" before "happy" in my post above.  I think Christianity is a relationship with a Person, that Person being Jesus Christ.  I think its purpose is to bring us, through knowledge, worship, and adoration of God to theosis and union with Him (please excuse my clumsy wording).  A result of this will be eternal joy with Him.  All assuming, of course, that we repent of our sins and don't end up eternally separated from Him.  Grin

what is this eternal joy?

I'll get back to you about that--hopefully. Wink Wink
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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2013, 05:24:26 PM »

There are (a lot of) people for whom system and spirituality

Nothing is without a system.

No non-trivial system can be made completely transparent.
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« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 05:25:16 PM »

But who is more happier?

This is strictly personal... but I have issues with the concept of happiness. It implies happenstance, luck, fortunate conditions. Everyone can be happy when things are going their way. What happens when life turns around and gives you a big old bitchslap into next week? The happy-clappy highs are high, but the lows are respectively really, really low.

I prefer contentment, myself - being able to function, rather than getting the moody blues, despite what life throws at me, not because of it.

As for 'liberal Christians'... You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

well, if you have issues with happiness. Tell us according to your observations, who has more joy?

She said "the *concept* of happiness", and then explained what she meant.  Are "happiness" and the experience of "joy" identical?  Please explain.

Happiness: Result of happenings (things that happen).
Joy: Comes from your heart regardless.

Is it the purpose of a "religious system" to make us happy?  Is that the purpose of Christianity as expressed in Orthodoxy or Catholicism?

No. Religious systems only care about themselves. Not about others. They want to survive even at the expense of people's happiness and even lives.

You are not far from the kingdom of truth.
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« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2013, 05:28:09 PM »

The "feel-good" factor is temporary and fleeting, like the satisfaction we get from eating junk food. Fun when it's happening, regret and emptiness when the hormones rebalance.

This is a poor analogy and rather incorrect. I can often eat junk food and feel satisfied by it and never have some "come down".

It would be hard to come up with a mode of being in which persons engage which isn't fleeting, so really nothing here is much of a starter argumentwise.
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« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2013, 05:30:52 PM »

But who is more happier?

Happiness is nothing to strive for. It is about the most ridiculous of manner of being one can engage in.

And usually, when people discuss some happiness ratio, they beg the question. One must first be clear what "happiness" is. And frankly, when I hear most folks' definitions, well I'll pass.
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« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2013, 05:44:45 PM »

Firstly, this may just be my inner Scholasticism coming out, but I think that judging the truth of something based off of the emotional affects it has on people is very stupid to be quite frank. Feelings and emotions can lie. They are temporary. They constantly change. They won't tell you what is true, but will rather just tell you how something makes you feel. Reason is the best tool to judge things by because it will not lie to  you and will stay true no matter how you are feeling--it is self-evident and objective. Secondly, I think that we need to make a distinction between the types of "Joys" involved. I feel more than qualified to speak on this since I've spent the majority of my pre-conversion life in Evangelical "Born-Again" crowds. From what I have observed, the joy that they experience honestly seems quite shallow and immature--just rooted in hyper-emotionalism. The reason for this is that it constantly needs to be fed. Instead of living a godly life and doing what God says, they spend more of their time trying to satisfy this hunger inside of them for more "joy" and oftentimes go to desperate means to do so. Many Evangelical Mega-Churches have been built because of this. And eventually, what they find out is that this need for "joy" can never be fully satisfied by the world, and they oftentimes see this as being extremely bad, don't know how to deal with pain or accept spiritual maturity, and in the worst case scenerio, despair and end up leaving Christianity altogether.

This is the joy of the demons. It is built upon hyper-emotionalism, leads people into despairing and blinds their eyes to true spiritual development and joy. True joy is not about feeling no pain or sadness--indeed, Jesus specifically tells us that we will suffer for Him constantly--but about accepting our struggles and sorrows in a submissive manner, learning from them, and even reflecting on them to learn how we could glorify God through them, and most of all, staying submitted to God throughout it all and thanking Him.

True joy produces humility and humbleness--and that brings me up to my next criticism of Evangelical "joy". I find that the Evangelical sense of pride oftentimes leads to a not-so-subtle sense of pridefulness and individualism. Many Evangelicals I've met who've matched your description of possessing that sense of Evangelical "joy" oftentimes begin to think that they do not need Church at all or any guidance from their fellow Christians because they see themselves as having their own special line with God and capable of working out their salvation on their own. This is the joy of the demons--subtle pride, a rejection of the Truth, blindness to true spiritual development, eventual despair etc. I wouldn't touch this joy with a forty foot pole.

Now, the true sense of joy--something I admittedly don't have yet--I observe among several of the older folks at my Orthodox Church who come from troubled countries and are close to dying. These people seem to be emotionally dying and full of troubles, yet, in a strange way, they have not despaired but have accepted their tribulations and offer them to God. Instead of trying to escape them with this shallow sense of happiness that constantly needs to be fed, they face them, learn from them, and come closer to God through them. Their sense of true joy doesn't cause them to become prideful or to leave the CHurch, but rather causes them to be extremely meek, quiet and humble, and come to the Church more often than anyone else. They truly seem content with their life, knowing that they need God more than ever and that there are things wrong in the world, but submissively handling them and turning to God. This is the true joy--the joy that I hope to attain. It is not shallow and prideful, but deep, beneficial for learning and produces humility and submissiveness to the Truth and Church.

Any sense of "joy" that produces pride and not humility and does not lead a person to the Church is the joy of the demons.
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« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2013, 05:44:59 PM »

My biggest objection to "charismatics" is that you have to have a particular kind of experience (which they define) in order to be considered a Real Christian (tm).

And in the world of late modernity, how is this any different from any other "group"? It is probably impossible to even have a discussion without some recourse to "an experience" and no significant agreement among persons is likely possible unless their "experiences" are of a similar kind.

Whether if this has been otherwise in other times, I cannot say with certainty.

If you don't believe the above, I suggest you read the "conversion" stories and show me one of a singular nature.

I think your problem with "charismatics" is that they have a less sophisticated and pliable set of experiences which one can have which allow one to be part of the group.

It would seem to me thinking out loud that the radical experience one must have in Orthodoxy is one of revelation. Then I think if someone were to take up a study of conversion stories to Orthodoxy and the lives of those who are involved in their parishes, you could probably refine how revelation must be experienced and maintained. Other forms of experience are likely in play as well.
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« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2013, 05:45:20 PM »

But who is more happier?

Happiness is nothing to strive for. It is about the most ridiculous of manner of being one can engage in.

And usually, when people discuss some happiness ratio, they beg the question. One must first be clear what "happiness" is. And frankly, when I hear most folks' definitions, well I'll pass.

than what is?
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« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2013, 05:47:11 PM »

@JamesR

The christian God is a feeling.


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« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2013, 05:47:47 PM »

@JamesR

The christian God is a feeling.




 Huh Huh
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« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2013, 05:47:53 PM »

They constantly change.

Yes they do, no matter what antecedent you offer for they.
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« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 05:54:11 PM »

What is the positiveness of legalism, dogma and ritualism?

How does one get to live a more satisfying and vivid life?

You can never escape "legalism", "dogma", or "ritualism".

How to find a "satisfying" life?

Find something you would be willing to die for or kill for. Literally.

In the end, this is the message of the Gospel. And what seems to animate anyone worth talking to for more than ten minutes.
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