Author Topic: Brother Nathaniel  (Read 41173 times)

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Offline Robb

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Brother Nathaniel
« on: February 04, 2013, 11:49:25 PM »
In the last few months I've started viewing the videos of Brother Nathaniel Kapner.I realize that he is a controversial figure, and that he also claims to be an Orthodox brother ( ROCOT I heard).  Is this true?  Does ROCOR actually sanction such afigure  controversial as him.in their monastic ranks?  Or is he more an independent monk?
Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 12:06:23 AM »
I think he's rather nutty, especially in his theories of antisemitism.  I would think a real monk would focus more on inner prayer and salvation, rather than current affairs and the roles of Jews in them.

I read that he's part of a schismatic sect (some sort of Russian Old Calenderist group) but unfortunately I can't site my sources.

Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 12:12:35 AM »
I think he's rather nutty, especially in his theories of antisemitism.  I would think a real monk would focus more on inner prayer and salvation, rather than current affairs and the roles of Jews in them.
While I'm not disagreeing with you, I think he does make good points in regards to the fact that Zionist Jews are on control of the media and ultimately the government.

I know many Jews who are nice people, but unfortunately so many more are too powerful and only desire more power...
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:13:06 AM by pmpn8rGPT »
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 12:14:54 AM »
I think he's rather nutty, especially in his theories of antisemitism.  I would think a real monk would focus more on inner prayer and salvation, rather than current affairs and the roles of Jews in them.
While I'm not disagreeing with you, I think he does make good points in regards to the fact that Zionist Jews are on control of the media and ultimately the government.

I know many Jews who are nice people, but unfortunately so many more are too powerful and only desire more power...
Perhaps I'm not looking at issues with a fine-toothed comb like some, but I see many people who are too powerful in our society.  The fact that some of them are Jewish just seems to be a coincidence.  I don't put much thought into the ethnicity or religious beliefs of the people in power. 

Offline Robb

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 12:15:35 AM »
He's actually very ecumenical and wants to form coalitions with other Christian churches to fight zionism.  Wasn't he on this forum some time ago?
Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 12:21:52 AM »
You know what else the Jews are good at? Winning Nobel prizes in science! We must stop this radical attempt by them to improve our lives though science! We shouldn't stand for it! Do you know that Jews make up about 25% of Nobel prize winners in the sciences? This can't be a coincidence. They control science!

 ;D :P

Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 12:23:18 AM »
You know what else the Jews are good at? Winning Nobel prizes in science! We must stop this radical attempt by them to improve our lives though science! We shouldn't stand for it! Do you know that Jews make up about 25% of Nobel prize winners in the sciences? This can't be a coincidence. They control science!

 ;D :P
Thank you  :laugh:

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 12:28:07 AM »
In the last few months I've started viewing the videos of Brother Nathaniel Kapner.I realize that he is a controversial figure, and that he also claims to be an Orthodox brother ( ROCOT I heard).  Is this true?  Does ROCOR actually sanction such afigure  controversial as him.in their monastic ranks?  Or is he more an independent monk?
He is in ROCOR (or at least was when I met him in Summer 2012), though I doubt his activities are approved of in any official capacity (which is a good thing).

I think he is a hermit, but I could wrong. Last time I spoke with him, he was meeting with Elder Ephraim with the hopes of establishing a monastery in his state of residence (under GOARCH).
Note : Many of my posts (especially the ones antedating late 2012) do not reflect charity, tact, or even views I presently hold. Please forgive me for any antagonism I have caused.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 12:36:06 AM »
Yes, many weirdos are Orthodox Christians. Some pretend to be monks, others actually are. Many live on the Internet. Some live on the moon.
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Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 02:02:40 AM »
He is not Orthodox and not a member of ROCOR. In the Orthodox world only novices are called brother, an Abbot would never let a novice be a hermit or let them wear a cross like the one he wears on his neck, or stand in traffic in an all white cassock waving around a cross like a mad man. Sometimes he wears a white monastic hat (which is ONLY for metropolitans). His website is trying to get people to give money to his "foundation". It would seem he is just trying to attract Orthodox and con them. He isn't Orthodox and he didn't live on Mt Athos like he claims. He would get kicked out of a monastery.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 02:16:10 AM by Peacemaker »

Offline psalm110

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 04:07:45 AM »
Is there an official statement by the church about him, whether he should be listened to ?

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 04:21:51 AM »
Is there an official statement by the church about him, whether he should be listened to ?

Why should it be? Should the Church issue an official statement whether I should be listened to (or you, for example)?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2013, 04:42:32 AM »
Hasn't there been, in the past, orders from ROCOR to cease publishing certain materials (e.g. in the Archbp. Puhalo vs. Fr. Seraphim stuff)? So sometimes they do identify particular people who are causing turmoil...

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 04:51:41 AM »
Hasn't there been, in the past, orders from ROCOR to cease publishing certain materials (e.g. in the Archbp. Puhalo vs. Fr. Seraphim stuff)? So sometimes they do identify particular people who are causing turmoil...

AFAIK he is not a member of ROCOR clergy or monastics so how would ROCOR issue such thing in this case?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 05:15:12 AM »
Hasn't there been, in the past, orders from ROCOR to cease publishing certain materials (e.g. in the Archbp. Puhalo vs. Fr. Seraphim stuff)? So sometimes they do identify particular people who are causing turmoil...

AFAIK he is not a member of ROCOR clergy or monastics so how would ROCOR issue such thing in this case?

ROCOR didn't patent the idea, so other groups would be free to issue similar orders, I'd think :)

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 05:17:33 AM »
Hasn't there been, in the past, orders from ROCOR to cease publishing certain materials (e.g. in the Archbp. Puhalo vs. Fr. Seraphim stuff)? So sometimes they do identify particular people who are causing turmoil...

AFAIK he is not a member of ROCOR clergy or monastics so how would ROCOR issue such thing in this case?

ROCOR didn't patent the idea, so other groups would be free to issue similar orders, I'd think :)

He is a layman, crossdressing, but still a layman. How can any Synod ban a laymen from public activity?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:17:48 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 05:22:41 AM »
They used to send laymen into exile (though sometimes they'd be so kind as to jail them in a monastery), didn't they? So I don't see why not?  But I did want to say that I didn't mean my last post to be as snarky as it sounded, I meant the patent thing jokingly.

EDIT--Or maybe they were all monks and clergy. I dunno. Anyway, ignore this.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:23:40 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline psalm110

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 07:43:17 AM »
Is there an official statement by the church about him, whether he should be listened to ?

Why should it be? Should the Church issue an official statement whether I should be listened to (or you, for example)?

Yes if the individual has become popular, take for example Vassula Ryden shes been excommunicated by the Church.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 07:43:33 AM by psalm110 »

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 07:54:58 AM »
Is there an official statement by the church about him, whether he should be listened to ?

Why should it be? Should the Church issue an official statement whether I should be listened to (or you, for example)?

Yes if the individual has become popular, take for example Vassula Ryden shes been excommunicated by the Church.

For theological errors. He does not talk about theology.
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Offline psalm110

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 08:15:51 AM »
Is there an official statement by the church about him, whether he should be listened to ?

Why should it be? Should the Church issue an official statement whether I should be listened to (or you, for example)?

Yes if the individual has become popular, take for example Vassula Ryden shes been excommunicated by the Church.

For theological errors. He does not talk about theology.

Aahhh  ;D

Offline jah777

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2013, 09:02:30 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2013, 09:04:44 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)

Can you prove he is a monk?
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Offline jah777

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2013, 09:21:05 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)

Can you prove he is a monk?

You probably would want to call his bishop to prove that he is, or is not, a monk.  He became a monk first at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston and later moved to Dormition Skete in Colorado.  Since he left them years ago, I believe he has been living alone but has maintained his vows and commitment to the monastic life.  I also recall his reception back into ROCOR a couple of years ago.  Beyond that, however, I do not have any specific information regarding what his bishop thinks of his videos, whether he is officially considered a monastic in ROCOR, why he is not in a monastery,  etc. 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 09:21:55 AM by jah777 »

Offline pmpn8rGPT

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 09:45:39 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)
Most people who i know who watch them are non-orthodox...
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Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2013, 09:55:27 AM »
there's a big difference between being suspicious of Zionism (anti-Israeli occupation, critical of our nation's often uncritical support of the Israeli state, etc...) and being anti-semitic.
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Offline jah777

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2013, 09:59:18 AM »
there's a big difference between being suspicious of Zionism (anti-Israeli occupation, critical of our nation's often uncritical support of the Israeli state, etc...) and being anti-semitic.

Are you suggesting that Brother Nathaniel, who is Jewish, is also anti-semitic?  That  doesn't make very much sense.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:00:22 AM by jah777 »

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2013, 10:06:14 AM »
there's a big difference between being suspicious of Zionism (anti-Israeli occupation, critical of our nation's often uncritical support of the Israeli state, etc...) and being anti-semitic.

Are you suggesting that Brother Nathaniel, who is Jewish, is also anti-semitic?  That  doesn't make very much sense.

I have met Jewish folks who become christian, who then take on some very strange/hateful positions against Jews.  I've been in church (before I was Orthodox) with one or two of them.

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Offline jah777

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2013, 10:17:09 AM »
there's a big difference between being suspicious of Zionism (anti-Israeli occupation, critical of our nation's often uncritical support of the Israeli state, etc...) and being anti-semitic.

Are you suggesting that Brother Nathaniel, who is Jewish, is also anti-semitic?  That  doesn't make very much sense.

I have met Jewish folks who become christian, who then take on some very strange/hateful positions against Jews.  I've been in church (before I was Orthodox) with one or two of them.


To me, he comes across as exposing the negative influence that Zionist Israel (and certain Jewish groups) has on the US and in the world, but that is quite different from being "anti-semitic" or being against a people because of their blood or ethnicity.  The reason that he exposes these things is that criticism of Israel is not allowed in our controlled media, and as a Jew himself he is uniquely suited to fill this niche.  To oppose crimes and conspiracies orchestrated by Israel and Jewish groups does not mean that all Jews are guilty by association. 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:17:50 AM by jah777 »

Offline jah777

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2013, 10:27:19 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)

Can you prove he is a monk?


I just came across a message from a ROCOR priest dated 12/25/10 that states that while Brother Nathaniel may be in ROCOR, he is a layman and not a monastic since he does not live in a monastery and is not under monastic obedience to anyone.  Prior to returning to ROCOR, he had been a novice in a schismatic monastery, but I don't think he was ever tonsured a monk.  So, you can consider his attire just part of his eccentricity. 

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2013, 10:41:03 AM »
there's a big difference between being suspicious of Zionism (anti-Israeli occupation, critical of our nation's often uncritical support of the Israeli state, etc...) and being anti-semitic.

Are you suggesting that Brother Nathaniel, who is Jewish, is also anti-semitic?  That  doesn't make very much sense.

I have met Jewish folks who become christian, who then take on some very strange/hateful positions against Jews.  I've been in church (before I was Orthodox) with one or two of them.


To me, he comes across as exposing the negative influence that Zionist Israel (and certain Jewish groups) has on the US and in the world, but that is quite different from being "anti-semitic" or being against a people because of their blood or ethnicity.  The reason that he exposes these things is that criticism of Israel is not allowed in our controlled media, and as a Jew himself he is uniquely suited to fill this niche.  To oppose crimes and conspiracies orchestrated by Israel and Jewish groups does not mean that all Jews are guilty by association. 
Of course.  I take heat all the time for my own criticism of Israeli occupation, etc.

But words matter.  He may be critiquing certain aspects of Zionist control in US politics and media, but his language doesn't really get that across.  Like many like him, his language is too broad, too forceful, and not targeted enough. 

You might say that it doesnt matter, but it does matter.  Words have consequences. 
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2013, 11:17:49 AM »
It is my understanding that Brother Nathaniel is a member of ROCOR.  What he says is pretty much always accurate, but he is eccentric and the idea of political commentaries offered by a monastic can be off-putting.  Again, he knows what he is talking about regarding Israel and the Israeli influence on our government, our society, and the world; but because it comes from an Orthodox monk, one hesitates to send his media on to non-Orthodox friends and family.  The production quality of his videos is also very good, and his concise presentations helpful, but I wish it came from someone else who is not an Orthodox monk.   ;)

Can you prove he is a monk?


I just came across a message from a ROCOR priest dated 12/25/10 that states that while Brother Nathaniel may be in ROCOR, he is a layman and not a monastic since he does not live in a monastery and is not under monastic obedience to anyone.  Prior to returning to ROCOR, he had been a novice in a schismatic monastery, but I don't think he was ever tonsured a monk.  So, you can consider his attire just part of his eccentricity. 


I can't remember who said it now--I believe it was a Russian Orthodox cergyman. He said that many so called holy fools are actually deluded. I wouldn't necessarily say that in this case, but it's a warning. I don't see how what he does helps others as much as it builds up a following for himself.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 11:44:21 PM »
I can't put him off.  He backs up what he is saying.  He speaks the hard truth.
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Offline Fr.Aidan

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2013, 02:34:59 AM »
Br. Nathaniel is a novice monk and member of the canonical Russian Orthodox Church. However, he is under the spiritual direction of a monastic leader in another canonical jurisdiction. In this unusual cross-jurisdictional situation, he does not do his activities with a blessing from the Russian hierarchy, but with a blessing from the other jurisdiction's leadership.

I believe he goes too far and I am worried about the appearances of antisemitism in what he says. Of course, he does disburse a lot of solid information one can never get from today's American Pravda and Izvestia media (whether MSNBC, CNN, or Fox News).

I think that the only answer to the problems he often identifies very accurately, is not a political alliance but the repentance before God of the American people, getting on their knees and weeping and repenting of their sins, and drawing near to the Lord, changing their sinful lives. Only this kind of activity can save our nation from the satanic One World Government antagonists and delay the arrival of the reign of Antichrist. Observing how the evil operates, is not enough to prevent it, in the same way that merely being aware of one's psychological reasons for committing a sin is not the same as actually being able to stop committing the sin.  
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 02:36:06 AM by Fr.Aidan »

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2013, 03:51:15 AM »
"Novice monk" is an oxymoron.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2013, 03:54:07 AM »
"Novice monk" is an oxymoron.

... and real novice monks don't become mouthpieces for their pet causes, but work at attaining a spirit of prayer and humility.  :police:
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2013, 03:56:10 AM »
I find his stop-and-start cadence soothing.

Offline mike

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2013, 04:46:56 AM »
"Novice monk" is an oxymoron.

... and real novice monks don't become mouthpieces for their pet causes, but work at attaining a spirit of prayer and humility.  :police:

With a broom and rake instead of youtube.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2013, 04:50:47 AM »
This is my favorite video by him. Who could not love monasticism after hearing his dulcet tones?

Offline Nephi

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2013, 11:03:13 AM »
This is my favorite video by him. Who could not love monasticism after hearing his dulcet tones?
Just watched it, and it was the first video of his I've seen...

How can he talk like that?

And that was an awfully bright "midnight."
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 11:05:51 AM by Nephi »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2013, 12:23:29 PM »
I liked it better when novices were novices and pundits were pundits.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2013, 01:07:36 PM »
I think he does a fine job and backs up what he says.

I do believe that he is serving God doing what he's doing.  Some monks make candles, others write books on theology, some write books on threats to Christianity, he feels the un-Christian zionist Jews (not common Jews) are harming everybody.  He's relaying the information.

I have in my book collection right now books written by Eastern Orthodox monks speaking of the heresies of that many in the EO faith are practicing.  Things like ecumenism, new calendar, and shaving beards etc., (they call them heresies).   I have coffee and honey that comes from monasteries. I have some crosses that were hand carved.  My point is monks do a lot of stuff, even controversial.  They aren't all just hermits that sweep and pray.

I'm sure Brother Nathaniel does many things, and these videos are on a subject that he is an expert on.  Somebody asked "how can he talk like that", my answer is "with the mouth God gave him".
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2013, 01:09:10 PM »
I'm sure Brother Nathaniel does many things, and these videos are on a subject that he is an expert on.  Somebody asked "how can he talk like that", my answer is "with the mouth God gave him".
I'm referring to how he speaks vocally, not to the content that he speaks of.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2013, 01:21:35 PM »
I'm sure Brother Nathaniel does many things, and these videos are on a subject that he is an expert on.  Somebody asked "how can he talk like that", my answer is "with the mouth God gave him".
I'm referring to how he speaks vocally, not to the content that he speaks of.

Like his speaking voice?  The tone of it?  I think it is pretty good myself?  Not too sure what you are asking. :)
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Offline Nephi

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2013, 01:34:51 PM »
Like his speaking voice?  The tone of it?  I think it is pretty good myself?  Not too sure what you are asking. :)

Yeah, his speaking voice. I found a bit disconcerting myself, kind of like listening to William Shatner play Captain Kirk.

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Re: Brother Nathaniel
« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2013, 01:38:35 PM »
he talks (and emotes) like a salesman.

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