Author Topic: Can Christians enter pagan temples?  (Read 8960 times)

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Offline samkim

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Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« on: February 12, 2013, 03:35:07 PM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.

Offline choy

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 03:43:27 PM »
Yes, as long as we don't do anything against our faith, that is participating in any ritual.

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 04:00:14 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 04:01:29 PM »
I think it depends on the reason for attending, your role, etc.
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 04:11:58 PM »
You mean, like Yankee Stadium?
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 04:13:24 PM »
You mean, like Yankee Stadium?

Does the Parthenon count? Or is its Christian consecration still valid? ;)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 04:34:09 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
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Offline choy

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 04:48:35 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 04:59:07 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.

Correct, in Indian Subcontinental culture, shoes are removed before entering houses and places of worship. This actually exists in many other cultures as well. Its a sign of respect/culture and hygiene.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 05:05:09 PM »
Well, if the sign says to do so "to honor the idols," then why bother?

It's fine to visit pagan temples, especially if you're going there to throw down idols and convert people to the true faith. We have many saints who did that. Some of them were martyred, so it helps to be spiritually well prepared and not flipping crazy.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 05:05:55 PM by Shanghaiski »
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 05:19:43 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
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Offline Santagranddad

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 05:20:34 PM »
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.


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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 05:27:13 PM »
When I was in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, I visited the Lincoln Memorial. There was a notice about the purpose of the structure that referred to it as a "temple". I don't remember the exact wording of the notice (perhaps someone else has it at hand?). Given that, and along with a strong pagan influence on the architecture, it felt rather creepy to me.

Offline Anastasia1

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 05:31:39 PM »
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.
I'm intrigued by this. I am trying to begin to grasp such eastern faiths as Hinduism and am curious what was so jaw dropping.

Good question about Church teaching. I think it may be ok, but I would want to know what sort of spiritual mess I would be around before I went in, so I would want to do my research. I've never been to a service that didn't acknowledge our Lord though, so I speak from limited experience around pagan stuff and from my own thinking.  Def. don't participate in anything against our Lord!  If it is not a "spiritual" thing, then I don't think it would have as strong of an impact. For example, a Chinese New Year thing may be ok.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 05:33:37 PM by Anastasia1 »
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 05:36:57 PM »
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.

As far as I know, the only thing forbidden is praying with unbelievers, in temples or anywhere. It is more about participation in ritual than sharing space. Naturally, acts of worship imbue space with their energy, so I can certainly understand being unnerved by such a site, even a long-disused one.
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Offline Incognito777

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2013, 12:32:02 AM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.

Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 12:39:16 AM »
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.



Would you believe the Lives of the Saints as part of Church teaching or do you want something more scholastic, because that could be found as well, I'm sure.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 12:40:55 AM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.

Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.

And how do you equate "observe; for cultural events" with "pray"?
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Offline thethinker

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2013, 05:51:33 AM »
samkin asked: Can Christians enter pagan temples?

Yes as long as it does not cause our brother to stumble.

Offline thethinker

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 05:31:52 AM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.

Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.

Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 02:14:02 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.

Btw, I usually take my shoes off if the hosts are OK with that.  Egyptian custom.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 02:15:44 PM by ialmisry »
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 02:24:42 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.
So did you keep entering her room after you found out about the reason behind her desire for you to take off your shoes?
If you will, you can become all flame.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 02:28:23 PM »
Naturally, acts of worship imbue space with their energy,

Iconodule, can you do that whole poetic gibberish thing here for me?
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Offline Knee V

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2013, 01:55:17 AM »
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.

Offline Incognito777

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2013, 02:06:51 AM »
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.

Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed. There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?

This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life. I don't even believe in the concept of forums. Familiarity is a sin, and there's too much gossip. But I hope my answer helps.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2013, 02:15:59 AM »
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.

Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed.
And how do you know this, O perfect judge of persons' hearts. ::)

There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?
I don't know. Maybe to learn something about the history and culture of a people so you can have a better idea how to preach the Gospel to them? How do you know so much about human hearts?

This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life.
I suppose you have?

I don't even believe in the concept of forums.
So why are you here posting on one? What about all those youtube videos you like to post? Why do you post them?

Familiarity is a sin,
Really? Says who?

and there's too much gossip.
Thank you for joining in. ;)

But I hope my answer helps.
Not really.
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Offline Ansgar

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2013, 03:12:08 AM »
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.

Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed.
And how do you know this, O perfect judge of persons' hearts. ::)

There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?
I don't know. Maybe to learn something about the history and culture of a people so you can have a better idea how to preach the Gospel to them? How do you know so much about human hearts?

This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life.
I suppose you have?

I don't even believe in the concept of forums.
So why are you here posting on one? What about all those youtube videos you like to post? Why do you post them?

Familiarity is a sin,
Really? Says who?

and there's too much gossip.
Thank you for joining in. ;)

But I hope my answer helps.
Not really.

This.
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2013, 03:15:41 PM »
This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life. I don't even believe in the concept of forums. Familiarity is a sin, and there's too much gossip.
This line is laughable.

You are here, posting.

Pairing that statement with another one you made:

Incognito777, you should make a post introducing yourself in the appropriate sub-forum.  Your recent threads have made me very curious about you.

I am chief among sinners, misfits and wretches. Great is the mercy of God.

Glory be to God for all things. Christ is Risen!

Show that you are not -- in fact -- humble nor are you a prophet. You are here to harangue.

The line about being the chief sinner is hard enough to accept from holy people, much less some guy who wants to come and point out his brothers' sins, and then -- while he is doing so -- insinuates that participation in such discussions is a sin.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 03:16:30 PM by Agabus »
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Offline sprtslvr1973

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2013, 07:57:45 PM »
Would you let your 13 year old attend his or her friend's Bar Mitzvah? I went to one at that age, but if it was my kid, I am not sure
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 08:30:30 PM »
Would you let your 13 year old attend his or her friend's Bar Mitzvah? I went to one at that age, but if it was my kid, I am not sure


Bar Mitzvah - ok, not so much for the kid's baby brother's Bris.  ;)

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2013, 10:35:37 PM »
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism? 

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2013, 10:39:28 PM »
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism? 

And the sporting field the arena of battle between rivals in religious affiliation ....  ;) ::)
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2013, 07:57:37 AM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.

Correct, in Indian Subcontinental culture, shoes are removed before entering houses and places of worship. This actually exists in many other cultures as well. Its a sign of respect/culture and hygiene.

I have often wondered about this, but I will admit I don't know how other Churches regard the matter. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian, we are taught to always remove our shoes when entering a Church, this due to God commanding Moses to take of his shoes when walking on Holy ground. If I am to enter an Eastern Orthodox Church, I would not dare to enter unless my shoes were removed, would this be taken as an offense by EO:s?

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2013, 08:19:26 AM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.

Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.

Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.
This was what immediately came to my mind.  And it disturbs me that no one even considered St. Paul's words on the matter.  I'd eat food sacrificed to idols in a heartbeat.  What if it's delicious?  Well, the only meat I'll eat is seafood, so...I guess my options could be limited, but still!
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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2013, 08:54:28 AM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.

Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.

Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.
This was what immediately came to my mind.  And it disturbs me that no one even considered St. Paul's words on the matter.  I'd eat food sacrificed to idols in a heartbeat.  What if it's delicious?  Well, the only meat I'll eat is seafood, so...I guess my options could be limited, but still!

In Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul also took a stroll through the Greek mall lined with statues to various gods and commended them for their statue to the unknown god and used it as a jumping off point to preach to them (not that we should do that (stand up and preach) at someone's wedding or funeral). As Peter the Aleut mentioned above, building points of contact and understanding is a time-honored Orthodox missionary strategy.

Also, I agree that there is a tendency to reference the Bible last, if at all. Too Protestant for some?

I understand converts wanting to remove themselves from the practice of proof-texting, which may have been a sort of default mode in some Protestant circles (please note the use of words "may" and "some" because not all Protestants engage in proof-texting).

I also understand cradles being wary of "private" interpretations of scripture as well.

But you are correct, there is a tendency to consult what the Church teaches, or a council, canon, Church Father, or lives of saints, or go check with your priest, and worst of all, just offer our own opinions, before the Bible ever once enters the discussion.

So I was encouraged that St. Paul's teaching was brought into this discussion.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 08:55:49 AM by BrotherAidan »

Online genesisone

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2013, 02:49:50 PM »

I have often wondered about this, but I will admit I don't know how other Churches regard the matter. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian, we are taught to always remove our shoes when entering a Church, this due to God commanding Moses to take of his shoes when walking on Holy ground. If I am to enter an Eastern Orthodox Church, I would not dare to enter unless my shoes were removed, would this be taken as an offense by EO:s?
Not by this one  :). IMO, personal practices of piety are acceptable, so long as they do not draw excessive attention to oneself. There is already a wide range of how people show their devotion to Christ and the Saints when at church.

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2013, 03:24:33 PM »
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.

But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.

Btw, I usually take my shoes off if the hosts are OK with that.  Egyptian custom.

Most of the world's cultures have a pagan origin. Is there anything wrong with that. In Indian Subcontinental culture, the practice of removing shoes before entering as well as thousands of other traditions have Hindu origin. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians (yes, Orthodox Christians) have kept many traditions that have Hindu origin. As long the traditions don't contradict our Orthodox faith, it is okay. In many cultures, people remove their shoes before entering.   
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Offline Hesychios

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2013, 09:53:10 PM »
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
In China I entered Daoist temples and some others I am not sure how they are categorized (since they tend to have statues of local gods) it is almost impossible to visit such a shrine without at least some one nearby right outside or inside making an act of reverence. Sometimes there is quite a bit of activity and sometimes very little. However this is not what I would call communal worship. Simply being present does not imply praying along with others present.

I take it like a funeral or marriage service , one's presence as a visitor does not in itself signify an endorsement of the beliefs represented by the temple. In the places I have been, the attendees are also not interested in worshipping with the visitors, they are on their own doing their own thing and asking for blessings upon their own selves and kin.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2013, 09:57:49 PM »
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism?  

As I've pointed out around here, old nice RC parishes become places of commerce and abandoned strip malls become parishes to megaChristians.

Outside:



Inside:



Welcome to Urban Outfitters Cincinnati.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 09:58:03 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2013, 10:03:22 PM »
The correct answer is: ask a priest.

But for pete's sake, I don't even understand why this is an issue. Do you really think that God is going to somehow subtract from your "salvation score" (as if such a score existed) if He spots you in a pagan temple? You know you're not there to worship some idol. Just make the sign of the cross before you enter and enjoy your "cultural experience." To think that somehow taking off your shoes with no intention of completing some pagan ritual will invoke some dangerous spirits or the wrath of God is, to me, superstitious.

That said, you certainly shouldn't do anything that you're uncomfortable doing.

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2013, 10:40:07 PM »
I completely agree with lovesupreme's post above.

I do question the - ask a priest for advice, part, however.

1. what if you ask 2 different priests and one says yes and one says no? What's the tie-breaker?
2. what will a priest necessarily know that a sincere, devout, well-read layperson not know?
3. I went to a Protestant seminary years ago. By about the end of the 3rd year after graduation, you lose a lot of what your learned in seminary. You then learn a lot by pastoral experience of course, but you lose a lot of what you studied because, frankly, you just don't use it every day. Priest and pastors are not walking encyclopedias! They know more than the average layperson, but not necessarily more than informed lay people.
4. There are a lot of things, based on practical, pastoral ministry in a parish, that a priest can tell you, but whether or not to step inside a pagan temple may not be one of them.
5. So the answer maybe isn't to ask your priest. It could be just a cheesy way of not doing your homework: searching the Bible; trying to find Church teaching on the subject: councils, cannons, lives of saints, historical precedent, discussing with peers. Then bounce your results off of a couple priests.

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2013, 10:43:42 PM »
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism?  

As I've pointed out around here, old nice RC parishes become places of commerce and abandoned strip malls become parishes to megaChristians.

Outside:





Inside:



Welcome to Urban Outfitters Cincinnati.


I have mixed feelings about these instances. The religious part of me is saddened to see sacred spaces turned into commercial venues, bars and restaurants.

The aesthetic side of me sees the architecture and is thankful the building didnt get turned down to make way for a Walgreens. At least the buildings and much in them have been preserved.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 10:44:52 PM by BrotherAidan »

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2013, 10:52:53 PM »
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism?  

As I've pointed out around here, old nice RC parishes become places of commerce and abandoned strip malls become parishes to megaChristians.

Outside:





Inside:



Welcome to Urban Outfitters Cincinnati.


I have mixed feelings about these instances. The religious part of me is saddened to see sacred spaces turned into commercial venues, bars and restaurants.

The aesthetic side of me sees the architecture and is thankful the building didnt get turned down to make way for a Walgreens. At least the buildings and much in them have been preserved.

It would be against the law to tear this building down.

That is one of the problems the Diocese has (and our city as a whole). We have so many vacant and soon to be vacant historically protected buildings that is makes things pretty tough to do around here.

And it has caused some suspicious "fires" of properties secular and otherwise.

I witnessed a RC parish literally shoot flames a few stories in height around the corner from the parish above. One moment nothing, then boom. In an ostensibly unused building.

Video from the local news. I was watching when the fire happened. It was incredible and hard to believe it was an act of God.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MwTmtmlnDE

Didn't watch the clip as I saw it first hand. But this is becoming a disturbing new trend in areas where "new development" needs to occur.

EDIT: That parish is literally 300 feet from the Urban Outfitters. We have tons of a art historically "unique" parishes due to the work of Italian and German craftsmen.

And I listened to the "report". It was NOT being used. I know the groups which used and controlled it. It was shut down to public use just prior to the blaze. Nonsense.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 10:58:00 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2013, 10:56:18 PM »
I completely agree with lovesupreme's post above.

I do question the - ask a priest for advice, part, however.

1. what if you ask 2 different priests and one says yes and one says no? What's the tie-breaker?
2. what will a priest necessarily know that a sincere, devout, well-read layperson not know?
3. I went to a Protestant seminary years ago. By about the end of the 3rd year after graduation, you lose a lot of what your learned in seminary. You then learn a lot by pastoral experience of course, but you lose a lot of what you studied because, frankly, you just don't use it every day. Priest and pastors are not walking encyclopedias! They know more than the average layperson, but not necessarily more than informed lay people.
4. There are a lot of things, based on practical, pastoral ministry in a parish, that a priest can tell you, but whether or not to step inside a pagan temple may not be one of them.
5. So the answer maybe isn't to ask your priest. It could be just a cheesy way of not doing your homework: searching the Bible; trying to find Church teaching on the subject: councils, cannons, lives of saints, historical precedent, discussing with peers. Then bounce your results off of a couple priests.

1. You should only have one spiritual father. He will know if you're going to be spiritually mature enough to handle what should be a harmless excursion. If he knows that you're highly suggestible or over scrupulous, he might caution you not to go, if only to prevent yourself from worrying about somehow calling on pagan spirits. As a general rule, you should never ask two priests the same question if it pertains to your own personal spiritual growth. THAT is the road to spiritual turmoil.
2. The priest might know some obscure canon laws, but mostly he'll know you and your spiritual character. That's why you should be going to one spiritual father for such questons.
3. Right, it's not a matter of some esoteric, gnostic knowledge that the priests hold. It's not even really a matter of them holding a sacramental position. Again, it's because you should have a spiritual father, who is usually a priest.
4. See above.
5. Again, I don't think it's wise to try to formulate some objective opinion on the matter. You definitely shouldn't surrender your conscience to the priest (unless you're in a monastery and that is the rule of the abbot), and I wouldn't discourage doing your own research. But "priest hopping" is a really poor spiritual practice.

The only reason I suggest talking to your spiritual father is because it was an issue in the first place. Clearly something bothers you about going to a pagan temple, so you should feel comfortable talking to your priest about such issues. I seriously doubt he'll "forbid" you from going. He'll probably just discuss with you why you feel uncomfortable and why having faith in Christ is more important than being overly scrupulous in situations like these.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 11:01:21 PM by lovesupreme »

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Can Christians enter pagan temples?
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2013, 08:28:18 AM »
Another very thoughtful post by lovesupreme. And BTW I love the Coltrane referenced username and photo of the jazz master himself.

Now, as a completely outside the thread question, have you ever seen, on-line, the quasi-Orthodox, certainly non canonical, church of St. John Coltrane? They even have icons of him and they are pretty cool looking! Completely outside of canonical Orthodoxy but intersting nonetheless. Google St. John Coltrane Orthodox Church. I think it is in San Francisco (which would help explain it).

Now back to your post. I beleive, and I do not think I am alone in this [although I suppose i will soon find out :)], that one can have a priest AND a spiritual father. Many who live near monaseries do.

Your priest is your confessor but may not necessarily be your spiritual father.

There are very few spiritual fathers nowadays.

One may have a priest who is very gifted in interpersonal relationships and is spiritually sensitive and can counsel you well, or the priest could be a total clod in interpesonal skills (but a wonderful liturgist, teacher/preacher for instance). Your parish priest is your parish priest and in most instances your confessor, and especially in a large parish, may not know you well.

Regarding the above point, the personal gifts and qualities of a given priest are likely natural gifts and are not charisms and therefore, say nothing good or bad about a priest's personal spirituality. Just like some secular people go into counseling and others go into public leadership roles. A priest brings natural abilities and a skill set to his "job," even though it is a calling from God and certainly more than a job.

And, inreference to the next above point, we should not romanticize or overly spiritualize priests. They are humans just like us. They are on a journey just like us.

In rust belt cities with, clusters of Orthodox Churches and many pan-Orthodox events, many of us know many priests. I am not suggesting priest shopping. Just that if one knows several priests and has oportunity to ask several regarding a theological question (which is how I am treating this thread), by all means avail oneself of their collected knowledge.

A good priest who knows you outside of your parish would probably give you his theological answer, then tell you, that having been said, on the pastoral level, if this is a deep issue of personal concern, go back to your parish priest for advice.

As a pastoral question, your final point makes sense, although....

I am not the original poster, I am not struggling with this issue. But I do hope the OP-er read your advise because it was sensitive and kind. So in that regard, thank you!