Mor, why do you say "give thanks to God" that modern Orthodoxy is not all-encompassing, and then in your next few sentences identify such with "boutique religion"?
I directed those remarks toward someone who seems to argue that Christianity is not as "in your business" as Islam. Actually, Christianity is very much "in your business", but the "how" and "in what way" and "to what extent" has differed over the course of time and in various contexts.
If, as we have received her faith and praxis, the Church hasn't dogmatised one or the other form of such "meddling" and mandated obligatory participation for all, then such a person as I was responding to ought to thank God that there is "freedom" in his time and context. In another time and place, the kind of religion he decries would've been the only option if he wanted to be Orthodox, and he might not have known any better anyway. If some people in other Christian denominations or other religions are in that situation today, I don't think we have the right to criticise. There but for the grace of God went we.
Moreover, I think we can all thank God that the Church "in-real-life" is not going to enable community enforcers to harass, punish, and hurt members for not following such strictures (the Church "on-the-internet", on the other hand, is full of such self-appointed characters). For particularly weighty violations, there are communal consequences, but most "violations" are at most dealt with in the context of confession but typically are dealt with by letting people participate as they are able and minding one's own business. I've yet to have acid thrown in my face because I don't recite verses from Psalm 50 while in the shower just because a prayer book somewhere says to do so because otherwise I might sensually focus on my nakedness.
So you think it's a good thing that modernization has brought the church to the point where it does not encourage one to pray while bathing.
That's not what he said. Besides, you should be praying unceasingly, which includes while bathing.
Yes, that is what he said. If not I've given him ample opportunity to clarify himself and his response has been to, as is his usual, to insult me.
The church had a tradition to facilitate prayer without ceasing by encouraging a certain prayer while bathing. Nobody really actively encourages this tradition anymore, and Mor Ephrem is thankful to God because of this. He can only conceive of two options:
1. this tradition either being in complete disuse or
2. A cartoonish caricature where people are bullied and acid is thrown into people's face for not following said tradition.