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Author Topic: Happiness vs. Truth  (Read 2964 times) Average Rating: 0
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aserb
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« on: September 27, 2005, 09:17:49 AM »

Good Day All:

I have something ruminating in my mind and I want your reactions. Many people today, especially in America, are in search of happiness. It is in our Constitution.  Thus to meet this need many churches, of the evangelical variety (i.e. mega churches, seeker sensitive churches blah blah blah) have sought to fill that need by having services that are appealing. Offering classes in how to deal with practical problems and having Sunday services and sermons that tickle the ears. As a result they fill up and draw people from far and wide. Step two they say, it's God's blessing, but this is pragmatism. Just because something is successful doesn't mean that it is true or right. (An extreme example would be the rise of Nazism in Post WWI Germany). This is not to discount seekers of truth in the Protestant confessions. I believe that they are out there. But they are seeking in a desert and often don't know it.

Any thoughts!

How do you turn a seeker of happiness into a seeker of truth?

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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 09:28:59 AM »

....to meet this need many churches, of the evangelical variety (i.e. mega churches, seeker sensitive churches blah blah blah) have sought to fill that need by having services that are appealing.

You mean as opposed to an Orthodox Liturgy that is so stale and route that many parishoners talk during it, or postpone when to show up for the part that they like? You mean an Orthodox Liturgy that is STUCK IN THE PAST (in the case of the GOA - TO THE "GLORIES" OF BYZANTIUM!!)?  Tongue
 
Offering classes in how to deal with practical problems and having Sunday services and sermons that tickle the ears...

IS OUTRAGE! Offering classes that actual DEAL with current and practical problems!! How DARE THEY!  Huh

As a result...

should be "because they are relevant".

Just because something is successful doesn't mean that it is true or right.

Nor does it mean that something is WRONG.

This is not to discount seekers of truth in the Protestant confessions.

No, of course not. the poor fools.

How do you turn a seeker of happiness into a seeker of truth?

You don't. Happiness is not obtained externally.
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 10:18:26 AM »

Tom

Who peed on your corn flakes?
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 02:10:52 PM »

Is he always this grumpy?? 

Maybe he should switch to Bran Flakes.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 02:18:31 PM »

Is he always this grumpy??ÂÂ  

Maybe he should switch to Bran Flakes.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Roll Eyes

 Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 02:19:52 PM »

Happy face notwithstanding, TomS is our resdient "Devil's Advocate".  Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2005, 03:13:19 PM »

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Thank you brother SS.
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2005, 03:17:36 PM »

Quote
You mean as opposed to an Orthodox Liturgy that is so stale and route that many parishoners talk during it, or postpone when to show up for the part that they like? You mean an Orthodox Liturgy that is STUCK IN THE PAST (in the case of the GOA - TO THE "GLORIES" OF BYZANTIUM!!)? 

Depends on how you approach the liturgy. Do you listen to the words. Does the priest allow people to talk. My former priest walked off the altar to tell people to shut up once. Postpone showing up. I heard of a parish that locked the doors to the nave after the homily. Don't know how fire safe this is.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 03:22:05 PM »

Depends on how you approach the liturgy. Do you listen to the words. Does the priest allow people to talk. My former priest walked off the altar to tell people to shut up once. Postpone showing up. I heard of a parish that locked the doors to the nave after the homily. Don't know how fire safe this is.

But the question is WHY did this have to occur? Why is this a consistent problem in many Orthodox Churches?

Why is this NOT a problem in evangelical churches? Primarily because the congregation is INVOLVED and challenged.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 03:33:51 PM »

A congregation is not challenged when it is told that it may worship as it wants!  The result?  Rock concerts in one, psycho babble and animal noises in another, spouting off sentiment as "thus saith the Lord" and the finite rule being whatever Christ lays on my heart, regardless of the fact that the other parishioner's heart is going to have "Christ" laying something completely different on it.  The result.  NO CHALLENGE.  Rather, this "if it feels good do it, even if you shouldn't" smorgazord Christianity.  The Church liturgy calls people to come and mystically worship God, to lay their own personal likes aside.  Where is the challenge when the criterion of an encounter with the living God--as worshiop should be--is decided on how great a time you have?  If that's worship, you can keep it.  I can rock out way better at a local concert hall.  I can feel better and think just super charged, happy thoughts in my living room with my friends. 

aserb, excellent point my brother.  Truth please, even if it might not make me feel so good.  The last thing I want is a Church that will bow down to me, but rather in wisdom and love, keep the standard that I must aspire to, and help me with the means to get there.  Where's the challenge when we can alter the Church, and bring it down to what we want it to be?  Where is the dignity, the glory, the honour in something like that? 

In Christ, the least,
Theodore (Ted)
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 03:44:17 PM »

A congregation is not challenged when it is told that it may worship as it wants!ÂÂ  

I agree that this can be problematic. But why does the Oorthodox Church feel that they have to use a liturgy that is over a millennium old? Why can't there be different liturgies (and I really don't count St. Basil as Different) conveying the same reverence but utilizing a different style?

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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 03:54:24 PM »

I agree that this can be problematic. But why does the Oorthodox Church feel that they have to use a liturgy that is over a millennium old? Why can't there be different liturgies (and I really don't count St. Basil as Different) conveying the same reverence but utilizing a different style?

Why don't our Priests just get dressed up in clown suits and we could have a three ringed circus simultaneous with Liturgy?
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 03:59:24 PM »

Why don't our Priests just get dressed up in clown suits and we could have a three ringed circus simultaneous with Liturgy?

No. Many children are afraid of clowns.
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2005, 04:04:49 PM »

No. Many children are afraid of clowns.

This is very true (incidentally, so was Kramer, although I'm almost certain he's Jewish).  Maybe we could find something more benign, like say... we could dress'm up like baseball players?  Howzat?  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 04:56:22 PM »

How about like the Redskins. Then  Liturgy can be on Monday in place of Monday night football.
We can ask Hank Williams Jr to lead the chior in "Are you ready for some.........!!!"


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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2005, 11:03:12 AM »

In returning to the topic posted by aserb... and all foolishness aside:

From TomS
< But why does the Oorthodox Church feel that they have to use a liturgy that is over a millennium old? Why can't there be different liturgies (and I really don't count St. Basil as Different) conveying the same reverence but utilizing a different style?  >


Each year Orthodox Christians are called to celebrate the events and feasts of the Church. Namely: Christ's Birth, His Baptism, His Cruxificion, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven.  Every Sunday we learn of Christ teachings, His mercy, His miracles. All that lead us to eternal life. These events do not change; we should not want them to, they are over a mllennium old. 

We are called to participate, to experience the Truth, God's grace and goodness through the Liturgy.. Our challenge is to not be led astray by "American Pop Evangelism" .  Orthodoxy is not like Burger King. You can't have it your way!  It's God's way. It's His plan for our salvation.  As far as I know, he hasn't changed his plans.

Isn't knowing the Truth happiness in itself?


(I apologize, I don't know how to use the quote button, yet. Also for any spelling errors, the spell check does not seem work on my computer at the office.)


Yours in Christ

Deb
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2005, 11:14:42 AM »

PiergoPincher

I couldn't have said it better myself. What a great line for evangelism.

As concerns evangelism. I don't think a lot of people are seeking truth. They're seeking happiness. Orthodoxy doesn't promise happiness, it promises truth. Truth can make you happy (Christ is resurrected and defeated death) or it can make you unhappy (Thou shalt not steal . . . if you are a thief or if you pilfer the office supplies instead of going to Staples.)  I'm not saying there are not truth seekers among the non-Orthodox. There are. But in today's climate in the U.S. people want stress relief (that's OK), but some new fad like churches exploit that. I think that is wrong when its done at the expense of teaching truth. Frankly, my 1 1/2 hour on Sunday in the OC is stress relief for me. Maybe it's stressful for others. I don't know.

Good thoughts Deb
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2005, 11:20:57 AM »

But the question is WHY did this have to occur? Why is this a consistent problem in many Orthodox Churches?

Why is this NOT a problem in evangelical churches? Primarily because the congregation is INVOLVED and challenged.

TomS,

Why aren't you still Protestant?
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2005, 11:26:15 AM »

PhosZoe:

With all due respect I think TomS is Orthodox. The more accurate question is why is he still Protestant in his thinking. We are all growing and being saved. We are all developing Orthopraxis. Maybe, just maybe, TomS' rants are his way of learning. Some people learn through arguement. I know this is unappealing to some.  TomS are you a lawyer?  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2005, 11:39:05 AM »

Good Day All:

I have something ruminating in my mind and I want your reactions. Many people today, especially in America, are in search of happiness. It is in our Constitution.  Thus to meet this need many churches, of the evangelical variety (i.e. mega churches, seeker sensitive churches blah blah blah) have sought to fill that need by having services that are appealing. Offering classes in how to deal with practical problems and having Sunday services and sermons that tickle the ears. As a result they fill up and draw people from far and wide. Step two they say, it's God's blessing, but this is pragmatism. Just because something is successful doesn't mean that it is true or right. (An extreme example would be the rise of Nazism in Post WWI Germany). This is not to discount seekers of truth in the Protestant confessions. I believe that they are out there. But they are seeking in a desert and often don't know it.

Any thoughts!

How do you turn a seeker of happiness into a seeker of truth?


I think I know where you are going with this, watch TPN or The 700 club and you will see evidence of this. It is apparent to me that there is an emphasis on the "quick fix". One will hear things such as: "Send us a $20.00 love gift and God will bless you".  In other words, send us money and God will make you happy. Need I forget the sappy testimonials like: "I was a hopeless heroin addict, then I went to ___________ revival and I was healed instantly! " Again, the "quick fix" pay us money, buy our books, come to our events and you will be happy forever and ever.

Smoke and mirrors and big hair. I always wonder what lurks under those big plastic smiles.  There is little or no mention of ones struggle, however there is lots of talk how someone used to be ________ then became perfect because they bought into a celebrity pastors empire.

It's not to say that miracles don't happen and someone can be healed from a drug addiction, I'm willing to guess that most are a product of the excitement and mass hysteria.


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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2005, 11:50:32 AM »

TomS are you a lawyer?ÂÂ  Wink

No offense taken.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2005, 11:55:45 AM »

TomS are you a lawyer?ÂÂ  Wink

Lordy, No. I am a software engineer.

TomS, why aren't you still Protestant?

Married into a Greek family. Truthfully, if I knew then what I know now (i.e., church history, development of theology) I probably still would be.

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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2005, 11:58:09 AM »

TomS.

Oh, thank god

SouthSerb

I know you are a lawyer. It was jsut a little jab Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2005, 12:17:03 PM »

Lordy, No. I am a software engineer.

Married into a Greek family. Truthfully, if I knew then what I know now (i.e., church history, development of theology) I probably still would be.

Three questions...

1.  Are you this cheery about religion with the "Greek" side of the family? If so...

2.  What is their reaction?

3.   Why don't you go back?  (I'm asking seriously.  If you think the Protestants are "right" and do things better than we do, why not go back?)
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« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2005, 01:08:49 PM »

Married into a Greek family. Truthfully, if I knew then what I know now (i.e., church history, development of theology) I probably still would be.

You're in my prayers TomS. 
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« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2005, 01:18:25 PM »

I got no problem answering questions  Smiley I have nothin' to hide (Although I just might harass you via PM's later!  Cheesy)

Three questions...

1.ÂÂ  Are you this cheery about religion with the "Greek" side of the family? If so...

They see it as cultural. They attend only on the holidays. They think that God exists in all religions.

2.ÂÂ  What is their reaction?

They tell my and my wife to not be too religious because its mostly the peasents (i.e., uneducated) who believe all that stuff.

3.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Why don't you go back?  (I'm asking seriously.  If you think the Protestants are "right" and do things better than we do, why not go back?)

Cause every church has its problems. And I like the more formal culture of the OC
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« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2005, 01:37:49 PM »

I got no problem answering questionsÂÂ  Smiley I have nothin' to hide (Although I just might harass you via PM's later!ÂÂ  Cheesy)
ÂÂ  Ah, a little PM harrassment never hurt anyone!ÂÂ  Wink

Quote
They tell my and my wife to not be too religious because its mostly the peasents (i.e., uneducated) who believe all that stuff.
ÂÂ  How enlightened.ÂÂ  Tongue

Quote
Cause every church has its problems. And I like the more formal culture of the OC
Is this your primary reason (along with a Greek wife) for being an OC?
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2005, 01:49:38 PM »

Is this your primary reason (along with a Greek wife) for being an OC?

Not originally. My wife and I became involved in the Church after our wedding (the Priest told my wife that alot of Greek brides inÂÂ  the DC area want to get married in the Cathedral - but that he would only marry us if we joined and promised to attend)

So, we did so. And I liked the services and the general theology of the Church. And the Priest is no strict traditionalist and him and I can agree to disagree on some things.

He was the one that when I started to get too tied up in traditionalism, told me that you cannot apply teachings from hundreds of years ago which were used to deal with a specific issue to the world of today. AS an example - when I asked him if I could break the fast for Thanksgiving a couple of years back - he said "We only do the Great Fast - the monks are the ones who have to do all the others"

And when I asked him for confession he said that we only did that at the beginning o Great Lent - and if I have something I want to confess, then just confess it in prayer.

So you see, I don't just MAKE up reasons why I question alot of things that people say must be folowed becasue "the Church teaches it". I see a different interpretation of the requirements of these teachings in MY Church.
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2005, 02:02:17 PM »

TomS

I see you now in a new light. You appear to be a very thoughtful and reasonable man.

To your in-laws though, I am a peasant.

One last thing.  Stick with bran flakes.
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« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2005, 02:37:42 PM »

Not originally. My wife and I became involved in the Church after our wedding (the Priest told my wife that alot of Greek brides inÂÂÂ  the DC area want to get married in the Cathedral - but that he would only marry us if we joined and promised to attend)

So, we did so. And I liked the services and the general theology of the Church. And the Priest is no strict traditionalist and him and I can agree to disagree on some things.

He was the one that when I started to get too tied up in traditionalism, told me that you cannot apply teachings from hundreds of years ago which were used to deal with a specific issue to the world of today. AS an example - when I asked him if I could break the fast for Thanksgiving a couple of years back - he said "We only do the Great Fast - the monks are the ones who have to do all the others"

And when I asked him for confession he said that we only did that at the beginning o Great Lent - and if I have something I want to confess, then just confess it in prayer.

So you see, I don't just MAKE up reasons why I question alot of things that people say must be folowed becasue "the Church teaches it". I see a different interpretation of the requirements of these teachings in MY Church.

It seems as though you (at times) condemn the entire faith on the basis of your "personal experience" at one DC parish. Where is the balance?
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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2005, 02:48:05 PM »

It seems as though you (at times) condemn the entire faith on the basis of your "personal experience" at one DC parish. Where is the balance?

Well, that depends on what you consider the definition of "the entire faith" to be. If I believe the Creed, do I believe enough of the "faith?" What are the boundries of the required faith in order to be considered Orthodox? And you must agree that this definition of "faith" differs between Churches.
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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2005, 02:52:11 PM »

Well, that depends on what you consider the definition of "the entire faith" to be. If I believe the Creed, do I believe enough of the "faith?" What are the boundries of the required faith in order to be considered Orthodox? And you must agree that this definition of "faith" differs between Churches.

"The entire Orthodox Church".
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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2005, 02:55:33 PM »

"The entire Orthodox Church".

Now you are just being "mysterious."
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