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History or Myth?

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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Dec 2019 at 12:55
Maybe he is talking about his local church, but also I think that he finds the organization opaque.  If organization implies that there is rhyme and reason to things....  Well, the church is operating off of 1000s of years of inertia, not just church fathers, or NT, but also OT and pagan precedents.

You say "same belief system" as if that is defined.  Maybe we could make up a check list and thus weed out anyone who is disagreeable.  I think part of the point about the rituals is their mystery.  So, yes you might be able to imitate them, duplicate them but the meaning would be lost.

Orthodox Christian communities are usually ethnic communities and therefore are not really that open to outsiders, even if they are converts.  There may be an organization, but that is not necessarily what you are dealing with on the individual level.  You might be dealing with a priest, but the fact that the priest is Russian or Syriac means there is a cultural barrier there that resists involvement after a certain point.  My friend compares it to the mafia, in other words (I think), business has a personal component that pushes away outsiders and protects insiders.  The 'organization' is tremendously complex having evolved over ages, dare I say byzantine?  I think that his statement recognizes that complexity grown beyond mere reason, and his subservience to it, at least at the time of the statement.

Years ago, we were driving down the street and passed a Coptic Church having a bazaar.  We stopped and checked it out.  I asked him what the status was of the Coptic Church in relationship with Orthodoxy.  He said that a long time ago, they were kicked out of the Orthodox club because they subscribed to a heresy, since then however it was figured out that the heresy they supposedly were following was really a misunderstanding of a translation error.  But, of course, they have been different for ages, and there is no reason to make up now or the foreseeable future.

But, imagine that you wanted to join the Coptic Church as an average parishioner.  It would probably be like running into a wall of molasses.  The congregation would probably, at best, be tolerant of these foreigners.  Not accepting, "tolerant."
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caldrail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Dec 2019 at 21:02
Cultural barriers have always emerged in religion - one only has to look at the pro-Hindu legislation causing upset in India, or the internal strife of the Islamic world, or consider the Holocaust. However, converts to a 'foreign' religion are possible and often the parishioners approve of a newcomer brought to his sense. Not for nothing did a tudor period pirate active in the Mediterranean choose to be converted to Islam. Nor were native americans penalised for adopting Christianity (though Quanah Parker, recently converted, was an embarrasment as a representative of his people. "Quanah, you can't have five wives anymore. You'll have to tell four of them to go". Quanah considered for a moment then told his white colleague "You tell them").
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Vanuatu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2020 at 11:30
LOLWink
As the screaming child said to the nurse maid, "thanks for the mammories"!

It's been sooo, long since the name Quanah Parker graced my ears! 

Happy New Year to You Caldrail!

Quanah Parker was like the Jim Morrison of his time, and smart bc he didn't get high on his own supply. Idyllic, all knowing savage may he rest on the prairie.


 The Comanche of North America, also known as the Cossacks of the Plains, inhabited most of what is now considered the Central United States. They were long known as a warlike tribe that commonly conquered weaker Indian nations. Contrary to popular belief, the Comanche practiced warfare not as means to gain more land or wealth, they believed in it as way of life, it was the only thing they believed in and cared about. With all the meat the bands would ever need grazing stupidly beside the camps; male life increasingly became wrapped up in a search for war. A Comanche band at peace was composed of males without a purpose, and men with no hope of gaining honor or advancement. (White 119)
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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