Other Orthodox Lounge Thread

nagareboshi

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Are there any Orthodox people here who have domain knowledge on Greek paganism and art? My personal guess is that the reason why Ancient Greeks were so enthusiastic about statues is because they literally worshipped these statues as living gods, which is why it was important for them to have picture-perfect detail. This would also explain why Christian Greeks (i.e. Eastern Romans) destroyed their statues and replaced them with Holy Icons of the saints.

For example, if you look at this colorized picture, this literally looks like something you'd see at a South Asian pagan temple.

True Colors of Ancient Greek and Roman Statues - moco-choco
 

Jaybosan

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
For example, if you look at this colorized picture, this literally looks like something you'd see at a South Asian pagan temple.

True Colors of Ancient Greek and Roman Statues - moco-choco
I can't delve too deeply into Greek paganism other than to say it was influenced greatly by the Indo-European pantheon. I can add that South Asian/East Asian statues were influenced by Greeks who set up kingdoms in Asia (Afghanistan in particular) post-Alexander the Great, and had influence on and were influenced by Buddhism via the Silk Road. Here you can see the evolution over time of Hercules into a Japanese Buddhist temple guardian you'd see today. Beyond the Greek Kingdoms you can go back further to Indo-European invasions that of course left a big impact on India and Europe (hence the name.) There's evidence they made it to Xinjiang in China too but their cultural impact there is questionable. Heracles-Shukongoshin.jpg
 

Paisios Harlan

Pigeon
Orthodox
Are there any Orthodox people here who have domain knowledge on Greek paganism and art? My personal guess is that the reason why Ancient Greeks were so enthusiastic about statues is because they literally worshipped these statues as living gods, which is why it was important for them to have picture-perfect detail. This would also explain why Christian Greeks (i.e. Eastern Romans) destroyed their statues and replaced them with Holy Icons of the saints.

For example, if you look at this colorized picture, this literally looks like something you'd see at a South Asian pagan temple.

True Colors of Ancient Greek and Roman Statues - moco-choco
The one in color is Mark Zuckerberg!
 

Tardynox

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
True, but Orthodoxy also doesn't take a serious effort to evangelize contrary to these movements. To get to Orthodoxy you either have to be a protestant/Roman Catholic looking for more depth in the faith, or come to it through an extreme ordeal of circumstances like most of us here. There's no one coming to you to tell you about the truth of Orthodoxy. Most protestants/Roman Catholics wouldn't even have an idea about the Church history and that Orthodoxy actually is ancient Christianity. This makes it more unique, but also difficult to find, as I fully understand as you say simply due to the outreach and also the simple quantitative number of churches people are likely to especially end up in some of the 500k protestant groups, since Roman Catholicism has got a very bad reputation due to the paedophilia scandals, which I've heard for many normies is the NO1 thing they have against it right now.
Perhaps it may be for the better in regards to the Orthodox community, as only those who are truly dedicated to it will actually commit themselves, instead of it just being a weak community of lukewarm believers who will fade into atheism several years down the road.
 

Tardynox

Robin
Orthodox Inquirer
I stopped entirely to try to enlighten people around me in whatever way possible, whether it's about corona, new world order, the spiritual war as reality of this world. If people are not ready they will not receive. As fr Peter Heers says our goal should be to be that change ourselves, to let people see Christ through us and perhaps make them curious that way of why we are how we are. That's a long way to go for a fallen human, but it should be the goal.

View attachment 49659
Made me think about it, if you don't accept God into your life, you won't receive much grace at all. Perhaps the same goes for everything else.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
It was interesting to learn about some imitations of this famous Moscow Cathedral throughout Russia, and some cruder ones abroad:


Encouraging to see so many impressive churches being built in the past couple of decades. They already look like historic gems of architecture.
 

fiasco360

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
Brothers - I ask for your prayers. I feel as though I'm fighting a heavy spiritual battle. A heaviness in my chest filled with doubt.

I have been undergoing a very difficult time as of late with a multitude of issues - especially with my physical and mental health. I am working on strengthening my faith with our Lord Jesus Christ and it has been an extremely difficult task for me.

I'm unsure what this means but I keep seeing an unnerving amount of the devil's numbers everywhere I look both in repeating 2s and 6s. As if I'm supposed to turn back the way I came and as if I'm on the "wrong path" for my life. It's been happening for months and more so after I spoke openly about wanting to be baptized in the Orthodox Church. This same doubt is seeping into my relationship thoughts about the Godly woman I'm currently with whom I'm going to propose to.

I will be visiting my new Orthodox Church in the upcoming week to ask my priest for guidance but I'm struggling and fighting a difficult battle now. It seems the more I desire to get closer to God - the more I start to doubt. The more my health seems to deteriorate. The more I doubt my path both in my spiritual life and physical life. I feel as though Satan himself is trying to pull me away and disconnect my prayers - telling me I'm fake and my belief isn't real. I've experienced issues with doubt and faith before, but this is as if it's being turned up to an 11/10.

I was gifted an icon by one of the local church members and have placed it in my living room. I'm attempting to pray multiple times per day. I'm listening to orthodox sermons and saints, but I feel so unnerved, weak and confused.
 

Lawrence87

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Brothers - I ask for your prayers. I feel as though I'm fighting a heavy spiritual battle. A heaviness in my chest filled with doubt.

I have been undergoing a very difficult time as of late with a multitude of issues - especially with my physical and mental health. I am working on strengthening my faith with our Lord Jesus Christ and it has been an extremely difficult task for me.

I'm unsure what this means but I keep seeing an unnerving amount of the devil's numbers everywhere I look both in repeating 2s and 6s. As if I'm supposed to turn back the way I came and as if I'm on the "wrong path" for my life. It's been happening for months and more so after I spoke openly about wanting to be baptized in the Orthodox Church. This same doubt is seeping into my relationship thoughts about the Godly woman I'm currently with whom I'm going to propose to.

I will be visiting my new Orthodox Church in the upcoming week to ask my priest for guidance but I'm struggling and fighting a difficult battle now. It seems the more I desire to get closer to God - the more I start to doubt. The more my health seems to deteriorate. The more I doubt my path both in my spiritual life and physical life. I feel as though Satan himself is trying to pull me away and disconnect my prayers - telling me I'm fake and my belief isn't real. I've experienced issues with doubt and faith before, but this is as if it's being turned up to an 11/10.

I was gifted an icon by one of the local church members and have placed it in my living room. I'm attempting to pray multiple times per day. I'm listening to orthodox sermons and saints, but I feel so unnerved, weak and confused.
Sorry to hear about your struggles.

Doubt will fluctuate in intensity over time. Not many people can be 100 percent sure in their faith all the time. In many ways faith and doubt are interlinked. If you consider that if there was no doubt about the faith then we would have no choice but to believe, but then if we have no choice then essentially God is forcing our worship of Him, which does not result in a loving relationship. God calls us to trust Him. In my experience over time God grants us little miracles. I'm not talking anything spectacular, but small things that affirm our faith. When I am feeling doubts I reflect upon these. Perhaps you can think of some examples for yourself? If not then just pray and keep praying.

The Lord will reward you for being steadfast inspite of these doubts. You're not alone, and I believe speaking to a priest is an excellent idea because they will undoubtedly have dealt with similar issues many times.

Don't worry too much about "devils numbers" and so forth. These things cannot harm you if you have Christ, giving them too much attention is not necessary. Focus on Christ and all shall fall into place.

I wish you all the best brother. May the Lord grant you the strength to remain steadfast.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Ostrich
Orthodox
Please keep Fr. Zechariah Lynch in your prayers.

I didn't know this, but his OCA bishop suspended him back in 2020, due to Fr. Zechariah's views on COVID and the vaccines (see 11/26/22 update)


It appears he is being persecuted.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
Don't worry too much about "devils numbers" and so forth. These things cannot harm you if you have Christ, giving them too much attention is not necessary. Focus on Christ and all shall fall into place.

Yes just to follow up on that point and add to it, personally I noticed that as soon as I made the decision to turn towards Christ, start attending Orthodox services and generally get more serious about my prayer life, the ancient enemy made his presence known almost instantly.

First it manifested as a distant pine tree from my house, which had the curious outline of a body and two "horns", directly facing my bedroom window, around 50 feet away, forming a sillhouette in the urban background, which remains as a stubborn reminder of him. Then it wasn't long before the triple or double 6 pattern started appearing everywhere: license plates on cars, while doing arithmetic and adding up my budgets, page numbers on threads, ticket numbers for software bugs -- constant reminders of the devil's warfare and attempts to stall my momentum.

But as you say, all we need to do is to keep our focus on Christ. If anything, these can be encouraging signs. At least this is how I choose to view them now, that the enemy feels so enraged by the attempts at holiness and drawing nearer to God that he decides to make himself known to you, almost tangibly. If you were sinful and heading towards damnation, he wouldn't even bother and would probably just leave you as you were. So we can be somewhat inspired by this, and work against this friction to increase our prayer life and our attentiveness towards God.

@fiasco360 you may find this video helpful, I watched it early on during my Orthodox journey and it helped me to come to terms with how malicious the demons are and what influence they attempt to inflict upon us, not only the spiritual life but in all things:

[skipped to 9:20, when they start discussing "How the Demons work"]



As they begin discussing, it's good to come to terms with the logismoi and what these are in an Orthodox context:

 

DanielH

Hummingbird
Moderator
Orthodox
Please keep Fr. Zechariah Lynch in your prayers.

I didn't know this, but his OCA bishop suspended him back in 2020, due to Fr. Zechariah's views on COVID and the vaccines (see 11/26/22 update)


It appears he is being persecuted.
I don't see a November 26, 2022 update or anything regarding a suspension, your link is a 2021 article.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Ostrich
Orthodox
I don't see a November 26, 2022 update or anything regarding a suspension, your link is a 2021 article.

CTRL+F it, it's at the very bottom:

11/26/22 Update: It has been brought to my attention that Mr. Cabe claims that I wrote this article without “the due diligence of inquiry.” I provide below screenshots of my attempt to dialogue – aka inquiry – with Mr. Cabe before writing the article (the whole discussion is too long to post). Maybe he is also insinuating that I did not sufficiently investigate the matter. I will note that right after I reached out to Mr. Cabe, he very quickly and unbeknownst to me, wrote a letter to my Bishop seeking some sort of action from him, presumably against me. One accusation is “I came across Fr. Zechariah Lynch’s blog where he is publicizing some concerning views which, in my opinion, are antithetical to the Orthodox understanding of the Apocalypse (Saint Andrew of Caesarea, et al) and critical of the OCA Synod’s statement concerning the vaccine, albeit obliquely.”

Mr. Cabe made a valuable contribution to this update, here is the public post that he made (I’m the lackey he is referring to)

screenshot_20221128-151354_2.png

I will confirm that this is true, I was suspended in 2020, and the antimens were removed from the altar due to the fac that I was not in compliance with covid directives. Mr. Cabe must have had a conversation or dialogue in with someone in which I was referred to as “troublesome,” therefore I can not confirm that part of his public post. Thank you, Mr. Cabe for bringing this information to light.

For the record, I did attempt to dialogue with Mr. Cabe. For the record, when he did not like my stance he subsequently contacted my bishop in an attempt – not for “getting someone in trouble” but – he says, “My hope is that you will take this concern seriously and address it in whatever way you see fit. Of course, Mr. Cabe would not write my Bishop in an attempt to make trouble for me in any way. But if you have a disagreement, why not try to enlist a stronger power to force the other side into… well, maybe, silence?

In the above article, I also invited Mr. Cabe to contact and correct me if my impressions of his intent were incorrect. I never heard from him.

screenshot_1.png
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screenshot_3.png
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Ostrich
Orthodox
In somewhat positive news, Bishop Luke of Syracuse has rescinded his original statement on the COVID vaccines:


Bishop Luke's original statement:

Many of the faithful are asking whether it is permissible to receive the new COVID-19 vaccines. After reviewing with trusted Orthodox medical advisors, we have concluded that some of the concerns lack foundation in fact while others are legitimate. Among the valid concerns two are noteworthy: long-term trials are lacking and aborted fetal cells were used in research. While some conventional vaccines apparently utilize these cell lines in production, the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines do not. Therefore, the most important aspect of these is the novel method used to elicit the immune response. Since there has yet to be a long-term trial, a complete analysis of side-effects is not available, and thus, many are legitimately concerned about this. However, the one line of anxiety that seems excessive is that the mRNA vaccine rewrites human DNA. According to published articles, the mRNA does not enter the nucleus, does not reverse transcribe into DNA, and is merely a means to elicit protein production.

The new COVID-19 vaccines (both conventional and mRNA) are not perfect, but they bear no greater spiritual significance than other personal medical decisions, such as the use of medications for cancer, diabetes or hypertension. As with other similar considerations in medical care, Orthodox faithful need neither to seek a special blessing to receive the vaccines nor are they forbidden to receive them. Each should seek wisdom and discernment after soberly having their concerns addressed, realizing also that there are other possible therapies to treat this disease that have not received as much attention and are not under consideration here. Regardless of the personal decision regarding the vaccine, all should seek the loving therapy and hope of our Holy Church.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Ostrich
Orthodox
Thanks. Impressive that Fr. Zechariah didn't make a scene about it and only addressed it when it came about publicly. He was persecuted in silence, very admirable.

My thoughts exactly. It is unfortunate especially since Fr. Zechariah draws a small salary from his parish work.

However, praise be to God for COVID -- it has revealed which hierarchs we can trust, and whom we cannot. It has separated the wolves from the true shepherds.
 
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