Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Abstinence is unrealistic"

In an interview with Fox News, Bristol Palin shared her experiences with being a young mother especially with the political spotlight.

There are many thought-provoking opinions given throughout the interview, but one among them was Bristol's opinion that abstinence is "unrealistic".

In today's world, being a "good person" has become synonymous with being a Christian and the danger of this is obvious i.e., society's acceptance of what is good and bad continues to slide in the wrong direction away from God. Watching a World Wrestling Federation show from the 1980s and comparing that to WWE today is a striking example of society's lowered standards!

What we need to think of seriously is how easy it is for us to cast stones at acts such as homosexuality as it does not apply to many of us ... however, our judgment on immoral behavior has become more accepting arguably because we can imagine ourselves falling to these temptations if we were in that situation.

We have no better teacher than our Lord Jesus Christ, who rebukes but with love ... and without wavering shows the Way towards which we can return to Him who's image and likeness we have ALL been created. Condoning actions that are not moving us towards being perfect like our Heavenly Father is missing the point of being a Christian.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tradition: Part I

What is Holy Tradition?

Perhaps the most important thing to learn about the Orthodox Church is simply that the Church is orthodox. By that I mean the word “orthodox” itself was an adjective long before it was the name given to the Church. This word “orthodox” is generally defined as that which keeps to the original principles of any given system of thought. In the United States, for example, there are those who hold to an orthodox understanding of the US Constitution; an understanding based on how that document was originally intended and envisioned. In a similar way, the Orthodox Church, wherever it may be, makes the claim that it is indeed Christianity as it was once originally envisioned. I am sure many groups with vastly different doctrines and worship styles undoubtedly would make the same claim. The Orthodox claim to orthodoxy, however, runs deeper than the mere assertion of ideological uniformity with the past, to the very means of understanding embodied by what we call “tradition.”

“Tradition” itself is another confusing word trapped by our common associations. We understand traditions as being those quaint little things we have inherited from our distant past. We have traditional Thanksgiving meals and traditional graduation ceremonies. What’s important is that we are paying homage to the past by repeating those old and ancient things that our parents taught us to revere.

This is innocuous enough; in fact very pleasant and comforting. Yet, beyond those “pleasant” things we consciously do to honor our past ritually, we are also subconsciously imbibing a greater tradition. The language we speak has been formed through the processes of history. Every lesson we learn was somehow handed down from the vast bank of knowledge acquired in the past. Even the way in which we perceive objects and facts is shaped by our inherited culture; which is how we know a particular song or painting is indeed “beautiful.” Tradition is more than just the repetition of practices from the past for the past’s sake, but more so the inherited framework of thinking in which we have individually learned to know and interpret facts.

to be continued...

-Steve K.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Movie challenges Coptic restrictions on divorce

An upcoming Egyptian movie has caused a stir over it's portrayal of the struggles faced by divorced women to remarry in the Coptic Church, reports the LA Times.

"Christian lawyer Nabil Gobriel has filed a legal complaint and called on the Egyptian prime minister to ban the movie. “Freedom is not absolute, it must have limits, it should not infringe on religious fundamentals,” Gobriel told The Times in a phone interview. "

Obviously, I would argue that the lawyer is out of line for calling for the banning of the movie. I don't think laws regarding divorce are this strict in the Indian church. Is there not a "canonical standard" on this among the Oriental Churches?

Newly born lion cub named after the Patriarch Kirill reports that a Lion cub born in the Safari zoo circus in Pyatigorsk will be named "Kirill," after the newly enthroned Russian Patriarch.

“We hurried to name a cub after him – Kirill (or Kira if it turns out to be a girl,)” head of the Moscow travelling circus, which is now on tour in the Caucasus, Gamlet Kasyan was quoted as saying by the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily."

Anyone in favor of starting a petition to get a lion cub in Kerala named "Didymos?"