fredag 31 juli 2009

Varför män gillar ortodoxa kyrkan bäst

Hittade en intressant och smårolig artikel, som även jag som kvinna delvis kan känna igen mig i. Inget puttinutt och gulligull, tack! Och inte denna tröttsamma människocentrering som finns i alla andra kyrkor!

Här några utdrag ur artikeln där ett antal män svarar på varför de tilltalas av det ortodoxa - men läs hela, det är den värd!

***

"The term most commonly cited by these men was “challenging.” Orthodoxy is “active and not passive.” “It’s the only church where you are required to adapt to it, rather than it adapting to you.” “The longer you are in it, the more you realize it demands of you.”

The “sheer physicality of Orthodox worship” is part of the appeal. Regular days of fasting from meat and dairy, “standing for hours on end, performing prostrations, going without food and water [before communion] … When you get to the end you feel that you’ve faced down a challenge.” “Orthodoxy appeals to a man’s desire for self-mastery through discipline.”

“In Orthodoxy, the theme of spiritual warfare is ubiquitous; saints, including female saints, are warriors. Warfare requires courage, fortitude, and heroism. We are called to be ‘strugglers’ against sin, to be ‘athletes’ as St. Paul says. And the prize is given to the victor. The fact that you must ‘struggle’ during worship by standing up throughout long services is itself a challenge men are willing to take up.”

A recent convert summed up, “Orthodoxy is serious. It is difficult. It is demanding. It is about mercy, but it’s also about overcoming oneself. I am challenged in a deep way, not to ‘feel good about myself’ but to become holy. It is rigorous, and in that rigor I find liberation. And you know, so does my wife.”

/.../

“Noetic reality,” the reality of God’s presence and of the entire spiritual realm, “had become completely distorted in the Christianity I knew. Either it was submitted into the harsh rigidity of legalism, or confused with emotions and sentimentality, or diluted by religious concepts being used in a vacuous, platitudinous way. All three — uptight legalism, effusive sentimentality, and vapid empty talk — are repugnant to men.” The discovery of the ancient Christian concept of the nous means that he can now “encounter (really encounter, not just pick up as an emotional infection) the invisible realities that form the genuine substance of the Christian lexicon. It is not just empty talk after all!” This unpredictable, lifechanging, immediate encounter with God is “inherently dangerous, a new adventure, and a consummate challenge.”

/.../

In contrast to some other churches, “Orthodoxy offers a robust Jesus” (and even a robust Virgin Mary, for that matter, hailed in one hymn as “our Captain, Queen of War”). Several used the term “martial” or referred to Orthodoxy as the “Marine Corps” of Christianity. (The warfare is against self-destructive sin and the unseen spiritual powers, not other people, of course.)

One contrasted this “robust” quality with “the feminized pictures of Jesus I grew up with … I’ve never had a male friend who would not have expended serious effort to avoid meeting someone who looked like that.” Though drawn to Jesus Christ as a teen, “I felt ashamed of this attraction, as if it were something a red-blooded American boy shouldn’t take that seriously, almost akin to playing with dolls.”

A priest writes: “Christ in Orthodoxy is a militant, butt-kicking Jesus who takes Hell captive. Orthodox Jesus came to cast fire on the earth. (Males can relate to butt-kicking and fire-casting.) In Holy Baptism we pray for the newly-enlisted warriors of Christ, male and female, that they may “be kept ever warriors invincible.’”

/.../

Many intellectually-inclined men began by reading Church history and the early Christian writers, and found it increasingly compelling. Eventually they faced the question of which of the two most ancient churches, the Roman Catholic or the Orthodox, makes the most convincing claim of being the original Church of the Apostles.

A life-long Orthodox says that what men like is “stability: men find they can trust the Orthodox Church because of the consistent and continuous tradition of faith it has maintained over the centuries.” A convert says, “The Orthodox Church offers what others do not: continuity with the first followers of Christ.” This is continuity, not archeology; the early Church still exists, and you can join it.

/.../

A life-long Orthodox priest writes, “Orthodoxy is full of testosterone! We sing, we yell ‘Christ is Risen!’, we shove even adults under water in baptism, we smear them with oil. Two or three things are always going on at once. Unlike what I saw in a Western church, it doesn’t take a huddle of people several minutes of fussing to light a censer. You light it and off we go, swinging it with gusto and confidence!”

Läs hela artikeln här.

6 kommentarer:

Anonym 31 juli 2009 22:32  

Interesting. Of course the Orthodox Church is relentlessly prejudiced against all other religions - most of all against other Christian denominations. I have the highest regards for the Orthodox church but I would never join a church that has all these different church leaders - one for each country and all of whom fighting within!

Reggie

Charlotte Therese 31 juli 2009 22:46  

Well, yes...but...

If you compare the Orthodox Church and the early Church also from that aspect, you'll find that history repeats itself... :-)

It's even several leaders in many (most?) of the countries where Orthodoxy is represented, not just one.

But then bishops were never meant to be more than local leaders. Although it would be good if they'd stop the cat fighting...

Anonym 1 augusti 2009 21:10  

I agree! The cat fighting within the orthodox church is too bad for its members! But I, for one, believe that we are supposed to have one pope - and I do not believe the Church should be tied to one country alone, as is the case with the Orthodox church.

Reggie

Charlotte Therese 1 augusti 2009 21:18  

You're of course free to think how you wish. But in the beginning there were no pope in the sense we have it today. There were local bishops - one in each town - and they decided over their own parish. There was no central power.

And the Orthodox Church is represented in many (most?) countries in the world. It's not tied to one country.

Simon 2 augusti 2009 23:22  

Intressant inlägg. Speciellt resonemanget kring den feminina kontra maskulina Kristus. Jag tror faktiskt det ligger nåt i det.

Men jag tror också att det har att göra med vilken bild en kyrka eller ett samfund ger av sig själva. I Sverige anses det ibland rätt "fjantigt" att vara kristen för folk tänker automatiskt på nykterister som går runt och ler hela tiden och aldrig får göra något kul. Frikyrkan har blivit symbolen för kristendomen i Sverige, och speciellt den fördomsfulla synen folk har om frikyrkan. När jag konverterade till katolska kyrkan frågade folk om jag blev döpt (omdöpt) och om vi talar i tungor o.s.v. Det säger en hel del om den snedvridna synen folk har om kristendomen idag.

Jag tror faktiskt att ortodoxa kyrkan ger ett väldigt manligt intryck med dessa patriarker och biskopar med långt skägg och "kungakronor" etc.

Jonas 4 augusti 2009 14:53  

Fast östliga riter i den katolska kyrkan har väl också inslag av kungakronor och skägg?! Men annars håller jag med dig Simon.

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