Can Christians enter pagan temples?

samkim

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Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
 

choy

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Yes, as long as we don't do anything against our faith, that is participating in any ritual.
 

Cantor Krishnich

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Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
 

Asteriktos

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I think it depends on the reason for attending, your role, etc.
 

Arachne

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Jetavan said:
You mean, like Yankee Stadium?
Does the Parthenon count? Or is its Christian consecration still valid? ;)
 

ialmisry

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Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
 

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ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
 

Cantor Krishnich

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choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
Correct, in Indian Subcontinental culture, shoes are removed before entering houses and places of worship. This actually exists in many other cultures as well. Its a sign of respect/culture and hygiene.
 

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Well, if the sign says to do so "to honor the idols," then why bother?

It's fine to visit pagan temples, especially if you're going there to throw down idols and convert people to the true faith. We have many saints who did that. Some of them were martyred, so it helps to be spiritually well prepared and not flipping crazy.
 

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choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
 

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Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.

 

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When I was in Washington, D.C., a few years ago, I visited the Lincoln Memorial. There was a notice about the purpose of the structure that referred to it as a "temple". I don't remember the exact wording of the notice (perhaps someone else has it at hand?). Given that, and along with a strong pagan influence on the architecture, it felt rather creepy to me.
 

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Santagranddad said:
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.
I'm intrigued by this. I am trying to begin to grasp such eastern faiths as Hinduism and am curious what was so jaw dropping.

Good question about Church teaching. I think it may be ok, but I would want to know what sort of spiritual mess I would be around before I went in, so I would want to do my research. I've never been to a service that didn't acknowledge our Lord though, so I speak from limited experience around pagan stuff and from my own thinking.  Def. don't participate in anything against our Lord!  If it is not a "spiritual" thing, then I don't think it would have as strong of an impact. For example, a Chinese New Year thing may be ok.
 

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Santagranddad said:
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.
As far as I know, the only thing forbidden is praying with unbelievers, in temples or anywhere. It is more about participation in ritual than sharing space. Naturally, acts of worship imbue space with their energy, so I can certainly understand being unnerved by such a site, even a long-disused one.
 

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samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.
 

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Santagranddad said:
Is there any Church teaching on this? Might be more informative than if we all chipped in with our opinions.

I have been to Hindu temples here in the UK and India. Jaw dropping experiences and for me uncomfortable ones too.
Would you believe the Lives of the Saints as part of Church teaching or do you want something more scholastic, because that could be found as well, I'm sure.
 

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Incognito777 said:
samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.
And how do you equate "observe; for cultural events" with "pray"?
 

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Incognito777 said:
samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.
Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.
 

ialmisry

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Achronos said:
choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.

Btw, I usually take my shoes off if the hosts are OK with that.  Egyptian custom.
 

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ialmisry said:
Achronos said:
choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.
So did you keep entering her room after you found out about the reason behind her desire for you to take off your shoes?
 

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Arachne said:
Naturally, acts of worship imbue space with their energy,
Iconodule, can you do that whole poetic gibberish thing here for me?
 

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Knee V said:
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.
Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed. There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?

This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life. I don't even believe in the concept of forums. Familiarity is a sin, and there's too much gossip. But I hope my answer helps.
 

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Incognito777 said:
Knee V said:
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.
Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed.
And how do you know this, O perfect judge of persons' hearts. ::)

Incognito777 said:
There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?
I don't know. Maybe to learn something about the history and culture of a people so you can have a better idea how to preach the Gospel to them? How do you know so much about human hearts?

Incognito777 said:
This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life.
I suppose you have?

Incognito777 said:
I don't even believe in the concept of forums.
So why are you here posting on one? What about all those youtube videos you like to post? Why do you post them?

Incognito777 said:
Familiarity is a sin,
Really? Says who?

Incognito777 said:
and there's too much gossip.
Thank you for joining in. ;)

Incognito777 said:
But I hope my answer helps.
Not really.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Incognito777 said:
Knee V said:
It depends on the reason and on our priest's advice. There is no blanket answer.
Anyone who would even enter a pagan temple, has underlining spiritual issues that need to be addressed.
And how do you know this, O perfect judge of persons' hearts. ::)

Incognito777 said:
There is nothing anything pagan can offer a soul that is superior to Orthodoxy. In terms of the right to enter, the answer is no. Why would an Orthodox Christian want to anyway?
I don't know. Maybe to learn something about the history and culture of a people so you can have a better idea how to preach the Gospel to them? How do you know so much about human hearts?

Incognito777 said:
This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life.
I suppose you have?

Incognito777 said:
I don't even believe in the concept of forums.
So why are you here posting on one? What about all those youtube videos you like to post? Why do you post them?

Incognito777 said:
Familiarity is a sin,
Really? Says who?

Incognito777 said:
and there's too much gossip.
Thank you for joining in. ;)

Incognito777 said:
But I hope my answer helps.
Not really.
This.
 

Agabus

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Incognito777 said:
This forum is worldly, and a lot of the people have not been sufficiently taught the Holy Orthodox way of life. I don't even believe in the concept of forums. Familiarity is a sin, and there's too much gossip.
This line is laughable.

You are here, posting.

Pairing that statement with another one you made:

Incognito777 said:
trevor72694 said:
Incognito777, you should make a post introducing yourself in the appropriate sub-forum.  Your recent threads have made me very curious about you.
I am chief among sinners, misfits and wretches. Great is the mercy of God.

Glory be to God for all things. Christ is Risen!
Show that you are not -- in fact -- humble nor are you a prophet. You are here to harangue.

The line about being the chief sinner is hard enough to accept from holy people, much less some guy who wants to come and point out his brothers' sins, and then -- while he is doing so -- insinuates that participation in such discussions is a sin.
 

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Would you let your 13 year old attend his or her friend's Bar Mitzvah? I went to one at that age, but if it was my kid, I am not sure
 

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username! said:
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism? 
And the sporting field the arena of battle between rivals in religious affiliation ....  ;) ::)
 
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Cantor Krishnich said:
choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
Correct, in Indian Subcontinental culture, shoes are removed before entering houses and places of worship. This actually exists in many other cultures as well. Its a sign of respect/culture and hygiene.
I have often wondered about this, but I will admit I don't know how other Churches regard the matter. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian, we are taught to always remove our shoes when entering a Church, this due to God commanding Moses to take of his shoes when walking on Holy ground. If I am to enter an Eastern Orthodox Church, I would not dare to enter unless my shoes were removed, would this be taken as an offense by EO:s?
 

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thethinker said:
Incognito777 said:
samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.
Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.
This was what immediately came to my mind.  And it disturbs me that no one even considered St. Paul's words on the matter.  I'd eat food sacrificed to idols in a heartbeat.  What if it's delicious?  Well, the only meat I'll eat is seafood, so...I guess my options could be limited, but still!
 

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Deep Roots said:
thethinker said:
Incognito777 said:
samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
Absolutely not. Orthodoxy teaches us not to pray with heretics and schismatics. How much more would this apply to pagan religions of the devil? See Canon 33 of Laodicea, for example.
Paul said that he could eat meat offered to idols in a pagan temple if it did not cause his brother to stumble. He could because the idols nothing.
This was what immediately came to my mind.  And it disturbs me that no one even considered St. Paul's words on the matter.  I'd eat food sacrificed to idols in a heartbeat.  What if it's delicious?  Well, the only meat I'll eat is seafood, so...I guess my options could be limited, but still!
In Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul also took a stroll through the Greek mall lined with statues to various gods and commended them for their statue to the unknown god and used it as a jumping off point to preach to them (not that we should do that (stand up and preach) at someone's wedding or funeral). As Peter the Aleut mentioned above, building points of contact and understanding is a time-honored Orthodox missionary strategy.

Also, I agree that there is a tendency to reference the Bible last, if at all. Too Protestant for some?

I understand converts wanting to remove themselves from the practice of proof-texting, which may have been a sort of default mode in some Protestant circles (please note the use of words "may" and "some" because not all Protestants engage in proof-texting).

I also understand cradles being wary of "private" interpretations of scripture as well.

But you are correct, there is a tendency to consult what the Church teaches, or a council, canon, Church Father, or lives of saints, or go check with your priest, and worst of all, just offer our own opinions, before the Bible ever once enters the discussion.

So I was encouraged that St. Paul's teaching was brought into this discussion.
 

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Gebre Egziabeher said:
I have often wondered about this, but I will admit I don't know how other Churches regard the matter. As an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian, we are taught to always remove our shoes when entering a Church, this due to God commanding Moses to take of his shoes when walking on Holy ground. If I am to enter an Eastern Orthodox Church, I would not dare to enter unless my shoes were removed, would this be taken as an offense by EO:s?
Not by this one  :). IMO, personal practices of piety are acceptable, so long as they do not draw excessive attention to oneself. There is already a wide range of how people show their devotion to Christ and the Saints when at church.
 

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ialmisry said:
Achronos said:
choy said:
ialmisry said:
Cantor Krishnich said:
Comming from and Indian background, I've been to quiet a few Hindu mandirs. I think its okay to go as long as you dont participate in a rituals, prayers, or eat anything that was ritually offered to an idol such as Hindu parshad.
I wouldn't go in the one in Chicago, because we would have to take our shoes off in honor of the idols (their word, btw).

I've been to lots of Egyptian, Greek, Roman etc. temples that were out of service.
But isn't taking your shoes off also just good manners when you are a guest?  Like when you go to someone else's home?  You're doing it not for the idols but because you do not want to offend the people of that faith.
But that's not what Isa is saying. They are saying you have to take your shoes off to honor idols, which I wouldn't do either.
Good man!

I used to take my shoes off in the room of a Hindu girl I knew-until I was told that it was to honor her family's idol.

Btw, I usually take my shoes off if the hosts are OK with that.  Egyptian custom.
Most of the world's cultures have a pagan origin. Is there anything wrong with that. In Indian Subcontinental culture, the practice of removing shoes before entering as well as thousands of other traditions have Hindu origin. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians (yes, Orthodox Christians) have kept many traditions that have Hindu origin. As long the traditions don't contradict our Orthodox faith, it is okay. In many cultures, people remove their shoes before entering. 
 

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samkim said:
Just to observe; for cultural events; etc..

I'm interested in Catholic and protestant opinions as well as Orthodox.
In China I entered Daoist temples and some others I am not sure how they are categorized (since they tend to have statues of local gods) it is almost impossible to visit such a shrine without at least some one nearby right outside or inside making an act of reverence. Sometimes there is quite a bit of activity and sometimes very little. However this is not what I would call communal worship. Simply being present does not imply praying along with others present.

I take it like a funeral or marriage service , one's presence as a visitor does not in itself signify an endorsement of the beliefs represented by the temple. In the places I have been, the attendees are also not interested in worshipping with the visitors, they are on their own doing their own thing and asking for blessings upon their own selves and kin.
 

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username! said:
Is not a mall the temple of the religion of consumerism?  
As I've pointed out around here, old nice RC parishes become places of commerce and abandoned strip malls become parishes to megaChristians.

Outside:



Inside:



Welcome to Urban Outfitters Cincinnati.
 

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The correct answer is: ask a priest.

But for pete's sake, I don't even understand why this is an issue. Do you really think that God is going to somehow subtract from your "salvation score" (as if such a score existed) if He spots you in a pagan temple? You know you're not there to worship some idol. Just make the sign of the cross before you enter and enjoy your "cultural experience." To think that somehow taking off your shoes with no intention of completing some pagan ritual will invoke some dangerous spirits or the wrath of God is, to me, superstitious.

That said, you certainly shouldn't do anything that you're uncomfortable doing.
 
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