Most innane questions you have been asked

Rosehip

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Crucifer said:
i think it's disrespectful to attend someone's church service and sit there reading. why did you bother to go then?
I must admit this troubled me a bit too. I think it would be a better testimony to respectfully observe the service-after all these people are Christians too.  I'm not sure reading in the lobby is going to create a good impression of Orthodox Christianity on your friends-if anything it'll only put up barriers. I would feel hurt if my non-orthodox friends would stand out in the narthex, or out on the steps reading a book while service is going on. "Do unto others..."
 

ytterbiumanalyst

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Well, I didn't really intend to turn this into a thread about me, but I'll answer a few questions.

ComingHome said:
Being a Church of God pastor, I am interested in what you thought of the service.  I realize you read but surely you did pick up on some of what went on.  Just wondering. 
I thought the pastor was quite self-absorbed; everything in the service was all about him. They sang a few songs, mainly rock ballads, but between each one the pastor came up and talked about himself, then they went back to singing. The sermon was about the time he accidentally set his house on fire by throwing away some inflammable objects in his trash can, then setting the trash can next to the house where it spontaneously combusted. He attempted to tie this to the idea that faith is like God's "setting your heart on fire"--I heard that a lot in the Pentecostal church--but really the sermon was an excuse to talk about himself.

This was the only experience I've had with the Church of God, but I suspect this was one renegade pastor dealing with giantism and egotism, and not indicative of the larger Church of God denomination.

Crucifer said:
i think it's disrespectful to attend someone's church service and sit there reading. why did you bother to go then?
I apologize that I didn't make this clearer. I only found out the Orthodox church didn't have a Liturgy when we drove to it. Since there was no one there, and I didn't have a car myself, I had the choice of either sitting through their service or waiting in the car. I thought waiting in the car would be worse. Looking back on it, I'm not sure which actually would have been. "Knowing that I could not travel both/I looked down one as far as I could/To where it disappeared in the undergrowth."

Rosehip said:
I must admit this troubled me a bit too. I think it would be a better testimony to respectfully observe the service-after all these people are Christians too.  I'm not sure reading in the lobby is going to create a good impression of Orthodox Christianity on your friends-if anything it'll only put up barriers. I would feel hurt if my non-orthodox friends would stand out in the narthex, or out on the steps reading a book while service is going on. "Do unto others..."
I apologize that this troubled you. I'm no saint, and I don't pretend to believe that everything I did was correct. But I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.
 

Simayan

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When I was discussing being baptized Orthodox instead of Roman Catholic (I was in 10th grade, and she was a lapsed Catholic), my mom said, "But Will, you're not Greek," to which I responded, "Mom, you're not Roman." She sighed and chuckled saying, "Great, now it's gonna be a 'thing', and I'm gonna be making baklava."  :D
 

Rosehip

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  I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.
Very true.
 

wynd

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Simayan said:
When I was discussing being baptized Orthodox instead of Roman Catholic (I was in 10th grade, and she was a lapsed Catholic), my mom said, "But Will, you're not Greek," to which I responded, "Mom, you're not Roman."
Best response ever
 

Myrrh23

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"Are you going to start dressing like a Muslim?" because some women cover their hair for the Liturgy... :p

A friend of mine even made the joke that I could stop wearing deodorant period because I would be engulfed in incense during the Liturgy and would carry that out with me after the Service ends... :laugh:
 

Simayan

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Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"
 

Myrrh23

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Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"
LOL! :laugh:
I would have made sure there was a slight comedic pause and said "Allahu Akbar?"! ;D
 

ComingHome

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
This was the only experience I've had with the Church of God, but I suspect this was one renegade pastor dealing with giantism and egotism, and not indicative of the larger Church of God denomination.
I cannot  tell you how much I wish that were the case.  Unfortunately, I see a great deal of it and it almost seems that it is encouraged to some extent by the leadership.

ytterbiumanalyst said:
I apologize that this troubled you. I'm no saint, and I don't pretend to believe that everything I did was correct. But I do believe that even poor examples can serve a purpose: if nothing else, they can tell you what not to do. It's all too easy to say, "These people are so stupid; I can't believe they don't know any better." Much more difficult is to understand where you yourself have gone wrong. All of us have done inane things, often believing that we were doing what is right. Spiritual blindness takes many forms, and it afflicts all of us.
As one who is so far from being a saint, I can only say a hearty "Amen!" 
 

CalloftheTor

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Simayan said:
Off of what Myrrh said, I remember I was in the process of doing a prostration during Lent when my dad walked into my room. He almost had a heart attack and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?!"
LOL
That's awesome!
 

Xenia

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Regarding reading a book in the back of a church, I've noticed a few times that visitors will read their Bibles throughout the entire Liturgy, out of protest or piety I cannot say.  I suspected they were reluctant Protestants dragged into our church kind of against their will.
 

Reader KevinAndrew

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
When I was staying with some friends out of state over a weekend, I was trying to explain to them why I was trying to find an Orthodox church that wasn't too far out of their way. They offered to take me to their church, and I respectfully declined. They retorted, "But we're not like other Pentecostals; we're Church of God." It was hopeless trying to explain that it didn't matter to me what their religion was. Fortunately, we found an Orthodox church just a couple of blocks from theirs. Unfortunately, it didn't have a Liturgy that week, so I went to their church. I brought a book with me and read in the back. Thankfully they didn't have communion at their church. I really didn't want to go there.
People have done this in Orthodox churches as well - reading in the back when a service was going on.

I was at a vigil service at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington. There was a woman (I believe a woman from Russia, but it is beside the point) come in with a teenaged girl. The woman came into the santuary proper and the girl sat in the back, promptly planted herself on the bench and was absorbed in a book -- not the Bible. I saw that and thought it was a bit rude and then went about my own business worshiping.

When the censing of the temple occurred, I noticed the girl was still reading and about her business when the deacon, who was censing, stopped right in front of her. He told her to stand up. He repeated himself and looked a little ticked (rightly so). She looked up with this puzzled "what on earth?" look and stood up. He censed her with a chink (acolyte-speak :) ) and continued on.

I comment on this and bring this story up because I sympathize with those uncomfortable with what they read and their comments. This girl also didn't look like she wanted to be there. Who knows what her story was. But she was a guest in God's house. Christians are called the witness Christ - be it in a Protestant building as a guest, driving on the beltway, standing in line at a football game , etc. And we ALL fall short in witnessing the Faith.

I'm not saying this to beat you up. You certainly don't have to participate in a gathering like that, take communion, or repond to an altar call. This might not be the last time you are in a situation like that in your life. Please think how actions like that would affect a person who might be pondering joining the Faith and yet sees something like this. Most of us would not like action like this in own own house of worship.

Pray for me, a sinner and all the best to you.

This went off topic on the thread and I apologize.
 

Quinault

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Xenia said:
Regarding reading a book in the back of a church, I've noticed a few times that visitors will read their Bibles throughout the entire Liturgy, out of protest or piety I cannot say.  I suspected they were reluctant Protestants dragged into our church kind of against their will.
My brother did this on Sunday when he attended with me. His twin refused blessed bread when people offered because it was a closed communion. I had to explain that the blessed bread is OK, just not anything in the chalice. But that is a pretty understandable misunderstanding.
 

EofK

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Quinault said:
My brother did this on Sunday when he attended with me. His twin refused blessed bread when people offered because it was a closed communion. I had to explain that the blessed bread is OK, just not anything in the chalice. But that is a pretty understandable misunderstanding.
My first Sunday I attended I refused a second piece of blessed bread because I didn't understand the idea behind it.  I wasn't sure if it was ok to take more than one piece.  Luckily the man who offered it to me ended up being my sponsor so I don't think he was too offended.  :)
 

sprtslvr1973

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An Atheist once asked me "Why do you believe in God?"
...But is that really such a dumb question?
 

JamesR

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An aunt of mine once asked me if I went to Church with my father this morning, I told her no and explained that we attend different Churches since I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian. She then asked me 'So what do you believe?' and expected me to give her an entire summary of Orthodox Christianity, our doctrines, history, dogmas etc in a short, brief two minute answer. Lol. I don't think people realize the depth of Orthodoxy or any form of Christianity for that matter; even other Christians.

Also, there was once a strange, somewhat offensive comment that came from my Roman Catholic grandmother. At Easter she asked me if I had gone to Church, I explained to her that my Easter--called Pascha--is one week later because we use an older calendar. She responded 'Oh yeah, because you're a different religion than us.'
 

Apples

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This last week my friends invited me to go to the mall. I was hesitant because I thought they'd spend the whole time playing Magic: the Gathering at this one nerdy store. I asked my dad for advice and he asked me why I didn't want to play Magic. "Is it against your religion or something?"
 

Achronos

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William said:
This last week my friends invited me to go to the mall. I was hesitant because I thought they'd spend the whole time playing Magic: the Gathering at this one nerdy store. I asked my dad for advice and he asked me why I didn't want to play Magic. "Is it against your religion or something?"
Heh way back whenever that was popular in my middle school my father wouldn't let me get a deck because he said it was "devil's stuff". Thank God.
 
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