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Theological hot takes that can get you in trouble with your fellow brethren

Ainnir

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Our lives are messy. Sounds like your church tapestry is very complicated. I of course will be single the rest of my life from my own faults and my own sins, not anyone else's. I am older though and have a litter of kids so for me it is easier to accept than people in other situations. Loneliness hurts. May God's will be done in each of us.
That boat is not as empty as one might think.
 

Addai Gaspar

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the Revised Calendar should be universally adopted and used to calculate the date of Easter as well.
 

Saxon

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St. Augustine is a perfectly good Church Father/Orthodox saint. One of my favourites, in fact. Confessions kept me from walking away from church, and I'm planning to read City of God next.

That just came to mind because someone on an Orthodox FB group asked about him and instantly multiple people replied with "he isn't an Orthodox saint!", and even after being confronted with evidence that he is, indeed, an Orthodox saint, kept insisting that he isn't. It was Twilight Zone-level gaslighting.

St. Augustine did far more for Orthodoxy than Fr. John Romanides ever did.
 

bwallace23350

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General Confession done by the Armenian Church is the best way to do general confession followed by how the Anglicans do it and both are preferable to private confession
 

Jude1:3

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St. Augustine is a perfectly good Church Father/Orthodox saint. One of my favourites, in fact. Confessions kept me from walking away from church, and I'm planning to read City of God next.

That just came to mind because someone on an Orthodox FB group asked about him and instantly multiple people replied with "he isn't an Orthodox saint!", and even after being confronted with evidence that he is, indeed, an Orthodox saint, kept insisting that he isn't. It was Twilight Zone-level gaslighting.

St. Augustine did far more for Orthodoxy than Fr. John Romanides ever did.

Check out this book sometime :



 

Asteriktos

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Theological hot takes that can get you in trouble with your fellow brethren
The above book by Fr. Seraphim, along with God's Revelation to the Human Heart, are the only books by him that have any spiritual value
 

hecma925

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You should tell that to my parish's bookstore.
 

Saxon

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The above book by Fr. Seraphim, along with God's Revelation to the Human Heart, are the only books by him that have any spiritual value
I think Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future has aged quite well and gained renewed importance given the explosion of interest in yoga, occultism, and general New Age and Eastern mystic practices after his repose, as well as the recent growth of charismatic/evangelical Christianity at the expense of (more or less) Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox communities in certain areas. I've also heard good things about Nihilism, but I'm not particularly interested in works of philosophy.
 

Jude1:3

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The above book by Fr. Seraphim, along with God's Revelation to the Human Heart, are the only books by him that have any spiritual value

Post a link to books that you have written that have any spiritual value.
 

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I don’t particularly care for Fathers Andrew Stephen Damick, Stephen De Young, Josiah Trenham, or Peter Heers, among others. I’m particularly exasperated with hearing from the first two and their ubiquitousness in podcasting and publishing (“The Religion of the Apostles” has a literal cult following). Each more or less seems to be jockeying to the the next Father Seraphim and converts in particular hang on to their words far too closely.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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Born into a Methodist family, converted to Catholicism at 15, later to OO at 18 (though am convinced EO and OO share the same faith and are simply in schism). No longer practicing but I’ve reconsidered some of my stances and would say I’m in the same boat as Asteriktos at the moment (so much so that I’ve reached out to a Russian priest here in Beijing).



1. The Catholic Church has valid sacraments with grace. Some post schism practices (Eucharistic adoration, the rosary, stations of the cross) are/should be fine in WRO parishes/personal devotion; additionally many post schism Catholic saints were holy and are in heaven (e.g. Francis and Clare of Assisi, John of the Cross, and Therese of Lisieux).



2. Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego.



3. Many of the events/figures in the OT (up to the Babylonian captivity) are a mixture of myth and legend with some basis in historical fact (the Exodus, the fall of Jericho, etc.). Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, etc. all existed but, as I would say with some Christian hagiography, some of the events surrounding their lives may not have happened.



4. The Ark of the Covenant, if it still exists, is in Ethiopia.



5. The Roman chasuble should be standard in the Latin rite.



6. The Gospels probably weren’t written by said authors (not to say they weren’t inspired).



7. The Fathers had a warped view of human sexuality.



8. Evolution is true but does create difficulties explaining the Fall.



9. Universal salvation seems probable.



10. Circumcision is fine purely for hygienic/cosmetic purposes.



11. Stigmata isn't apart of the tradition of the Eastern Church but likely isn't demonic.



12. The liturgical diversity found in OO is a strength though I prefer the Byzantine (Slavonic) traditions.
 

Alpo2

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The above book by Fr. Seraphim, along with God's Revelation to the Human Heart, are the only books by him that have any spiritual value
His translation of Vitae Patrum by St. Gregory of Tours is nice too.
 

Asteriktos

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His translation of Vitae Patrum by St. Gregory of Tours is nice too.
I should have included that one as well, I'm pretty sure I remember reading that one long ago. I've been thinking lately that maybe I was too hard above and could buy his books again to see what I thought--after all it's approaching like two decades since I read them. Unfortunately a lot of them, if available at all, are expensive even for used copies, and the project would probably amount to about my budget for books for an entire year.
 

melkite

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10. Circumcision is fine purely for hygienic/cosmetic purposes.
Sure, if the boy/man being circumcised is the one making the decision. It's not fine for parents to permanently amputate part of their child's healthy body, regardless of their motivations.
 

Alpo2

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It's not fine for parents to permanently amputate part of their child's healthy body, regardless of their motivations.
Well God used to demand it. Also, parents make all kinds of decisions for their child. Every kind of upbringing, lifestyle, moral values, social class etc. is more or less permanent.
 

PorphyriosK

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Well God used to demand it. Also, parents make all kinds of decisions for their child. Every kind of upbringing, lifestyle, moral values, social class etc. is more or less permanent.
For a Christian to choose voluntary circumcision was an excommunicable offense in the early Church.
 

Alpo2

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For a Christian to choose voluntary circumcision was an excommunicable offense in the early Church.
Sure. Judaizing is heresy. But I quite understand why Jews and Muslims do it and don't see anything particularly wrong in it.
 

melkite

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Well God used to demand it. Also, parents make all kinds of decisions for their child. Every kind of upbringing, lifestyle, moral values, social class etc. is more or less permanent.
God doesn't demand it now.

Parents make all kinds of decisions for their children, but they aren't morally permitted to make any kind of decision for their child. The foreskin wouldn't be there if God hadn't designed it to be, so with an abrogated command that never applied to Christians, it shouldn't be controversial to say that it's not ok for parents to force their children to live without a healthy body part that God specifically designed for them. Destroying your child's body, in whole or in part, is no small sin.
 

Alpo2

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God doesn't demand it now.
Which is why Christians have no need for it.

Parents make all kinds of decisions for their children, but they aren't morally permitted to make any kind of decision for their child. The foreskin wouldn't be there if God hadn't designed it to be, so with an abrogated command that never applied to Christians, it shouldn't be controversial to say that it's not ok for parents to force their children to live without a healthy body part that God specifically designed for them. Destroying your child's body, in whole or in part, is no small sin.
God does never command anything inherently morally wrong. That's why IMO it's controversial to say that this would be anyhow forcing or otherwise inherently morally wrong. Christians don't have any religious obligation to do it but if it's part of some culture I don't see anything wrong with it. It's a silly custom but not anyhow moral issue.

Female circumcision is a whole another thing though. That's always and everywhere wrong.
 

melkite

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Which is why Christians have no need for it.



God does never command anything inherently morally wrong. That's why IMO it's controversial to say that this would be anyhow forcing or otherwise inherently morally wrong. Christians don't have any religious obligation to do it but if it's part of some culture I don't see anything wrong with it. It's a silly custom but not anyhow moral issue.

Female circumcision is a whole another thing though. That's always and everywhere wrong.
Why would it be always and everywhere wrong to do it to a female, but not to a male? The idea that they are not the same thing is incorrect and based in a flawed American cultural bias in favor of male circumcision. The only difference is that they are performed on sexually divergent, but analogous, parts on boys and girls. The cultural justifications are the same. The physical results vary depending on how severe the degree of amputation is, but there is significant overlap in those results when comparing the mutilation of boys' and girls' genitals.

Foot binding is part of some cultures. Neck extension rings, extreme lip/nostril/ear lobe gauges, scarification are all cultural practices. Where do you draw the moral line of how much a child's body can be modified based on the cultural and aesthetic preferences of his/her parents? Since the parent is not the one who has to live with it, why should they have any moral authority to permanently and irreversibly alter their child's body when it is not something necessary to preserve their health?
 

Alpo2

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The idea that they are not the same thing is incorrect and based in a flawed American cultural bias in favor of male circumcision.
I'm not an American but a Finn. Never even been to the US. Nobody here does circumcision of any kind outside of small immigrant minorities. :)

My understanding is that male circumcision is mostly harmless when it comes to health whereas female circumcision is mostly extremely harmful. Same goes for foot binding etc.
 

melkite

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I'm not an American but a Finn. Never even been to the US. Nobody here does circumcision of any kind outside of small immigrant minorities. :)

My understanding is that male circumcision is mostly harmless when it comes to health whereas female circumcision is mostly extremely harmful. Same goes for foot binding etc.
This is incorrect. Male circumcision can be mostly harmless, but this is not guaranteed. About 100 boys die from complications, usually blood loss, in the US each year.

Most people in the US, perhaps in the West in generally, think FGM is always infibulation. This is the worst form of FGM and, physically, is indeed worse than circumcision. But it isn't the most common form. Elsewhere in the world, FGM usually only consists of removal of a portion or all of the clitoral hood. This has no more complications than male circumcision, and the sexual complications are usually not as severe as male circumcision.
 

Alpo2

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Male circumcision can be mostly harmless, but this is not guaranteed.
Every medical operation can be mostly harmless but this is not guaranteed.
 

Arachne

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Why would it be always and everywhere wrong to do it to a female, but not to a male?
Because 'female circumcision' is a euphemism to make the practice sound more palatable. The correct term is 'female genital mutilation'.
 

Ainnir

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I like facts:

For comparison:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the AAP doesn't recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns. The AAP leaves the circumcision decision up to parents — and supports use of anesthetics for infants who have the procedure.
 

Ainnir

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That said, I’m not pro- or anti-male circumcision. But it is absolutely not a 1-to-1 correlation to the female variety.
 

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Because 'female circumcision' is a euphemism to make the practice sound more palatable. The correct term is 'female genital mutilation'.
Male circumcision is a euphemism to make the practice sound more palatable. The correct term is "male genital mutilation."

See anyone can change the name of something to make it sound nicer or uglier, per their own preferences. FGM isn't any less or more what it is by which words are used to describe it. Same with MGM.

You like facts? Then can I assume you're aware of these:

Countries that practice FGM use the same - and I mean the EXACT same - medical and hygienic excuses to justify the practice as we do to justify circumcision.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association recognizes the AAP position as being based more on cultural bias than any valid medical research. They explicitly counter every justification the American medical establishment uses to push circumcision. The medical associations of the Scandinavian countries in particular, view the American position equally negatively and as invalid. Other European countries take a more neutral tone to the American position, but still ultimately find no validity in our presumptions on the procedure.

You're technically right that there is no 1-1 comparison between male and female genital mutilation. That's because there are multiple ways of doing both. There is no 1-1 comparison between different forms of FGM. There is no 1-1 comparison between different forms of MGM. The reality is, that a lot of it varies from person to person, even within the parameters of a generally standard result. Some forms of FGM are physically worse than circumcision. And circumcision is physically worse than some forms of FGM. However, they absolutely ARE 1-1 on an ethical level. A girl doesn't have a greater right to not have her body violated than a boy does. A girl doesn't have a higher degree of inherent dignity of her body and its parts than a boy does. A parent doesn't have more right or authority to cut parts of their son's body off than they do their daughter's.
 

melkite

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Sorry for answering arachne and ainnir together in one post. I didn't see that they were posted by different users as I was writing.
 

Ainnir

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I don’t necessarily disagree with you about the ethical role of parents. That’s definitely something to consider.

But the cultural motivations behind each, as I understand them (big disclaimer there), are worlds apart. The female version always seems to be intended to suppress female sexual freedom and enjoyment, as if that were dirty and must be corrected. The only motives I’ve seen for the male version are either religious or familial (like father, like son). Nothing intended to disrupt male sexual function or shame him in any way. But I may have missed something. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

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I don’t necessarily disagree with you about the ethical role of parents. That’s definitely something to consider.

But the cultural motivations behind each, as I understand them (big disclaimer there), are worlds apart. The female version always seems to be intended to suppress female sexual freedom and enjoyment, as if that were dirty and must be corrected. The only motives I’ve seen for the male version are either religious or familial (like father, like son). Nothing intended to disrupt male sexual function or shame him in any way. But I may have missed something. 🤷🏻‍♀️
That's understandable, since it's not among the reasons given in the past few generations for it - and it really isn't a motivation in America any more. But disruption of sexual function was the primary intent when circumcision first began to be practiced in the English-speaking world. Read about John Harvey Kellogg (same Kellogg as the cereal company). He proposed circumcision as a means to punish boys for masturbation, and continuing in the vein of Maimonides, to remove as much pleasure the male could experience as possible without also making procreation impossible. That seems to be the only saving grace for boys over girls when it comes to genital mutilation. Women can still conceive if they feel no sexual pleasure, but men need to experience at least some in order to ejaculate (sorry if I'm being too descriptive).
 

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Male circumcision is a euphemism to make the practice sound more palatable. The correct term is "male genital mutilation."
Absolutely agree, and I'm very happy that Europe didn't buy into the practice.

(Also, closer to the theme of the thread: being okay with circumcision means no leg to stand on when it comes to tattoos, piercings, and body modifications in general.)
 

copticorthodoxboy

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(Also, closer to the theme of the thread: being okay with circumcision means no leg to stand on when it comes to tattoos, piercings, and body modifications in general.)
Yes I'm fine with that. :)
As for my tastes, I don't care for tattoos or piercings myself, and generally speaking don't care for excessive tattoos and/or piercings on a woman I'm pursuing.
Body modifications, if relatively minor, I'm fine with (e.g. the "double eyelid surgery" popular in East Asian countries I have no problem with). Full facial surgery or breast/bum implants I feel people should have the right (if it makes them feel better) but I prefer a more natural look.

That's understandable, since it's not among the reasons given in the past few generations for it - and it really isn't a motivation in America any more. But disruption of sexual function was the primary intent when circumcision first began to be practiced in the English-speaking world. Read about John Harvey Kellogg (same Kellogg as the cereal company). He proposed circumcision as a means to punish boys for masturbation, and continuing in the vein of Maimonides, to remove as much pleasure the male could experience as possible without also making procreation impossible. That seems to be the only saving grace for boys over girls when it comes to genital mutilation. Women can still conceive if they feel no sexual pleasure, but men need to experience at least some in order to ejaculate (sorry if I'm being too descriptive).
Is this the reason circumcision remains a popular practice in the USA? The impression I have is it is more for hygienic/cosmetic reasons nowadays. Some research (e.g. some of the work done by Tzameret Fuerst) indicates that STDs are more easily passed and contracted by uncircumcised men due to the fragility (micro lesions) in the foreskin during intercourse.

As for myself, I was cut as a baby and I'm happy my parents made the decision for me as a newborn. As to when/if I have kids, if I have a son, I'll also consider the operation for him as well.
 

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Yes I'm fine with that. :)
As for my tastes, I don't care for tattoos or piercings myself, and generally speaking don't care for excessive tattoos and/or piercings on a woman I'm pursuing.
Body modifications, if relatively minor, I'm fine with (e.g. the "double eyelid surgery" popular in East Asian countries I have no problem with). Full facial surgery or breast/bum implants I feel people should have the right (if it makes them feel better) but I prefer a more natural look.



Is this the reason circumcision remains a popular practice in the USA? The impression I have is it is more for hygienic/cosmetic reasons nowadays. Some research (e.g. some of the work done by Tzameret Fuerst) indicates that STDs are more easily passed and contracted by uncircumcised men due to the fragility (micro lesions) in the foreskin during intercourse.

As for myself, I was cut as a baby and I'm happy my parents made the decision for me as a newborn. As to when/if I have kids, if I have a son, I'll also consider the operation for him as well.
No one in America practices circumcision on infants for punitive sexual reasons anymore that I am aware of. The hygiene and cosmetic reasons came later.

I'm not familiar with the research you're referring to. But I imagine there is some kind of flaw in it. A look at European STD rates in comparison to US rates shows that the US has a proportionally higher rate of every STD compared to Europe. This should not be the case if the circumcision was any benefit. No one outside the US has replicated these studies either, though I'm not sure that anyone outside the US has cared to try.

I'm glad that you are happy with the body modification that was forced on you. I'm not happy with mine, and unfortunately it is impossible to ever reverse. A parent can never know at the time whether his son will grow up to be grateful for this permanent alteration, or whether he will resent and despise them for it. It's really a gamble. If this is a concern, it is better to not have it done so the boy can decide for himself. If he grows up to resent being left uncircumcised, he can go have it done if he wants it that bad. If he grows up to resent being circumcised, then there is nothing he can ever do to alleviate the pain it causes him. His maimed body, in some ways, becomes a prison for life.
 

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1. In the event that one has to participate in a Liturgy over a livestream, they should not participate in the Liturgy of the Faithful; they should participate only in the Liturgy of the Catechumens. Maybe to fill in the gap, a Typika could be read afterwards.
2. We should dress better for Divine Liturgy than we do for weddings.
 

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The above book by Fr. Seraphim, along with God's Revelation to the Human Heart, are the only books by him that have any spiritual value
I should have included that one as well, I'm pretty sure I remember reading that one long ago. I've been thinking lately that maybe I was too hard above and could buy his books again to see what I thought--after all it's approaching like two decades since I read them. Unfortunately a lot of them, if available at all, are expensive even for used copies, and the project would probably amount to about my budget for books for an entire year.
So unbeknownst to me until recently, most of the works he wrote or substantially contributed to can actually be had for much cheaper prices than I realised (especially if you'll settle for ebooks)--the exception being the book on evolution/creation, which costs a kidney and right arm. Bought my first three tonight...
 
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