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Woke Homily at Vespers

Saxon

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The deacon who typically gives the sermon or homily at the mission parish I was attending started off Saturday night with "this weekend, as we rejoice at the election of the first African-American, Indian-American, woman Vice President...". He had been sharing articles in support of BLM and anti-racist initiatives (including an article slamming Canada's first Prime Minister for his treatment of Native Indians) for some time, so this was coming. I left when he was in mid-sentence, and my time there is over. My perspective aside, is this not a grossly inappropriate statement to make during a service?
 

Nathanael

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I parish shouldn't be divided because of different political views, but the clergy should be also very cautios in sharing their own political views especially during a public homily.
 

hecma925

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The Gospel is passé. He's only bringing the 24 hour news cycle into the homily just in case you hadn't heard. You should be more open and appreciative of your woke deacon.
 

HaydenTE

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I learned to tune out bad homilies long ago. You’re there for God, not the clergy. Just flip through the service book, appreciate the icons, or, ideally, pray internally until it’s over.
 

Alpo2

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IMO clergy should stay out of politics in every possible way. We had a priest who got elected to the European Parliament. IIRC he was forbidden from serving and wearing clerical attire while he was still in politics. Not because of his political views (can't remember anything particularly controversial in them) but due to his political activity in general.
 

LizaSymonenko

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Clergy are human, and have their own views and opinions... however, when speaking as a priest, they should not be voicing those opinions... unless in the context of Church teachings.

For example, a priest can, and should, preach against abortion... but, should not be naming political candidates and voicing support for them by name because of their stance on abortion.
 

Asteriktos

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If you're asking whether a separation of church and state (or church/politics) is a traditional Orthodox practice/belief, then no, definitely not. Closest you could probably get to saying it's improper is based on 1 Pet. 2:13-14, but that'd be pretty shaky imo, and I very much doubt many people would be able to apply such an interpretation consistently.
 

Saxon

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If you're asking whether a separation of church and state (or church/politics) is a traditional Orthodox practice/belief, then no, definitely not. Closest you could probably get to saying it's improper is based on 1 Pet. 2:13-14, but that'd be pretty shaky imo, and I very much doubt many people would be able to apply such an interpretation consistently.
Oh no, certainly not. What we have now is subordination of church to state, but that's another discussion. It just seemed inappropriate for a deacon in Canada, who lately has been taking up the banner of Marxist groups like BLM, to situate the congregation as "rejoicing" at the election of a pro-abortion progressive like Kamala Harris on a racial/gender basis.

Mind you, the warden of this mission left the OCA parish in town after complaining to the Archbishop when the priest referenced a Greek martyred by the Turks in a sermon, claiming that referring to such stories has white supremacist undertones.

The people of this mission are very friendly, and it is certainly a saner and healthier social circle than what I'm used to, but if I want to deal with this kind of nonsense I'll go to the Anglicans.
 

hecma925

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Mind you, the warden of this mission left the OCA parish in town after complaining to the Archbishop when the priest referenced a Greek martyred by the Turks in a sermon, claiming that referring to such stories has white supremacist undertones.
lolwut
 

IXOYE

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That does not sound like a religious sermon.
 

Saxon

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Yep, that happened. She filed a complaint with Archbishop Irénée claiming that the priest was a white supremacist for discussing the saint's story in a sermon. She also volunteers her time at an Islamic refugee centre, cooking meals and such, and was soliciting volunteers the week before. She's typical of this mission from what I've observed.
 

Ainnir

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Well ministering to refugees is great! Is she patronizing or ingratiating about it? Because that’s not so great.

How was the story shared? I mean such a story could be shared in a racist way (i.e., “So that’s why we should hate them now!!”), but if it was just stating facts, that’s a weird reaction.

There’s nuance there, in other words.
 

Ainnir

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And I’ll repeat what my former SBC pastor said in 2008: “If your guy won, praise God! If your guy lost, praise God!”

They’re just people. God is God.
 

LizaSymonenko

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I do not fault her for cooking meals at the Islamic refugee center. It is what we are called to do... care for all peoples.
However, if there is a Christian (hopefully Orthodox) center with the same purpose... we should serve there, first. We have a refugee center near me, and we are planning on getting Christmas gifts for the children there. (Not all refugees are Muslim, and even if they are... children are children... and are to be loved.)

Martyrdom is not white or black or brown... It is Christian... and while we do not harm non-Christians, we do not hide their sins, nor condone their behavior.

If she is hurt by the disclosure of Muslim violence against Christianity, perhaps she needs to be educated on more such cases... and speak to her Muslim friends about them. If they are made aware of the atrocities... perhaps their hearts will soften.
 

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Help us Lord to stay close to your healing Eucharist. Please remove all obstacles within and without us which cause us to stumble and which threatens to remove us from your Holy Sacraments. Keep us by your Holy Spirit for yourself for you know that we are but dust. May we be quick to forgive, single minded- keeping our eyes on the prize. Make us a light and salt in this dark hateful lost world. Give us wisdom and keep us innocent. We are weak Lord but you are strong. Come to our aid and deliver us from heresy, division, pride, and hatred. Thank you Lord that you alone appoint rulers and kings and we trust in your goodness. For to you our merciful Lord and Saviour belong glory and honor and praise forever and ever Amen.
 

Saxon

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Well ministering to refugees is great! Is she patronizing or ingratiating about it? Because that’s not so great.
Patronizing. It's made very clear we're not there to proselytize. The organization that runs it is a progressive nondenominational Christian group.

How was the story shared? I mean such a story could be shared in a racist way (i.e., “So that’s why we should hate them now!!”), but if it was just stating facts, that’s a weird reaction.
The story was shared in the context of a sermon about martyrdom - discussing the luxuries and lack of hardships modern Christians enjoy with the faith, and how few would be willing to stand up for Christ on pain of death if the going got tough like it used to. There was no cultural or racial hatred component.
 

Ainnir

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I meant toward the refugees. I’m not a fan of proselytizing while serving, either.
 

Nathanael

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Our home is in heaven (and in our deep heart). God is on the throne and Jesus is on the right side of the father. 🙌 We are just passing thru like the old ppl say. Also just passing thru different kinds of parishes - sometimes never finding one which fits "absolutely" our needs & expectations. But we still have to find our inner peace - even at the cost of our analytical mind. My favorite orthodox quote comes from Fr Seraphim Rose, which helped me in so many different life situations not to lose my focus:
"Don't criticize or judge other people—regard everyone else as an angel, justify their mistakes and weaknesses, and condemn only yourself as the worst sinner. This is step one in any kind of spiritual life."
 

Nathanael

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Yep, that happened. She filed a complaint with Archbishop Irénée claiming that the priest was a white supremacist for discussing the saint's story in a sermon. She also volunteers her time at an Islamic refugee centre, cooking meals and such, and was soliciting volunteers the week before. She's typical of this mission from what I've observed.
Some liberal people are just narrow-minded...the following clip explains its absurdity and tragedy:

Nathanael: You have already posted this video in another forum on OC.net, so this is very close to (if not actually already) what we sometimes refer to as cross-posting, which is not permitted. (You are allowed to link to another post you or someone else has made if it is relevant to the discussion, providing that it is not in one of the private fora.)
Also, you might be helping to move this thread into a more politically controversial direction with your comments about "liberal people", and that is not okay. (Please see my message to everyone below.)
Thanks for your attention to this,
Pravoslavbob
 
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Pravoslavbob

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Dear All,
I think we can agree that this thread is helpful when it comes to discussing in a neutral way whether or not clergy should vere into the political realm in their sermons, and as such, it would be good to keep it here in the public forum. So let's all try to do keep things as neutral as possible and not start endorsing one political flavour over another, so that the thread can stay where it is. Otherwise, it may have to be moved and warnings might have to be issued.
Thanks very much,

Pravoslavbob
Section Moderator
 

Shanghaiski

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This kind of thing should be reported to the bishop. The church is not a place for political partisanship.
 

Avdima

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Your deacon sounds like an awesome, Christ-like and loving guy. I would love it if more in the chruch were as free spoken as him about the evils. But it seems racism and Neo-faiscts run rampant in the Orthodox church and everyone turns a blind eye, whilst making a fuss about those who choose to fight against it.

One more comment like this and you WILL receive a warning. See my remarks to everyone and to Nathanael above.

If anyone makes any more value-judgment types of posts about "liberals" or "neo-fascists" etc., this thread is being moved to politics. The same thing will happen if specific current political movements etc. are mentioned.

Pravoslavbob
 
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Stephen Philips

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The deacon who typically gives the sermon or homily at the mission parish I was attending started off Saturday night with "this weekend, as we rejoice at the election of the first African-American, Indian-American, woman Vice President...". He had been sharing articles in support of BLM and anti-racist initiatives (including an article slamming Canada's first Prime Minister for his treatment of Native Indians) for some time, so this was coming. I left when he was in mid-sentence, and my time there is over. My perspective aside, is this not a grossly inappropriate statement to make during a service?
Hmmm. I get your opinion that it shouldn’t be said at church, and I agree with you. But I think that what would be grossly inappropriate is a statement that is theologically wrong or contradicts our Orthodox faith. But even then, I don’t think the reaction should be to leave the church, but simply to tell the priest or bishop and get it corrected, or the truth understood. Don’t leave prayer without a blessing.
 

Thetruthisgod

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I got a blessing from my priest once to attend Catholic mass during the week, because I wanted to observe them and see what I thought after becoming familiar with Orthodox liturgy and the services and such...

Obviously I wouldn't take communion, and I definitely wasn't considering Roman Catholicism.

Well, there was this younger priest who when he did the common prayers, he wouldn't simply pray for the president and civil authorities. He instead would pray for what he wanted the president and civil authorities to do!

I personally found this offensive. God knows better what needs to be done than us. So much of politics is deception that I think it is right to simply pray for the government. It is better to keep it vague than to pray for one's own will.

Another lousy thing is that people who in my opinion place way too much faith in politics tend to see the people they are against politically as OBVIOUSLY the bad guys. It doesn't even matter what side of the political spectrum you are on. Oh, by the way, not voting is ALWAYS a vote for the candidate they don't want to win.

Politics won't save us. The problems in society are spiritual, not political. That is at least my opinion.
 

Stephen Philips

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I got a blessing from my priest once to attend Catholic mass during the week, because I wanted to observe them and see what I thought after becoming familiar with Orthodox liturgy and the services and such...

Obviously I wouldn't take communion, and I definitely wasn't considering Roman Catholicism.

Well, there was this younger priest who when he did the common prayers, he wouldn't simply pray for the president and civil authorities. He instead would pray for what he wanted the president and civil authorities to do!

I personally found this offensive. God knows better what needs to be done than us. So much of politics is deception that I think it is right to simply pray for the government. It is better to keep it vague than to pray for one's own will.

Another lousy thing is that people who in my opinion place way too much faith in politics tend to see the people they are against politically as OBVIOUSLY the bad guys. It doesn't even matter what side of the political spectrum you are on. Oh, by the way, not voting is ALWAYS a vote for the candidate they don't want to win.

Politics won't save us. The problems in society are spiritual, not political. That is at least my opinion.
“He instead would pray for what he wanted the president and civil authorities to do!”
That’s not good.
It’s a struggle, and I don’t know what I’m talking about, but we should always focus on the good. I just came from the church, and after our Coptic psalmody this evening, my friends were just getting each other excited about the lives of saints. What’s in their hearts is Christ’s light. When I feel like I’m morally ok, what’s in my heart is pride and judgment of others. When I give up my own moral views to temptation, my heart is full of sin. But neither should be what’s there. Divine services are time worshiping in heaven with the angels and saints. There’s stuff in my parish I’m not a fan of, but in a time in the presence of God in heaven, those things don’t exist. But really, for me, I have trouble paying attention in divine services at all, pray for me.
 

Thetruthisgod

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“He instead would pray for what he wanted the president and civil authorities to do!”
That’s not good.
It’s a struggle, and I don’t know what I’m talking about, but we should always focus on the good. I just came from the church, and after our Coptic psalmody this evening, my friends were just getting each other excited about the lives of saints. What’s in their hearts is Christ’s light. When I feel like I’m morally ok, what’s in my heart is pride and judgment of others. When I give up my own moral views to temptation, my heart is full of sin. But neither should be what’s there. Divine services are time worshiping in heaven with the angels and saints. There’s stuff in my parish I’m not a fan of, but in a time in the presence of God in heaven, those things don’t exist. But really, for me, I have trouble paying attention in divine services at all, pray for me.
The world today does everything it can to frazzle the mind so that it loses its ability to be attentive.

The Jesus prayer works. Push everything distracting out with that. It's ok to do the Jesus prayer during the services. Especially good if you are taking part in a service where you don't understand the language! It is hard to focus especially in a setting where the language is foreign. As long as you are praying though, that is a good thing. At least, that is what I have been taught.
 
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