I have always marveled at the ability of the Greeks to remain true
to Christianity, after being cruelly enslaved for approximately 400
years by the Ottoman Turks! The horrific tortures these Greeks
suffered defy description. Imagine being skewered and roasted alive in
an effort to make you denounce your faith! This is why I have chosen
to write about Christian Orthodoxy today.
This week is Holy Week for Orthodox Christians adhering to the Julian
calendar. Therefore, 16 April 2006 (Easter according to the Gregorian
calendar) was Palm Sunday for the Orthodox. Today, 21 April 2006, Holy
Friday (Good Friday) is observed, and on Sunday, 23 April 2006, the
Resurrection of Jesus (Easter) will be celebrated.
The Orthodox split with Rome occurred in 1094. A glimpse into the
long, fascinating history of Christian Orthodoxy is found in the
December 1983 issue of National Geographic magazine, which also includes
an account of the fall of Constantinople. This center of Christian
Orthodoxy fell on 29 May 1453 after a seven-week siege by 100,000
Ottoman troops against 8,000 Christian defenders.
Now, even after having written this, I still believe that God is
honored only by peaceful obedience. In any religious faith, if the
observance of holidays and rituals does not result in positive change,
it is worse than a waste of time. Iím sure that the offering of prayers
for selfish gain and the celebration of religious holidays by eating
animal products do not fool God.
Iíll end this Blog with this passage from the Bible (1 John 2:16-17):
16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not
from the Father, but is from the world.
17. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts;
but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
~ New American Standard Bible