Holy Friday and Christian Orthodoxy

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Holy Friday and Christian Orthodoxy - 21 Apr 2006

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
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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