Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You Should Be Orthodox


Hipster Christians, I'm going to help you out.  I see you are grasping at something, trying to find the ironic Church of your dreams, where men can grow beards of foolish proportions and women can dress like their grannies' grannies, a place where scarves are worn in every unfashionable fashion imaginable, a place where people do shots and eat hummus at community gatherings, enjoy rooms filled with a fog of incense and prefer to read books that pre-date industrialisation.

I would like to direct your attention to "The Orthodox Church."

We Orthodox were Christians before it was cool. We started following the Apostles' teachings hardcore before the Bible was even written. Actually, we read the books of the Bible before they were officially published.  And not to brag or anything, but we spoke in tongues before it was "a thing."  Stuff like that.

In addition to enjoying long beards, drinking and the occasional cigarette, we are super mellow.  This is called being "dispassionate" but you will simply recognize it as being extremely cool...without trying too hard.  You know what I mean.

We do enjoy the ringing of Church bells, but we prefer the more organic tone that is produced from hammering a piece of wood - oh, you've never heard of that?  Check out this track then; it's so raw, you'll love it.

We Orthodox don't need to explore "vintage faith;" we invented vintage faith, but it wasn't called vintage back then, it was just called "faith."

Why oh Hipster Christian do you keep on seeing but do not perceive?  The Orthodox Church IS the authentic Christian experience. And seriously, you would fit right in (although if you decide to attend long-term, the priest is going to ask you to stop wearing skinny jeans to liturgy - the handlebar moustache can stay, however.)

Oh, and we don't just drink coffee after liturgy, we drink Turkish coffee.  It's pretty good.

Yes, that's right, we say call our gatherings "liturgy" instead of "church" and sometimes we use other more obscure terms such as vespers, akathist and orthros. You should come to vespers sometime, Hipster Christian. Then you could hear "Lord I Call" in the eighth tone - oh you haven't heard of that either....?

Really, you should be Orthodox.  Because some day calling your parish a "tribe" and having Sunday meetings at a pub will be completely overdone, yet the Orthodox Church will still be operating in this world as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. (2 Cor 6:9-10)  I think the church you are looking for has been there all along.  Ironic, isn't it?

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!  2 Corinthians 11:1-4

Read Part II Here

41 comments:

  1. Interesting:) I like the way you write about Orthodox Church!

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  2. I've got to chime in, too. Fabulous!

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  3. Someone linked this post to Facebook..I love it!
    I'll spend the next few days catching up with your blog.
    What's up with your Facebook link? It's dead.
    Do you have a page?

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  4. thanks Dave; glad you like the blog. thanks for letting me know about the FB link. it's fixed now. Yes I do have a FB page.

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  5. This is great! I was emergent for a bit. Then after so much time theorizing about post-modernity only to realize none of us really are post anything, I lost interest in all things emergent. Aha! All that stuff about ambiguity and mystery is found in a real presence and a liturgy. Sweet!

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  6. Well put. Thank you. Will share.

    You forgot to mention how we were the original vegans (for 1/2 the year)... ;)

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  7. Very funny BUT that is Greek coffee and no self respecting Russian is going to beat on wood when you can ring the hell out of a set of atonal bells...

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  8. I really enjoyed the hammers on wood calling monks to prayer. I'm a Protestant slowly moving towards Orthodoxy, and perhaps someday baptism into an Orthodox parish. Thanks also for the recommendation for the book!

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  9. Ha, this was very funny! I love it.

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  10. At my old age of 63 I see more and more that "there is nothing new under the sun." The most important thing in life is to love the Lord your GOD with all your heart and serve him diligently.

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  11. Absolutely fabulous...the One Truth in a way the hipster crowd can actually receive the message! Well done!

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  12. I thought the hammering on wood is only done in Romania, not so, I experienced this here in North America at All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in my visit in Victoria for both Vespers and Divine Liturgy!!

    John

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  13. Fan-friggin-tastic. I love this piece.

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  14. Love this, I really do. But aren't hipster satires kind of 2010? ;)

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  15. Awesome. Some of the things traditional Roman Catholics (those who love Latin Mass and classical worship and liturgy) will argue. ;-)

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  16. @ Anonymous... except LATIN in the Mass is so 370AD! Greek was used way earlier! ;-)

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  17. Loved this post. It really goes to my heart. Connects truth and beauty. Unafraid.

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  18. This post REALLy makes you thinK!

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  19. Orthodox cultures are great but I can do without Westerners turning into anti-Western hipsterdox. Same religion but without that attitude: traditionalist Catholicism. Orthodoxy thinks it's better than my heritage; Catholicism doesn't tell you to hate the Orthodox tradition.

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    1. "You hipster kids get off my lawn!"

      Fogey, that "traditionalist Catholicism" for which you left Orthodoxy is about to become swamped by a Global South/novus ordo/social justice tide.

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    2. It might. And if it does, so what? Trads have been there, done that. The '70s didn't kill the old Mass. My principle stands. Better the same religion minus the attitude, and a religion that includes the East, than schism that regards my tradition with the same disdain the secular left does. By the way, for readers who don't know me, as part of Catholicism not hating the Orthodox, I'm not telling Greeks and Russians to switch, and I'm not a born Orthodox. I'm a born Episcopalian turned Catholic turned Orthodox turned Catholic; all of those changes except the last were more than 15 years ago.

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    3. If it were the "same religion," then you wouldn't have bothered leaving.

      The Catholic hierarchy disdains the West every bit as much as the Left does, and have spent the last four decades deconstructing the Catholic Church's Western iconography, Western architecture and Western liturgies. There is very little remaining of the historical West in the Catholic Church, outside a few idiosyncratic redoubts. Catholics held the line admirably for many centuries, but their Holy Rome isn't coming back, so they are doubling down on the egalitarian, secular democratic gospel for one last shot at the levers of power.

      And frankly, with or without Rome, the West has been determinedly committing suicide for the past three centuries.

      Orthodoxy is the reset button.

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    4. I'm with young fogey. I've heard more anti-catholic statements from the orthodox than I have heard anti-orthodox sttements from roman catholics.

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    5. Online is a different world. In real life, we go to our respective parishes without much thought. I appreciate Rome's warm fuzzy-wuzziness, but no thanks.

      Ex-Orthodox who become Catholic spend large amounts of time explaining why they're Catholic instead of Orthodox when it actually boils down to fairly mundane circumstances, like they just find Russians, Greeks and Arabs very alien, or they married into Catholic families. There is nothing wrong with that. It's not for us to say where the Holy Spirit is not.

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    6. As old friend Mark Bonocore told me 15 years ago as I started slowly making my way back to the church (for 10 of its 11 years my blog hasn't been Orthodox), to become Orthodox you have to turn your back on all that and declare it apostate. I couldn't buy that. Again here I don't have to hate the East. That's why, despite the enemies in the church you point out, I'm in the church.

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    7. Fogey, that "traditionalist Catholicism" for which you left Orthodoxy is about to become swamped by a Global South/novus ordo/social justice tide.

      Dream on.

      Seriously. You anti-Catholic Orthodox need to get out more.

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  20. Ok The young fogey, at this point I have to reply to you. Way to oversimplify Christian history. The fact that you come and make such comments on my blog only goes to show that Traditional Catholics are not without "attitude." The most ridiculous part of this conversation (if you can call it that) is that you completely missed that this post is a JOKE. The smugness in the tone is used in jest. If it makes fun of anyone (other than hipsters) it is Orthodox Christians. Please go and try to locate your sense of humour and desist from posting your ill-supported polemics here.

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    1. Oh, I get the thread of humor. But ha ha, only serious, which I and the fellow through whom I found this blog picked up on. Sure, you're making a funny, but underneath, that pride is how your side really feels. Just like the boutique hipsters.

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    2. Nope not at all. You are completely misjudging me based on your own bias.

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  21. Interesting post, there's a point ))

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  22. This is probably the fourth time I've read this post, Jodie. It cracks me up every time.

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  23. "The West" has clearly become an idol to some.

    The one thing the hipsters did right was to reject the idolatry.

    But not all of them replaced the idolatry with true worship (which, translated into Greek, is ortho doxy) -- hence the timeliness of your call.

    East? West? Home's best.

    And home is neither East nor West, but the Kingdom of God.

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  24. and yet you have a picture of Devendra Banhart as you "hipster"... that's not hipster. That's Acid Head...

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  25. Hi Jodie.
    I would like to use your photo of a hipster in a Danish tv-programme. Please confirm that it is okay.
    Regards, jann@gong.nu

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  26. 'sup 'dox. Way to side it on the flip. Best, and back at 'cha.

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