Thursday, April 21, 2005

Irrational psychopath monks

Today I read a pamphlet that has come out of one of the monastaries at Athos about the "non-Chalcedonian heretics".

Having gone to school with many such menaces to the Church, I was interested to read this scholarly document. All I found was a bunch of conspiracy theories, historical obsession, and xenophobia completely removed from any kind of human experience.

Now unlike many I'm not a big fan of Athos. It has its cool parts, but it's also a center for insane conservatism and is not particularly accountable to anyone outside of itself. That scares me a bit. I just assume our monks use their time for evangelism or social projects.

What was most insane about this particular document wasn't just the anti non-Chalcedonian position it took, but the fact that it BEGAN with ecclesiology. Gag me with a fork. Essentially the argument worked like this: Oriental Orthodox are heretics because they're not in the Church (since the Church contains all truth), and they're not in the Church because they're heretics. Now I know amongst the PhD's and MTh's in that paper at least one of them had to have taken sophomore-year Logic class in university. Am I the only one who sees an obvious circularity in that argument?

It's simply not faithful to the biblical message to look at ecclesiology as the starting point for authentic faith in Christ. Indeed, what about the man who was casting out demons in Jesus' name? Jesus didn't condescend to him and say "well, he obviously lacks the 'fullness of faith' found only in the Eastern Orthodox Church, namely in the monastic vocation." No, he said that he who is not against me is on my side... definately words to ponder.

It reminds me of a guy on some online forum who told my neighbor that laughter was problematic because laughter wasn't holy. His conclusion: "Orthodox laugh too much." These people really need to get out more, seriously. Get some Indian friends, overdose on some laughing gas, and eat some curry. geez.


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