Thursday, January 31, 2019

Questions and Answers 71 - 74

Orthodox Mysteries in the Movies

Question 71: I recently saw Keanu Reeves give an interview and he mentioned something I had read in one of your posts. He talked about how till this day he will get a text from Winona Ryder saying "Hi husband", referring to the real wedding scene from Dracula where their characters were married in a Russian Orthodox wedding. I was just wondering, since they did go through an entire wedding service by a real Orthodox priest, can they really consider themselves married, even though they now joke about it and consider themselves single?

Answer: This is actually a good question that I have considered myself, and I also did see the interview. Even Francis Ford Coppola agrees they may be married, according to reports. When you see movies like Dracula and Deer Hunter, where a real wedding is performed with a real Orthodox priest inside an Orthodox church (I have also seen other Orthodox sacramental ceremonies done in movies), can it be considered to have sacramental grace? I'm inclined to think not, because it sounds too silly to consider true, but then I think about the lives of the saints, and how certain saints, before their conversion, mocked baptism by being baptized, and by the act of baptism, despite their irreverence and insincerity, they were transformed and immediately converted and divine grace enveloped them. I really don't know the answer to your question, but it should be taken seriously. These prayers have power, and they should not be fooled around with, especially when divine grace is invoked to come upon someone or something. The responsibility rests solely on the cleric to make sure these things are carefully done in as minimal way as possible, and especially not to have entire ceremonies performed just to film scenes in a movie. This is irresponsible.

Rants Against Romanides

Question 72: Have you responded to Jay Dyer's rants against Fr. Romanides anywhere?

Answer: I tend not to respond to "rants," as you put it, and which it is. Jay had sent me the text publicly via Facebook and tried to incite me to debate him on his podcast, which I had never listened to, but he was being such a jerk and only trying to pick a fight that I refused. By the time I sent him a response to his false allegations, as well as pointed out his own personal falsehoods, he blocked me. I figured he didn't care about the truth, or probably didn't want to face the truth, so I let it go. I never published anything specifically addressing his text, but many of his accusations have been addressed before and responded to, as they are rehashed from other fundamentalists like Jay. The only difference is that Jay puts his conspiratorial flavor on the subject, as he does with everything. No one has brought up anything specifically from it to me to warrant a response, so I haven't even considered addressing it. I'm not sure anyone takes it seriously, and what he wrote clearly reflects his unfamiliarity with the corpus of Fr. Romanides' works. There are many more serious critiques about Romanides that I would rather address before I would consider his, which, as I said, have pretty much already been addressed in other sources, as well as mine. (Well, I guess you can consider this my response to his "rants", for now.)

A Gnostic Mantra

Question 73: Are you aware of any traditional Orthodox practice (perhaps even in the context of hesychasm), where the spiritual practitioner would concentrate in the feet and pronounce the vowels in the following order I E O U A?

Answer: Yes, this is a Gnostic practice, as far as I know. Pronouncing the vowels I E O U A is a mantra they use, which are letters that spell in Greek the name JOHN, in reference to the Gospel of John. The particular group of Gnostics that uses this mantra believes that the Gospel of John teaches Sexual Magic. Repeating the mantra will help you find your own Sexual Magic, they claim. To be clear, this is not an Orthodox practice.

Prophecies About the End of the World

Question 74: Which Saints and Church Fathers prophecied about the end of the world after the New Testament?

Answer: Easy answer, none. Some talked about it and interpreted Scripture about it, but none of them came out with a unique revelation from God about the end of the world, despite what you see circulating around the internet.

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