Why People Shouldn’t Become Orthodox

Every now and then, I get inquires (especially from Anglicans) on whether they should become Orthodox.  My usual response is to refer them to this, the Life of the Archpriest Avvakum by Himself.

I’ve missed it on this one: the Mystificator from Romania has 275 reasons why one shouldn’t become Orthodox.

The remaining time, amounting to about seven months, is, obviously, comprised of such insignificant little time-units we call weeks … which weeks consist, obviously, of seven days, out of which two are Fast-Days: Wednesdays and Fridays; and two are Feast-Days: Saturdays and Sundays … which leads to more than half of this remaining time-frame being forbidden to the two spouses for fulfilling each their respective duties towards each-other. (emphasis mine)

So, in conclusion, a little math: 12-5 = 7; 3/7 * 7 = 3; 3*30 = 90; 365-90 = 275. Hence, also, the name of this article.

My church has a large presence in Romania, and I always wondered why.  Now I know.

This is the mirror image of the problem described here.

3 Replies to “Why People Shouldn’t Become Orthodox”

  1. Just a couple of comments. Taking the long view, Avvakum wasn’t very representative of Orthodoxy. In a long ago Russian history class I was told that early Orthodoxy in Russia focussed on ritual rather than theology. For various reasons service books came by way of the Bulgarian Church, not Constantinople. When, in the 17th century, Nikon tried to realign the Russian Church with Greek practice, many Old Believers indeed were afraid that the new practices were heretical. In addition, some have seen a kind of urge toward democracy in the Old Believer position (note 1). Also, the controversy was part of a struggle between church and state that was resolved by a church council in 1666–Nikon was demoted to simple monk, the Byzantine formula of cooperation between church and state was reasserted (as opposed to Nikon’s claims of the political superiority of the Church to the tsar), *and* Nikon’s reforms were accepted, making non-compliance with the reforms both a civil and ecclesiastical offense (note 2). Eventually, the state became predominant, at least by the time of Peter the Great. But that’s another story.

    The Mystificator from Romania seems not to know that then, and, I hope, now, Russians regard children as pure blessings from God. My former Russian history professor could explain whether that is a holdover from the days of the Dual Faith (retention of pre-Christian beliefs and practices alongside Christianity in early Russia) better than I can.

    Notes from books I still have on hand:

    Note 1. see introduction to “Avvakum’s Account of His Sufferings” in “Medieval Russia, a source book, 900-1700”, B. Dmytryshyn, ed.

    Note 2. see the chapter on “The Early Romanovs: Society, Culture, and Religion” in “A History of Russia and the Soviet Union”, 2nd ed., D. MacKenzie and M. W. Curran

    p. s. The color of the font in your comment window is almost the same color as the window’s background…please fix any misspellings, etc.

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