Rote memory and gibberish. The way we celebrate Easter, Christmas, the Transfiguration, the Annunciation, the Dormition, the Pentecost: an array of disengaged, disconnected, uncomprehending congregations unable to come together in ways that transcend the mundane.
We fail every time. How couldn’t we? We’re rooted in ignorance and dogma.
Not exactly how Jesus Christ taught believers to address God, or the Holy Spirit, or the Divine, whatever name you choose to give it, this is not how He meant it to be. A far cry from His intention.
But so what? Who cares? Who on Earth has time for Christ’s person-driven, engaged approach these days? Let the priests tell you what to say and how to say it, even if you don’t understand it, and you shall know the glory of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Memorize the content, rote and recital. Perform what is asked of you. Parrot the story of Christ’s passions, His rebellion against spiritual extortion, His confrontation with the Pharisees and their slave-driving instincts and you, too, will be redeemed.
This is how the attitude of the Greek Orthodox Church comes across. No humility or brains, just entitlement, self-righteous bedfellowing with expedience and authority. Ceaseless demands for everyone’s blind obedience in exchange for eternity in a sentence. A life sentence.
You don’t need a preacher to tell you how disrespectful this is toward not only the faithful, but also the Man Himself, Jesus Christ. His vision has been thwarted, his lessons adulterated over the centuries. The Church, his agency on Earth, is mad with power and privilege. It has neither the time nor the will to adjust its spiel to His message, or to the needs of the flock. It can’t be expected to make things easy to understand and relate to. God’s word is immutable in their minds — ‘hark, it is what it is, take it or take it,’ spoken mob-style — and the clergy know how to use it. Masters of interpretation, they know what’s best for everyone, just take their word for it, attend service when they ask you to, rise on cue, sit on cue, sing and chant and cross yourselves on holy cue,
on penitent cue,
on flagellant cue,
on submissive cue,
on hopeful and hopeless cue, desperate and invested — a sign to rule over all signs, a signal to command all cues, perform it, execute it like a boss on the dole —
and God will provide!
By the way, make a donation on your way in or out — preferably both — to underwrite the delivery of your soul to paradise.