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Dilemma of Multiple Faiths Co existing

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  • mat430_2000@..
    Dear friends, This dilemma will be correctly understood only by a person brought up in a city like Bombay where there are numerous other religions and cultures
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 26, 2001
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      Dear friends,
      This dilemma will be correctly understood only by a person brought up
      in a city like Bombay where there are numerous other religions and
      cultures to cope with.

      I grew up in Bombay and have very good friends who r Hindus, and they
      r great human beings. They come home for Christmas, and so expect me
      to visit their homes on Diwali and Ganapati festivals. When we go to
      Ganapati festivals, their is the idol of Ganesha at their homes and
      all bow down to it. U become conspicuous if u do not bow down in front
      of the idol. Remember that Hindus have many dieties and they worship
      all of them, perhaps that is why they have difficulty in
      understanding that it is a sin for us to bow down before the idol.

      So what does such a person do? Go and bow down before the idol and sin?
      Or stay away and create ill-feeling? Also understand that these are
      the people u have grown with, shared ur little joys with, cried
      with , laughed with.

      Another point in the same context is - My Hindu friend is as grown up
      as I am with abt the same understanding and reasoning power. I respect
      him and his reasoning, so I bow down before his God, not because it
      is my God, but because my friend sees a God in it, and I respect that
      sentiment. Pls Comment..

      In this context, let me put a reference too in the Bible -
      When Na'aman came to Elisha and was cured of leprosy by the power of
      the prophet,he said to Elisha -2Kings 5 :18,19"....when my master
      goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm,
      and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the
      house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter"
      19 He(Elisha) said to him, "Go in peace."

      Dear all,
      Those who have not experienced this may find it difficult to
      understand this dilemma .Pls understand and comment.
      Regards,
      Mathew,
      Vashi,New Bombay.
    • k.varghese@..
      Read the comments on working priests and various professions they take up, especially in the USA. But let us be frank and give due credits to those who
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 29, 2001
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        Read the comments on working priests and various professions they take up,
        especially in the USA. But let us be frank and give due credits to those
        who deserve it as there are many exceptions. I have recently asked one of
        the priests why he and 'kochamma' have not taken up teaching especially
        when he was in North India before and there were lot of opportunities to
        become the Principal of a school or college. The answer was, 'I will not be
        able to concentrate on my church activities as well as fulfill the
        responsibility towards the parishioners if I take up another job. Kochamma
        needs to look after our children and home affairs and as such she has also
        not taken up a teaching job although we both are suitably qualified for
        teaching jobs. I need to prepare minimum two sermons and lead 2-4 prayer
        groups a week and it all takes up time. I think there are several of our
        priests in this category who needs to be appreciated for their dedication
        towards their service.

        Kurien Varghese (Kuwait)
        --------------------------------
        From the desk of Moderators:
        We are to be very objective when we discuss these subjects, although we respect and honour the freedom of expression by all the members. It is a fact that as per the prevailing system none of our priests will be able to look after their family needs without venturing in to certain other professions whichever suits the individual. Knowing its limitations, we understand the church permits this. Regarding to the "nobleness" of the professions, all professions should be considered as noble till the time we practice within the christian boundaries. When we critisise priests working in USA, etc the ground realities in these countries one should not forget, many of them are struggling and sacrificing a lot to do justice to the cause of the church and its members. It is better, let us leave such matters to the conscience of the individuals who are not just ordinary people.

        This note is in general on the discussions on the subject matter, and not exclusively related the above message.
      • Fr. Kurian Daniel
        The Catholicate College Pathanamthitta,the premier educational institution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is now celebrating its Jubilee of
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 29, 2001
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          The Catholicate College Pathanamthitta,the premier educational institution of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is now celebrating its Jubilee of estsblishment.According to the present shedule, the celebrations will commence in August and will be lasting for one year.Variety of programmes were planned to execute and different committees began to do the work. The college owes its existence and growth to the late Catholicose,H.H.MORAN MOR BASSELIUS GEEVARUGHESE II,who was the inspiring and guiding spirit for this great institution.When the college was started in1952 it fulfilled a long cherished dream of the late lamented Geevarughese Mar Philoxenos, Puthencavil. Late Very Rev. Thengumtharayil Geevarughese Cor episcopa,the late K.C.Mammen Mappillai,the late George Varughese were also played their part very well in founding this institution.The first Principal of the college was His Grace the late lamented Daniel Mar Philoxenos.The present Principal is Prof.Fr.K.T.Mathewkutty. The college is dedicated to the service of God and the motto is"THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM". I invite all the viewers every support{on behalf of the college family} at this time when it celebrates the Jubilee. WITH REGARDS, FR.KURIAN DANIEL, Catholicate college, Pathanamthitta.
          __________________________
          From the desk of Moderators:
          On behalf of the members IOIF we wish and pray for the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta to be a grand success. We are sure the college (many of IOIF members are its alumni) will raise to new heights in the years to come with the grace of God.
        • thomas_pa1@...
          I would like to share with you what I was reading related to the disputes in the Church of Apostles and how they peacefully solved the issues. A model for us
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 29, 2001
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            I would like to share with you what I was reading related to the
            disputes in the Church of Apostles and how they peacefully solved
            the issues. A model for us today in our Church.
            ______________________________________________________________________
            _
            Acts 15 (NIV):
            36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit
            the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord
            and see how they are doing."
            37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them,
            38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted
            them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
            39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.
            Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
            40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to
            the grace of the Lord.
            41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
            ____________________________________________________________________
            Note:
            Disputes can sometimes be for the good. It is because of the
            difference in opinion that Malankara Orthodox Church now has some
            vision in India. We feel guilty that we didn't do anything in India.
            Many of our missionaries including Mar Osthathios Petros (Kandanad)
            is a result of the division in our Church. He baptised many to the
            faith.

            But there is a time for union after parting, like Paul and Barnabas.
            This is the ripe time for it. We know that though Mar Barnabas and
            Mar Paulos parted in dispute, they reconciled later. They didn't
            allow the difference to grow in to revenge and un-Godly ways.
            It is OK to have difference in opinion, it is OK to be angry, but
            keeping that for too long and allowing it to develop to revenge
            to the extent of harming each other and bringing disgrace to Christ
            among non-Christians is sin.

            ___________________________________________________________________

            1 Corinthians 3 (NIV):

            3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling
            among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
            4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos,"
            are you not mere men?
            5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants,
            through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each
            his task.

            6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
            7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only
            God, who makes things grow.
            ...
            21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours,
            22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death
            or the present or the future--all are yours,
            23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
            ___________________________________________________________________

            Note:
            What, after all, is Mar Thoma Mathews 11? And what is Mar Ignatius
            Zakka 1? Only servants, as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
            All of these disputes we see in Malankara and other Orthodox Churches
            worldwide was there in the early Church too. Some of us say "we belong
            to Thomas (India)" and others say "our churches belong to Peter
            (Damascus, Anthioc)". But the truth is that it was Christ who sent
            both Peter and Thomas with authotiry to establish His Church. They did
            their duty very well and received the "crown of Martyrdom" in
            respective lands.
            What we do? We fight against each other and destroy the Church they
            planted by their hard work and life and bring disgrace to the name of
            Christ. Why can't we atleast use the intelligence commercial companies
            use to forcast the future. Christ appeared to Thomas, just like he
            appeared to Saul (Paul), encouraging him to go to India. We were all
            gentiles, whether we are Syrians or Indians or Copts or Ethiopians or
            Armenians or Chaldeans. It is only because of the hard work of
            Apostles, James (Jerusalem), Paul (for every one), Thomas (India),
            Peter(Anthioc, Rome), Bartholomew (Armenia), Matthew (Ethiopia), Mark
            (Egypt), Thaddeus (Babylon) that we are called by the grace of Lord.
            Let us keep this in mind while we once again approach the Apostles
            Feast by the grace of the Lord.
          • Sam & Molly Varghese, New Zea
            Dear all members, This greeting is coming from probably the most far East point. We are in Auckland, New Zealand and are close to the international date line.
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 29, 2001
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              Dear all members,
              This greeting is coming from probably the most far East point. We are in
              Auckland, New Zealand and are close to the international date line. Our
              church doesnot have a parish or congregation in this country. But through
              our contacts, we have now started a prayer group of about 5 families with
              our background.
              Being at the place where the day starts ahead of all others, perhaps our
              sandhya namaskaram here is the forerunner of all the sandhya namaskarams in
              the Indian Orthodox Church everywhere.
              Regarding our church worship, our family goes to the Russian Orthodox church
              in our area. This church uses the Russian Language and we stand there
              silently praying. Occassionally they have English prayers which we attend
              with enthusiasm. The priest is very friendly and has interest to know about
              our church and customs. For example, he started kaimutthu after Evening
              prayers, when he came to know that we have that practice in our Indian
              Church.

              Our Lord comforts saying "Do not fear O little fold of sheep!" We request
              all members to pray for this little fold in this small island.
              My God bless us all
              Sam & Molly
              ___________________
              Moderators' Note:
              We're excited to hear about such a Prayer Group in New Zealand. May God bless His sheep behind this prayer group. Best wishes and prayers always.
            • rmdaniel@..
              Hello to all,
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 30, 2001
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                Hello to all, This brief note in response to the comments in the last days net by Rev.Fr.C.C.Mathew from America. Church ofcourse is a divine institution govern by God as we believe. So dont be a pessimist ,be an optimist. God will do what is needful for the time irrespective of place or person. But for its effective application, the church need to be CHURCH in its real sense. To be frank Iam doubtful about the genuinety of the present concept of the church. Does the church convey its real message for the time? Are we ready to practice the real sharing and sacrifice as our Lord told us? Optimism should go along with the virtues. LOVINGLY, FR.KURIAN DANIEL
              • Fr. Joy Pyngolil
                KC ABRAHAM wrote meaningful activities will be more useful--- True, activities are the products of meaningful discussions. Ideas get limbs by imagination;
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 30, 2001
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                  KC ABRAHAM wrote "meaningful activities will be more useful---"

                  True, activities are the products of meaningful discussions. Ideas get
                  limbs by imagination; meaningful discussions direct their course of action.
                  Some walk, some limb, some run and others fly. Meaningful discussions and
                  constructive criticism are vital for progress. Pruning is necessary but
                  please do not destroy the root.

                  Fr. JP
                • kuriakos@...
                  Reply to Mathew in Bombay and Mr. Thomas PA: Thank you Mr. Thomas PA for the message about the early churches, apostles and the struggles they faced from
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 2 7:30 AM
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                    Reply to Mathew in Bombay and Mr. Thomas PA:

                    Thank you Mr. Thomas PA for the message about the early churches, apostles and the struggles they faced from within and outside. It would be great if we have more messages like that.

                    Mathew,

                    I ve felt the same things. My brother and I used to attend music class and often went to Hindu temples to perform with our teacher. Often there would be prayers and worship that involved everyone before the concerts. We took part in everything that they did exactly as everyone else there did (throwing rice, bowing, hovering hands above the flame etc etc). We didn't really have any bad feelings about it, but we talked about it in our family gatherings. My parents basically said that we should imagine the presence of our God in the Hindu services and statues as we take part in those services. Furthermore, to refuse to take part would be considered as an act of disrespect to everyone else there and to their beliefs. St. Paul saw some gentiles worshipping the "unknown God" and spoke to them about Jesus with reference to their "unknown God". He taught them to see Jesus in that statue of the "unknown God". I am not suggesting we convert our Hindu friends using this technique, just that Christianity is not a rigid statue as some churches would have us believe.

                    Furthermore, in the Bible, idolatry is not just bowing in front of an idol, there are many other hedonistic and feral tendencies associated with idolatry. This is ovbiously not in the Hindu services we attend.

                    Eldho, NY
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