the Life and Times of Warrior Woman

blonde recluse. nihilarian pronk.

Posts Tagged ‘christianity

currently trying to figure out: orthodoxy and evolution.

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One of my biggest problems with Christianity is burning Harry Potter books denial of evolution.  When I started my renewed foray into Orthodoxy, this was one of the first subjects constantly on my mind.

I still need to read more, but I’ve started, and I’ve started with the following:

Evolution on OrthodoxWiki

Orthodoxy and Creationism, an article by A. Kuraev

Earth, a Home for Life (also, resources links at the end of the article)

Orthodoxy on Faith and Science

Are Science and Religion Compatible?

Orthodoxy and Creationism (another article of such title)

I haven’t read all of these just yet; this is more of a reading list I want to get through during the next week.

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the old adage.

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I started this blog because that’s what I do.  I start blogs.  I’ve been blogging since 1999 (it wasn’t called that way then).  My attempts to make money from it failed so far.  My attempts to keep a regularly updated personal blog failed as well.  I’d like to explain why, but I think if I knew, I would’ve corrected the mistake by now.

I like writing.  It’s an outlet, always have been.  I like blogging.  I like sharing, even though after all these years I still haven’t found that balance between sharing and oversharing.

I like writing about many things.  Sometimes I’m afraid that these things are too many to fit into one singular blogs.  But when I try to open separate, so-called ‘niche’ blogs, none of them get updated ever.  Yet when it’s thrown into one blog altogether, it’s kind of a mess.

And I guess it’s a reflection of me.  I am a mess.  I would perhaps get into the details, but where I live it’s 2 am, and I’ve been up since 7 or 8 the day before, and I have to stay up for another 1.5 hours or so, to give my mother her medicines.  I’ve just finished the last episode of GCB, so writing is pretty much the only thing left to do.  Besides my endless list of house tasks and, of course, praying.

It’s been hard to pray lately.  I’m hardly managing Our Father, Hail Mary, the Prayer of the Publican.  On a good day I manage Seraphim of Sarov’s prayer rule.  I’ve read two kathismas during the last three days.  I try.  But lately the only prayer falling from my lips is “God, help me”.  Lord, have mercy.  I’ve given up on my morning and evening prayer rules.

I pray.  But it’s mostly in a form of questions and thoughts.

One of the reasons I started writing this blog was to find answers to my own questions.  Answers that are not easily to be found, either via reading, or my own writing, or talking with more knowledgeable people, with elders, with veteran members of my Church (in a big, universal way).

I am an Orthodox Christian.  Orthodoxy, by its name in English, suggests conservative outlook.  And it’s correct.  Orthodox Christianity is conservative.  And I try to adhere, and in many ways I do.  And in some ways I agree.

Yes, that’s right.  In some.  But not in all.

Let me just say that I’m not about to jump boats and choose a different path of salvation.  Which, by the way, Orthodox Christianity accepts.  Yes, the Orthodox (like any other denomination, I suppose) believe that our Church’s way is the most complete, the most wholesome way of praising the Lord.  But they do not deny salvation to other denominations.  God is One.

So I am not denying the fact that I’m Orthodox.  There’s no denying it.  I’ve ‘toyed’ with other spiritualties for quite a while, both Christian and not.  For a while I’ve even considered myself atheist, though that was kind of silly.  I usually ended every day of that period with looking at the ceiling, thinking, “Nah, God, I don’t think I believe in You.  You do not exist.”

So, I am Orthodox.

But how do I find a balance?

Because I am also a feminist. 

(Ladies, before you start with your spiels about the idiocy of feminism, kindly remind yourselves that you can (in many countries) a) wear trousers; b) vote; c) work outside home; d) drive; e) get a divorce; f) have a choice. That’s what feminism is about, not who opens the door for whom.)

And even though the Bible says that I can consider fields and buy them (essentially, be a businesswoman), let’s just say that it’s preferable for a Godly woman to be a wife and a mother.

And I am not a wife and a mother.  I am not saying I will never be one, but right now the chances of this are slim.  Does that make me less of a woman?  Unfortunately, many of my confession will believe that yes, it does make me less of a woman.

I believe in the separation of church and state.  I don’t think I’m qualified to write about this, at least not in clever words.  But even though ‘one nation under God’ might sound alluring… It really isn’t.  Because there are a lot of nations inside any one country.  And, God help me, there can be a lot of gods.  We may believe in Saviour, but we cannot – and must not – deny that there’s such a thing as religious freedom.

And I’m a gay rights supporter.  Frankly, I don’t think there should even be a separation of rights.  We’re all humans, and in the heart of all true religions lies one thing – love.  Love as understanding, love as humanitarianism.

And before one bashes another person for their choices (which, I suppose, is not the most appropriate word), one should remember that God loves us all.  That Church accepts us all.

And I believe that God created this planet and all that dwells on it.  But it would be a bit odd for an educated person to deny science, evolution, and the fact that we’re made from the same elements the stars and planets are made out of.

Should I go on?  With my list of confusions?  I guess not.

So how do I find a balance between my religion and my secular beliefs?  How can I write about more serious topics (like the aforementioned gay rights), if most of the time I fail at answering the easier questions.  Like, if I ask my brother to go to the farmer’s market, does that mean that I’m serving him badly?  Do I fall even further behind in becoming a Proverbs 31 woman?

And what do we focus on most, in Proverbs 31?  Is it ‘double clothes’ and ‘beauty’, or is it ‘eager hands’ and industry?

And did you know that Proverbs 31 as a topic is much more popular and discussed between members of the Protestant confessions, than between Orthodox women?  I am yet unsure why, but it’s a fact.

And did you know, Orthodox have a different way of Bible study than Protestant confessions.  I am sure there are a lot of parallels (I mean, we’re studying the Bible, you know), but in general I am not supposed to read Protestant Bible studies.  They give interpretations which are different from those of Orthodoxy.  Same.  But different.

Complicated, isn’t it?

So I am back to my question of balance.  No matter what topic I start with (is it better to spend 15 minutes applying make-up, or should I read a chapter of Genesis instead?  Am I vain in thinking about my clothes, or will my stylish look reflect better on the image on my faith?  Do I spend half an hour cooking a separate ‘fast-approved’ meal for myself, or do I spend that half an hour with my family and eat what’s been cooked by mother instead, even if it’ll be chicken on Wednesday?  Should I abstain from reading anything that’s not God’s word during Lent, or may I allow myself a classic novel?) – there goes the question of balancing.

Is it better to read Our Father with all my heart, or should I stand for 30 minutes, reading out morning rule whilst thinking about my chores list?

Where does repentance end and self-flagellation start?

Where is the fine line between being a warrior in Christ and a mercenary?

How can I carry the Word to others, if I myself am so confused?

Not in Faith.  But in its forms of expression.

I ought to pray for Lord to give me a better understanding.  But recent events in my life taught me to pray for mercy first. 

Anything else might be too much for me to handle at the moment.

Written by Alexandra

28 July 2012 at 12:27 am

church exteriors.

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Even before my renewed foray in Orthodoxy, I’ve always liked the way the churches look — outside and inside.  My photographic skills were naught and there’s not a lot of improvements through the years either, but that doesn’t stop me from taking pictures.

These are just a few photos that I’ve found on my external HDD.  The thing is, there probably aren’t many others.  But I’ll dig around when I have some spare time, God willing.

Now, these two pictures were taken back in 2005 (maybe ’06), with my mobile camera.  Which was something like 0.3 mpx, so ye do not judge.  😛  I’m showing these pictures because this is the church that I was baptised in.  There’s a funny story connected to my baptism, too, but I have no time to write it.

Don’t you like it when people say that?  That there’s something funny, but they have no time to write it?  Thought so.

Anyway, so this church is pretty old.  You know Pushkin?  The greatest Russian poet?  Right, well when he was in exile in Moldova, he reportedly visited this church.  It’s not the oldest one in the city, though.

These two were taken in 2005, in Novotroitsk.  This Peter & Paul Cathedral is new, built at the end of the 20th century.  Here is a picture of it in daylight.  I took mine when returning home from a trip around town.  It wasn’t that late, but it was late enough to produce rather dark and gloomy pictures.  I like them, though they were completely accidental.

And these three photos were taken in Old Orhei in 2010.  I am unsure about the church, but the chapel (its roof is seen in the first of three pictures) is old.  As it’s a historical complex, I assume that the church is pretty ancient as well, but one can never be too sure.  I should read up!

Written by Alexandra

12 July 2012 at 6:53 am

warm glow.

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One of the things that always attracted me to Orthodoxy, even during those times when I’ve denied this attraction, were candles that are lit as a small offering to God.  I love burning other types of candles in my house ‘for fun’, but even the prettiest most aromatic candle doesn’t have as calming an effect, as a simple, thin, wax candle lit in front of an ikon — at home, or in church.

This picture was taken what feels like ages ago in a very small, very old church in Old Orhei, an historical complex and natural museum in Moldova.  When I visited this church, I was in a very conflicting relationship with my faith, so I haven’t lit up a candle, which I now regret deeply.  But, what’s done is done.  I pray to never repeat such mistake, ever again.

Written by Alexandra

11 July 2012 at 7:55 pm

on sin, a quote.

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A Christian knows: God, Whose name is Love, will not cinder one for excessive drink, a smoked cigarette, or even for a more serious sin.  Which is why one will not consciously sin.  To sin is distasteful for one.  Distasteful to be dishonest with That, Whom one loves, Who loves you.  Who, for you, met His demise on the Cross. — source; translation mine

Written by Alexandra

7 July 2012 at 2:20 pm