Tuesday, October 31, 2023

G.K. Chesterton's Defense of Scary Stories from a Christian Perspective

G.K. Chesterton was a mystery writer, literary critic, and revered Catholic theologian. On October 16th 1909, he wrote an article for The Daily News titled "The Nightmare", which is a work of literary criticism regarding why scary stories are so delightful, but also their potential dangers. Unlike later reactionary Christians, Chesterton is fully on board with the telling and enjoying of scary stories, so long as we remember that they are nothing more than "toys".

Many Christians believe scary stories are evil in themselves, because they associate anything scary with what they interpret as bad feelings as opposed to what they interpret is good, but there is no such thing as an evil story, unless the person hearing the story is evil and when hearing it abandons any sense of Christian hope that lies in his heart. A story changes perspective depending on one's beliefs and disposition, and when a true Christian hears a scary story it will always be with a Christian perspective, and as long as the temptation to judge it as merely evil or demonic is avoided, it can be beneficial if the story contains even a kernel of benefit, and usually scary stories do (for example, in scary stories evil is usually viewed as bad and the audience is usually encouraged to root for the good). It is the same as reading the Bible, where one's interpretation of it first and foremost depends on their personal beliefs and disposition - to some it can inspire piety and holiness while to others it could inspire unimaginable horrors, rebellion and even murder.

You can read "The Nightmare" here, though he does touch more on this subject in other writings of his as well. Below is an excerpt:

Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Georgian Orthodox Church Issues a Bizarre Statement on Halloween

UOP Flyer: Halloween – Pagan-Satanist “Holiday”

In 2008, several young Georgians organized an open air Halloween party in downtown Tbilisi. Hundreds attended and a special performance was staged. Everything was going well until a different group of people appeared. Several men lead by a bishop got on the stage, destroyed the DJ equipment and got in a fight with attendees. Later on police intervened and the event was over. Check out a video story by Internews Georgia (here) that contains footage from the party.

The group that crashed the party proclaimed itself as the Union of Orthodox Parents (UOP) and since then they refused to allow any kind of celebration of Halloween in Georgia. According to the Union, it was a party of drug-addicted satanists and these kind of events are bad for Georgia, as if Halloween is what made them alleged drug-addicted satanists.

Friday, October 27, 2023

The Kursi Monastery Where Jesus Healed the Gadarene Demoniacs at the Sea of Galilee

Kursi (Κυρσοί) is located near the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee on the bank of a wadi, Nahal Samakh, descending from the Golan Heights. It is an archaeological site containing the ruins of a Byzantine monastery and identified by tradition as the site where Jesus cast out demons from two men which then went on to possess local pigs which cast themselves into the sea (Mark 5:1-20, Matthew 8:28–34, Luke 8:26-39). The events take place in the land of either the Gerasenes, Gadarenes or Gergesenes (Mark 5:1, Matthew 8:28, Luke 8:26). Part of the archaeological site is now an Israeli national park. Kursi takes its name from the Talmudic site. A marble slab with Aramaic text discovered in December 2015 seems to indicate that the settlement had, as of ca. 500 AD, a Jewish or Judeo-Christian population.

Monday, October 23, 2023

A Critical Examination of an Announcement on Halloween by Orthodox Christians in Greece

The Metropolis of Kifissia, Amaroussion and Oropos and the Metropolis of Piraeus are metropolises under the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece located in the vicinity of Athens. In these Metropolises, like some of the Metropolises in Greece, it has what is called an "Office on Heresies", in which a priest or theologian is designated to make official statements on behalf of the Metropolis regarding various heresies that it sees as posing a threat to its Christian flock. Among these is what they call "An Announcement on Halloween", and this announcement has been making the rounds on Greek websites.
Since what is presented below is often misunderstood by Orthodox Christians and they are mislead by the common misrepresentations presented in this article and others like it, I will make some corrections below the announcement (which I translated into English).

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

What Some Modern Orthodox Elders and Saints Said About Extraterrestrial Life or Life on Other Planets

The phenomenon of UFO's and alien life, in the opinion of many Athonite fathers as well as other spiritual persons, is that all of these are demonic manifestations and belong to the signs that Christ foretold, when He was asked about the end of the world, "and great signs shall there be from heaven" (Luke 21:11). It is a topic usually spoken of in the context of the End Times. Below are a few specific quotes on the topic:

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Question from Professor Z.S.: What can you tell us about the cosmos beyond the earth? Can you tell us whether aliens exist?

Response of Elder Thaddeus: Yes, there are... Only they are the energy of thoughts. It is not material energy as we humans know it. Such creatures as we humans do not exist in the universe. Why? Because only the human race is blessed to "fill" God's earth as the Lord said. "And God blessed them, saying: increase and multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28).