The Pot Calling the Kettle Black.....

  Okay, so evidently one of the non Orthadox churches here in Romania has some sort of scandal - it's just 1, ONE individual church.  Something about taking money from the people in the church - for all I know it could be about tithing.  I don't know all the particular's - but it has give the Orthadox church here a HUGE stone to throw.  They are trying to convince the RO government to make all other religious sects illegal or something to that effect.

Well here's my issue with the Orthadox church here in Romania.  Drive through the country - go through any small, run-down, and I do mean RUN DOWN village, and what do you see, the Orthadox church spending hundreds of thousands of Euro to build a HUGE, NEW church building in a place where the people have no money.  These people have to decide what they are going to do with their money when they do get some; do they buy food so they can eat, or pay their water or electric bill?  You think I'm joking, no, I'm dead serious.  And here's the kicker:

  Someone in their family dies, they have to PAY the priest to perform the ceremony, even though that person when to mass every Sunday!!!  The dead person's family has to buy and give away food to all the people at the grave site!  Okay, that is a tradition here, I don't know if that has anything to do with the church or the culture.  But you get my point.

  The orthodox church receives money from the RO government.  The priests pay no taxes - have a nice home to live in (monastery) with indoor plumbing (some not all), electricity, clothes, plenty of food, and NEW vehicles to conduct their "business" in.  Not to mention they all have cell phones too!  When you visit the monastery you can purchase things that are made there on the premises.  One convent just outside of Tulcea produces honey and wine - both of which are really good.  So they are always making money some kind of way, but I never see them HELPING those that they expect to attend church every week.

  Want to get married in the church - you have to fork over money for that too, regardless if you attend regularly.  That's not for the use of the church space - that's for the priest, personally!

  During the Christmas and New Year season, the priests go around from house to house, apartment to apartment and "Bless" the homes - guess what, if you allow the priest to perform this rite - you better fork over some money. 

  One priest came to my door twice this past holiday season.  I explained I wasn't Romanian, nor was I Orthodox.  He proceeded to perform his rite anyway, and then I was pressured into kissing a picture of Christ, on BOTH his visits.  Everything in me was SCREAMING, but I was polite, and respectful, and kissed the friggin' icon anyway.  I felt like I'd just committed idolatry, even though I believe in Christ Jesus, and it was an icon of Christ! 

  So why did I do that?  Well because my kids were standing right there, and I didn't want to make a scene and confuse and embarrass them - not yet anyway, I'll wait till they're a bit older...... 

.....plus, for all I know that same priest could be teaching their religion class one day, and I don't want them to have a hard time. 

  As far as I know none of the other denominations charge for any of that.  The church that my sister in law attends is "pentecostal", but not what we think of as pentecostal in the U.S., technically they are somewhat charismatic.  But not like Benny Hinn, et. all.  She has never mentioned them asking the members of the church for money for funerals or weddings, etc.  Basically her church is a lot like the church in Acts Ch.2 - the members meet the needs of the other members.

  The Communist regime was atheistic, but allowed the Orthodox church to remain, out of tradition they said - but really the church operated as tattle-tale agency for the government.  When a person went to confession, or attended mass too often - the priests turned that parishioner into the Securitate; this was one bad a** agency you did NOT want to get tangled up with. 

  Even now, in some of the smaller towns and villages in Romania and Moldova, when a non Orthodox church "opens", more like people meeting in their homes - the Orthodox priests have been known to disrupt the services by throwing rocks through windows, etc. 

  So I guess my statement to the Romanian Orthodox Church is "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".


why do i feel? said...

Good points all, Odie. In my time I have found that all churches, whether it be several members of the staff or priest alone, have some sort of racket going. And not all of these benefits are monetary.

I'm sorry to say, but I don't think any house of worship is a house of God anymore. To worship at them with a clear conscience, you must turn a blind eye to plenty of crooked goings-on.

All this I have witnessed with mine own eyes. I shall tell you about some of it soon.

Malko said...

first of all the name is Orthodox, not Orthadox. Ortho means "right" in greek.

second, it is really funny to see someone from all this new churches to comment about Orthodox church, a church that is around from more then 2000 years.

so why not to talk about all the alternative churches in the US where they play rock music, "speak in tongues" and so on.. there is a different church at every corner in US, but all that the regular guys know about Christmas and Easter is that they have some sales, and go to chase eggs in the backyard.

nobody turned a person in for going to mass too often.

don't let me start about all the "missionaries" who are going to Romania from the US. lol, we know about God since 2000 years ago as I said, we dont need some mor(m)ons to lecture us.

about the 3rd world country.. lady, I am sorry but I am in the US since '05 and I can tell you and your friends that a lot of rural America looks..strange..not talking about some urban settings too- Detroit,MI..Akron,OH..Gary,IN..mostof WV..so before going in missions abroad I think there are a lot of things to fix at home ;)

Odessa said...

Malko, you completely misunderstood me. And BTW, I'm not Mormon - those people are idiots.

I never said ALL churches were better than the Orthodox church, just that here the Orthodox church here is really corrupt, and yes, they did turn people in to the Securitate. Read a book by one of your fellow country men Richard Wurmbrand called "Tortured For Christ"

The U.S. is ugly in a lot of places - but I don't think I've ever seen any place in the U.S. as littered as Romania is.

I've got little to NO respect for any "church". The Orthodox church has not been around any longer than any other church. The "Church" was born on the day of Pentecost.

While I have reservations about the speaking in tongues - it is biblical.

Malko said...

wikipedia is for everyone, you can go over there to see when the Orthodox and Catholic churches separated (1054). the rest are just variations, pentecostals appeared in 1900, tv priests are just showmen doing this for money and so on..

is easy to verify anything before you start to write on a blog, otherwise don t be upset when people say that americans are ignorants.

about the littered Romania, a lot of things went wrong after the communist period when all that plastic bottles became an imported "occidental standard". people are littering in the US too, the only difference is that other people are comming after them and cleaning the highways and ditches and so on.. it is called "community service" and they have this free workforce because the justice system is a little different.

anyway, i never saw in Romania or anywhere in Europe so many neighborhoods of window boarded houses, or places were you cannot walk after 9 pm (heh, if you can find a sidewalk).

more than that, in America the litter is inside. I am a renter, dont let me start about all the dirt that I saw in different homes here. and I am talking about the high end of the market, landlords that were high proffesionals. once before I moved in I had to clean the windows of the house, I think last time they were cleaned in the 60s :)).

if you think Romania is littered, try to imagine US after 50 years of communism. imagine a hurricane like Katrina that moves around for 50 years, this is what communism was for Romania. I dont think US will look better.

talking about expats, Queen Mary of Romania was from the House of Windsor. she became an orthodox and a romanian. of course, she was a noble and a clever woman.

Airinei Liviu - Emilian said...

Just like in Greece, the state took church proprieties in XIXth century (in Romania 1/4 of the entire old country cultivated surface) and engaged in taking care of wages of the church.In Greece a priest has I think at least 800 EUR from the state.In Romania, many priests have the minimum wage here which is under 200 EUR and many ARE NOT PAID AT ALL BY THE STATE.Our country has formed first by authority of the Orthodox Church.PRIESTS HAS NO EXEMPTIONS AT PAYING TAXES, Church has, but ONLY in activities related to faith JUST LIKE IN US.