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The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy

The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy
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The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy

How Traditionalist Ideology and "Changeless" Canons Hurt the Orthodox Church
By: Charles Shingledecker

The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy is an amusing yet poignant critique of the so-called Traditionalist Movement. It examines this modern day phenomenon by looking at the more outlandish Canons that traditionalists insist all Orthodox Christians embrace. Many of these supposedly changeless laws - from priests having ever longer beards to saying that all the Canons are "divinely inspired" - are silly, or even barbaric.

The Orthodox Traditionalist Movement impacts the Orthodox Church negatively because it calls for a "return" to all the traditions of the ancient church, since today they are rarely enforced. But what are those traditions? Did you know that they include forbidding the Orthodox to dance at weddings? From having a Jewish doctor? They also include punishing a woman for having a miscarriage! Believe it or not, these "inspired" Canons even include laws which declare that eating Matzoh bread is evil!

The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy presents a compassionate view of authentic Christian faith, which rests on the teachings of Jesus. It also provides a much needed rebuke to the destructive forms of traditionalism that some Orthodox are pushing, and provides a timely warning. As the author says - just because something is old, doesn't mean it's Christian.

About The Author

Charles P. Shingledecker is a member of the Wisconsin Regional Writers community. Charles was raised Roman Catholic and joined the Greek Orthodox Church in 2003. He is a tonsured lay reader in his parish.

Quote from the first chapter of “Crazy Side…”

“To put this in the context of the present, I note that the Fundamentalist Orthodox are the ‘Orthodox’ version of the Religious Right that has so politicized the Protestant evangelical churches. I’ve written this book as a little warning about just how crazy it is for the Orthodox Church to dive into that Fundamentalist far right mess. The Orthodox Traditionalist movement as it impacts the Orthodox Church worldwide and here in America is extremely complex and multifaceted. And it is not all bad. But discovering the movement’s origins can be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.”

Church History/Spirituality
Paperback - 167 pages
ISBN 978-1-928653-41-7 - $16.95

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Chapter 1 - THE "TRADITIONALIST MOVEMENT" AND THEIR "CANONS"
  • Chapter 2 - WHAT DO ORTHODOX TRADITIONALISTS AND STAR TREK FANS HAVE IN COMMON?
  • Chapter 3 - IS CANON LAW DIVINE?
  • Chapter 4 - THE SIN OF A MISCARRIAGE
  • Chapter 5 - HOW HAVING A JEWISH DOCTOR COULD GET YOU EXCOMMUNICATED
  • Chapter 6 - WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD KEEP KOSHER, AKA NO SOUP FOR YOU!
  • Chapter 7 - WHY RAPE VICTIMS MIGHT HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR IT
  • Chapter 8 - THOU SHALT NOT . . . SIT DOWN BEFORE YOUR PRIEST?
  • Chapter 9 - INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY . . . UNLESS YOU’RE THE VICTIM
  • Chapter 10 - MASTURBATION IS OF THE DEVIL!
  • Chapter 11 - WOMEN BE SILENT, AKA SHUT UP WOMAN, THE GAME IS ON!
  • Chapter 12 - THE DISHONORABLE OCCUPATION OF . . . FARMING?
  • Chapter 13 - THE INCONVENIENCE OF EMANCIPATION
  • Chapter 14 - BARS, AND TAVERNS, AND INNS, OH MY!
  • Chapter 15 - HOW ATTENDING A BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING COULD GET YOU EXCOMMUNICATED
  • Chapter 16 - WHAT’S THE CATCH?
  • Chapter 17 - CLARIFYING SOME POSSIBLE MISCONCEPTIONS, AKA DO I HATE CHRISTIANITY?
  • Bibliography