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Is it considered a "sin" to listen to secular music?


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#181 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 03:15 PM

This thread is not about the comparison of monastic life and life in the world but about whether listening to secular music is a sin. A sin is whatever, to the well-tempered mind, puts distance between us and God (as I was taught). We have had what I have called the rigorist view expressed but that view cannot be held out as something for all nor used as a basis for criticism of those who do not hold that view. It cannot be the case that listening to secular music at all is sinful. I concur in the view expressed in post #177.

#182 Paul Cowan

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:13 AM

I am not a monk. Am I, nevertheless, expected to sleep apart from my wife? Must I refrain from wearing "secular" clothes and only wear a monk's clothing?


Are you serious Bryan?! Make your point and stop taking pot shots from the far sidelines. You've said nothing in your several recent posts other than criticize a protective view how we should live our lives. You always take it to the far extreme. We are in the world and not supposed to be of the world. At least not partakers of the world as in a hedonist mindset.

I don't know about you, but I can't even go to the local pharmacy without being blared with secular music. It is thrust upon me. However when I get back ot my car, I can take care what I listen to and get my mind "back on track". I don't run and buy a Led Zepplin tape just becuase the local grocery store had it playing on their speakers. And as Herman said, we are to be modest in our dress and in our actions and that includes relations with our spouses. In many homes, my grandaprents included, they slept apart as part of their normal habits. Same room, separate beds. I am here, so at some point they did share a bed. I don't want to go down that thought trap. But our grandparents knew what it meant to be "sober" in most things. It is our generation that has really corrupted our values.

Paul

#183 Father David Moser

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:29 AM

In many homes, my grandaprents included, they slept apart as part of their normal habits. Same room, separate beds. I am here, so at some point they did share a bed.


I remember a few years ago, we had just bought a new home (5 bedrooms - which meant that there were two extras after the master and two kids). We had the members of the parish over for a party and we were showing (off) the new house. After looking at all the rooms, one of our guests - an elderly Russian man, turned to me and mentioned that we had see my wife's room but he didn't know which one was mine. Having a husband and wife share a room was incomprehensible to him.

Fr David

#184 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

I know older Russians who are like that; it can be tricky in a Khrushchev-era apartment. Young Russians behave like young people in the west.

#185 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:38 PM

If I am to be a monk for music at all times (never listen to "secular music") why not for everything else?

#186 Christina M.

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:49 PM

Bryan - if you are able to do it, go ahead! :) Just don't deprive your wife (unless she consents), and don't wear monks clothing. It's pretty simple, isn't it?

#187 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:55 PM

If I am to be a monk for music at all times (never listen to "secular music") why not for everything else?


Because the Orthodox way is to take the middle way in all things and avoid extremes. According to St Nicholas Cabasilas (Life in Christ), we don't have to anything extraordinary.

#188 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:08 PM

Because the Orthodox way is to take the middle way in all things and avoid extremes. According to St Nicholas Cabasilas (Life in Christ), we don't have to anything extraordinary.


Obviously, that can't be the case, according to all the people who say that it's a sin to listen to "secular music". If it is innately a sin to listen to "secular music", it is no less a sin to have sex with my own wife.

#189 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 03:18 PM

Obviously, that can't be the case


Well, that's what the Holy Fathers say.

according to all the people who say that it's a sin to listen to "secular music".


Who are 'all' these people? There's one here, whilst others, including clergy here, evidently enjoy some secular music.

If it is innately a sin to listen to "secular music",


It isn't.

it is no less a sin to have sex with my own wife.


Obviously, sex with one's wife is not a sin. Least, that's what the Holy Fathers and the services of the Holy Orthodox Church say.

#190 Christina M.

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:28 PM

If it is innately a sin to listen to "secular music", it is no less a sin to have sex with my own wife.

I believe there is a problem in logic here. This is like saying: "If I'm not supposed to steal from my neighbors, then why should I be allowed to brush my teeth?"

Besides the fact, as others have pointed out, that it's not conclusively a sin to listen to secular music. I guess that's what this thread was trying to find out.

#191 Paul Cowan

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:54 AM

Through all these posts, I have come to the horrific conclusion that breathing is a sin. So, I will now stop.

Crud, I slipped. Let me try again.
Dang, I slipped again.

Well, I suppose I will just have to learn how to "manage" this sin of breathing.

#192 Christina M.

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:12 AM

I believe many of us are probably sinning when we breathe.

But it's not because breathing is a sin. :)

#193 Paul Cowan

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 06:45 AM

There you go Christina; confusing the issue. If I sin when I breathe and breathing is not a sin then is only inhaling the sin or is only exhaling the sin? And what if once I inhale, I hold my breath as long as I can until I start to turn purple? Now, surely that is a sin worthy of death. Surely it is. Otherwise you may have to try to convince me I am wrong and breathing is not a sin, but my actions produced from my ability to breathe are my sin. OH it boggles the mind. Maybe we should research the early church fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters and neices and nephews but only those during apostolic age as any innovation to breathing would surely looked down on by the church militant throughout all ages.

I am now waiting to be taxed on breathing. I suppose taxing each inhale AND each exhale of every living person could actually save the world's financial problem. $.25 to inhale and $.50 to exhale. If one is engaging in exercise for health, then it is only $.25 to exhale as an incentive to breathe faster and harder to increase the revenu of the taxes.

We really should try to keep church and state separate. We haven't even explored the methane tax possible from taxing the air escaping out the other end. Now that would be classic. Oh, and sinful. Don't forget how sinful it would be to pass gas and raise methane levels that now seemed to have killed off all thedinosaurs. Poor little critters. all that foliage and they suffocated themselves all to death by flatulance. There's the original sin! flatulance in close quarters.The shame of it all. pk, No one is here to for allowed to inhale, or pass gas.

Paul

#194 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 08:29 AM

No one is here to for allowed to inhale

How will I know when my socks need washing?

#195 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

I think we are losing sight of something. I am not sure why we are making this so difficult We seem to be laboring under a mistaken premise. Remember that Orthodoxy does not treat "sin" as crime to be punished, but as a sickness to be healed. Now there are aspects of this that bear mentioning. In order to become and remain healthy we should not engage in risky behaviors that will make us or keep us sick, and encourage those actions and behaviors that tend to a healthy life. And we know from Holy Scripture that the same act by two different people can have different results. St. Paul says the stronger brother may eat meat but the weaker brother should eat only vegetables. Eating meat "offered to idols" is really no big deal but if our partaking leads our brother astray perhaps we should avoid it. This is why we put such value on council and discernment. This is why we look to our priests and spiritual advisors to help us know when that which my brother does might be OK for him but not so good for me. This is why humility and obedience are the "key" virtues and why it is OK for love to "cover" a multitude of sins. Some things simply do not result in good results, these things need to be avoided entirely

Sin is not doing something "bad", it is simply "missing the mark". It is that which separates us from God. Even "right" things can have the wrong effect on our own souls if we do it for the wrong reason. Remember the Pharisee who did all the "right" things but went away not justified? We try to hit the mark because we want to be closer to God. If when we consider doing something and whether or not it is "sinful" we should ask does this activity give glory to God, or at least not reflect negatively on God's image? Does it make us feel closer to God? If the answer is "no" then we really ought to think again before doing it, don't you think?

#196 Xeni S. K.

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

Yes, Michael. I totally agree with you. Of course not all secular music is sinful, but a lot of famous secular songs are. One day, while my friend and I were having our lunch in the canteen of a university where a music video channel was on all day, we observed that some MV were really sensual, even vulgar, some violent. Our youth get exposed to this kind of things too much these days.
I was told that most of the classical music was all right. When I was younger I was trained to sing in an opera choir. I performed once and that was it because I found that some opera plays were too sensual.
I don't expect every Orthodox to listen to Byzantine hymns 24/7 like some of my friends do. I don't listen to secular music, but do listen to some classical music. Let's face it, we still live in the world and we can't avoid worldly music all the time. That's why we all need to be vigilant. We need to learn to discern what is appropriate and what not.

#197 Steve Roche

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:35 AM

In order to become and remain healthy we should not engage in risky behaviors that will make us or keep us sick, and encourage those actions and behaviors that tend to a healthy life.


I am glad you took the trouble to explain this. Although subtle, your insights were not missed. Well said, Herman, well said.

Steve




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