A father as family leader

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

William: Somehow back in the times of Joshua, the male DID choose for the family. As a matter of fact, any Greek Orthodox layperson who seeks ordination but has a spouse or child who rejects the faith is deemed unsuitable (in ancient usage at least) since if they cannot govern their own family then how may they pastor a flock?

Well, you are PERFECTLY correct for our times. Now the poor Greeks from the earliest century until now feel obligated to see Orthodoxy EVERYWHERE throughout every book of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, Gospels and Epistles. When time comes round for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross they quote all these clever and exquisite metaphors from the Old Testament; Moses standing arms outstretched between Aaron (who is ALPHA) and Ur (OR which is Omega) and the twelve tribes marching in a cross pattern, and the bitter waters which are sweetened by casting WOOD into the water… and so on and so forth…. and they cannot simply take the post Reformation attitude “Oh, Pish Posh, that is all the OLD LAW and Jesus and Paul did away with all of that!” When Irenaeus of the 2nd century decreed that there should only be FOUR Gospels he appeals to the symbolism of Ezekiel’s vision… I think you get my point, NOWADAYS each must decide for themselves but that one verse in Joshua creates a problem which does not just go away… IT IS NOT your problem, and I realize that but it is a theological problem.

And yet, in the average household, when a baby arrives, the parents circumcize or baptize or in some fashion indoctrinate that child into the religion whether it is Christianity, Islam, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Ba’hai, etc. Few people would wait until the child was at the age of reason and then say “well what do you think about all this religious business? Would you like to choose a religion? Would prefer to be an atheist?” And I suppose if some family did let nature take its course (which is why my dysfunctional family did) then you would wind up with a child who grows up and reads all the great books and then tries out every religion, and then blogs about it for years… and …well… that cannot be a good thing, now can it? So, in some sense you do choose for a child, or at least the majority of parents choose.


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