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Votive Offerings

887 bytes added, 02:06, October 20, 2011
add info - Elder Paisios quote;
Furthermore, the way that certain vows are made comes across as making a bargain with God. For example, ''"Saint [[Paraskevi]], please heal me and I will bring you a gold candle"'', or ''"God please help me with my exams and I will bring you..."''. This denigrates God and lessens the personality of man at the same time, while also making manifest our lack of faith.<ref name="GERMANOS"/> In Dr. Teske's field study of the Greek-American community of Philadelphia, he observed that:
:"The [[Clergy|clergymen]] of the community, who personally demonstrate varying degrees of appreciation for the practice, uniformly allowed that the [[Orthodox Church]], while tolerating the persistence of the ''tama'', does not encourage it, due primarily to the possibility of it being taken for a form of bribery. Such accusations and luke-warm tolerance have had an effect both upon the practice itself and upon the attitudes of those who favor it."<ref>[ Robert T. Teske]. ''[ Votive Offerings among Greek-Philadelphians: A Ritual Perspective].'' Ayer Publishing, 1980. pp.10-11.</ref>
In addition, according to Elder [[Paisios (Eznepidis)|Paisios of Mount Athos]]:
:"I also see a new craftiness in the devil. He causes people to think that if they make a vow to God and fulfill it, if they go on some pilgrimage, then they are alright spiritually. You see hordes of people going to monasteries and shrines with tall candles and extravagant offerings, ostentatiously making the sign of the cross, even weeping a little, and feeling content. They do not [[Repentance|repent]], do not [[Confession|confess]], do not correct or change their way of life ... and this is quite pleasing to the devil."<ref>Elder [[Paisios (Eznepidis)|Paisios of Mount Athos]]. ''[ Spiritual Counsels, Vol. 3: Spiritual Struggle].'' Holy Monastery "Evangelist John the Theologian", Souroti, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2010.</ref>
This is why careful attention is required if one is making vows. They should be of a spiritual nature to help with the purity of the soul and the holiness of one's life, because ''"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."'' ([[Apostle John|John 4:24]]).<ref name="GERMANOS"/>

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