Monday, August 10, 2009
Lucian, one of the weirdest characters I've ever run across on the Internet, and my friend David Bryan, have commended the Holy Fire of Jerusalem to me as testament to the Eastern Orthodox Church's validity. Their comments take place in this thread. I have several thoughts.
1st, thanks much for the vid. It's far from clear what's happening though. At first it's dark, then some regular joes come running out into the crowd with two candles aflame. And the miracle is...?
2nd, such an occurrence seems to be just a bastardised mishmash of out-of-context Bible accounts. A temple (from the OT, but unknown to the NT). A priest (from the OT, and unknown in the NT). A holy place (more like the pagan practice of the high places in the OT). By a church that doesn't preach the Gospel. Fire occurring spontaneously, that doesn't consume (which happened one time at the burning bush and was a sign of YHWH's direct presence).
3rd, EOx appeal to this occurrence as substantiating their church's authority from God. Maybe they should focus on getting the Gospel right first? Just a suggestion.
4th, most of the other vids I attempted to view didn't work. Of the ones that did, what are they supposed to prove? That the Holy Fire doesn't burn people? Have you even watched these? Take a look at this one. I could go home and do the same with my own candle and a Bic lighter. The vids are purported to be evidence for the miraculous origin of the fire, but they're just not any good. So it's not like I accept only video evidence of divine miracles or something like an atheist would demand, but since the site offers video evidence to back up its claims, I'll critique it. If they really want to be convincing, they should hold it up to their faces for minutes at a time instead of just waving it around a 6 inches from their beards so the heat can dissipate.
5th, demonic activity is more probably the origin of this occurrence. A group that claims a perverted Gospel with a perverted sense of church gov't with a perverted authority and perverted expectations and perverted Christology finds "evidence" for itself by a spectacular "supernatural" occurrence? What does that sound like?
6th, I certainly have my doubts that God would grace the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with a display of Holy Spirit glory. For one thing, are the people in the vid in church or at the circus? Sheesh. For another, I know for a fact that said building is the site of incessant fights and territorial squabbles between the various ethnic Orthodox and the Romanists who have planted their flags in the various niches and alcoves. If the reps of a given church leave their alcove, not one minute goes by before it is taken over by one of the others, and not returned willingly.
7th, I find it highly ironic that David Bryan seems to think that this is a true sign from God, and yet it is virtually content-less. And the Scripture, which has tons of content, is errant. What's wrong with this picture?