Wouldn't it be better to dwell for ten or fifteen minutes upon eternity instead of switching on the telly to see the news?
The believer will argue at great length about the Truth of what he believes in, but it is almost certainly the case that this argument has no connection whatsoever with the reasons why he is such a passionate believer.
How can people pursue their own salvation so calmly while the rest of the world is damned? ("You are in our prayers," though.)
What angers the Orthodox Greek is not so much atheism as Catholicism. The stranger walks by unmolested while an unholy row goes on within the family.
How odd it is that some people can still talk in all earnestness about sin when, for so many others, the word is little more than the echo of a myth.
Although it sounds somewhat trivial on his lips, John Lennon's "Imagine" is not entirely unconnected to the message of Christ. Was the "Good News" not supposed to spread the message of peace and harmony? If so, what are we to make of the total lack of progress in that direction over the last 2,000 years? Is that not time enough to judge whether the Christian ideal of selfless sociality can lead anywhere?
Is it not said somewhere that the meek shall inherit the earth? If earthly inheritance matters, is it wise to put everything off until the apocalyptic day of divine intervention, which might mean having to wait another 2,000 years or perhaps a lot, lot longer?
It is interesting to listen to believers telling each other about the various miracles. They listen so eagerly. This is what they want to hear. They must believe that miracles have occurred. Above all, they want to hear, not about icons that weep, but about the miracles performed by those with an unshakeable faith. The subtext is: Faith is salvation.
The message today was: humility is far more important than doing good deeds. The introversion of the Orthodox Church is remarkable. Society really is left to rot.
What would be more difficult for a Protestant: entertaining the idea that the Orthodox dogma concerning the Holy Spirit might be right or kissing an Orthodox icon? Isn't the dogma more of a balcony than a corner stone of the religious edifice?
The skeptical world-weary Protestant can sense an echo of a lost significance in an Orthodox Church with its dark interior and the oil lamps flickering before the glimmering icons and the chanting in a language that goes back to the time of Saint Paul. There is a real pull. Even the atheist is moved. But how all that evaporates as soon as the theological discussion begins over coffee and biscuits in the Arhondariki. How repulsive the beating of that dogmatic drum is.