Author Topic: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"  (Read 4081 times)

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Offline Cognomen

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #90 on: July 20, 2018, 07:32:56 AM »
Not our best collective work in this thread, as some of our most frequent posters have a tendency to misunderstand, misconstrue, and become wrongfully upset by about 80% of what they read. But I think walterturkey is on to something in the quote below:

Among Presbyterians, it stems from sola scriptura, covenant theology and zwingli. the New testament didnt institute icons and liturgy, so those are man made traditions to be avoided.

A hyper focus on the New Testament, combined with the narrative of earlier, simpler worship found amongst Apostolic Christians, prior to Imperial endorsement, can be pretty persuasive.

This, supported by actual corruption found in traditional forms of Christianity, including over-the-top opulence amongst clergy and worship, along with emphases on practices tenuously supported, at best, by New Testament writings.

I'm not suggesting that "Protestant minimalism" got it right, but one has to view the Scriptures through a particular "traditional Christian" lens, in order to reconcile them with Church (or Churches) practice. Viewed outside of that lens--as most Protestants do--the contrasts are too stark.

But really I'd say middle and neoplatonic mystery religions.

Nicholas, I think this is a really interesting point, and likely the origins of the oldest forms of minimalism, if not specifically Protestant minimalism. But perhaps I'm missing a connection between the two forms of minimalism.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 07:45:49 AM by Cognomen »
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Offline HardHead

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #91 on: July 23, 2018, 08:06:18 AM »

I'm not suggesting that "Protestant minimalism" got it right, but one has to view the Scriptures through a particular "traditional Christian" lens, in order to reconcile them with Church (or Churches) practice. Viewed outside of that lens--as most Protestants do--the contrasts are too stark.

Minimalism is not necessarily a new thing nor is it strictly Protestant. Note that some/most Orthodox monks have a pretty minimalist approach to things. Fasting and dietary restrictions are also minimalist in general.

Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #92 on: August 01, 2018, 08:57:15 AM »
Quote
To that point, I find it interesting that almost every Evangelical I have met begins a friendly discourse on church and religious matters by telling me what their brand of Protestantism is not rather than what it is.

Yeah, it is quite common to hear something like ''I am evangelical, but not from that Joel Osteen-ish church down the street'' or ''I am an evangelical but not from a tongue-speaking loud-laughing snake-handling church...''

Quote
It occurred to me some time ago that the many Protestant denominations that exist now and that seem to foster new ones from time to time, are all in some way searching for something they don't have. They must be searching for something that is lacking since there are so many denominations, each with their own teaching and doctrine that can lead to interesting and perhaps controversial interpretations of scripture that may even be incorrect depending on who you ask (e.g. rapture, prosperity theology, etc.). In my opinion, what is lacking must be spiritual and is not simply a matter of style (i.e. where the simple is preferred over the ornate etc.).


I have the idea that evangelical churches, specially after the Jesus Freak phenomenom and the liturgy wars, became more and more bussiness-minded and consumer-oriented, so, the divisions that happen are a way to keep up the churches in tune with the aesthetic, social and cultural trends of the world.

So we can see in the 60s, the hippie style church with folk-ish praise bands, Lonnie Frisbee and the long haired bearded singers; in the 80s, the Reagan era evangelicalism, with more conservative looking praise bands and lots and lots of altar calls, TV shows and so on, till the actual big arena megaconcert with professional praise bands, LED screens, dimmed lights and rock music heavily influenced by indie, vaporwave, EDM and post rock styles, that perfected the art of the ''feeling God'' stuff that so many people look for.

I believe that the lack of a reverent and sound approach to the Sacraments is something that lots and lots of evangelical churches lack today, and in my opinion, that is something that has the potential of basically emptying the pews of evangelical churches in the future.

Today, we can hear and ssee the best preachers and the best musicians in our cellphone, we can talk with our friends online and meet with them in thousands of places, so, if we can hear biblical expositions online and socializing in a restaurant or a bowling lane, why go to church? The orthodox, catholics and magisterial protestants have a good reason, ''you must partake in the Sacraments, you can't partake in the Eucharist online or in a Starbucks Cafe'', the low church evangelical in the other hand, downplayed the Sacraments so much, that in a few years people will realize that everything they do in church (socializing, hearing a preacher, hearing good music and ''feeling God''), can be done elsewhere. 



Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #93 on: August 01, 2018, 09:20:07 PM »

I have the idea that evangelical churches, specially after the Jesus Freak phenomenom and the liturgy wars, became more and more bussiness-minded and consumer-oriented, so, the divisions that happen are a way to keep up the churches in tune with the aesthetic, social and cultural trends of the world.

So we can see in the 60s, the hippie style church with folk-ish praise bands, Lonnie Frisbee and the long haired bearded singers; in the 80s, the Reagan era evangelicalism, with more conservative looking praise bands and lots and lots of altar calls, TV shows and so on, till the actual big arena megaconcert with professional praise bands, LED screens, dimmed lights and rock music heavily influenced by indie, vaporwave, EDM and post rock styles, that perfected the art of the ''feeling God'' stuff that so many people look for.

I believe that the lack of a reverent and sound approach to the Sacraments is something that lots and lots of evangelical churches lack today, and in my opinion, that is something that has the potential of basically emptying the pews of evangelical churches in the future.

Today, we can hear and ssee the best preachers and the best musicians in our cellphone, we can talk with our friends online and meet with them in thousands of places, so, if we can hear biblical expositions online and socializing in a restaurant or a bowling lane, why go to church? The orthodox, catholics and magisterial protestants have a good reason, ''you must partake in the Sacraments, you can't partake in the Eucharist online or in a Starbucks Cafe'', the low church evangelical in the other hand, downplayed the Sacraments so much, that in a few years people will realize that everything they do in church (socializing, hearing a preacher, hearing good music and ''feeling God''), can be done elsewhere.

+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #94 on: August 01, 2018, 10:34:03 PM »
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)
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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #95 on: August 06, 2018, 03:56:21 PM »
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+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".

Here in my country, there are groups of self-professed christians that preach that denominations and temples are wrong, so they dogmatized the idea of house church and anathematyzed the idea of temple or place exclusive for religious service. Most of them come from pentecostal and neo-pentecostal backgrounds, and are completely tired of their previous denominations, usually due to excesses commonly found in those religious organizations.

So they supposedly gather in their own houses with their own circle of friends with similar views, lately they are organizing ''non religious biblical courses'', spreading the kind of ideas one can found in books like ''pagan christianity'' by Frank Viola and George Barna.

For those who arent familiarized with Frank Viola and Barna's work, they wrote some books defending the idea that the early church didnt have liturgy, hierarchy, expositive preaching, sacraments or homilies, that the Eucharist was just a regular meal and temples, liturgy, organization are all inventions of Constantine and the evil roman catholic church (why those guys are allways completely unaware of the christian east?).

So, those groups try to mimic what they imagine what would be the early church, with a service that is basically a session of storytelling and sharing life experiences and some prayer at someone's house.

I'd say that, this movement can be one of the greatest tools for secularization and massive depart of people from any kind of christian denomination.


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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #96 on: August 06, 2018, 03:59:53 PM »
Quote
+1000. Wow, great analysis, I fully agree. A lot of modern Protestantism has the tendency to lead to secularism. I have seen it with my own relatives. They stopped going to church because 1) they feel they know it all now, so the preaching is useless and 2) since they are only there for the music and social hour, they realize this can be done outside of church walls anyway so why even bother. Thus, Christianity for them is deduced to a personal and private relationship with God in which they are their own "bishop".

Here in my country, there are groups of self-professed christians that preach that denominations and temples are wrong, so they dogmatized the idea of house church and anathematyzed the idea of temple or place exclusive for religious service. Most of them come from pentecostal and neo-pentecostal backgrounds, and are completely tired of their previous denominations, usually due to excesses commonly found in those religious organizations.

So they supposedly gather in their own houses with their own circle of friends with similar views, lately they are organizing ''non religious biblical courses'', spreading the kind of ideas one can found in books like ''pagan christianity'' by Frank Viola and George Barna.

For those who arent familiarized with Frank Viola and Barna's work, they wrote some books defending the idea that the early church didnt have liturgy, hierarchy, expositive preaching, sacraments or homilies, that the Eucharist was just a regular meal and temples, liturgy, organization are all inventions of Constantine and the evil roman catholic church (why those guys are allways completely unaware of the christian east?).

So, those groups try to mimic what they imagine what would be the early church, with a service that is basically a session of storytelling and sharing life experiences and some prayer at someone's house.

I'd say that, this movement can be one of the greatest tools for secularization and massive depart of people from any kind of christian denomination.
This seems to be a pretty American phaenomenon, maybe beginning to take place here. "Bible study group".
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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #97 on: August 07, 2018, 08:09:10 AM »
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This seems to be a pretty American phaenomenon, maybe beginning to take place here. "Bible study group".

Well, it has roots in the US, Frank Viola, the author I mentioned, he is north-american from New Jersey, and he is the main source of those anti-''institution'' christians, called ''unchurched'' usually in a derogatory way. If you are interested in his literature, you can find it in PDF in portuguese easily, type ''cristianismo pagão pdf'' in google and you'll find it. Notice the footnotes in the history of the church and liturgy parts, not a single first or second century christian source, most of his sources are protestant scholarship, protestant popular literature and his own books.

Despite their longing for finding the ''early church'', they are so brainwashed to absolutely despise liturgy, hierarchy, creeds and so on, that would be quite difficult to get them interested to learn about orthodoxy.

Bible Study Groups are ok, if they are serious and have a pastoral supervision, or purely academic. Independent bible study groups, are easily transformed into cults, the Jehova's Witnessess started like that, sheepstealing from mainline protestant denominations via ''Bible Study''.





 

Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #98 on: August 07, 2018, 09:50:23 PM »
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?
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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #99 on: August 08, 2018, 12:34:20 PM »
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?



Well, monasticism for lots of protestants is useless and counter-productive. It is not necessarily because of the celibacy, but in the protestant mindset, the isolation of a monastery is a violation of Matthew 5:13-16, so for lots of protestants, a monk is not being salt of the earth and light of the world inside the monastery.

Regarding the anti-institution stuff, it is part of the zeitgeist, it is trendy saying stuff like ''Jesus hated religion, he only preached love'' or ''Jesus is not about religion, but relationship'' and all those catchphrases we hear a lot.

Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #100 on: August 08, 2018, 06:01:59 PM »
Yeah I still don't get the anti-institution stuff. I am going to check out that Frank Viola guy, thanks for citing that.

Also, I noticed modern, anti-institution Protestants also hate monasticism. I've run into Protestants who are literally frustrated at the idea of celibacy and some (not all) almost have this tendency to think that if you're not getting married you're pretty much not doing God's will. And they truly despise the monastic life. I don't get this...

I don't want to hijack the thread here but can anyone explain to me the Protestant disdain for monasticism?



Well, monasticism for lots of protestants is useless and counter-productive. It is not necessarily because of the celibacy, but in the protestant mindset, the isolation of a monastery is a violation of Matthew 5:13-16, so for lots of protestants, a monk is not being salt of the earth and light of the world inside the monastery.


I guess that 1) they don't truly believe in the power of prayer and 2) they don't realize that monasteries are often filled with many pilgrims as well gain much from visiting monasteries and hearing monastic wisdom and such. So it's not like most monks are entirely isolated (except for maybe a very select few), they are in fact "preaching" to others.
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #101 on: August 08, 2018, 11:11:26 PM »
Also, I never thought about how many books are written by and about monastics too. It's not like they aren't doing anything for the benefit of the whole.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 11:12:47 PM by ComingofAge »
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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #102 on: August 09, 2018, 07:36:43 AM »
Also, I never thought about how many books are written by and about monastics too. It's not like they aren't doing anything for the benefit of the whole.

Well, I think the average protestant doesnt think too much about monasticism, but the ones who do, probably think that is an unnecessary, fancy and sanctimonious appendix or, in the positive side, there are others that realize the importance of monasticism in the process of preserving and compiling the biblical text. A friend of mine that is a reformed pastor once visited Saint Catherine of Sinai monastery in Egypt and really liked the experience.

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #103 on: August 09, 2018, 09:19:47 AM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #104 on: August 09, 2018, 07:08:52 PM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #105 on: August 09, 2018, 09:30:10 PM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #106 on: August 09, 2018, 09:34:56 PM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #107 on: August 09, 2018, 09:43:49 PM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Most holy Thompson Chain with the Big Red Letters, save us.
Apparently, can smart . . has brain.

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I am the Antichrist LOL just kidding

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #108 on: August 09, 2018, 09:46:29 PM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

How would they or their tradition interpret the whole “Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her” passage in the Gospel?

Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Most holy Thompson Chain with the Big Red Letters, save us.

KJV.  NKJV for the teens, 'til they grow out of it.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #109 on: August 09, 2018, 11:25:18 PM »
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Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #110 on: August 09, 2018, 11:52:10 PM »
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Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2018, 07:08:59 AM »
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Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.

Here is the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xKvdU0qgrs


Offline Iconodule

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #112 on: August 10, 2018, 09:07:13 AM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

I love the implicit contempt for the teaching profession.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #113 on: August 10, 2018, 09:44:02 AM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

My parents said monks didn't do anything.  And nuns only taught children in school.

So, there you go.

I love the implicit contempt for the teaching profession.

Which is funny, because my mom is a teacher.  But nuns don't have kids, so they don't count.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #114 on: August 10, 2018, 09:46:06 AM »
Quote
Don't be distracted by other things when you have your god, the Bible, in front of you (or whatever the preacher is saying).

Did you see that Pastor Steven Anderson video saying exactly that? that the Bible was God.

No.  Link?  I don't even know who that is.

Here is the link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xKvdU0qgrs

Oh, the name didn't make a connection with me, but I have seen a few videos on that guy.  Fringe of the 1611-ers.  Thanks for sharing.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #115 on: Yesterday at 12:19:37 AM »
The classic Protestant objection to monasticism is that it gives an impression that one attains righteousness by works. One makes such-and-such a vow to God, fulfills it, and thereby earns such-and-such merit. Some of the reformers (e.g. Calvin) conceded that this was not inherent to monasticism, and that monasticism might even have a good purpose, but said that the institution had been so corrupted, and the temptation to abuse so strong, that it was better abolishing it.

In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Let us open our mouths and sing hymns of salvation. Come and fall down in the house of the Lord and say: Pardon our sins, you who hung upon the cross and rose from the dead, and yet are forever in the bosom of the Father.

+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. +

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #116 on: Yesterday at 12:29:15 AM »
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)

Vapor wha?

(Blinks)

Edit: Never mind, I just looked it up. I like synthwave, but vaporwave sounds weird.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #117 on: Yesterday at 04:25:15 AM »
Christian vaporwave has got to be better than Christian death metal, at least  ;)

Vapor wha?

(Blinks)

Edit: Never mind, I just looked it up. I like synthwave, but vaporwave sounds weird.

It's kind of supposed to.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #118 on: Yesterday at 04:26:16 AM »
The other day, I actually had something that I might have wanted to add to this thread.

Gone like tears in rain lol.
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Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #119 on: Yesterday at 08:29:17 AM »
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In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #120 on: Yesterday at 09:43:04 AM »
Quote
In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.

Since I left them, my former local church took up fasting as an annual discipline. They seem to do it better than most, with actual pastoral guidelines and allowances for human weakness.
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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #121 on: Yesterday at 01:53:48 PM »
Quote
In keeping with this theme, I would also like to mention that I am constantly attacked by Protestant friends and family for frequently fasting. They often say the Orthodox Church has "too much fasting" and that it is unnecessary. It's like they are offended when I don't eat a hamburger. Most of the time I will just fast in secret and just eat what is set before me, even if it is meat. But if I am at a restaurant and order a vegan dish they will suspect something and say, "Oh no, are you fasting again?" I don't understand the hate. I mean I get the idea of them being against salvation by works, but I am not fasting to attain merits. Even after I explain this they are still turned off to the whole thing. I guess our Lord and Savior was right, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." - Luke 12:51-53

Hate is a strong word, Idk if they hate, maybe they are not familiar with it and dismiss it as unnecessary. Protestants often fast, but it is kind of a individualist fasting when someone skips dinner to pray. Sometimes it has a objective like, ''fasting and prayer for a sick brother'', often churches try to promote fasting using some sort of campaign like ''40 days of fasting and prayer for something''.

The best seller author and pastor Rick Warren also wrote a book named ''the purpose driven life'' in wich he offers a 40 days based praying guide. Some churches adopted this book and made similar campaigns of 40 days of fasting and praying using his book as a devotional book, wich is quite funny actually, the same evangelicals that criticize orthodox and catholics for Lent, sometimes engage in a similar practice using a best selling book.

Yeah I knew that many Protestants fasted so I didn't understand the disdain for it coming from the people I know. I guess it is the frequency that might bother them? Maybe it is just my family and friends that are bothered by it and not others? I don't know. And as far as the argument about it being unnecessary, that doesn't seem like a very strong position to take, in my opinion. One could argue that giving to the poor is unnecessary too, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We're made for good works, even if they may seem unnecessary to some people, it doesn't mean that it should just be ruled out entirely.
Let us open our mouths and sing hymns of salvation. Come and fall down in the house of the Lord and say: Pardon our sins, you who hung upon the cross and rose from the dead, and yet are forever in the bosom of the Father.

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #122 on: Yesterday at 02:00:21 PM »
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.
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Offline ComingofAge

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #123 on: Yesterday at 06:42:50 PM »
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.

Yes, that is a good idea, will do.

I feel that asceticism naturally leads to humility and watchfulness over one's self. Unchecked excessiveness and partaking in pleasure, even if it is not "forbidden" pleasure, tends to make one lazy in spiritual life. And when slothfulness occurs then pride and other passions naturally follow. Restraint creates a good space conducive to cultivating virtues. Who wouldn't want to take part in this beautiful struggle? I feel that maybe some Protestants see the struggle as a bad thing, unnecessary at best, because it is counter-intuitive, especially to our "Western" mindset (not saying all in the West think this way but couldn't think of a better term for it right now). But I don't know, I just personally see so much goodness in it.

St. John Climacos says in Step 5 of The Ladder,

"Now I know well, my friends, that these labors I have described will seem unbelievable to some, unattainable to others, and be a source of despair to others still. Yet they will actually be an incentive to a brave soul, a fiery blast, so that he will go away with zeal in his heart, whereas the man who feels a great incapacity in himself will understand his own weakness, be humbled easily by the reproach he levels against himself, and will at least try to follow the soul who is brave. And I am not at all sure but that he may even overtake him. But the careless man had better stay away from my stories, for otherwise he may fall into despair, throw away the little he has achieved, and prove to be like that man of whom it was said: "From the man who has no eagerness, even that which he seems to have will be taken away" (cf. Matt. 25:29). It is impossible for those of us who have fallen into the sink of iniquity ever to be drawn out of it unless we also plumb the depths of the humility shown by the penitent."

The man serious about the Christian life will not scoff at this struggle but will see the great necessity of it and the glory of this art.
Let us open our mouths and sing hymns of salvation. Come and fall down in the house of the Lord and say: Pardon our sins, you who hung upon the cross and rose from the dead, and yet are forever in the bosom of the Father.

+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. +

Offline juliogb

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #124 on: Today at 07:23:06 AM »
It sounds to me like they're just busting stones. Just do your thing and shrug it off.

Yes, that is a good idea, will do.

I feel that asceticism naturally leads to humility and watchfulness over one's self. Unchecked excessiveness and partaking in pleasure, even if it is not "forbidden" pleasure, tends to make one lazy in spiritual life. And when slothfulness occurs then pride and other passions naturally follow. Restraint creates a good space conducive to cultivating virtues. Who wouldn't want to take part in this beautiful struggle? I feel that maybe some Protestants see the struggle as a bad thing, unnecessary at best, because it is counter-intuitive, especially to our "Western" mindset (not saying all in the West think this way but couldn't think of a better term for it right now). But I don't know, I just personally see so much goodness in it.

St. John Climacos says in Step 5 of The Ladder,

"Now I know well, my friends, that these labors I have described will seem unbelievable to some, unattainable to others, and be a source of despair to others still. Yet they will actually be an incentive to a brave soul, a fiery blast, so that he will go away with zeal in his heart, whereas the man who feels a great incapacity in himself will understand his own weakness, be humbled easily by the reproach he levels against himself, and will at least try to follow the soul who is brave. And I am not at all sure but that he may even overtake him. But the careless man had better stay away from my stories, for otherwise he may fall into despair, throw away the little he has achieved, and prove to be like that man of whom it was said: "From the man who has no eagerness, even that which he seems to have will be taken away" (cf. Matt. 25:29). It is impossible for those of us who have fallen into the sink of iniquity ever to be drawn out of it unless we also plumb the depths of the humility shown by the penitent."

The man serious about the Christian life will not scoff at this struggle but will see the great necessity of it and the glory of this art.


Well, there are lots of protestants that have some sort of ascetic culture, some of wesleyan tradition, holiness or something like that. Maybe this arrogant stance on ascetism is more from calvinists that see it as some sort of ''works based faith'' or ''earn salvation'' practice.

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #125 on: Today at 07:59:27 PM »
Well, there are lots of protestants that have some sort of ascetic culture, some of wesleyan tradition, holiness or something like that. Maybe this arrogant stance on ascetism is more from calvinists that see it as some sort of ''works based faith'' or ''earn salvation'' practice.

I think so. It kind of falls into the whole "irresistible grace" thing, which is just an extreme distortion of "prevenient grace". However, I don't think asceticism within Orthodoxy denies "prevenient grace", it's just that Orthodoxy has a more balanced way of seeing it. Obviously we believe in synergy, cooperation between grace and free will, but I think when it comes to Orthodox asceticism we're not saying that our "works" have gained us grace, but rather that they help us hold onto the grace that has already been received. We don't throw away the gift that we have been given. If someone gives you a piece of gold, do you neglect it and throw it in the trash or do you keep it clean and shining and store it in a silk bag?

One may ask, how do you go about not throwing away this treasure you've been given? By living out the faith. And we know that living out the faith requires action, and I think that even then one could still say that we are only spurred to action after having first received the gift. Still, without action, faith becomes lifeless. Without action, one may even be inclined to ask whether faith is real or not.

"...show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18)

"...faith without works is dead..." (James 2:20)

"...by works faith was made perfect." (James 2:22)

Cooperating with God's grace by living out the faith through action is done in many different ways: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, evangelization, attending Divine services, partaking of the Holy Mysteries, etc....and these things and more help us to become a true Christian (which means a "little Christ"). These are ways that we personally commune with Christ. So we become "little Christs", we become like Christ even now, the redemption is here even today. And by doing all the above mentioned things and more, we cultivate humility, we create a space for dispassion, we renounce the things of this life that matter not. To the uninitiated this may seem like madness, like bondage...but to the illumined soul this is the only thing in the world that makes sense and it leads to total liberation.

So, the Calvinist and modern Protestant idea of "minimalism", which takes its form not only in how a church building is laid out, but also in a general disdain for action, is total baloney. This leads to something I have seen firsthand: an individualistic relationship with Christ which is divorced from a church, in which you are your own bishop and call all your own shots, in which all of your faith is based off of a one-time profession, which is devoid of asceticism and which carries this mentality of, "I got my ticket to heaven so I'm good, nothing else needs to be done." This is truly a sickness, I pray that people would come out of it.

Lord, have mercy on all of us.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The origins of "Protestant minimalism?"
« Reply #126 on: Today at 08:36:17 PM »
Prevenient grace (the term is actually newer than Calvin AFAIK, going back only to Wesley) is just the idea that God must free up the will before people can chose to accept or reject Him. Since it's nothing but the logical corollary of rejecting Pelagianism while maintaining some from of libertarian free will, technically Orthodoxy believes in prevenient grace too.
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