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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Protestant Discussion => Topic started by: _Seraphim_ on November 16, 2007, 06:14:28 PM

Title: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 16, 2007, 06:14:28 PM
I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home.  However, most all protestants I've shared with want nothing to do with the Orthodox Church... so this makes it even harder to connect with them.

There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves.  Of course, none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals, but they can easily fall into despair over feeling personally responsible for these circumstances.

Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed to overcome the deceiver and enter into the fullness of the One True Body of Jesus Christ, Who is eternally glorified together with the Father and Holy Spirit.

Amen
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 16, 2007, 07:12:23 PM
I was listening to Frederica Matthews-Green's latest Podcast yesterday entitled "Obnoxious Converts", and in it she discusses how we Orthodox Christians can appear obnoxious to other Christians, comparing us to teenagers going through the stage of differentiating and establishing their identity. Orthodox Christianity is different to other forms of Christianity, with a different world view, and it seems we have to repeatedly explain this difference- like teenagers who have to continually defend their unique and different identity in the face of the well meaning affection of family members who smilingly say "they're just going through a phase". And we all know how obnoxious teenagers can come accross as! I found it very insightful. You can download it here: http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/frederica/
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on November 17, 2007, 08:36:24 AM
Seraphim:

I think it depends on one's paradigm going into the practice of a faith. If you enter a faith (even Orthodoxy) with the intent of being fulfilled you are going to be sorely dissappointed. Now to my knowledge Orthodoxy does not promise fullfillment as many Protestant sects do. But, if after practicing Orthodoxy you gain a sense of fullfillment, then great. Maybe there are some others out there who also feel fulfilled. Many evangelical sects preach fullfillment. To me this an American abberation . . . life. liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . .

My thoughts for what they are worth.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jaderook on November 17, 2007, 12:59:35 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

To be fair, they probably don't understand it (even after being exposed to it).  It is very different from what they're used to and the beliefs and doctrines they are raised with often run deep.  I'm learning things all the time about Orthodoxy that I didn't know before, and I expect that will keep happening to me.

Most Protestants have either not heard of Orthodoxy or know very little about it if they have.  I was in the latter category for the longest time.  I went to a Divine Liturgy when I was seventeen and thought it was great.  I couldn't stop talking about it for weeks after.  It made such an impression on me.  However, I had no concept of what it was I witnessed as it was that far outside my realm of experience to even adequately compare it to anything else.  This was pre-internet, so it wasn't as if I could have googled anything or could have gone to a Barnes and Noble or other chain book store (didn't have any of those in my city then) to get a book on Orthodoxy.  I wouldn't have known where to begin, but neither did I really care to at that moment anyway.  My exposure came at a time when I was perfectly happy being what I was and didn't want to convert to anything.

I don't think my experience is that far from others (especially those of us who never went to school to major in religious studies) who may happen across Orthodoxy.  Most people aren't looking to convert to anything and, while perhaps being impressed with what they see, don't necessarily find looking deeper and upsetting their entire world-view to be a pleasant concept.  After all, there is also a lot of misunderstandings out there from their denominations about what Orthodoxy is (if it is even discussed at all).  It is lumped in with Roman Catholicism, seen as idolatry/superstition/doctrines of men, or the ineffectual religion that those godless communists rejected (because if it was a representation of the 'true' faith then, obviously, there wouldn't be godless communists in the first place).

For me, it took a lot of 'stuff' happening and a lot of time (years) before I was ready to even think about looking deeper.  So, on that note, I would say that just because a person may be exposed to Orthodoxy today and seemingly reject it, who is to say where they will be a few years from now?   
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 17, 2007, 02:18:57 PM
For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home. 

And that was *your* personal experience.  That was not the case for me.  So personal differences seem to apply.

Quote
There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

I mean no disrespect nor discourtesy to you, but I would ask how you know that others are not "fulfilled" or that they are "pretending"?  Also perhaps for someone to say that they are "satisfied" might mean *for them* what you mean by fulfulled.

Quote
Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

I'm sorry, but I think that you are painting with rather a broad brush here.  Also saying that they are 'callous' or pretending is a judgement call that may not be the case with many people.  You were not 'fulfilled' Is it possible that other people *do* feel fulfilled in a Church that isn't EO?

Quote
So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.

Perhaps they *are* fine. Or perhaps the other person is coming across poorly or in a superior manner or some other factor could be involved.

Quote
  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves. 

Why?  Again this is making an assumption that by not being EO they are automatically not "fulfilled' "Super-great" etc.

Quote
Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

How do you Know that people who are Christians of a Protestant denomination ore "pretending" or "suppressing" or full of "doubt and confusion" or above all  in "denial"?  I'm sorry.  You wrote in your first sentence that

" I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like."

Is it possible that you have forgotten much? or are projecting your views now that you are EO back on *your* life and experiences and applying them to "Protestants" in general?

Quote
While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

 :( :-\

Please permit me to state, respectfully, that I, as an Anglican Christian, am not "scared".  I do not believe that EO is the only way to be Christian, nor for that matter is RC. 

May I ask what sort of "Protestant' you were before you became EO please? 

With respect,

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 03:01:06 PM
If you enter a faith (even Orthodoxy) with the intent of being fulfilled you are going to be sorely disappointed.

By "fulfillment" I don't mean some "fuzzy-warm" feeling, but the fulfillment of the Christian life.


Now to my knowledge Orthodoxy does not promise fullfillment as many Protestant sects do.

So what exactly do we mean in the Divine Liturgy when we sing:
"We have found the True Faith"...?

or:

"That we may receive the King of all [in the blessed Eucharist]"...?


Possessing the True Faith and receiving the blessed Eucharist are the fulfillment of all things (not just "my" personal experience).
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 03:07:26 PM
I would say that just because a person may be exposed to Orthodoxy today and seemingly reject it, who is to say where they will be a few years from now?   

It was not my intent to imply that if someone doesn't immediately accept Orthodoxy then they never will.  (God forbid)
I was focusing more on why Protestants are (usually) very turned-off/not interested when they first encounter Orthodoxy.
Why do they (usually) immediately dismiss it?  What causes this knee-jerk reaction?


I pray ever day for my Protestant friends and family that they will fully embrace the True Faith and enter into the communion of the Orthodox Church of Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 03:25:28 PM
I, as an Anglican Christian... do not believe that EO is the only way to be Christian, nor for that matter is RC.


Rather than dissect your reply-post, I will simply say this:

You yourself have stated you are not an Orthodox Christian.  Therefore, you have never received the Eucharist in the Orthodox Liturgy.

I'm finding it hard to see how exactly you are in any place to be stating that Orthodoxy isn't the fulfillment of the Christian life in a way that no other "denomination" comes close to? 

Also, if you are so offended by such discussion (Orthodoxy being the only complete fulfillment of the Christian life) then why on earth are you on an Orthodox forum?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on November 17, 2007, 03:31:46 PM
Jadebrook

I know that as an Anglican you are considered to be Protestant. I felt that Seraphim was referring to the more fuzzy feel good wing of Protestanism that is mostly embodied in Evangelicals. (I know there are fuzzy feel gooders in the U.S. Episcopal church with its own evangelical wing) I myself do not think of Anglo-Catholics or High Anglicans (call it what you will) as Protestants in the main stream sense as found here in America.  Why to me you're two shakes of a dogs tail away from Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 03:36:13 PM
Why to me [Anglicanism is] two shakes of a dogs tail away from Orthodoxy.

So why is it so hard for them to come home to Orthodoxy?   ???
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on November 17, 2007, 03:40:26 PM
Judging by the large percentage of our parishioners who are former Anglicans, I'd say it's not.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jaderook on November 17, 2007, 03:58:10 PM
Jadebrook

I know that as an Anglican you are considered to be Protestant. I felt that Seraphim was referring to the more fuzzy feel good wing of Protestanism that is mostly embodied in Evangelicals. (I know there are fuzzy feel gooders in the U.S. Episcopal church with its own evangelical wing) I myself do not think of Anglo-Catholics or High Anglicans (call it what you will) as Protestants in the main stream sense as found here in America.  Why to me you're two shakes of a dogs tail away from Orthodoxy.

I'm Orthodox.  I have never been Anglican or a member of TEC.  I was raised Pentecostal and was also Southern Baptist for a while, and did consider myself Evangelical.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Elisha on November 17, 2007, 04:30:15 PM
So why is it so hard for them to come home to Orthodoxy?   ???

Maybe because they ALREADY feel they are home?  I think that was Ebor's point, who by the way, has been on this forum far longer than he.  While many may not feel at home, many probably still do.

aserb,
Look at his profile - Jaderook says he goes to an Antiochian Orthodox parish.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 17, 2007, 05:03:31 PM
So why is it so hard for them to come home to Orthodoxy?   ???

Because it isn't "home".

As I have written in the past.  IF there came a time when I had to become EO it would not be going home.   I have never lived there.  My ancestors, physical or spiritual were not EO. 

It would be an exile.

It would be as a refugee in a strange land.


I assure you that I am not "offended" by your declarations as to what you imagine are the spiritual, emotional and psychological conditions of other human beings.  I disagree with you and your statements, and I question you on them which is a different thing.  :) 

You started this thread in the new Orthodox-Protestant Discussion forum.  I do not think that the admins established it as a place to make sweeping generalizations and accusations of others and not permit responses from persons whose Churches or motivations are being questioned. 

If you would prefer to not answer my question as to what denomination you belonged to when you were not EO for personal reasons, then I withdraw the question with apologies.  Would you perhaps indicate if you came from a particular back-ground such as Evangelical or Liturgical or "Main Line" or the like?  It might help in understanding where you are coming from.  Thank you in advance.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 17, 2007, 05:04:35 PM
Maybe because they ALREADY feel they are home?  I think that was Ebor's point, who by the way, has been on this forum far longer than he.  While many may not feel at home, many probably still do.

Thank you, Elisha.  You understand.  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 17, 2007, 05:17:28 PM
I was listening to Frederica Matthews-Green's latest Podcast yesterday entitled "Obnoxious Converts", and in it she discusses how we Orthodox Christians can appear obnoxious to other Christians, comparing us to teenagers going through the stage of differentiating and establishing their identity.

Does that mean she's finally over that stage? (Facing East was extra-burbly, in my opinion.)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 17, 2007, 05:22:17 PM
Rather than dissect your reply-post

Why?  If it is a matter of available time, there is no rush.  If it is a reluctance to address my points, please feel free.  Discussion can help in understanding.

Why did you take out the middle of the sentences that you quoted, btw?  It takes away part of what I was saying.  I will repeat. I am not "scared" of becoming EO.  This was in response to your sweeping assertion that

"I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith."  

It is not fear that is a reason that I am not EO, it is that I do not believe that it is the only way to be a Christian.


Quote
You yourself have stated you are not an Orthodox Christian.  Therefore, you have never received the Eucharist in the Orthodox Liturgy.

This is true and I have never said otherwise.  But I believe in the Real Presence and am a communicant, therefore I *do* believe that I have recieved the Eucharist in Anglican services.  :)

Quote
I'm finding it hard to see how exactly you are in any place to be stating that Orthodoxy isn't the fulfillment of the Christian life in a way that no other "denomination" comes close to? 

Well, I have not been convinced so far, and am yet a Christian.  I have known or know of non-EO/non-RC Christians who have lived devoted God centered lives.  I have read of EO who have left it for other branches of Christianity as they were not 'fulfilled' from what they said.  It is you who are declaring that those who are not EO are not "Fulfilled" that their lives are lacking or 'suppressed' that they are 'callous'.  I would say that you cannot know nor judge others and their spiritual conditions based on your own experiences or preferences.

Quote
Also, if you are so offended by such discussion (Orthodoxy being the only complete fulfillment of the Christian life) then why on earth are you on an Orthodox forum?

As I wrote above.  I am not "so offended" or offended at all.  I am questioning your views and disagreeing with your seeming universal application of what you *think* non-EO spiritual lives are like.

And this *is* the "Orthodox-Protestant discussion" forum after all.  ;)

Ebor

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 17, 2007, 05:32:14 PM
By "fulfillment" I don't mean some "fuzzy-warm" feeling, but the fulfillment of the Christian life.
I'm sorry, but it's generally not good practice to use a word in its own definition.  To define what "fulfillment" is, you need to use a word other than "fulfillment".
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 17, 2007, 05:43:42 PM
So why is it so hard for them to come home to Orthodoxy?   ???

Because it isn't home.

[wrath]
If there's one thing here that I find intolerably presumptuous, it's when a convert such as yourself has the sheer gall to pass judgment on the faith of the hundreds of millions of Protestant believers of whom you know next to nothing. You know NOTHING of my faith. Nothing.

Home for me is Anglicanism. It is where I came back to religion, and for now it seems to be where I am called to stay. I touch God in Orthodoxy too, but for me it is a foreign place; to abandon Anglicanism for it would be to go into exile. Yes some see the Orthodox liturgy, and it is heavenly to them; and others see it, and they see a priest yammering indifferently, and people wandering about and paying no attention, and others wondering what they are doing at a Greek/Russian/whatever church. And some go to a Anglican service at its finest, and it is also like unto heaven; or it may be an off-putting swamp of snobbery and intellectual fashion.

And if you want to do theology, the fact is that there are a lot of Protestant theologians whom you are unprepared to confront. Theological triumphalism is the worst sort of religious folly, for one must either face the risk of really losing, or adopt the hubris of not really listening. The last is of course the more popular route.

Right now I have neither the time nor the stamina for an extended confrontation. But the arrogant presumption of your pronouncement could not pass uncondemned.

[/wrath]
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on November 17, 2007, 05:53:19 PM
Thank you both, Ebor and Keble, for your contributions. One of the reasons I chose to leave Protestantism was that they kept presenting themselves as the One and Only True Way(tm). I found Orthodoxy refreshing in that there was no condemnation of anyone outside Orthodoxy. I was never instructed in what to believe, and I was never pushed to acquiesce to any doctrine I found unacceptable. I searched, and I found Orthodoxy to be a place I could call home. I wish that for everyone, whether that home is Orthodox Christianity or elsewhere. It will be up to God, not us, as to who is found righteous on the Day of Judgment--and only then will the boundaries of the Church be revealed.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 17, 2007, 05:57:50 PM
_Seraphim_,

I was a Protestant once.  I now call the Orthodox Church home (obviously), but I can understand quite well why many Protestants who have come in contact with the Orthodox Church continue to feel more at home in their own traditions.  No, it is not the deceiver "keeping Protestants blinded to the fullness of truth"; such a statement is triumphalistic and shows at best an excessively simplistic understanding of the real issues--I've been away from Protestantism too long to be able to speak as clearly as Ebor and Keble on this, so I'll let them explain what these issues are.  Part of the problem for many Protestants is the triumphalism they see in would-be apologists for the Orthodox Faith, such as you try to be, who in their zeal build strawmen and misjudgments based on anecdotal experience and ignorance.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 17, 2007, 06:43:35 PM
Does that mean she's finally over that stage? (Facing East was extra-burbly, in my opinion.)
Actually, no!
In the podcast, she specifically talks about herself and her own experiences of being obnoxious!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Heorhij on November 17, 2007, 06:44:13 PM
Hi Seraphim,

I think there are so many very different Protestants that it is hardly possible to pinpoint one reason that would "fit" them all. Maybe one reason many of them feel comfortable where they are is that there is no clear understanding, or no clear belief that Church has been preserved in the course of human history. Those Protestants whom I know believe that "church" is just a purely spiritual union of all people who believe in Jesus Christ, or a purely spiritual union of all those who were "born again," "regenerated," etc. People have hard time accepting that Church is one, with its quite visible, tangible attributes (hierarchy/Apostolic Succession, Holy Mysteries), and you are either in it, or outside. In the modern society where the sense of historical continuity seems to be so murky and all but lost, it's easier to believe that acceptance of Chrst is just a personal decision, and once this personal decision is made and you live your faith based on this decision, nothing else matters. As one Baptist minister told me, "why would anything matter if I commune with Christ every single day of my life?"

Good to see you on OC.net, by the way! Best wishes to you.

George
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on November 17, 2007, 07:09:06 PM
Quote
Good to see you on OC.net, by the way! Best wishes to you.

George

Seraphim,

I echo George's sentiment that you are here. You may have stepped on some toes...too bad.
Title: MODERATION Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 17, 2007, 07:58:23 PM

MODERATION:
I have split off a tangential post in this thread asking for help in understanding Anglicanism and started a new topic with it here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13426.msg185622.html#msg185622
Please keep threads on track, and avoid using them as a "catch all" for anything.
Thanks,
George
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Alexius on November 17, 2007, 08:38:35 PM
I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home.  However, most all protestants I've shared with want nothing to do with the Orthodox Church... so this makes it even harder to connect with them.

There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves.  Of course, none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals, but they can easily fall into despair over feeling personally responsible for these circumstances.

Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed to overcome the deceiver and enter into the fullness of the One True Body of Jesus Christ, Who is eternally glorified together with the Father and Holy Spirit.

Amen


I actually understand many of your points. I am not Orthodox, but I can see what you mean. I didn't really feel like a Christian. What I mean is that I believed what I thought was required, but I neither lived nor truly understood it. I think the main reason alot of Protestants do not want to have anything to do with Orthodoxy because they have to deal with many of the same issues as in Catholicism. High veneration of the Theotokos, prayers to and intercessions from the saints, venerating icons and relics, the Eucharist as the actual body and blood of Christ, the seven or so sacraments, justification by faith and/through works, Marian feasts like the assumption, Mary's immaculate and sinless life, Patristic understanding of original sin and the necessity of baptism for the remission of sins, and so many more teachings and beliefs...Alot of Roman Catholics are under the presumption that more Protestants choose Orthodoxy than Rome because they avoid having to answer to the Pope and dealing with indulgences and such. I strongly disagree. As Alexei Khomiakov said, "Rome and Protestantism are on the same side of the coin..." He couldn't have been more correct. To be Orthodox requires a total change of thought and with it totally different questions. I accually find alot of evangelicals open to a more orthodox understanding of their faith, especially among people of my age...The problem comes because Orthodoxy requires new thinking and new terms and Rome requires submission to her ways and beliefs. Also, most Protestants were at one time Catholic, so even believing in similar teachings causes them to close the door...That's how I see anyway.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Alexius on November 17, 2007, 08:47:16 PM
By the way, it is rather difficult to say why Protestants are not Orthodox because of the variables in beliefs. Whoever mentioned that, I agree with you...
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Alexius on November 17, 2007, 08:52:08 PM
Because it isn't home.

[wrath]
If there's one thing here that I find intolerably presumptuous, it's when a convert such as yourself has the sheer gall to pass judgment on the faith of the hundreds of millions of Protestant believers of whom you know next to nothing. You know NOTHING of my faith. Nothing.

Home for me is Anglicanism. It is where I came back to religion, and for now it seems to be where I am called to stay. I touch God in Orthodoxy too, but for me it is a foreign place; to abandon Anglicanism for it would be to go into exile. Yes some see the Orthodox liturgy, and it is heavenly to them; and others see it, and they see a priest yammering indifferently, and people wandering about and paying no attention, and others wondering what they are doing at a Greek/Russian/whatever church. And some go to a Anglican service at its finest, and it is also like unto heaven; or it may be an off-putting swamp of snobbery and intellectual fashion.

And if you want to do theology, the fact is that there are a lot of Protestant theologians whom you are unprepared to confront. Theological triumphalism is the worst sort of religious folly, for one must either face the risk of really losing, or adopt the hubris of not really listening. The last is of course the more popular route.

Right now I have neither the time nor the stamina for an extended confrontation. But the arrogant presumption of your pronouncement could not pass uncondemned.

[/wrath]

I had a teacher in high school who was a high church Anglican. I found that she and I agreed on most everything, which was a warm welcome in the midst of nearly drowning in a sea of Calvinism (no offense to those who are Calvinist). She even invited an Orthodox parishioner in to school to talk about Orthodoxy (they were studying "Crime and Punishment") and I took off from study hall to sit in and listen...
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 09:07:09 PM
Judging by the large percentage of our parishioners who are former Anglicans, I'd say it's not [hard for them to come home to Orthodoxy].

Well, glory to God!  :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 10:06:52 PM
IF there came a time when I had to become EO it would not be going home... My ancestors, physical or spiritual were not EO. 
 

Your ancestors (as well as mine) were Orthodox for 1,000 years!

It would be an exile.
It would be as a refugee in a strange land.

The Lord said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you… and I will bless you.”
(Genesis 12:1-2)

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.
(Hebrews 11:8-9)

God’s elect are strangers in the world…
(I Peter 1:1)

I assure you that I am not "offended" by your declarations as to what you imagine are the spiritual, emotional and psychological conditions of other human beings…

While I do not doubt that everyone who seeks the Truth/Christ will surely find Him, I also, as an Orthodox Christian, cannot believe that anything on earth other than the One True Orthodox Church contains in the completeness of Grace.  This isn’t to say that others who love Christ have never experienced Grace… however, Christ breathed the fullness of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.  If we are not in communion with the One Apostolic Church then we have not yet experienced this fullness, although we may have had a foretaste (consider the story of Cornelius in Acts 10... he already had a relationship with God, but the Apostles brought him into the fullness of Grace).

You started this thread in the new Orthodox-Protestant Discussion forum.  I do not think that the admins established it as a place to make sweeping generalizations and accusations of others and not permit responses from persons whose Churches or motivations are being questioned.

I suppose I assumed too much in believing that non-Orthodox on this forum actually have an interest in converting to Orthodoxy and wouldn’t be very upset to hear the “correctness” of Protestantism questioned.  Most protestant potential converts I’ve ever encountered are very open to criticism of Protestantism… because that’s why they are even talking to me about it in the first place! 

Just 3 hours ago I was in public and had a random encounter with a woman (who later told me was Episcopalian).  She overheard me talking with someone else about Orthodoxy… showing them some icons.  The lady came up and began asking many questions about Orthodoxy.  She was genuinely interested, and seemed very open to any position of Orthodoxy that conflicted with her current Episcopalian beliefs.  Why?… because she was interested in Orthodoxy.  Why?… because she was growing weary in her current beliefs and everything she was hearing about Orthodoxy gave her hope.

Would you perhaps indicate if you came from a particular back-ground such as Evangelical or Liturgical or "Main Line" or the like?  It might help in understanding where you are coming from.

I started out Southern Baptist.
Then Assembly of God… Methodist… Presbyterian… Evangelical… Pentecostal… Charismatic… Quaker/Friends… Lutheran… Seventh Day Adventist… Messianic Jew… and finally, about 20 different versions of “non-denominational.”
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on November 17, 2007, 10:18:53 PM
I hope this doesn't offend you Ebor or Keble but personally I do not see the high church Anglican's as protestant
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 17, 2007, 10:26:15 PM
I will repeat. I am not "scared" of becoming EO.  This was in response to your sweeping assertion that

"I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith." 

It is not fear that is a reason that I am not EO, it is that I do not believe that it is the only way to be a Christian.

So you are afraid of the possibility that the Orthodox Church is the only way to experience the fullness of the Christian life here in this earthly life.

I believe in the Real Presence and am a communicant…

But are you in communion with the authentic Apostolic Church that traces its lineage in unbroken continuity back to Jesus Christ Himself?

I have known or know of non-EO/non-RC Christians who have lived devoted God centered lives.

My post never implied that people outside of the Orthodox Church are incapable of experiencing Grace… the point is that the fullness of Grace does not exists outside Orthodoxy.

I have read of EO who have left it for other branches of Christianity as they were not 'fulfilled' from what they said.

I have also read of 2,000 years worth of history that shows that these people have left the One True Church… regardless of how they felt about it.

I would say that you cannot know nor judge others and their spiritual conditions based on your own experiences or preferences.

True.  I don’t base them on my own experiences or preferences… I base them on 2,000 years of history, the Holy Tradition, and the Holy Scriptures.  I am not going to forbid someone to love Christ just because they aren’t part of the One True Church.  However, I am also not going to just sit by and not try to help those who wander around the wilderness when I have found the Promised Land (even if many refuse to acknowledge they are even in the desert in the first place).
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on November 17, 2007, 10:59:00 PM
A couple thoughts...

Seraphim, I am glad you are here. Please stay depsite the polemics that occasionally occur.

True, most of our ancestors on this board belonged to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church 1,000 years ago, but who is in touch with these ancestors.

I am more in touch with my ancestors from say the 19th century on. On my father's side all my ancestors were Orthodox from before St. Sava and so I do feel a connectedness.

But I also understand how someone who is English/German in background and raised ANglican or Luthernan would feel like a stranger in a strange land in an Orthodox Church, even if in his/her head they knew the Orthodoxy is the "true faith... worshipping the undivided trinity..."
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 01:22:16 AM
Seraphim, I am glad you are here. Please stay depsite the polemics that occasionally occur.

aserb,
thank you for your kind words... but I wouldn't let a few people's comments discourage me from posting on a most informative, active, and over-all friendly Orthodox site.
 ;)


But I also understand how someone who is English/German in background and raised Anglican or Lutheran would feel like a stranger in a strange land in an Orthodox Church, even if in his/her head they knew the Orthodoxy is the "true faith... worshiping the undivided trinity..."

Minus the word Anglican, you are talking about yours truly!   ;)

I guarantee you that I felt extremely awkward and Orthodoxy felt extremely strange to me when I first encountered it. 

However, I knew the Treasure of Orthodoxy was completely worth dealing with this (temporary) discomfort.

As Christ said:
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
(Matthew 11:28,30)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 01:38:07 AM
a convert such as yourself has the sheer gall to pass judgment on the faith of the hundreds of millions of Protestant believers…

You must be mistaking “me” for Orthodox dogma which states that the fullness of Grace does not exist outside the authentic Apostolic Church.

[wrath]...
[/wrath]


This sounds like a remarkably similar reaction as was described in my original post on this thread:

“If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up…”


Red/wrath flags indeed
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 01:41:49 AM
It will be up to God, not us, as to who is found righteous on the Day of Judgment...

True, but this does not change the fact that right now in this present earthly life it is only Orthodoxy that possesses the complete fulfillment of Grace.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 01:55:54 AM
No, it is not the deceiver "keeping Protestants blinded to the fullness of truth

Really?… so is God all for people being told the truth mixed with falsehood?

such a statement is triumphalistic and shows at best an excessively simplistic understanding of the real issues

So do you consider every single Orthodox statement that “Orthodoxy is the ONE TRUTH FAITH” to be “triumphalistic”?

Part of the problem for many Protestants is the triumphalism they see in would-be apologists for the Orthodox Faith, such as you try to be, who in their zeal build strawmen and misjudgments based on anecdotal experience and ignorance.

I never claimed to be an “apologist for the Orthodox Faith”… no more than anyone else on this forum.  In a most sarcastic manner I must say:  :-\ thank you so much, as a fellow Orthodox brother, to be so quick to side with the non-Orthodox in a discussion about the Orthodox dogmatic fact that it is only the ORTHODOX Church that possesses the complete fullness of Grace. 
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 01:57:06 AM
Good to see you on OC.net, by the way! Best wishes to you.

George


So good to see you too, George!  ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 02:00:26 AM
Seraphim,

I echo George's sentiment that you are here. You may have stepped on some toes...too bad.

And so good to see you also, Αριστοκλής.  ;)

Yes, it seems toe-stepping is virtually inevitable this day and age... a time when most all notion of absolute Truth is collapsing.

Glory to God for His One True Orthodox Church!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 18, 2007, 02:42:11 AM
Really?… so is God all for people being told the truth mixed with falsehood?
Are you the one to tell Protestants the truth?  If the fullness of truth can be found only in the Orthodox Faith, which I do believe with all my heart, then it NEEDS neither you nor me to defend it.  The Church has been in existence for 2000 years.  Lest the Lord returns in our lifetimes, the Church will certainly continue to minister to the world long after you and I have died.

Quote
So do you consider every single Orthodox statement that “Orthodoxy is the ONE TRUTH FAITH” to be “triumphalistic”?
No.  I just consider the statements you made to start this thread triumphalistic in tone.

Quote
I never claimed to be an “apologist for the Orthodox Faith”… no more than anyone else on this forum.
You don't have to.  Simply presenting an apologetic for the Orthodox Faith is in itself a tacit claim to be an apologist.

Quote
In a most sarcastic manner I must say:  :-\ thank you so much, as a fellow Orthodox brother, to be so quick to side with the non-Orthodox in a discussion about the Orthodox dogmatic fact that it is only the ORTHODOX Church that possesses the complete fullness of Grace. 
Nah.  I have no problem with the dogmatic content of your message; I just find the proud tone of your message rather unsettling.  The content is something beyond either you or me, but the tone is all you.


I've been a member of this forum long enough to know that Ebor and Keble have been exposed to a lot of our discussions regarding the ills and falsehoods we see in Protestantism, and they have both shown remarkably thick skins to be able to join our discussions without showing anger or irritation in their posts.  I originally didn't give much consideration, good or bad, to this thread's OP, but when I saw both Ebor and Keble visibly upset at what they called a haughty tone in your OP, I knew something was not right and that I needed to take a closer look at what you had written.  Whereas I agree with the basic content of your dogmatic statements, I also agree with Ebor and Keble that you could certainly have found a much more diplomatic way to express your message.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 18, 2007, 03:03:22 AM
As an example of the RIGHT way to discuss why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, I suggest you read the following thread and pay very close attention to how posters there related to Ebor.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12803.30.html (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12803.30.html)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on November 18, 2007, 03:06:03 AM
Ebor has helped me understand Christian love and belief more than any poster (minus the priests) and I will always remember that.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 18, 2007, 09:23:22 AM
I hope this doesn't offend you Ebor or Keble but personally I do not see the high church Anglican's as protestant

There is a lot of positioning about the degree to which Anglicans are Protestant. There seem to be about four basic positions:


"High" vs. "low" tends to have more to do with liturgical style than with theology per se, though there is a correlation. It doesn't work the way one might expect. The "low" church strain is the most Protestant in that is most strongly resembles the way other Protestants do things, but in church and in the seminary (as it were). The Anglo-Catholics can be like RCs (or rather, like what the RCs would be like if they had any dignity/taste  :-\ ) in all but fealty to the Pope. The liberals tend to be very high in church, but so do a lot of the conservatives.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 18, 2007, 09:53:57 AM
You must be mistaking “me” for Orthodox dogma which states that the fullness of Grace does not exist outside the authentic Apostolic Church.

So the dogma is wrong. And I believe the canonical expression is that there is no grace outside of your church; at least that is what Cyprian said. "Fullness" is a concession needed to avoid flat refutation by those who came upon grace elsewhere.

You cannot duck responsibility for the judgments you pass on others. Blaming them on your church's dogmas simply makes you culpable for adopting those views and making an issue out of them.

Besides, the truly unacceptable part of your screed is the pseudo-psychological rationalization of your bragging about finding the True Church. You don't love me enough to take me seriously.

When it comes to fear and doubt, the real issue for me is not between churches; it is between church and unbelief. The whole "come home" sales pitch relies, at its heart, on the ne plus Protestant notion that there is a fundamental core of faith whose allegiance can be transferred from my (supposedly false) to your (supposedly one true) church. Well, if it can, then it is grace independent of any church. But if it cannot live separately, then tearing it loose from Anglicanism destroys my reasons for faith in the first place.

The tactic of attributing your opponent's anger to "doubt and confusion" is self-serving and at its heart dishonest. If you would search in your mind somewhere besides your cache of rationalizations, you might discover the truth that you don't really know much about my thinking/feelings on religion. Indeed, your claims are essentially a faulty excuse for not having to bother to find out what I really think and feel. And perhaps that is threatening; because if you had to take me seriously, then you would have to take my criticisms and comments seriously too. As it is, you earned my anger for treating me as a prop to your self-exaltation rather than as a human being.

Perhaps you are among the fortunate few who are so obtuse as resist any disturbance to your faith from the faults of your own church. Those who aren't tend to live to regret expression of the setiments you espouse here.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 18, 2007, 12:14:52 PM
I hope this doesn't offend you Ebor or Keble but personally I do not see the high church Anglican's as protestant

No offense at all, Prodromas.  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 18, 2007, 12:51:49 PM
So you are afraid of the possibility that the Orthodox Church is the only way to experience the fullness of the Christian life here in this earthly life.

I find it interesting that you continue to attibute "fear" to me when I have repeatedly said that such a feeling is not in any way applicable to why I am not EO. Why do you think that this emotion is involved, please?  

Please allow me to be very plain and repeat that I am not "scared" nor fearful about any aspect of EO.  Not believing, not agreeing with claim is not the same as "scared".

Quote
But are you in communion with the authentic Apostolic Church that traces its lineage in unbroken continuity back to Jesus Christ Himself?

As an Anglican I do believe that my Church as Apostolic Succession, yes.  But then I accept that other Churches do as well and that there are bodies that do not think that my Church does.  That is the fact and reality.

Quote
My post never implied that people outside of the Orthodox Church are incapable of experiencing Grace… the point is that the fullness of Grace does not exists outside Orthodoxy.

I have read RCs that make the same claim and say that the EO do not have the "fullness of Grace".  It is a tenet of both Churches.  :) As a person who chose to convert to EO you would believe that.  I try to understand other people 'where they are' as it were.

Quote
I have also read of 2,000 years worth of history that shows that these people have left the One True Church… regardless of how they felt about it.

May one ask what works you have read that have led you to draw this conclusion and choose as you did, please?  I also read history, as those who have read some of my other posts here know.  

Quote
True.  I don’t base them on my own experiences or preferences… I base them on 2,000 years of history, the Holy Tradition, and the Holy Scriptures. 

It is "history, the Holy Tradition and the Holy Scriptures" that has been the basis for your declarations of other people's psychological, emotional and spiritual states? Would you please give some examples of how they apply according to your readings?   It is from these sources that you are sure that those who do not agree with you are  "scared",  "fearful", "callous" "pretend", 'lying', suppressed, full of "doubt" and "confusion" and in "denial"?  Those are some of your words and you made sweeping statements about multitudes of other people whom you have no way of knowing.  

Your analysis does not apply to me for example, yet you cannot seem to think of this one person interacting with you, admittedly via a 'net forum, in a way that does not fit your preconcieved pattern.

Quote
I am not going to forbid someone to love Christ just because they aren’t part of the One True Church. 

Well, you do not have the power or authority to do so.  :)

Quote
However, I am also not going to just sit by and not try to help those who wander around the wilderness when I have found the Promised Land (even if many refuse to acknowledge they are even in the desert in the first place).

Have you discussed your methods or desire to "help" with your priest?  Could it be that your methods are not suited to dealing with all people (since we are all unique creations of God and not  'one size/style fits all"?  Self-examination and trying to understand what other people really *are* thinking and feeling can be helpful in improving communications and interactions.

With respect (but not fear)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 18, 2007, 12:56:42 PM
Yes, it seems toe-stepping is virtually inevitable this day and age... a time when most all notion of absolute Truth is collapsing.

Well, you haven't 'stepped on my toes' yet, as it were, because you have not found my real feet yet.  :) ;)

That is not the same thing as not agreeing with another person or offering counter views or ideas.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 18, 2007, 01:34:59 PM
Your ancestors (as well as mine) were Orthodox for 1,000 years!

Well, on this, two points:  First is the application of "Orthodox"/"Catholic" (with possible modern connotations of the words) to Christendom prior to the Schism of 1054 is one that I have seen used by many and on both RC and EO parts.  Those of my ancestors who were in Europe in that time and became Christian were in the "Western" area and looked to Rome as the source of Bishops for example.  They were never "Byzantine/Constanopolitan" in liturgy, language, or loyalty. There are some threads here on the forum that are discussions of that time particularly looking at the British Isles. (Have you read Bede's "Ecclesiastical History"? or the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles"?)

And secondly, some of my ancestors were not any part of Christendom because they were on the North American Continent as the forerunners of the Cherokee.   :)

I give this information to suggest that perhaps assumptions about people one does not know are being made.

I am familiar with the Scriptural passages that you provided.

Quote
I suppose I assumed too much in believing that non-Orthodox on this forum actually have an interest in converting to Orthodoxy and wouldn’t be very upset to hear the “correctness” of Protestantism questioned. 

Perhaps you are again making assumptions?  and it is not your analysis of the "Correctness" that I have been disagreeing with, for I have not seen you addressing any points of faith or basics of Christian belief that any "Protestant" body might have. There is no nebulous mass called "Protestantism, though, there are related groups and Churches that have similarities and differences in practice. 

It is your declarations of other Human Beings' psychology and spiritual condition that I don't think you really know that I am disagreeing with.

Was converting other people the reason for your original post, please?  If so, then why did you put the same piece on another EO forum in a place where non-EO may not reply?  Is putting people you do not know down and patronzing them for being "scared" the best way to convince them that your view is better, one wonders.

Quote
Most protestant potential converts I’ve ever encountered are very open to criticism of Protestantism… because that’s why they are even talking to me about it in the first place! 

Well, if they are already looking then they are, I surmise, not happy with things where they are, though there could be many many reasons or causes. If they are already in some way critical, then it would be likely that they are "open" to others who are agreeing with them by criticizing the same thing/group/Church.

Quote
Just 3 hours ago I was in public and had a random encounter with a woman (who later told me was Episcopalian).  She overheard me talking with someone else about Orthodoxy… showing them some icons.  The lady came up and began asking many questions about Orthodoxy.  She was genuinely interested, and seemed very open to any position of Orthodoxy that conflicted with her current Episcopalian beliefs.  Why?… because she was interested in Orthodoxy.  Why?… because she was growing weary in her current beliefs and everything she was hearing about Orthodoxy gave her hope.

Did you ask the lady *what* were the 'current beliefs' that she was having problems with perhaps?  Did you look on her as a person with spiritual concerns or as one to 'catch' to add to 'your team'?  Do you see her as she is or as your view of what a "protestant" is as you wrote in your first post? 

I think that some of the other posters here will understand this, as there have been EO priests cited that have written about what I am going to say:  Could she be drawn/running to EO or wanting to get/run away from some situation in her present Church?

Quote
I started out Southern Baptist.
Then Assembly of God… Methodist… Presbyterian… Evangelical… Pentecostal… Charismatic… Quaker/Friends… Lutheran… Seventh Day Adventist… Messianic Jew… and finally, about 20 different versions of “non-denominational.”

Thank you. I appreciate your sharing this information.   You have been through a lot of groups and Churches.  Granted I do not know your age, but that is a lot even for a person of many years to have traveled through.  Perhaps you might not understand the mind/spirit of a person who has stayed with one Church for a long time such as decades, who has been spiritually fed and worshipped there.  Also, you may not have much basis for empathy with a person from a liturgical Church.  I apologize for any offense in this, it is not my intent to upset you.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 09:00:05 PM
I have reviewed my original post, and there are a few points I want to make:


I made it very clear several times that I was not referring to EVERY single Protestant on earth:

“…most all protestants I've shared with…”

“…most protestants I know…”

Also:

“…none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals…”

(notice I try to avoid making any of my statements seem like a personal attack)

“…I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith…”

(notice I never said ALL protestants… and that I try to understand where they are at)

“…Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed…”

(I don’t see how this post could have ended on a more non-attacking note)


I never intended for my post to specifically apply to all Protestants.  I never intended for it to be an “attack” on people.  If you are a Protestant (any kind) and you don’t feel that my original post describes you, then that is JUST FINE.  It wasn’t meant for you… so quick taking it personally.  If my post would have begun by saying:
“Every single Protestant is like this:”… then I could understand people reacting the way they have.  But the fact is, my post didn’t start this way… it began with:
most protestants I know…”

Another thing: the TYPE of Protestants (not ALL Protestants) that are described in my original post are very very common.  I have personally heard this exact kind of story from the lips of more protestants than I can count… not to mention all the conversion stories I’ve read.  I didn’t just pull all of this out of thin air.

Are you the one to tell Protestants the truth?  If the fullness of truth can be found only in the Orthodox Faith, which I do believe with all my heart, then it NEEDS neither you nor me to defend it.

This is a whole different topic, but if what you just said is true, then why does Orthodoxy need missionaries?  Should we expect everyone to just stumble in the door?

you could certainly have found a much more diplomatic way to express your message.

While I never intended to come across as un-diplomatic, I will agree that I could have EMPHASIZED more that I WASN’T trying to describe EVERY SINGLE PROTESTANT on earth.

The tactic of attributing your opponent's anger to "doubt and confusion" is self-serving and at its heart dishonest...
As it is, you earned my anger for treating me as a prop to your self-exaltation rather than as a human being.

When I first wrote my post, I never considered any potential viewers as my “opponents.”  Actually, I was hoping that there would be some Protestants who could relate… seeing as how I’ve heard this same kind of story from many many Protestants (it is not my own trade-marked story).  It was never my intention to treat someone as a prop… and the last thing on my mind was self-exaltation.  All I wanted to do was share how joyful I was to have found Orthodoxy, and perhaps help others to realize that they are not alone in their turmoil (which so many Protestants I know are going through… as my post described).

Please allow me to be very plain and repeat that I am not "scared" nor fearful about any aspect of EO.
Not believing, not agreeing with claim is not the same as "scared".

I will agree that you believe you are not scared of the possibility of Orthodoxy’s uniqueness in being the sole possessor of the fullness of Grace.

"scared",  "fearful", "callous" "pretend", 'lying', suppressed, full of "doubt" and "confusion" and in "denial"?  Those are some of your words and you made sweeping statements about multitudes of other people whom you have no way of knowing.

Again, I never stated that ALL Protestants are in this situation.  Also, these words are verbatim from the mouths of countless Protestant converts to Orthodoxy… people whom you obviously likewise “have no way of knowing.”

Your analysis does not apply to me for example

I never stated it would apply to every single person who read it.

Well, you do not have the power or authority to [forbid someone to love Christ just because they aren’t part of the One True Church].

I wouldn’t even if I could.

Could it be that your methods are not suited to dealing with all people…

And again, I never claimed my post dealt with ALL people
(goodness, that statement is getting old)

some of my ancestors were not any part of Christendom because they were on the North American Continent as the forerunners of the Cherokee.   :)

Sounds like my ancestry… maybe we’re related.  ;)

It is your declarations of other Human Beings' psychology and spiritual condition that I don't think you really know that I am disagreeing with.

I suppose I must say it again: my post doesn’t say ALL Protestants are in that situation.  My post was inspired not just by my own journey, but that of many others who have shared their experiences with me.

Was converting other people the reason for your original post, please?

No, I was hoping to help any Protestants who happened to be going through a similar experience as both I and many others have had in their journey from Protestantism to Orthodoxy.

Is putting people you do not know down and patronzing them for being "scared" the best way to convince them that your view is better, one wonders.

I wasn’t putting people I don’t know down, I was sharing the experiences of those I DO know… hoping that IF anyone found themselves in that particular state, then they could perhaps find hope in the fact that they are not alone.

Did you ask the lady *what* were the 'current beliefs' that she was having problems with perhaps?  Did you look on her as a person with spiritual concerns or as one to 'catch' to add to 'your team'?  Do you see her as she is or as your view of what a "protestant" is as you wrote in your first post?

No, I wasn’t dreaming about the new mark I could put on my wall of Protestant converts.  I was a little busy hearing her say how much she is interested in Orthodoxy, how the more she learns the more she wants to know… how she is seeing more and more that Orthodoxy is the True Church.

You have been through a lot of groups and Churches… Perhaps you might not understand the mind/spirit of a person who has stayed with one Church for a long time such as decades, who has been spiritually fed and worshipped there.

So if someone has only been in one denomination of Protestantism before coming to Orthodoxy, then it can be said they are too narrow-minded because they’ve only experienced one denomination.  But then if they’ve been in several, it can be said they are too ungrounded because they were never anywhere for a long time.  I guess you lose either way.

Also, you may not have much basis for empathy with a person from a liturgical Church.

And for one last time I will say: that is why my post didn’t start with:
“The following applies to ALL Protestants.”

To anyone whose feelings were hurt by any of my posts here, please forgive me a wretched sinner.  That was not my intent.  I hope I have adequately explained where exactly I was coming from and what the intention of my original post was.  Due to the current circumstances, I feel it is best that I cease posting on this thread. 

Thank you all for your responses.  In the long run I’m sure all the insight gained here will be of benefit to everyone involved.  Live and learn.

God bless all


Seraphim
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ian Lazarus on November 18, 2007, 10:06:40 PM
As an Orthodox Christian having come fom several protestant faiths beforehand, I understand both sides of this coin.  My priest put it to me like this: "As Orthodox, we know where the grace of God is.  We however, do not know where it isn't. "  And even as we have the Apostolic Faith to help us, there will be many on Judgement Day that will say "But I converted to Orthodoxy!" to which God will reply "I don't know you." Being Orthodox isn't enough.  Our hearts will be judged.  We have to look within ourselves and see our own failings first, and leave any judgement to God.  We have to follow the path to be perfected, not look and see if our neighbour is following it.  We must love everyone, without exception.  That is why I am Orthodox.  God has shown me His love and forgiveness in ways I never thought possible, and I am not worthy of it.  I am to freely give that love, and not assume one's status with God, in or out of the church.  God comes first.  Love comes first.  And we must constantly check ourselves to see if we are moving well in the Holy Spirit.  My path is the First Church.  I simply pray to fulfill everything that it stands for, Christ first, Love first.  Do I believe in the Faith?  Yes.  Do I think everyone has a place here?  Yes.  Is it my place to convert?  Only God can convert.  All I can do is be a good stewart, poor and sinfull as I am.  That's where I stand.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on November 18, 2007, 10:29:07 PM
I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home.  However, most all protestants I've shared with want nothing to do with the Orthodox Church... so this makes it even harder to connect with them.

There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves.  Of course, none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals, but they can easily fall into despair over feeling personally responsible for these circumstances.

Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed to overcome the deceiver and enter into the fullness of the One True Body of Jesus Christ, Who is eternally glorified together with the Father and Holy Spirit.

Amen


I am fully in agreement with Ebor. This kind of smug condescension (even if well-meant) does little to appeal other Christians to Eastern Orthodoxy. I wish it were less common.

I am not Eastern Orthodox, and I am not (shock!) in denial.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: _Seraphim_ on November 18, 2007, 10:42:05 PM
This kind of smug condescension...

Just when you think things can finally cool off...  ::)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on November 18, 2007, 10:44:11 PM
Just when you think things can finally cool off...  ::)

I agree. And a comment from one who asserts he's not Protestant or Orthodox.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ignatius on November 18, 2007, 10:51:06 PM
hmmm.... I thought that I had posted to this thread. I was surprised by the sassy kick in the pants that some had received from offended posters. I was not surprised that some protestants find Catholics as well as Orthodox who fail to exhibit higher levels of the fruits of the Spirit to undermine claims that these traditions have access to a 'fuller' grace which protestants lack due to their failure to have Apostolic Succession.

I wonder if anyone has discussed this here. I believe it would be an interesting topic.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on November 18, 2007, 10:57:07 PM
I have read RCs that make the same claim and say that the EO do not have the "fullness of Grace".  It is a tenet of both Churches.  :) As a person who chose to convert to EO you would believe that.  I try to understand other people 'where they are' as it were.

I always liked Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's description of the Catholic Church as the "Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time," with the added understanding that "there are many beyond its boundaries who [by virtue of their baptism] are, whether they know it or not, 'truly but imperfectly in communion' with the Catholic Church."

In fact, I think this Catholic self-understanding is what really drew me to Her---my conversion was in an Anglican milieu, and God used Christian brethren of different backgrounds to bring me to Him.

It seemed to me to be the most catholic ecclesiology out there---recognizing that sufficient grace is not limited by the visible/institutional boundary of the Church but still asserting the oneness of the Church and avoiding indifferentism. I think Vatican II clarified it beautifully.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on November 18, 2007, 11:02:51 PM
I agree. And a comment from one who asserts he's not Protestant or Orthodox.

Sorry. I was a Protestant too once. I almost was confirmed an Anglican. I couldn't resist responding to that when I saw it. However well-meant, it rubs one the wrong way.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Elisha on November 18, 2007, 11:29:07 PM
Just when you think things can finally cool off...  ::)

Well, I AM Orthodox and think he's right.  Try relaxing and taking a different approach...at least a few days from now. :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on November 18, 2007, 11:32:00 PM
^ ?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 19, 2007, 01:28:33 AM
I always liked Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's description of the Catholic Church as the "Church of Jesus Christ most fully and rightly ordered through time," with the added understanding that "there are many beyond its boundaries who [by virtue of their baptism] are, whether they know it or not, 'truly but imperfectly in communion' with the Catholic Church."

In fact, I think this Catholic self-understanding is what really drew me to Her---my conversion was in an Anglican milieu, and God used Christian brethren of different backgrounds to bring me to Him.

It seemed to me to be the most catholic ecclesiology out there---recognizing that sufficient grace is not limited by the visible/institutional boundary of the Church but still asserting the oneness of the Church and avoiding indifferentism. I think Vatican II clarified it beautifully.
lubeltri,

This is a thread about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not about why they reject Catholicism.  You have your own discussion fora for such posts as this.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GiC on November 19, 2007, 02:28:54 AM
Well, I AM Orthodox and think he's right.  Try relaxing and taking a different approach...at least a few days from now. :)

Agreed, it seems as though the logic of the OP has run into some problems.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GiC on November 19, 2007, 02:29:23 AM
lubeltri,

This is a thread about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not about why they reject Catholicism.  You have your own discussion fora for such posts as this.

The fact that the Catholics make the same arguments and claims as the Orthodox would seem to me to be most relevant to this conversation. Depending on who's making the arguments, the logic of the OP could be used to argue how absurd it is that Protestants have not converted to Catholicism or Orthodoxy. The fact that the said logic, in and of itself, can lead to both conclusions would seem to cast a shadow of doubt on the same. Why shouldn't this perfectly reasonable rhetorical device be allowed to be fully exploited?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 19, 2007, 03:39:25 AM
The fact that the Catholics make the same arguments and claims as the Orthodox would seem to me to be most relevant to this conversation. Depending on who's making the arguments, the logic of the OP could be used to argue how absurd it is that Protestants have not converted to Catholicism or Orthodoxy. The fact that the said logic, in and of itself, can lead to both conclusions would seem to cast a shadow of doubt on the same. Why shouldn't this perfectly reasonable rhetorical device be allowed to be fully exploited?
Maybe if what you see is all there is to lubeltri's recent post, I could agree with you.  The subtle sales pitch for Catholicism on the Orthodox-Protestant board, however, is a bit over the top.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GiC on November 19, 2007, 03:59:03 AM
Maybe if what you see is all there is to lubeltri's recent post, I could agree with you.  The subtle sales pitch for Catholicism on the Orthodox-Protestant board, however, is a bit over the top.

Oh, there's a little more, no doubt, but it seems to me that what I mentioned above is the gist of most the discussion over the last page or so. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into the posts. ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 19, 2007, 04:04:32 AM
Oh, there's a little more, no doubt, but it seems to me that what I mentioned above is the gist of most the discussion over the last page or so. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into the posts. ;)
Nah.  I think what you're reading from the most recent posts is pretty accurate, as far as it goes. ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 19, 2007, 05:31:25 AM
I am not Eastern Orthodox, and I am not (shock!) in denial.
How does one know when one is in denial?
Isn't the statement "I am not in denial" a classic symptom of someone in denial?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 19, 2007, 08:23:24 AM
it seems as though the logic of the OP has run into some problems.
I think the logic problems with the OP were there from the outset, but I think they were inadvertant. What I find illogical is the notion that:
"My experience 'Y' after being exposed to conditions 'X' is such-and-such. Therefore, anyone exposed to the same conditions, X, as I was must have the same experience 'Y' that I did."
Human beings just don't work like that. "My experience" is invariably subjective, we cannot make it objective, no matter how hard we try.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ignatius on November 19, 2007, 10:19:00 AM
I think the logic problems with the OP were there from the outset, but I think they were inadvertant. What I find illogical is the notion that:
"My experience 'Y' after being exposed to conditions 'X' is such-and-such. Therefore, anyone exposed to the same conditions, X, as I was must have the same experience 'Y' that I did."
Human beings just don't work like that. "My experience" is invariably subjective, we cannot make it objective, no matter how hard we try.

You are talking about spiritual matter aren't you?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on November 19, 2007, 10:27:34 AM
You are talking about spiritual matter aren't you?
I'm speaking of all subjective experience- including spiritual ones.
Christ is the Truth, yet, not everyone who met Him and spoke with Him became His follower.
So even when people encounter Absolute Truth, they do not all have the same experience- each person's experience of it is subjective.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on November 19, 2007, 01:42:31 PM
Maybe if what you see is all there is to lubeltri's recent post, I could agree with you.  The subtle sales pitch for Catholicism on the Orthodox-Protestant board, however, is a bit over the top.

Sorry, it was just my ADD. I wasn't intending a sales pitch. I was responding to Ebor's comment about RC making the same claims as EO with the Neuhaus quote, and my thoughts drifted to the beauty (and truth, IMO) of the RC's explanation of its claims. Fingers forgot to stop typing.

I think GiC has a point, though.

Back to our regularly scheduled program. . .
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ignatius on November 19, 2007, 02:07:37 PM
I'm speaking of all subjective experience- including spiritual ones.
Christ is the Truth, yet, not everyone who met Him and spoke with Him became His follower.
So even when people encounter Absolute Truth, they do not all have the same experience- each person's experience of it is subjective.

Gotcha ozgeorge! I was just seeking clarity.

Peace Bro!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 19, 2007, 02:33:02 PM
Thank you both, Ebor and Keble, for your contributions. One of the reasons I chose to leave Protestantism was that they kept presenting themselves as the One and Only True Way(tm). I found Orthodoxy refreshing in that there was no condemnation of anyone outside Orthodoxy. I was never instructed in what to believe, and I was never pushed to acquiesce to any doctrine I found unacceptable. I searched, and I found Orthodoxy to be a place I could call home. I wish that for everyone, whether that home is Orthodox Christianity or elsewhere. It will be up to God, not us, as to who is found righteous on the Day of Judgment--and only then will the boundaries of the Church be revealed.

Well, that is one of the differences in our experiences.  I was never told by any protestant Church that they were the One and Only True Way(tm) and certainly not by any Anglicans/Episcopalians.  It's possible that there are some who hold to that, but not the Anglican Communion that I know which thinks of itself as a part of Christendom (the "Branch Theory" may be).  Once it was England taking it's practice around the world; now it is worldwide and each Church-member has some the same and some of its own practices and customs.  It's not a perfect Church, but it doesn't claim to be either. 

On the other hand, from my first on-line encounters with EO (back in the text only GEnie days) there were some who insisted that EO *was* the OOTW(tm) and that its practice, rules, liturgy, music and all were the only ones acceptable to God. There have been those who would condemn any who were not EO, claim that EO are the only Christians, that all doctrines and practice must be done as they said or one was lost.  Please let me be clear: it was never everyone, or most or many, but some would do that.

There have also been RC persons who held to the same patterns and beliefs about their Church.  At times the language has been so similar that I've had to check to see which Church was being promoted. ;)

Then there have been the splinterings and resplinterings and people turning their 'anathemas' on those with whom they were once in communion.

I am only writing this, not in any sense of condemnation, but to show that there are differenct experiences.  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 19, 2007, 02:57:23 PM
I have reviewed my original post, and there are a few points I want to make:


I made it very clear several times that I was not referring to EVERY single Protestant on earth:

“…most all protestants I've shared with…”

“…most protestants I know…”

Those are some of your lines, yes, and I read and understood them.  But it was two other paragraphs, which I did quote in my first post, that were umm not so "very clear".  The fourth and sixth paragraphs both start with "Protestants" and could be read as sweeping statements about all. 

Quote
Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

Quote
Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

I do not think it unreasonable that they could be read as blanket statements about protestants in general, and some of those statements are what I was questioning such as about pretending and that they have doubt, confusion and denial.

I understand your explanation of what you intended. Thank you for the clarification.

Also:

Quote
(I don’t see how this post could have ended on a more non-attacking note)

Try to imagine them with Orthodox in the place of Protestant maybe.

Quote
It wasn’t meant for you… so quick taking it personally. 

As I wrote before, I'm not taking it personally (at least not the parts addressed to me  ;) ) but I am questioning your ideas and knowledge of other people's motivations and emotions.


This is a whole different topic, but if what you just said is true, then why does Orthodoxy need missionaries?  Should we expect everyone to just stumble in the door?

Quote
I will agree that you believe you are not scared of the possibility of Orthodoxy’s uniqueness in being the sole possessor of the fullness of Grace.

I *believe* that I am not "scared"?  I don't know my own state of mind?  ???  I find this puzzling in that it would seem to be insisting that I am afraid of an EO claim or becoming EO, when I have repeatedly written that I am not.  Why do you think that I must be "scared" or "afraid" please?  This is a serious question.

Quote
Again, I never stated that ALL Protestants are in this situation.  Also, these words are verbatim from the mouths of countless Protestant converts to Orthodoxy… people whom you obviously likewise “have no way of knowing.”

Umm, they are your words telling of others.  And I assure you that I have read the stories of many people who became EO, so some of the experiences are not unfamiliar to me.

Quote
Sounds like my ancestry… maybe we’re related.  ;)

Could be.. ;)

Quote
No, I wasn’t dreaming about the new mark I could put on my wall of Protestant converts.  I was a little busy hearing her say how much she is interested in Orthodoxy, how the more she learns the more she wants to know… how she is seeing more and more that Orthodoxy is the True Church.

Often times the "Why?" behind something is very important to the issue.  Why was she interested?  Running to or away?

Quote
So if someone has only been in one denomination of Protestantism before coming to Orthodoxy, then it can be said they are too narrow-minded because they’ve only experienced one denomination.  But then if they’ve been in several, it can be said they are too ungrounded because they were never anywhere for a long time.  I guess you lose either way.

This is not a matter of someone 'losing'.   The words "narrow-minded" and "ungrounded" are yours and none of mine nor how I think.  I apologize for not being clearer in my writing. and again you do no know what my background is in this.  I went through a searching time, my parents were Unitarian, I was several things in my youth, and then I found the Episcopal Church in college as others have found the EO or RC and it was Home, it was my place to worship and I have been there for over 30 years.  I have known the searching and the staying, the non-liturgical and the liturgical.  It has taught me to try and understand, to empathize with other people in what they are living not in my pattern.

With respect,

Ebor

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 20, 2007, 01:15:20 PM
The fact that the Catholics make the same arguments and claims as the Orthodox would seem to me to be most relevant to this conversation. Depending on who's making the arguments, the logic of the OP could be used to argue how absurd it is that Protestants have not converted to Catholicism or Orthodoxy. The fact that the said logic, in and of itself, can lead to both conclusions would seem to cast a shadow of doubt on the same.

You have hit on one of the things that I have in mind, GiC: the logic of the arguement.  If 2 bodies are claiming a unique property, one may be right and the other wrong, or both could be wrong or there could be another point that I haven't figured out yet.

But not agreeing with a point is not the same as being 'afraid' of it, just to reiterate. I know of Fr. Neuhaus, Lubeltri, (I read "First Things" for some years).  He chose the RC so one would presume that he believes that Church to have "The Fullness"; others have chosen EO and said the same thing. 

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: pathofsolitude on November 20, 2007, 06:16:54 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

The first thing they see is pompous Byzantine ceremonial. That usually turns them away instantaneously. Its all just way too foreign. They cant take it in. Really. Show an Evangelical Protestant a liturgy and their eyes will get glazed over.

Secondly I think they associate it with the Pharisees. "You better do these traditions or you are not part of the Church" kind of thing.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jaderook on November 20, 2007, 06:30:19 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

The first thing they see is pompous Byzantine ceremonial. That usually turns them away instantaneously. Its all just way too foreign. They cant take it in. Really. Show an Evangelical Protestant a liturgy and their eyes will get glazed over.

Secondly I think they associate it with the Pharisees. "You better do these traditions or you are not part of the Church" kind of thing.

Some might see it that way.  However, at my first Divine Liturgy, I didn't think the ceremony was pompous and my eyes didn't glaze over.  It was very foreign to me and confusing in the extreme, however, I left with a positive attitude about it over all.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on November 20, 2007, 07:58:52 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

The first thing they see is pompous Byzantine ceremonial. That usually turns them away instantaneously. Its all just way too foreign. They cant take it in. Really. Show an Evangelical Protestant a liturgy and their eyes will get glazed over.

Secondly I think they associate it with the Pharisees. "You better do these traditions or you are not part of the Church" kind of thing.

Thats a great point. It's a very foreign ceremony as recently I went to a friends A.O.G church then someone went on the electronic keyboard played a song then the projector came on and we were looking at the sermon then the lyrics for worship songs. To me that was very foreign as a "cradle" Orthodox if there are no vestments or chanting it feels foreign.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on November 20, 2007, 08:18:57 PM
quote from pathofsolitude
Quote
(1) Show an Evangelical Protestant a liturgy and their eyes will get glazed over.

(2) Secondly I think they associate it with the Pharisees. "You better do these traditions or you are not part of the Church" kind of thing.

(1) Not all evangelicals are the same just like not all people are the same. Some may have that reaction, but the converts from evangelicalism that I met did not have that reaction.

(2) Anyone who thinks that is a moron and evinces an incompleted understanding of both church tradition and Holy Scripture.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on November 21, 2007, 01:59:33 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

The first thing they see is pompous Byzantine ceremonial. That usually turns them away instantaneously. Its all just way too foreign. They cant take it in. Really. Show an Evangelical Protestant a liturgy and their eyes will get glazed over.

Secondly I think they associate it with the Pharisees. "You better do these traditions or you are not part of the Church" kind of thing.

Great point. This can be a real stumbling block because the New Testament is full of condemnations of Pharisaical ritualistic posturing, and the primitive Church did not have all the filigree and other accoutrements. There is always a danger of getting too bogged down in byzantine logistics and ceremonial. The Gospel is pretty simple, embodied in the person of Jesus.

I don't think they are correct in principle, but their criticisms are very often right-on in contemporary practice. There are so many dead churches out there with dead liturgies and whose parishioners are anonymous to each other and liturgically apathetic. That is not what the Apostles envisioned.

So I have a hard time condemning their opinion when the current state of our parishes is so often so bad. God bless them for making us more aware.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Pravoslavbob on November 21, 2007, 03:48:26 PM
Some might see it that way.  However, at my first Divine Liturgy, I didn't think the ceremony was pompous and my eyes didn't glaze over.  It was very foreign to me and confusing in the extreme, however, I left with a positive attitude about it over all.

In general, I think Orthodoxy should be more open to incorporating different rites.  Of course, that's been discussed in other threads.

I had a reaction similar to your's in many ways.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 21, 2007, 04:55:05 PM
Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?

May one ask if you were ever any kind or denomination of Protestant that you could speak from personal experience?    ???

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on November 21, 2007, 04:57:03 PM
Thats a great point. It's a very foreign ceremony as recently I went to a friends A.O.G church then someone went on the electronic keyboard played a song then the projector came on and we were looking at the sermon then the lyrics for worship songs. To me that was very foreign as a "cradle" Orthodox if there are no vestments or chanting it feels foreign.

I think that, as you wrote of, it can be very common for a person experiencing something new to them to be confused or unsure of what to do.  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Reader KevinAndrew on November 22, 2007, 12:58:31 PM


Have you discussed your methods or desire to "help" with your priest?  

Ebor:

I have been reading this thread and this question you raise is very important.

If people are going to broad-brush on here, it goes both ways...so here goes. For a person who apparantly has a touch of Alzeimer's and "cannot remember how they felt when they were Protestant" anymore, I find it interesting that the Protestant baggage of insubordination to the authority or direction of a priest or bishop remains. It is clearly insubordination when a person feigns evangelism in this triumphaslistic way, clearly with no direction from a priest.

If I came accross this ham-handed method a decade ago, I would probably have passed on Orthodoxy's message.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In Christ,
Reader Kevin
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: The Iambic Pen on December 01, 2007, 05:14:10 AM
When I was growing up as a Protestant, I didn't reject Orthodoxy; I didn't even consider it in the first place.  Orthodoxy appeared to be a collection of different national churches, which I did not realize were in communion with each other.  It was something very foreign to me.  I knew Orthodoxy was kind of like Catholicism, only they took the ceremonial aspects a step further.  As an Evangelical Protestant, Orthodoxy was a different world.  It was only after first studying Catholicism a couple years back that I finally starting looking into Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: trifecta on December 01, 2007, 10:18:28 AM
Look no further Iambic Pen, you've reached the summit!

Seriously, in your search for a church, have you narrowed it down?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: The Iambic Pen on December 02, 2007, 02:42:57 PM
I've narrowed it down to two. ;D  Just a few more pesky issues to work through.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: EofK on December 02, 2007, 06:04:40 PM
I was bouncing between Baptist/Assembly of God/Non-Denom churches for several years before converting to Orthodoxy.  For me, Orthodoxy provided an answer to what had happened to the church as seen in the New Testament and before Martin Luther.  No church I had been to yet would admit the Orthodox church had survived that span of time.  Usually the answer was, "The corrupt Catholic church kept us oppressed until Martin Luther freed us."   ::)  Another problem I was hoping to find an answer for was that so many of the churches I had been to had become self-interested instead of focusing worship on God, usually manifesting in a prosperity gospel deal. 

I haven't confirmed this, but it seems there is a strong anti-Catholic sentiment within the "Bible belt" of the US.  Granted, Missouri alone has many areas that have a heavy Roman Catholic influence (St. Louis coming to mind first) but in southwest Missouri, Roman Catholic churches aren't so common.  Most of my family and some friends as well have trouble distinguishing between the Orthodox church and Roman Catholic churches and I think they avoid the EOC because they're afraid they'll catch Catholicism as if it were a cold.   :-\  (I know my sister thinks the Catholic church, whether Western or Eastern, is the whore of Babylon thanks to those blasted Jack Chick tracts.) 

Besides that, I do think there are many Protestants who are comfortable where they are and see no need to convert to Orthodoxy.  I see no need to try to convert them, either.  As others have stated previously, only God knows the boundaries of His church and to presume that anyone is outside of them is not our place to judge. 
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on December 04, 2007, 01:24:34 PM
Besides that, I do think there are many Protestants who are comfortable where they are and see no need to convert to Orthodoxy. 

Exactly so.  They are worshipping where they are.  They are serving and have a community of faith. 

I also got thinking about the title use of "reject" which is an active verb, one of repudiation, of thrusting away, as it were.  If one does not know something or have something, then to not be part of it is not rejecting.   I'm willing to bet that a large majority of Montanans have little or *no* knowledge of any EO.  So how could they be "rejecting" it?

Then again, the title (and the discussion) could take a different sense if written as "Why don't protestants accept Orthodoxy?" 

Sorry, just maundering along.  :)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on December 04, 2007, 01:29:55 PM
Ebor:

I have been reading this thread and this question you raise is very important.

If people are going to broad-brush on here, it goes both ways...so here goes. For a person who apparantly has a touch of Alzeimer's and "cannot remember how they felt when they were Protestant" anymore, I find it interesting that the Protestant baggage of insubordination to the authority or direction of a priest or bishop remains. It is clearly insubordination when a person feigns evangelism in this triumphaslistic way, clearly with no direction from a priest.

If I came accross this ham-handed method a decade ago, I would probably have passed on Orthodoxy's message.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In Christ,
Reader Kevin

I wonder though whether "insubordination to authority" is necessarily "Protestant baggage" rather then part of  an ordinary Human self-will "What I like and thing is the Way Things Must Be(tm)" "If you disagree with me you're Wrong, no matter what you are." mindset.

I don't mean to be offensive, but such, as you write, 'ham-handed' ways of trying to promote EO (and to be fair, in some places RC and other Churches) aren't convincing me that the promoting person(s) beliefs are the Only Way. 


Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: EofK on December 04, 2007, 02:02:55 PM
Then again, the title (and the discussion) could take a different sense if written as "Why don't protestants accept Orthodoxy?" 

Oh, definitely.  The title assumes protestants have a basis of knowledge of Orthodoxy so they could make a decision.  I agree with you, Ebor, I don't think a lot of protestants have enough information to accept or reject Orthodoxy.  I didn't know it was still around outside of Greece and Russia until a few years ago, so I don't feel that I was rejecting Orthodoxy then.  Just ignorant of it.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on December 04, 2007, 02:17:55 PM
Oh, definitely.  The title assumes protestants have a basis of knowledge of Orthodoxy so they could make a decision.  I agree with you, Ebor, I don't think a lot of protestants have enough information to accept or reject Orthodoxy.  I didn't know it was still around outside of Greece and Russia until a few years ago, so I don't feel that I was rejecting Orthodoxy then.  Just ignorant of it.

Indeed.  And that is a very different thing.  "Rejection" has a sense of malice or anger or violence among other things.  And I don't think that applies at all.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on December 16, 2007, 12:55:30 AM
Quote
The title assumes protestants have a basis of knowledge of Orthodoxy so they could make a decision.

So the thread is really about Protestants who understand Orthodoxy, but reject it anyways.  Those don't come a dime a dozen.  I'm probably the closest your gonna find here, but don't quite fit the bill.  I was raised RC and converted to EO in my college days.  I spent 10 years in the EO.  Split in between the OCA and HOCNA.  I am now presently a protestant. (I don't personally consider myself a protestant, but 99% of people would put me in that bucket.  May also depend on what the definition of protestant is?)  I don't fit the thread bucket because I wasn't a protestant when I 'rejected' it and I don't consider myself as rejecting it.  I don't presently attend it, but I don't reject the EO church.  In my mind there is a distinction.  If I rejected it, I would be out at the rubbish XOFC website writing articles  But, I'm not.  I still go to an occasional vespers service and visit monasteries from time to time.  (Matter of fact, I'm starting to plan my trip to Mt Athos.  Something I wanna see in this lifetime.  Who knows I may never come back ;D)  I also visit the local Coptic church from time to time.

So I don't really fit the bill of the thread.  But I can ensure you it's not out of fear like is constantly stated.   I left.  I know what the responses to this post are going to be.  So obviously its not fear.  If anything from your point of view, it would be lack of fear.



Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on December 16, 2007, 07:28:13 PM
Welcome to the Forum, FrancisA.  :)


Your post is intriguing. If you're comfortable with the discussion, could you tell more of the reasons for your path?  If you prefer to not do so, I apologize for asking.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: scamandrius on December 16, 2007, 11:44:38 PM
I don't presently attend it, but I don't reject the EO church.  In my mind there is a distinction.  If I rejected it, I would be out at the rubbish XOFC website writing articles  But, I'm not. 

I'm sorry but I don't buy your distinction.  You are definitely not engaged in polemical attacks against the EO, but you can reject it by being passive.  Your lack of attendance and participation in her mysteries and prayer life is a rejection of the EO Church. You may agree with the doctrines and dogmas and ascent in your mind, but Orthodoxy is about being an active member in the church and growing in the faith and the virtues so that one may achieve communion with God (theosis). 

You are free, of course, to follow whatever path you wish.  But you are likening the EO Church to any other "church" out there so it doesn't seem to matteer where you are.  You realize, I'm sure, that the EO church calls itself not a branch of Christianity;  rather, it is the fullest expression of true Christianity.  I don't doubt Roman Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, Protestants and Evangelicals have elements of the truth (some more than others), but they are still not in the Church nor are they the Church. 

Forgiveness please, for being blunt in my response to you.  As Ebor requested and if you are comfortable, I'd like myself to hear more of the details.  Otherwise I, too, apologize for asking.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on December 17, 2007, 12:29:45 AM
Hopefully, I can figue out this posting thing.  Lets' see if this works.

Scamandrius, you post does contain many truths.  One of the previous posters mentioned that rejection includes "a sense of malice or anger or violence".  I personally don't feel a sense of anger, malice, or violence.  So if thats the definition of rejection, I don't fit it.  But I do see your point that there is a type of passive rejection.   So i guess right now, we are at a concensus of thought about rejection, but may be using different words to describe it.

I am very familiar with the EOs teachings about itself.  I was HOCNA for awhile- don't get much more black and white then that..

I am comfortable discussing.  I think I actually would like to discuss.  Maybe some of my open questions can be answered from a EO perspective.  I would like to find and read the forums rules first.  I don't want to be a bad guest.

Please forgive if my words offend,
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GreekChef on December 17, 2007, 10:53:06 AM
Just wanted to say: Welcome to the forum, FrancisA!  I pray you'll find the answers you are looking for here, and thank you for being part of the discussion and sharing your views with us.  We appreciate when differing points of view come to the table!

God bless you!
Presbytera Mari
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on December 30, 2007, 11:16:36 PM
Sorry for the delay here.  Work is requiring we use up all of our vacation time before the end of the year, so we took a last minute impromptu vacation to visit some family. and I lost my password. :-[  I never found and read the forum rules, but that’s fine.  I’m sure they’re basic, no being slanderous, no attacking, no proselytizing, no intentionally misrepresenting the faith, etc. etc..  Nothing that’ll cause me any pains.

For the sake of explanation I will probably be using the term “Apostolic Churches” frequently.  So I figured I’d better define it.  I define Apostolic churches as any church that claims to have apostolic succession of Bishops back to the Apostles. (Roman Catholics, World EO,  Traditionalist EO, OO, Assyrian, Old Catholics, TAC, Utrecht Catholics, Anglican, apostolic Lutherans, etc.. etc.. (I use the word  ‘claim’ on purpose.  I’m sure we’d agree that some lines may be dubious.  I don’t wish to debate or dissect it right now so I used ‘claim’).

One of my stumbling blocks in converting to Orthodoxy (OCA) is that I bought into the old simplified church history story.  The one that goes ‘there was one church with one set of beliefs for the first one thousand years of church history, then the Catholics left, and then the rest of Christianity came out of the corrupt Western church.”  But upon reading more and more of the early church fathers, I found this story to be way oversimplified, to the point of being misleading and wrong.  Every apostolic church can cherry pick their teachings out of the early church fathers.  The EO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Roman Catholics can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the OO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Assyrians can go back and cherry pick their teachings.  The first question I can’t answer is why should I believe one set of cherry pickings over another?  Every apostolic church can justify their teachings by cherry picking.  Why should I chose one over the other?  The usual EO answer I get to this question is ‘don’t worry others are just cherry picking, ours is the true faith.’  For me, this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The second answer I get is ‘I need to understand that no individual father is right all the time, some had personal beliefs and some we’re in fact wrong.’  Once again for me this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The third and follow-up answer I get is ‘it’s the teaching of the fathers that we’re accepted by the church that we believe.’  Once again, this really doesn’t answer it.  It really puts the cart before the horse.  If I don’t know which church is the church, then how do I determine which early church fathers to accept.  Plus it is the same canned answer that any other member of any other apostolic church can give.

In my limited reasoning abilities, I see many apostolic churches, all having some diverse beliefs.  They can all back up there diverse beliefs by early church fathers.  I can only see one answer.  There was diversity of beliefs in the early church.  And if there was a diversity of beliefs in the early church, why should there not be a diversity of beliefs in today’s church.  (I don’t open it up to include all the name it and claim it that happens these days.  Just traditional/apostolic Christianity.)

Lets try it this way?  Why should I not be a Oriental Orthodox Christian.  (had I known they existed before I converted to the OCA, I’m not sure I would have converted??)  IMO they are the closest to the EO.  99% the same, just one definition about Christology.  They can support their teachings in pre-schism saints.  Plus, this one difference has been  pretty much settled upon in ecumenical meetings.  Being written off as different terminology driven by a different language.  (obviously the Traditionalist don’t agree with the settlements.)  So if this was the only difference and its being written off as not being different, then why not join the OO?


I pray more words don't offend.

St. Jacob Bar Hebraeus
“When I had given much thought and pondered on the matter, I became convinced that these quarrels of Christians among themselves are not a matter of factual substance, but rather one of words and terms. For they all confess Christ Our Lord to be perfect God and perfect human, without any commingling, mixing, or confusion of the natures. This bipinnate 'likeness' ( Phil. 2:6-7) is termed by one party a 'nature', by another 'a hypostasis' and by yet another a 'person'. Thus I saw all the Christian communities, with their different Christological positions, as possessing a single common ground that is without any difference. Accordingly I totally eradicated any hatred from the depths of my heart, and I completely renounced disputing with anyone over confessional matters.”
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Tamara on December 30, 2007, 11:59:37 PM
When I was growing up as a Protestant, I didn't reject Orthodoxy; I didn't even consider it in the first place.  Orthodoxy appeared to be a collection of different national churches, which I did not realize were in communion with each other.  It was something very foreign to me.  I knew Orthodoxy was kind of like Catholicism, only they took the ceremonial aspects a step further.  As an Evangelical Protestant, Orthodoxy was a different world.  It was only after first studying Catholicism a couple years back that I finally starting looking into Orthodoxy.

Heads up all of you Orthodox Christians whose families have been Orthodox for the last two thousand years....I highlighted a sentence by this dear inquirer in red because I never realized how confusing our jurisdictional situation was to inquirers until I joined a parish full of those new to the faith. Orthodox unity is the only way to solve these types of misperceptions. Many inquirers don't even know we are in communion with one another and we wonder why we only have 750,000 Orthodox Christians in North America.   :-[
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Gabriel on December 31, 2007, 05:26:36 AM
If I don’t know which church is the church, then how do I determine which early church fathers to accept.  Plus it is the same canned answer that any other member of any other apostolic church can give.

Ah, a kindred spirit.  I've asked the same thing many times.  You can go in circles trying to figure it all out.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on December 31, 2007, 10:09:37 AM
I am proud in a good sense that my family has been Orthodox for millenia. It gives me a sense of history and connection. Converts can graft into our tree, it's big enough for all.

Unity will not occur until people learn to trust each other. Witness the recent shenanigans in the OCA. Many don't trust the AOC because they see it a mvoing forcefully to consolidate power in the US.

Missions are fine, I have nothing against them, they should be encouraged. But when an AOC mission opens in the middle of five established EO churchs as in my neighborhood it makes you wonder what were they thinking.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ignatius on December 31, 2007, 12:03:36 PM
When I talk to individuals who are Protestant reject Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy it is usually because they don't believe that Biblical Testimony leaves room for such a tradition [of men] in the actual church. If we read Acts for example, we don't see a prolonged Catechesis nor do we see Baptism 'before' conversion and yet the tradition of the post-apostolic church appeared to suggest that the Biblical Testimony was recording the exception and not the rule...

I would say that 'this' is the primary rejection I see when talking to Protestants about Orthodoxy or even Catholicism and the post-apostolic church and church fathers.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GreekChef on December 31, 2007, 02:40:25 PM
Personally, I think it's almost impossible to answer this question as such, simply because we're talking about a HUGE group of people, each with their own motivations and reasons for not converting.

That said, some of the common reasons I've heard are as follows:

*non-belief in a hierarchical church (not wanting to be told what to do, essentially, is how it was put to me)
*Sola Scriptura beliefs prevent them from allowing themselves to believe in tradition (as ignatius said)
*Orthodoxy emphasizes humility and repentance too much, and not enough praise and worship
*Orthodoxy is an ethnic religion, and they are not ethnic
*Orthodoxy is an old, dead religion that only exists in backward, uneducated countries (do I need to tell you how I responded to this one, considering that I am Greek and Greece is obviously known for being educated-- you know, Socrates and all them folks!!)
*Orthodox are too cocky and triumphalistic
*political reasons- such as the non-ordination of women or rejection of the homosexual lifestyle

Those are just a few of the ones I've heard.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: scamandrius on December 31, 2007, 07:06:01 PM
The one reason which I do not actually ever hear, but which is always implied is the following:

I KNOW BETTER.  Emphasis on "I".  How else can you have all these divergent church bodies?  Because they are groups of "I"s with their own take on Christianity.  When one "I" becomes disenfranchised with the rest, another Protestant congregation is formed.  How else can you explain how more than 30,000 Protestant organizations have cropped up in the world, most of which started less than 30 years ago?

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: EofK on December 31, 2007, 09:04:31 PM
Hmm... sounds like the logical conclusion to the 80's "me" generation.  I don't think it's a coincidence that people who were taught to think of themselves first would start forming churches based mostly on their personal interpretation of God.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on December 31, 2007, 10:06:15 PM
Personally, I think it's almost impossible to answer this question as such, simply because we're talking about a HUGE group of people, each with their own motivations and reasons for not converting.

Quite true, and perhaps many are just not convinced that Orthodoxy is true, or have no desire to change. I was invited to the Orthodox church a couple of years before I converted, and my first thought was, "It exists?" But I put it out of my mind because, hey, I was happy where I was; why should I need to change? Only after searching Scripture and finding that it itself disagrees with sola scriptura did I find a break with my Protestant upbringing. I found that my Christianity would not allow me to remain a Protestant. This time when I was re-invited to come to the local Orthodox parish did I take it seriously. I was there the next Sunday and have been ever since.

So did I "reject" Orthodoxy initially? Perhaps. But it was due to nothing inherent in Orthodoxy, just a desire to not try to fix something that ain't broke.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on January 01, 2008, 12:13:37 PM
The one reason which I do not actually ever hear, but which is always implied is the following:

I KNOW BETTER.  Emphasis on "I".  How else can you have all these divergent church bodies?  Because they are groups of "I"s with their own take on Christianity.  When one "I" becomes disenfranchised with the rest, another Protestant congregation is formed.  How else can you explain how more than 30,000 Protestant organizations have cropped up in the world, most of which started less than 30 years ago?

Before any explanation, could you please post where you got that number and the dating?

Because I don't think that it's accurate, meaning no disrespect.

And just a a point on the "I know better", again not trying to be difficult, I've seen that attitude happen in RC and EO that then splintered off over the years, too.

Ebor

edited for a spelling error
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on January 01, 2008, 12:15:51 PM
Hmm... sounds like the logical conclusion to the 80's "me" generation.  I don't think it's a coincidence that people who were taught to think of themselves first would start forming churches based mostly on their personal interpretation of God.

But is that *really* what is happening?  Until more information is given as to where such a number is from (and I have an idea of where and that it is a misinterpretation by someone, not Scamandrius) such a conclusion does not follow logically.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GreekChef on January 01, 2008, 12:30:15 PM

And just a a point on the "I know better", again not trying to be difficult, I've seen that attitude happen in RC and EO that then splintered off over the years, too.


Sadly enough, this is absolutely true.  This is not an attitude unique to Protestants.  I've even had people tell me that it is the reason they rejected the EOC, because the fruit of the tree (from what they saw) was cockiness, arrogance, and a determination that we are always, absolutely, 100% right.  Whether we believe that or not (obviously, to some extent we do, or we wouldn't be here), it is a dangerous temptation for Orthodox.  We have plenty to back up our positions, but what we need to make a strong effort to retain is HUMILITY.  Cockiness and arrogance, I will venture to say, are NOT what Christ would want from His Church.  I would think He would want a Church who defends Her positions in truth and love, tempered with humility.  But maybe that's just me.  :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: scamandrius on January 01, 2008, 01:26:20 PM
Before any explanation, could you please post where you got that number and the dating?

Because I don't think that it's accurate, meaning no disrespect.

Fair enough, Ebor.  I've come across this number and this year in various articles I've read mainly from Orthodox apologists over the years.  I cannot cite an exact source, however, if you give me some time, I will be happy to get that for you.  As for the time, since the cultural revolution of the 1960s, new independent churches have been forming left and right espousing any kind of ideology masqued in some sort of Christian belief.  Just something that happened with the times and not only here in the states, but all around the world.  Look at what is going on in South America where various numbers of "Pentecostal" groups have been taking from the RC strongholds of those traditionally Catholic countries.  How many are there exactly, I'm sure no one knows, but it is in the tens of thousands.

And just a a point on the "I know better", again not trying to be difficult, I've seen that attitude happen in RC and EO that then splintered off over the years, too.

Point well taken.  But again, I was going off of the numbers of Protestant groups that exist in this world.  They are unified in many ways, but there is plenty of strife between them to indicate that the going of their separate ways was because of the "I know better" crowd.  ANd you are correct that there are plenty of Orthodox and RCs who have also been corrupted by this.  One could argue (and I would not personally) that the SSPX, the Lefebrevists (sp), other sedevacationists and those bishops who ordain women priests and deacons are part of the "I know better" crowd among the RC.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on January 01, 2008, 01:56:24 PM
The one reason which I do not actually ever hear, but which is always implied is the following:

I KNOW BETTER.  Emphasis on "I".  How else can you have all these divergent church bodies?  Because they are groups of "I"s with their own take on Christianity.  When one "I" becomes disenfranchised with the rest, another Protestant congregation is formed.  How else can you explain how more than 30,000 Protestant organizations have cropped up in the world, most of which started less than 30 years ago?

Ah, the Barrett number. We've been here many times before. (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5153.msg71947/topicseen.html#msg71947) It all comes down to the same set of points:

Part of the reason you have them, I would remind you, is the same reason we have oriental and eastern and "true" and "genuine" and "catholic" and "old Catholic" and so forth churches.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: AMM on January 01, 2008, 11:55:28 PM
I haven't read the thread, but it's kind of a moot point.  Only a handful of Protestants will ever decide to become Orthodox.  In the end not that many people are interested in conversion of any kind.  In general, converts can often be rather annoying.

I'm sure there are many reasons people reject Orthodoxy, probably similar to why it is that many Orthodox people become Protestant.  Some of the largest Eastern European churches you'll find around are Ukrainian or Romanian Evangelical or Pentecostal; often dwarfing the size of many Orthodox parishes.

I can think of many reasons, both high and low brow that people would not be interested.  The elevation of folk piety to dogma, the reliance if not outright slavishness to the state, or the emergence of phyletism as normative for Orthodox ecclesiology are probably all reasons.  More mundane in my opinion are things like a like of active spiritual formation in most parishes or doing a bad job at educating kids.  I'm sure you could make a long list of why people wouldn't be interested.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 02, 2008, 08:59:53 AM
Heads up all of you Orthodox Christians whose families have been Orthodox for the last two thousand years....I highlighted a sentence by this dear inquirer in red because I never realized how confusing our jurisdictional situation was to inquirers until I joined a parish full of those new to the faith. Orthodox unity is the only way to solve these types of misperceptions. Many inquirers don't even know we are in communion with one another and we wonder why we only have 750,000 Orthodox Christians in North America.   :-[

You know, that's true. If I did not know better, I would have come to the same conclusion. You have different jurisdictions in the US along national/ethnic lines, but they look more like different churches with different bishops overlapping the same territories.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on January 02, 2008, 10:28:22 AM
The word Reject has been used I think in a wrong sense. There is an active rejection or a passive rejection. Most non-Orthodox fall into the latter category. Why?

They don't know anything about Orthodoxy and really don't care to investigate it. They don't hate the Orthodox. Some more aggressive non-Orthodox would like us to convert to their pov.

If you make Orthodoxy more known, and there is nothing wrong with that, you may give non-Orthodox more reasons to reject Orthodoxy.

Services too long
Too many "rules" to follow or remember.
Too many prayers
Formulaic prayers
Prayers to the saints/Mary
Icons
Incense

Shall I continue . . . ?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 02, 2008, 10:46:22 AM
You are right. Many Evangelicals have an almost reflexive distaste for any "canned" prayer. If it ain't extemporaneous, it ain't "real" prayer. Of course, you could ask why they sing "canned" songs and not make up the lyrics as they go along, but somehow "worship" is different than "prayer" to them.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: AMM on January 02, 2008, 11:04:37 AM
Ultimately you could ask "why did the Protestant Reformation happen?"  There's no one single answer.  Personally, I believe people have to accept some highly negative stuff in order to convert to Orthodoxy.  Not everybody is going to do that.  There's of course a lot of good in the church too, but people should be realistic.  It's not just some slam dunk obvious decision.  Ultimately I think you need to ask questions like why is the mayor of Kiev a Protestant?  Why are there huge numbers of converts to Protestantism in some traditionally Orthodox countries?

If you wanted to focus more on why American Protestants may not be interested, I think what's contained in this probably goes a long way to explaining it.  http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=179
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on January 02, 2008, 12:30:39 PM
^^^ Frankly, I enjoyed this article very much and it to me confirms what I have always believed about American religion in that it is Gnostic with a "Christian" label. It is so pervasive in this country it is tacitly accepted as true "Christianity."

This is the core issue.  Individual Faith.  This is not found in orthopraxis; yet, I believe has infected the  Orthodox church. Heck It affected me. I was born and raised in the US and I would say that it has affected every American. I remeber attending one evangelical church who's motto was "God in you, the hope of glory."

Most Americans do not realize this nor - I believe -care to really think about their faith. If its quick or easy or sounds right then, heck lets do it. Try and dicuss this article with an average American who calls him or herself a Christian and they would probably look at you like you have two heads. "Gnostic . . . duh what's that ..."

This attitude has affected all US religions including non-Christian ones.

I believe that one reason people like Blessed Teresa of Calcutta+ are so appealing to many is that she is such a polar opposite of most "religious" people. She emptied herself to serve others.

I could keep ranting but I'll spare you.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Tamara on January 02, 2008, 01:43:42 PM
You know, that's true. If I did not know better, I would have come to the same conclusion. You have different jurisdictions in the US along national/ethnic lines, but they look more like different churches with different bishops overlapping the same territories.

Because I grew up in the church I couldn't see this until I began to meet inquirers on a weekly basis at the church I now attend. They have opened my eyes to how non-Orthodox perceive Orthodoxy. I find it amazing they even walk through our doors but there is alot of dissatisfaction out there in Protestant land. Many are searching. Most who come for a visit are looking for a faith that will not change weekly. They are tired of the superficial.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: AMM on January 02, 2008, 02:00:55 PM
You know, that's true. If I did not know better, I would have come to the same conclusion. You have different jurisdictions in the US along national/ethnic lines, but they look more like different churches with different bishops overlapping the same territories.

Would you come to the same conclusion about Catholicism when you ran across Latin/Roman, Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Chaldean, Maronite, Romanian, etc. churches all with their own bishops and jurisdictions in this country?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 02, 2008, 04:18:50 PM
Would you come to the same conclusion about Catholicism when you ran across Latin/Roman, Ukrainian, Ruthenian, Chaldean, Maronite, Romanian, etc. churches all with their own bishops and jurisdictions in this country?

If I had known about all those other churches. But they're pretty invisible!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 02, 2008, 04:30:27 PM
^^^ Frankly, I enjoyed this article very much and it to me confirms what I have always believed about American religion in that it is Gnostic with a "Christian" label. It is so pervasive in this country it is tacitly accepted as true "Christianity."

This is the core issue.  Individual Faith.  This is not found in orthopraxis; yet, I believe has infected the  Orthodox church. Heck It affected me. I was born and raised in the US and I would say that it has affected every American. I remeber attending one evangelical church who's motto was "God in you, the hope of glory."

Most Americans do not realize this nor - I believe -care to really think about their faith. If its quick or easy or sounds right then, heck lets do it. Try and dicuss this article with an average American who calls him or herself a Christian and they would probably look at you like you have two heads. "Gnostic . . . duh what's that ..."

This attitude has affected all US religions including non-Christian ones.

I believe that one reason people like Blessed Teresa of Calcutta+ are so appealing to many is that she is such a polar opposite of most "religious" people. She emptied herself to serve others.

I could keep ranting but I'll spare you.
I beg to differ with your interpretation of the article, though I do recognize how your interpretation is shaped by your personal experience of Protestantism.  Maybe you missed it, but the article's author actually stated his opinion that Mr. Bloom virtually ignores the majority of American Christians, who do not buy into the individualistic Gnosticism of such sects as the Mormons and Southern Baptists.  According to Dr. Marty, most American Christians still follow a more traditional understanding of God's transcendence and our place in a (quasi-)sacramental community.  Again, you appear to generalize a judgment of all or most American Christians from your limited experience of some in the fundygelical community--yet another example of how difficult it is to apply a broad brush to the whole of the Protestant traditions.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ian Lazarus on January 02, 2008, 04:36:46 PM
Quote
fundygelical

Ah, yet another new word to look up!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Tamara on January 02, 2008, 05:00:02 PM
If I had known about all those other churches. But they're pretty invisible!

So is Orthodoxy!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on January 02, 2008, 05:16:52 PM
Peter

Fundygelical  :laugh:  Maybe they are not the "majority" but you wouldn't know that by their media prescence. Your right, I am limited, I haven't lived outside of the Northeast U.S. nor have I made time to attend every church denomination. But the fundygelicals, I not only used to be one but I run into an awful lot of them. Now I probably run inot a lot of Jews, Muslims, MainLine Protestants, but people in these groups ususlly do not go out of their way to state their religious beliefs at the same pace that fundygelicals.  In other words the fundygelicals may not be the majority but they sure give that impression on TV, on the street, on the radio and internet, etc.


Tamara:
Since when did beign "ethnic" become a problem for the Orthodox. When I was young many non-Orthodox visited our parish. To eat and dance at our socials, funerals, weddings, baptisms, you name it. Some even converted through marriage through our parishoners. We created a lot of good will that still stands today

I'll tell you when it became a problem. When a large influx of converts came into our church and, I might add, a vocal minority began sqwaking about it, swaying even some cradles.

Tamara, your people cherished and held the faith of the apostles when we Serbs were still worshipping trees.

Don't forget that. Not to make you too proud, but not to be ashamed in any way.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Tamara on January 02, 2008, 07:50:17 PM

Tamara:
Since when did beign "ethnic" become a problem for the Orthodox. When I was young many non-Orthodox visited our parish. To eat and dance at our socials, funerals, weddings, baptisms, you name it. Some even converted through marriage through our parishoners. We created a lot of good will that still stands today

I'll tell you when it became a problem. When a large influx of converts came into our church and, I might add, a vocal minority began sqwaking about it, swaying even some cradles.

Tamara, your people cherished and held the faith of the apostles when we Serbs were still worshipping trees.

Don't forget that. Not to make you too proud, but not to be ashamed in any way.

Dan,

I am not sure where you are coming from. I am not ashamed of who I am or of my ancestors. Why would you think that?
I am confused by what you have written.  ???
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Jetavan on January 02, 2008, 09:54:51 PM
If I had known about all those other churches. But they're pretty invisible!

I wonder why that is the case. ::)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Pravoslavbob on January 03, 2008, 02:16:15 AM
Sadly enough, this is absolutely true.  This is not an attitude unique to Protestants.  I've even had people tell me that it is the reason they rejected the EOC, because the fruit of the tree (from what they saw) was cockiness, arrogance, and a determination that we are always, absolutely, 100% right.  Whether we believe that or not (obviously, to some extent we do, or we wouldn't be here), it is a dangerous temptation for Orthodox.  We have plenty to back up our positions, but what we need to make a strong effort to retain is HUMILITY.  Cockiness and arrogance, I will venture to say, are NOT what Christ would want from His Church.  I would think He would want a Church who defends Her positions in truth and love, tempered with humility.  But maybe that's just me.  :)

Bang on the mark, IMHO.  As Fr Chris has said before on other threads, you'll never argue someone into the Orthodox Church.  Well, very rarely, anyway.  Surely the way to create converts is to strive to behave in a Christ-like manner. 
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on January 03, 2008, 02:42:17 AM
Bang on the mark, IMHO.  As Fr Chris has said before on other threads, you'll never argue someone into the Orthodox Church.  Well, very rarely, anyway.  Surely the way to create converts is to strive to behave in a Christ-like manner. 
How often it is that someone preaches a truly Christian message, yet is rejected because he/she showed the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22.  "Why do I want to be like you?"
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GreekChef on January 03, 2008, 10:52:57 AM
How often it is that someone preaches a truly Christian message, yet is rejected because he/she showed the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5:22.  "Why do I want to be like you?"

Very well said, and exactly my point.  The stories I hear from inquirers and converts, the way I myself have occasionally been treated in parishes (as a non-Greek speaker, before I learned a little Greek)... and sometimes the things I read on this forum ("sometimes" being the key word there)... it makes me think to myself, "Geez.  Why would anyone want to become Orthodox when this is the fruit of Orthodoxy that they see?" 
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: AMM on January 03, 2008, 11:04:18 AM
"By your fruits shall you be known"
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on January 04, 2008, 11:23:20 PM
Open mouth - Insert foot.

Does anyone feel that Orthodoxy's involvement in the ecumenical movement may be a factor in protestants not wanting to convert. Or perhaps not not seeing the need to convert? I mean there are all kinds of official documents and signed statements where the EO considers hetrodox to be in the church and have grace in their sacraments.  Thyterian (spelling) confessions. Epistles addresses to "churches of Christ" wherever they may be (addressed to non-orthodox.).  Epistles admitting grace outside the church.  The Orthodox church in Finland not that long ago applied to Constantinople to enter into communion with the Lutheran church in Finland.  Interpray, intercommunion.  I know folks from Greece who tell stories of Catholic converts being turned away.  To an outsider, this may will give the feeling that becoming Orthodox is not neccessary.  How else could they look at it?

Now y'all will shoot me up and remove this post.  But it is a serious question.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on January 05, 2008, 09:20:26 AM
The Orthodox Church claims to have grace in the sacraments we distribute; we do not claim to have any knowledge about sacraments given outside our Church. Therefore, it can be said that it is possible that other sacraments have grace. We do not know, and honestly we do not really care to know. If the sacraments that we participate in have grace, that is good enough for us.

I'm sorry that I can't answer any of your other questions; I'm unfamiliar with the Finnish church, either Orthodox or Lutheran. I've heard they have some different practices from other Orthodox churches, but I couldn't tell you what is different. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could answer this.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on January 05, 2008, 02:59:32 PM
Does anyone feel that Orthodoxy's involvement in the ecumenical movement may be a factor in protestants not wanting to convert.

Maybe others might have seen this, but I never have.  In alot of places there just aren't many or any EO people let alone parishes.

Ebor


Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on January 05, 2008, 03:02:15 PM
The Orthodox Church claims to have grace in the sacraments we distribute; we do not claim to have any knowledge about sacraments given outside our Church.

I've read some things from EO people (sometimes in smaller or splinter groups) that *do* claim such knowledge and that the knowledge is that there are no sacraments/sacramental grace outside of EO (or sometimes their particular set of EO)

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on January 06, 2008, 03:44:51 PM
^ Ask them how many non-Orthodox sacramental services they've been a part of. My guess it that it's pretty close to zero.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GiC on January 06, 2008, 04:47:20 PM
Ultimately you could ask "why did the Protestant Reformation happen?"  There's no one single answer.  Personally, I believe people have to accept some highly negative stuff in order to convert to Orthodoxy.  Not everybody is going to do that.  There's of course a lot of good in the church too, but people should be realistic.  It's not just some slam dunk obvious decision.  Ultimately I think you need to ask questions like why is the mayor of Kiev a Protestant?  Why are there huge numbers of converts to Protestantism in some traditionally Orthodox countries?

If you wanted to focus more on why American Protestants may not be interested, I think what's contained in this probably goes a long way to explaining it.  http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=179

I think this comes closer to answering the question than anything so far presented. Perhaps a better and even more general question that would answer the question in the OP is, 'Why do certain societies tend towards certain religions?'

The answer to the question about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy is the same as to the questions about why Buddhists or Jews reject Orthodoxy. Religion is deeply connected with culture, nearly everyone dies in the religion they were born into; people don't convert to Orthodoxy because that is not their culture, because their families are not Orthodox, because their friends are not Orthodox, Orthodoxy is not the world view they were raised with, it is, in short, foreign. Thus, your average protestant isn't going to convert to Orthodoxy any more than he is going to convert to Buddhism or Hinduism.

Historically, and even today, where you see mass religious conversions are the same place you see mass cultural conversions. Why is protestantism doing so well in eastern europe? Because eastern europe is undergoing a cultural conversion and the Orthodox Church first of all isn't changing fast enough to keep up and secondly was too weakened by communism to be the effective presence it once was (it's still a powerful force, don't get me wrong, but not what it was before the rise of communism).

It's nort really about rejecting Orthodoxy, it's not even about Orthodoxy or religion at all, it's about accepting their own culture. As for the very small number of us who buck the trend and do convert to a culturally different religion, we're quite frankly insane if you make the reasonable assumption that sanity would be what the other 99+% of the world do and simply die in the religion and culture in which they were born.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on January 08, 2008, 12:39:44 AM
I've read some things from EO people (sometimes in smaller or splinter groups) that *do* claim such knowledge and that the knowledge is that there are no sacraments/sacramental grace outside of EO (or sometimes their particular set of EO)

Ebor

Maybe that was my EO downfall.  I spent my time in a very radical splinter group.  Maybe I should change my answer to this thread to be "I don't know what Orthodoxy is?"
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: FrancisA on January 08, 2008, 12:41:31 AM
^ Ask them how many non-Orthodox sacramental services they've been a part of. My guess it that it's pretty close to zero.

In the group I was in, the answer better be none.  Under threat of not going to the Eurcharist for a real long time or the threat of excommunication.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on January 08, 2008, 10:31:52 AM
Exactly. My point is that those who generally claim absolute knowledge of a matter are usually the ones who actually have no knowledge of the matter.

I can say with confidence that there was probably grace in the sacraments I received as a Protestant, because I can see their fruit--fruit which eventually led me to Orthodoxy. I do not believe in any way that I only became a Christian when I was baptized in the Orthodox Church. I've been a Christian my entire life, yet only now I discovered the fullness of Christianity.

So is there grace outside the Church? Maybe. Grace is given by God, and He alone decides where it should and should not be. I have a feeling a list of the latter is very short indeed.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Doubting Thomas on January 24, 2008, 02:46:47 PM
For the sake of explanation I will probably be using the term “Apostolic Churches” frequently.  So I figured I’d better define it.  I define Apostolic churches as any church that claims to have apostolic succession of Bishops back to the Apostles. (Roman Catholics, World EO,  Traditionalist EO, OO, Assyrian, Old Catholics, TAC, Utrecht Catholics, Anglican, apostolic Lutherans, etc.. etc.. (I use the word  ‘claim’ on purpose.  I’m sure we’d agree that some lines may be dubious.  I don’t wish to debate or dissect it right now so I used ‘claim’).

One of my stumbling blocks in converting to Orthodoxy (OCA) is that I bought into the old simplified church history story.  The one that goes ‘there was one church with one set of beliefs for the first one thousand years of church history, then the Catholics left, and then the rest of Christianity came out of the corrupt Western church.”  But upon reading more and more of the early church fathers, I found this story to be way oversimplified, to the point of being misleading and wrong.  Every apostolic church can cherry pick their teachings out of the early church fathers.  The EO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Roman Catholics can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the OO can go back and cherry pick their teachings, the Assyrians can go back and cherry pick their teachings.  The first question I can’t answer is why should I believe one set of cherry pickings over another?  Every apostolic church can justify their teachings by cherry picking.  Why should I chose one over the other?  The usual EO answer I get to this question is ‘don’t worry others are just cherry picking, ours is the true faith.’  For me, this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The second answer I get is ‘I need to understand that no individual father is right all the time, some had personal beliefs and some we’re in fact wrong.’  Once again for me this doesn’t answer the question because it’s the same answer any other member of any other apostolic church can give.  The third and follow-up answer I get is ‘it’s the teaching of the fathers that we’re accepted by the church that we believe.’  Once again, this really doesn’t answer it.  It really puts the cart before the horse.  If I don’t know which church is the church, then how do I determine which early church fathers to accept.  Plus it is the same canned answer that any other member of any other apostolic church can give.
Wow...these two paragraphs express much of what went through mind when I was exploring Orthodoxy (and had actually became a catechumen for a couple of weeks) 2-3 years ago.  In reading church history, and reading some debates on this board between EO and OO, I began to have similar concerns that you expressed.  In addition to some family issues, the reason that finally decided not to become EO was that I was unconvinced that the Holy Spirit vanished from the Western Church in 1054 (which is what some of the more triumphalistic EO seemed to imply in their polemics).  Also, despite my acceptance of the Trinitarian and Christological definitions of the Seven Councils, I have a hard time regarding Oriental Orthodox Christians as heretics and definitely outside the church, particularly from the constructive dialogues I had with some OO on this board previously regarding what they actually believe, and given many of the political factors that were involved in the history of this particular 'split'.  At any rate,  I've landed in a traditional Continuing Anglican church (I didn't go to Rome because I'm unconvinced of modern papal claims) and am content to say that I'm in a "branch" of the One Apostolic Church--which is still a significant change from my previously long-held beliefs as Southern Baptist.  ;D
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: The Iambic Pen on January 25, 2008, 01:10:54 PM
Doubting Thomas,
I am often tempted to join a traditional Anglican Church, as well.  I cannot look at either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church and say that God has abandoned either one of them.  I am aware that to choose one is to, in a sense, renounce the other.  This is something I am not prepared to do.  That being said, I am a little wary of Anglicanism, as, at least in America, it seems to be wandering from the path just a bit...
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 25, 2008, 02:46:40 PM
Doubting Thomas,
I am often tempted to join a traditional Anglican Church, as well.  I cannot look at either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church and say that God has abandoned either one of them.  I am aware that to choose one is to, in a sense, renounce the other. 

I couldn't do that myself either. That's partly why I became a Catholic. The Catholic Church teaches officially that the EO and OO have grace in their sacraments and are not "graceless heretics." You cannot be an obedient Catholic and call them that. It also teaches officially that the Eastern traditions, practiced by millions of Eastern Catholics, are authentically Catholic. The Catholic Church also forbids the re-baptism of any non-Catholic who has been shown to be baptized in the proper Trinitarian form, including Protestants. As #838 in the Catechism reads (quoting from the Second Vatican Council's  Lumen Gentium and Unitatis Redintegratio:

"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church." With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."

I understand your attraction to traditional Anglicanism. I was nearly confirmed in a "Continuing" Anglican church until Rome called me. I still have great fondness for traditional Anglicanism. One of the loveliest moments of 2007 for me was attending choral Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral in England on Christmas Day.
(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/Themes/default/images/warnpmod.gif) proselytizing
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on January 25, 2008, 02:53:42 PM
^ Warning: The preceding was a Proselytizing Advertisement!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 25, 2008, 03:29:32 PM
^ Warning: The preceding was a Proselytizing Advertisement!

Just clarifying that becoming a Catholic does not require (in fact, forbids) you to conclude that "God has abandoned" the EO or OO churches.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on January 26, 2008, 01:54:15 PM
Lubeltri, you have been warned repeatedly not to proselytize on this site. Therefore, we will be moderating your posts until you have proven to us that you can follow the guidelines of this site.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: AMM on January 26, 2008, 03:05:56 PM
lubeltri, you are kind of fishing in our pond.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on January 26, 2008, 04:20:51 PM
Lubeltri, you have been warned repeatedly not to proselytize on this site. Therefore, we will be moderating your posts until you have proven to us that you can follow the guidelines of this site.

I was merely responding to and clarifying this statement:

I cannot look at either the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church and say that God has abandoned either one of them.  I am aware that to choose one is to, in a sense, renounce the other.

I am not stupid enough to think that my posts are going to convert anyone here. I was not proselytizing, only stating what the Catholic Church teaches about other Christian communities.

If clearing up misunderstanding makes me guilty of proselytization according to OC.net, then I am leaving. I consider this an indignity. Farewell.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on January 26, 2008, 04:54:41 PM
Lubeltri,

I've been reading your posts long enough to know that you are (at least as far as I can tell) doing your best to live your Catholic faith. This is commendable. Many times you have very good things to say about the Catholic church, a communion with which we as Orthodox have much in common. This also is commendable.

However, this is the Orthodox-Protestant discussion board. This is a place for dialogue about issues which are specific to Orthodoxy and the various Protestant communions. This is not a place to discuss issues between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, or between Catholicism and Protestantism. If you wish to discuss those, you may use the Orthodox-Catholic board, which is designed for just that sort of discussion.

In no way do I mean to say that Catholics are not welcome on this board. I believe strongly, as do many of the members here, that Catholics are Christians and do have apostolic succession. Therefore, the Catholic perspective is often quite valuable as we discuss issues that matter to both religions. This value is the primary reason we have an Orthodox-Other Christian board. In general we here want to hear the perspective of other Christians, even those with whom we are not in communion.

There is a difference, though, between giving an opinion or sharing a perspective and proselytizing. It was the opinion of the moderation team that your post above was indeed proselytizing. OCnet strives to be a place of discussion, and proselytizing can make others uncomfortable and can hinder discussion. This is true of any proselytizing, be it by an Orthodox, a Catholic, a Protestant, or anyone else.

If you choose not to post here any longer, then that will be your choice. But I hope you do not think that we wholesale object to what the Catholic church teaches. We merely strive to make OCnet a place where all Christians, and even those of other faiths, feel comfortable talking about issues that are important to Orthodox Christians.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: aserb on January 28, 2008, 12:20:58 PM
Maybe the question should be why do Orthodox rejeect Protestants? Or, do we reject them. Or only some of us.  :angel:
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on March 07, 2008, 11:50:58 AM
Maybe the question should be why do Orthodox rejeect Protestants? Or, do we reject them. Or only some of us.  :angel:

I apologize for not getting back to this thread earlier.  *This* is an interesting question, aserb.  Do you have any thoughts on it?

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Stundist on March 23, 2008, 11:18:25 PM
Quote
Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?

Since you asked.  My Grandparents 'migrated' from Russia, via a stint in Poland.   (more about 'migrated' later) They we're what people in Russia called Stundists.  A group of Old Believers who broke away with the 'official' church after the Nikonian changes.  They shortly therafter came under the influence of protestant missionaries (mostly German mennonites.)   Kind of a cross between an Old Believer and a Baptist.   In Russia, under the guidance of the Orthodox church, they we're severely persectuted.  First forced to double taxation.  Then denied their natural born citizenship.  No citizenship = no work = no food = no land ownership to farm. They weren't allowed to buy or sell. (haven't I read about that in a book somewhere?)  Fined for wearing a beard?  Then they had their religion outlawed.  Forced into prisons for breaking the law.  Had their farms and livelyhoods burned down.   So when I said 'migrated' earlier, I should have said forced out of their home.  Yes...  many were even martyred.    And you ask why I'm not Orthodox???? 

Actually, I did try it for a bit.  There really is no equivalent to Stundist here in America. (Basically we're Protestants that don't have a problem with praying to Mary or the Saints.)   So in my personal quest into looking for a church home here I did try Orthodoxy for a bit.  My family however has been in contact for years with relatives still back in the homeland.  They tell us there is nothing new under the sun.  Granted ,they are not illegal anymore or being martyred.  But they are still being treated as second class citizens and being shunned from work.  Some say it's worse now that Russia is "free" as opposed to the communist rule.  The communist had bigger enemies to go after.  I tend to agree with them.  The "free" part is a joke.  Russia isn't free, it's now a slave to western debauchery. Many expect persecutions to break out in the near future with the prospect of Russian Nationalism on the rise.  So you want me to be Orthodox, how about stop persectuting and killing my family and people.

So I did bounce around between a few things, and I chose Protestantism over Orthodoxy.  Granted there are some bizarre things in protestantism, but I gotta give some of them this.  At least, like St Gregory, St Photius and St. Mark of Ephesus, they know what and who the Papacy is.  If you know, why are you constantly running towards them for union, declaring them brothers, the first bishop of Christianity, two lung theory, commemorating him in your diptychs in the phanar, etc. etc..  Archbishop Averky, in his commentary on Revelation, states that there are two ways to confess something.  In word or in deed.  Granted you haven't stepped over into deed, but what are your words confessing?

To sum it up.  Why am I not Orthodox?  Because you are constantly persecuting and have matyred my family and people.  And I personally can't deal with the constant admiration and jealousy of the papal system.

Sorry if this offends.  You are now free to flag this post for removal.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on March 23, 2008, 11:35:44 PM
Stundist, I am very, very sorry you have experienced these terrible things. I'm a convert myself, but I still regret the wrongful, racist actions by the Orthodox Church. I have a friend whose family was originally Old Believer and he is very embittered towards Orthodoxy and has become a Baptist.

There are other racial slurs directed towards other groups which I hear all too often amongst my Orthodox brethren, which grieves me deeply. I feel so ashamed of this. 

Please, is there a way we can atone for all this? Have our leaders ever, in humility, asked forgiveness in person of those groups who have been wronged, as has the RCC? I for one would greet such a gesture with profound gratitude and wish to do my part in healing any wounds although my heritage is not Orthodox. I want to pray fervently to this end...
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on March 24, 2008, 12:01:48 AM
Hey Stundist,

First, welcome to the forum!  And I doubt very much that your post offended anyone. 

There are a lot of us here, it seems, that are converts to Orthodoxy (myself included) and will have little notion as to the horrible events you've described.  Personally, this is the first I've heard about the Stundists.  That being said, I sincerely apologize for what my Orthodox brethren did to you and your family.  I pray that your time here with us will be enjoyable, educational, and hopefully contribute to some healing (for all of us.)   
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Elisha on March 24, 2008, 02:09:28 AM
A quick google search brought the following links up.  I had never heard of them either.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/5357/mcclung.html

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9401E0D7113AE533A25755C2A9649D94649ED7CF&oref=slogin


Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: kmm on March 24, 2008, 03:21:52 AM
As someone mentioned, there are many reasons why, but I personally think greekischristian really nailed it. Add lack of motivation too. Many of the EO converts here, appeared to have been very motivated to search out and learn about various denominations before they settled upon EO. MOst people just aren't that motivated/have the time etc. etc. It's just easier to stick with what you know. It takes a lot of effort to to even discover there is such a thing as EO in the first place. I am not totally uneducated myself, and my first university degree was in Anthropology/Archaeology, yet I had no clue about Orthodoxy. Heck, while I was doing some backpacking in my early 20's, and remember stumbling upon an old, ?abandoned? chapel in the Plaka below the Acropolis in Athens, wandering in, and feeling the most amazing sense of serenity and peace. But because I was agnostic, (and often claimed atheism), and very ignorant of especially Christian faith (except in the negative), and frankly, lazy, I chose not to pursue that experience further at that time.

The only reason I ended up Orthodox is because I married into it. Shortly before I met my husband, I had started exploring religion and faith out of a personal need, rather than just out of cultural curiousity. Perhaps, had I really spent a lot of time at this, I would have discovered the EO on my own. I doubt it though. As it was I was embarrassed about my growing need and interest. Almost everyone I knew was anti-religious (especially anti-Christian - of course, in hindsight, I now understand how completely ignorant and hyprocritical this all was). I was not raised with religion; while my family was protestant in background, faith had not been practiced 3 generations, and then before that I am sure it was merely because it was the cultural norm. My family and some friends still think the fact I became a Christian, especially an Orthodox Christian, quite eccentric. They won't really talk about it as they figure it's none of their business, but you know they are thinking that my beliefs are so twisted (my atheist brother and sister-in-law wouldn't come to the baptism of either of my children because they think the western christian thinking behind Original Sin is so awful, and there is no talking to them about the difference in EO).

Anyway, my husband introduced me to the EO, although he rarely attended church (he did much more after I wanted to explore it further). I was baptised in 2002, and I am still incredibly ignorant about it, despite my attempts to learn more, and often not comfortable with it (as ethnically I don't fit in), but through my studies and my experiences, I know the faith of the EO is right.

But it is still an uphill battle. And I am a person that tends to be much more comfortable outside of my cultural sphere than probably most people. So if I find it difficult to surmount both the ethnic divide and cultural trappings of the EO, as well as the leap of belonging to an organized group of any kind, let alone one that believes in a higher power (although I recognize that for many people here, this part isn't so hard - so many of you seemed to have been churchgoers of some sort from childhood!), imagine how hard all of this is for so many others. Now, please do not get the impression that I think somehow Orthodox Christians are individually superior than others based on the following statement (just different - the world needs all kinds): I think many people here, at least amongst the converts, are of a different ilk than many. Bigger risk takers for one. Perhaps a little or a lot more rebellious than most. Some enjoy the intellectual challenge/exploration involved. Or maybe it just boils down to being slightly odd ducks that don't fit in amongst the "normal" mainstream anyway, so are comfortable climbing out of the "normal" box (if that makes any sense)? Wouldn't you have to be in order to get involved with something so different, when it would be just so much easier to wander in to the evangelical or mainline protestant church down the street, where culturally everything is familiar and the belief system is often just handed to you?

Sorry if my little ramble here is a tad incoherent. I'm tired, have baby brain, and cooked and prepared for 2 birthday parties  this weekend. That, and I obviously do not have the ability to discuss theological issues with any authority - just the wish to learn.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Nyssa The Hobbit on March 24, 2008, 05:54:03 PM
You may be right, kmm.  I occasionally think how much easier it would be for me to stay Protestant and just pick my favorite church, rather than going against everything I've ever known or believed was "proper" Christian doctrine/practice.  But I learned too much, and just can't go back, even though I have to find a way to fit in among a Greek culture I know very little about.  When I visit other churches with friends or family, no matter what church it is--Catholic, traditional, contemporary, liturgical, "free"--the service lacks something.
     
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on March 24, 2008, 06:28:56 PM
Welcome, Stundist. No, your post does not offend. This is actually the first I've heard of this group. Persecution is terrible regardless of perpetrator or victim. Please know that Orthodox know what it's like to be persecuted, as well, and that though some servants forgiven their talents may demand a few denarii, most are gentle people who will feel nothing but compassion for your family's hardships and troubles.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Stundist on March 24, 2008, 10:17:50 PM
Thanks for the kind words everyone. 

Sorry for the ramble.  Sometimes the fingers type faster then the brain moves.

I am going to attend Pascha service over at the local ROCOR parish.  I do like hearing the slavonic.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Stundist on March 25, 2008, 10:04:14 PM
Quote
Have our leaders ever, in humility, asked forgiveness in person of those groups who have been wronged?

I know the Patriarch of Moscow has apologized for the persecutions of the Old Believers.  I believe the ROCOR has lifted the anathema's against them.  I'm not sure if the Patriarch has done that?  My family's traditional beliefs equally stem from both the Orthodox old believers and the Protestant mennonites.  (The links in the above are a little more 'baptist' sounding.  If the Baptist heard us break out a chant to the Mother of God, they'd chase us out.)  So, to answer the question.  Yes, sort of. Kind of.  I'll take it.

I think another thing for us to remember as fear of a future backlash breaks out.  Is that, looked at openly.  I think any future backlash would be under the guise of Russian nationalism, not Church instigated.  And that really is a world of difference.

Sorry for stealing the thread. :-[

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: recent convert on March 31, 2008, 03:10:28 PM
Perhaps another reason my be (at least in the USA) is mutual cultural bias. Many Americans do not understand the cultural expression of Orthodoxy from Eastern Europe or the middle EAst and some Orthodox distrust American converts who may express their faith in words that may be validly Orthodox but seem "Protestant" in tone.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on March 31, 2008, 06:41:12 PM
My family's traditional beliefs equally stem from both the Orthodox old believers and the Protestant mennonites.  (The links in the above are a little more 'baptist' sounding.  If the Baptist heard us break out a chant to the Mother of God, they'd chase us out.)  So, to answer the question.  Yes, sort of. Kind of.  I'll take it.

Protestant mennonites? Now that is one I have never heard. Is it like the Mennonites in any way or what? possibly a Wikipedia article if you post up a link.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on April 01, 2008, 02:42:10 PM
I suspect that Stundist wrote "Protestant mennonites" since it was proceeded by "Orthodox old believers".  There are a number of different Mennonite groups, some are "Old Order" like the Amish and others more 'modern' in customs.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on April 02, 2008, 01:12:32 AM
Ebor where have you been? We have all missed your digital presence (especially me)!!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on April 02, 2008, 01:21:08 AM
I suspect that Stundist wrote "Protestant mennonites" since it was proceeded by "Orthodox old believers".  There are a number of different Mennonite groups, some are "Old Order" like the Amish and others more 'modern' in customs.

Ebor
Don't 'Mennonites' fall under Protestant?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on April 03, 2008, 02:14:58 PM
It seems to me Mennonites would consider themselves "Anabaptist" and most would maintain they  are neither Protestant nor Catholic, but I think in reality they are much  closer to the Protestant model , although generally they reject Calvinism.

 "Stundist" (I haven't yet read the article cited above), as I understood it, was the derogotary title given to Baptists in Eastern European countries, although these Baptists, in practice, seem to be more a combination of Orthodox and Mennonite theologies, than the traditional Baptist theology  with which we are familiar in the US, which originated in Britain. Is this correct, Stundist?  How do "Stundists" differ from say, "soviet tserkvey" (Council of Churches Baptists in Russia i.e. former "underground")? You mentioned chanting a hymn to the Theotokos! I don't think I've ever heard Council of Churches Baptists doing this.. I am intrigued...

I'm relieved to hear the Patriarch has apologized to the Old Believer communities for past wrongs!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Heorhij on April 03, 2008, 02:46:19 PM


 "Stundist" (I haven't yet read the article cited above), as I understood it, was the derogotary title given to Baptists in Eastern European countries, although these Baptists, in practice, seem to be more a combination of Orthodox and Mennonite theologies, than the traditional Baptist theology  with which we are familiar in the US, which originated in Britain. Is this correct, Stundist?  How do "Stundists" differ from say, "soviet tserkvey" (Council of Churches Baptists in Russia i.e. former "underground")?


Yes, that's true. In Ukraine during the Soviet times Baptists and other Protestants were often called "Shtoondy" (probably from the German word "Stunde," meaning "hours"). That was, indeed, a very derogatory term, always having some negative connotations (like, these people are so savage that they not only pray to God, but also do not drink! Loonies!!!)

At the moment, there is a huge organization in Ukraine that calls itself "Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists." A funny thing is, they are actually Pentecostals, but they avoid using this term. :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on April 03, 2008, 03:16:31 PM
Yes, I knew the term "stundist" came from the German word for "hour", which I always understood meant a sort of "Bible hour" i.e. a time spent in intense Bible study, prayer and singing.  I suppose it so greatly differed from the traditional Orthodox way that it was seen as somewhat "holier-than-thou", but also perhaps the piety of these simple believers ,and the way they desired to live out the Biblical teaching in practical ways,pricked the consciences of some, and so, not knowing how to deal with it, they lashed out in dirision and mockery. Sad, but human nature.

George, as for the "Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists", I always thought these to be the more liberal, politically powerful branch of the Baptist Church in Ukraine- the one viewed by the "Council of Churches" Baptists as the "puppet-display" church under communism-the compromising Baptist church, in a sense comparable to how ROCOR would have formerly viewed the MP. I didn't know they were actually Penecostals, and have attended their services in the past. Didn't think they seemed Pentecostal, but could be wrong.  Otoh, the "Council of Churches" have to this day, maintained a more conservative stance as far as keeping the old ways is concerned-they are less in temp with modernism, less inclined to warmly greet "worldly" american doctrinal innovations, etc. Women still wear the scarf during services.

There are also many very old-fashioned Pentecostals in Ukraine/Russia and these folks are more like Mennonites than western Pentecostals. They have large family, very humble people, dress modestly and married women cover their heads all the time.

But as always, the modernistic  head of American religious influence continues to rear itself up, and there are many who rush to embrace it...
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: DennyB on April 04, 2008, 07:09:21 AM
I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home.  However, most all protestants I've shared with want nothing to do with the Orthodox Church... so this makes it even harder to connect with them.

There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves.  Of course, none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals, but they can easily fall into despair over feeling personally responsible for these circumstances.

Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed to overcome the deceiver and enter into the fullness of the One True Body of Jesus Christ, Who is eternally glorified together with the Father and Holy Spirit.

Amen


Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on April 04, 2008, 04:33:32 PM
Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?

I believe there is much truth to this. I know several people who are well aware of church history and are sympathetic towards "Apostolic" christianity. They tell me they would consider becoming an RC, but NOT EO, although they are not opposed to our doctrines. When I ask why they say this, they reply, "Because I am a Westerner,after all,  NOT an easterner-so therefore, why should i join the Eastern Church?"

Sigh.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on April 04, 2008, 04:40:30 PM
I believe there is much truth to this. I know several people who are well aware of church history and are sympathetic towards "Apostolic" christianity. They tell me they would consider becoming an RC, but NOT EO, although they are not opposed to our doctrines. When I ask why they say this, they reply, "Because I am a Westerner,after all,  NOT an easterner-so therefore, why should i join the Eastern Church?"

Sigh.
Which I think is all the more reason for the EO Church to foster growth and a greater appreciation for their own western rite.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on April 04, 2008, 04:51:04 PM
I believe there is much truth to this. I know several people who are well aware of church history and are sympathetic towards "Apostolic" christianity. They tell me they would consider becoming an RC, but NOT EO, although they are not opposed to our doctrines. When I ask why they say this, they reply, "Because I am a Westerner,after all,  NOT an easterner-so therefore, why should i join the Eastern Church?"

Sigh.

I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on April 04, 2008, 04:53:27 PM
Which I think is all the more reason for the Church to foster growth and a greater appreciation for Orthodoxy's contributions to world culture.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on April 04, 2008, 05:00:19 PM
Do you think part of the rejection is that Orthodoxy is not "culturally" relevant?

Actually, I would say that "the cultural relevance of Orthodoxy is not appreciated".
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on April 04, 2008, 05:08:08 PM
I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
Didn't the Roman Catholic Church try to do so by introducing the Novos Ordo, guitar Masses?
How did that go?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Hesychios on April 04, 2008, 05:16:50 PM
I'm afraid to say that EO does seem (fairly or unfairly) to many non-EO to be an inconsequential and insular Eastern European museum piece, hiding from the modern world rather than getting on the front lines and challenging it head-on.
Yes, I believe that this is the impression of many outside observers.

Although the many Eastern Catholic churches tend to give a similar impression. That is, at least how I remember it when I first became seriously interested. If one is timid they might never discover any differently.

Michael
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on April 04, 2008, 05:18:22 PM
Didn't the Roman Catholic Church try to do so by introducing the Novos Ordo, guitar Masses?
How did that go?

Very, very facile, that response. That was not facing the modern world but selling out to it.

Read the actual documents of Vatican II. They will bear glorious fruit during this century, mark my words. If anything, the Catholic Church is consequential.

(and I don't see how your response does anything to address the common--fairly or unfairly--perception I mentioned.)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Heorhij on April 04, 2008, 05:18:39 PM
I believe there is much truth to this. I know several people who are well aware of church history and are sympathetic towards "Apostolic" christianity. They tell me they would consider becoming an RC, but NOT EO, although they are not opposed to our doctrines. When I ask why they say this, they reply, "Because I am a Westerner,after all,  NOT an easterner-so therefore, why should i join the Eastern Church?"

Sigh.

Yes. And I heard an opposite, too. I remember one conversation with a Ukrainian American who was concerned about the preservation of the Ukrainian language in Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the USA. When another person said, "but look, don't you think the Divine Liturgy must be understandable to non-Ukrainian Americans, too?" - he got angry and said, "they have no reason to be there! If you are a Yank, be a GOOD Yank, go to a Protestant church!"  ;D
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on April 04, 2008, 05:21:35 PM
Very, very facile, that response. That was not facing the modern world but selling out to it.

Read the actual documents of Vatican II. They will bear glorious fruit during this century, mark my words. If anything, the Catholic Church is consequential.

(and I don't see how your response does anything to address the common--fairly or unfairly--perception I mentioned.)

Well, actually, I think it does address your perception.
America was founded by the Pilgrims. How "culturally relevant" is a Tridentine Mass to say, a Southern Baptist? Isn't it simply the imposing of another alien culture on people?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on April 04, 2008, 05:30:08 PM
Well, actually, I think it does address your perception.
America was founded by the Pilgrims. How "culturally relevant" is a Tridentine Mass to say, a Southern Baptist? Isn't it simply the imposing of another alien culture on people?

The issue goes well beyond liturgy.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ozgeorge on April 04, 2008, 05:36:21 PM
The issue goes well beyond liturgy.
I agree.
Ultimately the issue is about Christian Truth. What really matters is Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and the real question anyone should ask is "Where is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?" Not "Where do I feel more comfortable?" The first Christians had to walk away from many aspects of their own culture- circumcision, drinking Blood, communing with Gentiles etc. If "cultural relevance" is the determining factor of Christianity, then Christianity is lost.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on April 04, 2008, 06:02:25 PM
Yes. And I heard an opposite, too. I remember one conversation with a Ukrainian American who was concerned about the preservation of the Ukrainian language in Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the USA. When another person said, "but look, don't you think the Divine Liturgy must be understandable to non-Ukrainian Americans, too?" - he got angry and said, "they have no reason to be there! If you are a Yank, be a GOOD Yank, go to a Protestant church!"  ;D

I've heard this version too, believe me. Been asked by Ukrainians why I became Orthodox since I'm a North American? Been asked by a Russian woman at church in great disappointment why I left my former religion (she told me my former religion was "better" than the Orthodox church, because she'd heard the women are talented bakers... ::) Oh brother.... ???
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on April 04, 2008, 06:14:14 PM
I agree.
Ultimately the issue is about Christian Truth. What really matters is Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel, and the real question anyone should ask is "Where is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?" Not "Where do I feel more comfortable?" The first Christians had to walk away from many aspects of their own culture- circumcision, drinking Blood, communing with Gentiles etc. If "cultural relevance" is the determining factor of Christianity, then Christianity is lost.

I wouldn't really call it "cultural relevance," but I guess engagement with the world. Evangelization---both through preaching/teaching and works of charity--- is a huge part of this. I think there is a perception that Eastern Orthodoxy is an esoteric, insular, ethnic relic. Less dynamic, less consequential, less universal/catholic, not showing up for the great battles that need to be fought. There's this sense that you need to be peculiarly Eastern to be EO, and also focused on glories long past. It seems like the kind of church people ignore---almost a dusty, exotic cultural artifact. The Catholics seem to get the attention (and the attacks: Works like The DaVinci Code are squarely aimed at one target. Joseph Stalin: "The Pope? How many divisions has he got?" A contemporary example: the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association).

Like I said, I'm not stating my own views here, but a perception I've commonly seen.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on April 04, 2008, 07:00:56 PM
I wouldn't really call it "cultural relevance," but I guess engagement with the world. Evangelization---both through preaching/teaching and works of charity--- is a huge part of this. I think there is a perception that Eastern Orthodoxy is an esoteric, insular, ethnic relic. Less dynamic, less consequential, less universal/catholic, not showing up for the great battles that need to be fought. There's this sense that you need to be peculiarly Eastern to be EO, and also focused on glories long past. It seems like the kind of church people ignore---almost a dusty, exotic cultural artifact. The Catholics seem to get the attention (and the attacks: Works like The DaVinci Code are squarely aimed at one target. Joseph Stalin: "The Pope? How many divisions has he got?" A contemporary example: the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association).

Like I said, I'm not stating my own views here, but a perception I've commonly seen.

There's truth to this too, Lubeltri. I think we need to face up to the reality at times as a Church-I for one am not opposed to constructive criticism!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on April 04, 2008, 07:14:49 PM
There's truth to this too, Lubeltri. I think we need to face up to the reality at times as a Church-I for one am not opposed to constructive criticism!

I'm not trying to criticize EO---I love you guys.  :) But I've seen this perception.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on April 17, 2008, 12:31:29 PM
Ebor where have you been? We have all missed your digital presence (especially me)!!

I'm sorry.  It was "Life, the Universe and Everything" (children, illness in the family, Lent, my classwork and all that) It's nice to know that I"m missed. (at least if someone is throwing things  ;D ;) )

I'll read the rest of this topic and try to get back up to speed. 

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on April 17, 2008, 12:33:15 PM
Ah, yes. What better way to make an entrance than with Douglas Adams?

It's good to see you again.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on April 17, 2008, 12:35:15 PM
Ah, yes. What better way to make an entrance than with Douglas Adams?

It's good to see you again.

Thanks ...... Don't Panic

 :D

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: howdydave on May 05, 2008, 11:29:52 AM
Howdy!

IMO: It is not a matter of protestants rejecting Orthodoxy as much as it is a matter of protestants having never been exposed to Orthodoxy.

Rejection first requires at least a slight acquaintance with the faith.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on May 05, 2008, 12:02:52 PM
This is very true, howdydave.  How can one "reject" what one has no knowledge of?

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on May 05, 2008, 12:19:56 PM
The sad thing is that many of my evangelical friends are not stupid; they read and keep up with the news;they know of the low rates of church attendance and dedication in Orthodox countries-and in short, they are unimpressed by the lack of committed christians who are living a life of discipleship. I think if they would see a country full of sober, godly Orthodox christians, they would be less likely to reject Orthodoxy ("by their fruits ye shall know them"). Instead they see rampant alcoholism, decadence,and blatant ungodliness. To them the Orthodox Church is a dead nominal church-what is attractive about that?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Schultz on May 05, 2008, 12:32:57 PM
The sad thing is that many of my evangelical friends are not stupid; they read and keep up with the news;they know of the low rates of church attendance and dedication in Orthodox countries-and in short, they are unimpressed by the lack of committed christians who are living a life of discipleship. I think if they would see a country full of sober, godly Orthodox christians, they would be less likely to reject Orthodoxy ("by their fruits ye shall know them"). Instead they see rampant alcoholism, decadence,and blatant ungodliness. To them the Orthodox Church is a dead nominal church-what is attractive about that?

I find it difficult to fathom that someone can objectively look at the Orthodox Church in the former Eastern Bloc and Arab/Islamic countries and see "decadence and blatant ungodliness" while at the same time turning a blind eye to the very same thing they decry within their own ranks.  Considering the churches in these countries suffered, and still suffer in the case of the Copts, for example, real persecution, as opposed to imagined persecution in the likes of the supposed "War on Christmas", I think the fact that the Church still exists is a testament to these supposed nominal Christian's faith. 

Pardon my cynicism, but they're not looking very close if they think their evangelical brethren are all sober and godly Christians.  They probably think that the clergy abuse scandal is only a Roman Catholic problem.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on May 05, 2008, 12:43:09 PM
In the case of the churches with whom I am acquainted, adult baptism is the norm, so they are used to church membership being a deeply committed thing. There are old-fashioned baptist churches in the former eastern-bloc countries who emphasis adult membership and holy living as well. It's hard for such people to comprehend churches with huge nominal populations, and infant baptism is seen as part of the problem.

I'm just trying to point out some possible misunderstandings and reasons for rejection from a group with which I am very familiar because it's where I spent most of my life.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Schultz on May 05, 2008, 01:03:53 PM
Rosehip,

I understand what you were doing.  I was merely commenting on my own incredulity at the brash dismissal of Orthodoxy that you mentioned in the prior post.  In no way did I mean to direct any of my words at you. :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on May 05, 2008, 01:23:54 PM
To take from Peter Kreeft (who says this with regard to Catholics), more Protestants will become Orthodox when more Orthodox become better Protestants (i.e. abandoning nominalism, growing in holiness, having a closer relationship with Christ, and showing the fruits of this relationship in their lives and in the Church).
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on May 05, 2008, 01:38:49 PM
Shultz, I understand you weren't  aiming at me... :)

To take from Peter Kreeft (who says this with regard to Catholics), more Protestants will become Orthodox when more Orthodox become better Protestants (i.e. abandoning nominalism, growing in holiness, having a closer relationship with Christ, and showing the fruits of this relationship in their lives and in the Church).

Oh! This is actually SO TRUE! But, are those things mentioned in parenthesis, lubeltri, truly exclusive to Protestantism? Are they so very wrong? Isn't this more like it was in the Early Church? I'm just afraid both the RCs and the Orthodox would  have a much better witness if we emphasized these things.

The other day, for intance, I was chatting with a man who told me he was RC, but he hastened to say "but I am spiritual!" I jokingly said, "So are you implying RCs aren't spiritual?" and he replied, "Everyone knows most aren't. It's a nominal religion for the most part." He stated it so honestly, so openly, but it hurt me. Why must it be so (including Orthodoxy)?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on May 05, 2008, 01:48:21 PM
Shultz, I understand you weren't  aiming at me... :)

Oh! This is actually SO TRUE! But, are those things mentioned in parenthesis, lubeltri, truly exclusive to Protestantism? Are they so very wrong? Isn't this more like it was in the Early Church? I'm just afraid both the RCs and the Orthodox would  have a much better witness if we emphasized these things.

That's exactly what Peter Kreeft said! He said when Catholics "become better Protestants," they become better Catholics. The same goes for Orthodox. It's actually a great lecture, well worth listening to. http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/03_ecumenism.htm
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on May 05, 2008, 07:54:33 PM
That's exactly what Peter Kreeft said! He said when Catholics "become better Protestants," they become better Catholics. The same goes for Orthodox. It's actually a great lecture, well worth listening to. http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/03_ecumenism.htm

The protestants kept the Catholics and Orthodox in line!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: katherine 2001 on May 05, 2008, 10:10:46 PM
I find it difficult to fathom that someone can objectively look at the Orthodox Church in the former Eastern Bloc and Arab/Islamic countries and see "decadence and blatant ungodliness" while at the same time turning a blind eye to the very same thing they decry within their own ranks.  Considering the churches in these countries suffered, and still suffer in the case of the Copts, for example, real persecution, as opposed to imagined persecution in the likes of the supposed "War on Christmas", I think the fact that the Church still exists is a testament to these supposed nominal Christian's faith. 

Pardon my cynicism, but they're not looking very close if they think their evangelical brethren are all sober and godly Christians.  They probably think that the clergy abuse scandal is only a Roman Catholic problem.

I agree with you about this.  Not to mention the fact that many Christians have secularized Christmas.  I remember a couple of years ago when Christmas fell on Sunday, and many Evangelical churches cancelled Sunday services, because (ta da) it was Christmas and people should be home with their families.  Many of these were the same people who wanted to boycott Walmart for switching to saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".  I emailed one of those mega churches that was cancelling services and asked them who was more guilty of secularizing Christmas.  I guess "Jesus--'tis the reason for the season" is just a catchy little slogan.  If you're not willing to give up a couple of hours from the celebration to be in church to worship "the reason for the season", I think you qualify as secularizing the holiday.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 21, 2008, 11:52:53 AM
I think two issues are getting confused. One might be “Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?” [i.e. regard it as a false church]. The other might be, “Why do Protestants remain Protestants?” Those who reject Orthodoxy as a false form of religion probably do so because of the absence of the Protestant teaching on justification by faith. I am not here saying whether or not I think they are right to do so: I am only trying to answer the question that was posed, Why do they do it?

But Protestants do not hold a doctrine of any “one and only true church”, but see Christ’s church as broader than any denomination, including all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. So there may well be Protestants who take the view that, whereas the Orthodox Church, as a trinitarian body, is a genuine part of Christ’s church, it is not the only part - it is not the whole. Therefore they decide not to transfer to Orthodoxy but to remain in a Protestant church. That does not mean they ‘reject’ Orthodoxy as a valid form of Christianity; but it does mean they believe there are other true churches.

When I faced the question of whether I should remain in an Evangelical church or find somewhere ‘the only true church’, the question I asked myself was, Where do I see God at work in salvation and blessing? If I can see him in Evangelical churches, then I must conclude that they are true churches, and I may remain; if I cannot, then I should leave.

Now it is only fair to assess any church by considering its best expressions, not its worse. One could easily dismiss Roman Catholics by looking at the people they have burnt at the stake, or at the Inquisition, in obedience to a rule that the church may not shed blood, devising the most devilish forms of non-blood-shedding torture. One could look at Serbian bullies burning Albanian Moslem homes, and lining up the Moslem men and executing them, so as to cleanse Kosova of Islam and establish Serbian Orthodoxy. As a Protestant, I am too aware of disgraceful things that have been done in history and in the present to need to list them for you. Any church has things to repent of.

But let us consider Evangelicalism at its best, as it only fair also of Orthodoxy. Do Evangelical movements have a record of drunkards made sober, wife-beaters made caring husbands, thieves made honest, idlers made into trustworthy workers, blasphemers made into men who respect and love the Saviour? Have foul mouths been cleansed and filled with warm and lasting praise to Jesus Christ? Has society been changed for the better because of the leaven of Evangelicalism? Is their worship - at its best - Christ-centred? Does it glorify God as creator and sustainer of the world? Is the Holy Spirit honoured in the Trinity? Is it a religion of love for God and love for mankind? Does it do good?

I came to the conclusion that the answer to all these is Yes. And therefore I felt it was right to accept my Evangelical background, dating in my case to about the 1860s in the family, as real Christianity, acceptable to God and blessed by him when believed and practised with sincerity.

That does not mean that I take the view that there are no true Christians in other denominations, including Orthodoxy. Nor does it mean that I believe I have nothing to learn from Orthodoxy - else why join this forum?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on October 21, 2008, 12:08:42 PM
Shultz, I understand you weren't  aiming at me... :)

Oh! This is actually SO TRUE! But, are those things mentioned in parenthesis, lubeltri, truly exclusive to Protestantism? Are they so very wrong? Isn't this more like it was in the Early Church? I'm just afraid both the RCs and the Orthodox would  have a much better witness if we emphasized these things.

That's exactly what Peter Kreeft said! He said when Catholics "become better Protestants," they become better Catholics. The same goes for Orthodox. It's actually a great lecture, well worth listening to. http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/03_ecumenism.htm
I would say that Catholics and Orthodox Christians should just become better Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on October 21, 2008, 12:27:20 PM
Shultz, I understand you weren't  aiming at me... :)

Oh! This is actually SO TRUE! But, are those things mentioned in parenthesis, lubeltri, truly exclusive to Protestantism? Are they so very wrong? Isn't this more like it was in the Early Church? I'm just afraid both the RCs and the Orthodox would  have a much better witness if we emphasized these things.

That's exactly what Peter Kreeft said! He said when Catholics "become better Protestants," they become better Catholics. The same goes for Orthodox. It's actually a great lecture, well worth listening to. http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/03_ecumenism.htm
I would say that Catholics and Orthodox Christians should just become better Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

Peter Kreeft has a fondness for "cute" rhetorical flourishes, but the context I was getting at with that quote was enumerated in my previous post:

To take from Peter Kreeft (who says this with regard to Catholics), more Protestants will become Orthodox when more Orthodox become better Protestants (i.e. abandoning nominalism, growing in holiness, having a closer relationship with Christ, and showing the fruits of this relationship in their lives and in the Church).

Perhaps it would be better phrased as "More Evangelicals will become Orthodox when more Orthodox become better evangelicals" (Evangelicals not affiliated with the Anglicans, Lutherans, etc., are technically not Protestants, though their theology is an offshoot of the Reformation---perhaps we could call them "post-Protestant Evangelicals").

I think the growing camaraderie between orthodox Catholics and post-Protestant Evangelicals is well illustrated by groups like Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). I count a lot of Evangelicals among my friends. Many are great admirers of Benedict XVI and John Paul II---quite a few are also very interested in the Eastern tradition, though happy to remain themselves Evangelicals. (Added: I don't want to leave out orthodox Anglicans.)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: tuesdayschild on October 21, 2008, 12:48:30 PM
The other might be, “Why do Protestants remain Protestants?”

I recall reading Clendenin's Christianity Today cover article, "Why I'm Not Orthodox."  At the time, I was on the verge of becoming a serious inquirer into Orthodoxy, so I read with some trepidation.  I feared he would present an argument that would bring my journey to a halt, but I also knew that I could not avoid considering his case.  By the end of the piece, I had to laugh -- aloud in the middle of the library -- because he had no argument other than that he was committed to Protestant theology. 

Do Evangelical movements have a record of drunkards made sober, wife-beaters made caring husbands, thieves made honest, idlers made into trustworthy workers, blasphemers made into men who respect and love the Saviour? Have foul mouths been cleansed and filled with warm and lasting praise to Jesus Christ? Has society been changed for the better because of the leaven of Evangelicalism?

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."  John 20:31

Christ did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on October 21, 2008, 01:21:40 PM

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."  John 20:31

Christ did not come to make bad men good; He came to make dead men live.
AMEN!!!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 21, 2008, 05:44:29 PM
But let us consider Evangelicalism at its best, as it only fair also of Orthodoxy. Do Evangelical movements have a record of drunkards made sober, wife-beaters made caring husbands, thieves made honest, idlers made into trustworthy workers, blasphemers made into men who respect and love the Saviour? Have foul mouths been cleansed and filled with warm and lasting praise to Jesus Christ? Has society been changed for the better because of the leaven of Evangelicalism? Is their worship - at its best - Christ-centred? Does it glorify God as creator and sustainer of the world? Is the Holy Spirit honoured in the Trinity? Is it a religion of love for God and love for mankind? Does it do good?
Thank you, David. Excellent response. My question is, though, is Evangelicalism at its best the majority of Evangelicalism? From my experience in an evangelical Protestant church (18 years), I've found that Evangelicalism at its best is Orthodoxy. In other words, Orthodoxy is perfect Christianity, and every denomination that tries to follow Christ, if it succeeds, has no choice but to become Orthodox. Christ is the centre of Orthodoxy. God the Father is glorified. The Holy Spirit is honoured in a way not even the Pentecostals can match. Orthodoxy loves God and mankind to a greater extent than in any Protestant church, and it does more good.

So the question is not whether Protestantism is true (and I believe most Protestants have the truth), but whether it is most true. Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Truth, and the fullness of Christianity. There are other Christians, to be sure, but they all lack one or another of the aspects of Orthodoxy. When I discovered this, I had to become Orthodox. How could I, seeing the truth, then reject it?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 22, 2008, 04:22:58 AM
Tuesdayschild writes that Christ came, not to make bad men good, but to make dead men alive. You could not have written a truer word, and let’s thank God for it!

But is it not true that, once he has infused divine life into one who was dead in trespasses and sins, he begins to change the new Christian into his likeness, forming him into a Christ-like character? Call it sanctification, or theosis, or partaking of the divine nature (as in Peter’s epistle) – surely this is what God does when he makes the dead alive.

Does not every genuine Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant believe that real faith is a ‘faith that works by love’, to quote Paul (and a favourite theme of Wesley!)? James teaches the same. And our Lord himself said that ‘by their fruits you will know them’.

When I look at Evangelical movements and churches at their best, and I do see those fruits. So I conclude that, wherever else God may work in newness of life, in transforming character, in blessing, he certainly does so in the Evangelical context.  What I am therefore ‘rejecting’ (to use that word only because it is in the title of this correspondence) is not the idea that Orthodoxy produces true Christians (when believed and practised in humble faith), but Orthodoxy’s claim to be the only body in which he is doing so. That is why I remain where I am, and why I expect to experience God among us.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 22, 2008, 04:47:41 AM
Ytterbiumanalyst writes: My question is, though, is Evangelicalism at its best the majority of Evangelicalism?

This is a question which I cannot answer accurately statistically. I do not know. Certainly there are times of high tide and low tide, as it were. The 1730s to 1860s seem to me to provide examples of widespread, sustained blessing upon Evangelical life and work. At other times, and in other places, congregations dwindle, age, are even allowed to die out. Churches are sometimes in a very low state, when prayer, evangelism, personal devotion, and even the simple practice of loving one another are wanting. Whether the times of rich blessing, or of decline, are the majority, I suspect only God knows.

However, you need to know also where I have encountered Orthodoxy, and you may conclude that it is acceptable for me to ask the same question of you. My experience of Orthodoxy is in Kosova and Albania.

In Kosova, I have seen the burned, roofless shells of people’s houses, have seen the sign of the cross painted on a Moslem’s ruined home, have met the people whose family members were beaten up, or executed, or are simply missing, and I have seen the rows of graves with only numbers, no names, because the returning refugees did not know whose corpses were left lying round on the ground in their village. All this was done in the name of Serbian Orthodoxy, to drive out the Moslem unbelievers and recreate an Orthodox land. Would you have me assess Orthodoxy by all that?

It was only 100 years or so ago that, in Albania, Orthodox people were told it was no use praying in Albanian, as the Lord does not understand that language: prayer must be offered in Greek. I have seen the strings of garlic protecting houses from the evil eye, and the soft toys hung up to absorb the curses of envious neighbours trying to ruin the owners’ good fortune. Would you have me assess Orthodox theology by that?

Of course not! But equally I would not have you assess our churches by their worst deeds, members and workers. From within, I could probably enumerate more examples than you could!

If God is among you, and is also among us, to work in salvation, new life, and blessing, and if your desire and mine is consonant with the Apostle’s, whose longing was to know Christ and the power of his resurrection, is it not possible that there are gems of Christian truth and experience within Evangelicalism (at its best) from which you may benefit, and likewise that there are gems of Christian truth and experience within Orthodoxy from which I too may learn and benefit?

So I say, let us seek to build each other up, not to pull each other down.



Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on October 22, 2008, 10:21:08 AM
[Thank you, David. Excellent response. My question is, though, is Evangelicalism at its best the majority of Evangelicalism? From my experience in an evangelical Protestant church (18 years), I've found that Evangelicalism at its best is Orthodoxy. In other words, Orthodoxy is perfect Christianity, and every denomination that tries to follow Christ, if it succeeds, has no choice but to become Orthodox. Christ is the centre of Orthodoxy. God the Father is glorified. The Holy Spirit is honoured in a way not even the Pentecostals can match. Orthodoxy loves God and mankind to a greater extent than in any Protestant church, and it does more good.

So the question is not whether Protestantism is true (and I believe most Protestants have the truth), but whether it is most true. Orthodoxy is the fullness of the Truth, and the fullness of Christianity. There are other Christians, to be sure, but they all lack one or another of the aspects of Orthodoxy. When I discovered this, I had to become Orthodox. How could I, seeing the truth, then reject it?

It is that you write "From my experience" and "I've found" that seems to me to be a particular point.  From your personal experiences, you then say that "Orthodoxy is perfect Christianity" and in the second paragraph that EO is "the fullness of the Truth and the fullness of Christianity". Yet, I have read other people who have said the same thing about the RC.    They believe from *their* experiences that the RC is The Church and that they saw the truth and therefore cound not reject it.  And what of others who have not found "fullness" in either EO or RC?

I do not mean to be difficult or harping on one idea here and I apologize for any unintended offense. 

As another point, in all the years of hearing or reading the claim that one Church or another has "the Fullness" I have not found out clearly what is meant. 

Ebor

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 22, 2008, 11:36:12 AM
Ytterbiumanalyst writes: My question is, though, is Evangelicalism at its best the majority of Evangelicalism?

This is a question which I cannot answer accurately statistically. I do not know. Certainly there are times of high tide and low tide, as it were.
Yes, I have seen this too. It is unfortunate, and the broad range of religions within what we call "evangelicalism" makes summary difficult at best.

It is that you write "From my experience" and "I've found" that seems to me to be a particular point.  From your personal experiences, you then say that "Orthodoxy is perfect Christianity" and in the second paragraph that EO is "the fullness of the Truth and the fullness of Christianity". Yet, I have read other people who have said the same thing about the RC.    They believe from *their* experiences that the RC is The Church and that they saw the truth and therefore cound not reject it.  And what of others who have not found "fullness" in either EO or RC?
That is exactly my point. I found that Orthodoxy is doing what I always felt the evangelical churches should be doing. Orthodoxy is for me my former Protestant religion perfected. I have found in Her the fulfillment of the truth I always knew.

There are certainly others who do not share this story. Whether they are at a different point along the same path I walked or a different path altogether is not mine to decide or to know.

So I say, let us seek to build each other up, not to pull each other down.
Indeed. I hope you do not feel I was putting down Protestantism. I have nothing but respect for the  religion which introduced me to Christ.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: tuesdayschild on October 22, 2008, 02:02:40 PM
But is it not true that....

It is certainly true that no genuine Christian will be found to be a drunkard, a wife-beater, a thief, an idler, a blasphemer or foul-mouthed.  Anyone who claimed to be a Christian but indulges in these, we would call a hypocrite.

But even among those of non-Christian faiths, we can find what you call “the best” — sober, respectful, honest, hard-working, and even with good things to say about Christ (although not the fullness of truth, as ytterbiumanalyst highlights).

This is the interpretation of Mt. 7:20, “By their fruit you will recognize them” that St. John Chrysostom offers:

And by the figure of “false prophets,” here, I think He shadows out not the heretics, but them that are of a corrupt life, yet wear a mask of virtue; whom the generality are wont to call by the name of impostors. Wherefore He also said further, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
For amongst heretics one may often find actual goodness, but amongst those whom I was mentioning, by no means.

I suspect that you and I understand “sanctification” somewhat differently.  While I do agree that it refers to theosis, the partaking of the divine nature, I disagree that merely behaving well is evidence of it.  How can this be if, as St. John writes, “Amongst heretics one may often find actual goodness”?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 22, 2008, 04:47:24 PM
the partaking of the divine nature, I disagree that merely behaving well is evidence of it.   

Of course. Once again, you are absolutely right. A lastingly transformed life is one pointer, and a very significant one. But the indescribable yet immediately recognised oneness of fraternity and fellowship which is sensed between those who are in Christ is a deeper proof: real Christians recognise Christ in each other; there is, if you like, a sort-of 'family bond'. One feels it with very wealthy public-school types (in the English sense of 'public school'), with Albanian gypsies - even, if I may quote one contributor to this forum, with those Greek "non-entities" who are Christian but not Eastern Orthodox.

The question being addressed is, Why stay in an Evangelical church? if "stay in an Evangelical church" = "reject Orthodoxy". For me, the reasons I have given are persuasive; but it would be far richer to be able to talk of these matters face to face with a Christian Orthodox and to find that we recognise that brotherhood created by God between us as adopted sons in his family.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 22, 2008, 05:03:04 PM
in all the years of hearing or reading the claim that one Church or another has "the Fullness" I have not found out clearly what is meant. 

Ebor

I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Pentecostals believe they have the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whilst others do not;
  Calvinists believe the Augustinian view of sin and grace (including predestination) is at the heart of Christianity
  Brethren believe they have returned to the correct biblical way to organise a church
  Nazarenes (and similar 'Holiness' groups) believe in 'entire sanctification' sometimes called Christian perfection
  Charismatics believe groups outside their own movement are locked into the past and missing out on God's present work
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack
  Roman Catholics - well, I don't know, but I would guess the mass and the infallible pope are a significant part of it.

Actually I don't think we Baptists use this kind of terminology, though some of the remoter reaches of the Baptist churches do seem to feel that they - or almost they - are the only ones who have got it right. But happily I think they are comparatively few and far between.

I do think (reading the contributions to this forum) that you Orthodox have an exaggerated or distorted perception of division among Evangelicals - unless (I am not being sarcastic) it is a perception truer in America than in England and Wales. But more, perhaps, on the underlying unity and mutual acceptance among different 'brands' of Evangelical in a later posting.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: tuesdayschild on October 22, 2008, 05:27:07 PM
The question being addressed is, Why stay in an Evangelical church? if "stay in an Evangelical church" = "reject Orthodoxy". For me, the reasons I have given are persuasive....

Then you should remain where you are.  I think you should strive to be the best, most orthodox Evangelical you can be, until it becomes, as you see it, a sin to remain there. 

When I realized that being an Evangelical (a Baptist, in particular) was at odds with what I was coming to believe about the Church, that the Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic, I knew it was a sin for me to be anything other than Orthodox.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Nyssa The Hobbit on October 22, 2008, 07:06:21 PM
It goes in every direction.  It doesn't matter whether it's Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox--the person leaves one church and has a radical change of life/heart in a different one.  I know somebody who was raised Evangelical/Charismatic, even did the speaking in tongues and preached.  But eventually he decided it was all fake, and left.  After years of living in the world, he came back to Christ--in the Orthodox Church.  When he tells me what he was like before, I can hardly believe it because he just isn't that person anymore.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Nyssa The Hobbit on October 22, 2008, 07:12:39 PM
Nazarenes (and similar 'Holiness' groups) believe in 'entire sanctification' sometimes called Christian perfection

You are correct there.  I speak as a former Nazarene.

Quote
I do think (reading the contributions to this forum) that you Orthodox have an exaggerated or distorted perception of division among Evangelicals - unless (I am not being sarcastic) it is a perception truer in America than in England and Wales. But more, perhaps, on the underlying unity and mutual acceptance among different 'brands' of Evangelical in a later posting.

It may very well be a difference between America and the UK. 
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 22, 2008, 08:17:43 PM
in all the years of hearing or reading the claim that one Church or another has "the Fullness" I have not found out clearly what is meant. 

Ebor

I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Pentecostals believe they have the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whilst others do not;
  Calvinists believe the Augustinian view of sin and grace (including predestination) is at the heart of Christianity
  Brethren believe they have returned to the correct biblical way to organise a church
  Nazarenes (and similar 'Holiness' groups) believe in 'entire sanctification' sometimes called Christian perfection
  Charismatics believe groups outside their own movement are locked into the past and missing out on God's present work
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack
  Roman Catholics - well, I don't know, but I would guess the mass and the infallible pope are a significant part of it.

Actually I don't think we Baptists use this kind of terminology, though some of the remoter reaches of the Baptist churches do seem to feel that they - or almost they - are the only ones who have got it right. But happily I think they are comparatively few and far between.

I do think (reading the contributions to this forum) that you Orthodox have an exaggerated or distorted perception of division among Evangelicals - unless (I am not being sarcastic) it is a perception truer in America than in England and Wales. But more, perhaps, on the underlying unity and mutual acceptance among different 'brands' of Evangelical in a later posting.


Have you heard of landmark Baptists? OR Baptist briders? I was raised Baptist and some think that the Baptist church was started by John the Baptist. My own mother believed this, until I showed her that the Baptist church/churches was only 400 years old. I told her that they didn't come from the middle east, but from England, and from England to America.

So a good number of Baptists won't convert because they think their church/churches was the one started by John the Baptist. So I think for a good number of Baptists, it is a lack of education in "church history".

My mom also believes that one day all the churches will become one. She doesn't like all the division that she sees so she finds comfort in the idea that one day all the denominations will merge into one Church. I try to tell her that the more you go back into history the less division/denominations you will find. And if you keep going back then you will see that there was one church, and that church still exist. When I was protestant, I too held on to a similar belief that my mom has.

Another idea I found among some Baptists, is that everything will be sorted out once we all get to heaven. And I think this too is a reason why some Baptists stay Baptist. They feel that everything will be made right once we die. ...Or when Jesus comes back, so there is no need to change churches.

To be honest,

There are alot of different reasons why various protestants don't become Orthodox. What may be an issue for one Baptist, may not be an issue for another Baptist.......let alone another protestant.

It takes time, prayer, and alot of struggle with doctrine/doctrines, passions, cravings, and external worldy events that are beyond our control.


It took me 10 years, and it was a combination of all the above.


But I disagree with you about the distortion of a lack of unity between evangelicals. I use to be Protestant as well as a good number of Orthodox on this forum. I can't speak for them, but I can speak for my self when I say that the lack of unity among protestant evangelicals is real.

I was raised Baptist, but in my highschool and early college years, I was heavily inlfuenced by old school Pentecostalism and the less strict, do whatever you want Charismatics. I wasn't able to see alot of division in highschool, but I saw alot of it in college. The Church of Christ fought with other protestant groups over Baptismal regeneration, as well as other issues, The Methodhist had their wesly foundation (of which I was a part of), the Prespyterians had their campus outreach (in which I had a good time at), the Seventh day Adventists had their own group(in which I went too alot), the Oneness Pentecostals had their thing (I helped out with one of their events), there was an African(Nigeria) Pentecostal church called "Deeper Life", that had a campus ministry (I went to their thing alot as well).

And there were alot more groups as well. You had Baptists that were Reformed Baptists, some were Dispensational Baptists, others were what I would call Calminian Baptists, some were 4 point Calvinist Baptists. And you had Baptists that were more secular minded and liberal.

And we argued all the time. All the time........I repeat, we argued alot!!! So I know about the divisions within Protestantism. When I graduated from college I joined an Anglo-Catholic parish in the ECUSA (Episcopal Church).

But before then, I churched hopped, I visited all kinds of different protestant churches. I even visited a Greek Orthodox Church back then......but that's another story.

So I disagree with you. We are not distorting the lack of unity among protestants.

I was raised Baptist and the Baptist church I grew up in split 2 or 3 times. So you can't convince me that we distort the lack of unity among protestants. I love christian rap and mannnnn.........there is alot of fueding going on in the christian rap world between the Reformed, and Calvinistic christian rappers against the more Arminian, Word of Faith, Pentecostal and Charismatic christian rappers. I'm sure a similar thing is going on in the christian rock world.

So I must disagree with you, because eventhough I am no longer Protestant, I still keep an eye on whats happenning in Protestant land. I'm still friends with most of my protestant friends, so......I'm still in the know.







JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on October 22, 2008, 10:29:21 PM
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack
  Roman Catholics - well, I don't know, but I would guess the mass and the infallible pope are a significant part of it.

You'll find that your description of Orthodox is quite close to how Catholics identify themselves (though we do recognize the sacraments of other apostolic Churches not in perfect communion with us). The "infallible pope" idea is not the end of our Faith---the pope is just the divinely appointed caretaker-in-chief of the sacred and apostolic deposit of faith that sustains the Church. "Papal infallibility" is, as Youngfogey puts it, one part of our own understanding of the infallibility of the Church (a belief shared by Orthodox of their Church). It doesn't give the pope more power but less---it means the pope (thanks to the Holy Spirit) cannot impose on the Church as dogma any heresy in faith or morals ("gates of Hell shall never prevail" and all that).

As for the Mass, you are right, the Mass (and the Eucharist which makes the Mass the Mass) is the "source and summit" (to quote Vatican II) of the Catholic life. For Orthodox, the Divine Liturgy and the sacred mysteries celebrated therein are central to their faith as well.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 23, 2008, 06:49:36 AM
I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack.
Almost. We believe we are the true Church; yet it does not logically follow that we are the only true Church. Imagine you have a diamond in your hand, and you discover that this is a perfect diamond, flawless in every way, and when you weigh it, you discover that it is also the largest. Would you then say to yourself, "This is the best diamond I have ever seen. It therefore must be the only diamond in existence"? Of course not! In the same way, we are the true Church founded by Jesus Christ, but it is possible that there are other Christians who are devoted followers of the same Christ.

We have a saying in Orthodoxy: "We know where God is; we do not know where He is not."
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 23, 2008, 03:48:57 PM
 From jnorm888:  I think for a good number of Baptists, it is a lack of education in "church history"...

Another idea I found among some Baptists, is that everything will be sorted out once we all get to heaven.  

You are right on both counts. Baptists who are into church history will often trace their spiritual ancestry via the Anabaptists who were around before the Reformation, back through the Waldenses, and so to the early church. I think the lack of interest in church history is a feature of modern society in general, not merely of Evangelical Christians: anything not bang up to date is passé, outmoded, and irrelevant. They import this mindset, regrettably, into their religion. Personally, I love giving talks on church history at my local church and have ranged from the time of Aidan, through the Anglo-Saxon period, into the Middle Ages (Bernard of Clairvaux, Anselm, English mystics), on to early Baptists from ca 1611, Zinzendorf (1720s ff), the early Primitive Methodists (19th century), and up to the present. People seem to love it. But I feel sadly that many congregations do not get such teaching, and wouldn't want it if it were offered. Anything prior to 2008 is suspect: only the future is really important.

Regarding the second idea - I guess I think the same. I expect to sit down at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with people from all the movements mentioned above (oh, and the present Orthodox Church!) and to rejoice in our Saviour and our salvation, revelling in our unity as his Bride. Whether I'll remember having been a Baptist I have no idea. Will it matter?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 23, 2008, 04:02:18 PM
Regarding the second idea - I guess I think the same. I expect to sit down at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with people from all the movements mentioned above (oh, and the present Orthodox Church!) and to rejoice in our Saviour and our salvation, revelling in our unity as his Bride.
Amen.

Quote
Whether I'll remember having been a Baptist I have no idea. Will it matter?
Well, if you're at the Marriage Supper, then you have been saved. For me, as long as I'm there, it doesn't really matter how I arrived. I disagree with them in their idea of an invisible Church, but in this I believe the Baptists have the right idea: that all those who are saved are part of the Body of Christ, regardless of by what method they were saved. "For as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 23, 2008, 04:07:07 PM
From tuesdayschild: I think you should strive to be the best, most orthodox Evangelical you can be,  

Thank you. And when I read graciously and warmly written Orthodox material, I derive benefit. Recently I took a Bible study at our church on the Resurrection, saying we need to correct our balance, and whilst not losing our grasp of the DEATH of Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, we should also seek to develop a more Eastern appreciation of that first Easter by dwelling more than we do on his RESURRECTION and his victory thereby over death, the Devil, law and (of course) sin.

I have also come to a richer appreciation of the Lord's Supper. Taking the bread and wine has somehow become more precious, and I have more expectation of blessing in it, whether I am presiding at the Table leading the congregation, which I warmly love to do, or am one of the congregation. Orthodox writings haven't persuaded me of the need for episcopally ordained priests, and I have not weakened in my belief in the validity of the sacrament among us Baptists: but they have helped me value and appreciate it more.

We should learn from one another in a spirit of teachableness and love.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: tuesdayschild on October 23, 2008, 05:35:33 PM
Recently I took a Bible study at our church on the Resurrection, saying we need to correct our balance, and whilst not losing our grasp of the DEATH of Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, we should also seek to develop a more Eastern appreciation of that first Easter by dwelling more than we do on his RESURRECTION and his victory thereby over death, the Devil, law and (of course) sin.

Let me suggest that you add to this an appreciation for the Incarnation.  Without the Incarnation, death by crucifixion accomplishes nothing for our salvation.  Because of the Incarnation, Man enjoys victory over sin and death through the Resurrection.  I recommend On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandria.  Reading it may even give you greater insight regarding what Orthodox mean by theosis.

Taking the bread and wine...the validity of the sacrament among us Baptists

Clearly, your Baptists are not Baptist in the same sense as my Baptists were Baptist.  ;D
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on October 23, 2008, 05:49:46 PM
David,

It's a real blessing to hear from such a delightful Baptist as yourself here. Your words are gracious and full of wisdom. It would be a privilege to share, God willing, in that heavenly banquet with you.

My father is a Baptist, so I grew up going to a lot of Baptist services (every other week for years).

The Holy Spirit moves where He wills. No matter what Christian communion you are in, if for the cause of Christ you are living a fruitful life of faith, hope and love, and seek sincerely to do His will in humility, that is the work of the Holy Spirit and none other.


Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Asteriktos on October 23, 2008, 10:23:55 PM
Quote
We believe we are the true Church; yet it does not logically follow that we are the only true Church.

At first I would disagree with this, based on the idea that the body of Christ cannot be divided. But then I remember that my own jurisdiction says that the Church has been divided in some sense: ie. that the non-Chalcedonians are part of the Church despite the lack of unity for over a millenium. ???
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 24, 2008, 06:51:40 AM
FROM TUESDAYSCHILD: I recommend On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius of Alexandria.  

I enjoyed reading it in the RC nun's fairly recent translation, published anonymously by her nunnery in Wantage, and I have (but have not yet read) the older, undated translation by Herbert Bindley. In fact I was so nourished and warmed by the former, that I got copyright permission from the nunnery, and have arranged for a translation into Albanian to be produced in Tirana. It is currently with the translator, an excellent native Albanian linguist, though I first checked with the Orthodox seminary that they had not already produced a translation. We are also doing some Chrysostom.

It struck me as rather pleasing that a book should be written by an Orthodox theologian, translated by a Catholic nun, and published in Albania by Protestants.

In re 'wine' and 'sacrament': you are right; many Baptists prefer the word 'ordinance' to 'sacrament', and I use the word 'sacrament' carefully myself, there being no point in giving offence over a word. And sadly we use either de-alcoholised wine or pure red grape juice; though in Albania we use ordinary red wine bought from any shop.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 08:21:27 PM
I was protestant for many years.  However, as my years in Orthodoxy pass by I find it more and more difficult to remember what actually being protestant was like.

For me, the instant I encountered Orthodoxy I knew I had found home.  However, most all protestants I've shared with want nothing to do with the Orthodox Church... so this makes it even harder to connect with them.

There wasn't one single year as a protestant that I felt "fulfilled."  I was constantly seeking and learning about new denominations/religions, hoping to one day find ultimate fulfillment.  However, most protestants I know seem to be just fine with being "satisfied," but not "fulfilled" (or at least they try to pretend their satisfaction is actually fulfillment).

Protestants have heard the "this-is-the-real-deal" line about so many denominations… I suppose they just get sick of it and become callous, figuring that the idea of a "one true church/denomination" is just a fairy tale.  They conclude that their lack of feeling fulfilled must be their own fault for not trusting God enough, not being content with what God has given them, etc.  Then, to avoid sinking into despair, they "put on a happy face" and pretend that everything is "super-great" and "couldn't be better."  They continue in this state day after day after day.

So when someone comes along and tells them about Orthodoxy, they immediately fall into automatic-reject mode, and politely (sometimes not so politely) state that they are just fine with where they are.  The thing is, if they didn’t respond this way, then they would have to admit that all their years prior were not “super-great” and they could be accused of lying to others and themselves.  Of course, none of these circumstantial factors are the fault of protestants as individuals, but they can easily fall into despair over feeling personally responsible for these circumstances.

Protestants are like anyone else: they don’t want to get hurt.  They don’t want to open up a can of worms they’ve tried to pretend didn’t exist.  The older they are, the more years of suppression they’ve experienced.   If anyone says anything to them that could cause that deep reservoir of doubt and confusion to come back to the surface… then their defenses and red-flags immediately go up, warning that if they continue down this train of thought they will have to come-to-terms with months, years, decades of denial.

While I believe that the sacrifice required of a protestant to become Orthodox is most assuredly 100% worth it, I can also sympathize with protestants who are just too scared to take such a giant leap of faith.

Let us pray that the Lord will strengthen their hearts, and give them the courage needed to overcome the deceiver and enter into the fullness of the One True Body of Jesus Christ, Who is eternally glorified together with the Father and Holy Spirit.

Amen


Here is why I reject Catholicism:

1) They worship more than one God, Mary and our Father in heaven
2) They disobey God's word in; Matthew 23:9, Matthew 1:25, Colossians 2:8, Deuteronomy 11:18, and 4:15, Exodus 20:4,
3) They omit Commandments like Exodus 20:4 and the first two when they pray to people
4) They make up a different gospel than Paul preached which he condemns as false teaching in 2 Corinthians 11:4-15.

for starters.  ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 24, 2008, 08:23:10 PM
^ That may be your belief, but this thread is about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not Catholicism.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 08:25:39 PM
Here is why I reject Catholicism:

1) They worship more than one God, Mary and our Father in heaven
2) They disobey God's word in; Matthew 23:9, Matthew 1:25, Colossians 2:8, Deuteronomy 11:18, and 4:15, Exodus 20:4,
3) They omit Commandments like Exodus 20:4 and the first two when they pray to people
4) They make up a different gospel than Paul preached which he condemns as false teaching in 2 Corinthians 11:4-15.

for starters.  ;)

Hate to burst your bubble but you basically just totally ripped up a strawman there, and you pretty much have no clue what Roman Catholics believe and why.

Even though I am not Roman Catholic, your utter misunderstanding of Roman Catholicism prompts me to recommend a good book on the topic: "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" by Karl Keating.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 08:26:47 PM
^ That may be your belief, but this thread is about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not Catholicism.

Orthodoxy is another word for tradition which Jesus condemns, especially when one breaks the commandments for the sake of their tradition like the Catholics do when they omit Exodus 20:4 from the Ten Commandments...as if they can ever erase God's Word.  ::) It's blasphemy to think they can.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 08:29:12 PM
^ That may be your belief, but this thread is about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not Catholicism.

Orthodoxy is another word for tradition which Jesus condemns, especially when one breaks the commandments for the sake of their tradition like the Catholics do when they omit Exodus 20:4 from the Ten Commandments...as if they can ever erase God's Word.  ::) It's blasphemy to think they can.

We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  :P
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 08:34:01 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on October 24, 2008, 08:35:17 PM
Pay attention everyone; Carico has something she/he'd like to say to us. ::)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Veniamin on October 24, 2008, 08:36:49 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

If God wrote it, why is John telling us that in the book God supposedly wrote?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 08:38:27 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Quote
And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;)

I agree, which is why I left Protestantism and became Orthodox, because the Apostles were Orthodox! And the Bible they wrote in the context of the Church was Orthodox.

Quote
So since you don't know where to find God's word,

The Word of God, which according to John 1 is not the Bible but rather Christ, is someone I have known for awhile now...

Quote
then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

How do you know that the book you think is God's word is in fact God's word? (Hint, II Timothy 3:16 does not prove that the Bible is God's Word :))
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on October 24, 2008, 08:41:34 PM
Quote
Quote from: Carico on Today at 10:34:01 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Yeah even Protestants don't actually take this verse to mean that anyway.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 08:42:01 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

If God wrote it, why is John telling us that in the book God supposedly wrote?

Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ??? If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 08:45:46 PM


Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ??? If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. :)

1) Is the Holy Spirit God? If so or if not, why do you believe this?

2) Why do you believe the Bible is God's word?

3) Why would Jesus speak the Word of God when Jesus IS the Word of God?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 08:51:25 PM


Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ??? If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. :)

1) Is the Holy Spirit God? If so or if not, why do you believe this?

2) Why do you believe the Bible is God's word?

3) Why would Jesus speak the Word of God when Jesus IS the Word of God?

Since Jesus is Lord and he doesn't lie, Jesus said; "God is Spirit." He also said that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one, which I assume you believe as well if you adopt the trinity. That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son. So the Word is God and the Word is God the Son as well. Therefore the author of the bible wasn't people, but God Himself.


 Do you read the words of Christ? Or don't you believe that Jesus is Lord?  ???
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 24, 2008, 08:54:51 PM
^ No, The Word (Logos; Christ) does not come from the Holy Spirit. He was begotten of God the Father. And by the way, Protestants believe that too.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on October 24, 2008, 08:57:38 PM


Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ??? If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. :)

1) Is the Holy Spirit God? If so or if not, why do you believe this?

2) Why do you believe the Bible is God's word?

3) Why would Jesus speak the Word of God when Jesus IS the Word of God?

Since Jesus is Lord and he doesn't lie, Jesus said; "God is Spirit." He also said that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one, which I assume you believe as well if you adopt the trinity. That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son. So the Word is God and the Word is God the Son as well. Therefore the author of the bible wasn't people, but God Himself.


 Do you read the words of Christ? Or don't you believe that Jesus is Lord?  ???
First, take the time to learn what we Orthodox REALLY believe, THEN come back and question us.  Right now, your interrogation shows no knowledge of Orthodox beliefs, and--I would venture to say--very little of Roman Catholic beliefs, too.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 09:02:56 PM
^ No, The Word (Logos; Christ) does not come from the Holy Spirit. He was begotten of God the Father. And by the way, Protestants believe that too.
Since God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one and you claim that the bible doesn't come from the Holy Spirit, then it can't come from God the Father and God the Son either. So everything you say contradicts everything else you say. And since the truth holds no contradictions, then your words can't be the truth.  ;)

So where does the Word come from according to you? Satan? or the fallible minds of men which then makes the bible fallible and not trustworthy. Then you're back to not knowing where to find the words of God .
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on October 24, 2008, 09:04:40 PM
Time to kick him into "Moderated" status, please, please.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 09:07:10 PM
Time to kick him into "Moderated" status, please, please.

I think so since I've caught you in many contradictions.  ;)  But calling a mod won't make your contradictions go away. Sorry.  :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on October 24, 2008, 09:08:04 PM
I am pretty sure everyone here can handle this guy.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on October 24, 2008, 09:10:48 PM
^ No, The Word (Logos; Christ) does not come from the Holy Spirit. He was begotten of God the Father. And by the way, Protestants believe that too.
Since God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one and you claim that the bible doesn't come from the Holy Spirit, then it can't come from God the Father and God the Son either. So everything you say contradicts everything else you say. And since the truth holds no contradictions, then your words can't be the truth.  ;)

So where does the Word come from according to you? Satan? or the fallible minds of men which then makes the bible fallible and not trustworthy. Then you're back to not knowing where to find the words of God .

Ok brother just as a summary:

1) John 1:1-2 is actually refering to Jesus who is the eternal Logos (Greek word for "word") this is the protestant interpretation and the interpretation of all mainline churches.

2) You have no idea how offensive it is to question whether we believe in the Trinity because we had Matyrs in our church who died for this very fact.

3) We do believe in bible infallibility but not in a way you currently understand

4) Our beliefs have foundational differences which you should research instead of assuming were automatically heretical becasue we don't line up with your theological beliefs and interpretation of the bible which is only as old as you are, as opposed to the Orthodox interpretation of the bible which is believe it or not some as old as the apostles.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 24, 2008, 09:11:23 PM
First, take the time to learn what we Orthodox REALLY believe, THEN come back and question us.  Right now, your interrogation shows no knowledge of Orthodox beliefs, and--I would venture to say--very little of Roman Catholic beliefs, too.
I would say very little of Protestant beliefs as well.

you claim that the bible doesn't come from the Holy Spirit,
I made no such claim. I said that Christ does not come from the Holy Spirit. Look, you don't even bother to read the answers we give to you. The best thing you can do is to visit an Orthodox church with a mind that wants to learn, then ask honest questions. You don't have to believe as we do, but this sort of interrogation isn't going to help you find out.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Αριστοκλής on October 24, 2008, 09:16:53 PM
I am pretty sure everyone here can handle this guy.

Certainly. You've got time to babysit tonight, be my guest. He's a trollette.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on October 24, 2008, 09:19:50 PM
Good point.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 09:21:55 PM
Quote
2) You have no idea how offensive it is to question whether we believe in the Trinity because we had Matyrs in our church who died for this very fact.

It's your contradictions that make your statements offensive. So sorry, but you cannot claim that the bible is the Word of God and at the same time claim that they didn't come from the Holy Spirit since God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one. So until you make non-contradictory statements, your beliefs contradict the Word of God. How you can do that especially when you think so highly of the martyrs who died for the Word of God is what is offensive.  :-[
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 24, 2008, 09:23:37 PM
As we have said to you several times already: We do not claim that the Bible is the Word of God. We claim that Christ is the Word of God. Until you start actually reading what we write, you're never going to know the answers to your questions. But you don't really have any questions, do you?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 09:26:19 PM


Since Jesus is Lord and he doesn't lie, Jesus said; "God is Spirit."

Would you mind pointing out the verses you are using to support this?

Quote
He also said that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one, which I assume you believe as well if you adopt the trinity.

Since the Orthodox Church was the Church that formulated the Trinity doctrine at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, yeah we accept the Trinity.

Where does Jesus say that the Father and the Holy Spirit and Himself are one, in one place?

Quote
That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son.

That is not what John 1:1-2 says.

Quote
So the Word is God and the Word is God the Son as well.

This is true and I agree.

Quote
Therefore the author of the bible wasn't people, but God Himself.

But that is not what the verse is talking about. It is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the Logos (Christ, the Son, the Word of God).


Quote
Do you read the words of Christ? Or don't you believe that Jesus is Lord?  ???

Of course I read the words of Christ. But they don't say what you are thinking they are saying, at least as far as what you have written here.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Carico on October 24, 2008, 09:30:00 PM
Quote
But that is not what the verse is talking about. It is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the Logos (Christ, the Son, the Word of God).

Oh really? then the words of Christ in the bible aren't the word of God? Is that correct?  ??? If so, then where do you find the words of Christ? in your imagination? If so, then you worship an imaginary Jesus.  ;) So sorry, but every way you look at it, you contradict yourself. So try again.  ;)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 24, 2008, 09:33:04 PM
Quote
But that is not what the verse is talking about. It is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the Logos (Christ, the Son, the Word of God).

Oh really? then the words of Christ in the bible aren't the word of God? Is that correct? 
That is correct. Christ is the Word of God, not the Bible.

Quote
If so, then where do you find the words of Christ?
In the Bible. The Bible is the words of the Word of God.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: GiC on October 24, 2008, 09:34:14 PM
That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son.

Where does John 1:1-2 say that the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it says:

'εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος ουτος ην εν αρχη προς τον θεον'

I may just be loosing it...but I don't exactly see 'αγια πνευματι' anywhere in those verses, they just don't talk about the Holy Spirit.

But more importantly...please, give me some indication that you have ANY grasp of the concept of the Λογος in middle or neo-platonic thought.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 24, 2008, 09:39:07 PM
Quote
But that is not what the verse is talking about. It is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the Logos (Christ, the Son, the Word of God).

Oh really? then the words of Christ in the bible aren't the word of God? Is that correct? 

The Word of God = Christ, not a book.  Christ did not come to have a book written about him; he came and established a Church which is clear from the New Testament.  In that liturgical assembly, certain writings were selected as being reflective of the teaching about Christ the worshipers had heard from the Apostles.  These writings were later known as the New Testament and supplemented the Scriptures (which were considered the Old Testament).  Other writings were floating around but were rejected for being unorthodox.

Christ's words are indeed found in the Bible. Along with the words of the other Apostles, and the words of the prophets, etc.  Of course, these utterances have their inspiration in the Logos (the Word) of God who is Christ.  This Christ is the same Christ who appeared to Adam in the Garden of Eden and Moses in the burning Bush.


Quote
??? If so, then where do you find the words of Christ? in your imagination?

No need to be rude.


Quote
If so, then you worship an imaginary Jesus.  ;) So sorry, but every way you look at it, you contradict yourself. So try again.  ;)

Again, no need to be rude.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Salpy on October 24, 2008, 09:49:29 PM
Carico Dear,

You need to realize that many, if not most, of the people who actively post here are former Protestants or Evangelicals who became Orthodox.  They have already dealt with many of the assertions you are putting forth and were not convinced by them.

As a kid, I went to a Presbyterian Sunday school.  It was actually a good experience and I learned the Bible pretty well.  However, I was never quite comfortable with a few things, one of which was how glory that belonged to Christ alone was given to the Bible.  It was not uncommon to hear comments like:

The Bible is the Way.
The Bible is the Truth.
The Bible is the Word.
Our church is based on the Bible.

These are all things we should say only of Christ.  Only Christ is the Way and the Truth.  Only Christ is the Word.  Our Church must be based on Christ.

I am only saying these things because I want to warn you away from the possibility of setting up the Bible as a false God.  I think many people have made that mistake.


Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 25, 2008, 04:45:11 AM
The discussion is WHY DO PROTESTANTS  REJECT ORTHODOXY?

To address the nub of the question, surely it is for exactly the same two reasons as Orthodox reject Protestantism:

•   there are some things missing which they cherish
•   there are some things present which they disbelieve.

You know better than I do what those additional or missing features are that make you decide against Protestantism. The other way round:

•   The additional things in Orthodoxy which we set aside are the ones in Orthodox Tradition (doctrine and practice) which are not in the Bible. This is not an attempt to debate ‘sola scriptura’ against churchly Tradition; it is no more than an answer to the question Why? It does not address which ‘side’ is right or wrong.
•   The missing things in Orthodoxy which are cherished in Evangelicalism are (I believe) two principal ones:

1) The teaching of justification by faith as understood by Evangelicals; again, I am not here debating whether it is right or not (obviously, I do believe it), merely answering the question Why?

2) The assurance of one’s acceptance with God, one’s adoption as his child, in short of salvation: the inner witness of the Spirit. Please correct me if I am wrong, of course: whether I am right or not on Orthodoxy’s view of assurance, the PERCEPTION we Evangelicals have is that it is not a part of usual Orthodox teaching and experience.


Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on October 25, 2008, 08:19:07 AM
2) The assurance of one’s acceptance with God, one’s adoption as his child, in short of salvation: the inner witness of the Spirit. Please correct me if I am wrong, of course: whether I am right or not on Orthodoxy’s view of assurance, the PERCEPTION we Evangelicals have is that it is not a part of usual Orthodox teaching and experience.

Brother I can answer the second part. This is definately part of the christian experience and obviously then apart of the Orthodoxy. Personally I believe our sonship is manifested in our relationship with God and growing in it every day and this is our salvation as opposed to the judicial and legalistic understanding of sonship espoused by our evangelical brethren.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ialmisry on October 25, 2008, 08:26:21 AM
That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son.

Where does John 1:1-2 say that the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it says:

'εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος ουτος ην εν αρχη προς τον θεον'

I may just be loosing it...but I don't exactly see 'αγια πνευματι' anywhere in those verses, they just don't talk about the Holy Spirit.

But more importantly...please, give me some indication that you have ANY grasp of the concept of the Λογος in middle or neo-platonic thought.

Or, for that matter, Biblical, Johannine or Patristic thought.

Btw, nice to see that not all those years in the seminary were totally waster, Greeki.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ialmisry on October 25, 2008, 08:34:29 AM
Quote
But that is not what the verse is talking about. It is not talking about the Bible. It is talking about the Logos (Christ, the Son, the Word of God).

Oh really? then the words of Christ in the bible aren't the word of God? Is that correct?  ??? If so, then where do you find the words of Christ? in your imagination? If so, then you worship an imaginary Jesus.  ;) So sorry, but every way you look at it, you contradict yourself. So try again.  ;)

Sure they are the words of Christ, like Luke 10:16: "The person who listens to you listens to Me, and the person who rejects you rejects Me. The person who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me."  Since He said that to the Apostles, whom you never met, to whom are you listening?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ialmisry on October 25, 2008, 08:37:07 AM
As we have said to you several times already: We do not claim that the Bible is the Word of God. We claim that Christ is the Word of God. Until you start actually reading what we write, you're never going to know the answers to your questions. But you don't really have any questions, do you?

Actually, we claim that Christ is God the Word.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ialmisry on October 25, 2008, 08:55:29 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.

That's just your problem, Carico: you CAN'T go with them, as you never witnessed their life and words, unless you are going to claim that John, Matthew and Peter appeared to you a la Joseph Smith.

John, Matthew, Peter and the rest of the Apostles appointed bishops in their stead (e.g. Titus 1:5), whose lines continue to this day.  We know them, and thus John, Matthew and Peter.  And it is their Churches, i.e. the Orthodox Church, that put together and preserved their writings that make up the Bible.  If you don't trust our judgment in matters of Faith, how can you trust that we got all that transmission of the Scritptures right?

As Luke 10:16 states "The person who listens to you listens to Me, and the person who rejects you rejects Me. The person who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me" you are going AGAINST, not with, SS John, Matthew and Peter.

Quote
  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o

Explain how you get the Bible, except through us.

Quote
Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

You follow an interpretation of the Bible imagined just over a century ago. You have to explain the prior nearly two millenia.  Sorry.


Fixed quote tags  -PtA
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 25, 2008, 09:00:16 AM
First of all, David, thank you for bringing us back on topic. I'll try to help.

1) The teaching of justification by faith as understood by Evangelicals; again, I am not here debating whether it is right or not (obviously, I do believe it), merely answering the question Why?
Evangelicals do often misunderstand this. We do believe in justification by faith, and though it is not exactly as evangelicals do, it's pretty close. We believe that salvation is a gift of God, that Christ's Death and Resurrection provided us the way to be saved. We believe that no works we could ever do will earn us salvation, and that the only way to be saved is through faith in Christ Jesus. Sound a lot like the evangelicals? There's a reason for it. The only way we differ is in our definition of faith. Whereas to evangelicals, faith is merely a belief, we claim that faith is the ability to receive God. Faith is a condition of the heart, not of the mind. Works will not save, but works are the evidence of faith. Where there are no good works, there is not likely to be faith either. I think evangelicals see our emphasis on living the Christian life and misinterpret it to mean that we are trying to earn salvation.

2) The assurance of one’s acceptance with God, one’s adoption as his child, in short of salvation: the inner witness of the Spirit. Please correct me if I am wrong, of course: whether I am right or not on Orthodoxy’s view of assurance, the PERCEPTION we Evangelicals have is that it is not a part of usual Orthodox teaching and experience.
No, we do have assurance of salvation, but again, it's not as the evangelicals understand it. It's not that we are not certain we will be saved, but that we are not convinced that one prayer, one decision, is going to save us. Our assurances of salvation are confession (I John 1:8-10), repentance (II Cor 7:9-10), and forgiveness (Mark 11:25-26). If we do these things, we will be saved. Salvation is not a one-time decision; it is a lifestyle. It is a good start to decide to life a godly life, but unless one actually follows through on that decision, ultimately it is meaningless. So it's not that we are not assured, but that our assurances are not words but actions.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 25, 2008, 09:42:06 AM
Reply to ytterbiumanalyst

Er.. are you Evangelical or am I Orthodox?! I agree with everything you say. Maybe we're both CHRISTIAN!

Though I do have an American Baptist friend who seems to take the view you refer to: "convinced that one prayer, one decision, is going to save us". I don't think many (if any) Evangelicals here in Wales and England would believe that.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: prodromas on October 25, 2008, 09:54:40 AM
Reply to ytterbiumanalyst

Er.. are you Evangelical or am I Orthodox?! I agree with everything you say. Maybe we're both CHRISTIAN!

Though I do have an American Baptist friend who seems to take the view you refer to: "convinced that one prayer, one decision, is going to save us". I don't think many (if any) Evangelicals here in Wales and England would believe that.

See we aren't that scary brother :D
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 25, 2008, 11:06:10 AM
Reply to ytterbiumanalyst

Er.. are you Evangelical or am I Orthodox?! I agree with everything you say. Maybe we're both CHRISTIAN!
I think so. :)

Quote
Though I do have an American Baptist friend who seems to take the view you refer to: "convinced that one prayer, one decision, is going to save us". I don't think many (if any) Evangelicals here in Wales and England would believe that.
Good. Yes, my experience with the evangelical movement is limited to the United States. It's good to hear things are different in other places.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: lubeltri on October 25, 2008, 12:26:20 PM
First of all, David, thank you for bringing us back on topic. I'll try to help.

1) The teaching of justification by faith as understood by Evangelicals; again, I am not here debating whether it is right or not (obviously, I do believe it), merely answering the question Why?
Evangelicals do often misunderstand this. We do believe in justification by faith, and though it is not exactly as evangelicals do, it's pretty close. We believe that salvation is a gift of God, that Christ's Death and Resurrection provided us the way to be saved. We believe that no works we could ever do will earn us salvation, and that the only way to be saved is through faith in Christ Jesus. Sound a lot like the evangelicals? There's a reason for it. The only way we differ is in our definition of faith. Whereas to evangelicals, faith is merely a belief, we claim that faith is the ability to receive God. Faith is a condition of the heart, not of the mind. Works will not save, but works are the evidence of faith. Where there are no good works, there is not likely to be faith either. I think evangelicals see our emphasis on living the Christian life and misinterpret it to mean that we are trying to earn salvation.

2) The assurance of one’s acceptance with God, one’s adoption as his child, in short of salvation: the inner witness of the Spirit. Please correct me if I am wrong, of course: whether I am right or not on Orthodoxy’s view of assurance, the PERCEPTION we Evangelicals have is that it is not a part of usual Orthodox teaching and experience.
No, we do have assurance of salvation, but again, it's not as the evangelicals understand it. It's not that we are not certain we will be saved, but that we are not convinced that one prayer, one decision, is going to save us. Our assurances of salvation are confession (I John 1:8-10), repentance (II Cor 7:9-10), and forgiveness (Mark 11:25-26). If we do these things, we will be saved. Salvation is not a one-time decision; it is a lifestyle. It is a good start to decide to life a godly life, but unless one actually follows through on that decision, ultimately it is meaningless. So it's not that we are not assured, but that our assurances are not words but actions.

Ytter, those two explanations are among the best I've ever heard regarding the Catholic/Orthodox understanding of faith and justification and assurance of salvation.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Marc1152 on October 25, 2008, 01:03:33 PM
But let us consider Evangelicalism at its best, as it only fair also of Orthodoxy. Do Evangelical movements have a record of drunkards made sober, wife-beaters made caring husbands, thieves made honest, idlers made into trustworthy workers, blasphemers made into men who respect and love the Saviour? Have foul mouths been cleansed and filled with warm and lasting praise to Jesus Christ? Has society been changed for the better because of the leaven of Evangelicalism? Is their worship - at its best - Christ-centred? Does it glorify God as creator and sustainer of the world? Is the Holy Spirit honoured in the Trinity? Is it a religion of love for God and love for mankind? Does it do good?<<<


The same good results can be claimed by your local Buddhist group, Christian Scientists and The Ethical Society.

However, I do agree that the power of the Scriptures, even alone, can be good and wholesome and salvic if it is not too warped by various heresies.

I was at a funeral this weekend at the "Church of the Brethren" waaaay out in the country. Very minimalist. The Gospel Readings and testimony of various members of the congregation were impressive and all to the good . What they lack is everything else the actual Apostolic Church offers. We use the Hospital metaphor a lot but it was on my mind while I was there. Every medicine should be used to heal us spiritually and transform us into the likeness of Christ.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: SolEX01 on October 25, 2008, 02:12:01 PM
.... What they lack is everything else the actual Apostolic Church offers. We use the Hospital metaphor a lot but it was on my mind while I was there. Every medicine should be used to heal us spiritually and transform us into the likeness of Christ.

In another thread (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18031.msg262772.html#msg262772), I wrote about walking out of a support group when one Pentecostal woman (whose group has seemingly infiltrated the support group) gave her personal testimony about finding Jesus, which seemingly helped cure her of thyroid cancer, and talked about hearing voices and referring to herself as "wacko" in the next breath.  I guess I was upset when the Pentecostal group brought a self-admitted drug addict into the support group while the facillitator did not bother (at the last meeting) to announce in advance the presence of said group.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 25, 2008, 03:48:34 PM
FROM TUESDAYSDCHILD "Taking the bread and wine... "...Clearly, your Baptists are not Baptist in the same sense as my Baptists were Baptist

Ah! Suddenly occurred to me (days later!) that you are probably referring at least partly to the practice prevalent among American Evangelicals (including Baptists) of not drinking  alcohol at all - being teetotal. That's pretty much a dead issue here in England and Wales, though of course teetotal Baptists still exist and are respected for their convictions (providing they live up to them privately and don't try to force them on others: similarly, of course, those who drink would be utterly discourteous to try to persuade teetotallers to indulge. In our church here in Wrexham we co-exist quite happily and the matter never crops up.). Even my American Baptist friends raise no objection to the wine at dinner when they come to my home; though at their home we get (and only expect) fruit juice to wash down their glorious Mexican dinners. Two Evangelicals having earnest spiritual conversation, sharing fellowship in Christ, over a pint of ale in a pub is no rare thing here.

That's hardly central to "Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?" Nonetheless, it might be peripherally relevant to this 'thread': for it does seem to me, here among the drizzle and cloud of Wales, that quite a lot of what you good American Orthodox post about Evangelicals is actually not about Evangelicalism, but about its culturally American manifestation. In  fact, quite a bit of what you write is strikingly similar (dare I admit it?) to what we English Evangelicals say - or at least think! - about our American Evangelical brothers and sisters.

Vice versa, as I have written before, my proximity to Orthodoxy has been only in Kosova and southern Albania - and minimally Greece - and maybe some things I think are not strictly appropriate to Orthodoxy in the USA.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: John of the North on October 25, 2008, 04:56:25 PM
David, may I recommend you contact Fr. Gregory Hallam?? I know he is not that close to you (well he is fairly close by Canadian standards haha) but with no local Orthodox presence, he is your best bet I think. His website was the start of my initial push into Orthodoxy. Great resoource!

orthodox (at) clara (dot) net

http://www.orthodox.clara.net/Resources/resources3.htm

Yours in Christ
John
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Anastasios on October 25, 2008, 04:57:03 PM
As we have said to you several times already: We do not claim that the Bible is the Word of God. We claim that Christ is the Word of God. Until you start actually reading what we write, you're never going to know the answers to your questions. But you don't really have any questions, do you?

Actually, we claim that Christ is God the Word.

And we claim he is the Word of God, in the O Monogenes.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: PeterTheAleut on October 25, 2008, 05:01:10 PM
Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ???
"We believe in the Holy Spirit ... who spoke by the prophets."  -from the Nicene Creed, which Orthodox Christians read during every Divine Liturgy

Do you not also know that the same apostle, St. Paul, who spoke thus of the Scriptures to St. Timothy, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Timothy 3:16), also spoke this of the Church in his former epistle to the same St. Timothy: "... the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15)?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: BrotherAidan on October 26, 2008, 02:46:17 AM
Quote
Quote from: Carico on Today at 10:34:01 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Yeah even Protestants don't actually take this verse to mean that anyway.

For sure. I never once encountered anyone as a protestant who read those verses as being about the scriptures. Even if all one had is the English translation and had not ever heard or read of the Greek word logos, it would be hard to take John 1:1-2 as referring to anything/one else other than a Person - Jesus the Christ. Especially when one gets to verse 14!
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: BrotherAidan on October 26, 2008, 02:51:08 AM


That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son.




This is a rather interesting take on the filioque debate. It seems here you have the Father and Son proceeding from the Spirit!?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: tuesdayschild on October 26, 2008, 06:43:41 PM
Ah! Suddenly occurred to me (days later!) that you are probably referring...

You were correct in both instances.  I meant that the Baptists of my acquaintance would never think of drinking anything alcoholic and would never describe the Lord's Supper as a sacrament.

That's hardly central to "Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?"

In my experience, it is why some Protestants reject Orthodoxy.  Sacraments are sometimes viewed as works-righteiousness, which is why the preferred term among these Protestants is, as you suggested, "ordinance."

quite a lot of what you good American Orthodox post about Evangelicals is actually not about Evangelicalism

You may be right about that.  The Baptists I refer to would more properly be called Fundamentalists, according to the Religion Style Book (http://www.religionstylebook.org/styleE.php (http://www.religionstylebook.org/styleE.php)):

evangelical: By definition, all Christians are evangelicals. The word evangelical is derived from the Greek evangelion, which means “good news” or “gospel.” But the term evangelical has generally come to mean Protestants who emphasize personal conversion; evangelism; the authority, primacy — and, usually — inerrancy of the Bible; and the belief that Jesus’ death reconciled God and humans. Evangelicals tend to be conservative theologically, but the terms evangelical and conservative Christian are not synonymous, though they both may apply to the same people. Fundamentalists, who generally separate themselves from what they see as a sinful culture, are distinct from evangelicals, who tend to embrace culture and use it to build up the church....  In Europe, evangelical is a generic word for Protestants.

Where do your Baptists fit into such a scenario?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 27, 2008, 07:30:26 AM
the term evangelical has generally come to mean Protestants who emphasize personal conversion; evangelism; the authority, primacy — and, usually — inerrancy of the Bible; and the belief that Jesus’ death reconciled God and humans. ... In Europe, evangelical is a generic word for Protestants.[/color]


Yes: in fact, I was considering putting these very four features of Evangelicalism on to the thread msyelf, to aid clarity of understanding and discussion, though I would not have included inerrancy as 'usually', though of course many Evangelicals are inerrantists.

As regards Europe, I wonder whether you mean Germany and other German-speaking countries, where (I believe) evangelisch = Lutheran. But I think in France évangélique does mean Evangelical as you and I understand it, and certainly in Albania and Kosova ungjillor = Evangelical, and in Wales efengylaidd = Evangelical.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 27, 2008, 07:56:50 AM
Fundamentalists, who generally separate themselves from what they see as a sinful culture, are distinct from evangelicals,

Where do your Baptists fit into such a scenario?

I think that inerrantists may deem that some passages (e.g. Genesis 1-11) are not intended by The Holy Spirit to be taken literally in the same way that a history book or newspaper report is expected to in the 21st century, but they do believe it contained no errors when originally penned. They believe therefore that there were no real discrepancies between numbers, dates, generations, names and so on when the passages (like Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, or New Testament references to Old Testament passages) were originally penned: any discrepancies are either misunderstandings, or the result of later errors by scribes. But Fundamentalists tend to take a literal (as well as inerrant) view: e.g. God created the world in 144 hours not long ago; Noah's flood covered the entire globe to the depth stated in Genesis; and so on. Many (like Ken Ham) go so far as to say that anyone who does not share their view of Genesis has also lost his hold on Christ's Gospel. And yes, Fundamentalists are probably heavier on their emphasis on separation from 'the world'.

As to where we in Wrexham fit in: like all Baptist churches, we are an autonomous local church (I was tempted to write autocephalous!), in voluntary association and fellowship with other churches of similar outlook. For membership, we require a credible profession of Christian faith, and baptism by immersion having taken place after coming to faith. We do not require baptism for admittance to the Lord's Table, though many churches do. (I can see arguments either way and am happy to leave that to the judgement of each local church.)

We certainly have teetotalers, inerrantists, Fundamentalists in membership, and such matters are not raised in meetings of the church, though they will form part of conversation privately between members in contexts unlikely to give offence. For all I know, we may even have one or two who believe in the theory of evolution, though they would keep it to themselves. Formally, the church is committed to inerrancy, but one is not required to assent to every clause in the fairly detailed statement of faith; it would however be discourteous to question the inerrancy clause in public, and I think we treat each other with courtesy. We tend to attract people from other backgrounds, for example we have had Evangelical Anglicans and Methodists because they felt their chuches in this town were not Evangelical; Brethren, who felt theirs is too narrow here; and so on. We aim for breadth of tolerance, whilst abiding firmly in the four essential characteristics you list in your posting.

It seems to me that this thread has in fact diversified into four threads:
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Rosehip on October 27, 2008, 10:31:18 AM
Quote
Quote from: Carico on Today at 10:34:01 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2.

That is not even what that verse says! lol

Yeah even Protestants don't actually take this verse to mean that anyway.

For sure. I never once encountered anyone as a protestant who read those verses as being about the scriptures. Even if all one had is the English translation and had not ever heard or read of the Greek word logos, it would be hard to take John 1:1-2 as referring to anything/one else other than a Person - Jesus the Christ. Especially when one gets to verse 14!

Hmmm...in my former (fundamentalist, I suppose it would have been) denomination, the belief that the "Word of God" equals the Bible was quite standard and rampant. When once I tried to explain that these verses are referring not to the Bible, but to Christ , many people became very upset and basically accused me of spreading heresy.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Papist on October 27, 2008, 12:18:59 PM
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God."
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM
I am assuming that the question, “Why do Protestants reject Orthodoxy?” is being asked sincerely, with a genuine desire to understand our mindset, and not as some sort of rhetorical phrasing.
In an earlier posting, I dealt with the probable doctrinal explanation, writing about justification by faith and assurance of salvation. I need add no more here.
I think there are two further fields of explanation which  might help sincere inquirers.
1) You need to understand that we Protestants grow up with an awareness and acceptance of genuine Christian brothers and sisters in a variety of genuinely Christian denominations. Some Protestants, of course, do reject Orthodoxy entirely as not being a true Christian church, probably mainly for the doctrinal reasons mentioned in my earlier posting. Others accept the Orthodox as a true Christian church, but only as one denomination among many. We do not have a problem with that; we have no concept of a “one true true”. With such Protestants, what is rejected is not the Orthodox Church, but its claim to be the only church. Your doctrines of the Trinity and the Person of Christ make you entirely acceptable to such Protestants as one true Christian denomination among many. This is partly why I keep repeating in my postings that the word ‘reject’ is too harsh, or too total, to define the attitude of such Protestants towards your church.
2) Secondly, there are, from my experience, four kinds of Orthodox, and they are all duplicated among Protestants:
- There are warm, Christ-centred believers who are true, humble disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ whom we all seek to serve.
- There are intolerant zealots who dismiss all others in harsh, ungracious language.
- There are those who take the name Orthodox but never go to church and have no place for religion in their lives beyond a few cultural ‘rites of passage’.
- There are those who go through the motions of the ceremonies without understanding or even caring what it is really and inwardly all about: the ritual is enough (they think) to save them.
Now I hasten to repeat that I have met Protestants also in all these categories. Writing now entirely from a personal perspective, I believe that the first category of Orthodox have a lot to teach me. To take just one example, you seem to have a deeper reverence for the Incarnation. Of course we believe exactly what you do about it, but we make so little of it, whilst you seem to meditate on it and to seek to appreciate it. Teach me that! And doubtless much more. [This of course is why I am on the forum: not to convert you to becoming Evangelicals, nor for you to draw me into your church - despite my 'warned' status.] I also believe that, if we accepted one another as being ‘in Christ’, then the exchange of teaching and learning more of him could be mutual.
The second category I find unattractive, unconvincing and often bigoted in any church.
The third and fourth I do reject as not being true believers, not children of God by adoption, and would say, to take a phrase beloved of us Evangelicals, that they urgently need to be ‘born again’.
I hope this helps in some way towards understanding.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 30, 2008, 10:14:43 AM
From jnorm888:  I think for a good number of Baptists, it is a lack of education in "church history"...

Another idea I found among some Baptists, is that everything will be sorted out once we all get to heaven.  

You are right on both counts. Baptists who are into church history will often trace their spiritual ancestry via the Anabaptists who were around before the Reformation, back through the Waldenses, and so to the early church. I think the lack of interest in church history is a feature of modern society in general, not merely of Evangelical Christians: anything not bang up to date is passé, outmoded, and irrelevant. They import this mindset, regrettably, into their religion. Personally, I love giving talks on church history at my local church and have ranged from the time of Aidan, through the Anglo-Saxon period, into the Middle Ages (Bernard of Clairvaux, Anselm, English mystics), on to early Baptists from ca 1611, Zinzendorf (1720s ff), the early Primitive Methodists (19th century), and up to the present. People seem to love it. But I feel sadly that many congregations do not get such teaching, and wouldn't want it if it were offered. Anything prior to 2008 is suspect: only the future is really important.

Regarding the second idea - I guess I think the same. I expect to sit down at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with people from all the movements mentioned above (oh, and the present Orthodox Church!) and to rejoice in our Saviour and our salvation, revelling in our unity as his Bride. Whether I'll remember having been a Baptist I have no idea. Will it matter?

If you don't mind me asking, what is the time of Aidan? I like Church history as well. I have a personal nitch for Protestant history as well as the first 4 hundred years of Christianity, but I never heard that term before. What is the "time of Aidan"?

In regards to your second answer, I will say, that I understand how you feel. I use to feel the sameway. My own mother still feels this way. And my personal oppinion now is that it may be due to the problem of Baptist congregations constantly splitting.

The Baptist Church I was raised in split a number of times. I recall beef between the deacon board and the pastor or the deacon board pretty much controling the congregation, and the pastor trying to fight for control or for more breathing room to preach certain things. And you have people in the church taking sides. Some side with the deacon board while others with the pastor........and before you know it........half the people of the church moves out, and set up shop down the block.


So I think that after seeing a number of splits, our minds become numb, and we don't see it as a bad thing. And to ease our conscience, we create false hope. False hope that Jesus will be happy with division. False hope that Jesus will overlook division.


Saint Paul talks about partaking of the Lord's body unworthily.

In 1st Corinthians chapter 11 verse 17 to 18, he talks about "divisions among people".

KJV
1 Corinthians 11:17-18
"Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it."


And in verse 27 he talks about partaking of the cup unworthily.


KJV
1 Corinthians 11:27
"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."



And when we look at what Paul says in the book of Galations about "dissensions/seditions, and factions/heresies" ....well...what you said above is a cool dream, but it ignores the fruit of the flesh of "Division". And how the Lord looks at that.

Galatians 5:19-21
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."




I hope I wasn't mean by saying this, but if we are going to partake of the same cup together then we can't fool ourselves. For we really have to be one. For one aspect of partaking of the Lord's supper means that we really are in "full communion", and that we believe alike. We shouldn't pretend that we are united when we are not. For that would be partaking of the Lord's cup unworthily, and I don't think you and I would want to do that.




If I was mean to you, please let me know.


Take care





JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 30, 2008, 10:25:57 AM
^ That may be your belief, but this thread is about why Protestants reject Orthodoxy, not Catholicism.

Orthodoxy is another word for tradition which Jesus condemns, especially when one breaks the commandments for the sake of their tradition like the Catholics do when they omit Exodus 20:4 from the Ten Commandments...as if they can ever erase God's Word.  ::) It's blasphemy to think they can.

What about your tradition? I would rather have the tradition that Jesus and the Apostles passed down than the one you maybe holding on to.








JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 30, 2008, 10:34:01 AM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 30, 2008, 10:42:51 AM


Do you know that the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets, disciples, and the apostles? Or not? ??? If not, then I'm afraid you won't know where to find God's word and thus can't know who God is. You also then are saying that Jesus didn't speak the Word of God if you claim that his words in the bible are not from God.  So I'm afraid you're fresh out of luck when you die unless you find God. :)

1) Is the Holy Spirit God? If so or if not, why do you believe this?

2) Why do you believe the Bible is God's word?

3) Why would Jesus speak the Word of God when Jesus IS the Word of God?

Since Jesus is Lord and he doesn't lie, Jesus said; "God is Spirit." He also said that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are all one, which I assume you believe as well if you adopt the trinity. That means, as John 1:1-2 says, that since the Word comes from the Holy Spirit, it also comes from God the Father and God the Son. So the Word is God and the Word is God the Son as well. Therefore the author of the bible wasn't people, but God Himself.


 Do you read the words of Christ? Or don't you believe that Jesus is Lord?  ???


The author of the words of the Bible is both 100% God and 100% Man........Just as Jesus is both 100% God and 100% man.

The words of the Bible is "incarnate".....if it wasn't then we wouldn't be able to read it! So it's Both God and man.






JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 30, 2008, 11:04:36 AM
If you don't mind me asking, what is the time of Aidan?

if we are going to partake of the same cup together then ... we really have to be one.

If I was mean to you, please let me know.

JNORM888

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (died 651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. St Aidan’s Orthodox Church in Manchester is named after him. You can read a lot about him via google, or in published material. A real Christian hero, an inspiring example for us.

"We really have to be one": you are quite right. But we believe we really are one with Christians of other denominations - one that is in a shared sonship in Christ and love for one another, despite varying opinions on (for Evangelicals) non-central issues. But if there is broken fellowship, bad feeling, resentment, then it would indeed be partaking unworthily.

"If I was mean": not at all. We shall never understand each other if we are not frank with each other.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 30, 2008, 11:27:52 AM
Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (died 651), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in England. St Aidan’s Orthodox Church in Manchester is named after him. You can read a lot about him via google, or in published material. A real Christian hero, an inspiring example for us.
Indeed. If we have a boy, we are strongly considering naming him for St. Aidan.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on October 30, 2008, 11:42:34 AM
in all the years of hearing or reading the claim that one Church or another has "the Fullness" I have not found out clearly what is meant. 

Ebor

I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Pentecostals believe they have the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, whilst others do not;
  Calvinists believe the Augustinian view of sin and grace (including predestination) is at the heart of Christianity
  Brethren believe they have returned to the correct biblical way to organise a church
  Nazarenes (and similar 'Holiness' groups) believe in 'entire sanctification' sometimes called Christian perfection
  Charismatics believe groups outside their own movement are locked into the past and missing out on God's present work
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack
  Roman Catholics - well, I don't know, but I would guess the mass and the infallible pope are a significant part of it.

Actually I don't think we Baptists use this kind of terminology, though some of the remoter reaches of the Baptist churches do seem to feel that they - or almost they - are the only ones who have got it right. But happily I think they are comparatively few and far between.

I do think (reading the contributions to this forum) that you Orthodox have an exaggerated or distorted perception of division among Evangelicals - unless (I am not being sarcastic) it is a perception truer in America than in England and Wales. But more, perhaps, on the underlying unity and mutual acceptance among different 'brands' of Evangelical in a later posting.

Thank you for a thoughtful reply.  Just to be clear, I am not EO nor RC nor OO.  I am Anglican, but they let me hang about and post here anyway.  ;) :)

Considering what you have written above and what I have heard or read in the past, it seems that the "fullness" is what the person believes to be what is needful and that their group has some that all others lack.  I mean no disrespect to anyone, I assure you, in this thought.  I haven't heard this from any Anglicans, but then we have places for high and low church, evangelical and others.

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Ebor on October 30, 2008, 11:48:31 AM
I have some idea, though certainly not comprehensive and probably quite inaccurate at least in some cases because I write as an outsider. It seems to me that:
  Orthodox (you know better than I!) believe they are the only true church and (am I right?) cherish their Tradition and sacraments which other denomiations lack.
Almost. We believe we are the true Church; yet it does not logically follow that we are the only true Church. Imagine you have a diamond in your hand, and you discover that this is a perfect diamond, flawless in every way, and when you weigh it, you discover that it is also the largest. Would you then say to yourself, "This is the best diamond I have ever seen. It therefore must be the only diamond in existence"? Of course not! In the same way, we are the true Church founded by Jesus Christ, but it is possible that there are other Christians who are devoted followers of the same Christ.

We have a saying in Orthodoxy: "We know where God is; we do not know where He is not."

Well, I'm not trying to be difficult in looking at your example, but going along with it, how would one *know* it is the largest as opposed to the largest known so far?  Could it is a part of a larger diamond that one does not see/know of?  And there still seems to be a subjective element "best diamond *I* have ever seen..."   as opposed to a claim that something *is* objectively.   

Ebor
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ytterbiumanalyst on October 30, 2008, 12:00:07 PM
Well, I'm not trying to be difficult in looking at your example, but going along with it, how would one *know* it is the largest as opposed to the largest known so far?  Could it is a part of a larger diamond that one does not see/know of?
The point was that while Orthodoxy is in itself perfect, that does not preclude the possibility that there could be other Christians who may not call themselves Orthodox, but whom Christ will recognize at the Last Judgment.

Quote
And there still seems to be a subjective element "best diamond *I* have ever seen..."   as opposed to a claim that something *is* objectively.
There surely is. Whatever we experience, we experience subjectively. What can we know besides what enters our senses?
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: David Young on October 30, 2008, 06:38:26 PM

it seems that the "fullness" is what the person believes to be what is needful and that their group has some that all others lack. 

Ebor

Precisely.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Marc1152 on October 30, 2008, 08:34:56 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





JNORM888

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...   
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: jnorm888 on October 30, 2008, 09:20:42 PM
Quote
We wrote the Bible, and it is in our language (Greek) so we will tell you what it means, not the other way around  Tongue

Sorry, but God wrote the bible as John tells us in John 1:1-2. And since John, Matthew, Peter, etc. witnessed Christ's life and words and you didn't, then I'll go with them instead of you.  ;) So since you don't know where to find God's word, then how can you worship a God you don't know?  :o Or do you make up a God of your imagination?  If so, then you are worshiping an imaginary God which makes him unreal. Sorry.  ;)

Both God and man wrote the Bible. It's called synergy!!! If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, you will see that the Church wrote it!!!

John 21:24
"This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true."


Saints John, Peter, Mark, and Mathew are of the Church. They are people of the Church, therefore, the Church wrote it!!! Infact, you wouldn't know who wrote the Gospel of Mathew if the Church didn't tell you that Mathew wrote it! If it wasn't for the Church, then you would have to call it "Generic Gospel # 1". Because if it wasn't for the Church then you wouldn't know it's author!!! You can read the book of Mathew from beginning to end and you won't find the author telling you who he is.

You hold on to things that the Church told you, and you didn't even know it.


Maybe you are the one worshipping an imaginary god. Have you ever thought about that? Next time, try respecting the Church, instead of bashing it. For in bashing it, you are shooting yourself in the foot.





JNORM888

Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...   



understood




JNORM888
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on October 30, 2008, 11:53:32 PM
Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

It also has the advantage of being true....

Quote
Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...

Um, now you are headed back off into some inaccuracy. Unless there is a lot of material out there that we don't know about, there are only four gospels that even had a chance of being included. The gnostic "gospels" are wildly incompatible with anything orthodox, after all. Ignoring the alogi (who left out the Johannine books, including John's gospel) the only real variation was among the epistles (and such related works as the Shepherd of Hermas), and their inclusion/exclusion doesn't, from what I can see, have any serious doctrinal implications. As far as theology the inclusion or exclusion of the apocrypha is far more significant, and the church cannot be said to have compiled the Septuagint. They used it because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: scamandrius on October 31, 2008, 04:48:23 PM
They used it [the Septuagint] because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.

Au contraire!  St. Augustine says specifically in his De Doctrina Christiana that the Septuagint is divinely inspired of God and should be regarded and used as authoritative.  In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.  I know I'm only speaking of one church father here, but it seems that the statement of this particular father, who knew very little or no Greek, lends creedence that the Septuagint was regarded as "better than anything else."
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Asteriktos on October 31, 2008, 07:20:13 PM
Quote
In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.

It had been my understanding the St. Jerome much preferred the Hebrew, and used it to translate. This is one reason that he didn't accept the canonicity of the readable books (and only translated two of them).
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Marc1152 on November 02, 2008, 11:06:29 PM
Sometimes saying that the Church wrote the Bible is too challenging (even though it's true). An easier claim for Protestants swallow is the historical fact that The Church compiled the Bible.

It also has the advantage of being true....

Quote
Why are there four Gospels and not just one or seven or ten? There certainly were enough such writings around. It was The Church, that decided...

Um, now you are headed back off into some inaccuracy. Unless there is a lot of material out there that we don't know about, there are only four gospels that even had a chance of being included. The gnostic "gospels" are wildly incompatible with anything orthodox, after all. Ignoring the alogi (who left out the Johannine books, including John's gospel) the only real variation was among the epistles (and such related works as the Shepherd of Hermas), and their inclusion/exclusion doesn't, from what I can see, have any serious doctrinal implications. As far as theology the inclusion or exclusion of the apocrypha is far more significant, and the church cannot be said to have compiled the Septuagint. They used it because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.


So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 03, 2008, 03:09:57 PM
They used it [the Septuagint] because it was what they had, not because they thought it was better than anything else.

Au contraire!  St. Augustine says specifically in his De Doctrina Christiana that the Septuagint is divinely inspired of God and should be regarded and used as authoritative.  In fact, he commends St. Jerome for using the Seputuagint to make his translation of the Divine Scriptures into Latin and only using the Hebrew (not all of which he had) as a slight check.  I know I'm only speaking of one church father here, but it seems that the statement of this particular father, who knew very little or no Greek, lends creedence that the Septuagint was regarded as "better than anything else."

Well, you can read (at least some of) the correspondence right here (http://www.bible-researcher.com/vulgate2.html), and anyone reading Jerome's reply will feel right at home, because it's exactly the kind of complaint one sees made (with great justification) in any religious forum. We find Jerome complaining that Augustine doesn't say exactly where the mistranslation supposedly in Jonah is, and if Augustine means that old argument, well, here is what it is and why I didn't follow the LXX. Meanwhile, acto the Catholic Encyclopedia article (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02089a.htm), Augustine's Greek was poor, and the closest evidence that he understood Hebrew at all is that he spoke Punic, another Semitic language. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Augustine's protests sound like those of any undereducated know-it-all polemicist on the Internet. At any rate, he is certainly completely outside any decision to use the LXX instead of the Hebrew; no matter how he tries to rationalize it, the influx of Gentiles led to the use of the only translation readily available (the LXX) in the only language widely understood (Greek). Their only other options were to teach everyone Hebrew or Aramaic or retranslate it. Augustine's controversialism about the issue is consonant with his life in a time where church establishment allowed the luxury of considering such questions-- may I remind readers that his mother Monica was herself born eight years after the Council of Nicaea? One doesn't have to go very far back into the ante-Nicene era before alternatives to using the LXX were simply impossible. His arguments are very much like those of the KJV-only crowd, except that in the latter case we have plenty of documentation from the translators which shows that the translation process was very much more ad hoc-- and modern-- than the KJV-only crowd would ever care to admit.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 03, 2008, 03:15:32 PM

So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

It was true that the Church selected the texts, and that there was fairly limited controversy about what exactly the canon would include. Even then it would be inaccurate to portray the process of scripture writing as something that was actively directed by the Church as an organization.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Marc1152 on November 03, 2008, 08:44:57 PM

So I guess what you are saying is that it's true that The Church decided what was to be in the Bible, but it was an easy task.

It was true that the Church selected the texts, and that there was fairly limited controversy about what exactly the canon would include. Even then it would be inaccurate to portray the process of scripture writing as something that was actively directed by the Church as an organization.


Nonsense... The Church decided which scriptures were canonical after formally deliberating at  regional councils and then formally ratified the decisions made there at the 6th Ecumenical Council.

You're welcome...

Here is a good article:   http://kevinburt.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/there-never-was-a-bible-in-the-orthodox-church/
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Asteriktos on November 03, 2008, 08:51:41 PM
Quote
The Church compiled the Bible after formally deliberating at a regional council and then ratified the decisions made there at the next Ecumenical Council.

That's not what I've read. What councils in particular are you speaking of? The 6th Ecumenical Council (2nd Canon) actually endorsed multiple biblical canons, because of how they accepted contradictory disciplinary canons from earlier times. Here's an example:

Council of Laodicea: Includes Baruch, excludes the rest of the deuterocanonical books
Council of Carthage: Includes Tobit., Judith., 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach, excludes the rest of the deuterocanonical books (3 Maccabees, etc.)
Canon of Gregory the Theologian: excludes all the deuterocanonical books

Here's a link to the canon (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiv.iii.ii.html) so that you can see for yourself.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Keble on November 03, 2008, 09:23:30 PM
This is getting a bit confused, as I was talking of NT canon formation. In any case what I said applies even more strongly to OT canon (+/- Apocrypha) seeing as how all those books were written well before Jesus was born.

Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Asteriktos on November 03, 2008, 09:28:54 PM
For my own part, I'm merely trying to guard against the tendency of dogmatizing the canon issue. If you're Orthodox, you can't point to any one Council or Father and say "Aha! That seals it!" I do apologize for intruding into things, though, I didn't realise that when you were talking about the Church writing and organizing the canon, you were limiting things to the NT alone. I'll avoid posting off-topic again! :)
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: ialmisry on July 31, 2011, 11:40:01 AM
The one reason which I do not actually ever hear, but which is always implied is the following:

I KNOW BETTER.  Emphasis on "I".  How else can you have all these divergent church bodies?  Because they are groups of "I"s with their own take on Christianity.  When one "I" becomes disenfranchised with the rest, another Protestant congregation is formed.  How else can you explain how more than 30,000 Protestant organizations have cropped up in the world, most of which started less than 30 years ago?

Ah, the Barrett number. We've been here many times before. (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,5153.msg71947/topicseen.html#msg71947) It all comes down to the same set of points:
  • 30,000 is an estimate he gave of the total number of all Christian churches. His last count (in 2001) produced 22,000.
Still tens of thousands more than Christ founded.
  • Barrett's methodology creates a lot of phantom churches, because he counts each body in every country in which it appears.
And?

Take for example the only Protestant group that has anything resembling a "catholic communion," the Anglicans/Episcopalians.  They had the problem of Canterbury refusing to ordain for the American "Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America," which got its orders from a previous schism, the non-jurors in Scotland.  The high church "Hawaiian Reformed Catholic Church"-for which the King himself translating the Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian-was reduced to a low church diocese of PECUSA.  And now the former British colonies (the Anglican cross following the union jack) have bishops who are exercising jurisdiction to those fleeing the liberal dogmas of PECUSA and elsewhere.  In many ways, borders determined doctrinal boundaries.

  • "Protestant" is actually a subcategory in his taxonomy (he has six, as I recall: Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, Independent, and Marginal). You are essentially counting everything that isn't in the first two categories as "Protestant". In fact, the vast majority of bodies counted are in the last two, and especially the last.
So the fissuring tendencies of Protestantism is accelerating exponentially. 

The biggest issue with his taxonomy is that the Nestorians get lumped with the Orthodox:we haven't had anything to do with them for 3x the time the Protestants (the classic ones at least) have existed.

  • Far and away the majority of Christian groups are found in Africa.
So they don't count?  The Orthodox and the Vatican have managed to keep it together in Africa.  That Protestantism can't is a problem of Protestantism, not Africa.
[/list]

Part of the reason you have them, I would remind you, is the same reason we have oriental and eastern and "true" and "genuine" and "catholic" and "old Catholic" and so forth churches.
Whether the "true" and "genuine" last past a century, or the Altkatolisch a second century is up in the air.  Both show the Protestant trait of splitting, rather than the Orthodox or Vatican tendency to have a communion.  Throw in the Old Ritualists, who are almost as old as the Protestants, and the various Sedevacantists, both of which show the Protestant tendency to split (but many who have been reconciled to the Mother Church) and you have the spectrum of dissident of the Orthodox and Vatican since 1517, a couple dozen.  In the same time Protestants have managed to produce thousands.

I remember when I was a kid, and Protestant, there were Protestants who would deny that they were Protestant, just "Christian."  I was aware that the Vatican had definitive ideas of who was in its communion, and the Orthodox (who I saw as just the Vatican with more incense in Greek) defined who was in their (now our) communion, so if you weren't one or the other, then you were Protestant by default.

Of course, the problem is what consistitutes a seperate Protestant "church," a question that the Anglicans, for instance, have dogmatically ruled out asking.
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: genesisone on July 31, 2011, 04:18:26 PM
Of course, the problem is what consistitutes a seperate Protestant "church," a question that the Anglicans, for instance, have dogmatically ruled out asking.
Just to add to the confusion on this point. Notice what is included in the Coronation Oath taken by HM Queen Elizabeth:

Quote
Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
source (http://www.royal.gov.uk/ImagesandBroadcasts/Historic%20speeches%20and%20broadcasts/CoronationOath2June1953.aspx) (emphasis added)

Sounds to me that the Archbishop makes a pretty strong connection between "Protestant" and "Church of England".
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: primuspilus on August 01, 2011, 12:23:54 PM
Quote
Reply #277 on: October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM »

I must say Mr. Young that although I respect your opinion, here in the South you'd be labeled as a pluralist liberal deceiving many and all following you to hell.

I dont think that, but SO many churches here teach the exact opposite of what you so eloquently posted. Where I am located, the teaching about the Orthodox is basically the same exact teaching concerning the RC's as they see them very much the same. Basically it is watered down paganismm "worshipping" saints and works-based salvation. Without the sinner's prayer, they're all doomed.


PP
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: Jetavan on August 01, 2011, 10:53:49 PM
Quote
Reply #277 on: October 30, 2008, 06:20:59 AM »

I must say Mr. Young that although I respect your opinion, here in the South you'd be labeled as a pluralist liberal deceiving many and all following you to hell....Basically it is watered down paganismm "worshipping" saints and works-based salvation.
Some Catholics down South see these accusations as a badge of honor. ;D
Title: Re: Why do protestants reject Orthodoxy?
Post by: primuspilus on August 02, 2011, 10:40:13 AM
Quote
Some Catholics down South see these accusations as a badge of honor

Indeed they do from what I hear. I believe the main issue, from a Protestant standpoint (more in the US than Europe) is the issue I had at one time.

I was in a Lutheran School until 3rd grade then I moved to the South and was a Baptist. During this entire time the issue of believed Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism came up frequently. Because the South isn't exactly a bastion of Catholicism I took their teachings at face value (along with their heavily baised instruction materials) because there really wasnt a cultural presence of these belief systems as there is in other places (Europe, New York, etc) so I could not really compare or contrast (this is also before the advent of the Internet in its current form).

Later on, I became passionately interested in Mediterranean history. Of which, you cant go very far without running smack-dab into Christ and the early church. I began reading the Early Fathers and the councils as a student of history. This began to conflict what I learned and after digging deeper I realized that what I was taught (although I still believe that my teachers were not being inherently deceptive) was incorrect.


PP