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Author Topic: The Willful Abandonment of Orthodoxy  (Read 11140 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 31, 2006, 01:50:42 PM »

A sagacious fellow in a different thread asked the following

Quote
The fact is many more people become Protestant (and leave Orthodoxy and Catholicism) than go the other direction.  Pentecostals are exploding in terms of numbers in the Global South (read the excellent study by Philip Jenkins on this).  What is it in Protestantism that resonates with these people and where are we failing?  That seems like a worthy question for consideration.

So if we have the right faith, why do people leave for Protestantism?  What do they find there that they do not in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2006, 03:58:44 PM »

Read my reply to you on Matthew777's thread. Also. I would like to hear from others on this topic. You'll probably get some standard replies that slam Orthodox churches as:

too nationalistic

don't speak enough English

too cold, not friendly

I didn't like the pierogis' or the fact that you sell pierogi's aren't you spiritual?

OK. Now that I got those out of the way let's have some thoughtful replies.
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2006, 04:04:57 PM »

A sagacious fellow in a different thread asked the following

So if we have the right faith, why do people leave for Protestantism?  What do they find there that they do not in Orthodoxy?

Are you certain that the assertion you address is correct?
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 05:43:59 PM »

Are you certain that the assertion you address is correct?

Fairly certain.  In North America I would guess up until the 1980's there was at least a small movement of former Orthodox people in to Protestantism.  Perhaps that has reversed since then.  Personally and anecodotally; I have run across some people who were, or whose families were, at one time Orthodox but became Protestant.

In places like Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Macedonia - I would bet there are significant numbers of Orthodox people who have become Protestant.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 05:44:25 PM by welkodox » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2006, 06:01:11 PM »

I don't think that the cause would be dogma since Orthodox dogma is so much more beautiful than the Protestant one which is actually a gross missrepresentation of Orthodox doctrine. I think what would make Protestantism more attractive would be more so their outward shell. I think a Protestant service would be much easier to follow than an Orthodox one and I honestly do think that language is an issue. Orthodox service is archaic, for some reason it was allowed to develop until a certain period and then became stagnate and while Orthodoxy seems to preach a vibrant doctrine of living tradition liturgia is perhaps one area where such a doctrine would need a bit more implementation. Of course some Protestant services can go overboard, but generally it seems that Protestant services are a lot more vibrant than Orthodox ones while the Orthodox services tends to be a lot more sombre. One service that particularly comes to my mind is the one by Dr Robert Schuller in the Crystal Cathedral, you come away with such a positive feeling after his services.

The same can be related to the preaching message as well where Protestant/Evangelical messages preached can perhaps be more empowering whereas Orthodox messages tend to be more apologetic in their nature, again Robert Schuller and Chuck Swindoll are great examples there.

Another reason as well could be the approach taken by the church, I think Protestant/Evangelical churches to focus more on the social services provided by their church whereas the Orthodox church on liturgia, ritual and worship. The Orthodox church with all its rituals, adornments and clothings can also at times appear quite pompous whereas the Protestant/Evangelical church has a much more simplistic appearance.
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2006, 06:10:54 PM »

Fairly certain.  In North America I would guess up until the 1980's there was at least a small movement of former Orthodox people in to Protestantism.  Perhaps that has reversed since then.  Personally and anecodotally; I have run across some people who were, or whose families were, at one time Orthodox but became Protestant.
Perhaps, but I'm not certain. I do have an entire family here as friends who are of Ukrainian background and are not Lutheran - but when asked they still call themselves Orthodox! Only ones I personally know.
Quote
In places like Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Macedonia - I would bet there are significant numbers of Orthodox people who have become Protestant.
Depending on the definition of 'significant', I might take you up on that bet.

{Edited 'cause spellchecker is gone}
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2006, 06:55:03 PM »

A sagacious fellow in a different thread asked the following

So if we have the right faith, why do people leave for Protestantism?  What do they find there that they do not in Orthodoxy?

Culture and society; many who left Orthodoxy in the past at least would leave for Churches that were more acceptable to mainstream American society and thus provided both a sense of normalcy and social networking opportunities. Then, of course, there were those who left because they moved to a place without an Orthodox Church, yet wanted to either attend Church themselves or raise their children in a Church and thus began attending either a Latin or Anglican Church.
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2006, 08:29:57 PM »

I know many Romanians and some Ukrainians that left the OC for different Protestant sects, mainly Baptist, Pentecostal, Adventist and Jehova's Witnesses. There are even some priests who dis so, but I don't know them personally.
Well, in all of the cases I know of, it's all about  poor choices based on crass ignorance of the orthodox faith , ignorance greatly exploited by various missionaries.
An here you have an example of a Baptist saving the souls of the Orthodox of Romania:
http://missions.blogdrive.com/
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2006, 01:25:37 AM »

Augustin717,
It seems to me that in Ukraine that process was stronger then in Romania. One such person was telling everybody that he did that action because now he is positive in his salvation! He claimed that Orthodox Church teaches that it is too difficult to get saved. My opinion on that line of "thinking" - how stupid!!!

Regarding USA and Canada. I believe that at least since middle 1980's much more people converting to Orthodoxy rather then go in opposite direction(s). On the same token, much more loyalty of those, who grew up in Orthodox faith. Based on GreekIsChirstian's observation, one of the reasons for that - more availability of Orthodox churches combined with acceptance of an idea of visiting / membership at the Orthodox parish with other ethnic roots. The idea of a multi-ethnic mission can be named as the best development of that new approach.

Edited for spelling.
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2006, 01:57:55 PM »

Well, this is not a scholarly assumption, and an assumption it is, but the few people I have seen leaves since my recent conversion to Orthodoxy have been of the types who were never really participating in the parish and were also mixed religious homes. They were either "disillusioned" within the Church and never really cared about what it is that they had. They were blinded by their own ideals and tried to fit the Church in their lives as opposed to trying to fit their lives into the Church.

But I must make this one insert into this topic:
One thing I have noticed in the last ten to fifteen years has been a growth in Orthodoxy which has been a loss of laity but a growth of scholars and thinkers from other groups. One ROman Catholic told me once during coffee that the Orthodox Church is getting the best Roman Catholic and Protestant converts while they keep getting the bad Orthodox laity who make their churches difficult and frustrate the Pastor/Priest.

With this in mind, could it be that God is bringing His people home and separating the fold? This is just a thought and I have nothing to back up my charges, but I thought I would just mention this.

Kyrie Eleison,
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2006, 02:32:03 PM »



My advice to every Orthodox Christian is to first tend to their own flock. Since Orthodoxy's message isn't as simple as the Protestant equal. It makes our job all that much more difficult. There are thousands of cradle Orthodox children being born every year. Hear, are your new converts. Nourish them so they may be greater then yourselves.
  Most people that get into debates with other religions usually are looking for reassurance that there religion is better. 9 times out of 10 you don't convince anyone. But start to doubt yourself. It's usually unhealthy unless your Chrysostom. Protestants are ready for you. They were taught well and have practiced what to say to us for a long time. (Programed) is a better word. It's wiser to concentrate on our own. Since we are losing them to a simple message like (Your saved). Roll Eyes
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2006, 03:57:21 PM »

It sort of bothers me that every Ukranian and Russian I've ever met has been either Baptist or Pentecostal. Are Eastern Europeans leaving the Church in droves?

Peace.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2006, 04:14:46 PM »

well, as it's been noted the baptists in particular are training missionaries to go into Orthodox countries and convert folks.  They really do program 'us', since that is what I was, to go in and tell everyone how they are so lost and need to "get saved" right away.  There is an urgency involved, the window is closing as governments again become hostile.  You have to remember that baptists are working towards some unseen number they have to reach in order to get the Lord to come back.  so, the more Orthodox that convert the closer we are to His return.  (that being the rapture. they are nevertheless intent on their goal)
There are countless seminaries, private day schools, and protestant universities that are training *programming is a better word by far* these people to go to your door or go overseas.  And they offer a faith that is immediate and intense instead of just eternal and consistent.  Sadly, most of the kids and college students that travel to orthodox countries have no idea that Christianity has already been there far longer than the US has even been a country.  For all their training and learning, they are  very ignorant of history outside of whichever protestant textbook they used.

And Ebor, my family didn't have the wealth afforded to Doc either.  We just floated around it a lot since my father was his chief of security during the heyday of death threats.  While he doesn't get as many of those,  he and the 'theologians' around him all enjoy a well padded lifestyle. Those he spits out of the seminary all intend to reach that same pinnacle.  I would bet that would be the same with someone that has lived in the underbelly of the Crystal Cathedral or Joel Osteen's megachurch atmosphere, rather than Falwell's.  There is an allure to young preachers, and to the faithful to attain this type of high living right here-because surely the Father wants you to be successful, right?

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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2006, 04:15:22 PM »

Quote
It sort of bothers me that every Ukranian and Russian I've ever met has been either Baptist or Pentecostal. Are Eastern Europeans leaving the Church in droves?
Perhaps not in droves, but still there are many that are leaving due to the aggressive Evangelical proselytism in Eastern Europe.
Probably 7 or 8 years ago, while I was still in highschool, in Romania, I once went to hear an American Baptist that came to our town precisely to convert the Orthodox to the Baptist religion.
For entire evening he kept insulting the Orthodox faith of his audience (mainly the baptism of children, the veneration of icons and the Sacrament of Confession).
Then, when the theological arguments were over, I guess, he brought up the economical ones, drawing a comparaison between the economical statues of all Eastern Europe, which is mostly Orthodox, and the economy of the Protestant nations, chiefly the American.
He drew the conclusion that God was angry with the Orthodox religion, since he let all of the Orthodox countries in such an economic hell, but looked favourably upon the Protestant countries, since they were doing so well economically. So, you see how evangelistic crusades are done in Eastern Europe. I've always had the impression that in those Western missionaries' eyes, we, the Eastern Europeans, were some sort of a wild people in need of enlightenment from them, the Western Protestants.
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2006, 04:18:45 PM »

In addition to that, I've heard that in the collapse of the Soviet Union, Protestant missionaries offered U.S. citizenship in exchange for conversion from Orthodoxy.

Peace.
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2006, 05:08:05 PM »

In addition to that, I've heard that in the collapse of the Soviet Union, Protestant missionaries offered U.S. citizenship in exchange for conversion from Orthodoxy.

Peace.

You "heard" this?   Wink

I actually know one of these Baptist "missionaries" to Russia. Just before she left last June I told her my opinion of her efforts. As she is familiar with Orthodoxy (her own son a GO convert) and she stressed that she was going to seek the atheists, I let the conversation drop. (And I am still working on her as well).
Her trip lasted all of 10 days !?!? Including two travel ones. Seemed more of a vacation to me
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2006, 05:26:02 PM »

It sort of bothers me that every Ukranian and Russian I've ever met has been either Baptist or Pentecostal. Are Eastern Europeans leaving the Church in droves?

Peace.

You probably just live near a high concentration of such.  For example, there are a lot of Russian Baptists in the Sacramento area (at least I've been told), but I know where the Slavic Orthodox parishes are in town.  I don't live there though, so the only one I've encountered is a coworker who has family over there.
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2006, 12:13:12 AM »

Then, when the theological arguments were over, I guess, he brought up the economical ones, drawing a comparaison between the economical statues of all Eastern Europe, which is mostly Orthodox, and the economy of the Protestant nations, chiefly the American.
He drew the conclusion that God was angry with the Orthodox religion, since he let all of the Orthodox countries in such an economic hell, but looked favourably upon the Protestant countries, since they were doing so well economically. So, you see how evangelistic crusades are done in Eastern Europe. I've always had the impression that in those Western missionaries' eyes, we, the Eastern Europeans, were some sort of a wild people in need of enlightenment from them, the Western Protestants.

That's interesting. I've heard something similar before: Orthodox countries have suffered under Muslim domination and then Communist domination for centuries because God is punishing them for Orthodox heresies.

It reminded me of the Byzantines' explanation for the Islamic conquest of most of Byzantium in the 7th and 8th centuries: God was punishing them for venerating icons (Muslims were iconoclasts). Of course, that was the usual Byzantine response when bad things happened---they looked to see how they were offending God.

Many Evangelicals share that mindset---which is why they believe God has favored America over the years. Thus, to some, the Muslim and Communist domination of Orthodox countries is the result of Orthodox offenses against God.
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2006, 07:21:08 AM »

Chesterton thought the economic disparity was down to the East's failure to absorb St Benedict's view: laborare est orare
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2006, 07:29:34 AM »

Chesterton thought the economic disparity was down to the East's failure to absorb St Benedict's view: laborare est orare
If only the Icon of Sts. Constantine & Helen looked like this:



 Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2006, 12:16:21 PM »


Quote
Many Evangelicals share that mindset---which is why they believe God has favored America over the years. Thus, to some, the Muslim and Communist domination of Orthodox countries is the result of Orthodox offenses against God.
Since they know the Bible so well show them this. John 15:19
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2006, 12:56:06 PM »

Chesterton thought the economic disparity was down to the East's failure to absorb St Benedict's view: laborare est orare
That's an interesting view as one could say this was precisly the view in the Russian mirs.  Personally, I have always thought that the economic disparity in the EAst had something to do with Godless Communists, taking over the country by force, killing millions of the people and destroying the lives of the people in an attempt to make a move to industrial power.

It doesn't help that countries like Britain or USA avoided helping the east financially due to the fact that it would hurt their margins.
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2006, 01:37:21 PM »

Culture and society; many who left Orthodoxy in the past at least would leave for Churches that were more acceptable to mainstream American society and thus provided both a sense of normalcy and social networking opportunities.

I doubt this is still the case.  Those people today probably end up like Arianna Huffington.   That's not just an Orthodox trend though.  Organized religion has lost its social cachet.
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2006, 03:13:44 AM »

If only the Icon of Sts. Constantine & Helen looked like this:



 Cheesy

hahahahahaha
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2006, 08:58:08 AM »

A sagacious fellow in a different thread asked the following

So if we have the right faith, why do people leave for Protestantism?  What do they find there that they do not in Orthodoxy?

As one who is converting from protestantism, maybe I can help.  A lot of it probably has to do with emotional appeal.  Especially with Pentacostalism, everything about it is naked appeal to emotion.  It is also "easier," in that you have the idea of instantaneous salvation, instead of the rightful way of "working out one's salvation with fear and trembling."  Another reason is ignorance among the laity of the faith and the Church herself.  Another reason is the appeal to modern culture.  Many protestant churches have gone contemporary and now use Praise and Worship music.  Knowledge of the old hymns and prayer songs is non-existent, and most don't mind this.  Those are only a few reasons.  They're rediculous.
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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2006, 10:01:27 AM »

I'm amazed that nobody seems to have mentioned money yet. In the west this is clearly not the case (here I think some people simply become Protestant for an easy life - little or no ascesis, an assurance of salvation, etc.) but I'm familiar with an awful lot of Pentecostals in Romania and many of them converted in order to get their hands on western aid. They are generally not ex-Orthodox (except nominally) but rather ex-communists, though I have no doubt that there are ex-Orthodox there too. Interestingly, I've seen little to no evidence of the sort of easy life, feel good Protestant groups doing well in rural Bucovina. The Pentecostals, who get the lion's share of all converts to western churches in the region are particularly strict. I have no idea which church they are actually a part of but to give you some idea, they don't drink or smoke, the women always have their hair covered, never have shorter than knee length skirts, they have huge families as they frown seriously on contraception. I wonder if there is something of Orthodox ascesis imprinted on these people even after so long under the communists, such that a religion that really requires nothing of you seems like no religion at all? I've certainly yet to come across a single mainstream Protestant out there.

James

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Just to be clear and so as not to give the wrong impression, I know many of the Pentecostals there because I was working for a Protestant charity when I discovered Orthodoxy - they are actually a pretty tiny, though very visible, minority. There are, however, a few villages where 'economic evangelisation' has made them a majority. Nonetheless, all the Penetecostals in town fit comfortably in their rather modest church on a Sunday whereas it's almost impossible to get into either of the two Orthodox churches even on weekdays and the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches are pretty packed also. I'd hate people to get the impression that Protestant evangelists are winning in the east. Far more are returning to the faith of their forefathers than are leaving.
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« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2006, 07:43:43 PM »

Quote
Insert Quote
I'm amazed that nobody seems to have mentioned money yet
That's true. I know of a Baptist pastor in Romania who offered "to help" an Orthodox family that was having some economical difficulties a certain time, in exchange for their conversion to "the true faith", i.e. Baptism. What is even sadder, is that some of that family became Baptists.
I don't know, but sometimes, I'd rather have these churches outlawed, seeing how much dishonesty they use to attract converts.
Quote
I wonder if there is something of Orthodox ascesis imprinted on these people even after so long under the communists, such that a religion that really requires nothing of you seems like no religion at all?
I aggree with you. They are even stricter than the Orthodox on  headscarves and other things like these.
A Romanian Orthodox priest called them "just frustrated and disgruntled Orthodox".
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2006, 07:11:52 AM »

I do know that the Protestant/Pentecostal group with which I have been associated is very open and aggressive (at least on the US side) about converting Orthodox in Russia and Romania.  The push for results is made all the more urgent because there is some "prophecy" that the "door in Russia will only remain open for a short time."  I have heard the actual length of time stated that the door will remain open but I cannot recall it at present.
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2006, 07:55:56 PM »

That's true. I know of a Baptist pastor in Romania who offered "to help" an Orthodox family that was having some economical difficulties a certain time, in exchange for their conversion to "the true faith", i.e. Baptism. What is even sadder, is that some of that family became Baptists.
I know such cases in Ukraine. A lot of them. Same tactics!
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2006, 02:32:50 AM »

I know such cases in Ukraine. A lot of them. Same tactics!

Do you actually think these 'conversions' will "take"?

I don't.
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« Reply #30 on: November 12, 2006, 09:03:59 PM »

You are right! I agree.
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« Reply #31 on: November 12, 2006, 09:21:04 PM »

On the long run, the harmful effects of these conversions will be, that in certain areas at least, where they are more numerous, the idea that being Romanian/Ukranian/Russian etc equates with being Orthodox will dissappear and so, the Orthodox Church might  experience
serious loss of members  because, frankly, most of the Orthodox Christians (or the Romanians, at least) stay Orthodox not because they are well versed in theology and so they found out that this is the true Church, but because "our ancestors were Orthodox", and "this is our Law" (as the Romanians put it).
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« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2006, 07:37:09 AM »

most of the Orthodox Christians (or the Romanians, at least) stay Orthodox not because they are well versed in theology and so they found out that this is the true Church, but because "our ancestors were Orthodox", and "this is our Law" (as the Romanians put it).
And I'd say this is true of the Greeks, the Russians, the Serbians etc. Nor do I think it is a bad thing. I've yet to come accross a Saint who became a Saint simply because they were well versed in theology; yet I know of countless Saints who became Saints because they refused to give up the Faith of their Fathers.
"Ο των πατέρων ημών, Θεός ευλογητός εί!"
"O the God of our Fathers, blessed are You!"
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« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2006, 05:07:49 PM »

I'm amazed that nobody seems to have mentioned money yet. In the west this is clearly not the case (here I think some people simply become Protestant for an easy life - little or no ascesis, an assurance of salvation, etc.) but I'm familiar with an awful lot of Pentecostals in Romania and many of them converted in order to get their hands on western aid. They are generally not ex-Orthodox (except nominally) but rather ex-communists, though I have no doubt that there are ex-Orthodox there too. Interestingly, I've seen little to no evidence of the sort of easy life, feel good Protestant groups doing well in rural Bucovina. The Pentecostals, who get the lion's share of all converts to western churches in the region are particularly strict. I have no idea which church they are actually a part of but to give you some idea, they don't drink or smoke, the women always have their hair covered, never have shorter than knee length skirts, they have huge families as they frown seriously on contraception. I wonder if there is something of Orthodox ascesis imprinted on these people even after so long under the communists, such that a religion that really requires nothing of you seems like no religion at all? I've certainly yet to come across a single mainstream Protestant out there.

James

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Just to be clear and so as not to give the wrong impression, I know many of the Pentecostals there because I was working for a Protestant charity when I discovered Orthodoxy - they are actually a pretty tiny, though very visible, minority. There are, however, a few villages where 'economic evangelisation' has made them a majority. Nonetheless, all the Penetecostals in town fit comfortably in their rather modest church on a Sunday whereas it's almost impossible to get into either of the two Orthodox churches even on weekdays and the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic churches are pretty packed also. I'd hate people to get the impression that Protestant evangelists are winning in the east. Far more are returning to the faith of their forefathers than are leaving.
Did you know that alot of these Penecostal groups are not Christian? Alot of them, especially those related to the United Pentecostal Church do NOT believe in the Trinity but rather subscribe to a sort of modalism.
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« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2006, 12:40:46 PM »

falafel333 wrote:  "Orthodox service is archaic, for some reason it was allowed to develop until a certain period and then became stagnate and while Orthodoxy seems to preach a vibrant doctrine of living tradition liturgia is perhaps one area where such a doctrine would need a bit more implementation. Of course some Protestant services can go overboard, but generally it seems that Protestant services are a lot more vibrant than Orthodox ones while the Orthodox services tends to be a lot more sombre."

As a former Protestant and protestant minister, I humbly take issue with the above statement.  Let me explain.

First of all, Orthodox liturgy is anything but "stagnate"!  Of all of the types services, as a Protestant, either participated in as a layman or as a "minister", none can compare with the beauty, thoroughness and depth of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy!  Nothing comes close.  One of the things that drew me to the Orthodox Church was the depth and reverence of the Liturgy.  The more I was exposed to Orthodox (true and pure) worship, the more dissatisfied I became with Protestant attempts to create the "perfect" worship service.  It is shameful for an Orthodox Christian to even think that the Protestant worship services are superior to the worship of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church!  Protestant worship, in many of todays modern "churches" may be very entertaining, and this might be why many people like it.  Protestant worship may appeal to the emotions more than they actually should (Orthodox worship is emotional, too, but kept in balance.) and this probably appeals to many people.  There may be a dozen other reasons why many people prefer to go to a Protestant worship service (perhaps pews so that they can "chill"Huh??), but their attempts at worship are definately inferior to the worship of the Church.

As for our worship being "sombre", allow me a brief comment.  Sometimes our worship of God needs to be sombre.  However, there are many celebrations going on in our worship, as well.  Perhaps we all need to heed the call of the priests:  "Let us be attentive", and we will see the beauty of our wonderful and God-given Divine Liturgy!
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« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2006, 08:06:38 PM »

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As a former Protestant and protestant minister, I humbly take issue with the above statement.  Let me explain.

I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I agree wholeheartedly that Orthodox worship can be beautiful. However, the problem that I have is the refusal for growth and development in the liturgy that our forefathers would have expressed. I'm sure that our forefathers would have developed liturgia in a way that addressed the needs of the people of their times and would have incorporated elements of the cultural music, language, style, aesthetics, structure and so on of their times. Sometimes I wonder if a St Basil, St Gregory, St James or St John Chrysostom would compose a liturgy for our times what it would look like.
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« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2006, 08:56:07 PM »

I'm sure it would reflect our reality today - it'd be super complex, and require an army of acolytes to do.  It'd be like the Presider and his army would flood the congregation during the Great Entrance.  My oh my!
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2006, 09:06:32 PM »

falafel333 wrote, "I'm sure that our forefathers would have developed liturgia in a way that addressed the needs of the people of their times . . . "

My dear brother or sister (sorry, I'm not sure if you are male or female), the liturgy that we now have is timeless and addresses the needs of every people of every place and every culture in every time.  Please don't take the liturgy for granted.  Its beauty and depth and richness are unsurpassed on this earth. 

As far as the times, let me say that the music has changed from place to place and from time to time.  If you don't believe me, go to a Greek church one Sunday and a Russian on the next!  No, we don't have any rock and roll, "praise bands", but do we really want to trivialize the text by setting it to pop music?  No way do I ever, ever want to see that happen!  The music can change, but it still must represent a reverence and it must point us to God, not give us a fun-time, emotional ride.  If our emotions are lifted because it points us to God, then wonderful!  Thank God for it.  But, if the music is simply used to manipulate our emotions, then it has not place in the liturgy.  Heck, I can get emotional over a Barry Manilow song, but that does not constitue worship!

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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2006, 11:57:07 AM »

gregoryh

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« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2006, 01:53:57 PM »

I'm glad we've kept worshiping the Lord as the primary focus of the Liturgy. If you want entertainment, check out satellite dish TV or some such thing.
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« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2006, 06:28:03 PM »

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the liturgy that we now have is timeless and addresses the needs of every people of every place and every culture in every time.

I'm not quite sure how you came to this conclusion...A good research of liturgia will identify that it largely addressed the needs of the people of the time. Liturgia tends to address especially dogmatic concerns and therefore you will find that a large focus is given to the Trinitiarian and Christological issues surrounding the times of the composers. You will also find that liturgia can be very different depending on the area in which the composer originates from. Therefore, not all Orthodox churches use the same liturgia, not all the same music, not all the same text, not all the same structure and so on. Furthermore, liturgia developed over time and was not simply provided as a one size fits all package for all time, handed down by Christ or the apostles--Over a long period of time the church permitted music to be developed, prayers composed, rituals formed and so forth...My only dilemma is that if all of this was allowed throughout history there is no time when we need it more than today. I'm not talking about an over-exaggerated, people-falling over their chairs and drunk in the Spirit Pentecostal service nor am I talking about simply cancelling or getting rid of Orthodox services but simply one that may even identify the best practices of other church and take what is acceptable to Orthodoxy and can help more identify with the needs of people today...I'm talking about knowing that there can be good everywhere and learning and benefiting from all.
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« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2006, 06:35:49 PM »

Like what are you implying be added to the liturgical services?
As far as I have attended the Divine Liturgy, I have wept and "danced" in joy most every service I have experienced. The needs of the people is the Mystery of Christ which is already there. What more is needed?

BLessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2006, 06:52:32 PM »

I think we should maximise congregational participation in the liturgy...In many churches this can be very low and it's almost like the congregation is in a theatre to watch the priest or choir perform.

According to a recent survey 27 per cent of U.S. male college students believe life is a meaningless existential hell. This is what I think liturgical texts should try to address.

Also what develoments in music and so forth have occurred that can be used in church...there is much beautiful music that the church does not use because of its regimented ways.

I'm sure we could address many similar issues in icons, vestments, symbols and so on...
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« Reply #43 on: November 20, 2006, 08:17:29 PM »

falafel,

Your suggestions/thoughts have already been enacted/tried in the Roman Church and how did it improve and in what condition are they in now ?

These are very progressive ideas...

james



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« Reply #44 on: November 20, 2006, 08:26:35 PM »

I'm not sure what precisely has been enacted in the Catholic church or the results that it was able to produce...
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